Total Nerd 12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise  

Hannah Collins
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The parallels between Hercules and Superman are obvious. Both are super-powered idols from the heavens who perform incredible feats of strength. While most comparisons between the Man of Steel and the Roman hero end there (technically 'Heracles' is the Greek equivalent of Hercules), Disney's 1997 version of the demigod's story borrows as much from superhero comics as it does from mythology. Once you start to think about it, the similarities between Disney's Hercules and Superman become weirdly pervasive.

Not only do the origin and character arcs of Hercules and Superman line up, but key figures and themes in their mythologies also mirror each other. While the animated film doesn't touch on the darker Superman stories from the comics, it proves making a fun, entertaining Superman movie is possible. Given recent criticisms over how the DCEU portrays the Man of Steel, there's evidence that Disney's Hercules is the best Superman movie ever made. 

Superman And Hercules Are Both Adopted Kids Who Fell From The Heavens


Superman And Hercules Are Both... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise
Photo:  Warner Bros/Walt Disney Pictures

The most evident parallel between Disney's Hercules and Superman comes from each character's origin story. Both are born in distant places beyond the stars to "Godly" parents, and both ended up being raised on Earth by humble, childless humans. Their modest upbringings taught the heroes about humanity and why the human race is worth protecting - planting the seeds for each to become the greatest hero of their world.

Lois Lane And Meg Are Kindred Spirits Separated By Millenia


Lois Lane And Meg Are Kindred ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise
Photo:  Warner Bros/Walt Disney Pictures

Though not an investigative journalist like Lois Lane, Megara possesses composure and a cynical personality - making her a perfect analog for Clark Kent's Daily Planet colleague and love interest. Meg even affectionately mocks Hercules by calling him "Wonder Boy," much like Lois nicknames Clark "Boy Scout" and "Smallville." And both Meg and Lois break from the damsel in distress mold by facing evildoers themselves.

Zeus's Temple Is A Fortress Of Solitude For Hercules


Zeus's Temple Is A Fortres... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise
Photo:  Warner Bros/Walt Disney Pictures

When Hercules (AKA Heracles) discovers he can use the Temple of Zeus to communicate with his father on Olympus, he basically gets his own Fortress of Solitude. The temple trades crystal shards for marble columns, but keeps the talking apparition of a dad who doles out sage advice. 

Though Superman's birth father, Jor-El, is long dead, Kal-El still manages to communicate with a holographic version of him in his Fortress of Solitude. Hercules, meanwhile, speaks with an analog of his biological dad, Zeus, through a possessed monument to the god.

Hades Is A Hybrid Of Lex Luthor And General Zod


Hades Is A Hybrid Of Lex Lutho... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 12 Reasons Why Disney's 'Hercules' Is Just A Superman Movie In Disguise
Photo:  Warner Bros/Walt Disney Pictures

The fast-talking, swindling King of the Underworld in Hercules is more complicated than just one classic Superman villain. So, how about two?

Hades's charm, vindictiveness, and deal-making acumen come straight from the Lex Luthor playbook. But, as Zeus's brother, he's cut from the same cloth as the super-powered nephew he's so desperate to destroy. That shared heritage, along with a desire for conquest and the elimination of humanity's greatest protector, smacks of General Zod.