The Mighty Hercules
“The Mighty Hercules” cartoon premiered in September 1963. Herc headlined 128 five-minute episodes produced by Adventure Cartoon Productions in connection with Trans-Lux Television. Hercules was voiced by Jimmy Tapp. Every episode began with Herc's memorable theme (now playing), which was sung by Johnny Nash. Then, when various villains threat the people of ancient Greece, Hercules puts on a magic ring which is struck by flashes of lightning, giving him super strength.
Why does Herc need a RING to be superstrong? Apparently, in this continuity, going to Earth causes immortals to lose their godly powers, so Zeus created a magic ring that allows Hercules to access his godly strength while on Earth. Herc also has an invulnerable sword and shield, plus a set of pipes to summon Pegasus, his winged horse. There's also a "moon stone" beam in Hercules’ belt which is used to summon him.
Series villains included evil wizard Daedalus, Wilhemine the Sea Witch, and the Mask of Vulcan. The unexpected breakout star of the show was Newton, a boy centaur quite fond of calling out his own name repeatedly. “I”m Newt! I’m Newt!”
The Gold Key comic adaptation of this cartoon lasted just two issues, published in June and November, 1963. Today, we take a look at The Mighty Hercules #2
, featuring Herc battling the evil Furies in "Journey To The Land of the Dead!"
written by the late George Kashdan. (I couldn't find any artist credits for this story. Anyone know who drew it?)