Incredible Hulk - Hercules Unleashed #1: Review

Oct 1996
Peter David, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

In The Shadow Of Argo

Review & Comments

4 stars

Incredible Hulk - Hercules Unleashed #1 Review by (August 22, 2023)

Review: A very nice tale of Hercules learning to value his human comrades and to number the Hulk among them. The usual excesses of 90s art notwithstanding, the script by Peter David successfully integrates Herc’s mythic deeds with his modern exploits. The only questionable moment comes when Herc prays to Zeus, “Forgive him, Father, he knows not what he does,” attempting to draw some sort of parallel between Hercules and Christ. Which is absurd, since Herc’s sufferings atoned for no one’s sins and Christ’s death was not to prove a point about mortals to a cranky Father. That one panel, in trying to elevate the tale, cheapened it somewhat. The rest is rather cool. 

Comments: In the flashbacks to Greek myths, Hercules is called by his original Greek name Heracles rather than the more familiar Latin version. Hercules was exiled from Olympus by Zeus in AVENGERS #384. Colonel St. Lawrence’s aide Newt is a callback to the MIGHTY HERCULES cartoon series (1963-1966) where Herc has a centaur sidekick named Newton who said everything twice. Issue dedicated to the late Mark Gruenwald.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Incredible Hulk - Hercules Unleashed #1 Synopsis by Fabian D'Souza
Hercules, Jason and the Argonauts are returning home. Whilst on their journey, they’re attacked by a Hydra. Herc cuts off it’s head and pours a sealant on its neck, preventing it from regenerating. Eurytus praises Herc that he always was the smartest one of them. Deathcry awakes Herc from his dream. They’re heading back to Earth.

Meanwhile in Fargo, Hulk is hiding from Colonel St. Cary Lawrence. Hulk goes on the offensive and then takes refuge in a hotel.

Herc asks Black Widow what happened to all Earth’s heroes. He can’t believe they all disappeared in their fight with Onslaught. Black Widow can’t seem to reply. He sees that only the Hulk is alive in Fargo. Once reaching Earth, he appears before Hulk asking him to help find Earth’s lost heroes. A really pissed Hulk punches Herc. A battle ensues.

During the battle- which is clearly in Hulk’s favor- Herc remembers his wife Deianira and how she was always loyal to him while he wasn’t deserving of it (He used to flirt with Iole or Oechalia). He also recalls the way Jason died on their way home when his ship crashed. Hulk is about to end Herc when they’re instantly transported to Olympia.

At Olympia Hebe feeds Hercules some of her ambrosia, thus healing him completely. Zeus asks Herc if he could just stand by whilst his son was murdered. He goes on to offer Herc a boon. Herc asks to use the scrying pool to look for Earth’s lost heroes. He then asks Zeus where Hulk is.

Hulk has totaled Apollo and is guzzling down Dionysus’ wine. When Herc returns, he wakes up Hulk. He says that there are two ways home- 1) to the East i.e. via Greece or 2) to the west via Ossa and Pellion. Herc says the latter route poses all sorts of perils and is much longer. Hulk says he’s is no hurry. The story ends with Hulk and Herc battling monsters en route Ossa and Pellion.

Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Scott Rockwell
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Penciler)
Mike Deodato Jr. (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Richard Starkings.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Black Widow
Black Widow

(Natasha Romanoff)

(Bruce Banner)

Plus: Apollo, Deathcry (Sharra Neramani).

> Incredible Hulk - Hercules Unleashed: Book info and issue index

Share This Page