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Hercules: Prince of Power #4: Review

Jun 1984
Bob Layton, Bob Layton

Story Name:

A Pearl of Great Price!

Review & Comments

4 stars

Hercules: Prince of Power #4 Review by (February 16, 2021)
Review: A bit darker and more violent than the previous issues of the two miniseries sets up a new Hercules series that doesn’t come to fruition aside from a lengthy graphic novel. The idea of an afterlife for the Greek gods is intriguing though I’m sure Zeus could have found a better way to send everyone there without maniacal violence; though even Highfathers have to work off their frustrations somehow, I guess. Otherwise, pretty good and a quite entertaining mix of comedy and high adventure, ending on a fairly solemn note before the epilogue.

Comments: Title comes from the parable of Jesus found in Matthew’s Gospel 13:45-46. Final appearance of this Red Wolf as of 2020. The next story in this continuity is MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #37, HERCULES: PRINCE OF POWER: FULL CIRCLE.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hercules: Prince of Power #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

Hercules returns to Mount Olympus with his companions Recorder 417 and Skyppi the Skrull to find the place in ruins. In the great hall, they find Zeus, a sadistic leer on his face and an axe in his hands and now he challenges Herc as the last of the gods. When Skyppi tries to intervene, Zeus turns a fallen marble column into a giant horse-headed warrior and sets it on the Skrull and Recorder to pursue and kill them. Zeus then takes away Herc’s immortality and encases it in a pearl, dropping it into a burning brazier where it will be destroyed in an hour; Herc has that much time to defeat Zeus and recover it. But Hercules refuses to take arms against his father so Zeus hurls a flaming axe at him….

Elsewhere, Recorder and Skyppi are running from the stone warrior. The Skrull comes up with a scheme; he turns into a duplicate of the monster and confronts it; Recorder is able to tip the startled thing into a huge well….

Hercules refuses to fight his father though he will defend himself; this leads to Herc’s being injured several times but he brings down the palace to slow Zeus down. His pals find him and Skyppi goes to distract Zeus by impersonating Hercules. Zeus is not fooled and he kills the Skrull, choking him with one hand. At the sight of his companion dying, Herc loses his temper and beats Zeus bloody…but he balks at finishing him off with the axe. Zeus tells Herc he has passed the test: the time of the gods is over, only one demigod may survive to begin a new race; it was for this that Zeus sent Herc out into the world, to learn humility and compassion. Zeus prepares to go to the gods’ afterlife, where he has already sent the others but first he brings back the brazier; Herc debates whether to die and be with the others of his kind or to accept his new destiny. Finally, he touches the pearl and is restored to health and life….

Epilogue: Herc discovers that Skyppi isn’t dead so they board the chariot and prepare to search out Hercules’ new destiny….

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


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Plus: Recorder 417, Skyppi.

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

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