Incredible Hercules: Bringing the Thunder

Writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente talk about Herc’s mighty new role and going bi-weekly in INCREDIBLE HERCULES #132

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By Tim Stevens

One would imagine that to be a god, an individual would need to boast great stamina. Hercules better hope that assumption proves accurate, because come August 12 with the arrival of INCREDIBLE HERCULES #132, writers Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak will be putting Marvel's favorite Olympiad through double duty and Herc will find himself filling in for his golden-haired contemporary, Thor, as the book goes bi-weekly.

Luckily, the Prince of Power will have some help shouldering the burden. While he takes center stage during the even issues, his teen sidekick Amadeus Cho assumes the attention during the odd ones.

"What's exciting about the bi-weekly format for INCREDIBLE HERCULES specifically is that because our two main characters have split from each

INCREDIBLE HERCULES #132 preview art
other, it gives us an opportunity to tell solo stories of each while cutting back and forth between the two of them," explains Van Lente. "That's not to say both of the story arcs don't both matter to each other and the overarching INCREDIBLE HERCULES storyline; they very much do. It's really only apart that Herc and Cho will see how much they've affected each other-and how much, perhaps, they need each other; and what would be a split be without a dramatic reunion?"

In #132, the ball gets rolling when Balder the Brave approaches Hercules with a proposal that the Prince of Power finds irresistible and the writers considered a new way to spin a classic Marvel trope.

"Every decade or so, the Marvel Universe needs a big Herc/Thor smash up," Pak acknowledges. "This time we decided to start with a mash up, because we hear that's what all the cool kids are into these days.

"We just thought that Herc having to fill in for Thor would be a great way to get to the heart of the rivalry between these two big lugs," he elaborates. "Herc's always ready to talk smack about the Odinson.  But when Herc dons the Thunder God's costume and has to really ponder what Thor would do, he might just learn something.  Then again, this being Herc, he might not."

INCREDIBLE HERCULES #132 preview art
Given the rivalry between the two immortal warriors, some readers might be surprised that Hercules would willingly embrace the role. Pak, however, thinks that Herc does stand to gain some personal satisfaction from it.

"Given how often Herc finds himself compared to Thor-usually less than favorably-he can't resist the chance to show up Goldilocks once and for all," the writer points out.

Hercules will not be alone in this journey. In addition to a "certain long-legged lady" that comes aboard to provide him with a bit of persuading to convince him to take on the role, the Lion of Olympus finds himself with a fill-in partner.

"Herc has a brand new sidekick for this storyline who'll bring his own special spark to the book," Pak reveals. "He's about the same height as Amadeus but a few thousand years older and may be more trouble to Herc than all the minions of the Nine Worlds combined."

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1 comments
stricklinr
stricklinr

the same size as Cho but a few thousand years older? Is Herc teaming up with Yoda? Hilarious, that would be.