I loved Pak & Van Lente's run on Incredible Hercules. In that series they created a character to care about, laugh with, and cheer for. I was hoping this series would be a return to greatness for the lion of Olympus. Sadly, I was disappointed. The first half of this series was fairly decent. Herc without immortal powers setting up shop in Brooklyn to confront Ares' son during the Fear Itself storyline. Not too bad of a concept or execution as Herc was greatly humanized which was refreshing. However, gone was the boisterous and jolly character from Incredible Hercules. The second half is another thing altogether.
My first major gripe is the consistency of the artwork. The first half of the series had nice artwork that was really great to look at and brought the story to life. The second half of the series artwork was comical. It reminds me of newspaper funnies art. It was simply flat and lifeless.
My second gripe is the storytelling. Issues 1-6 were fairly well executed. There's a quest and a purpose for Herc. Throw in some Greek myth references and some modern characters and settings and it's a fairly fun read. Issue 6.1 was interesting but seemed a little out of place as it was more like an overview of Herc now (the artwork was great though, love Mike Grell). Issues 7-10 were pretty annoying. Herc becomes a Spider-Herc and fights the X-Men. I found the dialogue of the X-Men to be nothing like the characters they are suppose to be. I grew up reading X-Men so I expect Wolverine and Gambit to talk in certain ways and this doesn't happen. Also, the storyline of Zeus being turned fat by Hera was not thoroughly explained and was rather annoying as he tags along with Herc and becomes an annoying sidekick. It seems Pak and Van Lente did this to create some comic relief but it didn't work. Also, in this whole series there is no Amadeus Cho! Hello? He was Herc's bust bud for 3 years. Why not have him play a role in this series?
Once you start reading the second half of this book you will see why this series only lasted 10 issues. It started to seem that Pak and Van Lente just stopped caring about the character and Marvel axed it. This is disappointing since the Incredible Hercules run made me appreciate the character in ways I would not have considered before.