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Recommended Stories

Hit Comics

These best stories of the comic books are preceded by their issue number.


Hercules was a super-hero who was enormously strong. Hercules is plainly in the tradition of Superman, whose early stories also emphasized his strength, and the feats he could perform with it.

Hercules ran in Hit Comics, from #1 (July 1940) through #18 (December 1941).

Hercules is not to be confused with an entirely different series of super-hero tales, Hercules, Modern Champion of Justice, that appeared in Blue Ribbon Comics around the same time. The two series have nothing to do with each other.

The Overland Bus Mystery (1940). Writer: ?. Art: Dan Zolnerowich.

The story suggests how much plain fun it would be to be a super-hero, and do spectacular feats. Hercules is a good guy, and he has tremendous joie de vivre as he helps people out. After he catches a bus that has been thrown over a cliff, the passengers all express their admiration for him. The whole concept of a super-hero was still new and fresh in this era. Superman had only been created in 1938, and the big bang of super hero creation in imitation of him did not start till 1940. Hercules was just one of many new heroes from that year. There is a sense that the writers are still pretty unjaded about the idea, and are thoroughly enjoying fantasizing about doing this sort of great deed.

In addition to the feats that are the center of the tale, the plot has some other good gambits. The criminal gang all dress up like cops at one point, an interesting idea.

Zolnerowich does a good job showing the crooks all over the car (p5). They are adjusting their ties, and in sharp suits.

Hercules Goes Hollywood (#10, April 1941). Writer: ?. Art: John Celardo. Cover by: Lou Fine. This tale has a movie executive named G.G.G. Mogul.

The spectacular cover shows Hercules throwing bad guys' cars around. These men are clearly gangsters, complete with machine guns. Hercules has a cape and boots, like other comic book super-heroes, but he is also bare-chested, in a Greek statuary tradition.