- Whatever Thor can't do -- Hercules can accomplish more mightily!
- -- Hercules
- -- Hercules
Hercules is the son of Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, and Alcmena. Zeus seduced Alcmena in the guise of her husband, King Amphitryon of Troezen. Thanks to Zeus's enchantment, Hercules was born with the potential for extraordinary superhuman strength, which he first displayed before he was even one year old by strangling two serpents which attacked him (sent by Hera). Hercules had many notable adventures in ancient times. He sailed with the Argonauts (with them he may have battled the Akaana), faced the Hydra, saw the death of Medusa, and defeated Antaeus.
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;
- 1. Slay the Nemean Lion.
- 2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
- 3. Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
- 4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
- 5. Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
- 6. Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
- 7. Capture the Cretan Bull.
- 8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
- 9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
- 10. Obtain the cattle of the giant Geryon.
- 11. Steal the Apples of the Hesperides (He had the help of Atlas to pick them after Hercules had slain Ladon).
- 12. Capture and bring back Cerberus from Hades (Underworld).
(One of these Labors, the cleansing of the Augean Stables, was actually performed by the Eternal called the Forgotten One who was sometimes mistaken for Hercules.) In the course of these Labors, Hercules provoked the wrath of three immortals who remain his enemies to this day. By slaughtering the man-eating Stymphalian Birds, he enraged the war god Ares, to whom they were sacred. In temporarily capturing Cerberus he offended Hades, the lord of that realm. By killing the Nemean Lion, the Hydra and other creatures spawned by the inconceivably grotesque and powerful monster Typhoeus, Hercules gained the bitter enmity of Typhon]], the immortal humanoid offspring of Typhoeus and a Titaness.
However, it was the centaur Nessus who caused Hercules' mortal demise. Nessus kidnapped Hercules' wife Deianeira, whereupon Hercules shot him with an arrow. Feigning a wish to make amends, the dying centaur told Deianeira how to make a love charm from his allegedly enchanted blood, aware that it was now tainted with the lethal blood of the Hydra, in which Hercules had dipped his arrows. Some time after Nessus' death, Deianeira, distraught over her husband's latest infidelity, rubbed the supposed love charm into Hercules' shirt. When he wore the shirt, he was plunged into unspeakable agony and had to burn himself in a funeral pyre to end his suffering. Zeus then intervened, consuming the pyre with his thunderbolts and bringing Hercules to Olympus to be made a true immortal. Although Hercules himself has told different versions on how he obtained immortality but all of them contained Nessus' deceit and the arrows with the Hydra's blood.
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 is a notorious ladies' man. This is compounded with a curse of Hera's that threatens any mortal woman with whom he becomes too involved.
Later, Hercules led time-traveling soldiers against Vikings, bringing him into conflict with Thor.
Powers and Abilities
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 knocking out a Titan. 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). His strength, combined with his expert combat skills, has enabled him to hold his own against Thor and the Hulk.
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."
Superhuman Durability: 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.
- 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.
- 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. He once revealed to Elektra that long before he ascended to the heavens, he was still the world's greatest mortal warrior.
- 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. Indeed, Wolverine once remarked: "I've seen it, in bar after bar. Whatever women want, that guy's got it..."
Hercules can lift over 100 tons.
- 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.
- Golden Mace
- Wooden club
- Bow and Arrows of Heracles, a bow with arrows dipped in Hydra blood. Hercules has refused to use his bow after the incident with Nessus.
- The Labors of Hercules from Greek Mythology:
- The goddess Hera, determined to make trouble for Hercules, made him lose his mind. In a confused and angry state, he killed his own wife and children.
- When he awakened from his "temporary insanity," Hercules was shocked and upset by what he had done. He prayed to the god Apollo for guidance, and the god's oracle told him he would have to serve Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns and Mycenae, for twelve years, in punishment for the murders.
- As part of his sentence, Hercules had to perform twelve Labors, feats so difficult that they seemed impossible. Fortunately, Hercules had the help of Hermes and Athena, sympathetic deities who showed up when he really needed help. By the end of these Labors, Hercules was, without a doubt, Greece's greatest hero.
- His struggles made Hercules the perfect embodiment of an idea the Greeks called "pathos", the experience of virtuous struggle and suffering which would lead to fame and, in Hercules' case, immortality.
- Thor and Hercules are close rivals, but neither has hesitated to help the other if needed. The two characters seem to regard each other as equals and have a deep amount of respect for each other, though they have not met for a long period of time, though Hercules expresses some degree of contempt (tinged with jealousy) when Athena and the Council of Godheads discuss gathering the Mighty Thor to lead the God Squad.
- For all Zeus' gruffness, he regards Hercules as his favorite.
- His Greek name is spelt Herakles, not Heracles (Greeks don't use the c, hence the Greek spelling of Kanada (Canada)). 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.
- Separated and a widower in different marriages.
- He has visited the Playboy Mansion many times, and refers to its owner as "Sage Hefner."
- Appearances of Hercules (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: Hercules (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by Hercules (Earth-1010)
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