Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Power of Hercules! No, Not THAT One! Not THAT One, Either!

Because I just can't seem to stay away, let's delve back into Action Comics with issue #267:

Solar power?  Well, you've got to give Lex props for keeping his evil schemes Earth-friendly.

This go 'round, he's escaping jail via a time ray.

Got that?  A time ray.

Which, as one might expect of a time ray, is pulling someone out of the past.  I'm not sure why that works just by shooting it through a picture, but no one has ever said I'm so brilliant I could go toe-to-toe with Superman, so I'll not get too into the specifics.

But did you see the caption?

This "history" book has a picture (and you never know in comics... it could be a photo for all I know) of Hercules.

Yeah.  That Hercules.

And I recognize that the mythological character of Hercules might have been based on a real person.

But I'm fairly confident that no real person could do this:

or this....

So, I'm pretty sure we're supposed to assume that the super-strong guy actually existed at one point.

And Lex gets points for using "Herc the Jerk."

Anyway, Hercules isn't fooled for long (he's apparently a bit quicker at figuring things out than the Marvel version we all know and love) but wants to experience modern life before he goes back to his time.

And we get to see that the Daily Planet must be really short-staffed:

What did Perry hire Hercules (in his civilian identity as Roger Something?) to do in a professional capacity?

Yes.  A professional photographer.  Perry didn't even ask to see a portfolio or anything.  I guess it was hard to find good help back in the day.

But before I totally give up, I'm given this:

And that gives me the strength to keep going.

Herc falls for Lois for some reason (I can't imagine why.  I don't understand why Popeye and Bluto used to beat each other up over Olive Oyl either, so maybe my tastes are just different).  But Lois rejected him because she's all "Team Superman."  And Herc, using the kind of logic that I guess makes sense if you're in the habit of solving all of your differences with physical combat, realizes that he can only match Supers in strength, while Supers has other awesome powers like super-burping.

So, he goes back to the Powers that Be and asks for an upgrade:

Did you notice that the Powers that Be have designated areas for sitting?  I guess Achilles ticked Jupiter off, because I don't any place for him to sit.


No one touched Herc with only their middle finger, which disappoints me.  That would have been hilarious.

So, Hercules basically just became a watered-down Captain Marvel.

And the story pretty much ended there.  It's a multi-parter!  Egad!  Multi-part stories stressed me out because we didn't have comic stores and if the wire rack at the grocery store didn't get or sold out of a particular issue, you were just left not knowing how the story ended.  It also drove me crazy if I missed the second part of an Adam West Batman two-parter because then I'd never know how Batman and Robin escaped!  It was emotionally draining being a comic nerd in the day, I tell you!

So, we'll have to see what happened when I get to it later.  Sorry, gang!  Tune in... well, just keep tuning in.  It's not like it costs you anything.

See you tomorrow!


Mike Reeves-McMillan said...

Latin? Hercules was Greek.

And then somehow he seems to have learned modern English in time to get the Planet job.

(Also, why does all dialog by characters from before the 19th century have to have a couple of markers drawn from Shakespeare?)

Unknown said...

I think you meant to say:

But I'm fairly confident that real person could do not this.

Adam Barnett said...

Thanks! Work has got me pretty swamped so the posts get a bit rushed. I'm hoping that'll change soon.

Anonymous said...

I like the "science" of Lex' time ray. Also that everyone from the past speaks modern English.