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Hercules (comics)

Hercules, or Heracles, being in one sense a superhero from classical antiquity, and a recognisable character freely available in the public domain, has been featured in a number of comic book series. Some notable appearances include:

Table of contents
1 Marvel Comics
2 DC Comics
3 Atlas Comics
4 Hercules, the Legendary Journeys
5 Charlton Comics
6 Gold Key Comics

Marvel Comics

By far the best known appearance of Hercules in comic books is in Marvel Comics.

Hercules was introduced to the Marvel Universe in the 1960s by Jack Kirby, who used him as a foil for the Incredible Hulk and Thor. In his Marvel incarnation, Hercules is oafish and tends to brag, but is heroic, eager for opponents against whom he can test his mighty strength. He has a friendly rivalry with Thor, and is one of Thor's closest allies.

Marvel Hercules is a reserve member of The Avengers. Marvel Hercules has been the subject of two miniseries which have been collected into a trade paperback graphic novel. In this story, Hercules is punished by Zeus by banishment on a journey through outer space, where he confronts Galactus, and does battle with his father to reclaim his immortality.

DC Comics

In the universe of DC Comics, Hercules was used on occasion before Crisis on Infinite Earths as a foil to Superman. In these Silver Age books, Hercules usually appears as a giant, and frequently tests his strength with Samson, the Bible character, and another giant named Zha-Vam, as well as with Superman.

After the reboot of the DC universe in Crisis, Heracles --- the Greek spelling --- appeared in the pages of Wonder Woman. George Pérez, putting Greek mythology at the centre of Wonder Woman's world, relates the tale of Heracles' conquest of the Amazons and his rape of Queen Hippolyta, and their revenge upon him. Heracles is punished by the Greek gods, and was made to bear the weight of Paradise Island on his shoulders in Hades. Wonder Woman rescues him, and he is reconciled with the Amazons. Later, John Byrne did an inconclusive storyline in which Hercules appeared in the contemporary world and schemed to take revenge on the Amazons by seducing Wonder Woman.

Atlas Comics

In the 1970s, Atlas Comics ran a short lived Hercules series, in which Hercules roamed a post-apocalyptic world accompanied by two children. Bill Everett did some of the art on the early issues of this series, as did Walt Simonson, and Wallace Wood inked some of them towards the end of his career.

Hercules, the Legendary Journeys

Dark Horse Comics published several issues of a comic book based on the character of Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as played by Kevin Sorbo. Roy Thomas wrote many of the early issues of this book; Jeff Butler was frequently the artist.

Charlton Comics

Charlton Comics also published The Adventures of Hercules in the early 1960s.

Gold Key Comics

Gold Key Comics published two issues of a Hercules comic book on connection with the early 1960s Japanese anime animated series The Mighty Hercules.