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Hercules - New 52
Hercules
Real name Herakles
Debut All Star Comics #8 (December 1941)
Created by William Moulton Marston, Harry G. Peter
Affiliations Gods of Olympus
Abilities demi-god

History

Origin

During mythological pre-history, there arose a group of extraordinarily powerful beings who became collectively known as gods, dwelling on either Mount Olympus in Greece or an extradimensional world associated with Mount Olympus. Chief among the gods was Zeus the thunderer, who was also the father of many of the gods,including Ares.

At some time during this pre-history, Zeus fathered Hercules with Alcmene, a mortal woman. Hercules was thus a demi-god, possessing many but not all of the god-like strengths and powers of his siblings. He became a legend during his lifetime on Earth. The most lasting of the original legends has been the story of his twelve tasks.

In the early part of recorded history, Mars inspired Hercules to go to war against the Amazons, a tribe of women warriors. Hercules led a mighty army against them and challenged their leader, Queen Hippolyta, to single combat. Using the great strength granted her by a magic girdle, Hippolyta defeated Hercules, but later allowed herself to be seduced into letting him hold the girdle. It was this treachery of Hercules' that led the Amazons into bondage, from which they were only freed by Aphrodite on the condition that they renounce the world of men and journey to Paradise Island to live in seclusion.

During Challenge of the Gods adventure, she discovered that Heracles was transformed into a colossal stone pilar within Doom's Doorway, and was supporting Themyscira's weight for several millennia. In this stone state he was tormented and scarred by various mythological creatures, feeling the pain inflicted by them but not being able to do anything about it. This was the punishment given to him by his Olympian family for his past transgressions. Gaining his original form back, he begged the Amazons for forgiveness. Though some of the Amazons still harbored hatred for their past rapes and humiliation, most of them were moved by Heracles' newfound humility, and Queen Hippolyta asked her people to search their hearts for the strength to forgive, which they eventually did. Doing so herself, Hippolyta not only forgave Heracles, but shared a brief romance with him before he left the mortal realm to return to his father in Olympus.Later, Heracles appeared in the contemporary world and schemed to take revenge on the Amazons by seducing Wonder Woman. He did this by making an agreement with the mortal superhero Harold Champion. In exchange for his identity, Heracles gave Champion admission into Olympus. Once this was agreed upon Heracles used the Mirror of Circe to alter his appearance into that of Champion and proceeded to befriend Wonder Woman as a "new" friend. Heracles' identity was eventually revealed and he resumed his life on Olympus.

War of the Gods

The Roman Gods existed separately from the Greek ones after Darkseid tricked them into splitting up so they could be worshipped by two different cultures at the same time; only after the "War of the Gods" did the two versions merge again. So in effect, both Heracles and Hercules existed, and they merged into one being.

One Year Later

A revamped Hercules reappears during the events of One Year Later. Now shaven, his place has been renewed as a fellow agent of Olympus, who occasionally aids Diana and even replaces her in battle. He is referred to as Wonder Man by Cheetah and Nemesis. He temporarily set up his base in the Greece Diplomatic mission Embassy Hercules is revealed to have lied about his reasons for returning to Earth. One of the occupants of Olympus that rejected Athena's decision to remove themselves from the mortal realm, Hercules journeyed to Tartarus in hopes of recruiting Ares to aid him in returning to the mortal realm. Instead he found Circe who, upon hearing the demi-god's story and not wanting to spend eternity in limbo with Athena, decided to partner with Hercules instead (with the implication that they became lovers in the process). However, this didn't last long, as Circe betrayed him. However, with Diana's help, he was able to capture Circe, only to reveal his true motives: use her magical powers to transfer the power she had stolen and her own powers to him, becoming a new god to rule over Earth. Using the Lasso of Truth, he tries to compel Circe to cast the spell, and Diana encourages her to answer the question. Circe, revealing that the only way to cast that spell would be to reverse the original, casts the spell, returning their powers to their original owners and returning Diana's role as Wonder Woman to her. Wonder Woman then uses Wonder Girl's stolen Lasso of Lightning to bind Hercules, until they are interrupted by the arrival of the enhanced members of Wonder Woman's rogues gallery.

Wonder Girl and the Female Furies

A being claiming to be Hercules' father Zeus eventually frees Hercules from his prison and informs him that he must partner with his half sister Cassie Sandsmark. Together Hercules and Cassie try to discover who is attacking the remaining Olympian gods. Soon into their search they are attacked by the Female Furies. Hercules stops the fight by explaining that he's allied with the Furies in hopes of rescuing the gods, or, failing that, starting a new pantheon with them. The Furies have their own plans, though, and are only using Hercules to get to Cassandra. The Furies soon betray Hercules, with Bloody Mary using her bite to gain power over Hercules, forcing him to do what the Furies want. The Furies then kidnap Cassandra's mother to lure her into a trap. Aided by the Olympian, Cassandra goes into battle, being forced to fight her own brother. The Teen Titans and Wonder Woman herself show up to help out, which evens the odds. After Bloody Mary is murdered by the New God killer, Hercules is freed from her spell and immediately saves his sister from being kidnapped by the fleeing Furies. After being questioned by Wonder Woman, Hercules tells her he was freed by Zeus and sought his closest relative—Cassandra—for help. He explains that Zeus freed him to help stop "the Great Disaster," which Hercules does not know much about. However, there were two conditions for his release: he must always wear his gauntlets to remind him of his punishment (similar to the punishment the gods placed on the Amazons) and he must give up his godhood, becoming a demigod again. Rather than being upset, Hercules is happy to be human again and having his mother's blood flowing through his veins. Although Wonder Woman is initially skeptical, Cassandra vouches for Hercules, telling Diana that he's saved her life twice. Hercules is allowed to remain free, to complete his "labors" and make up for the things he's done.

Powers and Abilities

  • Superhuman Strength: Hercules' principal power his his vast physical strength. Of the gods of the Greek pantheon his strength is now slightly greater than his brother Ares, and is on around the same level as that of Wonder Woman. Since merged, Superman barely surpasses Hercules physical strength, making him one of the strongest beings on earth. Herakles is now sufficiently strong to lift far more than 100 tons.
  • Superhuman Speed: Hercules is capable of running and moving at speeds greater than the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Stamina: Hercules' highly advanced musculature produces almost no fatigue toxins, granting him almost limitless physical stamina in all activities.
  • Superhuman Durability: Hercules is highly 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, Poseidon and Zeus. Wonder Woman's durability is comparable to his.
  • 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, after merging he cold regrow organ or limbs but it is extremely slow with no magic help, without he was able to regrow an arm in exactly one month. 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 vitality of a man in his physical prime.

  • Hand-to-Hand Combat: Hercules is an excellent hand to hand combatant and is a particularly excellent Greco-Roman wrestler.
  • Ancient Weapons Expert: Hercules is highly skilled and experienced, with all forms of weaponry used in ancient Greece.

Notes

  • Hercules is one of the mythological figures who grant Captain Marvel his powers when Billy Batson speaks the word of power "Shazam."
  • During the Marvel/DC crossover JLA/Avengers Wonder Woman believed the Marvel Comics'Hercules to be a villain, assuming he had raped her dimension's Hippolyta; however, Marvel Comics' Hercules had simply seduced Marvel Comics' Hippolyta with her consent. Wonder Woman came to realize this by the end of the story. Ironically, Hercules is a hero in the Marvel Universe, while Hippolyta is a villainess in that universe.

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