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Origin

The Hydra was the spawn of the Titan Typhon and the snake-goddess Echidna. Typhon was imprisoned under Mount Aetna after attacking the Olympian gods and Echidna fled to Arcadia, where she gave birth to a host of numerous incredible creatures; each one more foul than the last. After Echidna was killed by Argus, the original sentry of Olympus, the Hydra found a home in the swamps of Lerna, where it grew to immense size preying upon travelers through the region.[4]

Lernean Hydra (Earth-616) vs. Hercules (Earth-616) from Incredible Hercules Vol 1 113 001

Twelve Labors of Hercules

In 1271 B.C.,[5] Hercules was sent by King Eurystheus of Mycenae to kill the Hydra as his second labor.[6] Driving it out of the swamp with burning arrows, Hercules quickly learned it grew two new heads for each one severed. With the help of his nephew Iolaus, who used a torch to cauterize each of its wounds to prevent new heads from forming, Hercules managed to completely behead the creature. He then buried it under a boulder he thought only he could lift.

In the aftermath, Hercules collected enough of Hydra's venomous blood to dip his arrows with and render them that much more potent.[5] King Eurystheus later realized that Hercules had too much help from Iolaus in defeating the Hydra, and refused to count this as one of the labors. After the tenth labor, he would add two more.[citation needed]

Modern Era

Unbeknownst to Hercules, Ares managed to pick the boulder under which the Hydra had been buried with ease, and released the creature. With its heads restored, the Hydra was left under the care of Henri, a man whose family had served Ares for a thousand generations, at his alligator farm in Louisiana. Ares later paid a visit to the Hydra in order to collect some of its blood to use against Hercules.[5]

Lernean Hydra (Earth-616) from Weapon X Vol 3 16 003

At some point, the Hydra was captured by Amadeus Cho and locked up at the Olympus Group R&D Lab 454 in Gammaworld, New Mexico. It was among the mythical monsters released by Sabretooth to attack Logan after they crashlanded in the base. Logan lopped its heads off to make it grow too many heads and become immobile, prompting Sabretooth to kill it by impalement.[7]

Powers

Head Regeneration: It could grow two heads to replace each one that was lost.[2]

Venomous Blood[5]

Color Change: It might have been able to change color as a defense mechanism considering its various skin tones seen so far, and also might have near-sentient intelligence.[4]


Weaknesses

Considering it could lose its heads so easily, it may not have had a very dense or hard external body to protect it from harm.[4]

Fire: It was vulnerable to fire since cauterizing the wounds from its severed heads prevented extra heads from growing back.[4]


Lernean Hydra (Earth-616) and Hercules (Earth-616) from Avengers Vol 1 43 001

Illusion created by the Psychotron

  • Fin Fang Foom claimed to have met and beheaded the Hydra in Greece, circa 3,000 BC. Per Foom's words, the Hydra did not grow any new head.[8]
  • When Hercules fell victim to the Psychotron, he was forced to fight a vivid illusion of the Hydra.[9]
  • The Brotherhood of the Spear, during World War II, renamed itself after the monster because of their modus operandi on membership being based on its heads.[10]
  • In the modern era, Hercules related his tale of battling the Hydra to a group of young New Yorkers in Central Park.[11]

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Footnotes



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