Many heretofore hidden tales of the Argonauts have resurfaced, and
there are still countless others that have yet to be revealed,
Marvel Preview #10, after an epic untold tale of Marvel's Thor, we are
gifted with an unusual (and never before - or since - related) story of
Hercules: The Prince of Power. Authored by Bill Mantillo and
illustrated by Val Mayerik this curious incident starts with Hercules,
Jason and the Argonauts on The Isle of Fear. This, we are informed is
but the beginning of their 'accursed journey'.
Via flashback we are provided with the backstory: In the land of Pylos, Jason endangered King Kreon's daughter Alceste by exposing her to the dangers of the Arena. Though she only injured her ankle whilst seeking to avoid an enraged bull, Jason is sentenced to death.
Hercules, who rescued both Jason and the Princess by killing the ceremonial bull, rescues Jason yet again by requesting a boon. Kreon seemingly relents but sends them on a suicide mission to steal the Gold of the Gorgon from the Isle of Fear.
Back to the present: On the Isle of Fear, our heroes confront a steep and treacherous cliff and a ferocious Griffin (though some would argue a Chimera or Manticore). As Hercules and Jason tackle the beast in the air, another flashback takes us to their reunion with the Argonauts and a confrontation with a huge sea monster en route to the Isle.
With the Griffin now vanquished, the Argonauts ascend to Medusa's lair, where Jason is promptly turned to stone. The eldest of the Argonauts manages to slay her and save the day. All of those who met her gaze and were turned to stone are freed.
Having won the Gold of the Gorgon (her Golden Apples), Jason and Hercules return to Pylos on a Pegasus, while the Argonauts set sail on the Argo.
Using guile and rhetoric, Jason wins the throne of Pylos and claims the hand of the princess. The Argonauts will soon arrive, but Hercules wanders off to new adventures with barbaric boisterousness and bravado.
I loved the mythic artwork of Val Mayerik. It breathed life into Bill Mantillo's fantastic tale and left me wanting more. Alas, that was not to be... or it was but I have yet to stumble across it. The Quest continues.
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