cover image Incredible Hercules: The New Prince of Power

Incredible Hercules: The New Prince of Power

Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente, Reilly Brown, and Ariel Olivetti, Marvel, $19.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-0-7851-4370-3

There's a new heroic age, and its champion is 17-year-old Amadeus Cho, a wunderkind living in Arizona who once had Hercules as a friend. This graphic novel goes full out in terms of superpowers and superheroes, though its references to mythology play fast and loose. For instance, ambrosia is described as something that's drunk, when it's a food in the source material. A brief "What Thou Needst Know" page at the beginning consists of some character descriptions and a three-line poem about Hercules's death. More references to past happenings are brought up as the story continues, sometimes with starred notes from the editors. Early on, Amadeus is fighting a griffin in a mall, though why he's doing such a thing isn't quite clear. After Hercules dies, Amadeus learns of a new way people can become gods. They must collect ambrosia, the apples of Idunn, spells from the Book of Thoth, and the moon-cup of Dhanvantari. In the wrong hands, this method could do much harm. The full-color pages have a slick look, with attractive characters and well-paced action. For those with a background in mythology of the Marvel kind, this should be an entertaining outing. (Dec.)