Hercules: The Thracian Wars
is a 2008 miniseries loosely based on Greek Mythology
, written by Steve Moore
, illustrated by Admira Wijaya, and published by Radical Comics.
After doing his Twelve Labors, Hercules has become a mercenary, wandering the ancient world with a band of companions - Iolaus, Tydeus, Amphiaraus, Autolycus, Atalanta, Meleager, and Meneus. Cotys the king of Thrace employs them to train his army and to fight the rebel Rhesus. But all is not as it seems...
Followed by Hercules: The Knives of Kush
, which sees Hercules and company in Egypt. The first miniseries was adapted into a 2014 movie
starring Dwayne Johnson
This work provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Atalanta, the Amazon and devotee of Artemis the Huntress.
- Amazon Chaser: Meleager is infatuated with Atalanta. Though she's not interested as she doesn't swing that way.
- Anti-Hero: Hercules and his companions are (mostly) hardened killers who may be loyal to each other, but otherwise motivated by money and vengeance instead of altruism.
- Ax-Crazy: Tydeus, who eats the brains of his slain opponents. Also uses axes.
- Badass Boast:
Soldier: Zalmoxis, protect me!
Amphiaraus: Not while Zeus protects me!
- In the sequel, Hercules and company are told to kneel before the Pharaoh:
Hercules: I am Hercules, son of Zeus, who kneels to no one but his father.
- Badass Crew: Hercules and his companions.
- Berserk Button: Don't hurt the people Hercules loves.
- Bond One-Liner: After Hercules runs Ergenia through with a spear.
Hercules: She died the way she lived... upon a man's shaft.
- Big Bad: Actually Cotys, with his daughter Princess Ergenia as Daddy's Little Villain.
- Bi the Way: Most of the Greeks; the Thracians gossip about it as a matter of fact, Autolycus has an eye on the female and male slaves, and Meneus is strongly hinted to be Hercules' eromenos, . Except for Atalanta who's gay but not a Lesbian (from Lesbos).
- This was one of the things Bowdlerized out of the film, leading Alan Moore (no relation) to call for fans to boycott it. The other was the studio's refusal to let Steve Moore be involved in the film's creation.
- Blood Knight: Tydeus is always spoiling for a fight, so he can eat more brains.
- Call That A Formation: The Greeks drill the Thracians into a disciplined army, teaching them the value of a shieldwall.
- The Cassandra: Amphiaraus the seer, who predicts things like the Trojan War but nobody pays attention.
- Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Meleager saves Alalanta from getting killed more than once, problem is she wants to die.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The deaths of Hercules's wife and children and lovers, part of Hera's curse on him. So Meneus is the only one of his crew to bite it.
- Also Atalanta. A virgin devotee of Artemis until she was tricked into marriage with the golden apple business, and her husband raped her on their wedding night. She killed him right afterward, but feels she's Defiled Forever and wants to die in combat.
- Death Seeker: Atalanta, who keeps calling on Artemis to take her.
- Decoy Leader: When Hercules and his companions arrive in Thrace they're received by the king with a feast. However after some insults go their way, they end up slaughtering everyone in the dining hall, including the king and his guards. Then the real king shows up and reveals he wanted to see their fighting skills.
- Disc One Final Boss: After much bloody fighting Rhesus is defeated but escapes, then Cotys is revealed to be the real Big Bad after he double-crosses Hercules.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: While instructing the Thracians in the use of formations, Hercules gives Tydeus free reign to kill them if he can, so they're motivated to learn fast.
- Famed in Story: Hercules, and every one of his crew.
- The Ghost: The gods are mentioned but never seen in person.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Hercules loses it when a sniper takes out Meneus and rips him apart with his bare hands. It happens just off page, with some flying bits.
- Honey Trap: Princess Ergenia.
- The Lancer: Iolaus is Hercules's second-in-command.
- Loveable Rogue: Autolycus the thief, son of Hermes the god of thieves.
- Iconic Outfit: Hercules wears the skin of the Nemean lion and wields a club and a bow.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Hercules's crew are always bickering at each other.
- Shrouded in Myth: The Thracians gossip about Hercules being the son of Zeus and his Twelve Labours. Hercules doesn't deny it, and kills a man for suggesting he's really a mere bastard whose mother blamed her pregnancy on Zeus.
- Super Strength: Hercules of course.
- Take Over the World: Cotys plans to conquer the Greek states after Hercules has whipped his army into shape and disposed of the threat to his throne for him.
- The Straight Man: Iolaus, relative to most of the crew.
- Tagalong Kid: Meneus, the youngest of the band.
- True Companions: Hercules's crew may only stay together because of Hercules, but they always look out for each other.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Hercules is always barechested.