By Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Reilly Brown (artist), Nelson DeCastro (inker), Guillem Mari (colors)

The Story: The Mighty Thorcules and his child-father Zeus continue their excellent adventure through the realms of Asgard, stopping along the way to give the gift of battle to a band of trolls, share double entendres with the queen of the dark elves, and find yet more ridiculously amusing ways to ruin their best laid plans.

The Good: Everything, I kid you not, but especially the fine folks making this comic.  With the addition of the art team of Brown, DeCastro, and Mari, I feel like Incredible Hercules has finally found the quality of talent it needs to bring to life the light-hearted kinds of stories Pak and Van Lente are knocking out of the ballpark month after month.  If every single person producing this book hasn’t yet been offered an exclusive contract, then Marvel is making a huge mistake, since they have the right people for this book. I’d love to see them all stay on it for as long as possible. That said, this continues to be a very funny comic, and while the rest of the Marvel Universe seems to be drowning in a sea of grim melodrama, I really appreciate that I can turn to this book to escape all the bleakness and simply have some fun.

The Not So Good: The only thing that slightly annoyed me with this issue was DeCastro’s heavy-handed inks, especially the way he seemed to outline characters thick, black lines.  This approach often made pages look like they were animation cels, which in turn made the overall story a little too cute and a little light-hearted at times.  If DeCastro would ease up a little on the ink, this would easily be corrected.  Even if he doesn’t though, I didn’t find it to be a big enough problem to detract from the story.

Conclusion: Incredible Hercules is a great book made even better with a  stellar creative team now firmly in place.  Longtime fans of the character, and anyone familiar with his rivalry with Thor, will surely bust a gut laughing throughout storyline. And judging from the last page, I’d say things are about to become funnier than ever.

Grade:  B+

-Tony Rakittke