"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born-to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!"
As the Heroic Age dawns on the Marvel Universe and we prepare for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, each Friday Marvel.com will present a different column focusing on the one and only Avengers. From line-ups to costumes to villains to classic stories and beyond, we've got you covered on the history of Marvel's most prolific team of heroes!
So let the call go out: Avengers Assemble!
By TJ Dietsch
Those ancient Greek demigods don't get too hung up when it comes to couture.
Though happy to spend most of his appearances wearing the classic green and orange tunic, Hercules has also had his fair share of memorable costume renovations, generally tending towards manly gear that show off his plush chest hair.
When he first appeared and threw down with Thor in 1965's JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY ANNUAL #1, Hercules came out swinging wearing a green skirt, shoulder sash and orange half-helmet with knee-length orange strappy sandal boots. Most dudes couldn't pull that look off, but Herc’s not most dudes. He likes the look so much that he's spent most of his 45 year history wearing it including his first AVENGERS appearance in 1967's issue #38. Controlled by the Enchantress, Hercules once again found himself at odds with the good guys, but eventually joined forces with them for a series of adventures.
Red and Black Space Costume
Though he wore the orange and green throughout the 60’s and 70’s including during his stint in the Champions, Hercules finally got some new gear in the mid 80’—sort of. In the 24th century, after being banished once again by his pops, Zeus, Herc finds himself hanging out with Skrulls and fighting threats like Galactus and Red Wolf while wearing a pretty swank red and black shirt/suit with wide open chest and his iconic “H” belt. It's a slightly more reserved look for our gregarious hero.
One of the few alterations Hercules ever made to his regular costume was switching from the green sash to bands across his chest and over his shoulders, though he also sported a baggy jump suit while hanging around with the Avengers in the mid 80’s. This look also did away with the skirt and went with the straight-up underoos with shorter boots. Gods care not for your mortal body shame!
The Prince of Power remained with the Avengers throughout most of the 80’s, spent a bit of time on injured reserve, then returned to active duty in the mid 90’s. His costume remained pretty much the same, but he started wearing full length brown pants.
AVENGERS #363 saw the Earth's Mightiest Heroes facing a threat so big that many of the team members donned armor. Herc's had huge metal shoulder pads and leg guards. Being the consummate brawler, he spent the rest of the 90’s in varying versions of this costume, sometimes mixing in a tank top as well. Hercules appeared in a version of this gear in 1998’s AVENGERS #1 with a red tunic and silver metal boots, belt and headgear, but went back to his classic gear once again soon enough.
Our favorite Greek god has had a great few recent years after in the spotlight, primarily in INCREDIBLE HERCULES where he palled around with super genius Amadeus Cho for a while before seemingly perishing thanks to the machinations of his sister Athena. But, before that, he spent some time wearing Thor's costume in an attempt to take the Thunderer’s place for a mission. He filled the costume out well, but he couldn't have been comfortable wearing long sleeves and pants.
After being rescued from “death” by Amadeus Cho, Hercules found himself blessed with even more power than usual and celebrated by replacing his sash with a green cape. The more regal look came just in time for him to face off against the Chaos Kings' plans to end all life in the universe in the pages of CHAOS WAR.Learn all about the new HERC ongoing series!