HERCULES: PRINCE OF POWER (Marvel, 2009; Hardcover)
Collects Hercules (Vol. 1) Nos. 1-4 and Hercules (Vol. 2) Nos. 1-4 (cover dates September, 1982- June, 1984)
Writer and Artist: Bob Layton
I read the 1997 trade paperback of this book five years ago, and this book was every bit as enjoyable on the re-read. It's funny, I got the softcover out of a $5.00 box of used trades, and the hardcover out of $10 remainder/ inventory sale at a comic convention. This book is totally worth full price, though.
Bob Layton crafted a wonderful tale in the first mini-series, where Hercules is sent into the cosmos by his father, Zeus, to learn some humility. Ol' Herc is a lovable, arrogant buffoon, who thinks with his fists (and other body parts) first. I love how he offers people “The Gift”. What is this gift, you ask? Why, the gift of being bested in combat by the son of Zeus! Hercules wants nothing more than the glory of battle, a drink, and the company of a lovely lady. I think that we can all relate to Hercules on that level.
There is so much clever humor inserted into these issues. Hercules goes on a quest for spirits to Ciegrim-7, the distillers planet. They make the most ebullient concoctions in the cosmos, which helps play a role in the issue where Herc takes on Galactus. The second mini-series is also excellent, with Hercules learning humility and compassion.
The OCD zone- This is a Marvel Premiere Classic Hardcover, and this line of books have nice paper and sewn binding. It's not Marvel Masterworks quality, but then again, it is not Marvel Masterworks price. There is a dropped portion of a word balloon here or there. These books are perfectly satisfactory on most levels, so my OCD sense turns green when I read these.