Hercules (Hercules Panhellenios, Marvel Prime)

AKA: Herc, Herak, The Lion of Olympus, The Defender of Olympus, “Herakles Giant-Killer”, The Scion of Olympus, Prince of Power, Agent 74, Spider-Herc, Harry Cleese, Victor Tegler, Agent 74, Muscle Boy, Utshpna, Tarkukt, Sham (Romanname), Siamat

While other companies focused on Olympian Gods, Marvel decided to focus on Norse Gods. However, that didn’t stop them from doing the Greek gods anyway. Introduced in Young Allies #16 (1945) by Charles Nicholas (a pseudonym for a number of people) and later brought back in Thor Annual #1, Hercules is the same Greek hero of myth and legends. He is the son of Zeus, who tricked Herc’s mother, Alcmena, into sleeping with him by pretending to be her husband. His backstory is pretty much similar to what you know from Greek myth, such as him being part of Jason’s Argonaut and the famous 12 labours. He eventually attained godhood and married the Goddess of youth, Hebe. After that, except for a few adventures, the next time he was seen is when he met Thor and both tried to cross a narrow bridge at the same time. This eventually lead to a fight but the two eventually became friends and rivals.

Later, under the power of Enchantress, Herc attack the Avengers but was freed by Hawkeye. However because he didn’t get permission to leave Olympus, he was exiled by Zeus. With nowhere else to go, he joined the Avengers, becoming the fifth member of what was previously called Captain America Quirky Quartet.  He left the team after they helped him defeat Typhon and remaining in Olympus. Herc eventually rejoined the team, along with every member of the Avengers at the time, to defeat Ares who tried to conquer Olympus. Later he helped form the original Champions and even had a brief relationship with Black Widow. He would eventually rejoin the Avengers full-time under Wasp’s leadership. During the Siege on Avengers mansion, Herc disobeyed Wasp’s order  because she was a woman and tried to defeat the Masters himself, which lead him severely beaten and having to return to Olympus to recover but he returned to help defeat the High Evolutionary. He became a reserve member of the Avengers and then a Full-time member after Thor left the team. During the Operation Galactus Storm arc, he was part of Team Cap but followed Iron Man to destroy the Supreme Intelligence. Herc eventually lost his immortality and some of his strength but thanks to the Avengers he regain his confidence.

After discovering that most of the Avengers were “killed” during the Onslaught saga, Herc fell into alcoholism. He eventually joined the Heroes for Hire. When the Avengers returned, Herc helped reform the Avengers but remained an inactive member. He then sought out one of the people who attacked him during the Siege of Avengers Mansion, Goliath, now the Thunderbolt’s member Atlas but was stop by Hawkeye which severely hurt their friendship. He would continue to help the Avengers against enemies such as the Exemplars, Kang and during the Disassemble arc. He then went about repeating his 12 labour, taking a modern take on them. He joined Cap’s side during the Civil War and joined the Hulk, when the Hulk sought revenge against the Illuminati. During this time he took Amadeus Cho under his wing and thought the young hero a few things. During the Secret Invasion, he lead a team of gods (God Squad) to defeat the Skrull god.

He later joined Pym’s Mighty Avengers team before attacking the New Olympus company where he sacrificed his life. He would eventually returned, obtained High God status and became involved in the Chaos war. He later became involved in the Spider-Island arc and became a teacher in the Avengers Academy. After the Secret Wars, Herc tried to regain the respect of his fellow heroes. He would rejoin the Avengers after the second Civil War and help with the resistance during the Secret Empire.

Herc is a fan favourite and a long time member of the Avengers. However outside of the comics, not a lot of people know much about him. People know of him, since pretty much most comic universes have a Hercules in some form but not really of Marvel’s version. He hasn’t made the jump to the movies yet, mostly because they already have Asgard in them and trying to introduce Olympus with be hard,  and has very few appearances in cartoons and games. However he has gotten a few figures over the years, both from Hasbro. The first was part of the first wave of Marvel Legends in the Annihilus wave in his classic version and later will get a figure in the first wave of the Avengers in 2019.


Haves

Classic

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