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Review Group: Prince of Power #1

Written by John Martin on Tuesday, May 18 2010 and posted in Reviews

Punchy had the pick for new comics shipping May 12th and he selected Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1 by Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente and Reilly Brown.

The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.

People who liked Incredible Hercules really liked Incredible Hercules. Has that enthusiasm for the book carried over to Prince of Power now that Cho is flying solo and Herc is pushing up daisies? What do people who weren't reading Incredible Hercules think? Does Butte, Montana really have a shopping mall with a Ferris Wheel in it?

0512-hapop_cover.jpgReview by thefourthman

The Incredible Hercules was the surprise of War World Hulk, rolling out of that most disappointing event was a book that was fun and solid. Eventually, it wore then and by the time we got to the very wordy Fall of Olympus I kind of stopped caring. Evidently, that was a mistake.

This book may not be as tight as that run on the Hulk’s former book was, but it is a hell of a lot of fun. Seems Herc is dead (or missing in a way that might as well be dead), which has left Cho in charge of the Olympus Corporation, but more importantly guardian of Herc’s mace. This means that when big old mythological beasts rear their ugly mugs, Cho gets to be the guy to bash in their skulls.

Athena even picks him as the hero of the heroic age over the original three Avengers type guys – you know those big guns that Siege reunited.

This is a clever and fun read. The little boxes get a little old after 20 pages of them, but they are a neat idea – more sparing use of them would mean that they could be an added bit of brilliance – this isn’t Action Philosophers, sometimes you should let the story tell the story FVL. Really, other then that I got no complaints – the book catches you up in the story (even though it provides possibly the most useless recap page of all time – which sucks because Herc was often home to brilliant recap pages) and is engaging and fun.

The art is pretty decent too. Brown and his inker pals give it a nod to good old John Romita the juniorest which is fitting for this legacy character run wild. Even more nifty is that the art embraces some of the better tropes of Manga with comically exaggerated emotions and nifty in panel elapsed action. It adds to the kinetic fun of the book.

A fun book, not world shattering, there are certainly worse books on the stands this week.

Story 8
Art 7
Overall 7.5


Review by starlord

I'll start with what I really liked and thought was actually cool and funny about this book. Cho's memo at the very end. THAT was the best part of this book.

The rest of it was about as middle of the road as anything I've read lately. Not really good, but not really bad either. Perhaps if I knew the character more (though this probably is a good starting point) or maybe if I ever really liked the character of Hercules, I'd have liked this more. The beginning totally bored me, but when I finally got to Cho it got a lot better. When Hercules does come back though I hope Cho is allowed to turn 18 so the two of them can consummate what is obviously a bit more than a "platonic" relationship.

LOVED the art! LOVED the coloring and inking!

Story: 5
Art: 9
My Score: 7.65

Review by Black Lantern Jubilee

I thought this was very average, the tone was what I expected out of the Hercules book, but it was all very wishy washy, and it's never a good sign half way through when you can't even be bothered to finish it.

Those "little boxes" get fricking annoying as well.

Art was good.

6 out of 10.


Review by Jude Terror

I enjoyed this book. As someone who didn't jump onto Hercules when it started, and has only read the first Hardcover, I didn't really have a lot of the backstory leading up to this. However, the book did a good job of supplying the reader with all the information necessary to understand the concept.

I like Amadeus Cho. He's a great character, relatively fresh and new, and has a lot of potential for interesting stories. He's the kind of character that interacts well with others in the Marvel Universe, not because he gets along well with them, but because he doesn't. The conflict created whenever Cho interacts with just about anyone is still fresh and interesting to me, even if it may have grown boring for some.

This book introduces a lot of plot points: the search for Herc, the conflict of interest with the gods and Cho, and the upcoming invasion of dark, mythological forces, to name a few. Seeing how Cho will deal with these matters is going to be a lot of fun, and this could end up being a sleeper hit just like Hercules was (though this book is a mini, I think, I'm sure the story will be continuing elsewhere).

The art was decent, not much to say about it one way or another. I'm interested in seeing more monsters in the future.

And I liked the little boxes.


13.jpgReview by doombug

Amadeus Cho is now the CEO of the Olympus Group and calls the shots for the gods on Earth. He's using that to find his good friend Herc who he knows isn't as dead as his sister would have everyone believe. It's a new number one but it's a direct continuation of the Incredible Hercules series and everything Pak and Van Lente have been building on for a while now.

Cho is a great character to follow as he continues to grow. His reluctance to admit that Herc is dead is a good thing as it's obvious our hero is elsewhere in the world. I really enjoy Cho working with Banner and Hebe who is now his assistant.

My only complaint is with the ending as that was slightly telegraphed. I mean it's fun but you could see the twist coming. Reilly's artwork is just getting stronger as his career goes on. I've been a follower of his work since the stuff on deadpool/cable.

Story: 8
Art: 9
Overall: 8.5


Review by guitarsmashley

You know, I really liked this book. I mean it was well written I liked the little info boxes, I liked amadeus' attitude and having no interest in continuing this series or what's come before it, it was a nice little vignette into what could be an enjoyable book. The art was nothing spectacular but it wasn't anything bad either. It did what many comics can't it served the story and never once did I have to say,"Who is that again? What the hell is going on?" Like I said it was a pretty good comic, but it was picked by Punch so I have to score it badly.


11.jpgReview by Punchy

Story - The Incredible Hercules was a book that kind of crept up on me. I was initially buying it just because I quite liked Hercules' 1980s minis by Bob Layton, I wasn't expecting much from it. But slowly but surely it became one of my favourite comics. It was epic, it had humour, it had strong characters. It was a lot of fun, and then they had to go and kill Hercules!

But luckily the book isn't over, and it's up to Herc's sidekick (not his boyfriend, Starlord) Amadeus Cho to continue this tale.

This is pretty much the perfect continuation of Incredible Hercules, in fact it's pretty much the exact same book, but minus one character. And that does make a difference. The book does lose a certain something with the absence of the Lion Of Olympus, perhaps some of the humour, but I feel that's deliberate, we're meant to sense that something's wrong without Hercules. The reader misses him just as much as Amadeus Cho. And while I feel the book can withstand Herc not being around for a while (just as it did during the Origin Of Amadeus Cho arc) that gap needs to be filled soon, and I do sincerely hope that Amadeus is able to use his Hercollider to bring him back.

With Hercules out of the picture, Pak and Van Lente are given the chance to put the focus on Amadeus, and they do a good job, we get a clearer focus on his character, on his personal issues (Delphyne Gorgon, the manipulations of Aphrodite) and also how he has changed from the angry quasi-villain he was back in World War Hulk. Not the least that he's using physical force to fight evil along with his brain.

One of the best things about Incredible Hercules was how Pak and Van Lente were able to meld real world myth with Marvel Comics lore, and this continues to be excellent here. We see the aftermath of Siege in Asgard, Bruce Banner, The Griffin, and others alongside Greek Myth. One interesting aspect is that they've brought back The Pantheon from Peter David's Hulk run in the 90s. It makes for a really rich reading experience. This is set right smack-dab in the Marvel Universe, but it's drawing on wider influences too.

On the whole, I really enjoyed this issue, it works as a strong continuation from the previous book, but is different enough to warrant killing off the central character. It has all the elements that made Incredible Hercules awesome, but with a little different spice. I'm not sure if readers who didn't follow Incredible Hercules would have enjoyed this book as much, Pak and Van Lente use little captions to keep you up to speed, but they were chiefly used for (a very dry) comic effect. If you did read Incredible Hercules, you pretty much have to buy this. And if you didn't, you need to go back and get the trades and report back to me ASAP. Do it!

Art - The art in this issue comes from Reilly Brown, who illustrated what is perhaps Incredible Hercules' finest hour, the 'Thor-Cules Vs Hercu-Thor' storyline, and it's a joy to see him back. His work is cartoony, and really fits the tone of the book, I can't think of a better choice for this comic.

Best Line - 'Angsty brooding teen genius billionaire mythslayer (try to feel sorry for him'


It's an 8 really, but I'm adding 1 point to make up for GuitarSmashley's dick move.


Review by Fieldy Snuts

Firstly, the book retains the tone of the Incredible Hercules which to me is a need to mess with that formula.

Amadeus Cho started off really annoying when he first debuted n Hulk but he really grew on me throughout Hercules. In this issue he gets another solo story away from Hercules along with a new status quo: CEO of the Olympus Corp.

After the initial previews of him taking on the Griffin with a superpowered mace I was a bit wary.....Cho with superpowers seemed like a bad combination but for now I'll give it a shot. Supporting cast is also nice too: Bruce Banner, Hebe, Athena and Delphyne Gorgon are still there and provide nice moments. And now we've got a new villain: some guy from the Pantheon (old Hulk villains) who seems to be portrayed as the antiCho.

Book's ending with Thor seemed kinda weak for me though, I'd imagine Hercules diving in ready for battle over the slightest thing....not Thor though.

Overall, it was a solid book, but still not on par with Incredible Hercules at its best. Will still stick with it though since I loved the previous title.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 7/10
Overall: 7.25


Review by Spicy Dick

Odd numbering aside, I don't see why this wasn't a continued Incredible Hercules series, as that's what it is in all but name and price. It will appeal to the same readers, but whether it will bolster sales for a relaunch or not remains to be seen.

Having seen it described as a "Bwa-ha-ha" book, and now having had a chance to re-read it, I see what was meant--the snarky little captions and goofy sound effect words ("krakabathroom!") do seem to push this in the direction of Keith Giffen-esque funny books like Ambush Bug or JLI, but there's a sort of uninspired smugness without a lot of smarts which is ironic considering the protagonist is Amadeus Cho. In fact, Cho only uses his purple-pink trigonometry once really, and mostly somehow flies around blasting things without much thought either. Who needs math when you've got a magic mace, I guess.

There'll be plenty of room for wacky adventures next issue, though, because Bruce Banner has spent over half-a-trillion bucks to re-invent Reed Richards' multiverse-scanning machine from FF:Dark Reign. Nice one, Bruce. Rolling Eyes

The art is serviceable, but like the rest of the issue, didn't grab me.


08.jpgReview by Sire v 2.0

good set up issue, I really hope this is the start of an ongoing. I read the Incredible Hercules for Herc, but I grew to really like Cho in that title and this set up gave him a lot of interesting threads to play with. Though I never knew Herc's hammer could shoot energy or whatever it was shooting, and I assume it was explain else where why Bruce is helping Cho or whats going on there.

I didn't read the funeral issues so How did Cho become a billionaire and lead the Olympus group?

this was a good issue, I don't know if I'll finish the mini but if they start an ongoing I will jump on.

Story - 6.5 (I just had too many questions to rate it higher)
Art - 6.5
Overall - 6.5

Review by amlah6

I like Amadeus Cho a lot. I would even go as far as to say that the comic where he debuted, Amazing Fantasy #15, was one of, if not the, best comics published by Marvel in the 2000s. As much as I like Cho however, you can have too much of a good thing and this comic suffers from it in spades. Cho is a great supporting character. As the lead though his net speak shtick quickly becomes tedious and the comic is a chore to read as a result. Maybe if I had been reading Incredible Hercules this would have been more entertaining, but after reading this I'm highly skeptical that Incredible Hercules was entertaining in the first place.

And just as a nitpick, as someone who has lived in Butte, Montana, albeit it's been about 15 years, there is certainly no multi-story shopping mall with a Ferris Wheel in it. That was out of place and annoying. If you want to have a realistic fight set in Butte, set it in a bar for fucks sake.

Dull art for a dull book. There wasn't anything wrong with it, well... just as long as you don't do the math on how much time the mace spent in the air after Cho threw it in the imaginary Butte shopping mecca scene - that's some serious Matrix shit right there, it just didn't do anything for me. I would say it was art befitting the C-List mini it was placed in, but that'd be a pretty asshole thing to say so I'll just erase what I just typed. Nah, I'll leave it in. :P

Story: 3
Art: 6
Overall: 4.5


Review by 48THRiLLS

I have loved Incredible Hercules and as much as I like Cho, Herc was the draw for me. I am not saying I dislike Amadeus I just like him better with Hercules, together they are a very fun team. That being said I thought this was a fun set up, I like seeing Banner alongside Cho and the last page has me looking forward to issue 2. I am not sure I like seeing Cho using so much brawn, I always liked that he used his brain and I love the pink thought thingys that Pak came up with. I don't think Cho is a strong enough character to carry a book so I am really hoping we have Herc back by the end of this mini because that is when I think both characters are at their best. I loved the art, I loved when Reilly Brown stepped in on a few issues of Incredible Hercules and I hope they keep him aboard when they start whatever new ongoing that comes from this.

ART - 8.5

That gives Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1 a group score of 7.14. People seemed to mostly like that? Go figure. I guess we need to recruit a few more super-hero hating hipsters to the group to balance it out.

For free algebra tutoring from 4thy and the usual back an forth over Matt Fraction's bibliography, join us in this week's thread found in the News Stand forum where you are invited to post your own review!
Comment or post your own review!

Chubbles has the pick for next week and he has selected Avengers #1 published by Marvel Comics. Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.

0519-avengers_cover.jpgAvengers #1

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: John Romita JR.

THE HEROIC AGE IS HERE! There came a day! A day unlike any other...where two of Marvel's top creators teamed up for the very first time to create a bombastic new monthly Marvel comic that not only ushers in the Heroic Age of Marvel Comics but unleashes onto the world the most blockbuster Avengers team ever! Who will answer the call? And will they assemble just in time...because Kang the Conqueror is here from the future. And wait till you find out why…! Bonus back up feature: the oral history of the Avengers, part one. A brand new illustrated look at the Avengers in a way you have never seen before by series writer Brian Michael Bendis. Rated A …$3.99


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