Skip to content

Hercules Reading Order (Marvel)

  • by

Based on the Greek mythology hero Heracles, Hercules Panhellenios is a Marvel character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He first appeared in Young Allies #16 in May 1945, but his formal introduction was twenty years later, in Journey into Mystery Annual #1 (published in October 1965).

He is presented as a rival to the Norse god of Thunder, Thor Odinson, and a screw-up demi-god who is repeatedly cast out of Olympus by Zeus.

He became a regular guest star in Thor’s adventures before smashing against Hulk and, teaming up with the Avengers–without being an official member until the nineties.

But the Avengers wasn’t the only team Herc was working with, as he moved to Los Angeles for The Champions.

At this stage, Hercules was still sharing the spotlight with other characters. In the eighties, Herc headlined two limited series but, surprise! it was not the character readers were familiar with, but a 24th-century version of the character.

The Herc from Earth-616 became a more prominent character in the noughties, where he had his own title, then took over Hulk’s title and became The Incredible Hercules for a time. More recently, Hercules joined the Guardians of the Galaxy for some space adventures.

Hercules also recently joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in the mid-credits scene of Thor: Love an Thunder, played by Brett Goldstein.

Hercules Reading Order

As stated above, Herc was at first a guest star in Thor stories, and then was assisting The Avengers on a regular basis. For more information, check out:

Hercules in the 60s & 70s

Hercules’s first appearance in Avengers was initially in issue #10 before it was later revealed it was an impostor. After his official debut in Journey Into Mystery Annual #1, he joined the Avengers in issue #38. And of course, he became a Champions during the 70s.

What follows is not a precise listing of Thor’s appearances during that time, but trade paperbacks listing where his adventures during those years are collected:

Thor and Hercules in Thor #426

Hercules in the 80s

Hercules continues to be a supporting player in Thor and The Avengers during the eighties.

Hercules in the 90s

First a reservist, Hercules becomes officially an active Avenger during the “Collection Obsessive” storyline (#334-339).

  • Avengers Epic Collection: The Crossing Line
     Collects Avengers (1963) #319-333, Avengers Annual (1967) #19; material from Captain America Annual (1971) #9, Iron Man Annual (1970) #11, Thor Annual (1966) #15, Avengers West Coast Annual (1989) #5.
  • Avengers Epic Collection: The Collection Obsession
    Collects Avengers #334-344; Avengers Annual #20; Avengers: Deathtrap – The Vault; material from The Incredible Hulk Annual #17, Namor The Sub-Mariner Annual #1, Iron Man Annual #12, Avengers West Coast Annual #6
  • Avengers Epic Collection: Fear The Reaper
     Collects Avengers (1963) #348-359 and Annual #21 and material from Captain America Annual #11, Thor Annual#17 and Fantastic Four Annual #25.
  • Infinity War takes place here (see our reading order for the Infinity Saga)!
  • Avengers Epic Collection: The Gatherers Strike!
    Collects Avengers (1963) #360-366, Annual 22, Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective 1-4; Avengers Strikefile 1 and material from Avengers Anniversary Magazine.

    • Avengers/X-Men: Bloodties
      Collects Avengers #368-369, Avengers West Coast #101, X-Men #26, Uncanny X-Men #307 and Black Knight: Exodus #1. 
  • Infinity Crusade takes place here!
  • Avengers (1963) #370-375
    No Epic Collection yet, those issues have been collected in The Avengers: The Gathering Omnibus.
  • Avengers Epic Collection: Taking A.I.M
     Collects Avengers (1963) #378-388, Marvel Double Feature: Avengers/Giant-Man (1994) #379-382, Vision (1994) #1-4, Captain America (1968) #440-441.
  • Avengers: The Crossing
    Collects Avengers #390-395, The Crossing, Timeslide; Iron Man (1968) #319-325; Force Works #16-22; War Machine #20-25; Age of Innocence: The Rebirth of Iron Man.
  • Avengers/Iron Man: First Sign
    Collects Captain America (1968) #449, Thor (1966) #496, Iron Man (1968) #326-331 and Avengers (1963) #396-400.

Hercules in The Heroes Reborn era

The Avengers and the X-Men join forces to fight Onslaught (see full reading order), an event Hercules skipped! Consequently, he is not part of the group that finds itself in the Heroes Reborn Pocket Universe. It offers Herc the occasion to shine solo!

  • Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed
    Collected in The Incredible Hulk by Peter David Omnibus Vol. 4
  • Heroes For Hire (1997) #1-3
    Collected in Luke Cage, Iron Fist, & The Heroes For Hire Vol. 1
  • Hercules: Heart Of Chaos (1997) #1-3
    Not collected anywhere to my knowledge.

When the Avengers returned from the pocket universe to Earth-616, Hercules is present to help reorganize the team but chooses to be an inactive member of the group. This is a period where Hercules acts more as a guest star in several titles. As he appears in more issues than the one listed below, don’t hesitate to write to us or leave us a comment if you think something worth reading is missing!

Hercules and the Civil War

Brian Michael Bendis took over the Avengers and lead the team during quite a tumultuous period. For Herc, it leads him to have a new series before joining Cap’s side during the first Civil War.

The Incredible Hercules

When Hulk came back to Earth to wreak terrible vengeance following his exile and World War Hulk, young Amadeus Cho recruited Hercules as one of Hulk’s allies. When the dust settled, Hercules took center stage of Hulk’s Incredible title–renamed Incredible Hercules for the occasion!

In the aftermath of Secret Invasion, Norman Osborn came out as a hero and rise to national power. This led us to Dark Reign, a period in the Marvel Universe where the former Green Goblin was in control. Amadeus Cho and Hercules joined Dan Slott’s Mighty Avengers after Incredible Hercules (2007) #125.

Incredible Hercules and Amadeus Cho in The Heroic Age

The Dark Reign era concluded and was replaced by The Heroic Age. It’s during that time that the Herc/Cho partnership comes to an end. Soon enough, the Marvel Universe was affected by another event: Fear Itself. Though Herc doesn’t appear in the main series, it helps launch his new series

Herc and Tigra in Avengers Academy #29

Hercules in Marvel Now (2012 – 2015)

Hercules had few appearances in the Marvel Now era, the most notable being when he is called upon to act as a guest instructor at Avengers Academy when most of the main faculty were preoccupied with the events of Avengers vs. X-Men.

You can also find another version of Hercules (from Earth-12025) in a few issues of X-Treme X-Men, collected in X-treme X-Men Vol. 2: You Cant Go Home Again and X-Men: Age of Apocalypse – Termination.

Hercules in All-New, All-Different Marvel

Hercules is back for a new short-lived series in All-New, All-Different Marvel! His story continues during the second Civil War. In the aftermath of this event, Herc rejoined the Avengers, then became a member of the Underground, the resistance movement against Hydra during Secret Empire.

Herc in Avengers (2016) #675

Marvel Legacy Hercules

Herc is still part of the Avengers when the team clash with the Champions, then fight the Poison invasion in Venomized!

Herc in Guardians of the Galaxy (vol. 6) #2

Fresh Start Hercules

Out of continuity: 24th-century Hercules

Created by Bob Layton, Hercules from Earth-829 made his debut in the 80s when he embarks on an extraterrestrial odyssey and finds there are more gods in the heavens than he imagined! Following two limited series, his adventures will be completed 20 years later with a last story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *