By Jim Beard
Okay, here's the thing about Thor and Hercules: when the situation's grim they'll fight tooth and nail for each other, brothers-in-arms to the end-but they're also fond of fighting against each other. They're funny that way, these two gods.
The latest salvo in the private little war between Herc and Thor comes this October 14, in INCREDIBLE HERCULES #136. But as you duck and cover you may notice something a bit odd this time around. See, the God of Thunder and the Prince of Power don't seem exactly themselves. They're each other, in fact.
Regardless, the identity switch doesn't mean punches pulled or blows lessened. Nay, 'tis a fight you desire, 'tis a fight thou shall receive! And while you wait for the battle to begin we've cobbled together a program of Herc and Thor's previous clashes for your edification and amusement! Behold!
Stumbling into fabled Olympus, Thor immediately encountered none other than Hercules himself! Though from different pantheons their shared lust for battle led them to fight over the most trivial of reasons: who'd be first to cross a bridge. Matched strength for strength, the two titans tussled until Herc's daddy, Zeus, phased in, and having secured friendship between the two boys transported Thor home!
THOR #126 (1966)
Thor didn't take kindly to Herc's pawing of the fair lady Jane Foster and presented him with a bit of uru hammer retribution. Their fight sprawled through the city and heedless of property damage, they tore up the town. Then Odin, in his infinite wisdom, retracted half of his son's godly power and Hercules filled that gap with flying fists of his own power. Thor ended up in the dirt and Herc scored his first win against the mighty God of Thunder-albeit unfairly.
"Hercules Enraged!"-so what else's new? Thor traveled to fabled Olympus on news that the Prince of Power had joined forces with the evil Pluto and the two warriors threw down once again. Herc claimed ignorance but eagerly met Thor fist for fist until Big Daddy Zeus popped in and broke up the brouhaha. Seems Thor fell for a pernicious ploy of Pluto's, so the Thunder God made plans with his Olympian counterpart to bring the Lord of the Underworld a little hurt.
THOR: BLOOD OATH #3 (2005)
Flashback: on a nigh-impossible quest for artifacts with the Warriors Three, the God of Thunder blundered his way into yet another series of furious fisticuffs with Hercules. While the Olympians placed bets on the outcome and the Warriors chased a mystical pig, Thor battled mightily with the Prince of Power and tore up Mount Olympus in the process. As these things will, the match ended in a stalemate-or in this case a headlock. Ouch!
Okay, okay, we're cheating a bit here with this one. The "Thor" at this scene turned out to be a crummy android created by Reed Richards, but you can't tell us the righteous indignation that drove Hercules to plant yon mighty mallet in Robot Thor's noggin wasn't fueled in part by his past throwdowns with the real God of Thunder and their unflagging friendship. Yep, Herc cleared this one up real quick.
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