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Son of Zeus. At the start of the series Herc was a renegade due to siding with the Hulk in World War Hulk. His attempts to reform himself into a bit more of a "thinker" and play role model to Amadeus Cho quickly grow muddled as he is constantly drawn into the power struggles of the gods including his old enemies from Olympus.
Tropes Associated with Hercules:
- The Alcoholic: One of the more functional ones, sure, but Herc has a habit of just throwing a few back whenever he gets the chance. Lampshaded in the Previously On for #116 - the recap discussed the previous three chapters of the series, then followed by twenty-three beer stops.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: He is the trope picture.
- Arch-Enemy: The God of War, Ares. Also, the titan Typhon and his uncle, Pluto.
- Badass: Definitely!
- Berserker Rage: Occassionally goes or is driven into these making him dangerous to everyone around him.
- Bi the Way: Implied to be during a joke at his funeral. Writer Greg Pak has also confirmed that he and Fred Van Lente fully interpreted Hercules as being bisexual.
- Blood Knight: Not so much for the blood as Ares and toned down some from other appearances, but still loves to fight.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He calls facing him in combat "The Gift of Battle".
- Brains and Brawn: Hercules is the brawn and Cho is the brains.
- Brother-Sister Incest: His wife Hebe is the daughter of Zeus and Hera making her his half-sister.
- But Not Too Bi: Despite the various hints (see above), the only confirmed lovers Herc has in the present day are all women.
- Carry a Big Stick: When he uses a weapon he prefers his adamantine mace.
- Divine Date: Herc's paramours are legion, coming from all walks of life and not just amongst the super set.
- Dumb Muscle: He is capable of tactical thinking, but displays surprising levels of stupidity at times. Even lampshaded at one point.
- Foil: To Ares and The Mighty Thor.
- Healing Factor: Slow compared to someone like Wolverine and almost never used thanks to his toughness, but he has one.
- The Hero: Greatest hero of ancient Greece, champion of Olympus and even named the "God of Heroes".
- Leeroy Jenkins. Usually his great strength is enough, but sometimes it has nearly cost him and his allies dear.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Virtually nothing can hurt him when he is a full god making battle a game.
- The Obi-Wan: To Amadeus Cho
- Really Gets Around: A reoccurring joke until we meet his immortal wife Hebe.
- Super Strength: Heracles from Greek myth is so famous for his strength that his name has entered into the English language as a by-word for incredible feats of strength.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: When he first showed up in the MU, he was pretty average. Just arrogant. By Chaos War he shows a surprising level of stupidity.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: It doesn't consume him or drive most of his actions, but it becomes blatantly obvious when he accompanies Zeus when the latter had been reincarnated as a young child that Hercules would appreciate a modicum of respect from his dad. At the end of the arc, Thor explicitly explains this to Zeus.
- Wrestler in All of Us: One of the best of all time and invented the mixed-martial art of Pankration.
- You Killed My Father: To Amatsu-Mikaboshi during their stint on the God Squad.
The constantly proclaimed "seventh smartest" actually possibly eight or tenth, as Dr. Banner hints that he was lying to Cho person on the planet. His family was murdered in an explosion and he has been on the run since. Drawn to Hercules for protection following the disaster of World War Hulk. In the process of finding what happened to his family draws surprising connections to the Olympian gods. Famous for his ability to make almost infinite mathematical complex calculations within moments.Later on, he becomes a Hulk himself. For tropes regarding that storyarc, see Totally Awesome Hulk.
Tropes Associated with Amadeus Cho:
- A God I Am Not: The finale of the "Prince of Power" miniseries: Amadeus drinks the potion to grant divine powers, but consciously only uses it to find Hercules, then gives all of the power from said potion to Herc.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Shown being a victim of racist bullies in a flashback.
- Asian and Nerdy: He's Korean-American and his superpower is being really good at math.
- Attack Reflector: When he has access to energy shields, he can tweak them to do this to energy attacks. Thor finds this out the hard way.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Able to perform extremely complex calculations in his head.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: When taking over the position of Prince of Power as well as the head of the Olympus Group (plus sponsoring Bruce Banner's research), Cho does all his work (including fighting supervillains) in an extremely expensive tailored suit.
- Battle of Wits: When he meets the person responsible for his family's death, the sixth smartest person in the world.
- Brains and Brawn: He is the Brains and Hercules is the brawn.
- The Chosen One: As far as Athena is concerned.
- Dead Little Sister: His little sister Maddie was killed along with their parents when their house was blown up. He later finds out she is alive when he visits his parents in Heaven and learns that she isn't there. While her fate isn't resolved during Incredible Herc, she later shows up in Totally Awesome Hulk as her brother's Mission Control.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: When Cho inherits Herc's adamantine mace, he uses some of Bruce Banner's tech to shoot these from the mace as his main form of offense.
- Genius Sweet Tooth: Cho's enhanced intellect requires tons of sugar to work. If he goes too long without sugar, his thoughts become increasingly muddled.
- The Hero: Due to events toward the end and what the plan certain gods have for him.
- The Hero's Journey: His story throughout the series.
- If My Calculations Are Correct: His hypermind power.
- Insufferable Genius: Early on. One of his storylines has him slowly growing out of this. Still, was a pretty hard blow when he found out that he is NOT the seventh smartest, since the result came out when some of Earth's top brains were in space eg Bruce Banner and Hank Pym. When he saw Pym's laboratory and its capabilities, he said:
- Cho: Eighth. Eighth is good. I can live with eighth.
- Then he sees Banner's Bannertech, just has to take some of it, and finds out that he (Cho) is actually tenth smartest.
- Meaningful Name: "Amadeus" means "love god" and Athena tells him he must sacrifice his love for Delphyne for his love of the gods. Amadeus says his parents picked the name because they were Methodists and Mozart fans.
- Science Hero: When Cho becomes more active in his heroism, he uses tech to stand toe-to-toe with demons and gods. He still relies on his wits most of all, however.
- Sidekick: To Hercules.
- Sidekick Graduations Stick: After Secret Wars, he becomes the new Hulk, and therefore a hero in his own right.
The goddess of wisdom, battle, heroic endeavor, and half-sister to Hercules. In ancient times she aided many heroes including Hercules by either providing advice, magical items or both. She aids Hercules in modern times and turns out to be responsible for many of the events in Hercules and Cho's lives across the ages.
Tropes Associated with Athena
- Badass Bookworm: She is the goddess of wisdom, after all.
- Because You Can Cope: Type 1. Considers herself Herc's true mother, but does this to him in favor of Cho.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Can easily come across as one due to events at the end of the series.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Upon inheriting Zeus's Thunderbolt, but far weaker than his.
- Brain Bleach: Needs this after she's hit on by an amnesiac Zeus (her father).
- Hot Librarian / Meganekko
- Lady of War: Goddess of battle, specifically the strategic and disciplined aspects.
- The Mentor: To both Hercules and Cho
- My Girl Is Not a Slut
- The Spock
A decendent of the Gorgons. She started out as an Amazon general and slave to the previous Amazon queen Artume. She fell in love with Cho and opposed Artume's plan to conquer the world killing her in the end. Thanks to this she became the new queen of the Amazons, but was forced to put her relationship with Cho on hold due to Amazonian custom and her alliance with Hera. She lacks the traditional petrification gaze since it runs through only the Medusa line.
Tropes Associated with Delphyne
- Action Girl: She is an Amazon, after all.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Averted, aside from the former queen Hippolyta all the Amazons hate Hercules for his womanizing ways. Delphyne in particular is actually attracted to Amadeus Cho.
- Catholic School Girls Rule: Her outfit.
- Freakiness Shame: She's incredibly resentful of the curse that makes her appear reptilian, and she looks to break it at the earliest opportunity. When Athena was turned to stone and it was broken, her first statement to Amadeus was that she'd finally let him love her.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: A gorgon in a plaid schoolgirl skirt and fishnets.
- Guns Akimbo: Her weapon of choice.
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: Seeks to lift the Gorgon curse which had doomed her people for centuries.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Sides with Hera to destroy Athena and remove the Gorgon curse, but has little loyalty toward any of the Olympians and won't hesitate to pull a gun on them when she disagrees with their actions.
The wife of Hercules. Daughter of Hera.
Tropes associated with Hebe
- Brother-Sister Incest: As she is the daughter of Zeus and Hera, she is Herc's half-sister.
- Crazy Cat Lady: While the Olympians were exiled to Earth, she lived in an apartment with a large number of cats, along with her Stalker Shrine of her delinquent husband.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: She was portrayed this way as the secretary of the Olympus Group.
- Double Standard: She is utterly faithful to Hercules (aside from one kiss from Peter Parker), but he is constantly laying with various women, both mortal and immortal.
- Fountain of Youth: As the goddess of youth, she is responsible for brewing ambrosia.
- Girl Friday: To Amadeus after he becomes CEO of the Olympus Group.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Hebe is extremely sweet and nice, as be fitting her fair-haired locks.
- Healing Factor: After falling from a 40-floor window, and suffering numerous broken limbs and a broken neck, said injuries heal within seconds. In fact, she casually snaps her neck back in place and then dashes off like nothing happened.
- Hot God: Hebe is the goddess of youth, and as such always looks youthful and beautiful.
- Loved I Not Honor More: Defied. Hebe loves that her husband is such an adventurous hero and doesn't want him any different.
- Stalker Shrine: She had one of Hercules while the two were separated.
- Super Strength: As an Olympian, she is much stronger than a normal human. For instance, on the page image of Loved I Not Honor more, she slaps Hercules hard enough to draw a few drops of blood and shows no sign of injury.
- Super Toughness: She was blasted out of a 40-st
- Took a Level in Badass: She grows steadily more competent as the series goes on, up to taking point on the entry to the Olympus Group during Assault On New Olympus.
- Undying Loyalty: To her husband, which understandably frustrates Hera.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Averted. As the goddess of youth, she uses modern English unlike her fellow Olympians. However, this causes the Avengers to think she's just a human pretending to be Olympian and ignore her pleas to help Hercules.
Queen of the gods, goddess of marriage and main antagonist for the middle part of the series. She is the stepmother to Hercules and Athena. She regards them as deadly enemies and like in ancient times seeks to destroy them for perceived wrongs done in the past. With the death of Zeus she inherited both command of Olympus and his powerful Thunderbolt making her more dangerous than ever.
Tropes Associated with Hera
- Big Bad: In the middle of the series.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Inherited Zeus's Thunderbolt letting her shoot energy as lighting, but far less powerful than him.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She is very displeased by her husband's philandering.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Hates Hercules and Athena for the crime of being born Zeus's children to other women. She can't exactly punish Zeus, but it's not like the kids deserve it.
- Evil Versus Evil: VS the Green Goblin during the Dark Reign arc.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: Worse than ever.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Disrespect her as queen of the gods? Fate Worse Than Death. Disrespect her husband or Olympus? Fate Worse Than Death. Claim that she's not the World's Most Beautiful Woman? Fate Worse Than Death. Upstage one of her children in any way? Fate Worse Than Death. Remind her of her husband's infidelity? Fate Worse Than Death. Talk to her at the wrong time for any reason whatsoever? Fate. Worse. Than. Death.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: Zeus, in his reincarnated child form, convinces Hera that they both can change, and that destroying the world is a bad idea. Then Typhon steps in and shows that he's no longer bound to serve Hera.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Her plan for surviving the coming war with the Chaos King.
- Woman Scorned: She will utterly make anyone's life a living hell if they remind her in any way of her husband's trysts with other women. So if you're a child resulting from such infidelity (like Hercules or Athena)? You're screwed.
A storm-giant/monster created by Gaea to avenge the defeat of the giants in the Gigantomachy by destroying the Olympians. He was defeated by Zeus thousands of years ago and imprisoned in Tartarus. Released to serve Hera, but still has his own agenda.
Tropes Associated with Typhon:
- An Axe to Grind: Has an ax that can hurt Hercules and summon storms.
- Beard of Evil
- Blow You Away
- The Dragon: To Hera.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Still plans to carry out destruction of the Olympians and willing to kill any he can.
- The Dreaded: When first appeared he so scared the gods that all save Athena fled to Egypt and hid as animals.
- Mode Lock: The form we see before us is not his true form, but a punishment from Zeus.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Typhon can split his limbs into multitudes of snakes as a returned power from his old self.
- One-Winged Angel: In ancient times was much more powerful and capable of matching Zeus. In modern times he has been reduced to a much weaker, but still very powerful form. He never does achieve his true power.
- Restraining Bolt: A bracelet to keep him from turning on Hera and killing her. It eventually fails, and he does kill both her and Zeus.
King of the gods and in one way or another related to just about all the characters in the series. Killed before events in the series, but is restored a little over half-way through as a kid with no memories. Regains his throne and full power by end of the series.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Just ask the Hulk. He also curbstomped the Avengers, including Thor, without trying during Roger Stern's Avengers run.
- Badass: The strongest of the Olympians.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: His signature power source is his Thunderbolt and about the only way he uses his energy powers.
- Coldblooded Torture: After defeating the Hulk, he let a vulture repeatedly eat his entrails, and gloated about it. More significantly, he did the same to Prometheus for a far longer time for having the audacity to give mankind fire.
- Cruel Mercy: Allows Hercules to rescue the Hulk because he considers simply being the Hulk to be greater than any punishment he could give him.
- Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Zeus took the form of Alcemena's husband Amphitryon to seduce her to father Hercules. Since Alcemna and Ampitryon considered Zeus to be the supreme godhead they did not have a problem with it making it a case of Values Dissonance. Thousands years later, Amphitryon still considered Zeus his god and more important than himself.
- Divine Date: While Zeus certainly wasn't shy about using more questionable methods to get paramours, he sometimes just picked up women by his own charm.
- Easy Amnesia: Thanks to waters from the River Lethe.
- Extreme Omnisexual: Hercules once commented that Zeus has become well known for pursuing anything with two legs and sometimes four. It was hard to tell how much he was joking.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Amatsu-Mikaboshi killed him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As an amnesiac kid. As an adult he wavers between this and Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk.
- Kick the Dog: Hulk offering to make a sacrifice so others could go free prompted Zeus to sum up his actions, say "Wrong religion" and deck him.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: After he temporarily loses his powers, he completely emotionally breaks down due to his extremely pompous nature, is reduced to a hobo living on the streets, and is kicked in the groin and beaten up by Electra when attempting to hit on her.
- Kid Sidekick: After his memory is erased temporarily replaces Cho as Hercules's sidekick.
- Large and in Charge: Occasionally drawn this way, being bigger than the Hulk during their fight.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives the Hulk one of the most vicious and thorough beatings he's ever received.
- Papa Wolf: One of his redeeming qualities. After Hercules was beaten into a coma by the Masters of Evil, he went batshit (although he took his anger out on the Avengers, whom he unfairly blamed.)
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Gives one to Hera at the climax of "Assault on New Olympus," hoping to talk her out of destroying the world. It worked, but unfortunately Typhon kills them both before Hera can stop her doomsday plan.
- Really Gets Around: Much to Hera's hatred.
- Shapeshifting Seducer: Nowadays he doesn't transform into animals to bed women, he transforms into rock stars.
- Shock and Awe: Even without his Thunderbolt he can still summon storms and shoot lighting.
- Super Weight: Level 6
- Vetinari Job Security: Pluto, Hera, Apollo and Athena all either replaced or are considered replacements for Zeus as the Lord of Olympus. All are either crazy, completely cold, or more evil than Zeus.
The God of War (the more violent aspects of it compared to Athena) and perhaps Hercules' greatest rival. In recent times, he has become less of a villain and more of an extremely violent anti-hero. A former member of Iron Man's Mighty Avengers and Green Goblin's Dark Avengers. Currently dead.
Tropes Associated with Ares
- Adaptational Badass: Ares in the Classical Mythology got his ass kicked nearly every time he appeared. This guy is someone strong enough to rip apart a robot he couldn't dent with his weapons.
- An Axe to Grind: The weapon Ares usually favors most.
- A Lighter Shade of Grey: It's hard to say he pulled a Heel–Face Turn, but he's not as bad as he used to be.
- Arch-Enemy: Is this to Hercules.
- Ax-Crazy: Prone to laughing manically while swinging a giant axe against his enemies.
- Blood Knight: Loves fighting more than anyone including Thor or Hercules.
- Boisterous Bruiser: On a good day.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Hercules' Abel.
- Combat Pragmatist: Ares is not afraid to do what it takes to win a fight. For all that he prefers an axe, he's quite comfortable with just grabbing a few machine guns and win via superior rate of fire.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Hates his son Kyknos for being a sadist.
- Foil: For Hercules. Hercules has the respect Ares wants and cannot understand why Hercules is so respected despite being a drunken, destructive brawler. Ares is what Hercules could be if he allowed his love of battle to ever overtake him.
- Good Parents: He tries hard to raise Phobos right, even leaving Olympus to get a job as a construction worker in New York City.
- Green-Eyed Monster: A large part of his rivalry with Hercules is due to being jealous of how Zeus seems to respect Hercules more in Ares eyes. Ironic, given that Hercules also struggles with this related to Zeus.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Courtesy of The Sentry.
- Hollywood Tactics: He tends to be fan of these thinking that they are more glorious and that thinking up better tactics is the realm of Athena.
- Jerkass: Well, duh. He is the God of War and loves to slaughter, during Dark Reign he killed dozens of HAMMER-recruits and drilled the survivors by firing on them with a freaking Gatling Gun. He is definitely not a nice guy.
- Killed Off for Real: Well, for now anyways.
- More Dakka: See above.
- Morality Pet: Phobos.
- Multi-Melee Master: Ares is good with any weapon, even modern ones like Gatling Guns.
- Papa Wolf: Very protective of his Alexander because he considers him one of the few if only good things he has ever done in his life.
- Physical God: A physical manifestation of war.
- Redemption Equals Death: Apparently finally realizing fighting for Norman Osborn was wrong and turning on him was enough to gain him entrance to the Elysian Fields.
- Super Strength: Tied with Pluto & Poseidon and only Hercules & Zeus surpass him in raw strength on Olympus.
- Sociopathic Hero
- Token Good Teammate: Among the Dark Avengers, mainly because the other members were even worse than him.
- Token Evil Teammate: Among the New Avengers.
- War God: He takes this to the extreme when he chooses James Rhodes aka War Machine as his new champion, while James is on trial.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His envy for the respect Zeus has for Hercules is one reason he hates Hercules. Zeus in turn hates Ares for being a bloodthirsty war monger.
- The Worf Effect: For the Avengers, often toted as being a tactical genius and near the same power class as Hercules. Most often the first to go down.
The God of the Dead (not Death), Pluto is the brother of Zeus & Neptune, and ruler of the Olympian Underworld after the drew straws for what they would rule. Eventually wanting more then just this, over the years, Pluto has become an enemy to Hercules as he seeks more power.
Tropes Associated with Pluto
- Bald of Evil
- The Don: When Hera forced the Olympians to assume mortal identities, he chose this as he's still a ''Lord of the Underworld".
- The Dragon: Has one in Thanatos
- Evil Uncle
- Everybody Hates Hades: Justified in the Encyclopedia Mythologica; after people stopped worshiping the Greek gods Zeus forbade him to admit new souls into his realm, and he did not like that one bit.
- The Resenter
- The Starscream
First introduced in the Ares mini as the Japanese god of evil where it killed Zeus and laid waste to Olympus before being stopped. Released from its prison within Yomi to use his shapeshifting powers to aid against the Skrull gods. It is thought to have been killed, but survived and becomes the biggest villain of the entire series. Toward the end revealed to be an embodiment of the primordial chaos that preceded creation which was later retconned into making it an aspect of Marvel's abstract entity Oblivion.
Tropes Associated with Mikaboshi
- Ass Kicking Equals Authority: Gained control of the Skrull slave gods by defeating Sl'gur't, the Skrull god of war, and retained command by consuming the power of every captured god.
- Big Bad: For the "Chaos War" event that concluded the series.
- Black Magic: His powers draw on this, and Olympians are weak to it.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Hercules's attempts to constantly punch it out do nothing but fail.
- Casting a Shadow / Power of the Void
- Cosmic Entity: He is Anti-Eternity.
- Dark Is Evil
- Eldritch Abomination: An embodiment of the pure chaos that preceded creation.
- Evil Twin: To Eternity.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Considers the torments of hell to be horrifying.
- God of Evil: Stated to embody everything that is negative in Shintoism or the closet thing the Kami have to a devil.
- Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: A japanese variant, anyway: Amatsu-Mikaboshi communicates almost entirely in haiku.
- Humanoid Abomination: Can sometimes take the form of a humanoid shadow-like creature, sometimes with spines or tendrils emitting from it.
- The Juggernaut: When he becomes Chaos King.
- Man Behind the Man: A victim of this. A later issue revealed that the reason Mikaboshi was so powerful compared to other gods is it was an aspect of the conceptual entity Oblivion. Fittingly, this works since Oblivion claims to embody the void between/absent of creation.
- Multiversal Conqueror: Seeks to absorb all of existence back into itself.
- No Biological Sex: Technically speaking, it's true form is a golden, slitted eye surrounded by darkness, but as Amatsu-Mikaboshi, it prefers a female form to let it's opponents' guard down.
- Primordial Chaos: An aspect of the conceptual entity Oblivion (who embodies the void absent of creation) and in Shintoism itself represents the primordial chaos before creation.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Believes existence itself is abhorrent and wants a return to the peace of pure chaos.
- One-Winged Angel: At the beginning of Chaos War when it reverts from its Kami form to its true form.
- Our Dragons Are Different: One of his most useful morphs is a giant, black dragon whose fire breath burns even Apollo.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: After the end of the Chaos War, he is sealed in a sub-dimensional plane.
- Shape Shifter: The most skilled shapeshifter among the Kami, capable of matching (and defeating) the Skrull goddess of shapeshifting in an extended (although largely off-panel) Shapeshifter Showdown.