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Herakles, sometimes known by the name of his Roman avatar Hercules, was one of the most famous heroes of ancient times. He is the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene. Among other exploits, he was a member of the Argonauts that sailed under Jason. Despite his reputation, he was notorious for the rape of Hippolyta and the enslavement of the Amazons. Though his worse crimes are forgiven, this has not stopped him from occasionally working against the Amazons, particularly their champion Wonder Woman.
Herakles was coaxed by the Olympian god of war Ares into punishing the Amazons by besting Amazonian Queen Hippolyta and her warrior people. With Theseus in tow, he marched on their city, and met Hippolyta outside the gates. He was not at all interested in peaceful negotiations, but was unable to defeat her in battle. Impressed, Hippolyta allowed Herakles' men to enter the city. They abused the opportunity to drug their hosts' drinks; when all were asleep, Herakles made his play. He chained and raped Hippolyta and stole her girdle. He then returned to his homeland with Theseus, escaping the wrath of the Amazons. However, he could not escape the wrath of the Olympian gods.
For breaking their oath to the gods, the Amazons were forced to guard Doom's Doorway on the newly made island Themyscira. What they did not know was that the gods punished Herakles by having him support the island. It wasn't until several millennia later that Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta, discovered what had been done to him. She offered to share his burden, which he refused, feeling his punishment was just. Although he did sought to apologize to Hippolyta. The Olympians, convinced that he had redeemed himself, took away his burden, allowing Herakles 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 the Amazons still harbored hatred for their past rapes and humiliation, most of them were moved by Herakles' newfound humility, and Queen Hippolyta asked her people to search their hearts for the strength to forgive, which they eventually did. Doing so herself, 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.
Later, Herakles appeared in the contemporary world and schemed to take revenge on the Amazons for his imprisonment by seducing Diana. He did this by making an agreement with the mortal superhero Harold Campion and endowing himself with a mystical charm. In exchange for his identity, Herakles gave Champion admission into Mount Olympus. Once this was agreed upon Heracles used the Mirror of Circe to alter his appearance into that of Champion and proceeded to befriend Wonder Woman as a "new" friend. Heracles' identity was eventually revealed after he admitted to actually falling in love with Diana and he resumed his life on Mount Olympus after the Gods demanded he return as punishment for his actions
One Year Later
One year after the events of Infinite Crisis, Heracles was renewed as a fellow agent of Olympus, who occasionally aids Diana and even replaces her in battle. He temporarily set up his base in the Greek Embassy.
As one of the occupants of Olympus who rejected Athena's decision to remove themselves from the mortal realm, Herakles journeyed to Tartarus in hopes of recruiting Ares to aid him in returning to the mortal realm. Instead he found Circe who, upon hearing the demigod's story and not wanting to spend eternity in limbo with Athena, decided to partner with Hercules instead. However, this didn't last long, as Circe betrayed him. With Diana's help, he was able to capture Circe, only to reveal his true motives: to use her magical powers to transfer the power she had stolen from Diana and her own powers to him, becoming a new god to rule over Earth in the absence of the Olympians. Using the Lasso of Truth, he tried to compel Circe to cast the spell, and Diana encouraged her to answer the question. Circe, revealing that the only way to cast that spell would be to reverse the original, cast the spell, returning their powers to their original owners and returning Diana's role as Wonder Woman to her. Circe then had Heracles eternally chained to a stone as punishment for betraying her.
Justice Society Of America
Herakles later appeared again, freed from his imprisonment, and encountered Gog who was killing gods and those who claimed to be gods in the name of his god, the Third World God, Gog. After suffering a blast from Gog's staff, Hercules was incapacitated and encountered Superman and his Earth-22 counterpart. He entered into combat with the two Supermen, but was easily defeated by the The Earth-22 Superman, but someone managed to escape.
Wonder Girl Series
Herakles later appeared again where he mentioned he was freed from his imprisonment by Zeus who sent him on a mission to find Wonder Girl and fellow Olympian champions in preparation for a great disaster. It was revealed that he was sent to recruit Wonder Girl to investigate and prepare against the one behind the murders of the New Gods since the he feared the god murderer who recently killed Lightray would be a danger to him and all godlings left on Earth after the Gods of Olympus departed to parts unknown. Heracles joined the Female Furies when they came to add to his search for the culprit, where he tried to proposition Wonder Girl into recreating a new pantheon of Gods of Olympus on Earth using the Furies and Wonder Girl as his Queen. After Wonder Girl refused his depraved proposition, Herakles was ambushed and knocked out by Bloody Mary as the Furies decided to make Wonder Girl join them by force by kidnapping her mother. Heracles appeared again under Blood Mary's mind control as a servant to fight against Wonder Girl and her Teen Titan reinforcements but was defeated and released from his brainwashing after Bloody Mary was killed by the God Murderer causing the Furies to flee. Heracles then apologized for his actions before admitting that Zeus stripped him of his godhood as the price for releasing him before leaving to search for the Gods of Olympus and find his place in the world to make up for his past deeds.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Hercules is an excellent hand to hand combatant and is a particularly excellent Greco-Roman wrestler.
- Leadership: In ancient times, Hercules led contingents of Greek warriors.
- Seduction: Hercules had numerous lovers, including the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta.
- Weaponry: Hercules is highly skilled and experienced, with all forms of weaponry used in ancient Greece.
- 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.
- This character is an adaptation of Herakles, 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.
- Despite sometimes being called Hercules, that hero is but an avatar of him, created by the Gods to spread their influence in Ancient Rome. It is Hercules who grants his powers to the Marvel Family, not Herakles. However, after John Byrne's run, the Hercules avatar merged with his Heracles counterpart to form a singular being.
- When Hercules appears to Diana in Wonder Woman Vol 3, his name in Diana's speech was presented equal to the symbol-name of Hercules (Earth-86) in his titles Hercules Unbound.
- 86 Appearances of Herakles (New Earth)
- 23 Images featuring Herakles (New Earth)
- 4 Quotations by or about Herakles (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Herakles (New Earth)
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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."