Written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak
Art by Rodney Buchemi
This issue was literally Hercules', or Heracles, as this flashback refers to him, origin story and it was decent, but not entirely noteworthy, if I do say so.
As it is, this mostly details a brief one or two page origin, where Hercules suckled at Hera's breast milk as an infant, giving him his strength and demi-god stature, while the rest of the book is a flashback of sorts showcasing how Hercules received his current "costume". It's all fairly straight forward and draws heavily on the Heracles stories most of us have heard before, so I won't go into too much detail. That's not to say the flashback was boring either. Just that I doubt it needed an entire issue to convey.
In fact, the only really noteworthy part of the origin is that Athena set up Hera to breast feed Hercules and that she also has her eye on Amadeus Cho. It seems Athena wanted Hercules to become the demi-god he is as she knew that he would inspire people to foresake their gods and bring about a new age of reason. Athena claims that should Hercules fall, Cho would be there to take his place. Based on everything Athena has been doing of late, I'm not sure what she's planning exactly, but I'm pretty sure she's not someone Herc and Cho should be trusting either.
There was also a back up story in this issue featuring Cho searching for his missing coyote pup, Kirby. It actually featured Cho seeking out Bruce Banner, who's hiding out in a desert near the tracking device planted on the real Kirby. It all felt really far fetched and out there and I'm not sure what the point of having Bruce Banner show up here was for, but, in the end, the coyote pup was found and we see that he's grown up and found himself a mate and Cho leaves Kirby to his new life. Nothing that really needed this many pages devoted to it.
Verdict - Check It. Both stories featured in this issue were rather ho-hum. I did enjoy the Hercules origin, but didn't really see the need for so many pages devoted to it either. All in all, an average issue that should be a decent jumping on point, especially with the two or three pages worth of recapping past events in the middle of the book.