Hercules and Loki

#1 Posted by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

Has anybody else noticed an interesting similarity between these two? Neither really fit in with their respective pantheons either mythologicaly or in comics. Both defy attempts to classify them.

Loki is unique to Norse myth. He is not found in Germanic sources. He lives with the gods and in modern times is often described as a god, but he is not a god. He is a jotun who does not really look or act like the sterotypical jotun. He is not the only jotun to live in Asgard, but he is the only one whose destructive nature shows through. Overall, the gods of Asgard are beneficial to humanity and the universe, Loki is the only one among them to work against them. He appears constantly in myth, but was never worshipped. Any attempt to conviently classifiy him as an Aesirm, jotun, or Vanir fails.

In Greek myth, Hercules was far more powerful than any other demigod. He strength and feats were on a level equal to the gods. Heck, for all intents and purposes he was a god in human form, but he was stuck in the mortal world and had to obey mortal rules. If he was a god Hera would have left him alone and Hercules could for better or worse do nearly anything to mortals and it would not be considered a crime. Notice how Hera left Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus alone once they became gods. And if a god was ever punished for hurting a mortal please let me know. This last bit is not a knock against Hercules, but a reflection on a problem he had. Gods were known for being moody, easily offended, and lashing out when they felt insulted. Hercules in many ways shared these traits because he was so much like a god, but unlike the Olympians Herc was held accountable or his actions. Herc did not fit in with the mortal world due to being so godlike, but did not fit in on Olympus due to being mortal.

Once Herc died that duality remained. Sometimes he was worshipped as a hero and other times he was worshipped as a god. This is reflected in myth where he both ascended to Olympus, but part of him in in the underworld.

This same relationship can be found in their Marvel comic incarnations. Loki's issues with the Asgardians are well documented and reflect the myths. He is a runt of a giant, but brilliant compared to their stupidity. He and Thor are perfect foils due to being so opposite. Hercules on the other hand has never fit in with the Olympians. They squabble through cat's paws whereas he is much more straight forward. He would fit in better in Asgard. Perhaps ironically, Loki would fit in a bit better among the Olympians.

Have Loki and Hercules ever met? I mean not just Herc helping Thor fight against some plot of his, but met face to face with an actual conversation? I wonder if there is a potential story in their about their own similarities and differences. In a way, neither one fits in with their respective families.

#2 Posted by evilvegeta74 (4527 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze:

#3 Posted by DH69 (4258 posts) - - Show Bio

pretty sure heras main reason for hatred of him was because he was one of many of zeus little escapades with women other than her, that and one painful breastfeeding session :p

#4 Posted by PowerHerc (83353 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze said:

Has anybody else noticed an interesting similarity between these two? Neither really fit in with their respective pantheons either mythologicaly or in comics. Both defy attempts to classify them.

Loki is unique to Norse myth. He is not found in Germanic sources. He lives with the gods and in modern times is often described as a god, but he is not a god. He is a jotun who does not really look or act like the sterotypical jotun. He is not the only jotun to live in Asgard, but he is the only one whose destructive nature shows through. Overall, the gods of Asgard are beneficial to humanity and the universe, Loki is the only one among them to work against them. He appears constantly in myth, but was never worshipped. Any attempt to conviently classifiy him as an Aesirm, jotun, or Vanir fails.

In Greek myth, Hercules was far more powerful than any other demigod. He strength and feats were on a level equal to the gods. Heck, for all intents and purposes he was a god in human form, but he was stuck in the mortal world and had to obey mortal rules. If he was a god Hera would have left him alone and Hercules could for better or worse do nearly anything to mortals and it would not be considered a crime. Notice how Hera left Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus alone once they became gods. And if a god was ever punished for hurting a mortal please let me know. This last bit is not a knock against Hercules, but a reflection on a problem he had. Gods were known for being moody, easily offended, and lashing out when they felt insulted. Hercules in many ways shared these traits because he was so much like a god, but unlike the Olympians Herc was held accountable or his actions. Herc did not fit in with the mortal world due to being so godlike, but did not fit in on Olympus due to being mortal.

Once Herc died that duality remained. Sometimes he was worshipped as a hero and other times he was worshipped as a god. This is reflected in myth where he both ascended to Olympus, but part of him in in the underworld.

This same relationship can be found in their Marvel comic incarnations. Loki's issues with the Asgardians are well documented and reflect the myths. He is a runt of a giant, but brilliant compared to their stupidity. He and Thor are perfect foils due to being so opposite. Hercules on the other hand has never fit in with the Olympians. They squabble through cat's paws whereas he is much more straight forward. He would fit in better in Asgard. Perhaps ironically, Loki would fit in a bit better among the Olympians.

Have Loki and Hercules ever met? I mean not just Herc helping Thor fight against some plot of his, but met face to face with an actual conversation? I wonder if there is a potential story in their about their own similarities and differences. In a way, neither one fits in with their respective families.

Nice post!

Quite an interesting perspective on the similar characteristics of Hercules and Loki. The ones you mention are thought provoking and true.

Of course there are many similarities between Hercules and Thor, too. Both are their realm's strongest and mightiest. Both have a stronger connection to Earth/Midgard than their fellow gods. Both are the son of their realm's supreme ruler. Both are known to indulge (maybe overly so) in wine, women and battle.

Of course the similarities between Hercules and Thor have been identified and discussed many times over, but this is the first time anyone has identified the similarities between Hercules and Loki. I think it's interesting to note that it is their dissimilarities that make each of them possibly better suited for life as a member of the other's realm/pantheon.

#5 Posted by seekquaze (612 posts) - - Show Bio

@PowerHerc said:

Of course there are many similarities between Hercules and Thor, too. Both are their realm's strongest and mightiest. Both have a stronger connection to Earth/Midgard than their fellow gods. Both are the son of their realm's supreme ruler. Both are known to indulge (maybe overly so) in wine, women and battle.

Of course the similarities between Hercules and Thor have been identified and discussed many times over, but this is the first time anyone has identified the similarities between Hercules and Loki. I think it's interesting to note that it is their dissimilarities that make each of them possibly better suited for life as a member of the other's realm/pantheon.

Yeah, I figured Thor and Herc had already been discussed to death. They have all the similarities you name, but are nice foils with Herc's light-heartedness contrasting with Thor's more serious demeanor.

Since you are the most knowledge guy on Marvel's Hercules I know...have Hercules and Loki ever met and had an actual conversation? I cannot recall ever hearing of an instance. I know Loki has considered using Hercules against Thor so he is aware Herc is one of the few beings capable of beating Thor, but Loki was hesitate out of fear of Olympian reprisal.

#6 Posted by PowerHerc (83353 posts) - - Show Bio

@seekquaze:

As far as I can recall I've never seen Hercules and Loki speaking to each other in the same panel, but Loki has indeed manipulated circumstances which had both direct and indirect repercussions for Hercules.

Loki indirectly manipulated Hercules when he, posing as the Scarlet Witch, appeared before several heroes causing them to unite and reform the Mighty Avengers (this occurred in Mighty Avengers #21 or 22). Loki continued his manipulations until his true identity is revealed a few issues later, at which point Hank Pym offers him a spot on the Avengers. Thor shows up and the Avengers, including Herc, actually defend Loki to Thor. Hercules and Loki may have spoken in this arc but I can't remember for certain.

Another time in which Loki's machinations included Hercules was when he and Pluto, Lord of the Olympian underworld and uncle & enemy of Hercules, made a deal; Loki would kill Hercules and Pluto would kill Thor. They did this so each of them would have an alibi to prove it was not he who killed his own enemy. To fulfill his end of the bargain, Loki freed Typhon, Hercules' mightiest foe, from Tartarus and used him to attack Hercules. Hercules and Loki never met or fought in this story, in fact; Loki appeared only as a disembodied wraith throughout this tale. This occurred in Avengers Annual #23.

#7 Posted by LeeSensei (385 posts) - - Show Bio

Has anybody else noticed an interesting similarity between these two? Neither really fit in with their respective pantheons either mythologicaly or in comics. Both defy attempts to classify them.

Loki is unique to Norse myth. He is not found in Germanic sources. He lives with the gods and in modern times is often described as a god, but he is not a god. He is a jotun who does not really look or act like the sterotypical jotun. He is not the only jotun to live in Asgard, but he is the only one whose destructive nature shows through. Overall, the gods of Asgard are beneficial to humanity and the universe, Loki is the only one among them to work against them. He appears constantly in myth, but was never worshipped. Any attempt to conviently classifiy him as an Aesirm, jotun, or Vanir fails.

In Greek myth, Hercules was far more powerful than any other demigod. He strength and feats were on a level equal to the gods. Heck, for all intents and purposes he was a god in human form, but he was stuck in the mortal world and had to obey mortal rules. If he was a god Hera would have left him alone and Hercules could for better or worse do nearly anything to mortals and it would not be considered a crime. Notice how Hera left Apollo, Artemis, and Dionysus alone once they became gods. And if a god was ever punished for hurting a mortal please let me know. This last bit is not a knock against Hercules, but a reflection on a problem he had. Gods were known for being moody, easily offended, and lashing out when they felt insulted. Hercules in many ways shared these traits because he was so much like a god, but unlike the Olympians Herc was held accountable or his actions. Herc did not fit in with the mortal world due to being so godlike, but did not fit in on Olympus due to being mortal.

Once Herc died that duality remained. Sometimes he was worshipped as a hero and other times he was worshipped as a god. This is reflected in myth where he both ascended to Olympus, but part of him in in the underworld.

This same relationship can be found in their Marvel comic incarnations. Loki's issues with the Asgardians are well documented and reflect the myths. He is a runt of a giant, but brilliant compared to their stupidity. He and Thor are perfect foils due to being so opposite. Hercules on the other hand has never fit in with the Olympians. They squabble through cat's paws whereas he is much more straight forward. He would fit in better in Asgard. Perhaps ironically, Loki would fit in a bit better among the Olympians.

Have Loki and Hercules ever met? I mean not just Herc helping Thor fight against some plot of his, but met face to face with an actual conversation? I wonder if there is a potential story in their about their own similarities and differences. In a way, neither one fits in with their respective families.

IIRC Hercules isn't worshipped as either a God or a Hero, but as both. First as a hero and then as a God.

Anyways... yeah... they do have a lot of similarities. And considering Hercules has been in a lot of Thor comics, it's surprising that he hasn't talked face to face with Thor's main villain more often. They've both acknowledged that they know each other. They've talked about each other. They've even been in the same panels (like Odin's funeral), but I'm drawing a blank on them talking to each other.

My best guess is that they talked to each other when Hercules was on Mighty Avengers.

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