Review: Incredible Hercules: Smash of the Titans

I really meant to write another Library Day In the Life for the end of the week, but wound up having a sick day instead, so a comic review it is.  The Incredible Hercules is probably Marvel’s most unlikely ongoing series at the moment.  It’s a spin off the Hulk book, featuring two characters that have only the most tenuous of ties to the Hulk.  Hercules (the real one) is a former Avengers supporting character who is here because he felt bad about one confrontation with the Hulk from the early 70’s when he was with the Champions.  His co-star, the teenaged Amadeus Cho (the 7th smartest person on the Earth), is a newer character who met the Hulk once during his origin story.

When the book gets to spend time on the relationship between the two leads it’s brilliant.  Amadeus is a text book chaotic good figure, as well as being someone in desperate need of a father figure.  Hercules is a bit of a man-child, now forced into being a somewhat respectable role model.  It’s really amazing how well the dynamic between the two works thanks to the writing of Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente.

Now as for the story, the collection features to arcs.  The first is a tie in to the World War Hulk story Marvel was running at the time, and it’s a bit of a mess.  It’s pretty much unreadable on its own thanks to giant plot leaps that take place between issues and are never explained here.  

Fortuantely the second story with Herc and Amadeus on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. and Herc’s brother Ares is a lot better, as well as being far more representative of the series.  This arc is one of the more enjoyable books I’ve seen from Marvel in quite a while.  It also has one of the best (and over the top) action sequences.

However, there’s a trade available of just that story I believe, which I would probably recommend buying over this larger collection, unless you have also read World War Hulk.

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