What’s Next for Hercule Cubbage

Note: this post has spoilers for The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage: Chapter Five. If you haven’t read that yet and really care about getting spoiled, I suggest you avoid reading this one for now.

Still here? Good, let’s continue. Expect a bunch of text followed by some goodies at the end… uh, please don’t skip the text?

I’ve been releasing the comic chapter by chapter and always claiming to have a plan for the series, but giving no further details. Well, I was just waiting for the moment I finally had finished Chapter Five, because, as you may know if you’ve read it, it’s where everything changes, and I liked to tease that perhaps it was the end of the series altogether.

The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage is the story of how the eponymous protagonist becomes a hero. To me, that’s always been one single story, but that could be loosely split into two story arcs. The first one, i.e. the first half of the series (taking up 100 pages), was the story of how Hercule Cubbage, who lived under the shadow of his own father and his fictitious stories, understood the truth about Colonel Cubbage and grew into his own man at last. Whether I accomplished that successfully as a writer is up to you, but that’s the point we’ve just reached.

The second story arc, and therefore the second half of the series, is how Hercule Cubbage grows over his insecurities to become a leader, just as Gordon Freeman’s actions (which have played heavily in the background of the series so far) start a war in the streets of City Seventeen. It’s still the same story of the same character, but now he’s not trying to live up to his father’s heroism, but rather doing his part in the fight against the Combine and coming to terms with who he is and what he must do. Hercule still has issues to deal with, however, particularly the fact that his attempts at leadership have gotten people brutally killed so far. I can finally confirm the length of the whole series, too — this second half is comprised of four chapters, with the ninth and final chapter of The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage probably being double-length, which would make the whole comic 200 pages in length. I’ll probably release the name of the upcoming chapters at some point too, although not right now, I’m afraid. Gotta save something for later!

Also, as the ending of the latest comic may have indicated, the rest of the series will also see Hercule, Lucy, George and yes, even Colonel Cubbage head into City Seventeen. Which I guess I can’t claim is something straight from the game’s canon, but I’m not contradicting anything either, so bear with me while I tell the best story I can! Even though Odessa Cubbage is, well, awesome, and a big part of the story, I’d still say Lucy is the second main character (or deuteragonist if you feel like being fancy), and her story will be developed further, particularly with some notes about her backstory — I also think, at some point, I may do a Lucy spin-off comic telling her backstory, because I really love it. There’ll also be a few new faces taking big roles in the story, and I think I may reveal more about them over time before the next Chapter is released.

Unfortunately, because I want to show previously unseen areas of the City beyond the ones Gordon Freeman was in, there’ll be a lot of mapping work involved by my mapper extraordinaire, ESToomere. Therefore, it could take a bit of time getting the next chapter out of the door – nothing you’re not used to from me, but I’ll probably miss Half-Life 2‘s ten-year anniversary this November and only release Chapter 6 next year. Still, I’ll be posting about the series, and other stuff, from time to time, so stay posted!

Finally, I’ve been holding onto a certain image since February of 2013 (crazy!) because it was spoilery until now — although I did re-edit it slightly this year, to apply some improved techniques I have. I consider it the cover of the whole The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage comic, and it riffs off a certain promotional picture of Half-Life 2 (I’ll let you guess which):

The Adventures of Hercule Cubbage Cover
Click for full resolution (1000x1414px).

Hope you like it! After all, I haven’t been keeping it secret for so long for you to hate it!

I also have a wallpaper variant, in case anyone is interested. It’s only 1600×900 pixels, so apologies to anyone with larger resolutions or different formats!

Click for full resolution (1600x900px).
Click for full resolution (1600x900px).

Well, sorry if that whole text was too boring, I never know when to stop! If you have any further questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you! I hope you’ve been enjoying the comic so far and that you’ll stick around for the final half of Hercule’s journey!

PS: No, I don’t think Hercule Cubbage will be in Half-Life 3.

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