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Hercules: Twilight of a God #4: Review

Sep 2010
Bob Layton, Ron Lim

Story Name:

The End

Review & Comments

4.5 stars

Hercules: Twilight of a God #4 Review by (September 6, 2023)

Review: And so it ends. Not necessarily Hercules but Bob Layton’s version of the Greek demigod, a loud and hedonistic hero, larger than life and full of excitement. He goes out with a silent bang (there’s no sound in space, remember), saving the universe from Galactus—also saving Galactus. It’s a big job but Herc manages it. This after a series of tearful farewells (from the characters, not the readers, as most of these people haven’t touched anyone’s heart). The final, moving tribute to Herc is the dying Skyppi’s choice to spend his post-mortem years as a tribute to his old friend—and a bird undercuts the sentiment with a dab of guano. And so it goes….   

Comments: Final appearance of Bob Layton’s Hercules, along with Skyppi, Recorder 417, Emperor Arimathes, and Herc’s grandchildren. Grandmother Layana Sweetwater was introduced in HERCULES (1982) #2, returned in FULL CIRCLE (MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #37) and MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #39-41; this is her final appearance too. Hercules’ advice to his grandchildren, “Keep thy friends close and thine enemies closer,” is an adaptation of a line from the film THE GODFATHER PART II. Sole appearance to date of Cosmos.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Hercules: Twilight of a God #4 Synopsis by Peter Silvestro

The Wilamean Imperial Guard, led by Juno and Antonitus, tracks down the base of the terrorist group Succession Alliance and puts an end to them. The two then discover the gang’s secret leader is their grandmother Layana Sweetwater who faked her death many years earlier and has done it all for revenge against Hercules. And now she has achieved her goal: she has seen her grandchildren now that the galaxy is about to be destroyed. The Guard then goes over to arrest Prime Minister Spincor, secret founder of the Succession Alliance and co-conspirator with Llayana….

At the hospital, Emperor Arimathes injects the comatose Hercules with the drug that will revive him. As Dr. Bophish explains how his white hole device will turn the black hole that is Galactus inside-out, Hercules steps forward to reveal he has the one spacecraft that can enter the black hole unaffected: his own enchanted chariot of Apollo. When warned that he will die, Hercules takes pride in the fact that he will have died a hero….

Herc stops by the hospital to visit the dying Skyppi and asks if he would join him; Skyppi declines as a blaze of glory is not the Skrull way, he has the death ritual to undergo. Herc bids him farewell. Herc says goodbye to his grandchildren Juno and Antonitus and advises them to watch over their grandmother, saying, “Keep thy friends close and thine enemies closer.” As he is about to board his chariot, he takes leave of his son the Emperor, telling him he is proud of him. Recorder 417 startles Herc as he has been merged with a Rigellian to create an impossibly tall new being called Pak-416; he asks to join Hercules but Herc declines, telling him he is needed to remember Hercules’ heroic deeds. He takes off, crossing space toward the black hole and he spies a familiar face: Uatu the Watcher from Earth, come to see the end of a mighty Earth hero. Hercules enters the black hole and meets Galactus, his distorted vision replaying the events of his long life, from ancient Greece through his time with the Avengers to the present, friends and enemies spiraling past. There is a bright light and Galactus is reborn to be greeted by Uatu. Galactus says that his destiny is to give back infinitely more than he has taken and Uatu notes that is true. Juno flies her tiny ship up to the World-Devourer and demands to be made his new herald. Galactus transforms her into a new Silver Surfer, determined to select only uninhabited planet for him to feed on, part of keeping an enemy closer….

But Hercules? He is reborn as Cosmos, Bringer of Worlds, a creature passing through the universe, giving life to dead planets with the Colonizers of Rigel following in his path, taking advantage of the new worlds….

Epilogue: Skyppi has reached the end of his life and has chosen his inanimate form; he transforms for the last time into a statue honoring Hercules…and then a bird poops on his head….          

Ron Lim
Bob Layton
Doom 6
Bob Layton (Cover Penciler)
Bob Layton (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Sharpe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.



Plus: Arimathes, Recorder 417, Rigellians, Skyppi.

> Hercules: Twilight of a God: Book info and issue index

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