Dynamite and Disney have added Hades to their villain series, with a solo book set to launch this August. Writer Elliott Kalan (Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Daily Show, Spider-Man and the X-Men) is at the helm with artist Alessandro Ranaldi (Zorro) on art. 

In the upcoming comic, the hot-tempered Lord of the Underworld gets a slight from the other gods of Olympus, which clearly means it’s time for annihilation. Hades assembles a group of “morally questionable adventurers” to help him find the items to make his destruction a reality. 


Kalan chatted with The Beat about the upcoming series.

Deanna Destito: Why is Hades a good character to spotlight in his own series?

Elliot Kalan: Hades is firstly a perfect character to spotlight because he’s hilarious. He doesn’t take anything too seriously, except for his belief that he should be king of the gods, and he says a lot very quickly. SECONDLY, he’s perfect because he’s an active character who always has a scheme up his sleeve. Hades doesn’t sit around waiting for things to happen! No, he goes out and MAKES them happen! Thirdly, Hades is a great starring character because it’s unexpected. He’s a villain. He’s never going to be a good guy. And in this series, he does villain things. He starts as a heel and he stays as a heel, though maybe, just maybe, he’ll learn a little bit about how unsatisfying it is always being the heel.


Destito: How is Hades a different kind of villain than someone like Maleficent, and how does that affect how you approach storytelling, voice, etc.?

Kalan: A lot of your classic villains, like Maleficent, have a sort of tragic grandeur about them. Hades does not. He’s always getting himself into trouble because he’s just brilliant enough to march confidently into a situation he isn’t brilliant enough to get himself out of. Hades is funny, and that lends him to a funny sort of storytelling. At the same time, however, Hades is legitimately powerful — a Greek god who rules over the dead. But he’s part of this family of Olympians who are even more powerful. That means Hades is both an underdog (when dealing with other gods) and an overdog (when dealing with mortals), and that duality gives him a lot of different ways to interact with other characters. And with Hades comes an entire world of Greek mythology that the original Hercules film was only able to touch on. So writing about Hades gave me a very exciting license to bring in many of the characters of Greek myth who I’ve always loved: Arachne, Orpheus, Icarus, the Minotaur, Charon, Chiron, and so forth.


Destito: How has it been working with the creative team?

Kalan: It’s been great! I love Alessandro’s visual sense and character work, and his art just looks gorgeous. I hope I can do something with him again after this. And working with my editor, Nate Cosby, is always an enjoyable time. He creates a really great space for writers and artists to work in with a surprising amount of freedom for a licensed character.

Destito: Why would this book be appealing to both fans of Disney and comics in general?

Kalan: I think Hades will appeal to Disney fans because I feel like we really nailed the style and tone that fits the characters well. Funny without being goofy (ironic, since Goofy is also a Disney character), suspenseful without being overly serious, and clever without being annoyingly clever. Just good, fun adventure storytelling. I think it’ll appeal to general readers for the same reason. We’re striving for good, classic comics fun storytelling, without prior knowledge of the material needed. We’re working in the world of Hercules, but not dealing with any of the movie’s details (and Herc doesn’t even show up) while introducing a whole new group of characters rooted in ancient myth.

HadesDestito: Can you share your favorite moment or panel from the first issue?

Kalan: No, because they’re all amazing! Actually, I love Medusa’s entrance scene, where she’s bored because everyone she knows has been turned to stone by looking into her eyes. And I also love that Icarus gets to have a Fast & Furious-style street race, pitting his wings against the leader of a chariot gang. And of course, there’s when Jason and one of the Argonauts are competing to see who can smash the most dishes over their own forehead. Okay, maybe at times it gets a little goofy.

Hades #1 hits stores in August 2023.