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Sunday, January 15, 2012

HULK VS HERCULES

HULK VS HERCULES

THE DEFINITIVE WRITE UP ON THE BATTLE TO PROVE WHO'S THE STRONGEST ONE THERE IS


By
John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino

While not as legendary as "Hulk vs Thor," the Hulk slugging it out with another famous immortal; Hercules, the Son of Zeus, is still an absolute classic Marvel match up. Yes, Hercules is a true Super-Heavyweight in the Marvel Universe in every sense, but he has always been considered a notch below the Thunder God. And truth be told, that shouldn't be the case because they are very comparable. Both Hercules and Thor are considered the strongest and greatest warriors of their respective pantheons (Olympian and Asgardian) with legendary histories that have made them worshiped and idolized since the early days of man. And when it comes to their physical stats, they are almost identical (I would give Hercules the slight edge in hand-to-hand combat because even Thor himself admitted it was greater than his ability). They have always been close allies and true peers that are full of pride and very proud of their heritage, so this also makes them highly competitive with each other. They have even slugged it out on a few occasions with neither being able to truly defeat the other.

So Hercules is without a doubt one of the most powerful beings walking the Earth and is always in the conversations of comic fanboys when talking about strength and ability. I think it's the fact that Herc is known for being more of a head-strong, woman-crazed buffoon and that usually hurt his reputation, especially when being compared to the well-respected Thunderer. Plus Thor wields one of the most powerful weapons in the universe with Mjolnir. This combined with his godly control of the weather makes the Thunder God such a feared and ferocious opponent. Not to mention, Thor is also a pure Asgardian "God" while Hercules is more of an Olympian "Demigod" (half-deity and half-mortal), so all this gives Thor more clout than Hercules could ever muster up and rightly so.

But both immortals at their best could defeat the villain, save the day and get the girl. Herc just had a habit of enjoying himself (and the rewards) a little more than most and he wasn't shy about telling you about it. Not to mention, that Herc had a habit of being a little more reckless in proving his worth to powerful opponents (like the Hulk) than most heroes. He wasn't above feeding his ego regardless of his teams battle-plan and he never took into account the innocent bystanders or real estate that was nearby.

"Hercules vs Thor" is an absolute classic slugfest in the annals of Marvel's rich history. This was a match up of both of Mythologies greatest warriors battling it out to see who was really the best of the best. Neither immortal had ever truly won a fight to show who was the superior. But it did showcase the power of Hercules and proved that he is every bit of a powerhouse that Thor is.

But I always believed Hercules fighting the Hulk was a better match up stylistically than "Hulk vs Thor" ever was. While Thor usually battled the brute with Mjolnir at his side, Herc never used a weapon. Yes, Herc had his Golden Mace (which is below the power of Mjolnir) but he never used it. "Hulk vs Hercules" was more of a hand-to-hand, strength-on-strength and brawl-vs-skill type of fight to prove who was the better manThis fight had more of a "Hulk vs Thing" dynamic to it without such a vast difference in power levels. Sure, Herc didn't have the excitement and tension between himself and the Hulk that captured the imagination of fans the way the Thing did, but it wasn't that far behind. And fighting the Hulk was always a true test to Herc's manhood. If he could best the Green Goliath in physical combat, he would be considered the strongest being on Earth without any doubt (Herc has always respected the Hulk's power and has been envious of it). It was going to be another glorious battle for Hercules to be apart of that would enhance his legend and ego and that's all that really mattered.

And speaking of ego, it doesn't get any more bigger or narcissistic than these two muscle-heads. The Hulk just so happened to have a habit of calling himself "The strongest one there is!" and saying that he wanted to be left alone. But in reality, he was never going to walk away from a fight, especially if someone was claiming to be stronger than him. And Herc was always ready to give someone "The Gift!" (a hearty punch) if they were worthy enough and score a willing-beautiful-fair-maiden in the process (he also had a habit of not understanding why some women could occasionally resist his charm). Yup, these guys had their reasons, and the foremost reason despite everything else was..."EGO."

When it came to having a huge ego, very few could match the one that Hercules had. He loved to spend time in the world of men celebrating everything life had to offer. His escapades are the stuff of legend and his desire for the female flesh is almost as great as his immense strength. And if danger broke out in the middle of a party, well then, that's even better.

All in all, "Hulk vs Hercules" is a fun-loving fight between two big, buff, macho dudes that love to get their way and don't mind flexing their muscles to get it. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is more of a "fight first, talk later" kind of a match up. And that's why I've loved it ever since I was a kid! It will never generate the interest and respect of "Hulk vs Thor," but it forever will be a classic match up that will showcase two of the most powerful beings on Earth slugging it out to see who is the superior. No matter how you look at it, this fight is very intriguing and this write up is a dedication to that. Hey, what's not to love?

Enough with the background, let's get to the combatants...


TALE OF THE TAPE


Name: Hulk

Height: 5’9 ½” (Banner), 7’ (Hulk)

Weight: 128lbs (Banner), 1,040lbs (Hulk)

Real Name: Robert Bruce Banner

Origins: Gamma bomb explosion at Desert Base New Mexico

Home Base: Earth

Nicknames: Green Goliath, Green-Skinned Goliath, Jade Jaws, Annihilator, Captain Universe, Joe Fixit, Mr. Fixit, Mechano, Green Scar, Jade Giant, The Jolly Green Giant, Green King, Holku, Green One, Eye of Rage, Eye of Anger, Harkanon, Haarg, Once-Savage, Two Minds, Professor, War, Maestro, Two-Hands, Greenskin, Gray Goliath, Mighty Bob, Anti-Hulk, Friday, Green Golem, Golem, Man-Monster, World-Breaker, Sakaarson, Nul: Breaker of Worlds, Doc Green, The Most Powerful Being on Earth, The Strongest One There Is 

Powers: Possesses the potential for near-limitless levels of vast superhuman strength ranging beyond the limits of virtually any other known humanoid being, depending directly on his emotional state, particularly his anger. He is extremely resistant to physical damage, psychic assaults, temperature extremes, and is completely immune to disease and poisons. He can breathe underwater, survive unprotected in space, and when injured, possesses superhuman healing, enabling him to regenerate body tissue (including internal organs) within minutes to seconds. His aging is also slowed, or may have ceased altogether, due to these regenerative properties of his gamma ray irradiated cells. His powerful legs allow him to cover 3 miles in a single bound, but he has been known to leap into lower Earth orbit or even across continents when angry. Besides great strength, his durability, healing, endurance, and possibly speed, likewise also increase in relation to his anger levels. He can maintain this peak output for hours on end and still continue to grow even more powerful as his adrenaline levels continue to increase with no apparent limit. Unrelated to his physical abilities, he can see astral (spirit) forms normally invisible to the naked eye and can locate his place of birth; Desert Base New Mexico no matter where he is in the world via psychic bond. As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the greatest minds on Earth. He is the foremost expert on Gamma Radiation and has developed expertise in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Physiology, and has a PhD in Nuclear Physics.

Favorite Expressions: “Hulk Smash!”, “Hulk is the Strongest One There is!”, "BAH!", “Nothing Can Stop Hulk!”, "The Madder Hulk gets, the Stronger Hulk gets!", “Don’t make me angry, you wouldn't like me when I’m angry.”

Incarnations: I listed the “Savage” Hulk’s classic stats up above because it is generally considered that this Hulk persona is the most popular and most powerful of all the incarnations. But his height, weight and powers varies to a degree depending on his current incarnation. Within each “Hulk vs Hercules” comic description listed in the sections below, I included which incarnation of the Hulk was present for that fight. 

*Please note that all incarnations listed are only "real" Hulk incarnations with Bruce Banner. No alternate future or pseudo-Hulk incarnations are included. 



Name: Hercules

Height: 6'5"

Weight: 325lbs

Real Name: Heracles

Origins: Thebes, Greece, Zeus (father), Alcemne (mother, deceased)

Home Base: Mount Olympus

Nicknames: The Prince of Power, The Lion of Olympus, The Son of Zeus, Herceler, Herc, Harry Cleese, Victor Tegler, Olympus' Greatest Hero, Olympus' Greatest Warrior, The Champion of Olympus

Powers: Superhuman strength, durability, stamina and immortality greater than those of any other Olympian God except for Zeus and possibly Neptune and Pluto (although he is the physically strongest of the Olympian pantheon without question). He has powerful leg muscles that he can jump great distances (up to 100 feet) and run at great speeds (up to 100 mph). As a true immortal he does not age, is resistant to some forms of magic, can survive in deep space for a brief amount of time and is immune to disease. Although he can be wounded, he cannot die by conventional means and with a hearty constitution, he possesses a rapid healing rate. Only an injury of such magnitude that it incinerated him or dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules could kill him, but then Zeus or any other Olympian God might still be able to resurrect him. He is highly trained with thousands of years of experience in Olympian arts of war while mastering hand-to-hand combat, boxing and all forms of wrestling and grappling. He is also skilled in ancient Greek athletics excelling at the discus and hammer throw. If conquering women is also a superpower, then Hercules has got to be one of the most powerful in existence at this (just ask him and he'll gladly tell you).

Weapons: Golden Mace; forged by the god Hephaestus from enchanted adamantine making it virtually unbreakable, Special Bow and Arrows (which only he can use properly) that has a range of one mile. Magical Nemean Lion Skin Armor; grants him protection from all slashing, thrusting and piercing weapons with only limited protection from blunt weapons

Favorite Expressions: Just about anything that has to do with himself.



THE SLUGFESTS













The comics listed in this section are each time the Hulk and Hercules have squared off, had words and fought each other in actual official Marvel continuity. I will also explain each encounter in detail. Unfortunately, all fights and situations are not always so clear cut and I've tried my very best to be fair, objective and unbiased about the outcome of each battle. A "MATCH UP" is considered a round within a fight or face off confrontation. Since situations can be erratic in the story, there can be multiple outcomes between opponents in a fight. I will continually list each "MATCH UP" with a result and tally it. A "MATCH UP" will only result in a "WIN" if the losing character is rendered unconscious, teleported away against their will or immobilized in such a fashion that they are only freed by the other combatant or an ally. There may even be cases when a character gets a victory due to interference of their teammates, partners, etc. This may not be a definitive "WIN" but it will still be tallied against the losing opponent and explained so. When a character gets an "EDGE" result, they had the advantage at the end of the fight but the opponent may still be conscious or fighting on, so it will not be tallied against him. A "DRAW" result means no one was victorious during that encounter and a "NONE" or "UNKNOWN" result means there was no way a logical result could be given in that confrontation or situation from the two characters facing off. These results can occur for a number of reasons and will be explained in the text. At the end, I tallied up the totals so you can come to your own conclusions and be the judge to see who holds the overall edge in this legendary battle.
 

TALES TO ASTONISH #79 (1966)
The first time the two combatants ever meet. While planes are chasing down the "Gravage" Hulk, he rips up some railroad tracks and throws it at them. This will cause a train riding the tracks to stop. The Hulk thinks they have stopped to fight, but the conductors will tell him that no one is here to fight him. Or so they think because as luck would have it, Hercules steps off the train and says that anyone who interferes with his journey must answer to him. When Herc sees the Hulk for the first time he is amazed by the wonders of Earth and then tells the brute to prepare himself for a lesson. The Hulk doesn't care what Herc has to say, he just sees some one big enough for him to smash and that's all Jade Jaws needs to know. A perfect introduction between these two powerhouses and at last the brawl begins! They go back and forth until the Army attacks and the Hulk will soon leap away. Hercules is impressed with the mortal he had just battled. RESULT: DRAW

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 1  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0



THE CHAMPIONS #16 (1977)
The "Savage" Hulk is under the control of Dr. Doom as Doom is opposing Magneto and the Champions team. Magneto will knock the Hulk into Herc and the battle begins! They fight back and forth until Doom's control over the Hulk is broken. The Hulk realizes that he doesn't want what Doom wants and leaps away. RESULT: DRAW

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 2  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0



THE DEFENDERS #63 (1978)
While the "Savage" Hulk is fighting off other heroes, Hercules steps in and thinks it's up to him to put a stop to the brawl going on. The Prince of Power will rip up a tree and hit all the combatants with it separating them! As they all regroup, the fighting stops. RESULT: NONE

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 3  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0



DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL (1982)
Heroes go to pay their respects to Captain Mar-vell, who is dying of cancer. A splash page shows the "Savage" Hulk amused and intrigued by Tigra and Hercules is not not happy about it. The Demigod is being restrained by Iron Man and the Devil Slayer so a fight won't break out (nobody ever said that Hercules could pick his spots). RESULT: NONE

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 4  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0



THE INCREDIBLE HULK #316 (1985)
Hercules attacks the "Mindless" Hulk with fellow Avengers; Iron Man, Wonder Man and Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner. The battle is titanic with a ton of destruction, but the heroes don't make much progress in stopping the crazed behemoth. Soon Doc Samson comes along and convinces them to let him try first. Hercules is fighting the Hulk at the time Samson shows up and decides that because Samson has brains and brawn that he is a more worthy opponent (despite the fact that Samson is fighting three of his teammates and that the Hulk was the one he originally came to stop). What was Herc thinking?? Another of the many questionable actions in the career of Hercules. As the Hulk loses interest in the 4 on 1 melee in front of him, he leaps away. RESULT: EDGE HULK (But I'm tempted to give the Hulk the "win" because of the "thick-headed" move Hercules makes in this fight that made absolutely no sense.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 5  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0



THE INCREDIBLE HULK #321 (1986)
Hercules will attack the "Mindless" Hulk with 10 other Avengers helping him out. In this intense scrap, the team is buried under a building by the Hulk. While the Hulk now goes off fighting other Avengers, Captain America and the big guns regroup and decide to fight the beast at full-force! RESULT: EDGE HULK (The Hulk got the "edge" by burying Herc and his Avenger teammates, but they were still in the fight and far from defeated.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 6  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0

Hercules and the rest of the Avengers attack the "Mindless" Hulk again, battling the brute to a standstill. She-Hulk shows up and breaks it up to try to talk the Hulk down. When the Hulk punches her to the ground, they regroup and all decide that this Hulk must die to save the world. RESULT: DRAW

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 7  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 0


THE INCREDIBLE HULK #322 (1986)
Hercules makes several attacks on the "Mindless" Hulk with the help of all the Avengers, but nothing could slow the monster down. Soon (due to the fact that the Hulk was currently separated from Bruce Banner) the Hulk begins to weaken and finally falls. Herc wants to land the killing blow but Betty Ross runs up and stops him because if the Hulk dies, so will Bruce Banner! RESULT: WIN HERCULES (This is by no means a definitive "win" for Hercules as he had the help of 11 Avenger teammates. And the Hulk only fell because he was losing his strength and power due to his separation from Bruce Banner.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 8  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 1



THE AVENGERS ANNUAL #17 (1987)
The "Gray" Hulk is persuaded to briefly rejoin the Avengers during the Evolutionary War. As Hercules and the Hulk team up to attack Attuma and his forces, they exchange words on who is the superior. Nothing becomes of it because the Hulk is eventually banished away by the High Evolutionary. RESULT: NONE

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 9  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 1



THE INCREDIBLE HULK #404 (1993)
With the "Professor" Hulk under the mind control of Mentallo and the Red Skull, he and Juggernaut team up to fight Hercules and the Avengers. The Hulk and Herc have a short scrap and stop once the Hulk starts to break free from the control and attacks the Juggernaut. In the end, when the Hulk regains total control of his mind, it causes a psychic backlash that will knock everyone out except himself and the Vision. RESULT: DRAW

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 10  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 1


THE INCREDIBLE HULK #434 (1995)
At the funeral of Nick Fury (obviously his death was a farce), the "Professor" Hulk has a short scrap with Hercules and other Avengers. The fight gets broken up by the President so that everyone can show their proper respect for the dead. Another bad judgment on Hercules (and the Avengers) part for tangling with the Hulk at the wrong time and place. RESULT: DRAW

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 11  HULK: 0 - HERCULES: 1


THE INCREDIBLE HULK - HERCULES: UNLEASHED #1 (1996)
Hercules (without his immortality) shows up to confront the "Bannerless" Hulk to help him find the missing heroes (who are in a universe created by Franklin Richards). The Hulk isn't in the mood to help out and wants to fight, so predictably he attacks. The fight is epic and Herc manages to holds his own with his great fighting skills, but due to being depowered, he cannot take much of the Hulk's onslaught. The brute continues to unmercifully pound and bloody up Herc, who continues to fight on despite his injures. Finally, the Hulk threatens to end Herc's life but Zeus will step in save his son from the final blow. Later, Zeus will offer to restore Herc's immortality and power back to normal but his stubborn son will refuse. RESULT: WIN HULK (Although the Hulk pounded Herc within an inch of his life, the Son of Zeus was without his immortality and not fighting at full-strength. I should also point out that the Hulk was separated from Bruce Banner at this time and his power levels were also very erratic.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 12  HULK: 1 - HERCULES: 1



HEROES FOR HIRE #1 (1997)
Hercules watches a television screen and sees the "Bannerless" Hulk on a rampage close to where he is at. Herc shows great courage and will take off to go after the behemoth (despite not having his immortality and narrowly surviving his last encounter with the Hulk). But when Herc shows up, Iron Fist frees the Hulk from a mind-control device and they all team up to defeat the U-Foes. RESULT: NONE

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 13  HULK: 1 - HERCULES: 1




variant cover
HEROES REBORN: THE RETURN #2 (1997)
You have to give Hercules props because despite still not having his immortality and almost dying at the hands of the "Bannerless" Hulk in a previous encounter, this is the third time he comes face to face with the brute at a great disadvantage and without showing any fear for his life. This time Hercules and the Thunderbolts confront the Hulk in a stand off. But as a nexus storm becomes more intense, they all get separated by a flood. Soon the Hulk and Spider-man get teleported away. RESULT: NONE

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 14  HULK: 1 - HERCULES: 1


GIANT-SIZE HULK #1 (2006)
This is an untold tale of the past that will eventually lead into the World War Hulk story line. Hercules is with the Champions team including; Black Widow, Angel, Iceman and Ghost Rider. The "Savage" Hulk is rampaging through a city with an unidentified woman in a car he is carrying. Assuming the worst, Hercules and the Champions attack. The Hulk is able to take each of the Champions attacks (and call Hercules "Skirt Man" which embarrasses him) before putting the car down and smashing the ground a few times stunning the team. Eventually, the woman is delivered to the hospital, at which point it is revealed that she is Jennifer Walters in her pre-She Hulk days, and that her appendix was about to rupture. The Hulk, in this case, was a good guy, racing her to the hospital before he was interrupted by the heroes looking for a fight. Hercules in particular notes with shame that he attacked the Hulk without giving him a chance to explain…and notes that he hopes to do the Hulk right in the future, providing us with our much-promised hint as to how things might shake out in World War Hulk. RESULT: EDGE HULK (Although the Hulk stunned Hercules and the rest of the Champions team before he leaps away, they were not truly defeated so I couldn't give the Hulk a definitive "win." I should also note that the Hulk won a moral victory in this by being more concerned about saving his cousin than wanting to fight.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 15  HULK: 1 - HERCULES: 1




variant cover
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #107 / WORLD WAR HULK #2 (2007)
I should point out that this fight is shown in its entirety in The Incredible Hulk #107 and only in a few panels in World War Hulk #2.

Hercules and the Champions find the "World War" Hulk and want to help him in his cause. Amadeus Cho will call out to the brute, but when the Hulk sees him with Hercules and the others, he attacks! Hercules defends Cho and gets pounded by the behemoth as Namora and Angel come in and try to help Herc out but are easily tossed aside. Herc then attacks and tells the Hulk to stop fighting because they want to help him. But the Hulk, filled with anger, will continue to unmercifully pound Herc into a bloody mess and almost kill him (Hercules himself states this). Finally, the Hulk stops and sees a bunch of people around him that believe in his cause and want to stand by him. RESULT: WIN HULK (This fight is a little controversial, as one might argue that Herc was not truly fighting back in the end to show the Hulk the error of his ways. But it's hard to judge because the Hulk was really putting a hurting on The Lion of Olympus even before he supposedly stopped fighting back. As I see it, the Hulk truly pummeled Herc in this one and showcased his true power over the Son of Zeus. And no matter how much Hercules fanboys want to argue about this fight, Herc looked bad and there is no denying that.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 16  HULK: 2 - HERCULES: 1



THE INCREDIBLE HULK #108 / THE INCREDIBLE HULK #109 (2007)
It should be noted that both issues tell the exact same "Hulk vs Hercules" match up but from different perspectives.

Hercules, Amadeus Cho, Namora, Angel and a crowd of people want to side with the "World War" Hulk, he tries to comprehend why they would do this. This angers the brute and he will slam his foot down on the ground and the shock wave sends Hercules and the others flying. When they all regroup and defy the Hulk's threats to save themselves, they let he know that they will stand beside him no matter what. RESULT: NONE

 TALLY: MATCH UPS: 17  HULK: 2 - HERCULES: 1


THE INCREDIBLE HULK #110 (2007)
With the "World War" Hulk being poisoned, Amadeus Cho angers the brute by insulting him so his adrenaline will help him recover faster. When the Hulk lifts up a huge boulder to smash Amadeus with it, Hercules and Namora rush to his aid to stop the brute. Both heroes manage to take the full impact of the attack and shield Amadeus but are both stunned. RESULT: NONE

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 18  HULK: 2 - HERCULES: 1


HULK VS HERCULES: WHEN TITANS COLLIDE #1 (2008)
Hercules tells Amadeus Cho about a meeting he had with the "Mindless" Hulk when the brute was stranded at the Crossroads of Eternity years ago. As Gaea takes pity on the Hulk, he finds himself on Olympus and soon befriends two giants that have been oppressed by the Olympian gods. Ares will eventually show up and attack, but after the Hulk makes short work of The God of War, the giants see the Hulk's true potential and manipulate him into attacking the other Olympus gods (who they have a grudge with). Hercules is summoned and confronts the mute behemoth. They go back and forth until Ares returns to kill the Hulk (who at that moment is momentarily blinded), but is punched out by Hercules. The Son of Zeus will now stop fighting the Hulk and call their contest a draw while offering his friendship. Soon Cronus breaks free from his prison and with his legions attack the Olympians. The two giants that the Hulk befriended earlier get killed off by Hercules in the melee and when the Hulk sees this he is shocked and unable to understand why. As Herc offers the brute his hand in friendship, the Hulk turns away and enters the Crossroads again. RESULT: DRAW (While Hercules had the Hulk at a disadvantage at the end of this scrap when Ares attacked, Herc himself states that the fight was a "draw" so I had to list it as that.)

TALLY: MATCH UPS: 19  HULK: 2 - HERCULES: 1


THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #22 (2009)
When the "Savage" Hulk asks how he vanished from the Arizona Desert and appeared in Wundagore and threatens to smash, he is restrained by Hercules and other Avengers while Amadeus Cho tries to calm the brute down. U.S. Agent demands Hank Pym to tell him what's going on and attacks Hercules in the process. Eventually Herc pounds on U.S. Agent and the Hulk leaps away. RESULT: NONE

FINAL TALLY: MATCH UPS: 20  HULK: 2 - HERCULES: 1



OTHER BATTLES




The Hulk and Hercules have fought a few times in non-cannon stories and against fake incarnations of themselves and I've noticed throughout the years that both Hulk and Hercules fans often make arguments showing these comics to make claims to their debates. But truth be told, despite some interesting stories, these issues don't count. I see them as writers interpretations of “Hulk vs Hercules” battles without continuity restraints so they always have fun twists of “What could have been.” Listed here are the best of the best of the Hulk and Hercules battles that occurred outside of actual Marvel continuity.


THE INCREDIBLE HULK #200 (1976)
The "Savage" Hulk (with a special helmet on that gives Bruce Banner's brain control of the Hulk) battles illusions of his greatest foes inside the infected mind of Glenn Talbot. There, an illusion of Hercules is among the many foes that attack and get defeated by the raging Hulk (who has long destroyed the helmet) which eventually frees Talbot from the control.


THE DEFENDERS #62 (1978)
While the "Savage" Hulk doesn't even fight Hercules in this issue, I listed it because when I was a kid, this was the first time I ever saw or even thought about "Hulk vs Hercules." My older brother had this comic in his collection and when he wasn't home I decided to look through them. When I came to this issue, I was simply in awe! My 6 year old mind went nuts with this match up! Who is the stronger? Who would win this fight? I couldn't wait to see them slug it out as I opened the comic. Sadly, when I looked through the issue, there was no fight to be seen anywhere. It was all cover propaganda and my brother didn't have the next issue so I never knew what happened until years later (they still didn't really fight as shown above). Still, this comic and slugfest represents a link to my childhood and so I had to honor it in this write up.


THE AVENGERS #267 (1986)
Kang has almost eliminated all the time divergent duplicates created each time he jumped through time. The Wasp, Black Knight and Hercules are transported to Limbo by Kang where he hopes they will help him destroy the final duplicate. While in Limbo they face images of the Avengers of the past and when Herc sees the "Gravage" Hulk, he attacks and drops the brute with a massive punch.


HULK / POWER PACK #4 (2007)
The "Savage" Hulk and Power Pack have teamed-up to take down some of the Hulk's greatest foes, but now they face their greatest opponents yet -- the mightiest heroes in the Marvel Universe! The Hulk begins to slug it out with everybody including Hercules in a battle royal! The only ones who can hope to stop the destruction are Marvel's youngest heroes, Power Pack! Soon Energizer is dropped on the Hulk by Light speed and she absorbs his gamma-rays turning the Hulk back into Bruce Banner which ends the fight. But now she turns into the Hulk and wants to smash Banner! Energizer will then shoot a blast to the sky releasing the gamma energy within her and turns back to normal.


MARVEL ADVENTURES: THE AVENGERS #18 (2008)
After centuries of imprisonment in solid rock by Pluto, Hercules breaks out into the world and is confronted by the Avengers. As the "Savage" Hulk and Iron Man battle the giant three-headed dog, Cerebus, the Avengers fight and then make friends with the Son of Zeus. Soon the Hulk will fall on top of Herc and they start to brawl it out (which Herc loves). They go back and forth until they all team up to defeat Cerebus with teamwork. Herc enjoys the company of all the heroes but decides to return to Hades (by digging through a volcano) to find and get his revenge on Pluto for imprisoning him.


NEW AVENGERS: ARMY OF ONE (2009)
With the "Savage" Hulk rampaging across the American Southwest, it will take the combined might of just about every Marvel hero including Hercules and the U.S. Military to stop him. While the battle is intense with all the heroes piling up on the Hulk, Hercules and Thor manage to get in some big power shots before a team of Military sharpshooters finally take the Hulk out with adamantium tipped darts that  make him change back into Bruce Banner and sedate him.


AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES #11 (2013)
When Thor and Hercules engage each other in a battle for the ages, it's up to the Hulk to put an end to it. A nice little twist where the Green Goliath is the voice of reason... or is he?



MEDIA

Listed in this section is every time the Hulk squared off against Hercules in a movie, cartoon, video game, etc. Now this category might not be in actual comic continuity but it plays a very important role in how the mainstream audience views each character and where they stand when facing off with one another.





MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 2 VIDEO GAME (2009)
This action role-playing game was a sequel to the 2006 Marvel Ultimate Alliance Video Game. It features elements of the Secret War and Civil War story arcs.

The Hulk is a playable character that needs to be unlocked and Hercules is a boss character that you fight when you sign with the Pro-Registration heroes (both were not included in the previous game as the Hulk eventually become a downloadable playable character). So under the correct circumstances you can have the Hulk and his team fight it out with Hercules in a battle of video game fun!



MARVEL SUPERHERO SQUAD: THE INFINITY GAUNTLET VIDEO GAME (2010)
There are three modes of play in the game: the first is "Story Mode," which allows up to two players to complete the game story with a limited selection of heroes available; the second mode is "Challenge Mode," which allows for up to four players to play together with an increased choice of thirty different superheroes and super-villains to either play it out or fight it out in an array of mini games; the final mode of play is "Freeplay Mode," which allows the player to go back to any level and replay it as any playable character. You can also have them fighting if you download the "Thanos Thowdown" option where you get to not only use Thanos as a playable character but you get two new styles of play for the "Challenge Mode" option. With "Mayhem Marathon" you can play with up to four players and keep battling swarms of villains to see who can get the highest score. And in "Combat Crater" you can fight up to four players in a fighting free-for-all while collecting gems and bonuses that pop up and giving characters special powers. While the Hulk is a playable character in this game and Hercules is not (he is a boss character), the Hulk will slug it out with the Olympian through out the game and in different game modes. "Hulk vs Hercules" has never looked cuter!!



SUPERHERO SQUAD SHOW (SEASON: 2 EPISODE: 37 "SO PRETTY WHEN THEY EXPLODE!" 2011)
While not a "Hulk vs Thor vs Hercules vs She-Hulk" slugfest in a cartoon. I have to mention this episode because they all try to prove to the other who is truly the superior in strength, especially Hulk, Thor and Hercules (with their ego's in high gear). It is a fun episode that plays out the controversy on who is the strongest hero in the Super Squad universe!



MARVEL SUPERHERO SQUAD ONLINE VIDEO GAME (2011)
This online PC game has a ton of features where Hulk, Hercules and all the other Marvel heroes can be used to play. Have level games and battle minions until you meet up with the villain bosses, team up with other players online, train your heroes and interact with the entire Marvel Universe. Also there is a fun option for fighting each other in a card game style format. This game is in the style of many of the popular card games for kids, where you try to trump the card your opponent plays, or stop them from being able to put one down at all. You’ll begin by building your deck, choosing cards with a high damage potential, or cards that might help you block your opponent’s attack. Your chosen hero will face off in an arena with one opponent. Each turn you have the chance to attack, block an attack, or pass if you have nothing to play. Make your opponent lose all of the cards in his hand to win the game. With each card you play, the character on the card will enter the battle arena and perform an action. It’s really fun to see your favorite characters attacking, blocking, or cheering their victories. When you win a game, you’ll be rewarded with a new card for your deck. Have Hulk and Hercules fight in a battle royal of the ages or have them fight others. Either way it's some super fun to play!



HULK AND THE AGENTS OF S.M.A.S.H. (SEASON: 2 EPISODE: 16 "THE TALE OF HERCULES" 2015)
The Hulk and Hercules make uneasy allies as they fight Pluto and his underworld army in an effort to free the Smashers from their rock statue prison. At the end, the Hulk shows Herc the errors of his narcissistic ways and they all become good friends.



THE END??

Now to wrap up this titanic tussle! Even though the Hulk has a slight edge over Hercules in 20 overall official match ups 2 to 1, those wins and loses aren't without some controversies. But if you look at all the fights honestly, you have to to give the Hulk the edge because it's just Herc's fight to lose. Yes, Herc is the much better fighter and starts off with a higher base strength than the Hulk, but as the fight progresses Herc will eventually wear down and fall. And even though Herc has his godly stamina and healing rate, which will keep him in this slugfest for days (not to mention his unyielding warriors-heart and spirit), it will eventually not be enough. The fact is, despite how powerful Herc is, the Hulk is just more so. And whether some fans think this should not be the case because Herc is an Olympian God and the Hulk is a mortal, it doesn't matter because these are the facts; Hercules has a cap on his power levels while the Hulk does not and that is the edge. The brute will continue to get stronger, more durable and much more relentless so Herc is eventually bound to drop. The proof lies within all the battles where Herc has a ton of back up and he still can't put the Hulk away. Also the fight in The Incredible Hulk #107 (despite what you think of the fight itself) you can clearly see the difference in each combatants power levels. Herc's major blows cause no physical damage while the Hulk's make Herc a bloody mess. In the end, there is no doubt in my mind that if the Hulk is angry, he will be the last man standing on the battlefield.

Only a handful of characters symbolize strength. Throughout history, no one is more famous for strength than Hercules. His feats of strength, the 12 labors of Hercules, are passed down from generations to generations. In the Marvel Universe, however, Hercules has to contend with other powerful beings to earn the title of "The Strongest." And in this match up, Herc doesn't always win. But the Lion of Olympus should be given his proper respect that he sometimes lacks. He is Thor's equal when it comes to physical combat and is without a doubt capable of defeating anyone on Earth including every Super-Heavyweight in the Marvel Universe. But if Herc decides to slug it out with the Hulk toe-to-toe or hand-to-hand, he will lose plain and simple. And Hercules will do this because that's just the way he is, very confident, very proud and all ego.

This is also the same flaw Herc's immortal buddy Thor seems to suffer from when he fights the Hulk. Thor has so many other powers at his disposal (especially with Mjolnir) but he rarely ever uses them because of his proud, self-righteous ego. He decides to slug it out with the Hulk and the consequences don't fall in the Thunder God's favor. Both Hercules and Thor always want to beat the Hulk at his game and this isn't the smartest move by either of them. It must be the fact that these immortal warriors have been worshiped and idolized by "mere mortals" for thousands of years and they can't admit or understand why one of those mortals is actually stronger than them and capable of matching them in physical combat. Well, it would bother me...

Either way, when Hercules (or Thor) slugs it out with the Hulk, it's always fun to witness because you know it's going to be legendary!


Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!!



Check out other "DEFINITIVE WRITE UPS" here:

Jack Kirby vs Alex Toth
http://hero-envy.blogspot.com/2013/06/jack-kirby-vs-alex-toth.html

Superman vs Captain Marvel
Thor vs Ulik

Hulk vs Thor
Hulk vs Juggernaut



John "The Mego Stretch Hulk" Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John still thinks he's really Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at johnstretch@live.com or follow on twitter at @Elastic_Hulk and have some fun.