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Herakles, also known by his Roman name Hercules, was the son of Zeus and the mortal Alcmene and one of the most famous heroes of ancient times. Among his many exploits, he sailed with the Argonauts under Jason. Despite his mostly heroic reputation, he was notorious for the rape of Hippolyta and the enslavement of the Amazons. Though his worse crimes were forgiven, this event has occasionally pitted him against the Amazons, particularly their champion Wonder Woman.

Hippolyta

The war god Ares coaxed Herakles into punishing the Amazons. With Theseus in tow, he marched on the Amazons’ city and met their Queen, Hippolyta, outside the gates. When offered peaceful negotiations, he attacked Hippolyta, but he found that he could not beat her. She though was impressed by his skill as a warrior and allowed him and his men to enter the city. Herakles used this opportunity and drugged the Amazons’ drinks which placed them into a deep slumber. While they were unconscious, he chained Hippolyta, raped her, and stole her enchanted girdle. He then returned home with Theseus, escaping the wrath of the Amazons. He could not, however, escape the wrath of the Olympian gods.

Penance

For breaking their oath to the gods, the Amazons were forced to guard Doom's Doorway on the newly formed island of Themyscira. The island was not only part of their punishment, but also Herakles’. In their retribution, they forced him to act as the island’s foundation, holding it in place.

The Amazons were unaware of this until, millennia later, the Queen’s daughter, Diana, discovered what had been done to him. When she offered to share his burden, he refused as he saw it as just an fitting for what he had done. He sought however to apologize to Hippolyta for those acts. This convinced the Olympians that he had redeemed himself. They lifted his burden and allowed him to leave the Underworld.

Herakles became the first man to set foot on Themyscira, and he immediately begged the Amazons for forgiveness. Though some of them still harbored hatred toward him for rape and humiliation they had suffered at his hand and those of his army, most were moved by his new found humility. Queen Hippolyta asked her people to search their hearts for the strength to forgive him, and they eventually did. For her own part, Hippolyta not only forgave him, but shared a brief romance with him before he left the mortal realm to return to his father in Mount Olympus.[2]

Champion

Later, Herakles again walked the mortal world. At this time, he planned on taking revenge against the Amazons for his imprisonment by seducing Diana. To do this he approached a mortal named Harold Campion. He offered Campion admission to Mount Olympus in exchange for the mortal's identity. When Campion agreed, Herakles used the Mirror of Circe to alter his appearance to duplicate Campion’s and began to make a name for himself as the hero Champion as a counter point to Diana’s identity as Wonder Woman. He used this to first meet and then befriend her. His true identity was finally revealed when he admitted that he had actually fallen in love with her. Once he was exposed, the Olympians demanded that he return to Mount Olympus to face punishment for his actions.[3][4]

One Year Later

During the year after the events of the “Infinite Crisis”, Herakles was one of the Olympians who rejected Athena's decision for the gods to remove themselves from the mortal realm. He journeyed to Tartarus in the hopes of recruiting Ares to aid him in returning to the mortal world. Instead he found Circe to whom he explained the situation and his desire. She decided to partner with him as she did not want to spend eternity in limbo with Athena.[5]

Once he had returned to the mortal world, Herakles established a base of operations at the Greek embassy in New York City. From there, he worked with Diana and the Department of Metahuman Affairs.[6]

Eventually, Circe betrayed him, using a spell to siphon away his powers.[7] He and Diana were able to capture her. Once she was captured, Herakles revealed their original plan to Diana. With the Olympians withdrawing Olympus from Earth, he and Circe had planned on staying behind and ruling the world as gods. Since she had betrayed him, he was now intent on using the Lasso of Truth to force her to return his powers to him and transfer Diana’s powers to him as well.

Diana encouraged the bound Circe to explain how that would work. Circe explained that in order to transfer Diana’s power to Herakles, she would first have to undo the original spells. She reversed the spells, returning the role of Wonder Woman to Diana.[5]

With their plan in tatters, Circe managed to escape, taking Herakles with her. As punishment for his ultimate betrayal, she had him eternally chained to a stone.[8]

Justice Society of America

Herakles was later freed from his imprisonment. He had encountered Gog in Gotham City which resulted in a fight in which Herakles was beaten. Superman and the Superman of Earth-22 arrived at the scene of the battle and Herakles vented his frustration with Gog on them. The pair easily render the enraged god unconscious.[9]

Wonder Girl: Champion

Freed from his imprisonment by Zeus, Herakles was tasked with recruiting Wonder Girl and other Olympian champions in preparation for a great disaster.[10] This included investigating the murders of the New Gods. He admitted that he feared that whomever had killed Lightray might be a danger to himself and all godlings left on Earth.[citation needed]

While trying to convince Wonder Girl, the pair were attacked by the Female Furies who were also searching for the murderer. This gave him an idea, to create a new pantheon of gods on Earth, beginning with the Furies. He proposed the idea to Wonder Girl, which would see him as king and she as queen of this new pantheon. She rejected the idea especially since he wanted it to include an incestuous relationship between them.[11] After this rejection, he was ambushed and knocked out by Bloody Mary.

She placed him under her control and used him to attack Wonder Girl and the Teen Titans. When she was killed by the “God Killer”, Herakles’ mind was released.[12] Once things had settled down, he apologized for his actions and admitted that Zeus had stripped him of his godhood. This was part of the price for him being released. He left Wonder Girl and her colleagues to search for the Gods of Olympus, to find his place in the world, and to make up for his past misdeeds.[13]

Powers

Abilities

  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Herakles is an excellent hand to hand combatant and is a particularly excellent Greco-Roman wrestler.
  • Leadership: In ancient times, Herakles led contingents of Greek warriors.
  • Seduction: Herakles had numerous lovers, including the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta.
  • Weaponry: Herakles is highly skilled and experienced, with all forms of weaponry used in ancient Greece.

Equipment

Weapons

  • This character is an adaptation of Heracles, a character in traditional stories. These include, but may not be limited to religious texts, myth, and/or folk lore. More information on the original can be found at Wikipedia.org.
  • During the Marvel/DC crossover JLA/Avengers, Wonder Woman believed the Marvel Comics' Hercules to be a villain, assuming he had raped her 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. Ironically, Hercules is a hero in the Marvel Universe, while Hippolyta is a villainess in that universe.

Related


Footnotes


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Wonder Woman Villain(s)
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This character is or was primarily an enemy of Wonder Woman and the Amazons in any of her various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Wonder Woman Villains category."