By Marc Strom
When one god falls, another must rise to take their place.
With Hercules missing in action, Amadeus Cho picks up his best friend's legendary-and quite powerful-mace beginning in PRINCE OF POWER #1 this May from INCREDIBLE HERCULES writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente with art by Reilly Brown.
"As Hercules was the greatest hero of the Iron Age, which ended with 'Assault on New Olympus,' Amadeus is destined to be the greatest hero of this new Heroic Age the Marvel Universe finds itself in," Van Lente explains of the power transference.
Pak and Van Lente always had Amadeus' new role planned, as it marks a major turning point in their ongoing story.
"Once the overall plan for INCREDIBLE HERCULES coalesced in our minds around 'Sacred Invasion,' it was conceived as a long single story of about eight story arcs long," notes Van Lente. "'Prince of Power' is the seventh arc."
"We're entering the third act of this first massive epic we envisioned for INCREDIBLE HERCULES," adds Pak. "So get ready for a non-stop series of payoffs and revelations. All of the themes and relationships and emotional storylines that we've been building for Hercules and Amadeus are coming to a head."
Though Amadeus will receive a massive amount of power in the coming months, he may need even more to complete a very personal mission.
"Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, has played the role of patron for both Hercules and Amadeus for the last three years," explains Pak. "Now she's finally revealing her true plans for Amadeus. The big question is whether Athena's vision of heroism jibes with Amadeus'. Generally the risk when mortals get tapped by gods to do their work is that the power they receive may be too much for them to handle. But the danger for Amadeus is that he may actually want more. As a bit of a tip-off, the first issue in the series is called 'Blasphemy Can Be Fun.' It gets crazier from there."
Besides Amadeus, a number of familiar faces will leap from the pages of INCREDIBLE HERCULES to PRINCE OF POWER following the events of "Assault on New Olympus."
"The entire supporting cast-or what's left of them-is returning from INCREDIBLE HERCULES, with Athena as the Machiavellian head of the Greek Pantheon [and] allegedly Amadeus' patroness, but he's stopped trusting her long ago," notes Van Lente. "Hebe, Herc's grieving widow, is his executive assistant. And he has a certain snake-haired love interest that may be playing an important role..."
Plus, fans can expect at least a pair of guest stars as the series opens up.
"Keep your eyes open for Amadeus' big-brained colleague Bruce Banner and a certain long haired individual of the Norse persuasion whose name starts with a T and ends with a-oh, heck, he's on the cover," Pak gives up. "We're talking about Thor! The Odinson plays a massive role throughout this storyline. An extra bonus is that [artist] Reilly Brown, who knocked the 'Replacement Thor' storyline out of the park, is back on board for PRINCE OF POWER.' He draws an incredible Thor-and his upgrade of Amadeus's look is swoon-worthy."
Van Lente notes that Thor will play "an important part of the beginning, middle and end" of PRINCE OF POWER, "But whether he's Cho's ally or nemesis remains to be seen," warns the writer.
As Van Lente noted above, Amadeus Cho will help to usher in the new Heroic Age in the Marvel Universe.
"[PRINCE OF POWER] sets the new status quo for Marvel mythology in the Heroic Age," he elaborates.
"One of the great themes of classic mythology has been the risk that mortal heroes take by encroaching on the turf of the gods," continues Pak. "We're about to see the impact of the biggest transgression a mortal can make upon multiple pantheons in the Marvel Universe. And the end of the story will bring an insane twist that no one's going to see coming that may split the heavens themselves."
Both Amadeus and the Greek Pantheon will have their hands full in PRINCE OF POWER, with Van Lente and Pak hinting at even more menaces on the horizon.
"A team of Hulk sometimes-allies, sometimes-enemies with a mythological bent that we haven't seen for a while returns to enact a hostile takeover of the Olympus Group," teases Van Lente.
"[And] Amadeus is about to acquire his very own arch-nemesis," promises Pak. "Long-time Hulk fans, get ready for a big surprise!"
Look for more Heroic Age coverage all week long on Marvel.com!
To find a comic shop near you, call 1-888-comicbook or visit www.comicshoplocator.com
Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now!
Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution", "Wolverine and the X-Men", "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes" and "The Super Hero Squad Show" now on iTunes!
Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes!