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YMMV / The Incredible Hercules

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The only defined attributes Hercules has is that he's arrogant, he hits on women, and he loves to fight. That's about it, and even those three traits are things you can flesh out in a multitude of ways. In some stories, he's so astonishingly arrogant that he'll act like a Jerkass bully or do something stupid just because someone slightly bruised his ego. In others, he's confident but well aware of his limits and cares about the rights and well-being of others. In some stories, he's merely charming and women flock to him because of the obvious Hunkiness and legendary status. In others, Herc is a sexual harasser and possible rapist who absolutely won't take no for an answer or has actually tricked women into sleeping with him. And none of this is getting into how writers and fans interpret his motivations for behaving this way: some portray it as just pure selfishness, others as a product of his era and status, others as a coping mechanism for all the crap he's been through, and so on and so forth.
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  • Awesome Ego: One of Herc's most endearing traits is his massive ego. Hercules believes himself to be the handsomest, strongest, bravest, and most popular hero of all time (and he may be right on a few), and nothing can convince him otherwise. He'll lie to himself and anyone else in any manner he can get away with just to uphold his belief that he's the greatest thing ever. More often than not, the result are hilarious, awesome, or both.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Hercules himself shatters the fandom into several factions who each have their own views of him. The Pak/Van Lente run brought a new form of fan respect for the character, but this is largely because they chose their own interpretation to portray. Hercules is a character that other writers have portrayed as a moronic, alcoholic, misogynistic, blundering bully that often actually made problems worse and there are a lot fans who point to this version of the guy as the reason they'll never like the character. However, he's always had his fans, even with the more abrasive interpretations, and people who liked the Pak/Van Lente run might point to this as a sign of Character Development. Dan Abnett's run on Hercules (2015) causes yet another two factions to pop up—one that thinks it's about time that Hercules started actually acting like a hero and another who likes the idea of a Took a Level in Badass Herc, but feel it goes way too far in painting hedonism as inherently bad.
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  • Internet Backdraft: Hercules' Ambiguously Bi status being Jossed by Marvel's EIC has rubbed some fans the wrong way. Partially for the fact it meant denying the MU an openly bi male character (which is a very under-represented minority), but also for the fact it goes against the original Greek mythology, where Herc was bi, although it's worth mentioning that the character isn't only bisexual in the Greek myths, but also a pederast among a long list of other dropped traits. Fan reactions have been divided between those who felt that there was a great deal of story potential with a bisexual Hercules and those who felt that the character should be heterosexual a he was for most of his history.
  • Memetic Badass: Hercules himself is widely agreed upon as being one of the most badass characters in the Marvel Universe. In fact him gaining this reputation after Civil War ended up earning him some stand-alone books of his own after years of toiling in obscurity.
    • Zeus is also getting this status. Not really surprising since he gave the freaking Hulk a brutal beating.
  • Memetic Mutation: See the page image. Herc has become the poster boy of that one meme.
    • Said image is also popular with the "Do it, faggot" meme.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Athena crossed it at the end of the series.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Zeus gained quite a lot of Memetic Badass Internet credibility due to beating the Hulk.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Amaterasu was a bitch for wanting to save the gods at the expense of Earth, but she was completely justified in her harsh actions. The mortal world had already fallen and she was trying to protect the heavens and what was left of the universe from a suicide attack that had no hope of succeeding. She was proven right when Hercules in his stupidity opened up a gateway to the heavens allowing Mikaboshi to invade and casually destroy all of the gods. The Aesop of mortal heroes being better then gods falls apart since all of the gods actions were necessary and Hercules's stupidity constantly made things worse even in recreating the world.
  • Win the Crowd: Turning over one of Marvel's flagship titles to a B lister Thor wannabe? Turned out pretty well.
  • The Woobie: Hebe, long-suffering Hebe.


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