“The Marriage of Hercules and Xena”

Writers: Tom and Mary Bierbaum

Artists: Juen Brigman, Aaron Lopresti and Claude St. Aubin

Hercules and Xena are getting married. Everyone is there for the ceremony. The high priestess who performed the ceremony kisses Xena which seems to possess her. The couple go to an island for the honeymoon. Meanwhile Gabrielle finds out that there is some kind of curse at this village where the ceremony took place. Seems that the bride goes nuts on the wedding night and kills the groom. She accurately deduces that this wedding is a ploy to find out the cause of this curse.

It turns out that Xena becomes possessed with some rage against men. She tries to fight it but Hercules decides to let her kill him. Only he gets to choose the way and wants Xena to take him up on Pegasus and drop him. Xena does this and at the high altitudes the curse wears off. She does drop Hercules but comes to her senses and rescues him. We find out this was a scheme by Ares to kill his brother.

This one issue story teases us with a marriage between the two characters. Now Xena was probably introduced to be a love interest for Hercules. She was so popular that she got her own series, and it was abandoned. Still, they give the fans a hint at this romance. The story was a fun one and still stuck to the world that the TV series created. Topps did a good job with the characters.


“The Warrior Princess Part 3: Smile for the Chimera”

Writer: Roy Thomas

Artists: Jeff Butler and Steve Montano

Xena and Gabrielle find the general Aesor running from a giant. They rescue him in exchange for leading them to the Shaper. Meanwhile Hercules battles the Shaper in its form as a chimera. Hercules throws a rock down its throat which makes it disappear. They find Alcmene and just then Xena and Gabrielle come with the giant chasing them. The giant kills Aesor and Xena and Hercules work together to kill the giant.

The Shaper’s brother comes and explains what is happening. That his brother has these shapeshifting abilities and bullied him to make a serum to enhance them. They find out that the serum still leaves the Shaper’s stripes. Alcmene has these stripes, and a new battle starts. The Shaper changes first into Xena then Hercules. The Shaper also pushes his brother over the cliff. Xena finds the serum he needs to continue keeping his enhanced powers and tosses it over the cliff. The Shaper falls over and Hercules manages to rescue the brother. Everything is good but it is revealed that the Shaper took his brother’s form.

The final issue was a fun one. Hercules and Xena reunite and have to defeat a giant. Then they fight the Shaper. Aesor gets his just desserts. Unfortunately, the Shaper manages to escape, and his poor brother gets tossed over the cliff. Sets up a possible future battle with the Shaper. One that never came about for this was the last issue in the series. I guess the series never caught on like the TV series. Still, it was a well done one. Kept to the spirit of the show and kept the characters in character. Had the letter column answered by Robert Trabor who plays Salmoneus in the series. Kind of a fun touch.

This makes me want to rewatch the old episodes. Hercules and Xena were fun shows.


“The Warrior Princess Part 2: The Shaper”

Writer: Roy Thomas

Artists: Jeff Butler Rick Magyar & Steve Montano

Hercules and Xena come on a village being pillaged by the army of the false Hercules. They defeat the soldiers and find out the shapeshifter has gone to Hercules village. At his village of Thebes, the false Hercules manages to lure Alcmene his mother away. Hercule’s friends defeat the army, but the false Hercules gets away. The real Hercules and Xena come and agree to split up. Hercules and Iolaus figure out the logical location of the shapeshifter. On a mountain some strange guy that is grey has created a formula to turn lead into gold. The shapeshifter comes and we find out that he is the twin brother of the other smaller guy. The evil shapeshifter takes the formula and manages to enhance his powers. He turns into a giant Chimera which is a half lion and flying dragon. The Chimera goes after Hercules.

This was another fun issue of Hercules. We find out a little more about the evil shapeshifter. He has a brother and some formula that can both turn lead into gold and give people more power. The evil shapeshifter has plans to kill the real Hercules and take over the world. What’s new. All the characters are in character just like from the TV series. Thomas does an excellent job of giving us a fun story that due to budget constrains couldn’t be shown on TV.


“The Warrior Princess”

Writer: Roy Thomas

Artists: Jeff Butler and Steve Montano

Xena and Gabrielle come to the home village of Xena and find it in ruins. Some soldiers have Xena’s mother hostage. They claim to be forming an army and try to blackmail Xena into joining to save her mother. She also sees that the commander is none other than Hercules. Naturally Xena makes short work of the pathetic army and they run off. They do leave behind a ruined village and an old friend of Xena’s killed. So, she goes off to seek revenge. Xena arrives at Hercule’s home to find everybody there for Alcmene’s birthday party.

A fight ensues between Hercules and Xena. Eventually Hercules manages to convince her it wasn’t him. The two go on to find the imposter. An old woman directs them and later we find out that old woman was a shapeshifter.

“Hercules, Xena and Me A Personal Perspective on Mythology and Television”

By Roy Thomas

An article on how Roy got a writing assignment for an episode of Xena. It was the one about Troy and this was a very informative article on writing a TV episode.

This issue introduces Xena as a guest star. She was already becoming a popular character after her guest appearance in the first season got her own spinoff series. This story does a great job of introducing her and Gabrielle. It has the feel of an episode. Also sets up the villain. Plus, beautiful art that portrays the characters just as they appear in the series. A great series that supplements the TV series.


“The Trial of Hercules Part 2”

Writer: Roy Thomas

Artists: Jeff Butler and Steve Montano

Hercules is taken to Zeus to be put on trial for freeing Prometheus. The Furies will be the jury and Ares the prosecutor. Meanwhile Salmoneus is being robbed by two satyrs when Atalanta comes to the rescue. When she hears Hercules is in the Caucasus freeing Prometheus she decides to go help. Salmoneus also tags along. They find Hercules and manage to bring Prometheus to the trial. Prometheus tells Zeus that the fates have decreed that the son of a sea nymph is destined to overthrow his father. Ares was keeping this from Zeus to have the god’s war. Zeus forgives Prometheus and Ares pisses off the Furies and gets sent to a bad place to be tortured.

“The Mighty Hercules in Hollywood (more or less)”

By Roy Thomas and Bill Warren

An article on Hercules in movies before the Legendary Journeys TV series.

“Hercules: The Animated Journeys”

By Brian C. Boerner

A short article of a short-lived animated Saturday morning cartoon from the sixties.

This issue was a fun one. It had none other than Zeus. It also had the first season Ares which was a giant skull faced monster instead of the late actor Kevin Smith. A bit of humor with the lovable Salmoneus and the body building Atalanta. The story had the same spirit as the TV series. The articles about Hercules in film and cartoons were very interesting and informative.


“The Trial of Hercules Part 1”

Writer: Roy Thomas

Artists: Jeff Butler and Steve Montano

Salmonius is approached by a woman than needs Hercule’s help. She agrees to pay him to lead her to Hercules so naturally he accepts. While riding in a wagon they get ambushed by centaurs. Hercules shows up in time to rescue them. The woman claims her husband is held captive in the Caucasus mountains. They arrive there and he finds that it is Prometheus. This is his third time chained to the rock. This time Zeus did it, but another god keeps him silent. Hercules stops the metal vulture them tearing out his organs. Once free Prometheus says he knows a secret to trade for his freedom. The servants of Zeus Bia and Cratos come and knock out Hercules with lightning bolts. They rechain Prometheus and take Hercules in chains to Olympus.

“The Men Behind the Myth”

An interview with Jeff Butler the artist and a brief biography of Roy Thomas. A very interesting interview.

Back in the nineties there was this cool show. Produced by Sam Raimi and starring Kevin Sorbo it was a fun adventure show. A cheezy and tongue in cheek telling of the Greek mythology. Topps did this comic version of the show, and it is very true to the series. Plus, it has the genius of Roy Thomas writing. The art is also good. A great start to this series.