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Seven Hercules Comics By Other Companies…

We all know that Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak write Hercules for Marvel Comics, but did you know that there have been lots of other Hercules comics out there (what with him being, you know, public domain and all) NOT published by Marvel Comics!

Here are seven of them!

18 Comments

Excluding the Sorbo, every Hercules looks pretty much the same. You’d think at least one of them would try to stand out among the crowd, but…I guess not.

Gold Key’s Hercules looks like Bruce Timm’s Superman.

Like a lot of their material, the Gold Key book was a licensed series, this one based on a Canadian cartoon.

It is rather funny how similar they all look to each other though, and yet Marvel’s Herc seems to be the only one that has that classic Steve Reeves/Reg Park/Lou Ferrigno “Sword and Sandal” look going for him.

I knew about all of these except the A+, ACG and Radical comics versions. Though I barely remember the cartoon. (Or am I thinking of a different Hercules cartoon? Did H/B ever make one?)

It’s ironic that Hercules has become THE mythical hero role model, considering that most of his behavior would be barely acceptable today. (Then again, “heroic” didn’t have quite the same meaning back then; a “hero” was anyone capable of great feats, not necessarily moral ones. Many of the Greek heroes were in fact bastards, doing things like cheating or pillaging without any conflict.)

All these Hercs need to team up in some ridiculously large intercompany crossover.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

December 6, 2009 at 9:30 pm

I had a Beta-Max video with a bunch of cartoons – hosted by some guy – starring ‘The Mighty Hercules’, back when I was well young and you could still get home videos for Beta.

All these Hercs need to team up in some ridiculously large intercompany crossover.

Crisis on Infinite Olympi?

I saw that cartoon once. It did have a cool theme song, but other than that it was awful.
I’m shocked by how few of the Hercules have beards. A clean-shaven Hercules doesn’t seem right to me. (Marvel’s version went beardless for awhile in the ’90s. I don’t know whose stupid idea that was.)
Has anyone ever published a comic with his correct name, Herakles?

think the gold key one was suppose to be the hanna barbera cartoon. and interesting that dc also did hercules. not to mention charleston since dc owns those characters but doubtfull the charleston hercules

Three of these hercules comics, are the same character and art,originaly published from 1967 to 1969, the Sam Glansman SJG signed, charlton series,of about 13 issues, reprinted in the A+ line, as well as the ACG line. They are my favorite version, through I love the keven Sorbo take.

The Radical Hercules is much different since Steve Moore writes about an older Hercules and in both The Thracian Wars and current miniseries, the Knives of Kush, Hercules does battle outside of Greece. Someone recently reviewed issue #4 of The Knives of Kush and posted it in the independent forum http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=298538

Ah. You can’t tell me Disney never did a comic book adaption of their version of Hercules… they HAD to have at some point, right?

Where’s Erik Larsen’s Heracles? Here’s a pic of him and Larsen’s Thor facing off: http://www.savagedragon.com/funnybooks/monthly_big/sd45.jpg

I love how nonchalant Gold Key’s Hercules is in dispatching that sea monster.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

December 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Best cartoon theme song ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQRasr-0hsM

That took me back.

As Mr. J said, the Gold Key version was based on a Canadian cartoon (I believe the same company did Rocket Robin Hood), but it was definitely not Hanna Barbera.

You might be thinking of HB’s Samson & Goliath who were featured in Gold Key’s “Hanna Barbera Super TV Heroes” comic. Or you might be thinking of Filmation Studio’s version of Hercules who was featured in the Young Sentinels cartoon as well as in the Freedom Force cartoon (along with Isis, Merlin, and Sinbad!), but their version was never featured in a comic (other than in ads for Saturday morning cartoons). Their version was the most different, with long blonde hair and blue tights.

As far as I know, Disney’s Hercules never got his own comic title, although I think he was featured occasionally in Disney Adventures Magazine’s Comic Zone section.

I think there are a couple of comics you may have missed. I think Dell or Gold Key adapted at least one of Steve Reeves’ Hercules movies to comics form as well as the Three Stooges Meet Hercules.

You could also go totally crazy and list Wonder Woman’s, Shazam’s, and Superman’s meetings with Hercules!

DC didn’t purchase Charlton’s version of Hercules, just their action heroes (Capt. Atom, Nightshade, Blue Beetle, Question, Judo Master, Peacemaker, Sarge Steel, and Son of Vulcan). DC originally thought Thunderbolt was included, but the rights to that character went to its creator, as did E-Man. Dr. J is correct that Charlton’s Hercules was sold to the publisher of A+/ACG above, as did Atomic Mouse. I have no idea who may own Charlton’s older heroes, Nature Boy, Mr. Muscles, Yellowjacket, and Diana the Huntress.

But, back to Hercules, it occurs to me you could also include Classics Illustrated’s and Marvel’s adaptations of the Odyssey and Classic Illustrated Jr’s adaptation of the Golden Fleece in which Hercules played a part.

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