Thor: Love and Thunder is already here and, as expected, caused a small/big revolution in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without being connected to the Multiverse, he managed to connect all the characters in the sub-franchise. Also, giving them a new three-dimensionality that made the film – especially its interesting third act – an emotional experience.
But as is common in Marvel Cinematic Universe deliveries, he did something else: he introduced a new character who was supposed to appear on the screen sooner or later. But his appearance was amazing and with a mission. The one who sooner or later will face Thor. Which not only ensures the continuity of the story of the Asgardian god, but also almost completely shows his villain.
We are talking about Hercules, the son of Zeus. The character is tasked by his divine father to kill Thor after the god of Asgard defeats him in hand-to-hand combat in Thor: Love and Thunder. And, to the surprise of most viewers, the character, whose identity was kept secret,plays Brett Goldstein, star of Ted Lasso. The possibilities make Hercules a clear test of Marvel’s plans for the future. Not just because he’s on a sinister mission. At the same time, because he made it clear that he would do it soon.
Curiously, the character, whose origin in the comics is very similar to his mythological version, is often compared to Thor. Both beings of divine origin, with p significant powers, longevity and associated with the pantheon. But unlike Thor, the path of Hercules in the comics was thorny and not always straightforward. In fact, he is more than a villain, he is actually a hero who, in his irregular existence, has often been part of the Avengers.
A haunting, powerful and formidable figure
Hercules first appeared as a full character in Journey into Mystery Annual #1 in 1965. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and, unlike his paper version, is a complete god. More like Heracles – the Roman adaptation of the myth – than the Greek. He is considered the prince of strength and the god of war. In fact, in one way or another, he bears a certain resemblance to Ares, a god with whom he seems to have similarities.
Prior to its official debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder, the character appeared in Avengers #10 November 1964 as an accomplice of the villain Immortus. It’s a complex story that ended up being almost entirely omitted from the official timeline. According to this first version, Immortus brought a god from the past to fight Thor. But, as it turned out the following year, the menacing apparition was actually an “alien ghost”. The amendment made it possible to rewrite the character – this time without relying on his mythological personality – and make him an independent hero.
Heracles is often Thor’s rivalto which he is equal in strength and power. In the 1960s, the character vacillated between a formidable villain and a disgraced hero. Especially when he was enslaved by Pluto to rule the underworld with him. Curious detail? Around the time of Thor’s sporadic appearances and his eventual clashes with Hercules, the god of Asgard was stripped of his power. The reason was none other than the love he professed for Jane Foster, which angered Odin.
And finally, the mythological tour of Thor: Love and Thunder
In the 1970s Hercules finally established himself as a tragic hero. In addition, he went through hardships and all sorts of misfortunes. Like his mythological counterpart, he had to face assignments and face various gods of the Marvel-adapted Olympian pantheon.
An interesting fact, perhaps for understanding the significance of the character in the future, is the fact that in 2000 Hercules was part of the “Secret Invasion”. In the comic, which tells about the secret invasion of an alien race on Earth, Hercules was among the heroes. An indicative fact, against the background of the possible participation of the hero in other scenarios not directly related to Thor. Will we see Hercules as part of those who must face a strange invisible threat in the series of the same name?
At the moment,quick character spawn Thor: Love and Thunder open all kinds of doors. But especially, the most interesting of all, is creating the necessary context for expanding the Thor universe even further. With a new fatherhood, the Asgardian hero has a new journey to take. One with which he will stumble upon an old enemy that could completely change the landscape of the Marvel sub-franchise.