Writer – Gerry Conway
Artist – José Luis García-López
Inker – Wally Wood
In the years since Hercules wandered the Earth, World War III has ravaged the planet and now after breaking his chains that were set in place by Ares, he is free once more and means to traverse the both heavens and hells and everything in-between until he is able to get his revenge. Upon waking, Hercules meets Kevin and his dog Basil who are sailing their ship close to the island where Hercules has been held captive for so many years. Coming to their aid, Hercules soon makes friends with them and makes a startling discover – Kevin is blind. So it is that they set off together to discover what is left of humanity, try to find Kevin’s family and to deliver some well-deserved justice upon Ares. Gerry Conway, fresh off of writing Thor, tackles Zeus’ mightiest son in a bi-monthly series in a post-apocalyptic world, one that brings Hercules to the present, though maybe not the one that he had envisioned. Nuclear fire and war has ravaged everything around him and it saddens Hercules to see it as such. What he does know, is that Ares is to blame for it all – for his imprisonment, for the loss of Kevin’s family and for the disaster that he sees all around him. Conway wastes no time in telling his story and by the end, though Hercules does discover the whereabouts of Ares, he is beset upon by the creature termed The Smasher. What is actually quite hilarious about the brute is that he is essentially just a pink Hulk, looking and acting just like the Incredible one down to the torn pants and all. Of course, at the end of it all, Ares has escaped so that there is a reason for the book to last more than one issue and there is a revelation that is quite upsetting about the Smasher. Despite packing the book full of action, drawn by the incredible talents of José Luis García-López and Wally Wood, Conway also gives us a bit of mystery, more specifically that of Kevin. Being blind, Kevin seems to be able to do some pretty wondrous things and enhanced senses or no, some of them seem to be a little improbable for anyone without their vision to accomplish. Impossible – maybe not, but definitely improbable. A strong and very enjoyable start to the series.
4 out of 5