The Amazing Spider-HercPosted: 09/10/2013
I love Spider-Man. I love Hercules. When I found two issues combining them, I’m totally in.
Genetically altered bed bugs created by the supervillain Jackal and his co-conspirator the Spider Queen gives everyone in New York City Spider-Man powers. That’s an actual Marvel company event, and it succeeded far beyond what people expected. Hilarious stories mixed with emotional tales stirred together with an awesome premise created one of the best events in a long time. Mary Jane Watson received her first prominent role since her marriage dissolved. Everyone from the Avengers to Shang-Chi to Black Panther to Venom combated spider goons. Peter Parker and J. Jonah Jameson battled giant bugs side by side. Spider-Man’s clone Kaine came back to life. Spider-Girl, Hobgoblin, and the Kingpin, and an entire ninja army allied together for the good of New York. I’m saying you should read Spider-Island and its crossovers if you haven’t yet.
Also, Spider-Herc, but we’ll get to that. Today we check out Herc #7-8, written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente and drawn by June Brigman, where Herc brawls the X-Men in a Spider-Man costume. By the way, Pak and Ven Lente deserve every bit of applause for changing Hercules into the powerful lovable oaf is today. And hopefully today’ll prove that alongside me shameless plugging my some of my other Hercules articles here and here.
So how did he get to this point?
After the whole Chaos War fiasco and Hercules’ death, he returned to life (as all gods do) only without that awesome invulnerability and super strength he possessed as a god. Now he tends bar in Brooklyn, protects fellow mortals, and seduces the local women. But y’know, Spider-Island happened.
And his costume?
Now, with the Spider Queen running around, arachnid royalty don’t really do a lot of their own dirty work. I mean, sure, they’ll transform into a skyscraper-sized super spider intent on destroying the entire city, but that’s more of a back up plan. Instead, they gather up a bunch of mind controlled champions to go and disrupt stuff for a while. Like Hercules. And how do they know he’s the right choice? Convenience, I guess? He received his spider powers pretty early. And the next two pages consist of a long set up to a single panel punchline. Totally worth it.
With his possession, which I’ll show next, he goes to battle the X-Men who stand very much against the Spider Queen’s plan of conquering and wiping out New York City.
You can buy the book for the entire fight, but it does consist of a moment where Hercules brushes off a fully-powered angry Storm lightning blast. She wrecks everyone with those, like a trump card that could power small countries for years instead used on the second hairiest superhero in the Marvel universe. Here’s Hercules impaling the first:
Then this happens:
I forgot to mention that little side effect. Y’see, besides wild chaos with millions of Spider-Men running around, after a certain point, everyone infected turns into giant spider people under the evil control of the Spider Queen. The X-Men realize that like most superhero teams, teamwork tends to work best in defeating foes far more powerful and with far more legs. Just randomly throwing explosive cards and Wolverine tends not to work as well as a combined, planned assault. I miss Cyclops; he’d have never let Hercules become that spider-centaur thing.
Oh yeah, Hercules has some spider goddess buddies like Arachne. Normal god Hercules is gross, with his human genitalia and whatnot. But spider-centaur Hercules? What spider god could possibly resist that? Thus Hercules emerges victorious through the only way he knows how: passionate lovemaking, a skill just as finely tuned as his swordplay and alcoholism.
As Spider-Island ends, the citizens and superheroes of New York City awake naked and confused. A giant spider monster lays dead behind them and shouts ring out about the destruction and frustration spread throughout city. The naked part too. But as we end our story today, Hercules once again rises to the top of the warrior pyramid when he slays the most frightening and dangerous of his life-long foes: modesty. I’m saying everyone’s seen Hercules’ privates.