What makes Hercules a god?

#1 Posted by seekquaze (611 posts) - - Show Bio

When discussing comics, it is not uncommon for me to come across people who say that the Olympians, Asgardians and other gods are not really gods, but extra dimensional aliens with delusions of grandeur who were mistakenly worshipped by primitives thousands of years ago. They claim that there is no difference between the "gods" and modern day superhuman, the Eternals, mutants and aliens. I once asked Greg Pak this and he responded that even if every thing about Hercules and his fellow gods can be explained by science all the questions about godhood Hercules and his family have struggled with for eons. In comics, a few answers come up ranging from gods harness magic, have a metaphysical spiritual connection to their worshippers, have been acknowledged as gods by Eternity, have a divine essence that godhunters seek out, are best suited for fantasy/spiritual stories due to their history, can hear prayers, etc.

Hercules has never made a big deal out of people not worshipping him like in the old days. At the same time, he tends to take it as an insult if someone insinuates that the Olympians are not gods. In your opinion, what separates Hercules from other super-strong immortal beings like Wonder Man and Gilgamesh? What makes gods different than Eternals? In Marvel, what makes gods gods?

#2 Posted by THORSON (2349 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess if they are based from gods of greek and norse then they are gods.

It makes no sense to say they are aliens, when realistically if you are going to base a character off of another resource then you might as well say they are gods.

People are calling THOR an alien, and to me he will always be a god.

#3 Posted by Enyalios (142 posts) - - Show Bio

This conversation is getting old and unfortunately, the latest Thor movie and SHIELD series do little to help this (probably to avoid anyone complaining at them using the term gods or perhaps because Joss Whedon is an atheist, who knows). The Olympians, Asgardians and all the other true gods of the Marvel universe owe the right to call themselves gods from their decent. All of the gods can singularly trace their lineage back to Demiurge, the same force that, in the Marvel universe at lease, spawned all life on Earth. They inhabit pocket dimensions, sure, but these pocket dimensions have always been considered part of the Earth plane, simply inaccessible to normal humans. Most of the gods trace their decent also back to Gaea, the last remaining Elder Goddess, though some stories talk of a second generation of gods that Gaea then mated with, it varies from pantheon. For example, Thor is usually considered her only child among the Norse pantheon, while ever Olympian is descended from her.

#4 Posted by PowerHerc (82778 posts) - - Show Bio

Hercules is a god because he was fathered by the supreme Olympian God, Zeus, and later made a true immortal/full god by Zeus.

Thus, Hercules is a god because it's the will of Zeus. Naturally and obviously.

#5 Posted by seekquaze (611 posts) - - Show Bio

@powerherc: Sadly, while this is obvious to the likes of you and me the nay sayers will then ask: "What makes Zeus a god?" One thing I have learned in these type conversations is there are some people who will outright reject what the writers says or any evidence presented even if they claim to accept what the writer says or are open to evidence.

#6 Posted by PowerHerc (82778 posts) - - Show Bio

@powerherc: Sadly, while this is obvious to the likes of you and me the nay sayers will then ask: "What makes Zeus a god?" One thing I have learned in these type conversations is there are some people who will outright reject what the writers says or any evidence presented even if they claim to accept what the writer says or are open to evidence.

Yeah, you're right.

Some people are immune to facts and reason.

#7 Edited by Outside_85 (8584 posts) - - Show Bio

The difference between Marvel's Olympians and Asgardians is that Jack Kirby deliberately created that whole idea of the Asgardians being aliens due to his facination of the theory put forth by a book he read called Chariot of the Gods. He didn't go all the way with the idea before he moved to DC and did his Fourth World, which is why Marvel seems go from alien to myth and back again when it comes to Thor and his world. It also managed to infest parts of DC's gods with Gail Simone blasting Zeus off in a rocket ship at one point. (I say infest, because I am not overly fond of adding a distinctively Sci-fi element to a fantasy/mythology setting.)

The Olympians on the other hand (to the best of my knowledge), didn't receive this treatment and as such is supposed to be 'genuine' mythological characters, as in mankind believed they were gods and they really were (instead of powerful space aliens that looked human).

But what makes Herc a god? Heritage, his father is Zeus.

Online
#8 Posted by seekquaze (611 posts) - - Show Bio

The Olympians on the other hand (to the best of my knowledge), didn't receive this treatment and as such is supposed to be 'genuine' mythological characters, as in mankind believed they were gods and they really were (instead of powerful space aliens that looked human).

The Olympians have from time to time had a sort of sci-fi feel to them or at least Pluto has. He has been shown with tanks, televisions and other technological devices. The rest of the Olympians to my knowledge have always been shown relying on magic. Of course, then you have the problem where the Olympians forget their powers when it would make sense to use the. Ares may be the worst example. For the "God of War" he only has been shown with physical abilities.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.