Type: Terrestrial Stables on Earth

Environment: Standard Earth environment

Usual Means of Access: The stables were located in Olympia, a city in 13th Century BC Elis in what is now modern Greece.

Dominant Life-Form: Human (including cattle and sheep)

First Appearance: (Mentioned) Thor I#291 (January, 1980); (seen) Hercules III#1 (June, 2005)

History: (Greek/Roman Myth) The Augean Stables were owned by King Augeas of Elis. Filled with huge herds of cattle and goats, much of the surrounding land was covered in dung too thick to be cultivated. They became the fifth labor of Hercules.

(Greek/Roman Myth, Hercules III#1 (fb)) - Angry at Hercules' temporary defection with the Argonauts, King Eurystheus assigned him the fifth labor of cleaning out the vile stables of King Augeas of Elis. Hercules even went as far as bargaining with Augeas that he could clean the stables within one day if Augeas would give him one tenth of the cattle as payment. Not trusting Augeas, Hercules had Augeas' son, Phyleus, witness the wager.

(Thor I#291 (fb) - BTS/Incredible Hercules#116 (fb)) - While Hercules started his task the Eternal Forgotten One appeared and cleaned out the Augean Stables by diverting the Alpheus and Peneius Rivers through the structure. The Forgotten One was mistaken for Hercules, and the son of Zeus spent many centuries wondering who had stolen his thunder though he suspected divine intervention.

(Greek/Roman Myth, Hercules III#1 (fb)) - Augeas refused to honor the wager and exiled his son Phyleus to keep him from testifying against him. Vowing revenge, Hercules departed begrudgingly, but returned years later to dethrone Augeas and place Phyleus in his stead.

Eurystheus meanwhile did not count that labor because Hercules had tried to get payment for it. He would tag on the girdle of Hippolyta and Cerberus at the end of Hercules' ten labors in order to make up up for Hercules trying to get a payment on the stables and for Iolaus helping Hercules on the Hydra.

Comments: Adapted by Frank Tieri, Mark Texeira and James Palmiotti

According to the entry for the Forgotten One (the Eternal Gilgamesh) in the second Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, it was actually the Forgotten One who had completed this labor. Hercules even confronts him over it in war with the Eternals (Thor I#291), but yet, Hercules still recalls doing this labor. There are several ways to work this out:

The problem with many of these theories is that they conflict with Hercules' wagering and the fact that Eurystheus HAD a reason to tack on two more labors after Hercules' original ten labors. Unless some other Marvel writer figures a way to resolve it, the best solution is just that the stables were so bad that they were cleaned twice and Augeas conned both Hercules and Gilgamesh.

After Incredible Hercules#116 we now know that the Forgotten One rerouted the rivers and that Hercules just accepted it as divine intervention. BTW Hercules claimed King Augeas was the same Augeas, who had served with the Argonauts.

Ironically, in the GIJoe episode, "GIJoe and the Golden Fleece," a time-traveling Sgt. Slaughter also takes his turn cleaning them by running the nearby surf and tide through them for King Augeas (recognized from the history books?!). While some Marvel Characters (Spiderman, J. Jonah Jameson...) have popped up in crossovers with the GIJOE Universe, neither of the comic or animated universes of "The Real American Heroes" occur in the Marvel Universe (William: "Although I could have sworn Duke (Conrad Hauser) appeared in the pages of Spider-Man in the aftermath of the Beyonder turning that building to gold.").

Profile by: WillU

CLARIFICATIONS:  The Augean Stables are not to be confused with:

  • any other "stables" in the Marvel Universe

Hercules III#1 , pg 30, page bottom

Thor I#291 (January, 1980) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), Keith Pollard (pencils), Chic Stone (inks)
Hercules III#1 (June 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Incredible Hercules#116 (June, 2008) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rafa Sandoval (pencils), Roger Bonet (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Last updated: 05/23/10

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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