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Son of Zeus. Lion of Olympus. Prince of Power. Giver of the Gift of Battle.Hercules...or rather a Hercules first appeared in an early issue of The Avengers, although this was latter retconned to be non-canon. Hercules himself first appeared in the last two issues of Journey into Mystery, and was Thor's rival in the very first comic that changed the title to The Mighty Thor.Herc made a few sparse appearances here and there, mostly as a friend and ally to Thor. He also appeared in the Avengers, who took him in after Zeus cast him from Olympus. There, he helped them defeat one of his greatest enemies, Typhon, the last Titan. He remained a guest star for a bit before finally joining the team proper.From there, Hercules spent most of his time as The Big Guy on teams like the Avengers and the Champions of Los Angeles.During World War Hulk, Herc was a renegade due to siding with the 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:
- Accidental Pornomancer: As Arachne proves in Herc #8, even when Herc isn't trying, he can't help but get laid.
- The Alcoholic: Usually of the more functional ones, sure, but Herc has a habit of just throwing a few back whenever he gets the chance.
- Being drunk and trying to attack the Masters of Evil anyway led to him being put in a coma during the "Under Siege" arc on The Avengers.
- Played for drama during his membership on Heroes for Hire. His alcoholism made him a danger to the team, so he was booted off.
- Lampshaded in the Previously On for #116 - the recap discussed the previous three chapters of the series, then followed by twenty-three beer stops.
- Played for laughs during "Spider-Island", where gaining Spider-man's powers somehow made him just as brooding and angsty—which Herc cured right up by drinking an entire keg of beer.
- Also played for drama in his 2015 series, where he is trying to go sober.
- A Girl in Every Port: After Herc's "death" at the end of the eponymous comic, one of his lovers, Namora, and her friend, Venus, travel to various homes and businesses that Hercules owned. At each place, they found a woman living there who was one of Herc's many girlfriends that he would visit from time to time. All of them are utterly heartbroken when they learn that he's died.
- All Amazons Want Hercules: He is the trope picture.
- Always Someone Better:
- Thor is the more popular and more prominent hero, and has a far more vast power set.
- Herc himself is envied by Ares for being so popular with the mortals and always gaining Zeus's favor.
- Hercules is this to Thor in terms of unarmed combat. In a battle without Mjölnir, Thor himself admitted Hercules is slightly better at it while nearly passing out.
- Ambiguously Bi:
- Herc pretty much outright flirts with the male gods during Sacred Invasion, as well as making some suggestive remarks about former companions from myth, how fetching they were and such. In Fall of an Avenger, the mini dedicated to his funeral, several of the women in his life step up and admit that they had sex with him, and encourage others to step up. Cue Northstar — the first gay character at Marvel out of the closet — activating his super-speed and saying, "Is that the time? Gotta go!"
- The alternate universe X-Treme X-Men reveals that Herc in that universe is in a relationship with Wolverine, there called James Howlett, making things considerably less ambiguous.
- In 2015, with the announcement of a new series, Marvel took the official stance that Hercules is fully heterosexual. This decision was met with very divided criticism.
- Ancient Grome: Hercules is known by his Roman name rather than his Greek name Heracles while most of the other Greek gods go by their Greek names (except Pluto.) In the case of Hercules, it's justified because he wishes to distance himself from Zeus' wife Hera, who was his enemy in the original Greek myths and isn't particularly fond of him in Marvel either.
- Arch-Enemy: His stepmother, Hera, his half-brother, Ares, his uncle, Pluto, and the titan Typhon.
- Back from the Dead:
- His first death was reversed with the help of Thor during The Black Galaxy saga.
- His second death was reversed thanks to Amadeus Cho pulling an Orphean Rescue.
- Bash Brothers:
- Although they spend a lot of time beating on each other, Thor and Hercules do love each other like brothers, and the two of them fighting alongside each other is this in spades. It's implied that one of the reasons they fight so often is that with each other, they don't have to hold back.
- Likewise Hercules and Hulk. Hulk, in his Gravage and Green Scar personas, is as much a Blood Knight as Hercules and loves to smash worthy opponents. They'll go for a common enemy if one exists, but will settle for each other just as well.
- Berserker Rage: Occassionally goes or is driven into these making him dangerous to everyone around him.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He is normally a very friendly fellow. But when he gets pissed, he gets really pissed. Just ask Ragnarok, the Thor clone.
- The Big Guy: Herc is usually this role on any team he joins. The only exception is when he's on a team with The Hulk.
- 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.
- Brought Down To Bad Ass: Hercules has lost his full godhood a few times reducing him to either a demigod or completely mortal. He is still a physically top-shape human and one of the best fighters to have ever lived falling back on those skills to make up for his loss of power. As a mortal, he makes more use of mortal and magical weapons instead of relying only on his fists.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: A team-up with Psylocke revealed that the two slept with each other after an earlier team-up. In the flashback, Hercules promised that a beauty like Psylocke was "unforgettable" to him. ...Which pissed off Psylocke as he was flirting with her like they'd never met before.
- But Not Too Bi: Despite the various hints (see above), the only confirmed lovers Herc has in the present day are all women.
- Cain and Abel: He is the heroic and prodigious Cain to the villainous and jealous Ares.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Zeus created Taylor Madison in order to foil Hera's attack on Hercules, and when Herc finds out and then watches Zeus unmake her, he is pissed. Zeus is offended that Herc doesn't appreciate his "help" and strips him of his immortality.
- Can't Catch Up: Due to the fact that Hercules has had fewer published adventures in the Marvel Universe than his rivals such as Thor and Hulk, the two of them often acquire new abilities or push their limits further without any indication that Herc is doing anything to keep up. A perfect example of this is the status quo following World War Hulk.
- Can't Take Criticism: This was one of Herc's biggest flaws for a good chunk of his publication. If you tried to hold him back or admonish him in any way, he would get very angry and sometimes storm off in a rage. Growing out of this was one of his major points of Character Development.
- Carry a Big Stick: When he uses a weapon he prefers his adamantine mace.
- Cerebus Retcon: Hercules was originally introduced by Stan Lee as a Foil for Thor. Where Thor is noble, honorable and selfless, Hercules is arrogant, crude, and selfish. while on occasion his behavior was portrayed as problematic, or even dangerous, it was still intended to be endearing and fun. Later on, it's revealed that there are several deep psychological reasons he behaves this way: 1) he grew up in an era where Jerkass Gods ruled and that had a profound influence on him, 2) he is subconsciously still in mourning and punishing himself for accidentally killing his own family millennia ago, 3) being on Olympus for millennia not only bored him out of his mind, but on Olympus parties and revelry last for decades or sometimes centuries and that habit is hard to break. The bottom line is, though, that Hercules's past actions as an Idiot Hero, Casanova and Blood Knight are sometimes painted in darker colors.
- Character Death:
- His first "death" was a result of battling the High Evolutionary during "The Evolutionary War".
- His second death was at the hands of Athena, as part of her plan to manipulate him, Amadeus and the Chaos King and lead to the events of Chaos War.
- Civvie Spandex: At the end of this era, his costume consisted of a t-shirt/vest, pants, and a bandana.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: He was based on Steve Reeve's 1958 film portrayal of Hercules, and looks a dead ringer for him, right down to his toga-like clothing. In fact, several characters actually lampshade this, claiming that he looks like Steve Reeves—particularly Hawkeye, who himself was based on Steve Reeves.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Hercules's behavior and attitudes reflect the writers' idea of Ancient Greece. As such, women are his sexual playthings, men are his rivals/opponents, and villainy is to be smited with impunity and very little forethought to consequences or collateral damage. Further, at one point, he flat out calls his wife Hebe his "property". He gradually gets better over time, but millennia-old habits die very hard.
- Depending on the Artist: Hercules' hairstyle and physique changes from artist-to-artist—even during time periods where they should be consistent. For example, in one book, his hairstyle may be short and straight, and in another, long and wavy. Artists also can't decide if his hair color is black, dark brown, reddish brown or some color in between. His musculature also changes, with some artists giving him a leaner figure and others making him almost as huge as The Hulk. His costume's color scheme is also inconsistent; some artists give him with a green sash/skirt with orange trim and some do the opposite.
- Depending on the Writer: Just how much of a simple-minded oaf is Hercules? Some stories portray him as having so much an ego that he's oblivious to the dangers he poses to himself and others. Others portray him as someone who gets serious when the situation calls for it. Some stories portray him as an Accidental Pornomancer who couldn't keep the ladies away if he wanted to. Others portray him as a Casanova Wannabe and perpetual sexual harrasser.
- For mouthing off to Zeus for "killing" Taylor Madison, Hercules was stripped of his godhood, and with it, the vast majority of his strength. He was still the strongest member of that Avengers lineup by far, though.
- He lost his powers again after burning them out at the end of Chaos War.
- Divine Date: Herc's paramours are legion, coming from all walks of life and not just amongst the super set.
- Double Standard: Despite being a generally good guy, Herc's views on gender are not entirely egalitarian.
- In early Avengers comics, Herc was resistant to the idea of taking orders from a female leader (The Wasp). Not entirely because she was a woman, but he certainly threw her gender in her face often. He was more susceptible to being led by Black Widow...but mostly because he had aims to sleep with her.
- At one point, while Herc was running around being himself, his distraught wife Hebe was set on a blind date with Peter Parker. Hercules shows up and tries to beat the crap out of (a completely mortal for all Herc knows) Peter. When Hebe asks where Herc gets off getting angry at her for going on a date, when Herc is unabashedly unfaithful, Herc flat out states that it's because a wife is a man's property. Neither she nor Spider-Man let him slide on that.
- Namora also calls him out on this. When the two of them get hold of a Lotus-Eater Machine-type Artifact of Doom, Hercules' mind creates an alternate reality where he and Namora are a happy couple. However from the very beginning of the character's publication, Namora has only truly had eyes for her cousin Namor. So when the reality she creates is all about her and Namor, Hercules is crushed. When Namora later says that she'll hit Herc up later for a booty call, Herc is still miffed that he wasn't her fantasy. she calls him out on the fact that he's more promiscuous than she is, and that his fantasy reality was likely just a whim.
- Dumb Muscle: He is capable of tactical thinking, but displays surprising levels of stupidity at times. Even lampshaded at one point.
- Dynamic Akimbo: Well of course the God of Manliness would make the manliest pose around. Heck, the Greeks invented the trope.
- Foil: To Ares and The Mighty Thor.
- His first design was based on Steve Reeves' 1958 portrayal of Hercules, and this remains his most iconic look.
- His second design is speculated to have been based on He-Man, right down to the studded harness and briefs.
- His third design was based on Kevin Sorbo's design in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, with the long mullet and sleeveless vest/tank top.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: In some series, Hercules has this reputation due to his destructiveness, drunkenness, and misogyny. In particular, his 2005 series and 2015 series both revolved around Herc trying to undo this reputation.
- Friends with Benefits: Herc has a number of fellow superheroes whom he can contact for a booty call. She-Hulk, Black Widow, Snowbird, Namora and maybe Northstar. Just to name a few.
- Going Commando: It's frequently suggested that Hercules doesn't wear anything under that skirt.
- 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".
- Humble Hero: During the 90s, he was a lot more humble. Very little of the braggart Hercules remained during that period. At one point, he even turned down having his immortality restored by Zeus because he felt he didn't deserve it compared to more worthy heroes.
- Hurting Hero:
- He never forgave himself for killing his family back in the age of myth.
- He was absolutely lovesick for Taylor Madison throughout this era, and greatly mourned her once she "died".
- He is hurt and depressed by the fact that many of his former teammates and friends don't respect him or want him around in his 2015 series.
- Ladykiller in Love: Throughout this era, Hercules was in love with a woman named Taylor Madison, to he point that he became lovesick when she suddenly stopped seeing him and promised to forsake all other women for her.
- Leeroy Jenkins. Usually his great strength is enough, but sometimes it has nearly cost him and his allies dear.
- Lovable Rogue: Herc could be seen as this, as he's basically the anti-Thor. Where Thor is generally noble and well mannered, Hercules is much less refined, to put it nicely.
- Man in a Kilt: To quote Hercules himself, "Real men wear skirts!"
- The Mentor: To Amadeus Cho. Herc often has lots of life lessons to teach the young boy, and he ultimately proved to be a good influence.
- Might Makes Right: According to writer Bob Layton, Hercules' strength, manliness and bravery (and the general social mores of his era) meant that he could do anything he wanted, at any time, and few people would even want to stop him, let alone be able to. This attitude translated poorly into (then) 20th-Century America, where not only are powerful heroes a lot more common, but society is governed by laws that strength doesn't excuse. Herc had to get used to being told "No" and dealing with it.
- Mini Dress Of Power: Hercules' usual outfit.
- Mr. Fanservice: A shirtless Hunk Hercules is.
- Nice Guy: Depending on the Writer. Hercules's level of "nice" depends on how much you value intent versus actions. Herc usually intends to be a good and decent person—he would almost never do to anyone else what he himself wouldn't want...but he has a habit of believing that because he's the greatest hero and god that ever lived, everyone else automatically should want what he wants. For example, he punches Wonder Man in the face after meeting him, believing that fighting is the friendliest way two men could bond, much to Wonder Man's shock and horror. He is far more polite and courteous to women—usually because of outdated gender mores, as well as feeling he's entitled to sleep with just about any woman he meets. Bob Layton argued that Herc was someone who didn't think anyone could really tell him "No" and actually mean it. Some depictions have him acknowledge that these actions are failings, and then try to overcome them, but again, it depends on who's writing.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Virtually nothing can hurt him when he is a full god making battle a game.
- Noble Bigot: During the Bronze Age, Hercules was characterized as someone unwilling to take orders from a woman (specifically The Wasp), and had almost made up his mind to return to Olympus because he couldn't deal with the more assertive women of the modern day.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The Mighty Thor is the noble man—fighting for honor, justice and valor, while Hercules is the rogue—fighting evil because it's fun and to impress women, and he's more than willing to play dirty.
- Not Good with Rejection: Historially, Herc was never really told "no" by anyone of any real importance. Thus, writer Bob Layton said that his major characteristic was that he just couldn't see any reason why anyone would even want to deny him anything or hold him back in any way. Sometimes, this has even spilled over into the territory of sexual harassment. During the Secret Wars story Secret Wars 2099, that version of Hercules tried to force himself on a mortal Damsel in Distress after she rejected his advances and later pursues that version of Valkyrie despite her already having a boyfriend and saying she wasn't interested. This, of course, leads to a Cock Fight between the two men.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Hercules on the surface is a shallow, brawling Boisterous Bruiser. Underneath that, though, he's insightful, experienced, wise, and surprisingly skilled; he's had two thousand years to grow up. How much of the former is fake and how much is real depends on your interpretation.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Herc has had moments of being very, very serious and during those instances, he's usually a lot more humble, self-aware, and astute.
- Physical God: He actually is the Hercules, God of Strength, of Greek myth.
- Really Gets Around: A reoccurring joke until we meet his immortal wife Hebe. The extent is portrayed in a mini-series where Venus and Namora from the Agents of Atlas travel the world to break the news to various paramours, who span across countries and are still very much in love with Hercules.
- Straw Misogynist: The Wasp was promoted to Avengers leadership as an attempt to incorporate feminism and strong female leadership into the book. Hercules was then cast as the token reactionary of the group, who couldn't deal with the idea of being lead by a woman. Naturally, he is eventually humiliated in combat due to his refusal to follow her orders.
- Super Strength: How strong is Herc? One of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe... on the level of the likes of Thor and the Hulk.
- Super Weight: Normally somewhere between 4 and 5, as he has Super Strength on par with Thor, but lacks his extended powerset. During Chaos War he became a High-Level 6, after first becoming a *Super-God* who defeated the entire roster of Skyfathers and later gaining enough power from Gaea to stalemate the reality-devouring Chaos King and afterwards recreate 98% of the multiverse. After this incident burned out his power, he is now somewhere between 1 and 2, because he is still a master fighter and retains his magical arsenal of weapons. Quickly went back to being class five again in the All-New Marvel Now comicline where his powers were mysteriously restored.
- Take Our Word for It: Numerous stories credit Hercules and Thor as being "equal" in power and overall fighting ability—as in, putting all their powers and skills to maximum use, the two would likely stalemate or kill each other. Thor himself admits it, as did Zeus at one point. However, this creates logical head-scratching. While Herc and Thor are demonstrated many times to be flat out equal in physical strength, Herc's extended expertise comes from greater mastery of fighting arts, weaponry, and flat out cheating when necessary—all formidable to be sure, but very specialized. Thor, on the other hand, has won the Superpower Lottery and wields a magic hammer with powers up to and including flat out Reality Warping. Exactly how Herc is supposed to be "equal" to this is up to debate, but that's what the books tell us.
- 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. He seemingly grows out of it in later stories.
- Unscrupulous Hero: Sticking to his classical myth, it is shown that Hercules has committed some pretty horrific actions in his long life which range from general wanton destruction to beating entire races to death. He even admitted he has killed a lot of people in his life, but he's trying to prove he is different by working with superheroes.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Zig Zagged Trope. Hercules is one of the strongest characters in the Marvel Universe, and when he's at full power, he tends to treat combat like a contest of attrition. But there are many far, far stronger characters out there and Herc isn't completely invincible. When he's forced to, Herc will start using his brains and endless depth of combat skills.
- "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.
- The Worf Effect: Hercules, much like The Thing, is a popular character for writers to show getting curbstomped in order to establish a new character as a threat or powerhouse.
- World's Best Warrior: A strong case is made that Hercules, Ares and Athena are all this trope, or were at some point in history (especially Ancient Greece). Herc is a master of every mortal form of combat known, including hand-to-hand, melee weapons, archery, and others. In fact, it can be argued that his Super Strength and invulnerability degrades his skills, because Herc becomes more willing to brawl. Ares is very similar; part of his portfolio as god of war includes mastery of every weapon and martial art. However, as he has no grasp of tactics, Hercules has one major advantage over his brother. Athena, the other god of war, is one of the greatest tacticians ever known; however, her forte is winning an entire war versus a single battle. As such, she rarely does the fighting herself (although she is quite the Lady of War when put to the task) and works through champions, agents and pawns.
- World's Strongest Man: Established as the very strongest god in Olympus (in pure physical strength). On Earth, Herc shared this title with other gods and beings. He is a major contender though.
- Wrestler in All of Us: One of the best of all time and invented the mixed-martial art of Pankration. In one story, he demolishes The Thing in a wrestling ring, using techniques such as a leglock.
- You Killed My Father: To Amatsu-Mikaboshi during their stint on the God Squad.
- You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Hercules's strength increases in proportion to his anger. Not nearly as much as the Hulk (whose size and power boost exponentially with anger, not proportionately), but a pissed-off (or Hydra-poison-maddened) Hercules has been able to curbstomp Wonder Man, a Thor clone, and an alternate-universe Silver Surfer.
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 in Totally Awesome Hulk. See his own page for more info.
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. In particular, Delphyne Gorgon wants her dead because she was the one who created the Gorgon race/family after Medusa had sex with Poseidon in her temple.
- 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).
- Evil Mentor: More like Well-Intentioned Extremist mentor, but she could be considered the Greater-Scope Villain of the Incredible Hercules run. She mentored both Hercules and Cho, manipulated millions of people, allowed countless deaths and the destruction of countless worlds, all to lead to the one moment where her brother (the greatest hero of them all) would be able to build a better world. With her as his advisor, of course.
- For The Greater Good: Usually, she will sacrifice pawns in her scheme because there's some larger endgame she's moving to.
- Hot Librarian: She tends to go with this sort of look when dressed up like a mortal, complete with glasses and more business-like attire. In fact, she specifically chose a younger version of this look when first appearing to Amadeus Cho, because she knew he'd find her both attractive and smart enough to hit on her—thus preventing him from dying in the explosion that killed his family.
- Lady of War: Goddess of battle, specifically the strategic and disciplined aspects.
- The Mentor: Played With. She's something of a cross between a Trickster Mentor, an Evil Mentor, The Svengali, and Treacherous Advisor.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Athena, like in mythology, is asexual and aromantic—a trait which makes her even more enticing to many men. Especially Hephaestus.
- The Spock: She is called out multiple times throughout the story for allowing reason and logic to override her humanity and empathy. She is not above using people, nor ignoring moral conundrums to further her goals.
- The Svengali: Early on, she tells Amadeus that gods are not to be trusted. That includes herself. Her machinations are so circuitous and alien that even if she's helping you, it's probably for her own gain. Cho points this out to Aegis in the underworld, who still faithfully serves Athena in the underworld. When Aegis says that Athena has never steered him wrong, Amadeus quips, "Dude! You're dead!"
- Treacherous Advisor: Zig Zagged Trope. Athena has her own agenda, but she doesn't betray people just for pettiness. Still, you never know when her advice is helping you or helping some perceived greater good.
- Trickster Mentor: Tries to use Amatsu-Mikaboshi to destroy the universe in the hopes that order will again rise from chaos with a better ruler (Hercules) in place.
A descendant 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.
- Cute Monster Girl: Cho certainly thinks so.
- Guns Akimbo: Her weapon of choice.
- Healing Factor: Could also regrow missing limbs in the 4th volume of Runaways.
- Heart in the Wrong Place: Turns out when Artume shot her in the back, she revealed that a Gorgons isn't where she thought it was.
- I Just Want to Be Beautiful: Seeks to lift the Gorgon curse which had doomed her people for centuries.
- Natural Weapon: In Battleworld, Delphyne often utilized her serpentine hair as weapons.
- 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.
- Taken for Granite: Averted. Not all Gorgons have this power, only the descendants of Medusa. She briefly gains this ability and uses it on Athena thanks to a helmet that Hephaestus had forged.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Due to her trademark outfit of a short plaid skirt and stockings.
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.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: She was much more scantily-clad in her first appearance, within Ka-Zar #1.
- Fountain of Youth: As the goddess of youth, she is responsible for brewing ambrosia which keeps all the gods young and virile.
- 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. In her first appearance, she also didn't leave much to the imagination.
- Loved I Not Honor More: Hebe loves that her husband is such an adventurous hero and doesn't want him any different despite his adventurous and philandering ways upsetting her often.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Hera implies that this is her schtick as the Goddess of Youth. As the only person who can make Nectar and Ambrosia, she may have some form of Complete Immortality that makes her extremely hard to kill.
- 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-story skyscraper and cratered the concrete with her impact. Though she broke her neck and several limbs, she remained in one piece, and her bones snapped back in place.
- 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. Hera mentioned it's part of Hebe's curse as the Goddess of Youth since being eternally youthful means she will be eternally hopeful towards any relationship she is in that it will turn out for the best no matter how damaging they to her personally (i.e her loyalty to her chronic philanderer and cheater husband Hercules despite 3000 years of neglect and disloyalty on his part).
- Willfully Weak: She seems to be easily trounced by opponents that she could easily beat as an Olympian. It seems to be less about her having power and more about how she really is not a combatant.
- 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
- Alpha Bitch
- Anything That Moves: She made Typhon of all beings, a literally snake-legged monster locked in a semi-humanoid form by Zeus, her lover while she had him controlled as her bodyguard.
- 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 to the point she tried to destroy the universe simply so there could be no mortals around for Zeus to philander with.
- 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.
- Early Installment Character-Design Difference: She was portrayed as blonde up until the Modern Age, where she became a redhead.
- 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 improve their relationship, 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 is creating and hiding in another universe while destroying the current one.
- 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 composing of various Grecian metals that can hurt even the likes of Hercules. After having dipped it in the Fires of Olympus Typhon's weapon of choice gained a host of supernatural abilities to match.
- Power of the Void: Can call fourth or banish entities from the land of shadows.
- 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.
- His Own Worst Enemy: In one story, Typhon had gotten his battleaxe fused to his hand. He learns that "only the blood of your worst enemy can free you." Naturally, he assumes his hated foe Hercules is the one to go after, and spends most of the story futilely trying to make Hercules bleed. In the end, Typhon himself is cut, his blood flows over his hand and frees him from the axe. Sadly, he just doesn't get it and continues to be a hateful and revenge-obsessed person.
- Mode Lock: The form we see before us is not his true form, but a punishment from Zeus.
- Magma Man: Could spit and breath volcanic substance in his true form.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Typhon can split his lower limbs into multitudes of snakes as a returned power from his old self.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Hijacking Hera's plan he would use Continuum to not only wipe out the gods but all existence as well.
- Self-Disposing Villain: Though this would also mean he'd be erased along with creation while set outside of the device. Seeing as his mission would finally be complete, he's perfectly okay with that.
- Hates Everyone Equally: Created to exterminate the gods but has little to no love for mortal society and its colorful roster of heroes or villains. Almost gleefully exclaiming how beautiful the empty world created by Hera's Doomsday Device is without them in it is.
- 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.
- Power of the Storm: Before he was locked into his power bind by Zeus, the titan monster could whip up all manor of atmospheric phenomena similar to his nemesis.
- 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.
- Winged Humanoid: Minus the human part, his true form gives him batlike wings.
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.
Tropes Associated with Zeus
- Abusive Parents: In stark contrast to the Papa Wolf entry below, Zeus is known for being an absolute bastard to his own offspring when they piss him off or when they even think of defying his decrees. Even Hercules, his favorite son, gets beat on from time to time because of Zeus' temper.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Just ask the Hulk. He also curbstomped the Avengers, including Thor, without trying during Roger Stern's Avengers run.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Zeus was neutral toward the Incredible Hulk until Hulk did pretty much everything he could to insult and anger Zeus despite being warned by Hercules yet still wanting Zeus to help him.
- 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 and incinerated Semele after showing her his divine form. Since Alcemna, Semele, 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 while Semele looks back on her encounter with Zeus as the greatest passion she ever knew and defends him killing her by blaming the whole mess on Hera.
- 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.
- Jerkass God: He's an extremely capricious and volatile jerk who responds to insults with lightning, death threats, and violence. Even when getting killed or resurrected, he's still the same jerk. He attempted to justify it by saying he is a necessary evil for mortals to place their blame on in times of calamity.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As an amnesiac kid. As an adult he wavers between this and Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
- Overall, he is this as a god as well. He at times displays sympathy toward humanity, love for his children, remorse for his actions, and a patient, wise counselor to other gods. Or he can be a capricious jerk. It all depends on what mood he is in or if someone or something is riling him up.
- 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). During the Ares mini series he got pissed when Mikaboshi started killing Apollo, Ares, Athena and Hercules.
- 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.
- Story-Breaker Power: Zeus is rarely used in stories because he can overpower virtually anything with a few thunderbolts.
- 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. He was killed by The Sentry during Siege, but was literally kidnapped out of the afterlife during Contest of Champions III.
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, and whilst he is capable of tactics, generally his plan boils down to "hit/shoot it a lot" (in contrast to Athena, who is the goddess of strategy and tactics._
- Boisterous Bruiser: On a good day.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Hercules' Abel.
- Character Death: Died in Siege. He came back years later in Contest of Champions.
- 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.
- More Dakka: See above.
- Morality Pet: Both Phobos and his son Alex. He is definitely a nicer person when the latter is around.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- The Anti-God: Contrasting with Eternity.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Token Evil Teammate: Among the God Squad.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In a twisted way, seeks to end the suffering caused by existence and cites some like damned souls in hell would even welcome the release it brings.