Tony Esmond & Adam Falp concluded their two-part Atomic Hercules tale in style with another successful Kickstarter and after a mind-broadening opening issue, I HAD to go back for more.
After being left on a cliffhanger in issue one we see the titular Hercules take on his latest enemy with as much strength/violence as he can muster but we already know that there’s not much that can distract him from his next challenge. He ploughs on through the enemies as you’d expect but the Tony/Adam combo still have the collective smarts to wrestle with convention and screw it into next week as they pour whatever they damn like into those panelled pages.
Herc’s thirst for his next battle, drink or fuck seem to have a pretty balanced position in his list of priorities and his single-mindedness becomes a character trait to be admired in a funny sort of twisted way. Tony’s pacing and language are consistent again and provide the fuel for this wild ride of a book and it’s Adam’s artwork that ignites that fuel to crash through your eyeballs and into your ill-prepared mind……but you know what??…..that ends up being a surprising amount of fun.
There’s a definite purpose to the central characters urges and while I can’t give away any of the surprises we see in this one, it’s safe to say that they are pushing things to the brink of decency. That in itself may not make a title like Atomic Hercules a mainstream one and after a visceral first issue they’ve built on that foundation but with one key factor coming into view – they both LOVE the comic book medium. It’s subtly done through a series of hefty nods to some key mainstream comic images with Herc at centre stage but it’s crucial in steering this away from becoming just too much. The details in the well-placed mock ads are a further testament to that and this series because as much about celebrating comics as it does shocking you with it’s contents.
Lewd & crude but ultimately a rewarding blend of nostalgia and flat-out gruesome adventure, this two-part arc gives us a new anti-hero to get on-board with as well as a creative team that share a passion for comics & telling stories in that form……and that can only be a good thing. Read this and THEN rinse your eyes out……trust me.
Get your hands on these first two issues over on the Tribute Press online store and keep up to date with both creators over on Twitter ahead of the third issue hitting Kickstarter very soon:
Tony – @Ezohyez
Adam – @adamfalp