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Hercules: Prince of Power #1: Review

Sep 1982
Bob Layton, Bob Layton

Story Name:

What Fools These Immortals Be!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Hercules: Prince of Power #1 Review by (June 8, 2020)

Review: Hercules has always been a fun character in the Marvel Universe: a larger-than-life, carousing, brawling demigod whose desires and interests tend to get out of hand through his naivete and good nature. Imagine Thor if he never worried about being worthy and you have Hercules. And Herc always made an excellent foe and/or foil for the Norse God of Thunder because of their contrasting personalities. Herc also made a good addition to the Avengers though it is sometimes forgotten he was a member of the heroic team. But Herc shines his best in the two Bob Layton miniseries from the 1980s where he was tossed into a succession of sci-fi settings that constantly tested his mettle, his mentality, and his mastery. And the Sun-Chariot makes for a pretty cool hero ride. This issue mainly sets up the premise (still featuring a lot of crazy stuff) and things really take off in issue #2. 

Comments: Herc’s first limited series. Title is a play on the line, “What fools these mortals be!” from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. First appearance of Recorder 417. Marvel calls this world of 24th century Hercules Earth-829.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hercules: Prince of Power #1 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

After a long absence, Hercules returns home, climbing Mt. Olympus and at the top fighting a yellow-crested Titan. Guards arrive to tell Herc that it is “The Day of Reflective Silence” to observe Zeus’ birthday and the titan was merely trying to quiet him. Soon, the silence is broken and Zeus looks in on Hercules who is loudly carousing with the serving women. In his anger, Zeus banishes Herc until he learns humility—not on Earth where he is a demigod but into the galaxy where his strength is nothing special. Apollo lends Herc his Sun-Chariot and two fiery steeds and Herc takes off for the stars….

In the Andromeda Galaxy, Hercules encounters the fleet of the Colonizers of Rigel where he is invited aboard to rest. Herc turns down a request to join them on their journeys but they do persuade him to take along Recorder 417 so they can add his travels to their data banks….

Hercules and the Recorder arrive at the planet Petocco where they land at Starharbor, the planet’s cosmopolitan spaceport. They check into a hotel (with the Recorder charging all expenses to the Rigellian Empire) and go out looking for drink and women. Herc spies a blue giant and on learning that he is a Pheragot, the strongest creatures in the galaxy, he picks a fight but is surprised that his foe cries and everyone now hates him because Pheragots are also the kindest and gentlest beings in the galaxy. Then a disabled starliner crashes into the port and Herc is able to detach the passenger section and carry it to safety then he hurls the burning fuel tanks into space where they explode harmlessly. Herc is now hailed as a hero….

Later, a dude bumps into him and Herc’s first instinct is to fight but he decides against it, alarming and confusing the other fellow….

Bob Layton
Bob Layton
Christie Scheele
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Rick Parker.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Apollo, Recorder 417.

> Hercules: Prince of Power: Book info and issue index

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