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HerculesHercules, or Heracles, being in one sense a superhero from classical antiquity, and a recognisable character freely available in the public domain, has been featured in a number of comic book series. Some notable appearances include:
In the universe of DC Comics, Hercules was used on occasion before Crisis on Infinite Earths as a foil to Superman. In these Silver Age books, Hercules usually appears as a giant, and frequently tests his strength with Samson, the Bible character, and another giant named Zha-Vam, as well as with Superman.
In 1975, DC produced a comic book series titled Hercules Unbound, featuring the adventures of Hercules in a post-apocalyptic future. This Hercules looked different from the other DC interpretations - he had long black hair and no beard. The series lasted 12 issues. It made use of characters and concepts, such as The Atomic Knights and the intelligent animals from Jack Kirby's Kamandi series as an attempt to tie in some of the future series. It was later suggested that this character was just part of a dream suffered by The Atomic Knight, but later DC accepted that he had existed somewhere in its multiverse but was eliminated during the Crisis. Bill Everett did some of the art on the early issues of this series, as did Walt Simonson, and Wallace Wood inked some of them towards the end of his career.
After the reboot of the DC universe in Crisis, Heracles — the Greek spelling — appeared in the pages of Wonder Woman. George Pérez, putting Greek mythology at the center of Wonder Woman's world, relates the tale of Heracles' conquest of the Amazons and his rape of Queen Hippolyta, and their revenge upon him. Heracles is punished by the Greek gods, and was made to bear the weight of Paradise Island on his shoulders in Hades. Wonder Woman rescues him, and he is reconciled with the Amazons. Later, John Byrne did an inconclusive storyline in which Hercules appeared in the contemporary world and schemed to take revenge on the Amazons by seducing Wonder Woman.
In the post-Crisis DC Universe, the Roman Gods existed separatedly from the Greek ones after Darkseid tricked them into splitting up so they could be worshipped by two different cultures at the same time; only after the "War of the Gods" did the two versions merge again. So in effect, both Heracles and Hercules existed, and they merged into one being in recent years.
Hercules is one of the mythological figures who grant Captain Marvel his powers when Billy Batson speaks the word of power "Shazam."
During the Marvel/DC crossover between the Justice League and the Avengers, Wonder Woman believed Marvel Comics' Hercules to be a villain, assuming he had raped his dimension's Hippolyta; however, Marvel Comics' Hercules had simply seduced Marvel Comics' Hippolyta with her consent. Wonder Woman came to realize this by the end of the story.
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