Herakles Book 1 by Edouard Cour is a stunning work of the legend of Herakles. He depicts the hero with warmth and humanity, giving his heroic deeds new depth. But what makes this graphic novel exceptional are its illustrations.

Herakles labours

Herakles, Book 1
Edouard Cour
4/5 stars

Edouard Cour uses the possibilities of visual telling in an impressive way. Every new page is more beautiful than the previous one. The color scheme of mainly black, yellow and shades of red gives the story extra power.

The story is old and well-known, so nothing more about that. What matters is how Cour is handling it. Herakles is a middle-aged, bitter man. He’s doing his labours, but without any real interest. He’s pissed off by the way the gods treat him – and rightfully so. All this generates quite a lot of humour, which is in delicious contrast to the colour scheme reminiscing an evening at a campsite fire.

The one minus I’ll give this book comes from the size of the texts on some pages. I read a digital version and some of the texts were nearly impossible to read because of their small size.