Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for Thor: Love and Thunder
Hercules (Brett Goldstein) is among the many gods introduced into the MCU in Thor: Love and Thunder, and this has rekindled the age-old debate about who will win in the inevitable Thor vs Hercules fight. While the Thor: Love and Thunder ending sees Jane Foster's Mighty Thor and Thor Odinson securing the victory against Gorr the God Butcher, this was followed by the reveal that Zeus is still alive. Moreover, Thor 4's credits scene includes the MCU debut of Hercules, who is instructed by Zeus to go after Thor. This epic fight between the gods is likely to go down in Thor 5.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Hercules Panhellenios, based on the divine Greek hero Heracles, was created by legendary Marvel artist Jack Kirby and writer Stan Lee. Though the Hercules vs Thor rivalry goes all the way back to the 1965 comic book Journey into Mystery Annual #1, “When Titans Clash,” Hercules actually becomes one of the closest allies of not just Thor but the Avengers. That said, Hercules has exchanged blows with Thor several times in Marvel Comics, and in most cases, the two are evenly matched. As the Thor: Love and Thunder post-credits scene finally confirms that the long-awaited clash between the two rivals/allies will be happening in the MCU, Thor and Hercules' strength, fighting abilities, and willpower will be put to their ultimate test.
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Hercules, based on his portrayal in Marvel Comics, has a real chance at beating the MCU's Thor Odinson in Thor 5. Much like Thor or any of Marvel's other gods, Hercules' abilities are contingent on his self-belief and willpower. During the Twelve New Labors of Hercules, he defeats multiple giant Moloid creatures by himself, when just one can easily occupy several Avengers or the entire Fantastic Four. At one point, Hercules also knocks out Abomination with one punch, which sends him flying through several buildings. In World War Hulk, Hulk only wins against Hercules because the latter stops fighting to prove that he's on Hulk's side. While the MCU's Thor has become extremely powerful, he faces an entirely different opponent in an MCU version of Hercules. In the comics, when Hercules was enraged by the fact that Tony Stark, Hank Pym, and Reed Richards created a Thor clone - with the same Asgardian Elder God durability as the real Thor Odinson - Hercules uses the clone's fake Mjolnir to decapitate it while screaming, "THOU. ART. NOT. THOR!" This moment in Marvel Comics reveals that, if Hercules truly wanted to, he could not just defeat Thor, but even tear through his muscles and bone. However, it's unlikely their fight would be as straightforward as this scenario in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - though having Thor be defeated initially by Hercules would be a good way to establish the latter as a big deal in the MCU.
Will Hercules Be The MCU's Strongest Hero?
While Hercules may have the strength to literally destroy Thor's body, Thor can technically do the exact same thing to Hercules. The Olympian and the Asgardian are evenly matched in terms of both strength and durability. For comparison, both Thor and Hercules' durability and raw power pale in comparison to the likes of Zeus - a low-key but crucial Thor: Love and Thunder spoiler for any future outings of the Olympians. In the MCU, Thor and Hercules would fall somewhere below or equal to the power level of cosmic beings like Captain Marvel or the Eternals.
Thor vs Hercules, as teased in Thor: Love and Thunder, is unlikely to just be a test of raw strength and power, but will ultimately boil down to resourcefulness, fighting ability, and motivation. In a Marvel Comics duel between the Greek and Asgardian Pantheons, a drunken Hercules proves to be the superior fighter against Thor, who fails to escape Hercules' wrestling hold. However, Thor secures the victory by using his lightning to knock out Hercules. That said, while Thor's lightning gives him the advantage, Hercules has wielded Mjolnir before, and seeing as Hercules is on the way to fight Thor while on a divine quest from his father Zeus, it's possible that Hercules proves himself worthy of Mjolnir in the story of Thor 5. Considering how the MCU seems to be exploring new avenues for character development using Marvel's most traditional characters, it's difficult to predict the results of Thor vs Hercules. Hopefully, the MCU can do justice to the first feature film portrayal of one of the longest and most epic rivalries in Marvel history.
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