It turns out that Marvel’s dearly departed Hercules may have even more in common with the mythological figure on which he’s based than we previously thought.
The boisterous demigod-turned-superhero, who made his formal Marvel Universe debut in 1965, seemingly died in February’s Incredible Hercules #141 during the finale of “Assault on New Olympus.” All that’s left for his friends and colleagues to do is mourn — and share stories about the fallen Prince of Power.
And, boy, do they ever share. In Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1, out this week, Namora encourages those women who had been intimate with the bed-hopping Lion of Olympus to relate their memories. (Alfyse, queen of the dark elves of Svartalfheim, apparently works blue, if you’ll forgive the pun.)
The surprise occurs when Snowbird eyes the crowd suspiciously and says, “Now come. I know there are others in the crowd who should join us … don’t be shy” — causing an antsy Northstar to reply, “Is that the time? Gotta go!” before, well, going (at super-speed, naturally). You know, Northstar, the highest-profile gay character in the Marvel Universe.
The exchange is brief, casual and played for laughs, but it’s obvious what writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente are asserting — that the Marvel Hercules, like the Greek Herakles, was fond of women and young men. In case it’s somehow not obvious, Van Lente spells it out this morning on Twitter: “Clearly, Hercules and Northstar had a ‘team-up’.”
That presumably places Jean-Paul Beaubier on a long, long list of Hercules’ male conquests from classical mythology that includes such figures as Abderus, Elacatas, Iolaos and Iphitus.
Just don’t tell Kyle.