The Olympians are a pantheon of gods who were worshipped by the ancient Greeks, based on the gods real-life Greeks worshipped. Recently became evil and began attacking colonies in space.
Olympians in general
- Badass Cape: When the reborn Olympians reappear, most of them sport some kind of cape or cloak.
- FaceHeel Turn: While they weren't the best before, their death and rebirth causes them to become brutal Space Pirates who destroy entire colonies.
- Everyone Has Standards: While capable of doing horrible things to those they think wronged them even they are disgusted by Ares' savagery and willingness to go overboard on people who did nothing to him.
- Immortal Immaturity: Their main problem. As Prometheus notes, the Olympians have the temperament of children and are rarely held responsible for their actions since they are gods. Their pettiness, self-centeredness, and wrath are often less due to maliciousness and more immaturity with too much access to divine power.
- Jerkass Gods: Like their mythological inspiration, they don't care very much about mortals getting hurt and often cause them harm simply because they can.
- Kill the God: In the beginning of Avengers: No Road Home Nyx escapes into Mount Olympus and slaughters everyone present with her children.
Alter Ego: Aphrodite Ourania
Notable Aliases: Aphrodite Pandemos, Venus, Cytherea, Victoria Nutley "Vicki" Starr
First Appearance: X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas #2 (November 2009)
Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, beauty, pleasure, passion and procreation.
- Actual Pacifist: Unlike the other Olympians, she has no combat abilities and detests fighting. If forced into conflict she will use her Cestus to try to neutralize her attackers.
- Continuity Snarl: Thanks to various retcons Aphrodite's history has been mixed up with that of Venus from the Agents of Atlas. They eventually battled over the "Goddess of love" title in The Incredible Hercules via a Quarreling Song, with Venus winning and Aphrodite giving up the claim.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Seldom wears footwear whether she's going around in a toga or a swimsuit.
- Graceful Loser: She didn't take losing her song duel with Venus badly, even thanked Venus for it, since it made her realize she hasn't been fit to be a goddess of love for quite a while.
- The Hedonist: The given reason Venus was able to impersonate her for so long was because Aphrodite herself Took a Level in Cynic and was feeding her own hedonistic pleasures in her own domain for years after losing faith in love and humanity.
- Heroic Seductress: She helps Athena's foil Hera's plans by seducing Ares, thus keeping him from assisting Hera.
- Hot Goddess: She's the Goddess of Beauty and pleasure, so of course she's this.
- Inconsistent Coloring: She has been depicted as both a redhead and a blonde.
- Irony: She's a love goddess who has lost faith in love. She finally realizes this upon dueling Siren and relinquishes her title to find herself and regain her understanding of love.
- Love Goddess: She's the Love Goddess, although she did gave her title to Venus in order to re-find herself.
- Mind-Control Music: She can control people's minds with her singing.
- Ms. Fanservice: As expected from the goddess of beauty, she's been seen in a bikini or even less, most of her outfits being Stripperific in some fashion, usually baring her legs and midriff. She's also frequently depicted as being nude whenever she uses her powers, albeit with Scenery Censor, Godiva Hair Lens Flare Censor preserving her modesty.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After he duel with Venus, she realizes how selfish she had been all the years she has spent as The Hedonist, having abandoned the empathic nature a Love Goddess should have, choosing instead to resent the world for not workshopping her.
- Orgasmatron: She has an enchanted girdle called the Cestus, which is able to arouse love, passion and pleasure in others at will. She gifted it to Venus after she gave up being a goddess.
- Pretender Diss: Frequently insulted Venus for assuming her name and guise. But after their song duel, she actually came to see Venus as a Worthy Opponent and successor.
- Proud Beauty: She's extremely proud of both beauty and sexual prowess.
- Reclining Reigner: Assumes this pose whenever she lays on chairs or beds.
- The Rival: Formed a rivalry with Venus, the sire who impersonated her.
- Sex Goddess: As expected from a goddess of pleasure, she's an exceedingly talented lover. When we see Ares after sleeping with her, he's a slumped mess on her bed, who's barely able to speak.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: The form she takes and as an Olympian Goddess, very significant.
- Walking Swimsuit Scene: Had her face-off with Venus wearing only a golden bikini.
- Walking the Earth: Went on a journey of self-realization ffter abandoning her position as a Love Goddess to Venus.
- World's Most Beautiful Woman: It's a battle between her and Amora when it comes to the most beautiful goddess.
Alter Ego: Phoebus Apollo
Notable Aliases: Paul Belvedere, Renee Andre, Sun God
First Appearance: Venus #1 (August 1948)
Apollo is a god worshipped by the ancient Greeks. He has dominion over a vast number of domains, like the sun, prophecy, music, and medicine. His twin sister is Artemis.
- The Ace: Among the Olympians, Apollo tends to excel at anything he attempts physically or intellectually, making him one of the most powerful gods.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Before his death and resurrection, Apollo was generally one of the more helpful gods willing to hear mortals out and go against his own father.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: His dark self's eyes constantly glow golden.
- Light Is Not Good: After being reborn, his eyes, hair, and a circle on his chest glow. Said rebirth also made him evil.
- The Power of the Sun: Comes with being a sun god.
- Psychopathic Manchild: After his resurrection, he's become a whiny Spoiled Brat. When he fights Phyla-Vell, he petulantly cries "Father, she— she broke my lyre! Father, make her stop!"
- Smug Super: According to Hercules, Apollo can be rather arrogant.
Alter Ego: Ares
Notable Aliases: Mars, Mister Talon, John Aaron, God of War, The Warhawk, Berserker Saint, Broom head, John Aaron, Mr. Tallon, Thor-Lite
Team Affiliations: Mighty Avengers, Dark Avengers
First Appearance: Comedy Comics #10 (June, 1942) note ; Thor Vol. 1 #129 (June, 1966) note
The God of War (the more violent aspects of it compared to Athena) and perhaps Hercules' greatest rival. In recent times, he has become less of a villain and more of an extremely violent anti-hero. A former member of Iron Man's Mighty Avengers and Green Goblin's Dark Avengers. He was killed by The Sentry during Siege, but was literally kidnapped out of the afterlife during Contest of Champions III. See Ares for more info.
Ares is a Marvel Comics Anti-Hero created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1966. Based on the Greek god of the same name, Ares made his debut in Thor #126. A villain for decades, the God of War changed his ways after a battle with the forces of Pluto. Summoned to end the stalemate between Pluto's forces and those of Olympus, Ares brutally crushes the enemy army almost single-handedly. Returning to Olympus, where he believes he will be welcomed for the first time, Ares overhears a conversation between his fellow gods that cuts to the bone. Considered to be nothing more than a brutal killer by his own family, Ares realizes that he'll never be welcome in Olympus. Disappointed, Ares leaves his life as the God of War behind and settles on Earth with his son, Alexander. To ensure that his son has a normal life, Ares never tells Alexander of his godly heritage.
Now John Aaron, a simple carpenter, Ares and his son live on Earth for years until the unexpected arrival of the messenger Hermes. Ares learns that Olympus is threatened by Amatsu Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of Evil, but he refuses to offer his help. Desperate, Zeus kidnaps Alexander, which forces Ares to abandon his life as John Aaron and become the God of War once more. Returning to Olympus, Ares is further dismayed when he learns from the Greek hero Achilles that the Olympians lost Alexander to Mikaboshi's forces. With his son in the hands of the enemy, Ares joins the Olympians in battle until he is confronted by an unexpected enemy: Alexander, the Eastern God of War. After a short, brutal battle in which Ares cannot win, Zeus uses his power to convince the Eastern war god to betray Mikaboshi, which, combined with an attack from other Eastern gods, ends the war in favor of the Olympians. Reunited with Alexander, who learned the truth of his heritage from the god of evil, Ares returns to Earth to resume his life as a carpenter... or so he thought.
Not long after the Civil War ended, Tony Stark realized that the world needed an Avengers team once more. Citing the need for a "Thor/Wolverine", basically a god-level being willing to kill, Stark pressed team leader Ms. Marvel into offering Ares a spot on the new Mighty Avengers. When Iron Man and Ms. Marvel visit Ares at a construction site, effectively blowing his cover, the God of War has no choice but to accept, though he makes Tony match his construction pay ($44/hour, apparently). As a member of the Mighty Avengers, Ares fulfills the role of The Big Guy along with The Sentry.
- Abusive Parents: Well, he is a Greek god, so it pretty much comes with the territory on the receiving end. On the giving end, he was actually a very good father to Alexander.
- Adaptational Badass: Ares in the Classical Mythology got his ass kicked nearly every time he appeared. This guy is someone strong enough to rip apart a robot he couldn't dent with his weapons.
- Alliterative Name: Alexander Aaron
- An Axe to Grind: The weapon Ares usually favors most.
- Arch-Enemy: Is this to Hercules.
- Arm Chair Military: Played with. Ares fights from the front lines but has the mentality of this. He openly admits to ignoring all of the things needed to win a war including anything about having enough supplies or the lives of his men regarding war itself as a game.
- Ax-Crazy: Once an opportunity for battle comes up he is prone to abandoning all sense of tactics to to engage to fight including turning on his own allies in battle to lengthen the battle, all the while laughing manically.
- Bad Boss: Ares has little regard for the lives of his men. Shooting or outright killing them for minor things or just because he suddenly feels like it.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: One of Iron Man's original justifications for making him an Avenger. Ares would commit the morally reprehensible actions other heroes would either hesitate at or refuse to do. Comes back to bite them when Ares sides with Osborn, seeing no real difference between serving the two.
- Band of Brothers: Ares' Shades unit, which is a handpicked team of H.A.M.M.E.R. recruits.
- Blood Knight: He does not care much for which side he fights for as long as he gets to satisfy his violent urges. His "anti-hero" stance has done little to curb this. Loves fighting more than anyone including Thor or Hercules, and whilst he is capable of tactics, generally his plan boils down to "hit/shoot it a lot" (in contrast to Athena, who is the goddess of strategy and tactics.
- Boisterous Bruiser: On a good day.
- Boom, Headshot!: The Mares of Diomedes are dispatched this way by Ares' Shades during the Big Damn Heroes moment in Dark Avengers: Ares #3.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Alexander thanks to the manipulations of Mikaboshi.
- The Brute: Tends to fulfill this role whenever he works with or for others.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Hercules' Abel.
- Character Death: Died in Siege. He came back years later in Contest of Champions.
- Clothing Damage: Ares gets this a lot, leading to plenty of Shirtless Scene goodness.
- Colonel Kilgore: Justified. Ares tells War Machine one reason he joins armies is because is an excuse for him to kill and be seen as a hero instead of a monster if only for publicity sake.
- Cool Helmet: Part of his costume is a helmet styled after the classical Greek/Roman crested helmets.
- Combat Pragmatist: Ares is not afraid to do what it takes to win a fight. For all that he prefers an axe, he's quite comfortable with just grabbing a few machine guns and win via superior rate of fire.
- Cool Shades: The trademark of Ares and his Shades unit.
- Determinator: After his anti-hero transformation, once engaged in battle it is almost impossible to get him to retreat even if he is losing.
- Dirty Coward: As a villain, Ares would often retreat unless he had a clear advantage, leave when it was gone or fight only as a last resort despite demanding others die for him.
- Dual Wielding: Often wields both a sword and axe in battle once he becomes an anti-hero.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: Ares at the start of his Dark Avengers limited series. He has no problem shooting one of the H.A.M.M.E.R. recruits in the knee while handpicking his Shades team. Other recruits received a punch to the gut or elbow to the face for their troubles, but both men made the team. Training with Ares involved lots of grenades, Gatling guns, and RPGs being fired in their direction, usually while Ares had a beer. Ares encouraged brawls in the mess hall and "killing the leader" when necessary, which is a lesson that actually saves the day at the end of the series.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Hates his son Kyknos for being a sadist. "I am the god of war... the god of slaughter... Even the god of murder. But I am not the god of sadism!"
- Evil Versus Evil: After Ares defeats the forces of Pluto, Hera uses these exact words when describing his role in the conflict.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: After Ultron takes over Iron Man's suit early in the Mighty Avengers series, Ares volunteers to shrink down to atom size to deliver a virus. He successfully fights his way through Ultron's "immune system" attackers to deliver the virus, though he's eventually overrun and has to be rescued by The Wasp.
- Foil: For Hercules. Hercules has the respect Ares wants and cannot understand why Hercules is so respected despite being a drunken, destructive brawler. Ares is what Hercules could be if he allowed his love of battle to ever overtake him.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: No matter what group he is in Ares is typically despised for one reason or another. The Olympians and heroes despise him for his savagery and bloodthirsty nature. Villains look down on him for reasons ranging from being a mere brute to having enough morals to hate working with them.
- Front Line General: As an anti-hero, one of his few redeeming traits is that he is at least more courageous and willing to fight on the front lines.
- Gatling Good: "Trained" his own personal squad by firing at them daily with a Gatling gun until they tried to kill him.
- General Failure: Ares' overreliance on brute force and forgoing of any fighting techniques or tactics causes him to lose pretty much any battle he is involved with.
- Give Him a Normal Life: One of Ares' reasons for leaving the God of War position behind was the have his son Alexander grow up as a normal boy.
- Good Parents: Yes, Ares is actually a great dad. Actually alludes to his protective tendencies over his children in the actual myth. He tries hard to raise Phobos right, even leaving Olympus to get a job as a construction worker in New York City.
- Got Volunteered: Stark more or less drafted him by giving him the choice of joining the Avengers or being imprisoned.
- Green-Eyed Monster: A large part of his rivalry with Hercules is due to being jealous of how Zeus seems to respect Hercules more in Ares eyes. Ironic, given that Hercules also struggles with this related to Zeus.
- Guns Akimbo: One of his favorite fighting methods when not using melee weapons.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Ares gets ripped in half by The Sentry in Siege.
- HeelFace Turn: Zigzagged, Ares switched from straight villain to dark antihero not due to any change of hearts, but because he got tired of everyone treating him like crap. He goes right back to villanious behavior whenever it suits him.
- Hollywood Tactics: Despite being an expert in tactics, strategy, and nearly any thinking aspect of war he more often than not ignores all of these. Instead, prefers to charge in head on IGNORING all strategy and tactics and preferring to rely on brute strength and ferocity to win his battle unless he absolutely has to employ it. One reason is he attributes any "thinking" part of war to Athena whom he has a fierce rivalry with. He can lead an army into battle, but it will often be the worst strategy possible, cause massive casualties and collateral damage for his side, and risk costing them the battle.
- His plan for SIEGE embodies this as he ignored all the advantages Earth's military technology or superhuman army might have given him. Instead, he chooses an up-close, head-on battle that benefits the super-strong Asgardian army that wields swords and spears.
- Important Haircut: Ares gives himself one after Alexander is kidnapped, signaling the return of the God of War.
- Incendiary Exponent: Battling the overwhelming forces of Amatsu-Mikaboshi in Ares #3, an enraged Ares lights himself on fire and has The Incredible Hercules Fastball Special him as far into the enemy ranks as possible.
- Informed Ability: Given how much the "like Wolverine and Thor in one" idea comes up, it's rare that he actually seems to fit that description.
- I Regret Nothing: Ares, even after becoming an anti-hero, regrets none of that massive number of deaths he's caused as the God of War. During a fight against the Inhumans during the Silent War series, an inhuman who could project illusions of guilt made him see all the blood he spilled in his life. His response: "Ha! Was it so few?!"
- Jerkass: Well, duh. He is the God of War and loves to slaughter, during Dark Reign he killed dozens of HAMMER-recruits and drilled the survivors by firing on them with a freaking Gatling Gun. He is definitely not a nice guy.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Ares has a tendency to call out others not being so different from him:
- Hera claims moral superiority and in the war against Mikaboshi calls for unity only for Ares to call her out on her BS citing her long history of trying to destroy the children of Zeus and being as evil as he ever was.
- Ares calls Hercules out on his major flaws and own history of rampant destruction, yet he is loved by gods and mortals while Ares is despised.
- Modern mortals both revere war and the armed forces of their countries and the good things both do for countries, but at the same time call it evil and revile Ares who represents it.
- Large Ham: Often speaks in a larger than life manner since he is a god.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Ares charges into battle at the first opportunity ignoring any orders, tactics or plans. It tends to not work well for him.
- A Lighter Shade of Grey: It's hard to say he pulled a HeelFace Turn, but he's not as bad as he used to be.
- Missing Mom: Alexander is raised by Ares, as his mother is never identified.
- Morality Pet: Both Phobos and his son Alex. He is definitely a nicer person when the latter is around.
- More Dakka: During Dark Reign he killed dozens of HAMMER-recruits and drilled the survivors by firing on them with a Gatling Gun.
- Multi-Melee Master: Ares is good with any weapon, even modern ones like Gatling Guns.
- Nominal Hero: Ares does not fight along side heroes or against evil due to beliving in causes like justice or to help people. He only switched because he got tired of being thought of as a monster by everyone. At heart, he still has the same mindset and tactics; hence his willingness to fight alongside villains as long as the PR is right.
- Offing the Offspring: Kyknos in Dark Avengers: Ares #3.
- One-Man Army: Single-handedly tears through armies of monsters and robots as long as they are much weaker than him.
- Papa Wolf: Very protective of his own son Alexander considering him the "one good thing" he has done in his life.
- Paper Tiger: Zigzagged, Ares is genuinely tough with a fairly high-degree of strength and durability. But he is not nearly as powerful as he thinks combined with an overreliance on brute force and underestimation of others causes him to lose battles he should be able to win.
- Patron God: Of Sparta, though amusingly enough he admits he has no love for the Spartans at all. Mainly because of how he views them with contempt for placing a statue of him in chains outside their city out of misplaced admiration and how their kings laid claim to being descended from Hercules as an honor, despite Ares fervently hating his guts.Ares: [[Spartans]] never failed to irk me.
- Phallic Weapon: Aphrodite once mocked his preference for phallic weaponry.
- Physical God: Stated by Nate Grey of the X-Men as a physical manifestation of war.
- Healing Factor: Not as fast as some, but can recover from most wounds in a few minutes.
- Immortality: Ceased aging a long time ago and is difficult to kill.
- Super Strength: Ares is the third strongest Olympian after Zeus and Hercules and tied with his uncles Pluto and Neptune.
- Super Toughness: Played up once he becomes an anti-hero, one of the things that make him dangerous is toughness combined with his healing factor makes doing any lasting or serious damage to him very difficult.
- Power Is Sexy: Played for laughs when Ares joins the Mighty Avengers. A particularly good example is when the high-ranking Black Widow starts barking orders on the Helicarrier, as Ares can be seen in the background with a heart above his head and a smirk on his face.
- Pyrrhic Victory: The few battles he does win tend to be these because his side has lost so much due to his stupidity.
- Rated M for Manly/Testosterone Poisoning: At times it can be difficult to tell which he is supposed to be. Ares is a fan of massive muscles, big weapons, large explosions, drinking beer, Good Old Fisticuffs, and being so tough he can charge into any situation foregoing any strategy. The very embodiment of manliness. Yet he acts as a deconstruction in that he takes this to such an extreme it can come across as over the top and goofy, especially if it costs him the mission or he loses battles where he does not drastically outpower whomever he is fighting.
- Redemption Equals Death: Apparently finally realizing fighting for Norman Osborn was wrong and turning on him was enough to gain him entrance to the Elysian Fields.
- Retired Badass: Ares at the start of his limited series. Leaving Olympus behind after being rejected by his fellow gods, Ares's life becomes a cycle of parent-teacher meetings, video games, and carpentry. Averted once he is forced back into action.
- Riding the Bomb: Ares has a habit of riding objects into battle. During the Mighty Avengers' assault on Latveria, Ares rides a Quinjet right into the side of Castle Doom.
- Refusal of the Call: Refused to get involved in the Civil War and wouldn't have joined the Avengers either, preferring to live life as a normal man to raise his son but...
- Shoot the Messenger: Ares does this with a nail gun in Ares #1 when Hermes comes calling.
- Shout-Out: Ares gives a rousing speech in front of a giant American flag in Dark Avengers: Ares #1.
- Smug Snake: Ares grossly overestimates his own abilities leading to humiliating losses.
- Soldier vs. Warrior: Ares rather poorly embodies the warrior side of this with an emphasis on individual glory over working as a unit. This has repeatedly made him a liability in battle when working with others.
- So Proud of You: Despite originally trying to give Alexander a normal mortal life, he takes considerable pride in the way his son develops once he begins adjusting to his godhood. In particular Ares looks extremely smug when Alexander manhandles Norman Osborn while hitting him with his Emotion Bomb power and giving him "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- The Strategist: Averted, he was supposed to be this, but his plans amount to charging the enemy head-on while riding a giant bomb into battle with the soldiers he is commanding complaining about it. During his Dark Reign mini, he outright stated he ignores everything related to strategy as much as possible, leaving that to his sister Athena.
- Taken for Granite: Morgan Le Fey turns Ares into stone during a fight with the Dark Avengers specifically to avoid the wrath of the Olympic gods.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: In #3 of his first series, Ares tells his old man Zeus how he really feels: "You weak old fool! You fill me with hatred for you!"
- Token Evil Teammate: Among the New Avengers.
- Token Good Teammate: Among the Dark Avengers, mainly because the other members were even worse than him.
- Two First Names: John Aaron and Alexander Aaron.
- The Un-Favourite: Ares is one of if not the most despised of all of Zeus' children. One of Ares' issues with Hercules is Zeus (and mortals) make it clear that Hercules is preferred over Ares despite Hercules being an illegitimate, drunken, womanizing buffoon prone to causing massive destruction when he loses control, compared to Ares who is one of Zeus' few legitimate children and for all the talk among humans that despise war, he's also responsible for all the good he thinks war brings to a nation like valor and the construction of kingdoms. Hercules constantly succeeding in defending Olympus is compared to Ares' constant failings in that regard.
- Too Dumb to Live: Thanks to his refusal to use his intellect, Ares is prone to making life-threatening choices even for an immortal. These include picking a fight with an insane Thor, driving Hercules mad with pain, making demands of the powerful sorceress Morgan La Fey, repeatedly angering Zeus even when the latter is already pissed off, trusting Hera, underestimating Dr. Doom, trusting Norman Osborn, trying to fight The Sentry, failing to do even basic reconnaissance or use of military tactics. This has gotten him killed several times, brought near death require outside intervention other times, or only spared because his enemies are afraid of angering Zeus.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Ares is an interesting version of this in that he is skilled and strong, but often foregoes skill in favor of brute strength. When he puts his mind to it he is a highly skilled warrior and not a half-bad tactician. However, he usually forsakes skill to rely on brute power and innate toughness. So he grabs whatever large weapon available and attacks head-on. This works great when he is facing opponents far weaker than him, but he often gets defeated by enemies on his level or even weaker because they outsmart him or bother to use fighting skills.
- Wall of Weapons: Ares has one in his closet loaded with Earth weapons. Alexander also mentions weapons from different eras are kept on display in the Aaron household.
- War Is Glorious: His viewpoint.
- War God: His Classical Mythology counterpart is the Trope Codifier. He takes this to the extreme when he chooses James Rhodes aka War Machine as his new champion, while James is on trial.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His envy for the respect Zeus has for Hercules is one reason he hates Hercules. Zeus in turn hates Ares for being a bloodthirsty warmonger.
- Worf Effect: Ares is often touted for his combination of strength, tactical knowledge and fighting skills yet is often the first to go down in short order.
Alter Ego: Artemis
Notable Aliases: Diana
First Appearance: Thor #129 (June, 1966)
Artemis is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity. The goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent.
- Archer Archetype: Thanks to being inspired by one of the Trope Makers.
- Classical Hunter: Thanks to being the goddess of the hunt
- Daddy's Girl: More loyal to Zeus and obey him unquestionably compared to her more open-minded twin Apollo.
- Energy Bow: Post-Resurrection instead of a regular bow, her bow is now made of energy.
- Evil Redhead: Post-Resurrection she became more overly malicious.
- Trick Arrow: Her arrows can home in on their targets or produce magical effects.
Alter Ego: Pallas Athena
Notable Aliases: Minerva, Agent Sexton, Miranda Minerva
First Appearance: The Mighty Thor #164 (May 1969)
The goddess of wisdom, battle, heroic endeavor, and half-sister to Hercules. In ancient times she aided many heroes including Hercules by either providing advice, magical items or both. She aids Hercules in modern times and turns out to be responsible for many of the events in Hercules and Cho's lives across the ages.
- Badass Bookworm: She is the goddess of wisdom, after all.
- Because You Can Cope: Type 1. Considers herself Herc's true mother, but does this to him in favor of Cho.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Can easily come across as one due to events at the end of the series. In particular, Delphyne Gorgon wants her dead because she was the one who created the Gorgon race/family out of spite after Medusa had sex with Poseidon in her temple.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Upon inheriting Zeus's Thunderbolt, but far weaker than his.
- Brain Bleach: Needs this after she's hit on by an amnesiac Zeus (her father).
- Evil Mentor: More like Well-Intentioned Extremist mentor, but she could be considered the Greater-Scope Villain of the Incredible Hercules run. She mentored both Hercules and Cho, manipulated millions of people, allowed countless deaths and the destruction of countless worlds, all to lead to the one moment where her brother (the greatest hero of them all) would be able to build a better world. With her as his advisor, of course.
- For the Greater Good: Usually, she will sacrifice pawns in her scheme because there's some larger endgame she's moving to.
- Hot Librarian: She tends to go with this sort of look when dressed up like a mortal, complete with glasses and more business-like attire. In fact, she specifically chose a younger version of this look when first appearing to Amadeus Cho, because she knew he'd find her both attractive and smart enough to hit on her—thus preventing him from dying in the explosion that killed his family.
- Idiot Ball: At the end of Chaos War, she reveals to Hercules that she planned on Mikaboshi destroying pretty much everything only for Hercules to stop him in the end. She wants Hercules to build a better universe than the one before. She is then surprised when Hercules exhausts his powers to recreate the old universe. Anyone that had any reasonable knowledge of Hercules could expect this result.
- Lady of War: Goddess of battle, specifically the strategic and disciplined aspects.
- The Mentor: Played with. She's something of a cross between a Trickster Mentor, an Evil Mentor, The Svengali, and Treacherous Advisor.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Athena, like in mythology, is asexual and aromantic—a trait which makes her even more enticing to many men. Especially Hephaestus.
- The Spock: She is called out multiple times throughout the story for allowing reason and logic to override her humanity and empathy. She is not above using people, nor ignoring moral conundrums to further her goals.
- Statuesque Stunner: Like Hera she stands at 5'10"178cm and she rocks the Hot Librarian look.
- The Svengali: Early on, she tells Amadeus that gods are not to be trusted. That includes herself. Her machinations are so circuitous and alien that even if she's helping you, it's probably for her own gain. Cho points this out to Aegis in the underworld, who still faithfully serves Athena in the underworld. When Aegis says that Athena has never steered him wrong, Amadeus quips, "Dude! You're dead!"
- Treacherous Advisor: Zig-Zagging Trope. Athena has her own agenda, but she doesn't betray people just for pettiness. Still, you never know when her advice is helping you or helping some perceived greater good.
- Trickster Mentor: Tries to use Amatsu-Mikaboshi to destroy the universe in the hopes that order will again rise from chaos with a better ruler (Hercules) in place.
- Villainous Aromantic Asexual: Just as in Greek Mythology, she's both aromantic and asexual. Several characters also note that she can't be trusted, since she's always working toward her own ends for a perceived "greater good". She's also not above using her beauty and attractiveness to manipulate men (and women) into doing her bidding, and then disappear moments later without reciprocating.
- Virgin-Shaming: Is sometimes mocked for being a virgin goddess, particularly by Aphrodite who thinks Athena needs to get laid.
Alter Ego: Dionysus Acratophorus
Notable Aliases:Baccus, The Liberator
First Appearance: Venus #4 (August 1949)
The god of wine whose lesser domains include fertility, religious ecstasy, theater, and madness. Like Hercules, he started out as a mortal demigod son of Zeus. His discovery of wine and spreading of its cultivation led to him becoming a god. Over the centuries, his devotion to hedonism and neglect of his abilities has led them to degrading causing him to be mainly a background figure of little importance.
- The Alcoholic: Per being the god of wine.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dionysus comes across as a drunk frat boy yet as him once pointed out he can cause much sorrow, rules over madness, and has a history of inflicting terrible fates on those who angered him worse than other Olympians.
- Despair Event Horizon: The Olympians losing to the Avengers in battle once convinced him the time of the gods had past and he attempted to destroy Olympus with a nuclear weapon. Hercules was able to convince him otherwise and Zeus temporarily made him mortal as punishment.
- Formerly Fit: Dionysus was originally quite handsome and one of the strongest gods, but he let himself degrade to becoming a fat, balding man who powers have withered to having to rely on potions. Later stories show him having gotten back in shape after being humiliated by mortals in battle.
- The Hedonist: Worse than the other Olympians causing his powers to degrade.
Alter Ego: Hebe Panhellenios
Notable Aliases: Juventas, Ganymeda, Dia
First Appearance: Ka-Zar #1 (August, 1970)
The wife of Hercules. Daughter of Hera and Zeus.
- BrotherSister Incest: As she is the daughter of Zeus and Hera, she is Herc's half-sister.
- Crazy Cat Lady: While the Olympians were exiled to Earth, she lived in an apartment with a large number of cats, along with her Stalker Shrine of her delinquent husband.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: She was portrayed this way as the secretary of the Olympus Group.
- Double Standard: She is utterly faithful to Hercules (aside from one kiss from Peter Parker), but he is constantly laying with various women, both mortal and immortal.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference: She was much more scantily-clad in her first appearance, within Ka-Zar #1.
- Fountain of Youth: As the goddess of youth, she is responsible for brewing ambrosia which keeps all the gods young and virile.
- Girl Friday: To Amadeus after he becomes CEO of the Olympus Group.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Hebe is extremely sweet and nice, as befitting her fair-haired locks.
- Healing Factor: After falling from a 40-floor window, and suffering numerous broken limbs and a broken neck, said injuries heal within seconds. In fact, she casually snaps her neck back in place and then dashes off like nothing happened.
- Hot Goddess: Hebe is the goddess of youth, and as such always looks youthful and beautiful. In her first appearance, she also didn't leave much to the imagination.
- Loved I Not Honor More: Hebe loves that her husband is such an adventurous hero and doesn't want him any different despite his adventurous and philandering ways upsetting her often.
- Nice Girl: Compared to the rest of her family and even Hercules Hebe is the nicest. She lacks both the ego and the wrath of everyone else.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Hera implies that this is her schtick as the Goddess of Youth. As the only person who can make Nectar and Ambrosia, she may have some form of Complete Immortality that makes her extremely hard to kill.
- Stalker Shrine: She had one of Hercules while the two were separated.
- Super Strength: As an Olympian, she is much stronger than a normal human. For instance, on the page image of Loved I Not Honor More, she slaps Hercules hard enough to draw a few drops of blood and shows no sign of injury.
- Super Toughness: She was blasted out of a 40-story skyscraper and cratered the concrete with her impact. Though she broke her neck and several limbs, she remained in one piece, and her bones snapped back in place.
- Took a Level in Badass: She grows steadily more competent as the series goes on, up to taking point on the entry to the Olympus Group during Assault On New Olympus.
- Undying Loyalty: To her husband, which understandably frustrates Hera. Hera mentioned it's part of Hebe's curse as the Goddess of Youth since being eternally youthful means she will be eternally hopeful towards any relationship she is in that it will turn out for the best no matter how damaging they to her personally (i.e. her loyalty to her chronic philanderer and cheater husband Hercules despite 3000 years of neglect and disloyalty on his part).
- White Sheep: She openly rebels against her mother Hera after the latter blasts her out of a building for not blindly supporting her. She is also the one Olympian not to have any of the negative traits of the others including Hercules.
- Willfully Weak: She seems to be easily trounced by opponents that she could easily beat as an Olympian. It seems to be less about her having power and more about how she really is not a combatant.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Averted. As the goddess of youth, she uses modern English unlike her fellow Olympians. However, this causes the Avengers to think she's just a human pretending to be Olympian and ignore her pleas to help Hercules.
Alter Ego: Hephaestus Aetnaeus
Notable Aliases: Vulcan (Roman name)
First Appearance: Thor #129 (June 1966)
Son of Zeus and Hera. Hephaestus serves as the god of smiths, fire, and volcanoes. Among the Olympians he is the only one disabled thanks to his parents which makes him something of an outcast. Yet still serves them faithfully as a superb blacksmith, weapons maker and armorer.
- Abhorrent Admirer: He has a massive crush on Athena, but she dislikes him (and not only due to his ugliness). His attempt to force himself on her made her despise him forever.
- Emasculated Cuckold: Aphrodite constantly cheated on him with Ares, a fact that enrages him and he still holds a grudge against both.
- Handicapped Badass: Thanks to one of his parents throwing him off a mountain he is permanently crippled in one leg. Despite that he is still physically quite powerful and can give Thor a decent fight.
- Honor Before Reason: Hephasestus was originally an honorable god willing to fight Thor despite being at a disadvantage and stand up to his father when he was wrong.
- Ultimate Black Smith: One of the best smiths in the known universe. He is credited with making some of the finest weapons, armor, jewelry and other items on Olympus.
Alter Ego: Hera Argeia
Notable Aliases: Hera Panhellenios, Juno (Roman name), Augustine Jones, impersonated Taylor Madison
First Appearance: Marvel Mystery Comics #91 (April 1949) note ; Thor #129 (June 1966) note
Queen of the gods, goddess of marriage and main antagonist for the middle part of the series. She is the stepmother to Hercules and Athena. She regards them as deadly enemies and like in ancient times seeks to destroy them for perceived wrongs done in the past. With the death of Zeus she inherited both command of Olympus and his powerful Thunderbolt making her more dangerous than ever.
- Alpha Bitch: She's the queen of Olympus and a total bitch, especially towards her nephew/step-son Hercules.
- Anything That Moves: She made Typhon of all beings, a literally snake-legged monster locked in a semi-humanoid form by Zeus, her lover while she had him controlled as her bodyguard.
- Bad Boss: Of ten mistreated her subordinates and fellow Olympians, even expelled Apollo and Artemis since because they weren't her children.
- Big Bad: She's often the main antagonist in most stories involving the Marvel Olympians.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: Inherited Zeus's Thunderbolt letting her shoot energy as lighting, but far less powerful than him.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She is very displeased by her husband's philandering to the point she tried to destroy the universe simply so there could be no mortals around for Zeus to philander with.
- Divine Race Lift: After her rebirth, she has dark skin.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Hates Hercules and Athena for the crime of being born Zeus's children to other women. She can't exactly punish Zeus, but it's not like the kids deserve it.
- Early Installment Character Design Difference: She was portrayed as blonde up until the Modern Age, where she became a redhead.
- Evil Versus Evil: VS the Green Goblin during the Dark Reign arc.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Disrespect her as queen of the gods? Fate Worse than Death. Disrespect her husband or Olympus? Fate Worse than Death. Claim that she's not the World's Most Beautiful Woman? Fate Worse than Death. Upstage one of her children in any way? Fate Worse than Death. Remind her of her husband's infidelity? Fate Worse than Death. Talk to her at the wrong time for any reason whatsoever? Fate. Worse. Than. Death.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Zeus, in his reincarnated child form, convinces Hera that they both can change and improve their relationship, and that destroying the world is a bad idea. Then Typhon steps in and shows that he's no longer bound to serve Hera.
- Lady in a Power Suit: In the modern era, she often dressed in a business suit.
- Most Common Superpower: The Queen of Olympus sure has a nice bust.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Her plan for surviving the coming war with the Chaos King is creating and hiding in another universe while destroying the current one.
- Sleeps in the Nude: Has been shown sleeping naked in her room at the Olympus Group tower.
- Statuesque Stunner: Her default form is 5'10"/178cm tall and she's very attractive, bitchiness aside.
- Top God: Become the official leader of the Olympians after Zeus's death, although many members were expelled or fled due to her leadership.
- Woman Scorned: She will utterly make anyone's life a living hell if they remind her in any way of her husband's trysts with other women. So if you're a child resulting from such infidelity (like Hercules or Athena)? You're screwed.
Alter Ego: Hermes Diaktoros
Notable Aliases: Quicksilver, Mercury (Roman name)
First Appearance: Venus #3 (December, 1948)
Hermes is the quick and cunning Olympian messenger god. He is the patron of travelers and thieves as well as the god of wealth, transitions, boundaries and good fortune.
- A Million Is a Statistic / We Are as Mayflies: His view on human life and why it doesn't bother him when large numbers of humans could potentially die as long as other gods are not involved.
- Mercury's Wings: Thanks to being inspired by the Trope Maker
- Multicolored Hair: In his Post-Resurrection appearance his hair is turquoise and pink.
- Nice Guy: Compared to the other Olympians he is less arrogant with a greater understanding/respect for mortals, but still sees them as inferior.
- Super Speed: Hermes is the speedster of the Olympians and can move faster than mortals can register. Only other gods can sense him.
Alter Ego: Hades
Notable Aliases: Aidoneus, Dis, Dis Pater, Orcus, Hayden P. Hellman, Tyrant of the Dead, Mr. Pluto, Evil One, God of the Dead, Master of the Netherworld
First Appearance: Thor Vol. 1 #127 (April 1966)
The God of the Dead (not Death), Pluto is the brother of Zeus & Neptune, and ruler of the Olympian Underworld after they drew straws for what they would rule. Eventually wanting more then just this, over the years, Pluto has become an enemy to Hercules as he seeks more power.
- Badass Mustache: A pencil-thin mustache and he's the god of the Dead.
- Bald of Evil: Usually appears as a bald man.
- The Don: When Hera forced the Olympians to assume mortal identities, he chose this as he's still a ''Lord of the Underworld".
- The Dragon: Has one in Thanatos.
- Everybody Hates Hades: Justified in the Encyclopedia Mythologica; after people stopped worshiping the Greek gods Zeus forbade him to admit new souls into his realm, and he did not like that one bit.
- Evil Uncle: Not that evil, but he opposes his nephew Hercules.
- Hellfire: He can summon it, shape it into weapons or use it as regular blasts.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Pluto turned on Zeus due to eons of abuse along with believing Zeus set him up to be hated by making him Lord of the Underworld. Denying him new souls is what finally pushed him over the edge.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Marvel Two-In-One Annual #5 had Pluto attempt to use a device to overload a black hole in the hopes of destroying the universe so he could rule over eternal darkness.
- Pointy Ears: Just to remind us he's evil.
- Purple Is Powerful: His outfits tend to have a lot of dark blue and purple.
- Tin Tyrant: Pluto is almost always depicted wearing plate armor.
- Unfortunate Names: For a while Pluto started going by Hades due to too many comparisons to the dog Pluto
Alter Ego: Poseidon Aegaeus
Notable Aliases: Neptune, King Neptune, King of the Seas, Father Neptune, Earthshaker, Father of Oceans, Stormbringer
First Appearance: Kid Komics #1 (February, 1943)
Marvel's god of the ocean and its inhabitants, and the Olympian god of the sea. Neptune is worshiped by the Atlanteans. He is also known as Poseidon. Neptune is the brother of Zeus and Pluto.
Alter Ego: Zeus Panhellenios
Notable Aliases: Jupiter, Jove (names given him in ancient Rome), Taranis (Celtic name), Tinis (Etruscan name), Iupiter Optimus Maximus, Diespiter Optimus Maximus, Mister Z, Modi Thorson, Deus, Zeus of All the Greeks, Storm, "Zoos"
First Appearance: Venus #5 (June 1949)
King of the gods and in one way or another related to just about all the characters in the series. Killed before events in the series, but is restored a little over half-way through as a kid with no memories. Regains his throne and full power by end of the series.
Among the pantheon, he serves as the god of the sky with and emphasis on storms. Other roles include the god of law, justice, hospitality and oaths.
- 0% Approval Rating: None of the other Olympians like him thanks to eons of him abusing them. It's so bad Hercules is the only one with any real loyalty toward him. And even Hercules gets fed up with his behavior and was willing to leave him dead until there was no other option.
- Abusive Parents: In stark contrast to the Papa Wolf entry below, Zeus is known for being an absolute bastard to his own offspring when they piss him off or when they even think of defying his decrees. Even Hercules, his favorite son, gets beat on from time to time because of Zeus' temper.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Just ask the Hulk. He also curbstomped the Avengers, including Thor, without trying during Roger Stern's Avengers run.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Zeus was neutral towards the Incredible Hulk until Hulk did pretty much everything he could to insult and anger Zeus despite being warned by Hercules yet still wanting Zeus to help him.
- Badass Beard: Something he shares with Odin is his full badass beard.
- Bolt of Divine Retribution: His signature power source is his Thunderbolt and about the only way he uses his energy powers.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: After defeating the Hulk, he let a vulture repeatedly eat his entrails, and gloated about it. More significantly, he did the same to Prometheus for a far longer time for having the audacity to give mankind fire.
- Cruel Mercy: Allows Hercules to rescue the Hulk because he considers simply being the Hulk to be greater than any punishment he could give him.
- Cycle of Hatred: Subverted. One of the few times he ever put another over his own self-interest was when he realized that Hercules would not carry this on. That his son truly loved his father.
- Depending on the Writer: How much of a bastard he is has varied over time. Earlier stories made him more mature and fatherly with flying into rages only if provoked. Later stories focus more on his darker side.
- Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Zeus took the form of Alcmena's husband Amphitryon to seduce her to father Hercules and incinerated Semele after showing her his divine form. Since Alcemena, Semele, and Ampitryon considered Zeus to be the supreme godhead they did not have a problem with it making it a case of Values Dissonance. Thousands of years later, Amphitryon still considered Zeus his god and more important than himself, while Semele looks back on her encounter with Zeus as the greatest passion she ever knew and defends him killing her by blaming the whole mess on Hera.
- Divine Date: While Zeus certainly wasn't shy about using more questionable methods to get paramours, he sometimes just picked up women by his own charm.
- Easy Amnesia: Thanks to waters from the River Lethe.
- Extreme Omnisexual: Hercules once commented that Zeus has become well known for pursuing anything with two legs and sometimes four. It was hard to tell how much he was joking.
- Foil: For Odin from the Mighty Thor. Both are ancient, powerful godheads with short tempers, Badass Beards, and difficult relationships with their sons. Both claim they want to uphold justice, to sympathize with mortals, and disdain evil. The difference is Odin at least tries to live up to these virtues while holding the Asgardians accountable for their actions. Zeus blows them off whenever they inconvenience him and allows the gods to do what they want. He only bothers to punish them on a whim or when they cross him personally. As a result, Odin is usually a beloved king respected by his subjects while Zeus is despised.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: It does not take much to set Zeus off.
- Immortal Immaturity: Despite his status and title of Father of Gods and Men he lacks the maturity one would expect with his position. More often than not he is worse than his children.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Amatsu-Mikaboshi killed him.
- It's All About Me: His attitude to the point he at times has trouble with things that are not about him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: As an amnesiac kid. As an adult he wavers between this and Jerk with a Heart of Jerk. Overall, he is this as a god as well. He at times displays sympathy toward humanity, love for his children, remorse for his actions, and a patient, wise counselor to other gods. Or he can be a capricious jerk. It all depends on what mood he is in or if someone or something is riling him up.
- Jerkass Gods: He's an extremely capricious and volatile jerk who responds to insults with lightning, death threats, and violence. Even when getting killed or resurrected, he's still the same jerk. He attempted to justify it by saying he is a necessary evil for mortals to place their blame on in times of calamity.
- Kick the Dog: Hulk offering to make a sacrifice so others could go free prompted Zeus to sum up his actions, say "Wrong religion" and deck him.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: After he temporarily loses his powers, he completely emotionally breaks down due to his extremely pompous nature, is reduced to a hobo living on the streets, and is kicked in the groin and beaten up by Electra when attempting to hit on her.
- Kid Sidekick: After his memory is erased temporarily he replaces Cho as Hercules's sidekick.
- Large and in Charge: Occasionally drawn this way, being bigger than the Hulk during their fight.
- Mad God: Due to never really learning to control his temper at times it drives him into fits of madness that make him a danger to anyone around him.
- Never My Fault: He uses this trope as a defense during his trial in Hades as to why he should not be executed. Without gods mortals would no longer be able to pass the blame for their own actions onto it being 'gods plan'.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives the Hulk one of the most vicious and thorough beatings he's ever received.
- Papa Wolf: One of his few redeeming qualities. After Hercules was beaten into a coma by the Masters of Evil, he went batshit (although he took his anger out on the Avengers, whom he unfairly blamed). During the Ares mini-series he got pissed when Mikaboshi started killing Apollo, Ares, Athena and Hercules.
- Patrick Stewart Speech: Gives one to Hera at the climax of "Assault on New Olympus," hoping to talk her out of destroying the world. It worked, but unfortunately Typhon kills them both before Hera can stop her doomsday plan.
- Psychopathic Manchild: At his worst, Zeus has the mindset of an extremely powerful child. He is prone to flying into rages at minor things, not listening to others, and avoiding his own role in how things turn out. At the extreme he enters fits of madness that make him a danger to even other gods and willing to beat on the very people he cares about.
- Really Gets Around: Much to Hera's hatred, Zeus can't keep it in his toga.
- Shapeshifting Seducer: Nowadays he doesn't transform into animals to bed women, he transforms into rock stars.
- Shock and Awe: Even without his Thunderbolt he can still summon storms and shoot lighting.
- Story-Breaker Power: Zeus is rarely used in stories because he can overpower virtually anything with a few thunderbolts.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Yes, even more than before when he's reborn. This time he dragged the other Olympians with him and theyve all become Space Pirates.
- Even before that, as a child he has more empathy for others and a greater respect for righteousness. His position as king to some degree corrupted him.
- White Hair, Black Heart: As his evil self, he has a snow-white beard and hair.
- Vetinari Job Security: Pluto, Hera, Apollo and Athena all either replaced or are considered replacements for Zeus as the Lord of Olympus. All are either crazy, completely cold, or more evil than Zeus.
- Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: After his rebirth he turns blue when powering up.