Marvel has been putting out numerous new books featuring their second and third tier characters including some a lot time coming (Vision [more on that later], Scarlet Witch) and some getting yet another chance (Howard the Duck, Captain Marvel). A good example of the latter is Hercules by Dan Abnett who's one of Marvel's better writers and Luke Ross who has a clean, realistic and dynamic style.

In order to differentiate the series from Incredible Hercules and Hercules, Prince of Power, the Son of Zeus is now living in Astoria, Queens (a subway ride from me!) in a low-key apartment, printing business cards in order to rehabilitate his image. People must offer him a personal treasure to "hire" him but Hercules is very broad-minded in that regard. He battles a demon Urmut (#1), giants (#2) and centaurs (#3) but uses modern weapons and diplomacy! He learns that something is coming to destroy the mythic beings and time is running out!

Three interesting supporting characters are the goddess ATHENA, silent, shadowy and foreboding. Only Hercules can see her and his shouting at her does not inspire confidence about his stability among the regular people. Then there's the seer TIRESIAS from the actual Greek myths who is sarcastic, urbane and worried; a weird combination of Gandalf and Oscar Wilde!

The most prominent is GILGAMESH described as the Hero of Sumer, crashing with Hercules due to a depression that has drained him of all motivation. It's not clear if Gil is the Eternal Gilgamesh AKA The Forgotten One or the "real" one. We can feel Hercules' frustration with him as well as his compassion.

As for the Prince of Power, he does not want to be a punchline anymore. He's sober now, responsible and willing to rebuild his image. He wants to be "Hercules" again, the greatest of heroes, to live up to his own legends again, to be taken seriously again. Sadly, most people see him as the drunken brawler, "all brawn, no brains" and causer of much property damage!

He has had many names, can sense magic and see the mythic beings around him but he wants to help them instead of smash them. He feels their fear and their dread and must become his ancient enemies' champion though he gets no support from Olympus. It's strongly implied that he is older than his myths and can be overwhelmed by his own legend except that all his stories are true.

It's a well-thought out series with a great premise and a powerful threat that we have not clearly seen yet. The problem may be in reforming Hercules they lose everything that made him unique or at least different from Thor. But just because he's not drinking and acting like an adult should not make him uninteresting. It would be cool to see him back with the Avengers with them not buying his new image.

I recommend Hercules as one of Marvel's strongest new titles.

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(I love this group!)
Thanks for the recommendation Philip - it's going on my wish list!

Even though I have only read the first two issues, I second Philip's recommendation.  This is a very interesting take on Hercules.  I would add that Herc's landlady, Sophia, is also a wonderful part of the supporting cast.  She was the one who got him sober.  I think she may turn out to have an intriguing backstory.

Yes Sophia has a positive influence on Hercules as he sees as a person, not a sexual dalliance. She may be his Jiminy Cricket!

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