Real Name: Eurystheus

Identity/Class: Human Magic-User (13th Century BC to modern era)

Occupation: Would-be-conqueror;
former TV producer, King of Mycenae (c.1240-1225 BC)

Group Membership: Member of the House of Perseus of Argos

AffiliationsAchelous, Hera, Kraken (Ceto), Medusa, Minotaur, Nemean Lion, Polyphemus, Matsuo Tsurayaba, undead army (including centaurs, griffins, harpies, Spartans, many others);
formerly the Hand

Enemies: Alcmene, the Hand, Hercules, Hyllus, Pluto, Theseus, Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett)

Known Relatives: Sthenelus (father, deceased), Nicippe (mother, deceased), Alcyone, Medusa (sisters, deceased), Admete (daughter, deceased), Electryon, Alcaeus, Mestor, Perses (paternal uncles, deceased), Gorgophone (paternal aunt, deceased), Hercules (paternal cousin), Tyndareus, Hippocoon, Icarius, Aphareus, Leucippus (paternal cousins, deceased), Pelops (maternal grandfather, deceased), Atreus, Thyestes, Troezen, Copreus, Letreus, Alcathous, Pleisthenes, Epidaurus (maternal uncles, deceased), Astydameia (maternal aunt, deceased), Theseus, Agamemnon, Menelaus (maternal cousins, deceased), Helen (paternal/maternal cousin),

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: A graveyard somewhere in Japan;
formerly New York City, New York;
formerly 13th Century Mycenae

First Appearance: Hercules III#1 (June, 2005)

Powers/Abilities: Eurystheus possessed the normal human strength level of a man of his size, height and build who engaged in extensive regular exercises. In myth, he is regarded as a cruel and cowardly king with no true abilities to his role who hid behind mass armies that carried out his bidding. He did, however, still conforms to the rules of Ancient Greece regarding being a good host to even his enemies by offering food and drink.

History: (Greek/Roman Myth) - Eurystheus is the son of Nicippe, a Peloponnesian princess, and Shenelus, King of Mycenae after usurping the role on the death of his older brother, Electryon. Zeus, the King of the Olympian Gods, had decreed that whatever descendant of his son Perseus born next would succeed to rule both Mycenae and Tiryns, but Hera dispatched her daughter, Eileithyia, goddess of childbirth, to delay the birth long enough that Sthenelus's son, Eurystheus, could be born first in Mycenae. In Thebes, Alcmena, niece of Sthenelus, had spent seven arduous days in labor as Eileithyia sat with her legs crossed to delay the birth. Not just content with depriving Hercules of the throne, she now sought to kill the unborn child, but Alcmena as well. One of Alcmena's attendants named Galanthis, a daughter of Teiresias with similar prophetic skills, however, suspected that the endless labor was being mystically delayed. When she cried out that the baby was born, Eileithyia jumped up to investigate and broke her spell. Alcmena had a son by Zeus and Amphitryon simultaneously.  Realizing the deception, Eileithyia transformed Galanthis to a weasel for her deception.

Eurystheus, meanwhile, had unjustly received the right to be heir to the throne of Mycenae. As an adult, he established Mycenae as one of the true powers over the lands that would be modern Greece, but he instead relinquished himself as the foremost enemy of Hercules. While under a madness created by Hera, Hercules had slain his his own children and was ordered by the oracle at Delphi to surrender himself as a vassal to Eurystheus and do his bidding for twelve years. Eurystheus, eager to dispose of his powerful and dangerous vassal, sent Hercules to carry out a series of ten dangerous and usually dangerous labors When Hercules brought back the skin of the Nemean Lion, Eurystheus was so terrified that he hid in a bronze jar buried in the ground. He then decreed that Hercules was not allowed to ever again enter the gates of Mycenae, and thereafter sent his uncle, Copreus, to serve as his herald and deliver further messages to Hercules.

(Greek/Roman Myth, Hercules III#1 (fb)) - At the end of the ten labors, however, Eurystheus tagged on two more because Hercules had help in one labor and had attempted unsuccessfully in receiving payment on another. For the last labor, Hercules openly defied Eurystheus's order of not returning to Mycenae and dragged the hell-hound Cerberus to meet him in person. Terrified, Eurystheus hid in his bronze jar once more and declared an end to Hercules' servitude to himself. Having completed the labors, Hercules had acquired immortality, but Eurystheus felt no more secure than before because Hercules had left behind numerous sons who posed as would-be rivals to his throne. Many of Hercules' descendants, the Heraclidae, after his departure from Earth,  begged the protection of Ceyx, King of Trachis, but he regretfully declared his city too weak against a Mycenaean invasion. The Heraclidae, together with Hercules' aged mortal parents, Alcmene and her then husband, Rhadamanthys, found haven at Marathon while Eurystheus and his forces clashed against the Athenian armies under King Theseus and his son Demophon. 

(Greek/Roman Myth, Hercules III#2 (fb)) The Argive forces were routed back to the Sceironian Rocks on the Isthmus of Corinth and Eurystheus was captured and taken alive by Hyllus, Hercules' son, and delivered to Alcmena. In the protests of the Athenians, the vindictive woman ordered his execution and gouged out his eyes with sewing needles to render him blind. Hyllus then struck with his sword and beheaded the cowardly king with one stroke.

(Greek/Roman Myth) - With the death of Eurystheus, Mycenae passed out of possession of the descendants of Perseus. It was seized by Atreus of the House of Pelops, Eurystheus' maternal relatives, and passed down to King Agamemnon, a shrewd and just ruler who brought the city to greater grandeur than before. 

(Hercules III#2 (fb)) - As the body of Eurystheus lay unattended, the goddess Hera appeared to it and rendered it animate once more. Eurystheus then regained conscious from his brief death, gathered up his head and sewed it back to his head.

(Hercules III#2 (fb)) Having lost everything of material value, Eurystheus spent years coping with his blindness and building a fortune. In modern years, he even had plastic surgery to contend with the most severe of his injuries.

(Hercules III#1 (fb)) - Under unrevealed circumstances, Eurystheus entered into a partnership with the river-god Achelous over their common hatred of Hercules.

(Hercules III#1) - Eurystheus realized now was the time to force his wrath on Hercules once more as the son of Zeus succumbed to frequenting bars and losing his temper in the aftermath of the disbanding of the Avengers. He sends Achelous to retrieve the inebriated lion of Olympus and the river-god ends up dragging Hercules out to the back of a very modern limousine where Eurystheus sits waiting while wearing sunglasses and sporting a gold-tipped cane. 

(Hercules III#2) - Dragging Hercules into Eurystheus's modern corporate offices, Eurystheus rehashed his past history with Hercules and updated him on his past events and activities that brought him into the modern age. Even confessing his disdain for the Son of Zeus, Eurystheus claimed that Hercules' recent activities were starting to make him even look bad and that he wanted to rectify the manner even while offering wine and hors d'oeuvres to Hercules and his friends. Ever impatient, Hercules threatened Eurystheus briefly before the former King of Mycenae announced his plan to recreate the original twelve labors by replacing them with their modern equivalents or closest counterparts available. Director Gordon Allsworth even offered to film the labors for another god-awful reality show. Hercules agreed to the labors to restore his sullied reputation as late and departed just as his friend James rushed out apologizing for despoiling the bathroom facilities.

(Hercules III#3) - Eurystheus and Achelous provide the TV commentary as Hercules and his film crew  go around the world in a modern day version of the twelve labors with modern equivalents to the old creatures and objects of myth. As they realized that Hercules was tearing through all their new obstacles, Hera appeared to them with a set of four labors designed against Hercules.

(Hercules III#4) - Eurystheus gave Hercules his last modern labor: to enter the underworld and retrieve a flower from the hair of his first wife, Megaera.

(Hercules III#5) - Eurystheus and Achelous overheard through Hera that Hercules had succeeded in the last of his modern labors. upon hearing Hercules charging to confront them, Hera made a hasty departure. Eurystheus then flicked off the lights of his office so that Achelous could deal with his unfinished business. A flash of Robert's camera gave Hercules a chance to deal with Achelous and Achelous ended up rendered on the tip of Eurystheus's sword with the former king impaled on his own bull horns.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#1) - Brought to Matsuo Tsurayaba's apartment by his henchman Achelous, Eurystheus made Matsuo an offer to bring back the monsters of myth and use them against Wolverine and Hercules.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#2 (fb) - BTS) - Eurystheus and Achelous led Matsuo and the Hand to the gravesites of many mythological monsters.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#2 (fb) ) - Eurystheus and Achelous took Matsuo and the Hand to the Labyrinth of Crete to resurrect the Minotaur.

   At Matsuo's apartment Hercules and Wolverine watched a video of Eurystheus, Achelous and Matsuo. Eurystheus revealed that with the aid of the Hand he had started resurrecting monsters of the past starting with some of Hercules' past enemies. Hercules and Wolverine were then attacked by Minotaur and the Nemean Lion.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#2) - Eurystheus, Achelous and Matsuo went to the Hand's headquarter to meet their elders, who threatened to kill Matsuo and his allies for even asking to return Matsuo to his leadership position with the Hand. Polyphemus then attacked them on Eurystheus' order.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#3) - Eurystheus led an undead army against the Hand to get Matsuo returned to his leadership position among the Hand.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#3 - BTS) - Eurystheus and Matsuo tricked the Hand's elders to ask Hercules and Wolverine for help and lead them to Odysseus' tomb.

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#3) - While Matsuo distracted Hercules and Wolverine Eurystheus and Achelous dove down into a sunken temple off the coast of Jaffa to successfully resurrect the Kraken (Cetus).

(Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#4) - Eurystheus led his army to Athens, but was stopped by Hercules, Wolverine, Pluto and his undead army. When Pluto had enough he just returned all of Eurystheus' army back to Hades where they belonged.

   Because Eurystheus couldn't die due to Hera's enchantments Wolverine and Hercules left his head inside a gravestone on a Japanese cemetery.

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

There are two versions of Eurystheus's death; one with him killed by Hyllus in battle and only his head delivered to Alcmena and another with him taken alive to Alcmene and then his head severed. Except for being restored to life by Hera (which seems somewhat out of her mystical prowess), the Marvel version of him groveling at Alcmena's feet isn't that far from the latter version. 

I'm not a big fan of reality shows; okay, I hate all of them except for American Idol, which technically isn't a reality show, but one with a guy recreating the twelve labors of Hercules? Okay, I might just watch that.

Profile by: Will U. Updates (Wolverine/Hercules) by Markus Raymond.

CLARIFICATIONS:  Eurystheus is not to be confused with:  

  • Eurytus, Centaur, slain by Hercules, Not seen in the MU
  • Eurytus, King of Phthia, father-in-law of Peleus, not seen in the MU
  • Eurytus, King of Oechalia, refused Hercules the hand of his daughter, Not seen in the MU
  • Eurytus, Argonaut and capable archer, @ Hulk: Hercules Unleashed#1
  • Euthanasium, part of the world of Weapons Plus, @ X-Men II#143
  • Or anyone else named "Eury-anything"


Images (without ads):
Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#2, p16, pan1 (head shot, main image)
Hercules III#2, p8, pan3 (modern)
Hercules III#1, p17, pan3 (close-up, ancient Mycenae)
Hercules III#2, p6, pan5 (eyless)

Hercules III#1-5 (June - October 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants#1-4 (May-August, 2011) - Frank Tieri (writer), Juan Santacruz (artist), Charlie Beckerman (editor)

Last updated: 06/17/15

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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