By Nolan P. Smith
I love mythology, always have. Ever since the 5th grade when the school library got in a book on Gods and Monsters. I was hooked. I love all the different types of pantheons out there, but one of my favorite characters has to be the demi god, Hercules. Half human, half God, all hero- his story is one of tragedy and redemption,and is a testament to the human spirit. With Herakles, we get a new take on a familiar hero’s journey, with an art style all it’s own.
By Edouard Cour with an English translation from Jeremy Melloul, this book comes to the states thanks to Lion Forge and The Magnetic Collection. The book follows the legendary labors of Herakles, world renownedand retold countless times. Cour’s vibrant art and colors, with a very disproportionate and fable vibe to it, not to mention Greek graphic elements, make for a perfect fit for the hero. This mature readers book takes the reader down a number of Herakles’ challenges, from killing the Nemea Lion to catching the Ceryneian Hind to defeating the menacing Hydra.
We see familiar faces from the fabled stories throughout the years, like Iolaus, who for many made a name for himself in the celebrated TV series. Hercules The Legendary Journeys. The book looks and feels legendary: the color palette shifts from bright and sunny to stark and dark, depending on the mood of the scene. I got a kick out of seeing this version of Herakles try to tackle this impossible tasks, and the vibe of the book is playful, enjoyable, yet deadserious. Which makes sense as that is how myths are most of the time.
I am thoroughly impressed with book one of Herakles. Lion Forge and The Magnetic Collection do the world a great service by bringing this book to the states. Cour is a creative juggernaut, delivering a fresh new take on a story we have heard of since we were kids. The Gods are strong with this book: I highly recommend this iteration of Herakles to fans of mythology and even those that are just seeking a good story.