The Incredible Hercules #137

Amadeus Cho's journey reaches a conclusion through unexpected methods, as threads begin to weave together for next week's "Assault on New Olympus" one-shot. While this issue of "Incredible Hercules" does not feature the Lion of Olympus, I found myself still managing to enjoy it. The fact that Van Lente and Pak can tell a compelling story around the concept of two hyperminds squaring off is testament to the strength of the characters that these two have nurtured along in this title. Cho meets an intellect on a level equivalent to his own and chooses a path that I found unexpected.

This title has featured the adventures of Amadeus Cho and Hercules for quite a while now, and through it all has managed to find some very strong artists to tell the tale. The success Marvel has had in finding artists to draw this book is stunning. As each artist has moved on to other projects, the subsequent artist has stepped in and been just as enjoyable, frequently in a slightly different direction. Khoi Pham of "Mighty Avengers" led the charge when this title changed from "Incredible Hulk" to "Incredible Hercules," and now this title is under the skilled pencil of Rodney Buchemi. Buchemi's art reminds me of Andrea DiVito's art from the now classic Dan Slott-penned "The Thing." The match between artist and assignment works nicely here as Buchemi spends time drawing Cho and Athena. The backgrounds in this issue don't pose much of a challenge for Buchemi, but the majority of the issue occurs in a desert and a bunker. I look forward to seeing more of Buchemi's art, hopefully on this title.

"Incredible Hercules" -- whether or not is has featured Hercules -- has been a consistently enjoyable title. Van Lente and Pak have provided storylines with far-reaching threads, as evidenced by the "Assault on New Olympus" tale coming up in the pages of this book and elsewhere. Hercules seems perched to enjoy a strong storyline with reaching repercussions that will involve -- at the very least - everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood wallcrawler.

This is a comic book for comic book fans. Each issue of this series has some memorable moments, well-drawn interactions, and strong characterization. Van Lente and Pak have a good thing going here and it looks like it's going to get a little more attention real soon. This issue may not be the greatest jumping-on point of any title, but the writing has made it "incredibly" approachable by providing more than sufficient background on all of the players without stopping the flow of the story in this issue.

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