Follow TV Tropes

Discussion Characters / TheIncredibleHercules

Go To

May 11th 2016 at 1:27:21 PM •••

I'm going to start a long-term project to integrate the Incredible Hercules page with tropes from all of Herc's appearances throughout the years. I know that the page is centered upon the Pak/Van Lente run, and there's a separate page for the Abnett run, but since there's only the one page for Hercules, I think it should be expanded.

Hide/Show Replies
May 11th 2016 at 1:41:25 PM •••

In that case, a separate page should probably be made.

May 11th 2016 at 2:08:12 PM •••

No, I think this one is good enough, honestly. Thor only has one page (aside from female Thor, who has her own), and Thor has a hundred times more appearances than Herc.

I also thought about whether this page should be renamed to something more general, but I think Incredible Hercules works better than "Hercules (Marvel Comics)" or "Hercules (Avenger)" or something.

As such, I think just updating this page is the best course.

May 11th 2016 at 8:47:43 PM •••

On second thought, I think a split WILL be needed, if only to keep the page from getting too long.

Okay, here's how I think it should break down:

  • The Incredible Herculesnote 
    • Comicbook/Hercules (Classic era)note 
    • Comicbook/Hercules (Modern era)note 
    • Comicbook/Hercules (2015)note 

Jun 28th 2014 at 9:27:22 AM •••

As I stated we know from both Thor AND HERCULES not all myths are true or at least accurate. This is a point made several times. The myths are stories that are told and retold so things get lost or not every detail is included. Hercules for instance did not fulfill the labor of cleaning the Augean Stables. That was an Eternal known as the Gilgameh aka The Forgotten One. This is confirmed several times including in the Incredible Hercules series.

Date Rape - There is no account of Zeus actually raping women in Marvel. That he has had many sexual relations is confirmed, but all the ones shown have been consensually. So this trope does not apply since you are only referring to myths. And the myths themselves it is hard to tell because some translations use the word "seduction" and others "rape" because there is not Greek word for the modern concept of rape. Cultural differences make trying to establish when something was the modern idea of rape difficult.

Extreme Omnisexual - I am leaving this one because of an off hand comment Hercules made one time.

Jerkass Gods - If it has not been confirmed we should not include it. This trope would only apply to Myth Zeus not Marvel Zeus just like it would not apply to Disney Zeus.

Kick The Dog - Hulk did not attack Olympus to grant anyone "freedom." He wanted Zeus to magically fix all of his problems. And to do so he did it the worst way possible. He broke into Zeus' house, attacked his servants, and began making demands to the Lord of Olympus AFTER Hercules warned him not to irk Zeus. This is unacceptable behavior even in modern society. Heck, for attacking Olympus Zeus would have been well within his rights to kill the Hulk. The Hulk then challenges Zeus to a fist fight. Instead of vaporizing him as Zeus had the right to do Zeus lowered himself by honoring the Hulk to fight him. So decking Hulk wasn't a "kick the dog" moment. It was the conclusion to a battle the Hulk himself started despite being WARNED was a bad idea.

So for reasons stated none of these tropes apply.

Authority Equals Asskicking - I removed the part about Chao War because Zeus was augmented by the power of Mikaboshi. Pak has confirmed as much in interviews, but been intentionally vague on how much. Given Galactus' surprise as Zeus surviving and own performance against Odin and King Thor I think we can safety say that Zeus was augmented quite a bit.

Edited by Hide/Show Replies
Jun 28th 2014 at 10:21:02 PM •••

The Date Rape trope applies. I recall it being mentioned that Zeus used to transform himself into animals to bed women when transformed into a rock star, as a more modern approach, and the common thread of those myths is that he forced himself on his victims.

As for Kick the Dog, Hulk (who has done far more good than bad in his nicer incarnations) and his family had just made great sacrifices to fight in the Chaos War, among other things to free Zeus and the other gods from Mikaboshi's control. The Hulk was trying to sacrifice himself to help his family recover from grievous injuries. Bad idea, yes, considering what an infamously evil bastard Zeus is in the myths, but nevertheless, Zeus actually did owe the Hulk family for their efforts. And Hulk simply started walking up the mountain, and was repeatedly attacked by all the gods of Olympus. That's not exactly burglary. And in most countries except the US, which is the 101st "safest" country in the world, contains 45 of the 50 least safe cities on the planet, the highest prison population, and probably the most corrupt rightwing extremist politicians, you are definitely not anywhere near within your right to kill somebody simply for entering your property. Then there is the fact that Zeus didn't just deck the Hulk, he TORTURED him, while gloating about it, which cemented him as an evil bastard.

You will have to link to the specific interview quote about Zeus being boosted by Mikaboshi to convince me. Hulk has overpowered Thor several times, so I have no problem seeing Zeus taking down Thor with a single lightning-bolt. Galactus could simply have fed more during his battle with Odin, and I do recall Van Lente mentioning that Zeus was supposed to be the most powerful skyfather on Earth, at least during his run.

As for Pandora's Box, as I mentioned earlier, Fred Van Lente played much closer to the actual Greek myths than Marvel in general does with the Norse, as there are no multiple Ragnaroks to explain away the differences, and Pandora has previously been confirmed to exist in the Marvel world, so it can probably safely be considered true. Also, Zeus qualifies as a Jerkass God on the bestiality rape and torture charges alone.

Edited by
Jun 29th 2014 at 12:59:02 AM •••

Galactus was explicitly hungry during Chaos War. Norrin was extremely angry because he was just in the middle of feeding and was interrupted by it. Plus, Zeus was amped by Mikaboshi , so no, thats definitely not a valid showing of his strength.

In terms of clear cut feats, Zeus is way below Odin, whos best shot merely annoyed Galactus.

Just to compare: A skyfather amped wih the soul of every last being of his pantheon plus a magic armor that amps him up even more can't do any real harm to a single Celestial, while Galactus (moderately sated) takes on 4 at once.

Edited by
Jun 29th 2014 at 4:32:37 AM •••

The skyfathers have been amplified since then. In the latest Thanos annual Jim Starlin, or rather Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet stated Odin and Zeus to be on roughly the same level as Galactus and the Celestials.

Also, those were alternative reality dwarf Celestials, the smallest that I have ever seen, and Galactus was only able to take one when well fed, and lost in one shot when 3 of them joined together. He only managed to defeat the remaining ones by adult Franklin Richards joining his own power with that of his past self, taking control of the defeated Galactus and using him as a funnel for the power of all 3 of them combined.

Odin managed to stand up to Galactus for a while before being defeated, and Zeus is stated to be at least as powerful as Odin. So basically, while Galactus is a bit more powerful when well-fed, the difference is not significant, and I could easily see Zeus or Odin take a not-well fed Galactus.

Also, you are looking for consistency in power between different writers, where none really exists, especially not with 35 years in-between.

Edited by
Jun 29th 2014 at 6:07:40 AM •••

Size doesn't matter. Those were 4 Mad Celestials who layed waste to several realities before that fight, including 3 Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Reed Richards, talking about upgrades. Galactus was having the upper hand and flat-out killed one of them, he would have killed the other 3 as well, had they not merged. And *rougly the same* is a pretty vague statement. Looking for consistency is pretty much essential, otherwise you could also argue that Spider-Man is able to defeat Firelord or Captain America is able to defeat the Hulk. Galactus has been consistently presented as a threat that dwarves the power of Skyfathers. He has consistently been portrayed to be a essential part of the universal order, along with Eternity, Infinity, Death and Oblivion, who are all way above Skyfathers. Odin (Zeus is supposedly his equal, but his clear cut feats are unfortunately not remotely on the same level) was portrayed as a pretty solid galactic-threat, but relatively low on the cosmic-scale ladder. Anyway, I don't wanna convince you, but the fact is that Galactus was weakened and Zeus was amped, so its a pretty shady accomplishment at best and not something I'd reference for his regular level of strength. His beatdown of the Hulk, him ignoring hits from a team of Avengers which included Namor, She-Hulk, Photon and Thunderstrike (and afterwards casually owning them), as well as catching Mjolnir in mid-flight and overpowering Thor while not even trying would be better references.

Edited by
Jun 29th 2014 at 9:38:19 AM •••

Date Rape - You are assuming. Zeus may have used animal forms to lure women close to seduce them, but unless it is stated he raped them it does not count.

Like I stated, the Greek myths have repeatedly been stated to be incomplete or inaccurate. The myths say Hercules cleaned the Augean Stables. It was the Forgotten one. The myths say Zeus' thuderbolts are spear-like weapons forged by cyclopeses. In Marvel, the Thunderbolt is a power source. The myths say Hercules and Hera made peace after the former became a god. They did not in Marvel. The myths say King Eurystheus remained dead. They do not mention Hera resurrecting him which is what happened in Marvel. I could go on, but you get the idea. Pak an Lente did adapt the myths more for the Greek gods, but given how they kept the differences we cannot know how many of the myths are accurate until stated. You cannot make assumptions that the myths are word for word true when the adaptation has made it clear that not all of the myths are accurate.

If Pandora's box has not been confirmed you cannot use it as an example for the reasons stated above. Fro Jerk Ass Gods, it was already mentioned on the main page that Zeus is one and the Jerkass trope is already there so it is clear that he is one.

Finally, one of the guidelines for editing tropes is to Don't Speculate, Don't Prognosticate. If you haven't seen a trope than do not list it. You yourself admit Pandora's box has not been seen and is extremely iffy. The same goes for claims of date rape.

If you wish for a more in-universe question mark about it. Why would the characters Thor and Hercules have respect for a serial rapist? I can't imagine them having respect for one so given how innaccurate the myths have been shown at Marvel in universe that part of the myths are false.

Kick the Dog - You call it slowly marching up a hill. I call it invasion. Illegal immigration if you like. Hulk is not a citizen of Olympus. He did not state his intentions until he got to the top of the mountain. The Olympians had every right to expel an intruder. Like I stated, Hulk was in the wrong even by modern day standards. As king of Olympus, Zeus is the law. He was in the right to stop Hulk's advance and for attacking the head of state of a country in many parts of the world that is life in prison if not a death sentence. And again, Hulk challenged Zeus to a fight which Zeus accepted even though he did not have too. So punching out the Hulk is not a kick the dog moment.

For the interview:

"So some of that incredible power that Zeus is displaying comes from the Chaos King. "

Like I stated, we do not know how much but we know at least some of the power used to fell a hungry Galactus was not the power of Zeus.

Edited by
Jun 30th 2014 at 3:51:19 AM •••


Size is established to matter for Celestials, as Exitar is supposed to be the most powerful and, at his smallest, is at least 10 times taller than Arishem. The Infinity Gems under Hickman underwent a massive downgrade, being overloaded and destroyed from pushing a universe, Doom being overpowered by some demons he created while wielding it, and most significantly, only working within the confines of one specific universe/being merely universal in scale at best.

The Celestials were originally supposed to be well above both Galactus and the Skyfathers, which was confirmed by the original handbooks, which also stated Galactus to be only slightly above the Watcher, Odin, and Zeus in terms of power. They have also been shown as relative pushovers in Rick Remenderís Uncanny Avengers run, with a hastily enchanted axe being able to easily kill them, even though the Odinsword only inconvenienced them in their original debut, and the heroes of Earth being able to halt Exitarís advance. The most recent ranking in the Thanos annual, by Jim Starlin no less, downranked them to roughly the same level as Galactus, Odin, Zeus, and the Stranger, regardless whether you like it or not. And Galactusí greatest explicit feat of power was destroying 3 star systems after absorbing the power of several planets during the Annihilation crossover.

Given that Zeus seems to have been slightly boosted when beating Galactus, and Galactus was not at full strength, I am however fine with including Zeus curb-stomping the Avengers, including Thor, without trying during Roger Sternís Avengers run instead.

Jun 30th 2014 at 4:23:33 AM •••


Zeusí mythological track record of transforming himself into animals to bed women has been confirmed, so unless Leda, Europa, Eurymedusa, etc. were all into bestiality, Iím pretty sure that we can take the rapist tendency to be confirmed.

He also tended to transform himself into duplicates of people the women who spurned him cared about to force himself upon them. In fact this was how Hercules himself was conceived with Alcmene, and since Herc. Is a prominent character in Marvel, thatís another count against Zeus.

Pandora and her box have been confirmed to exist in Marvel, and since Zeus and Hephasteus were the ones who created it in the myths, it is also very unlikely that Zeus was not ultimately responsible in the Marvel world.

Hercules has had a few thousand years to forgive his father for raping his mother and, according to Wiki Answers, over 60 women and more than 30 men, and generally does not have a choice, as Zeus is far more powerful, his king/tyrant, and the rest of his family is at least as bad, whereas Thor tends to have extreme respect for authority, almost regardless which mythological god-king that he is addressing at the time. Also, both of them only tend to deal with current immediate threats, not past transgressions.

Again, from the Hulkís perspective he was trying to sacrifice himself and endure extreme punishment in self-defence to help his family, who had sacrificed themselves and become badly injured to save the world and Zeus himself from the Chaos Kingís forces. Zeus had also placed Olympus on Earth near a populated city, so his own personal laws did not apply.

As a side note, I also deeply disagree with the implication that refugees fleeing from warfare and starvation should be used as target practice, and even beyond the humanitarian aspect, I have read that they, on average, are statistically proven to contribute a financial plus to the European countries that partook in the survey.

However, as I mentioned above, I have no problem with Zeus being slightly boosted during his fight with Galactus, if that is what the author stated outright.

Jun 30th 2014 at 4:29:53 AM •••

Btw: If you wish to compromise, we could simply provide a link to Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal and state that it has been confirmed that he used to sleep with women in the form of animals.

Jun 30th 2014 at 3:14:23 PM •••

I don't recall the details of how Zeus consummated the relationships ever being confirmed in Marvel. It may be a topic they wish to avoid, but considering how much is different than the myths aside from using animal forms to aid him in seduction I think it is too much to say he raped any of these women let alone as an animal. I have read the issue in question and all I recall is it stating he uses different forms now to seduce women then he did in the past.

However, it has been confirmed that Zeus took the form of Hercules' stepfather to seduce Alcmena. That falls under the trope you suggest. I would be willing to provide a link to it using that example, but I think it is worth mentioning that both of Hercules' mortals parents were not offended by it and regarded it as Zeus' right as the supreme godhead in their eyes. A note can be added about Values Dissonance.

You already stated you considered Pandora's box iffy. And we know from other fictional universes like God of War and Disney that Pandora's box is not always treated the same. Since many of the myths are not completely accurate I still think this one is too much of an unknown.

Regarding the Hulk, that may be his perspective and the reader may have sympathy for him due to his plight, but in this case it does not automatically make him in the right. Most if not all of the problems Banner wanted Zeus to fix came form events before Chaos War. Hulk approached the whole manner in the worst way possible.

We do not know Olympus' political status. Did Zeus place it far enough out to sea? After the SIEGE fiasco did Washington right off Olympus as another "embassy" the way they did Asgard? I don't recall SHIELD or the Avengers showing up at the door telling Zeus to move his mountain. All we know is that it is Olympus and where Zeus is king and he decides the law.

Where did refuges come up? Where did I ever bring that up? How is Hulk a refugee? As far as I know Banner is still a citizen of the United States. I do not recall him having to flee his country. He has been a welcomed asset at times depending on whose in charge and what mood the Hulk is in. And the attempt to storm Olympus was more of an invasion. If Banner had gone up you might have a case. Hulk on the other hand is a walking mountain of muscle who decided to press on after the lawful Olympians authorities made it clear he was not wanted. He could have stopped at any time before he reached the summit of the mountain and Zeus.

The United States, Mexico, Europe and Australia all have immigration laws that make it illegal to enter a country without permission. If you do not go through the proper channels you are either imprisoned and/or deported. If you act an aggressive manner you are treated as an enemy. I would consider the Hulk approaching unannounced and uninvited as potentially hostile and dangerous. After all, this is a creature that draws his strength from rage, mentally unstable, and has become infamous (deserved or not) for causing major destruction. In the U. S., Banner has the advantage of having all the rights of a United States citizen, a brilliant lawyer who would work for free, allies in high places, and skills that he can contribute to the United States. He had no reason to be a refugee. And if he had the proper way to handle it would have been to go through the proper procedures to ask the authorities on Olympus if he could come. Not forcing his way up in a form fit for battle to challenge the king of the mountain.

I deeply disagree with the comparison between a fictional character whose on situation is radically different that of real-world refugees. Let's stick to the topic at hand and keep the real world out of this as much as possible. I implied nothing and find it insulting that you imply that I think refuges should be used as target practice. I don't have a clue where you came to that conclusion since I have from the start been discussing a totally different scenario. The Hulk's advanced up Olympus was clearly hostile by trespassing on foreign territory in a form infamous for rage issues and massive destruction, attacking the the police (Zeus' guards) and attacking the head of state/chief executive of the country he invaded. In many countries these acts would have earned him a long stay in prison and possibly the death penalty. Instead, Zeus granted the Hulk's request to fight him and let him go after three days. Compared to some of the people who have crossed Zeus the Hulk got off easy.

Jun 30th 2014 at 10:50:53 PM •••

I misunderstood due to yourself mentioning illegal immigrants and the legal right to attack in the same context. Combined with what I hear from The Daily Show about Texans patrolling the Mexican border with sniper rifles. My apologies.

Anyway, Hulk should obviously simply have asked Hercules to petition Zeus if there were some tasks he could perform in return for healing his family, but he was nearly tortured to death. That is not getting off easy, way over the line to be subjected to for somebody who has consistently sacrificed himself to save the Earth, and the reason why I sympathise.

As for the other points, I may let my distaste for the mythological Zeus' "might makes right" tendency for rape, torture, and unwarranted atrocities colour my view of the Marvel Zeus. As you say, the circumstances may differ. I do recall that Zeus was put on trial by Hades, but not whether any mythical cases of rape, torture, or genocide were put forth? As a compromise, maybe we could insert Sadly Mythtaken or some similar trope to cover the unclarities/discrepancies?

Edited by
Jul 1st 2014 at 3:36:16 PM •••

Apologize accepted. For the record, I think the issue of immigration is complex. A country cannot have its borders completely open. That would be a disaster since even the richest country has limits on its resources and cannot allow dangerous individuals in. For the case you mentioned, I do not think Texans have the right to use sniper rifles on illegal aliens. They have the right to patrol, but not apprehend or take action. Instead, they should report it to the proper authorities. U. S. immigration as a whole is a mess that I don't know the answer for and the politicians keep passing on to the next president and/or Congress.

Hulk has my sympathy in that story, but like we have both agreed upon he approached the whole thing in the worst way possible. Anyone would be liable to reject the Hulk with the way he approached things which is why I don't see Hulk losing the fight as a "Kick the Dog" moment. You are right that a better way to approach it would have been to ask Hercules to petition. Maybe try an animal sacrifice in the old style. Cater to Zeus' ego. Instead, he decided to challenge a being a prideful as Zeus. That is like all the times someone claims to be stronger than the old Savage Hulk only for the Savage Hulk to want to fight them to prove he is stronger. Challenging the ego of someone like Zeus or Savage Hulk is only going to make them angry and put the challenger in their place.

If your looking for evil gods I recommend the gods of the Aztecs or ancient Mesopotamia. The former demanded human sacrifice. It was justified on in mythology by saying the gods needed the blood to maintain the universe. The gods of ancient Mesopotamia were arguably worse. They created humans to be slaves while they lived lives of leisure. Their underworld had no heaven and was worse than the underground cavern of the neutral Hades.

Zeus was fairly benevolent as far as some gods go back then. "Might Makes Right" sadly was very much the order of the day. Slavery and torture were used by virtually every ancient culture across the world. Unless you wish to claim that every human who ever lived before the year 1800 was evil you have to accept its widespread use as ignorance instead of evil. Despite that, there are times where Mythological Zeus acted to keep the worst of the gods excesses in check. Given that both mythological and Marvel's versions of the Olympians, while capable of great benevolence, are very much petty, easily-offended, powerful children a heavy-hand might be the only way to keep them from causing the world to spiral into chaos. Zeus often tried using compromise or light punishments to keep the peace. Neither made anyone happy or satisfied. One interpretation of Zeus by the Greek playwright Aeschylus is he started out as a tyrant and later matured into a a more benevolent king. Many (but not all) of the actions Zeus did were considered acceptable as his right as upholder of justice and punisher of the guilty much like many people today would say questionable actions by God are acceptable due to God's role as the supreme judge of the universe.

I already explained the problems with the idea Zeus a a serial rapist thanks to problems with everything from clashes with myths to problems with translation (which Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal mentions) to Values Dissonance where a virgin who willingly sleeps with a man might be considered "rape" even though it would not be by modern definitions. I am not saying there is not a case for Mythological Zeus being a rapist in the modern sense. That is a lengthy discussion that does not belong here. For Marvel Zeus, since Marvel does try to portray him as a sort of good guy or at least not evil I don't see it really applying.

Zeus was put on trial by Pluto, but he failed to prove anything. Pluto claimed Zeus was imperfect, irresponsible, or something and should be removed with Pluto put in his place. The evidence he did use was flimsy and all easily defendable. Zeus in the end claimed he is at times cruel and unfair, but necessary. The defense he gave was pretty much the defense for any questionable actions done by the Christian God which is debate beyond the scope of this discussion. Pak and Lente had a habit of using Zeus as a general stand in for the divine. In an interview, one reason they had Hulk fight Zeus was to show that there were being bigger than the Hulk and Hulk cannot force the hand of God. Pak several times used Zeus as a general stand in for the divine or God. To me, the interview portrays Hulk in the wrong. Pak says in it "I think itís important for every character to have a limit. That was a story about the Hulk going too far. No matter how strong you are, even if youíre the strongest mortal on the planet, you canít force the hand of God."

If your interested, the link to the interview is: Pak at the end raises the question if whether or not Zeus kept his word. I've discussed it with others and Zeus did keep his word. There was no throwing lighting once the fight started.

To try and compromise, I have inserted the Double Standard: Divine rape under the Zeus heading as I mentioned earlier and inserted Sadly Mythtaken on the main page.

Edited by
Jul 2nd 2014 at 4:39:17 AM •••

Well, I dislike the idea of the Christian God committing unwarranted atrocities as well, and have found that ignorance and evil are often interchangeable. Just look at ISIS for example, but except for that, I don't really have any complaints.

Edited by
Type the word in the image. This goes away if you get known.
If you can't read this one, hit reload for the page.
The next one might be easier to see.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: