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.