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Author Topic: HERCULES UNBOUND and the Kamandi timeline  (Read 3412 times)
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Council of Wisdom
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« on: July 05, 2006, 08:22:28 AM »

Superman comics may indicate the divergence between Earth-1's "standard" future (e.g. the future of Professor Zoom and the Legion) and the "Kamandi" timeline, may have diverged much, much earlier than expected - 3,000 years earlier, in fact.

I refer your attention to HERCULES UNBOUND (not to be confused with the movie HERCULES UNCHAINED, starring Steve Reeves and the lovely Yugoslavian Sylvia Koscina).

By the way, if you haven't checked this series out, you really, really ought to. At best, it had Wally Wood, Garcia-Lopez and Walt Simonson art, and towards the last few issues, Bob Layton and scripts by Cary Bates as well!

HERCULES UNBOUND was about a post-apocalyptic future filled with monsters and talking animals, set somewhere in between ATOMIC KNIGHTS and KAMANDI, where a blind boy and a dog discover an island surrounded by sea monsters in Greece, which had been home to an imprisoned Hercules. Hercules seeks revenge on his enemy, Ares, who imprisoned him, only to discover that his imprisonment was a part of a much vaster conspiracy.

It featured statements like:

"Oceanus the Titan must have felt the vibration of the nuclear bombs...and now he has assumed the form of the Loch Ness Monster!"

The book featured a battle between Hercules and Ares in order to bring a boy's pet dog back to life, Irish female robots, Olympian gods "combining their mental powers" to fight "Anti-Gods," guest appearances by the Atomic Knights and talking animals. The book was the "bridge" between the two futures.

Hopefully, someone may one day do a revisit of the HERCULES UNBOUND concept; after all, it had so much talent on that book that a revisitation may be inevitable. You can't keep a good thing like that down.

HERCULES UNBOUND sheds light on a few interesting details about the DC Timeline:

1) The Atomic Knights future was established as being a dream sequence by Julie Schwartz's request. However, the connection to Kamandi that HERCULES creates shows that it may still be in play somehow. Or perhaps that while the future may have been a dream for the Earth-1 Atomic Knight, it may have been "real" in the Kamandi Timeline;

And more significantly:

2) Superman, the character that of all the DC heroes has most interacted with the Kamandi/Omac timeline, mentions in an issue of DC COMICS PRESENTS that the Hercules in his timeline has red hair, but the Hercules in HERCULES UNBOUND has *black* hair. And lo and behold, it is true: in ACTION COMICS #268 (1960) where we first see the Hercules that he encounters, not only was he NOT bound, he was also RED haired. Superman and the writers don't do anything more but speculate, but it's interesting.

Incidentally (and off-topic), I was surprised to learn in a recent literature class that Hercules was also red-haired in folklore, too. This strikes me as very, very strange, not just because the character is so associated with Steve Reeves, but also because, and no offense to redheaded people, being a redheaded male generally means being goofy or strange: take the examples of Jimmy Olsen, or Archie, or Carrot Top. So the idea of one of the most famous macho men and "tough guys" in fiction being redheaded...well, there's a little bit of cognitive dissonance there.

This divergence may indicate that the split between the two timelines was made much earlier than we have been led to believe. This is only speculation, but is it possible that the split between the gods and the anti-gods was what created the "broken" timeline? The energy released would certainly be enough.

If the two timelines were identical up until some ill-defined point in the future, how is it possible Hercules can be red-haired in ACTION (and something of a heel) in one, and black haired (and also a pretty stand-up character) in other books?

"Wait, a startling new development, Black Goliath has ripped Stilt-Man's leg off, and appears to be beating him with it!"
       - Reporter, Champions #15 (1978)
Supermanica Council
Council of Wisdom
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2006, 08:54:30 AM »

Quote from: "JulianPerez"

By the way, if you haven't checked this series out, you really, really ought to. At best, it had Wally Wood,




and Walt Simonson art,

and towards the last few issues, Bob Layton

and scripts by Cary Bates



Incidentally (and off-topic), I was surprised to learn in a recent literature class that Hercules was also red-haired in folklore, too.

A disputed point, I'm sure.

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