Warning: Contains spoilers for Thor: Love and Thunder.
In the first Thor: Love and Thunder post-credits scene, Brett Goldstein is revealed to be playing Hercules in the MCU, but the movie doesn’t explain who this is. Thor: Love and Thunder sees the heroes travel to Omnipotence City in search of aid from the gods. This leads to appearances from plenty of Marvel gods, many of which are based on real-world mythologies.
When Thor and his companions ask Zeus (Russell Crowe), the ruler of Omnipotence City, for help fighting Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), Zeus declines, preferring to stay locked up safely in their city. The ensuing fight appears to show Thor kill Zeus after he breaks Korg (Taika Waititi) into many pieces. However, like Korg, the Thor: Love and Thunder ending scene reveals that Zeus survived having Thunderbolt thrown through his heart, and now he is sending Brett Goldstein’s Hercules to seek revenge on Thor and to bring back faith in the gods rather than superheroes.
Brett Goldstein’s appearance as Hercules in the first Thor: Love and Thunder post-credits scene might have come as a surprise to viewers who knew him best for Goldstein’s role as Roy Kent in Ted Lasso. While the name Hercules is surely as recognizable as Zeus to fans of Greek mythology, as Crowe’s portrayal of Zeus demonstrates, the Marvel characters based on these figures are hardly one-to-one. Here’s everything to know about Thor: Love and Thunder’s Hercules credits scene, the character in the comics, and what Brett Goldstein’s MCU future might be.
Who Is Hercules? Marvel Comics Origin Explained
While Marvel’s iteration of Hercules borrows heavily from mythology, it does not keep to it strictly even in his origins, and it is likely that the same will be true for Brett Goldstein’s Hercules in the MCU. In the Marvel comics, as in mythology, Hercules is the son of Zeus and Alcmena, and Zeus’ wife, Hera, was displeased by the occurrence, trying to kill the infant Hercules by sending two snakes after him. Already imbued with godly strength, Hercules killed the two snakes with his bare hands.
Marvel’s Hercules died (briefly) in 1246 B.C., but Zeus separated Hercules’ mortal elements from his divine, leaving the mortal being to fall to the underworld and making Hercules a full god. Over the centuries Hercules became embroiled in different battles, including a conflict with Thor and fighting in World War II, and he later became friends with Wolverine, bonding over their longevity. Hercules was tricked into attacking the Avengers by the Asgardian sorceress Enchantress (who has yet to appear in the MCU but might have influenced Loki’s Sylvie), but he was freed from Enchantress’ control, exiled by Zeus for leaving Olympus, and eventually joined the Avengers instead. Throughout Marvel comics, Hercules has played a role in many key events and important teams, including fighting alongside Captain America in “Civil War,” helping to defeat the Skrulls in “Secret Invasion,” and even worked with the Guardians of the Galaxy.
How Powerful Is Hercules Compared To Thor?
In Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor showed that he could hold his own against other gods as he fought Zeus’ minions, however it appears that he won the fight by catching the god by surprise. As Hercules and Thor are both referred to as gods and known for their strength, it’s fair to say that they might be on a level playing field. With the Thor: Love and Thunder post-credits scene showing that Hercules is being sent to kill Thor a question of whether Hercules is stronger than Thor is reasonable.
Unfortunately, the comics have given no straight answer as to whether Hercules or Thor is stronger. While Hercules did defeat Thor once, it was a clone and not the real one. Both Hercules and Thor rely on their divine powers in most situations and have historically been stripped of them by their fathers at various points. Hercules has super strength that could match Thor, but Thor is generally faster and has more diverse powers with the aid of Mjolnir and Stormbreaker. The balance may be tipped towards Hercules by two factors: if he is granted a special weapon (like Thunderbolt) by Zeus, and the fact that Hercules is a true immortal, like his father, and would only die at the hands of something like the Necrosword.
Hercules’ MCU Future Explained
While the Thor: Love and Thunder post-credits scene sets up Hercules heading after Thor fairly imminently, it is hard to predict when Brett Goldstein’s Hercules might next appear in the MCU. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 concluded with a very similar post-credits scene that teased Adam Warlock being sent after the Guardians by the Sovereign, but the character has yet to reappear. There is no obvious place for Hercules to reappear in the MCU plans as they have been announced so far as there is no logical place for Thor, so viewers might have to wait for MCU Phase 5 announcements before Hercules and Brett Goldstein’s MCU futures become clear. However, when Hercules does appear again after Thor: Love and Thunder, if he follows his Marvel comics arc for the MCU, it is likely that he will eventually move on from Zeus’ mission and instead become a hero on one of the many superhero teams forming in the MCU.
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