Gird your loins, folks, as Hercules and Prince of Power go head to head in the latest “Infinite Destinies” annual issue. Al Ewing and Flaviano join forces with Rachelle Rosenberg to tell a one-shot story involving one of the Infinity Stones. This time, one might assume power is involved given the characters. That said, Hercules once went by the same name, so who is Otherone aka Prince of Power? Found out in this issue!
One can already see in the preview the attitude Prince of Power has as well as how that plays off Hercules’ downtrodden nature in the issue. Typically an egomaniac himself, it’s fun to see how Ewing places Hercules off Prince of Power which might explain why he lets Prince of Power talk so much. In fact, much of the meat of this issue involves Prince of Power giving us a full recap of his origin and it’s a mighty one indeed.
The main plot of this book is so mighty I’d hope fans of Masters of the Universe check this out. I’ll say no more on that score, but expect a heck of a lot of winks and nods that are incredibly fun to decipher. Otherone’s backstory is quite long and comical giving the issue a very easy-to-read feel for new readers. Ewing is tying into past stories here too and it’s satisfying to see some callbacks.
This issue will no doubt make you a believer in Otherone as a hero in his own right. Getting a full origin story helps, of course, but there’s also a unique storybook nature to his personality. He could be played for laughs — and Ewing does so quite a bit here — but there’s a certain charm to him being well aware he’s not very bright. Pair this with the fantasy elements of his origins and there’s an intriguing blend of sci-fi with the Infinity Stone and fantasy with his upbringing.
Flaviano does an exceptional job on art with a very clean style that suits the rippling muscles of the characters. Layouts tend to get creative with unspecified borders on panels and a star theme permeating the book. Black or white stars tend to spill out of a panel’s borders, adding a wow factor that goes along with the ego trip of Otherone’s backstory. There are also some exceptional sound effects that lean into the fun of comics like the crash sound when Otherone crashes into the bar.
Rachelle Rosenberg colors the book in a super bright way only comics could get away with and that gives the fairy tale sort of story additional charm. Letters by Cory Petit supply plenty of emphasis with much of what these characters saying bolded.
This issue continues the Nick Fury backup story with its sixth chapter. Per usual, Juan Ferreyra’s art soars panel to panel. Nighthawk is woven into this story in a real way and Ferryra leans into those Batman vibes with two exceptional double-page layouts. Jed MacKay’s story seems to be developing a major turn in the story, too, which increases the hype for the way it may lead.
Similar to the last “Infinite Destinies” annual, this book stands alone as a great one-shot but is elevated by the fact that it enriches past and present stories. Guardians of the Galaxy Annual 2021 is a surefire hit if you like superhero stories that are worth plenty of chuckles.
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