Heroic Age

Heroic Age: Long Live the Prince

Greg Pak talks about creating Amadeus Cho and the character's journey from loner to champion in HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER!

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HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER #1 cover art by Humberto Ramos
By TJ Dietsch

Few new characters have made quite the impact Amadeus Cho has since his first appearance in 2006's AMAZING FANTASY #15. From that debut, Cho went on to become among the few defenders of The Hulk during World War Hulk, hung around with Hercules and now has even become the brand new Prince of Power following Herc's death, the last transformation which will be further documented in the upcoming HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER limited series beginning May 12.

"Amadeus was conceived and born within a very short amount of time," his creator Greg Pak reveals. "Editor Mark Paniccia gave a bunch of us writers a challenge to re-imagine characters based on old Golden Age superhero names for a special anthology issue of AMAZING FANTASY. I picked 'Mastermind Excello' from the list, and turned in the first draft of the script about a month later. Sometimes everything just lines up. I had a sneaky suspicion that I was onto something good when the name 'Amadeus Cho' came to me. It just felt right. And when I saw the character design that [artist] Takeshi Miyazawa did, everything just clicked into place."

HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER #1 preview art by Reilly Brown
A relatively new talent at the time, Pak wanted to add something fresh to the Marvel Universe, but he had no idea how big a part of that tapestry Cho would become.

"At the time I was hungry to write a character that talked too much," Pak remembers. "Not quite sure where that came from, but I had a hankering to write glib, fast, slangy dialogue, and a smart-alecky kid genius seemed likely to provide the opportunity. I also saw it as a good chance to fill some niches in the Marvel Universe with a Korean American kid in civilian clothes who could hold his own with super heroes. It just made for a fun and funny contrast. Also, I like coyotes. Hence the pup. Finally, I'd been thinking a lot about that time in a person's teens when everything and anything seems possible. There's a huge amount of confidence and hubris that could be a lot of fun to play with, partly because it's entertaining and partly because it sets up a great emotional story of comeuppance and coming of age. In a strange way, making Amadeus so cocky at the beginning gave us the chance to set him up for just the right kind of fall and make him a much more sympathetic character in the end."

HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER #1 preview art by Reilly Brown
Soon enough, while The Hulk fought for his life on Sakaar, Cho to put the pieces together of what really happened to the Green Goliath, setting the seeds for World War Hulk.

"In his first adventure, he had a close encounter with the Hulk," Pak reminds of Cho's debut. "And when we brought him back in INCREDIBLE HULK #100 and then in World War Hulk, his story was entwined with the Hulk's. It wasn't until we paired him with Hercules in the Renegades during World War Hulk that we began to realize what we had on our hands."

With World War Hulk wrapped up and Bruce Banner no longer the gamma-irradiated behemoth, Hercules and Cho ended up co-starring in INCREDIBLE HERCULES, which replaced INCREDIBLE HULK for a time.

HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER #1 preview art by Reilly Brown
"With assistant editor Nate Cosby as our champion, [co-writer] Fred Van Lente and I originally pitched a Renegades team book, with Herc, Amadeus, Angel and Namora," Pak recalls. "But there were a few too many team books launching right around that time, so we got the big ixnay. But a few weeks later, Marvel mad genius David Gabriel had a brainstorm. And Nate and editor Mark Paniccia called up to ask if we'd be interested in doing a buddy book with Herc and Amadeus. And we said, 'Heck, yeah.'"

The series lasted for 29 issues until Hercules met his untimely demise, with Athena trying to get Cho to become her champion, but, as you might expect, Amadeus has plans of his own. In his new position as CEO of the Olympus Group, Cho will use all of his power to locate Hercules, who he has learned does not currently reside in Hades; these will be the events of HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER.

HEROIC AGE: PRINCE OF POWER #1 preview art by Reilly Brown
"Our brilliant artist Reilly Brown did a phenomenal redesign for Amadeus that reflects the fact that [he] has grown up a bit," Pak says. "He's now the head of the Olympus Group, the corporate entity that controls the worldly holdings of the Greek gods. So he has a new, distinctive silhouette, with a two thousand dollar Tibetan alpaca business suit and Hercules' adamantine mace. But he still doesn't tuck in his shirt. Pft. Kids today."

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      Comments

      3 comments
      AveJoe
      AveJoe

      This looks like a winner. Wasn't real sure about this character initially, but we've grown to like him here in the ninja lair.Comcis Ninjawww.comicsninja.com

      Thorcules
      Thorcules

      Looks awesome! I hope to see Amadeus interacting with other pantheons like the Celtic gods and Chinese gods!