Daily Graphic Novel Recommendation 91

The Hero

by David Rubin
Genre: Greek myth retold
2 vols
ISBN: 1616556706 (Amazon)

The Greek stories are old and by their familiarity often become unfamiliar to us. We forget the details. We remember the names, some of them, sure. Heracles (or maybe we insist on Hercules). Zeus. Hera, Hades, Aphrodite, Hermes. We remain cognizant of the tentpole events probably. Heracles vs the hydra. Uhm, some other stuff. Did he fight the Minotaur? Medusa? He did those twelve things, right? We forget all the details though. All the motivations. All the crazy, disgusting, maddening dramas that consumed the hero simply because a Goddess was pissed off at her philandering husband who chose inter-species romances instead of her.

David Rubin's The Hero is simultaneously fanciful with the details and wildly accurate with them. It tells a version of Heracles' life that blends fantasy with technology set against a vibrant palette of colour and violence. There're internet and cellphones and television and cars and people wearing togas and using swords and archery. It's bizarre and perfect for its vision. And I feel as though I've been reintroduced to Heracles after decades of estrangement.

An amazing work, torrential in its exploration of imagination. Also, very R-Rated. Much as the life of Heracles was and very very much as a visual depiction of Heracles life would have to be were it to retain any sense of the true brutal vision of the myths we've had passed down. Rubin *may* go too far at times (some of his depictions are either truly horrible or truly depraved), but even that feels faithful to the legend. This is the first Heracles who's remotely felt like an honest Heracles to me. Despite the motorcycles and indoor plumbing.

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