Goliath-Hercules: A curious episode in the regularly intertwining reception of Hebrew and Classical Literature

The reception of the Bible over the last 2000 years has been regularly intertwined with the reception of Greco-Roman literature. One of the more grotesque conflations of biblical and classical heroes, and reminiscent of the “Janus-Noah” created by Annius, is the Action Comics edition from January 1964 (#308), in which Superman travels to another dimension and meets “Goliath-Hercules”:

Goliath-Hercules, Action Comics #308 (January 1964)
Goliath-Hercules, Action Comics #308 (January 1964)

Chris Sims of Comics Alliance discusses this comic:

As some of you may have heard, the mid-60s DC Comics were known to go just a little bit over the top with their stories. For example, this one, in which Superman doesn’t just meet Goliath or Hercules, but rather travels to another dimension to meet Goliath-Hercules, who, judging by his vaguely confederate-looking loincloth, may also be one of that universe’s Duke Boys.

Also I love how Superman himself thinks the weirdest thing about this situation is that Hercules looks like Goliath, and that he also totally knows exactly what Goliath looks like, having presumably flown back to Bible times when he got bored with learning to do rollerskate barrel jumps.

– Chris Sims, “The 25 Most Awesome ‘Action Comics’ Covers of All Time”, Comics Alliance (27 April 2011)

And as a special bonus, the second best track from the era of “the Dunedin Sound”:

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