Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hercules Secret Invasion

The Spiderman musical might be the final nail on the coffin of super heroes in mass media, but it won't be the first.  There have always been troubles in adapting comic book properties to the screen.  One problem, is that comic books have gone on even as most people grew up and stopped reading them.  Most people would be surprised to know for example that batman was considered dead for a bit and has a son.  Trying to reconcile the present with the nostalgia most people have for comics is always a challenge.

Another challenge are the "Big" events.  Comic book publishers have long ago discovered that their base is very suggestible (dare I say gullible?) and with a little prompting they can be counted on buying issues of magazines they don't usually buy.  Hence, huge events that occur through out that comic "universe" and you wind up having to buy ten different titles to follow the story.

Which brings us to Hercules:  Secret Invasion.  In the Marvel Universe, Hercules is super strong generally fun loving and less smart than Thor but smarter the Hulk.  He's a walking frat party in a leather dress who can crush a tank on his forehead.  As fascinating as this might sound he's never been on Marvel's A list but has bounced around for years. 

The Secret Invasion was a big event in which the skrulls, shape shifting aliens with a bad case of finger chin, seriously try to conquer the earth.  The big draw was that skrulls have been infiltrating the earth in the shape of various characters that the heroes of the earth call friend and family.  So you read it to see who was going to betray who.  Is Aunt May a skrull?   You better buy amazing spiderman #346 to find out.

These two things, a Greek geek god and a sf invasion, don't seem to work together.  The writers of Hercules though came up with a rather fun idea.  The basic plot is Athena gathers the Earthly Gods (who aren't God Gods, but more like super power prod nosers that can't resist meddling and property damage) to do their bit to stop the invasion.  Athena's plan is to gather a "god Squad" and go to where the Skrull Gods and kill them.
Hercules is in charge, followed by his mortal friend who is supposed very smart, Snowbird a Canadian Goddess Hero, Ajak who is a loser of a loser from the old Eternals comic, the Japanese god of darkness, and the God Eater. 

As you might imagine having Hercules lead this crew might not be the wisest of things and at no time whatsoever they get lost and have to go to Nightmare for directions.  Things get worse from there.  It's all a good excuse for a series of beat downs of godly proportions.  Some of the ideas are good, and some bits of dialog are choice.  Overall though, it doesn't hang together.


  1. Has there ever been a "Big Event" that was any good? I remember thinking Secret Wars was terrible. Crisis on Infinite Earths ruined the DC Universe for me but I always liked Gardner Fox's original concept.

  2. I've never seen anything carried out that I liked, but there are some ideas that I thought were good. For example I liked the one marvel storyline where all the villains changed up on which hero they whomped on. Magneto vs. Iron Man... HA.