Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for Thor: Love And Thunder.
Thor: Love and Thunder introduces Hercules to the MCU in its mid-credits scene. The character, played by Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein, likely inspired many fans to wonder who the character is. The best Hercules comics provide a solid roadmap for the live-action character, tracing his journey from Thor villain to classic Avenger.
Stan Lee and Jack Kirby co-created the Marvel icon, basing it on the broadly-featured mythological hero, just like they did with Thor and Loki. Hercules takes part in many key Marvel Comics storylines that are sure to come to life one way or another, as well as many epic battles that comic book fans will want to see now that he’s joined the MCU. .
avengers Issue #10 technically counts as Hercules’ first appearance in Marvel Comics. avengers forever pieced together the issue thirty years later to make this Hercules an impostor, but the issue remains large to establish the rivalry between Hercules and Thor, two proud sons of gods both equipped with massive egos.
The issue also introduces Immortus, who was later revealed to be one of the most powerful variants of Kang The Conqueror in Marvel Comics. Immortus pulls Hercules out of time to battle Thor, and the villain potentially considers their relationship in the MCU given Kang’s impending arrival.
avengers #267 depicts a key battle between Hercules, now an Avenger, and Kang The Conqueror. The issue also delves into the increasingly complex storyline that Kang weaves into the comics, adding to its lore with the return of his long-lost love Ravonna and the Council of Kangs, its many variants across time and space. .
Hercules apparently destroys Kang only to find that he is a robot. The Avengers fall into a trap designed by Kang not only to defeat them once and for all, but also to its many variants so that he can rule time alone.
Hercules got its first solo series in 1982, and Hercules #1 ranks among his best comics for penetrating the intersection between the mythical and the cosmic that he and Thor both occupy. Zeus exiles Hercules from Olympus and Hercules travels through space, eventually ending up in the Andromeda Galaxy, where he engages in an epic battle with Galactus.
Comic book fans know that Hercules continues his quest in writer and artist Bob Layton’s subsequent miniseries, all of which are set in the 24th century beyond current Marvel continuity.
X-Treme X-Men #7
Many powerful variants of Hercules exist in Marvel Comics and one of them is in love with X-Men’s Wolverine, which makes X-Treme X-Men #7 one of the best Hercules comics. This issue features Hercules living a quiet, happy life with a powerful version of Wolverine, whose claws are forged from gold metal adamantine rather than adamantium.
Zeus banishes Hercules from Olympus for his romance with Wolverine, the British Governor General of the Dominion of Canada in this reality. The two live their lives despite this and have helped protect the multiverse together from what could happen in the MCU.
Hercules and Thor often clash, but they join forces to Thor #291, which features the epic conclusion to The Saga of the Celestials, among the best Thor comic storylines of all time. Hercules and Thor lead a combined army of Asgardians and Olympians to retake Olympus from the Eternals in a truly cosmic battle for the ages.
This storyline potentially plays out in the MCU now that all the key players exist in live-action. There are several active narrative threads in the movies and shows that could lead to a confrontation between the divine factions.
Hercules faces one of his greatest trials in avengers #274 when The Wrecking Crew attacks him. Despite his divine strength, the fight was a lesson in humility for Hercules. Hercules takes on the entire Wrecking Crew single-handedly after invading Avengers Mansion, but the super-powered villains collectively deal him a brutal defeat.
They throw Hercules into a coma for several issues, removing him from the board as Under Siegeamong the best Avengers comic book stories, reaches its epic conclusion in issue #277.
Hercules definitely ranks among the funniest characters in Marvel Comics and Herc #7 takes his gonzo spirit to the next level. A bed bug bites Hercules in this issue, part of the epic Spider-Island story, and he gains spider powers along with many other characters. He becomes Spider-Herc, easily among the most powerful Spider-Man variants in the comics.
This issue provides readers with plenty of fun images with Spider-Herc saving the day, but the fun doesn’t last too long. Later in the story, the Spider Queen enslaves him and turns him against the X-Men.
Incredible Hercules #120
Secret Invasion is about to become a monumental event in both the MCU and Marvel Comics. Hercules played a major role in history, and Incredible Hercules #120 features the most pivotal moment. Hercules battles Kly’bn, a Skrull Eternal and leader of their pantheon in an epic battle to save Earth from all-out invasion.
Hercules finds he is tied with Kly’bn but ends up winning with the help of Snowbird. Together they stab Kly’bn with the bones of an Elder God and kill him, dealing a heavy blow to the Skrulls.
Annual Thor #1
The real Hercules appears for the first time in Thor 1965 Annual No. 1 and it is an iconic issue for many reasons. Legendary artist Jack Kirby pits Hercules against Thor in their first battle with his classic kinetic style and lays the groundwork for their intense rivalry in a few quick pages.
The MCU future of Hercules likely draws inspiration from this issue, given that Zeus ordered Hercules to exact revenge on Thor for his actions in Omnipotence City. Their first live-action battle may borrow iconic imagery from this classic number.
Tales to Astonish #79
Hercules has fought Thor many times, but perhaps his greatest battle in Marvel Comics took place in Tales to Astonish #79. This classic story pitted Hercules against the Hulk for the first time in a battle that pushed both men to their limits. Hulk proved his superhuman power once and for all by fighting Hercules to a stalemate.
The issue again features incredible artwork from Kirby as well as a story from Stan Lee. The issue establishes Hercules’ tendency to fight simply to prove his strength, but also shows his good nature, as he eventually comes to respect and befriend Hulk and Thor.
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