Why do you think Hercules can hear prayers when he is supposed to be fully mortal? Do you think other gods are bothered by prayers or do you think they have some way of "turning them off?" Currently, Hercules is limited to having to track down the prayer location and going there physically himself. Do you think as a full god he was required to do the same thing or had some other way of answering prayers without having to physically go to each location?
Hercules and Prayers
It seems counterintuitive that Hercules, now no longer a god/immortal or even super-powered, still hears prayers from his followers. Still, it's happening.
I'm not sure what he was required to do in response to prayers when he was fully deified. In "Thor Annual" #5 (1976) he responded to the prayers of Greek warriors. In "New Mutants" #81 (Nov. 1989) he responded to prayers from Magma. In the Thor Annual it's not clear if he was required to answer the prayers or not. In the New Mutants issue, if I remeber correctly, Zeus compelled him to go to Magma. These are the only two instances of Herc answering prayers, to my knowledge, prior to the recent "Herc" comics. Still, it seems unclear who protocol Hercules follows regarding prayers. It may be left up to his discretion (capriciousness of the gods and such), or he may have to answer by decree of Zeus. There is no clear answer.
Interesting, I was unaware of those instances happening. The only instance of a god being prayed to I am aware of is during Simonson's run Thor heard the prayers of the last Viking and was able to track it down. Thor commented in the olden days he would hear prayers of his followers and decide whether or not visit to answer them. It seemed to imply that gods in the MU have to directly answer each prayer. Kind of makes one wonder how they keep up with thousands or more prayers.
Could you please tell me when Hercules heard them was it somewhat similar to the way it is happening now? If so was the only way he could answer them was to physical go there? Could you please tell me a bit more about Magma's situation and why Zeus would compel Herc to go there. I'm curious because prayers are one of the few things that can truly set apart gods from other superpowered beings. One limitation though is if the gods has to answer prayers one at a time and physical be there how does he handle massive amounts of prayers. About the closet I could figure was something akin to the Doctor Voodoo series where Jericho invoked different Loa to power his spells. Presumable like Dr. Strange's mystical entities the power came from the Loa and the spell asking for help could be considered a form of "prayer."
In 'Thor Annual' #5, the Greek warriors, standing in a cave around a fire, prayed to Hercules and he appeared almost instantly, asking them "What do you wish, men of Greece?They tell him and he proceeds to meet, challenge and fight Thor on the field of battle. This story has recently been reprinted in the "Thor vs Hercules" trade paperback.
It was that simple. There was no ceremony, no specifically named or shown artifact; nothing.
As for the instance in the "New Mutants," I couldn't remember it exactly so I had to dig out the actual issue to refresh my memory. The story shows Magma praying to Jove (another name for Zeus) for guidence and meaning concerning her religious beliefs (she believes in and worships the Olympian gods, of course) because her faith has been shaken by how Olympians in general, and Hercules in particular, are perceived in the modern U.S. To pray Magma gets on her knees before a casket/chest/box of some signifigance and lights something on/in it on fire. Smoke carries throughout her room as she prays aloud to Jove. She is still actively praying when the clear sky carries the rumble of thunder and a strong wind begins to blow. She thinks she sees a shooting star and then, bam! Her balcony doors are now open and there stands Hercules. He then speaks to her in Latin bidding her greetings from "Father Jove through his son." He also tells her "Thy prayer has been answered." That is only the beginning of the done-in-one story, but that covers the praying part.
I hope this answers your question.
Thanks. So New Mutants was a story of doubting faith and Hercules showing up was the end. It sounds like its a case that happens a lot in comics (and in fantasy as a whole to a limited degree). The more distant and aloof a god is the more godlike they come across as with diverse powers, answering multiple prayers over vast distances, etc. Once someone needs to confront them head on or they are used in a story on a regular basis they are brought down to normal and reduced to a physical being with maybe a few superpowers.
@seekquaze: Yes. In the New Mutants story that is exactly what happens. Once Magma sees that Hercules is the same one she's familiar with, she doesn't believe he's the actual Olympian God Hercules. Hercules tries to prove it, but his efforts are in vain. He even tries to invoke his father, Zeus, but he just leaves Herc hanging as payback for making the cheesy Hercules movie he'd strarred in years before. Hercules does eventually prove he's the real deal near the end, however.
@seekquaze: By saving many innocent people from a burning building and then spending all night with one of the fire-victims telling stories to and consoling him. He seals it when the boy dies and Hercules weeps. His words of wisdom and his tears of authentic caring are what move Magma and prove to her that he is the real deal.
He Does not hear Prays because he is God
He hear them because people are praying to him (Making Mystical Rituals & Using Herculess Name)
It is Magic they even sacrificed living creature in one of those rituals
So those Prayers are just using some kind of Magic to Talk with "God" Heracles (and i thing that is what all prayers do)
That may not be magic. People saying some words and making an animal sacrifice do not necessarily make it magic. Usually the only way you know if it is magic or not is if it is specifically references as such. And in one of PowerHerc's examples and in the Thor example neither character used anything that would resemble magic. They prayed and the god heard. So the implication clearly is something about the godhood allows them to hear prayers.
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