Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hercules: The Twelve Labors

Hercules: The Twelve Labors is a straight-forward adaptation of the most famous of Hercules' many adventures. The story begins briskly, with his birth and how he defended himself against serpents sent to kill him in his crib. It turns out that Hera did not take well to Zeus having a child with a mortal woman, and she does everything in her power to kill or humiliate the ultra-strong demi-god. Through her plotting he falls beholden to King Eurystheus, having to do his bidding. The King takes counsel from Hera and sends Hercules out on a series of labors, which all seem impossible.

Paul Storrie wrote this version of the story. He has written a number of the myth books in the Graphic Universe line. He has a number of other graphic novel adaptations, most notably a series of Robin Hood comics. The art was provided by Steve Kurth who has drawn a number of comic books over the years, including Dragonlance, G.I. Joe, and the recent Iron Man Legacy series. He displays his artwork in process on his blog.

Hercules: The Twelve Labors was a Junior Library Guild selection, and has received positive reviews for academic uses. The Graphic Classroom highly recommends it for classrooms. Joy Fleishhacker from The School Library Journal also celebrates the book, recommending it for use in grades 6 through 9 and commending some useful sections, including the glossary and further reading list.

A preview is available here from the Lerner Publishing Group.

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