Warning – spoilers for Thor: Love And Thunder lie ahead.
Thor: Love And Thunder hit cinemas this week – but it wasn’t just the God Of Thunder fans were talking about after the credits rolled.
The mid-credits scene of the latest MCU adventure revealed that Russell Crowe’s orgy obsessed Zeus survived his attack by Thor and is now taking things a bit more seriously.
Sick of superheroes, he is keen for people to fear the Gods again, setting the character up as a future MCU villain.
As his speech continues the camera moves to reveal he is talking to none other than Hercules, played by Ted Lasso’s Brett Goldstein, a new addition to the MCU who is likely to be a bad guy alongside Zeus… or is he?
Who Is Hercules In The Marvel Comics?
Formally introduced in 1965 in the Journey Into Mystery annual, the character was brought in as a nemesis for Thor – a rivalry that ended after one storyline saw Thor save Hercules from enslavement by the Olympian God Pluto.
From then on he became a frequent guest star in the Thor comics and began teaming up with the Avengers from 1967 onwards.
He’s been a mainstay in the Marvel comics ever since, most recently appearing in a recent Guardians Of The Galaxy series, where Star-Lord helps to free him after he’s taken captive by his resurrected family.
The ending of that story led to Hercules beginning a relationship with Marvel Boy, confirming that the character is openly bisexual in the comics, something we’d like to see replicated on the big screen.
What Are Hercules’ Super Powers?
He has all the powers you’d expect: superhuman strength, durability, speed, reflexes, stamina, and endurance. His super strong legs allow him to run at speeds of over 100 mph and leap over a hundred feet into the air.
He’s going to make a tough adversary for Thor, as the most powerful of the Olympians, but comics lore says it won’t be long until they bury the hatchet and team up together.
How Can Hercules Fit Into The MCU?
Of course, just because Hercules has been introduced here doesn’t mean we will see him again anytime soon – there’s still no news on Harry Styles and Charlize Theron’s returns after their credits cameos.
But being an Avenger since the sixties in the comics, Hercules is one of the most enduring characters on the page yet to feature on the screen. And he has company, with two already announced projects he could nicely slot into.
First up is other ’60s character Wonder Man, who is getting the Disney+ series treatment courtesy of Shang-Chi director Dustin Daniel Cretton.
Like Hercules, Wonder Man was initially introduced as a villain but by the seventies he’d changed sides, being formally inducted into the Avengers by the end of the decade – a not entirely dissimilar trajectory to Hercules, so we could see the pair joining forces in the same way.
No casting news has yet been announced there, but The Hollywood Reporter have speculated it could start filming next year, meaning a 2024 release at the latest. Still, that’s two years away.
Hercules could also return via the Black Knight, Kit Harrington’s character introduced in Eternals who we expect to see in the forthcoming Blade (if that post-credit sequence is anything to go by).
The pair are longtime friends and teammates in the comics – so could Hercules make an appearance in Mahershala Ali’s debut vampire hunting adventure? It would be an unusual place for him to return, but in this interconnected universe, we can’t rule anything out.
Either way, we’re excited to see Hercules’ journey from villain to Avenger on the big screen.
Thor: Love And Thunder is out now in cinemas.