Superman: DC’s Hercules?
Hercules is a Greek mythological character and is known for his humanity and for his rise to godliness. He has an inaccurate Disney movie based on him. He’s the son of Zeus, a god, and Alcmena, a queen. Hera, Zeus’s wife, was furious and tried to kill him, but was not able to. So she prosecuted Hercules throughout his life, including striking him with a madness that killed his wife and children. To amend the actions that the madness induced him to do, he went through twelve labors, which are slay the Nemean Lion, slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra, capture the Golden Hind of Artemis, capture the Erymanthian Boar, clean the Augean stables in a single day, slay the Stymphalian Birds, capture the Cretan Bull, steal the Mares of Diomedes, obtain the girdle of Hippolyta Queen of the Amazons, obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon, steal the apples of the Hesperides, and capture and bring back Cerberus.
Hercules may have had anger issues that caused problems and he was not intelligent enough to avoid the trouble he gets into. Most importantly, he was an inspiration because he has a strong sense of justice, even towards himself. He ensures that people realize that although he has made mistakes he amends it to the point where he more than makes up for them. He was so proactive in his pursuit that he protected more people than he hurt. Also he was so heroic that Zeus raised Hercules to Olympus upon his death and made him a God. The idea is that people might have ambiguous and sometimes destructive pasts, but still can be decent protectors of the earth and its people.
Protecting Earth and its people is important to the motivation behind Superman’s actions. Both he and Hercules are described as images of a hero and a representation of the culture they were raised in. Both don’t really belong to Earth, as Hercules is a demi-god and Superman is from Krypton. However, they embraced the culture they were raised in and the strength their other-worldly parts afforded them. They used both elements to protect the people of Earth. They both show signs that they know strength won’t resolve everything. Hercules was taught through his inability to bring back his family and Superman through the lessons taught to him by his parents. They take responsibility of their actions as well as the powers given to them, making them heroes even with their setbacks.
However, what does Superman have that Hercules doesn’t? More powers and he is the ultimate successful immigrant!
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