I finished reading a comic series a few weeks ago, called The Hero, that has quickly become one of my very favorites.
The story is a retelling of the Greek hero Heracles‘ (a.k.a. Hercules) adventures. I’ve mentioned many times in different ArtDuh posts that I am a mythology nerd, and my interest in mythology probably started to take hold way back in early elementary school with stories like The Twelve Labors. The truth is though, I don’t think I’ve really read much about Heracles since that time, although I do remember his story very well. So when I heard this new comic being discussed on the 11 O’Clock Comics Podcast, well, I just really wanted to check it out… And I am so glad I did!
The work was written and illustrated by David Rubin, and published (in the States) by Dark Horse Comics. The artwork is beautiful and clean, with great color. A visual delight, with some very interesting design going on. The story does follow The Twelve Labors of Heracles pretty closely, but there are some great reinterpretations of the myth too. What Rubin does with Atlas and Prometheus stands out and makes me like the mythology even more. And Hera‘s character is great (and disturbing) as well. The world Rubin creates is awesome too. It definitely feels like classical Greece, but Rubin throws in some modern and futuristic technology as well. For instance, Heracles might be cleaning out the Augean stables while listening to his iPod, and the god Hermes drives around in a muscle car. So cool, but it doesn’t distract either.
I guess I should say that this isn’t a story for kids. It can be ultra-violent and sexual at times, but I guess the original mythology is too.
Check it out, and geek out!