Now, I'll admit that I would prefer that Hercules be portrayed as a hero. That's not because I like the character personally, but because he's a perfect potential addition to the Wonder Woman dynasty.
Although her plots have been going nowhere for a while, her Dynastic Centerpiece Model has been developing...
- Her connections to her Junior Counterpart (Donna Troy) and
- Kid Sidekick (Wonder Girl) have been reaffirmed,
- her Elder Stateswoman (Hippolyta) has been brought back (although Polly hasn't been much of a stateswoman since her return, huh?),
- she's acquired a Civilian Authority Figure (Sarge Steel of the Department of Metahuman Affairs),
- a Civilian Companion (Tom Tresser), and
- a Contextualizing City (Washington; hey, it's not fictional, but it is artificial!).
Okay, so it may not be perfect yet. I myself wouldn't have chosen to give her male characters to fill out the civilian roles in her dynasty, but, hey, at least they aren't reporters. There are a lot of reporters in Washington. I mean, they have their own bars here, for pity's sake. And two former Dynasty members (Artemis the Black Sheep and Pegasus the Animal Companion) have been lost. But, on the whole, WW's dynasty is gaining heft. And Hercules would be a perfect addition as Male Counterpart, particularly since his approach (tactical) would complement Wonder Woman's (strategic).
But writers seems intent on using Hercules as a bad guy. Maybe that's because, as much as she needs friends, WW needs enemies even more. Personally, I blame George Perez, who needed a cheap and easy Overbearing Male Bad Guy from myth to use in the version of the Amazons' origin he wanted to tell. Instead of using the traditional version of Amazons (the one used by both the Ancients and Marston) -- buttkicking women warriors who founded a society that didn't need men -- Perez chose to make them victims.
Why? Because in Perez's mind and time, the only people with virtue are victims, and all villains are victimizers. If you remember, Perez's Amazons were formed from the souls of women who'd been the victims of male aggression and violence. Because, you know, gods forbid women should decide to do anything except as a reaction to or consequence of men!
So he made Hercules an Evil Male, who deceived Hippolyta (et al.) with promises of love, then drugged, enslaved, and raped her. So that the gods could criticize the Amazons for being soft-hearted, trusting, and open to love; women's weaknesses! So the gods could punish them for being equally open to both war and love; so the gods could punish them for being well-rounded people instead of axe-wielding mankillers (so blame Perez the Scythian for that, not Pfeiffer). Once again, Perez paints the Amazons not as exemplars, but as victims.
How shallow. But don't be deceived by Perez the Evil Male into thinking his tawdry tale of date-drugs is the real story!
In most versions of the classical myth in which Herakles meets Hippolyte, she is simply impressed with him as a fellow warrior, and is happy to give him her girdle as a token of friendship and honor. Thing were just peachy until Hera inflamed the Amazons with rumors that Herakles was out to get them. The Amazons attacked Herc & Co., and in the process of defending themselves, Herakles killed Hippolyte.
That's a general schtick in Greek myth; people don't come into conflict simply because one is Bad and the one Good, they come into conflict because of tragic misunderstandings brought about by the gods/fate/the world/circumstances. Mortals are all victims; it is the universe (the gods) that is the victimizer.
Marston's Amazons, while very creepily into bondage, were otherwise darned cool. They were focused on self-improvement, physical development, scientific study, and the joy of accomplishment that can flourish during peace. They were not wussy, whiny victims (Perez) nor violent vicious victimizers (Pfeiffer). The Golden Age Wonder Woman championed the idea that being peace-loving doesn't mean being weak, and that feminism isn't just anti-male-ism. That's part of our childhood that Perez raped, not Herakles.
So, writers: lay off Hercules.