By Greg Pak
Over the next few months, I’m reworking the format of my “Pak Talks Comics” column for BrokenFrontier.com. The new and improved column should appear towards the end of the summer. But in the meantime, I’ll continue the Reader Q&A portion of the column right here at PakBuzz.com, so keep those questions coming and read on for answers to the latest batch!
WARNING: Some spoilers ahead for a few recent issues of “Incredible Hercules,” “Skaar,” and “Magneto Testament.”
Hrungr: With the Olympians now on Earth along with the Asgardians, does anyone remember that the Celestials had ordered them to stop interfering with humanity? Or is it a case where humanity has grown to the point that the gods are simply another group of superpowered beings?
GP: Thanks for the question, Hrungr. As youâ€™ll see, Bill has a similar question about the nature of the gods below – Iâ€™ll answer them together in a second. Also, since we’re on the subject, “Incredible Hercules” #129 hits comic book stores today — feel free to check out the preview!
Bill Frank: I just want to start out by saying that I am really enjoying your and Van Lente’s run on “Incredible Hercules.” You both seem to have caught the real feel for a mythological character that some writers miss. With that in mind, I was wondering a few things about your run that can be roughly divided into three sets of questions, if you don’t mind:
In universes like Marvelâ€™s there are a myriad of super powerful beings with powers and abilities rivaling if not surpassing gods. Some beings like Eternals have been mistaken for gods in the past and have almost identical power-sets except they are science based instead of magic based. When writing a series like “Incredible Hercules,” what separates gods from other super powered beings? What distinguishes Hercules, an immortal super-strong man from other immortal super-strong men like Gilgamesh or Wonder Man or makes him different from being just some ancient superhero?
GP: I’m not saying this is the case, but it’s within the realm of possibility that all of the powers of Herc and his relatives could be explained via Marvel science; maybe they’re not gods, just immortal superhumans. But for millennia, Herc has been told he’s literally a god and has been worshipped as a god. So a huge part of his story is this struggle with questions of a god’s prerogatives and responsibilities. Characters like Wonder Man and the Hulk and Wolverine, who might be functionally immortal, haven’t had that millennia-long struggle with the question of godhood that Herc has, nor do they come from a family and culture of fellow gods struggling with the same issues. Those are major differences that create different animating themes for these characters.
By Greg Pak