If there’s one aspect of adaptation I enjoy, it’s seeing classic stories undergo major transformations to reach out to a new audience. That’s the essence of Titan Comics’ latest release: Hercules: Wrath of the Heavens. Hercules is a reimagining of classic Greek mythology with beautiful artwork and enough originality to keep the story emotionally engaging to the audience.
Hercules focuses on the twelve labours of Hercules. Set in deep space, Hercules is aboard his home vessel lamenting on his image and stories that have embellished him to God-like status when he is nothing more than a man. It is during this drunken stupor that he is taken advantage of by Hera and, as the classic myth goes, slays his wife and children. In order to redeem himself, he is sent to beings known as Axiomatikos to Eurystheus. Eurystheus tells him that he must perform twelve labours, the first the slaying of a mysterious cyborg lion that is killing farmers on the planet Nemea, but why is it killing adults and harvesting the organs of children? It’s up to Hercules to find out and free the people from this terror.
For a story that has a vastly different setting than the mythology it is based on, this comic is surprisingly accurate to its source material; names, places and basic storyline are all pulled from Hercules adventures. And yet, if the names had been changed, the story would still be different enough that the reader probably wouldn’t realise that this is an accurate representation of Greek myth—it feels that different and fresh. Jead-David Morvan’s writing really breathes new life into these classic characters. As the introduction to the comic says, we are not reading about gods, we’re reading about people, and this story really captures the raw emotion of what these characters are going through.
A great story & stunning artwork
Aside from the story being set in space, there’s also enough new, more in-depth aspects to the storytelling that keep this engaging. Without giving too much away, the ending of this issue is pleasantly surprising as it diverges from the classic myth and provides a more insightful form of storytelling for today’s audience.
The artwork is absolutely stunning; the incredible detail Looky and Olivier Thill deliver is breathtaking. Characters leap off every panel and the use of colour to contrast different settings makes the read even more enjoyable. The character designs give everyone a new look, but also match the classic characters perfectly. There’s plenty of action in this series as well and it’s execution is fun and entertaining.
Hercules: Wrath of the Heavens offers a unique perspective on a classic myth. It’s engaging and heartfelt, a perfect revolution of mythology for today’s modern audiences. If you’re a fan of these re-imagined classics or just want to a good action-packed space story, this is definitely something you’ll want to check out.
Titan Comic’s Hercules: Wrath of the Heavens will be available in August. You can view Titan’s trailer for the comic here. What are your thoughts on this new series? Share with us on Facebook or Twitter!