According to the claims of 1940s gang leader Dr. Emil Natas, a man claiming to be Hercules was active in Ancient Egypt. He was apparently the past-life incarnation of Captain America. Natas claimed to have also lived a past life during that time, as slave driver Phao Na Tash, who worked for a Pharaoh and forced slaves to build a pyramid.
One day while whipping a young boy named Bucka (the supposed previous incarnation of Bucky), Na Tash heard the boy claim that Hercules would come to his rescue. Na Tash had heard of the hero in question, but was certain that he would never dare to come to this place of torment. He was wrong about this. Hercules turned up a moment later and challenged the "foul fiend" to a duel. Na Tash turned around to face his foe, and received a powerful blow from the bare fists of the hero.
Na Tash was able to counter-attack with his whip. However, Hercules turned out to be invulnerable to the pain and laughed at the futile efforts of Na Tash. Hercules started releasing the slaves, while Na Tash left to gather the men under his command. Na Tash led a small army in attacking the hero with deadly weapons. Hercules was only armed with a shield, but started taking out the villains with his own attacks. An encouraged Bucka used his own bare fists to take down foes. With all his men down for the count, Na Tash run away from the battle.
Na Tash took refuge in his own, unfinished pyramid. Hercules and Bucka tracked him there and were eager to finish him. Na Tash decided to set a trap for them. He moved an unbalanced stone of the pyramid in an attempt to crush his pursuers underneath it. The attack failed and had an unwelcome effect. It caused another unbalanced stone to fall on Na Tash, mortally wounding him.
The dying man had a last surprise for the two heroes. In his life, Na Tash had studied the "hidden secrets of the soul". He cursed Hercules, promising that Na Tash will be born again and have a rematch with the hero. And the next time, victory would be his. He then died from his wounds. The heroes did not believe him and soon left the area, planning their next mission.
Hercules then took Bucka on as his sidekick, naming him Bucky. According to Natas, Hercules and Bucka had many adventures, "before they too met the grave". Their subsequent adventures remain unrecorded, as do the circumstances of their deaths.
Powers and Abilities
Superhuman Strength: Hercules main "powers" were apparently his powerful body and the strength of his fists. He was able to take out a small army almost single-handedly. He might have had enhanced human or superhuman strength.
Superhuman Durability: Hercules was apparently invulnerable to the pain caused by a whip. He reacted to lashes from a whip by laughing at the efforts of the one using it. It is unclear if he could not actually fill the pain, or if his skin was hard and durable. The whip might have had no effect on him. Na Tash claimed that his opponent has "the hide of an elephant".
He might have the ability to reincarnate into new forms and identities over the centuries. However, his future forms can not apparently recall their past.
Hercules was skilled in unarmed combat, with his fists able to take down many opponents. His only actual weapon was a shield, which he skillfully used for both defensive and offensive purposes.
Hercules seems to have left much of his body exposed to harm while in combat. His "uniform" consists only of sandals and swim briefs. No helmet, armor, or anything protective. His durability probably had limits. For all his extraordinary strength and skills, this Hercules was mortal. He has died, either killed in combat or dying due to natural causes.
Hercules was armed with a shield. His shield displayed then image of a star, though it is unclear if it has some kind of meaning for him.
- The claims of Emil Natas are unsubstantiated. The story featuring the villain left it uncertain if his claims of past lives were true or not. It ends with many open questions. Natas' tales are suspect at best and Bucky suspected that Natas was insane. Even if true, it is unlikely that the Hercules in this story is the same person as Hercules, the Olympian demigod. They lived in different time periods, and the Golden Age Hercules was reportedly mortal. So Steven Rogers may be the reincarnation of a Hercules, but not the demigod and fellow Avenger.
- It is uncertain when the flashback to ancient Egypt takes place. Bucky estimated that it took place 5000 years prior to AD 1944. That would be in 3056 BC (31st century BC), a time that predates the building of the pyramids. In Earth-1218, the Egyptian pyramids were an innovation of the 27th century BC. The Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest of the Egyptian pyramids, was built in the 26th century BC. Pyramid building continued until the 18th century BC, was revived in the 8th century BC, and ended permanently in the 7th century BC.
- Both Na Tash and Bucka had apparently heard of Hercules before meeting him in person. He seems to have had previous, unrecorded adventures.
- While this Hercules was active in ancient Egypt, it is unclear whether he was Egyptian himself or a foreign adventurer. His only appearance provides no actual origin for him.
- In the final panel depicting Hercules, he mentions his apparent life's quest. He had vowed to stump out "evil persons" on Earth. And there were many other targets in his mind following the death of Na Tash.
- 1 appearance(s) of Hercules (Captain America Past Life) (Earth-616)
- 4 image(s) of Hercules (Captain America Past Life) (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Hercules (Captain America Past Life) (Earth-616)