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Quote1 Whatever Thor can't do -- Hercules can accomplish more mightily! Quote2
-- Hercules src
 

Early Life

Herakles[8] was the son of Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, and Alcmena of Thebes in Ancient Greece.[12]

Zeus seduced Alcmena in the guise of her husband, Amphitryon who was away at war battling the pirates of Taphos.[12]

Due to his Olympian lineage, Hercules was born with the potential for extraordinary superhuman strength. Zeus' wife Hera grew jealous of his adultery, Alcmena tried to appease the goddess by naming her child Heracles "Glory of Hera".[8]

Hercules (Earth-616) from Incredible Hercules Vol 1 126 001

Strangling the serpents

The child was at first abandoned outside the city and when Athena and Hera found it, Hera decided to suckle the child, however, his godly strength harmed her when he bit down and she flung him away. He was returned to the city and was accepted by Amphitryon and his wife. However, Hera then sent two serpents to kill the child, but even at one years old he had great strength and strangled them both with his bare hands.[13]

Teen Years

Amphitryon raised Hercules as his own training in all forms of combat. It was during a lesson with his music teacher who criticized his lack of skill, Hercules killed him with a single blow. Hercules would go on many adventures of his own.[8]

In 1291 B.C., on the road to Thebes he encountered a group of Minyan warriors travelling to sack the city, Hercules beat them all with ease. This lead to war between Minya and Thebe and Hercules was imprisoned for the attack. It was then that he learned the truth of his origin from his parents. They gave him the garb bestowed on them from Zeus. He met with the leader of the Minyan, but when they tried to execute him the axe shattered on his neck.It was however during the battle Amphitryon was killed. The king thanked him for saving the city and gave him the hand of his daughter Princess Megara.[13]

Quest for the Golden Fleece

In 1289 B.C., he sailed with the Argonauts led by Jason,[14] among them Augeas.[12] During the adventure, he battled the Akaana and faced the Hydra, saw the death of Medusa, and defeated Antaeus.[15] He left the Argonauts when his companion Hylas was taken by Nymphs on the island of Mysia.[16]

Death of the family

Hera, Zeus's jealous wife, could never forgive her husband for having had Hercules as an illicit son, so she sent Hercules into insanity. One night Hercules goes mad and unwittingly kills his family. When he realized what he has done, he almost killed himself, but Theseus persuades him to go on living; that is the heroic option. (However he later stated that the blood rage was down to him after the battle of troy and had nothing to do with Hera!). It was after that he took the name "Hercules" to distance himself from his step-mother.[8]

Twelve Labors

For more details, please consult the Twelve Labors page.

As an adult, Hercules was best known for his celebrated Twelve Labors, which were performed in part to prove his worthiness for immortality to Zeus. The labors consisted of:

Final Labor and death of his family

Returning to Thebes, he was believed dead and Euboean Lycus took advantage of that absence to kill Hercules' father-in-law King Creon and condemn Megara and their three sons to death. Enraged, Hercules killed Lycus but his family as well.[8]

Hercules' followers decided to accuse Hera, and Hercules didn't corrected them, too ashamed. He change from Herakles to roman Hercules, in order to distance himself from Hera.[8]

Twelve Labors

  • 1. Tame the Nemean Lion:[17] This monster of a lion had a hide that was so tough that no arrow could pierce it. Hercules stunned the beast with his olive-wood club and then strangled it with his bare hands. It is said that he skinned the lion, using the lion's sharp claws, and ever after wore its hide.[citation needed]
  • 2.[17][18][9] Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra: In 1271 B.C.,[9] the evil, snake-like Hydra had nine heads. If one was chopped off, two would grow in its place. But Hercules quickly sliced off the heads, while his nephew, Iolaus, sealed the wounds with a torch. Hercules made his arrows poisonous by dipping them in the Hydra's blood.[9]
  • 3.[17][18] Hunting the Ceryneian Hind or Capture the Golden Hind[citation needed] of Artemis: The goddess Artemis loved and protected this stubborn little deer, which had gold horns. Hercules found it a challenge to capture the delicate hind without hurting it (and making Artemis angry). After following the hind for an entire year, he safely carried it away.[17]
  • 4.[17][18]Capture the Erymanthian Boar[17]
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Augean Stables

  • 5.[12] Clean the Augean Stables in a single day: In 1271 B.C.,[12] Hercules was ordered to clean out the stables of King Augeas, where thousands of cows lived.[12] They had not been cleaned in years. While Hercules actually tried the task manually, in vain, Forgotten One, an Eternal who was mistaken for Hercules, diverted two rivers so that they flowed into the stables, sweeping out the filth.[12]
  • 6.[12][17] Slay the Stymphalian Birds: These murderous man-eating birds lived around Lake Stymphalus.[17] Their claws and beaks were sharp as metal and their feathers flew like darts. Hercules scared them out of their nests with a rattle and then killed them with the poison arrows he had made from the Hydra's blood.[12]
Twelve Labors of Hercules from Hercules Vol 3 1 002
  • 7.[17] Capture the Cretan Bull[19]
  • 8. Steal the Man-Eating Mares of Diomedes[17]
  • 9.[17][20] Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta Queen of the Amazons: In 1270 B.C. Hercules was sent to Themyscira, home of the Amazons, to steal Queen Hippolyta's "Girdle" a gift from Ares. However the moment the two met it was an instant attraction and the two went to bed together. This angered Hera, who took the form of one of the Amazons making them believe Hercules was trying to kidnap their queen. He escaped buck naked carrying the girdle chased by the entire Amazon army.[20]
  • 10. Obtain the red cattle of the giant Geryon[17]
  • 11. Retrieve Hera's Golden Apples from the Garden of the Hesperides[17] In 1268 B.C.,[21] Hercules went to the Titan Atlas who was forced to hold up the sky for all eternity. He asked Atlas for help, he would shoulder the sky while Atlas, the nymphs' father, fetched the Apples. He agreed to three apples for three hours of freedom. However when he returned he did not wish to take up the sky again. Hercules tricked him by asking him to take the sky for a moment so he could get comfortable. When he did Hercules escaped with the Apples.[21] Apparently the Forgotten One performed that deed as well.[12]
  • 12. Capture and bring back Cerberus from Hades:[17] In 1267 B.C.,[8], Hercules was ordered to capture Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog of the Underworld.[17] Hercules later revealed that he actually traveled there to rescue his beloved friend Theseus he was there so long that the people of Thebes believed him to be dead.[8]

Killing Kyknos

The same year, in Macedonia, Kyknos, the son of Ares, decided to build a temple to his father from the bones of the travelers he met. Meeting with Hercules, the two clashed, and as Ares intervened to help his son, so did Athena to support Hercules. Ares was wounded and retreated, and Kyknos was killed by Hercules, thus sparking Ares' long-standing rivalry with the Prince of Power.[12]

Troy

In 1264 B.C., having refused to pay Apollo and Poseidon after they built impenetrable walls around his city, King Laomedon of Troy asked Hercules to save her daughter from the Monster of Poseidon, promising him his herd of magical horses which could run on water in return.[22]

After Hercules was denied his reward, he returned to Troy berserk, wrecking havoc in the city while claiming the horses, and killed Laomedon and all of his sons, save for one.[22]

Deianira

In 1260 B.C., in western Greece, he battled the river god Achelous to win Deianira as his third wife.[9] During the battle, Achelous transformed into a serpent and then as a bull, but Hercules managed to tear one of his horns off, making him surrender.[23]

Returning, the couple attempted to cross the River Evenus. They asked Nessus (Earth-616) the centaur ferryman to take them across. He however bolted with Deianira, whereupon Hercules shot him with an arrow dipped in Hydra's blood. Feigning a wish to make amends, the dying centaur tricked Deianeira how to make a love charm from his allegedly enchanted blood, in fact tainted with the Hydra's blood, and Deianira took the Centaur's blood-soaked shirt.[9]

Death

In 1246 B.C., Deianira found Hercules in bed with another woman and decided use the enhanced blood to gain Hercules loyalty once more. Unaware that it was now tainted with the lethal poison of the Hydra, Deianeira rubbed the Centaur's shirt on Hercules.[9] Rendered mad by the poison, Hercules threw himself on the funeral pyre built for him by his nephew Iolaus.[22]

Olympian

As his mortal body burned his soul fell for three days into the depth of Tartarus. However Zeus took pity on him and split the immortal part away from his body allowing the "shade" to fall into the underworld. Now a full god, Hercules took his place as god of strength. In an attempt to reconcile with Hera, he married Hebe. However, like his father, Hercules was a notorious ladies' man. This was compounded with a curse of Hera's that threatened any mortal woman with whom he became too involved.[7]

Later, Hercules led time-traveling soldiers against Vikings, bringing him into conflict with Thor.[citation needed]
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Modern Era

In recent years, the Asgardian Enchantress hoped to gain revenge on her enemies, the Avengers. She mesmerized Hercules and set him to attack the team, but the Avenger Hawkeye managed to free him from his thrall and the Enchantress was routed. However, Hercules was exiled from Olympus by Zeus as punishment for his unauthorized excursion to Earth. The Avengers housed Hercules as their guest for months, and he often assisted them in their adventures. He was eventually made an official member of the team, but he returned to Olympus with the Avengers to rescue the other Olympians from the vengeful Typhon. Afterward, Hercules elected to remain on Olympus with Zeus' blessing.

Later, the Olympian god Ares hoped to incite war among Olympus and Asgard, and eventually Earth. Ares turned all the Olympian gods to crystal, and, as Hercules was unaffected by being only half-god, Ares' agents beat him severely and abandoned him on Earth. Hercules remained amnesiac for many weeks, until he was discovered by Hawkeye and returned to the Avengers. With the Avengers' aid, the plot was uncovered and Ares was stopped. Hercules and his teammate, the Asgardian thunder-god Thor, sealed the access to both worlds.

Hercules continued to occasionally interact with Earth, as was the case with his helping found the short-lived West Coast super-team called the Champions of Los Angeles after they had helped him and Venus thwart a plot by Pluto to force him into marriage with Hippolyta and invade Olympus[24]. While on this team, Hercules began a relationship with his team leader, the Black Widow. It did not last long, but the two remained on good terms afterward. He also kept in touch with the Avengers, assisting them in reserve capacity against menaces such as Korvac the Enemy. Eventually, Hercules rejoined the Avengers on a full-time basis.

When the Avengers' mansion headquarters was invaded by Baron Helmut Zemo's Masters of Evil, Hercules, intoxicated, ignored orders from The Wasp and Captain America, attacking the conquered mansion by himself. He was beaten so severely by a contingent of the Masters that he was left near death, in a coma. The Wasp and Ant-Man (Scott Lang) were only barely able to repulse a Masters assault by Absorbing Man and Titania on his hospital room. Afterwards, Zeus arranged for Hercules to be returned to Olympus, and in revenge, ordered the imprisonment of the Avengers in Hades. The Avengers escaped to confront Zeus directly, but they were saved only by the intervention of Hercules, who had made a recovery and convinced his father the Avengers were not to blame. Nevertheless, Zeus ordered that Hercules remain in Olympus forever.

It was not long, however, until Hercules disobeyed his father, returning to Earth when the Avengers required help against the villainous High Evolutionary, who misguidedly hoped to forcibly jumpstart humankind's evolution. In the final battle, Hercules was attached to a machine that would "evolve" him to a superior state than that of the Evolutionary. Instead, the device jumpstarted the Evolutionary's physiology as well, evolving both to a state beyond godhood, and the two dissipated from Earth's plane.

In reality, the two were captured by the enigmatic beings known as the Celestials and held prisoner in the so-called Black Galaxy. Thor and his friend, Eric Masterson, discovered their fate during an adventure at the High Evolutionary's citadel, Wundagore. Both Masterson and Thor helped rescue the two, and Hercules, Thor, and Masterson returned to Earth, while the High Evolutionary turned Wundagore into a spaceship and returned to the Black Galaxy.

Hercules, Thor, and Masterson were then viciously attacked by Mongoose using weapons he had stolen from Wundagore. Mongoose almost killed Thor using a powerful energy beam. Masterson took a killing blow for Thor, giving Thor and Hercules a chance to defeat Mongoose. Unfortunately, Masterson was dying from his wounds, which led Thor and Masterson to be merged together. Hercules remained on hand to help his friends, and he would also return to the Avengers shortly afterwards, becoming an active reserve member during the U.N. reorganization of the team. He soon became a full member during an absence of Thor.

During Operation Galactic Storm, Hercules was part of Captain America's team bound for the Kree Empire. At the conclusion of the mission, he was part of the group that followed Iron Man to execute the Supreme Intelligence of the Kree, a move against both Avengers policy and Captain America's orders.

Hercules was soon confronted by Zeus, and they had a falling out over Hercules' apparent preference for the mortal world. Punishing his son, Zeus stripped him of his immortality and much of his godly power, exiling him once more. The traumatized Hercules drew emotional support from the Avengers, especially Deathcry, whom he later aided in returning to her alien Shi'ar homeworld. On returning to Earth, though, Hercules discovered to his horror that most of the Avengers were missing and presumed dead after their battle with the psychic menace of Onslaught. A despairing Hercules succumbed to alcoholism and was no help in trying to hold together the group, which soon disbanded.

Hercules began to wander in search of new adventures, serving briefly with the corporate super-team Heroes for Hire. When the supposedly dead Avengers returned from their Onslaught disappearance, Hercules joined many of the other Avengers in reorganizing the team, though he has opted to remain an inactive member rather than rejoining the active roster. Also during this time, Hercules sought out one of those responsible for his coma, the villain Goliath who had become the hero Atlas. The resulting battle was cut short by Hawkeye (then posing as Dreadknight of the Thunderbolts), who convinced Hercules to stand down, at the cost of the two's friendship.

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Hercules #3

Hercules continued to aid the Avengers on an as-needed basis, such as helping them against the villainous Exemplars and when the time-traveling Kang nearly conquered the world. He was one of the Avengers present in response to the Code White call when the Scarlet Witch had her breakdown that disassembled the Avengers.

New Labors

Hercules considered Thor both a great ally and a rival. They fought alongside one another many times against many foes and was angry that Thor's and Asgard's disappearance were largely forgotten in light of the Scarlet Witch's insanity. To reaffirm himself, he accepted a challenge of completing a more modern Twelve Labors.[25]

Civil War

When the Superhuman Registration Act was enacted, Hercules joined Captain America's Secret Avengers, opposing the Act and Iron Man's Pro-Registration Superhero Unit. He helped play a leadership role in the anti-registration movement during the resultant Civil War. His most significant act during the final battle is using the Thor clone's own hammer against itself, declaring, "Thou art no Thor."

World War Hulk

During the Hulk's attack on Earth, Hercules and Archangel met with Amadeus Cho, one of the Hulk's allies. They agreed to help the Hulk, but, upon encountering him, the Hulk savagely charged them. Hercules was forced to defend himself, and gained the advantage against the Hulk, but was beaten down after he stopped fighting and defending himself against the Hulk to prove that he was not there to hurt him.[26] Hercules' reason for aiding the Hulk was simple. Both men, despite all of their strength, had lost their queen and family. Also, Hercules wished to make up for an altercation between the Hulk and the Champions years earlier. He joined a team called the "Renegades". The group was comprised of Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Angel, Namora, and the female Scorpion. During the action, Herc and Namora shared a kiss. When the conflict ended, Hercules was the only renegade to stay with Amadeus.

Amadeus Cho

In the aftermath of the war, Hercules, against Amadeus' wishes, agreed to turn himself in. However, after learning that he would be working under his brother Ares, he escaped, taking Amadeus with him. After finding brief shelter in a refugee camp outside of New York, Hercules spoke with Athena, who was living in Vermont, to try and seek shelter. However, after being shot by Ares' "Hydra blood bullets", he was driven into a psychotic rage, and began seeing Amadeus Cho as Iolaus, his nephew and ally from Ancient Greek times. Cho decided to take advantage of the situation by getting Hercules to attack a S.H.I.E.L.D. base. However both men were stopped by the Black Widow, who knocked out Cho and cured Hercules of his rage. Out of respect for Hercules, Natasha let Hercules knock her out and let him reunite with Cho, who captured a S.H.I.E.L.D mobile base and was willing to destroy all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s governmental facilities.[22] Hercules avoided this disaster by asking Cho what he would like to be remembered for.

Secret Invasion

Upon meeting up with Athena, the trio set out to San Fransisco to assemble a team of gods from Earth (Snowbird, Tecumotzin, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, and Atum the God Eater) to battle and defeat the Skrull Gods Kly'bn and Sl'gur't. In route to Skrull space through the dream realm, they battled Nightmare and received his map of the dream realm. Hercules and Narya made love after she confessed to him that she didn't want to be alone anymore.[16] Soon after, a Skrull who had been with them since the end of World War Hulk revealed itself and was quickly dispatched. However, Hercules and Snowbird together managed to slay the head god of the Skrulls, destroying the very inspiration for the ongoing Secret Invasion war. Meanwhile Mikaboshi managed to overcome Sl´gur´t, and apparently assumed the position of leader of the Skrull pantheon, all according to Athena's plan.[27]

Love and War

While Hercules decided to take a vacation with Namora after the Secret Invasion, a group of Amazons attacked and captured Amadeus Cho, wanting him to find the Omphalos and use it to become the world's dominant force. Hercules, Namora and Namor managed to save the captured Poseidon, after a brief conflict with Namor, and headed to intercept the Amazons at the new axis mundi, Washington, D.C. However, the Amazon leader Artume succeeded in reshaping the world into an Amazon-dominated one, with Hercules as the sole remaining rebel against her regime.[28]

Meanwhile, Hera and Pluto took over the Olympus Group, the modern day seat of power for the Olympians, via the inherited shares of Zeus' and by buying out Poseidon, and decided the company's new major goal: the deaths of Athena and Hercules.[21]

Hercules, Amadeus, Athena and others managed to slay Artume and restore all of reality. Hercules discovered that Namora's fondest desire was to love Namor, to his shock. Namora was called away to serve in the Agents of Atlas's first mission during the Dark Reign, and Hercules and Amadeus united after Athena used what remained of the axis mundi energies to undo the damage inflicted.

The Mighty Avengers

In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, the activities of the Elder God Chthon created a series of freak events that Cho dubbed the "Chaos Cascade", and concluded the Avengers would be necessary to deal with the events. Hercules and Cho located Edwin Jarvis, and then Henry Pym and Jocasta. Loki in the guise of Wanda Maximoff, arrived in an astral form to greet them and supply the gathered forces with an "army" to form the new Mighty Avengers (later aided by Iron Man), which Hercules chose to remain with. Loki covertly used them to form and widen cracks in Osborn's armor, and which Norman Osborn sought to crush. Chthon was banished through their combined efforts with Pietro Maximoff, with Hercules explaining to the others that the death of the Demogorge with the Skrullian gods was the factor Chthon used to attack the universe.[29]

The Trial of Zeus

After Hercules, Amadeus, and Athena were attacked by first Hera and her allies then by Osborn's Avengers they went to Hades were they took part in Zeus' trial. After Zeus was found guilty, he drank from the River Lethe and was transformed into a child.

Assault on New Olympus

After several adventures where "Kid Zeus" learned the value of others, Athena brought Hercules up to speed on what had occurred during his absence, informing him of Hera's plans and telling him his wife, Hebe had been cast out of New Olympus for betraying Hera. Hercules gathered allies to attack Hera's Earth-based Olympus Group to prevent her from releasing CONTINUUM and replacing the current universe with one only inhabited by her and her followers. Before the heroes could decide or do anything to thwart Hera's machinations, Hercules decided to find his absent wife Hebe. Find her he did; kissing Peter Parker (Spider-Man). After fighting Spider-Man and making amends with Hebe, he and Hebe returned to the heroes. He managed to defeat Typhon, but was left trapped in the alternate universe when Athena destroyed the portal to prevent him from interfering in Cho's destiny.

Chaos War

Athena became queen of Olympus and appointed Amadeus Cho as head of the Olympian earthly holdings. Cho used his resources to try and find Hercules and came into conflict with Vali Halfling in a contest for a level of godhood beyond that of any known god: true omnipotence and omniscience. Cho gained it, but realizing he was not ready for such power, retrieved Hercules from the other dimension and imbued him with the power.[30]

Hercules obtained the power just as Mikaboshi was beginning his attack on Earth. Initially drunk on his new abilities, Hercules attacked the Council of Godheads. After calming down. Hercules made several attempts to defeat Mikaboshi including forming a new God Squad. A serious of blunders allowed Mikaboshi to learn the location of the Council of Godheads and destroy their heavens, growing stronger with each realm it absorbed. Hercules' relentless strategy of "Attack! Attack!" alienated Cho and nearly everyone around him. Eventually, it took his omniscience and Gaea herself to convince Hercules to try another path. After another power-up from Gaea, Hercules was strong enough to fight Mikaboshi head on, but was still losing. A last ditch effort by Amadeus Cho and Galactus opened up a portal to Hera's bubble universe and Hercules knocked Mikaboshi through just as the latter was returning everything to the primordial void. Hera's bubble universe was reduced while the main universe was spared. Hercules burned out his omnipotence restoring the multiverse to the way it was before Mikaboshi destroyed it, leaving him reduced to a mortal man once again.[25]

Moving to Brooklyn

Hercules reappears in Brooklyn, armed with a new array of Olympian weapons stolen from Ares' armory. They include the Sword of Peleus, the Shield of Perseus, arrows that can penetrate through anything, and the Helm of Hades. He then gets a job bartending at a Greek run bar in Brooklyn.[31]

Fear Itself

Hercules came across Basilisk, Griffin, Man-Bull, and an unidentified fourth character robbing a bank. They had just escaped from the Raft during the breakout caused by Kuurth: Breaker of Stone. Hercules soon discovered that the amnesiac fourth person with them was actually the witch-goddess Hecate. During the fight, Hecate looked into the Shield of Perseus and regained her memories of taking over Brooklyn.[32] She then teamed up with Kyknos in order to take over the city. The pair managed to turn some people against Hercules due to the chaos that the Serpent's Worthy created. When Hercules used the Shield of Perseus to turn some people to stone, Basilisk and Man-Bull fled. The Griffin reacted to the magic forces at work, devolving into a savage beast. He saved Hercules' life and became his new steed, allowing him to fly around the city.[33] Hercules recovered upon hearing the prayers of his worshipers and found himself in the Griffin's care, only to discover that Brooklyn had been reshaped into a nightmare landscape. Hercules and the Griffin managed to find where Basilisk and Man-Bull and recruited their help.[34] The villains approached Hecate and Kyknos using a ruse involving Hercules being turned to stone. Hercules quickly revived and saved the villains by killing Kyknos, then prevented Ares' resurrection by kicking over his alter. Hecate fled and Brooklyn was returned to normal.[35]

Spider-Island

Herc was now in charge of the bar after the owners fled back to Greece. He befriended an elderly African man named A. Nancy who loved stories. One night Herc was bitten by a bed bug that gave him spider-powers, which he used to fight crime.[36] The Queen of Spider-Island revealed herself to Herc and made him her slave. She sent Spider-Herc against the X-Men, who were in town after fighting lizard people in the sewers. They tried to reason with him, but he attacked them with the Sword of Peleus. Due to the mutagenic properties of Spider-Man's powers, Spider-Herc mutated into Herc-Spider mid-battle. Shortly after, the X-Men were trapped in a magic web, and the Greek goddess Arachne appeared. Instead of fighting, Arachne became very attracted to Herc's new form and they embraced, while the X-Men were forced to watch. While Arachne was preoccupied, A. Nancy broke into Herc's home and stole Arachne's mythical Woven Tapestry. He revealed himself as the African spider god Anansi, a collector of stories. Hercules was later cured of his spider transformation by Peter Parker, along with everyone else infected.[37]

Avengers Academy

Hercules was called upon to act as a guest instructor at Avengers Academy when most of the main faculty were preoccupied with the events of Avengers vs. X-Men. Tigra was shocked by his nakedness while demonstrating the Ancient Greek art of wrestling and forced him to wear clothing. The school was suddenly visited by Captain America, who asked that the facility be used to hold the younger members of the X-Men until the fighting was over. Kavita Rao and Madison Jeffries urged their students to comply with the Avengers, but many were resentful of the confinement. Hercules arranged an Olympic competition between the two schools in order to ease tensions and avoid an actual fight from taking place. When Sebastian Shaw (who was also being held at the Academy) escaped he defeated Hercules because Shaw was able to absorb the magic energy from his weapons. Shaw then told the X-Men students to escape before fleeing himself. Hercules urged Tigra to let the kids join the fight if they wanted to, believing they had no right to hold them there against their will in the first place. Some of the X-Men students remained at Avengers Academy while many joined the fighting, and Hercules reflected that while the older generation had only found war, at least some of the kids were able to find peace.[38]

All-New, All-Different

Hercules, isolated and shunned by the hero community, attempted to regain his reputation as a true hero and took on the threats of the Uprising Storm, a group of new gods consisting of Catastrophobia: God of War, Horrorscope, and Cryptomnesia: God of Data as they plan to wipe out the old gods.[39] Hercules tried to get help from his fellow superheroes to fight the Uprising Storm, but they were too busy fighting among themselves over how to use the precognitive powers of Ulysses Cain to listen. So, Hercules assembled his own team that consisted of demigods he called the Gods of War. After weakening the Uprising Storm with magic, the Gods of War successfully vanquished the Storm.[40]

In the aftermath of the second Civil War, Hercules rejoined the Avengers, where they foiled an ambush by Kang the Conqueror.[41]

Secret Empire

Hercules became a member of the Underground which was a resistance movement against Hydra ever since they took over the United States. Hercules and Quicksilver led a strike force to find the Cosmic Cube fragments so that they could use it to restore Captain America to normal.[42]

Powers

Vast Superhuman Strength: Hercules' principal power is his vast physical strength and he is physically the strongest of all the existing Olympians. As the Olympian God of Raw Strength, Hercules possesses near limitless superhuman strength. Hercules' great strength also extends to his powerful leg muscles, allowing him to jump great distances and heights; while the exact limit is unknown, he is capable of leaping a height of at least 100 feet. He has been observed lifting and hurling a giant sequoia tree, carrying a starship across his back and shoulders, and lifting and tossing Godzilla, dragging the island of Manhattan,[43] and knocking out a Titan.[44] His most impressive feat was to hold and support the heavens themselves, which happened in the mythological era (presumably including its astronomical objects such as stars, planets, etc). [45] His strength, combined with his expert combat skills, has enabled him to hold his own against Thor,[46] the Hulk,[47] and the Sentry.[48] During Civil War, in a state of rage, he was able to throw aside Doc Samson, She-Hulk and Spider-Man[49] and was later even able to deprive Ragnarok of his weapon and kill him with it.[50] Another impressive example of his strength is knocking the Abomination down in one single blow.[18]

Superhuman Speed: Hercules' superhumanly strong legs allow him to run and move at speeds greater than the finest human athlete. His speed extends to his reflexes, which are at the very least a match for the likes of Thor and the Sentry, both of whom he has held his own against in combat.

Superhuman Stamina: Hercules' highly advanced musculature produces almost no fatigue toxins, granting him almost limitless physical stamina in all activities; his stamina is described by Iron Man as "virtually inexhaustible" and "practically limitless."

Nigh-Invulnerability: Having sipped of Hera's breast milk as an infant, Hercules gained mystical invulnerability, making him extremely resistant to physical injury. He is capable of withstanding high caliber bullets, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and extreme temperatures and pressures without sustaining injury. He is also capable of surviving, unprotected, in the vacuum of space for a brief period of time. His resistance to injury surpasses that of any other Olympian god with the exceptions of Pluto, Neptune, Zeus, and equaled by Ares and Athena.

Immortality

  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite his great resilience, it is possible to injure Hercules. However, like all members of his race, he is capable of recovering from injuries with superhuman speed and efficiency. However, he is unable to regenerate missing limbs or organs and would require magical assistance to do so. Hercules is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections. He is highly resistant to most drugs and toxins but can be affected if exposed to great quantities.
  • Suspended Aging: Like all members of his race, Hercules is immune to the effects of aging and has not aged since reaching adulthood. Despite being thousands of years old, Hercules possesses the appearance and vitality of a man in his physical prime.

Abilities

  • Expert Combatant: Hercules is an excellent hand to hand combatant particularly skilled in Greek wrestling, Greek boxing, and even invented the art of pankration, which is the combination of both. Thor once even admitted that Hercules is slightly his better in terms of unarmed combat.[46] He once revealed to Elektra that long before he ascended to the heavens, he was still the world's greatest mortal warrior.[citation needed]
  • Expert Archer: Hercules is an expert archer. However, since the suicide of his wife Deianeira in connection with Hercules' arrows having been tainted by the blood of The Hydra, he does not often use his bow anymore. This changed after he'd lost his powers for a time, as he needed every tool possible to overcome his mortal limitations. Even as a mortal, he has shown himself able to fire an arrow into the barrel of a gun.
  • Expert Marksman: Hercules is able to throw javelins and throwing discs with great aim and overall accuracy.
  • Weapons Proficiency: Hercules is also experienced with various forms of weaponry used in ancient Greece.
  • Allspeak: Thanks to the Allspeak Olympians can communicate in all of the languages, Earth's dialects, and various alien languages.
  • Professional Womanizer: Hercules is well known for his womanizing skills that are so efficient that they are considered legendary. In fact, even some men have fallen victim to his charms[51] Indeed, Wolverine once remarked: "I've seen it, in bar after bar. Whatever women want, that guy's got it..."[37]

Strength level

It has been listed as either exactly 100 tons,[52][3] or over 100 tons in the official handbooks, but this scale is only for comparison purposes between characters, as for example, characters of "class 10", such as Spider-Man, can recurrently move thousands of tons in the comics, whereas ones above level 100 can range anywhere from lifting mountains to entire planets. Regardless, as the God of Strength, Hercules is one of the strongest beings on Earth.



Equipment

Vast Fortune: Herc has gained vast wealth over his long lifetime. He was able to purchase entire bars with gold he has in his pocket. His diverse portfolio required two superheroes a full week to even gather, let alone settle, in the wake of his demise. He was an initial investors in Stark Industries. The original investment was $100,000, but now when the size of the investment was calculated, a second line of zeroes was required.[51]

  • Shield of Perseus
  • Helm of Hades
  • Nemean Lion Skin: the skin of the Nemean Lion acts as an indestructible armor and shield's Hercules from virtually any injury, with the possible exception of blunt force attacks, grappling (arm-twists, joint-locks, etc), and strangulation, the latter being how Hercules was forced to kill the Nemean Lion, himself.

Transportation

None, formerly Avengers Quinjet

Weapons


  • Hercules was one of the characters featured in Series A of the Marvel Value Stamps issued in the 1970's.
    Hercules Marvel Value Stamp

    Marvel Value Stamp #90

  • His Greek name is spelt Herakles, not Heracles. Herakles in Ancient Greek means 'to the glory of Hera', a double insult to the goddess as an epithet for her philandering husband's half-mortal bastard, and a great part of the reason for her enduring hatred.
  • On the 50 state variant covers of U.S.Avengers #1, Hercules was assigned as the Avenger of Colorado.
  • He has visited the Playboy Mansion many times, and refers to "Sage Hefner."[53]

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Chaos War #4
  2. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica #1
  4. Thor Vol 2 #7
  5. Defenders #63
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Hercules Vol 4 #1
  7. 7.0 7.1 Incredible Hercules #129
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 Incredible Hercules #115
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Incredible Hercules #113
  10. Incredible Hercules #134
  11. Trojan War #4 states Eurypylus is the grandson of Hercules; In Greeks myths, Telephus is son of Heracles
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 Incredible Hercules #116
  13. 13.0 13.1 Incredible Hercules #126
  14. Incredible Hercules #117
  15. Avengers #265
  16. 16.0 16.1 Incredible Hercules #118
  17. 17.00 17.01 17.02 17.03 17.04 17.05 17.06 17.07 17.08 17.09 17.10 17.11 17.12 17.13 17.14 17.15 17.16 Hercules Vol 3 #1
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Hercules Vol 3 #3
  19. Thor #356
  20. 20.0 20.1 Incredible Hercules #122
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Incredible Hercules #123
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Incredible Hercules #114
  23. Incredible Hercules #119
  24. Champions #1-3
  25. 25.0 25.1 Hercules Vol 3 #1-5
  26. Incredible Hulk Vol 2 #106
  27. Incredible Hercules #120
  28. Incredible Hercules #121-124
  29. Mighty Avengers #21
  30. Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1-4
  31. Herc #1
  32. Herc #3
  33. Herc #4
  34. Herc #5
  35. Herc #6
  36. Herc #7
  37. 37.0 37.1 Herc #8
  38. Avengers Academy #31
  39. Hercules Vol 4 #1-6
  40. Civil War II: Gods of War #1-#4
  41. Avengers Vol 7 #1
  42. Secret Empire #1-2
  43. Marvel Team-Up #28
  44. Thor #129
  45. Incredible Hercules #124
  46. 46.0 46.1 Thor Blood Oath #3
  47. Hulk vs Hercules #1
  48. Incredible Hercules #128
  49. Civil War #4
  50. Civil War #7
  51. 51.0 51.1 Hercules: Fall of An Avenger #1
  52. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  53. Eternals Vol 2 #8
  54. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #5
  55. OHOTMU Avengers 2004



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