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Venus is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, the oak-goddess and one of the Titans. She was born on the island of Cythera although later myths claimed she was formed by the foam of the sea. She is one of the most favored of the goddesses of Olympus and had worshipers as far away as Phoenicia, which according to some myths was her favored city. On the day of her maturity, Zeus feared that the gods would fight over Venus' hand in marriage because of her unparalleled beauty, and thus he married her off to the smith-god, her half-brother Hephaestus. This union however was much to Aphrodite's disapproval.
As a rather hedonistic goddess, Venus was most displeased to be married to the lame, sooty, hard-working Hephaestus. In turn, Venus had several affairs while wedded to Hephaestus with both gods and mortals. Most notably she cheated on him with Ares, Dionysus, and Hermes. She bore children to all of them except Hephaestus. She also bore Aeneas, the ancestor of the Romans, to the mortal Anchises. The latter union was not truly of Aphrodite's own choosing as Zeus forced her to unite with Anchises as punishment for using her powers to join the gods in unions with mortals and then taunting them with that fact. The most famous of Venus' earthly relationships was to the mortal Adonis, a Phoenician prince, one of the most attractive men in the lands ruled by Ancient Greece, although his life was cut short in the prime of his youth. Even though Venus was married to Hephaestus, her favorite lover was Ares. To Ares, she bore Harmonia and Eros (Cupid) who grew to be his mother's herald as the god of love. (Some myths claim they were children of Hephaestus.) To Hermes, she bore Hermaphroditus and to Dionysus, Venus bore Priapus - who had huge genitals magically given to him by Hera in disapproval for Aphrodite's promiscuity. Eventually alerted about his wife by the sun-god Helios, Hephaestus caught Venus and Ares together in one of their unions, and to this day Venus and Hephaestus have been estranged.Venus was indirectly responsible for the Trojan War that took place centuries ago in Troy on the Dardanian plain at the end of the Twelfth Century BC. In a contest among herself, Hera and Athena to decide who was the most beautiful goddess of all, the Trojan prince Paris was approached by Hermes to play the role of arbitrator for the three goddesses - each of whom promised him a reward from whomever he chose. Venus promised him the most beautiful woman in all of Greece who at the time was Helen, her half-sister by Zeus. Helen was a princess of Sparta and wife of King Menelaus, heir to the throne of Mycenae. Paris chose Venus, and hence the love-goddess had her son Eros entrance Helen causing her to fall in love with Paris and subsequently leave her husband, her daughter Hermione, and her kingdom for Troy. In response to Helen's abandonment, Menelaus sought the help of his brother, King Agamemnon of Sparta, who rallied the Greek kings and armies against Troy for control of the Hellespont. Among the warriors engaged in this war was Ajax the Great, King Odysseus of Ithaca and the nearly invulnerable demigod warrior, Achilles against the hero and Trojan prince, Hector, defending the Troy.
Around 50 BC, Aphrodite encountered and fell in love with Narcissus, who rejected her love. She cursed him to meet someone who would not return his love and know heartbreak and torture. Narcissus found just that when he spied his reflection in a pond and fell in love with himself eventually turning into the flower that was named after him.
Venus - 1940s & 1950s
1948By 1948 Venus had grown bored with the life of an immortal and wished to experience the life of a human, and experience human love. She then transported herself to Earth and appeared in Los Angeles where her perfect beauty gathered a large crowed who were shocked by her sudden appearance in the middle of a busy street. She was spotted by Beauty Magazine publisher Whitney Hammond who was instantly smitten by the goddess and instantly though she would have save his flagging business. Not believing her claims that she was really the goddess Venus, Hammond hired her as editor after the original editor quit. This earned her the enmity of secretary Della Mason who vied for the editors position. Venus attempted to prove to Whitney that she really was Venus by showing some of her magical powers, only to find that they no longer worked while she was on Earth. One source suggests that this lack of power was caused by a temporary spell placed on the Earth by Zeus when he decreed that the Olympian gods stay out of the affairs of mortals. While for the most part Venus occasionally was able to use limited abilities from time to time, and was always able to teleport back to planet Venus. In her position as editor for Beauty Magazine, she helped them beat Lovely Lady Magazine, a rival company, at featuring the 10 most lovely women on the Earth when Venus gathered various goddess from her kingdom. Due to Whitney Hammond's attraction to Venus, the two began dating. Venus adopted the alias Vikki Starr, although everyone mostly referred to her as Venus.
In these early days Della Mason regularly attempted to find ways to get Venus fired from her job in the hopes of taking her position. The first of these attempts was to alter a telegram from Whitney Hammond asking Venus to cover the story of a beauty pageant in Atlantic City. Thanks to Della's meddling, Venus instead went to Cactus City where he beauty enthralled the locals. When her appearance in Cactus City landed front page publicity for Beauty Magazine, Della's plans were ruined. Venus next accompanied Mr. Hammond to the printing press where Beauty Magazine was rolled out. There her beauty caused pandemonium among the staff, including the foreman. Hammond dragged Venus back to the office, vowing never to bring her back again. However a telegram received later that day from the planet foreman announced that Venus was welcome at any time as her appearance helped boost productivity, much to Whitney's chagrin. Noticing Venus' frequent absences (in which she had returned to her kingdom on planet Venus) Della hired two private detectives to try and find out where she disappeared to. Realizing that she was being followed, Venus used her powers to frighten them then hired them to play a prank on Della to make it look to Whitney Hammond that she had hired them to find her a new job, much to Della's chagrin. Venus was next assigned to try and get an exclusive interview with Rodney Radiant, the most handsome man in the world who also bore a resemblance to Narcissus. Accepting a bet from Della to go in plain clothing, Venus learned that Rodney has spurred his old high school sweetheart Connie Lane. Confronting Radiant, Venus unleashed her full beauty and denied his love when he was enthralled and convinced him to marry Connie instead, getting the exclusive for the magazine. Eventually Apollo grew tired of Venus' constant absences from her kingdom and appeared on Earth in the guise of Paul Belvedere and obtained a job at Beauty Magazine. While on Earth, Apollo used his powers to keep the sun shining 24 hours a day until Venus agreed to return with him. Venus eventually relented, only to punish Apollo upon her return and then resumed her activities on Earth.
1949In 1949, Venus came to the aid of an office girl named Lucy whose boyfriend Frank had broken off their engagement to obsess over a statue of Juno. In order to show Frank the errors of his way, Venus brought the easily jealous Juno to Earth and hooked them up. When Juno proved to be too much for Frank, Venus returned her back to Olympus. When it turned out that Frank was a flake that was interested only in beauty, Venus was happy to find that Lucy had started a relationship with the office elevator boy. Venus soon took a brief vacation and found that she missed Whitney Hammond. Upon returning to Earth, she was upset to find that Whitney was too occupied to get the next issue of Beauty Magazine printed to pay attention to her. Seeking to make him jealous she brought Samson to Earth to make him jealous. The plan backfired due to Samson's long hair and beard causing Hammond to laugh at the notion that they were dating. After a shave and a haircut, Samson tried to force himself on Venus, making Hammond jealous and he took Samson out with a single punch. Venus returned Samson back to Olympus happy to have Whitney paying attention to her once more. By this time, Della Mason had shifted her focus from stealing Venus' position as editor with the magazine to trying to win Whitney Hammond's heart. Her first attempts involved a psychological approach. The first, based on the advice of Doctor Dingle was to get Venus to dress more conservatively while Della dressed up as provocatively as possible. The second was forcing Venus to see psychologist Dr. Saunders to cure her of the "delusions" that she was really the goddess of love. Both plans backfired horribly.
Soon Venus' activities on Earth gained more attention of the other Olympians on Olympus. First Jupiter returned and demanded that Venus return to Olympus. When she refused he challenged her to prove the worthiness of mortals and find the perfect couple who could not be broken within a week. Venus found them in Meg Saunders and her husband-to-be Danny. To try and break them up, Jupiter sent Apollo and Daphne in the guise of Hollywood actors to try and break them up. But this ultimately failed and Venus succeeded in winning her right to stay on Earth. Venus soon gained the attention of Loki who had been banished to Hades by Zeus. He tricked Venus into going to Hades and trapped her there. Possessing Whitney Hammond, Loki attempted to ruin Venus' romance life and Whitney business. However, Venus freed herself from Hades and exorcised Loki from Whitney's body, forcing him to return to Hades before he could do any more damage. Venus was next targeted by Joya the daughter of Zeus, who challenged her romance with Whitney Hammond. Venus and Hammond were transported to Olympus to stand trial. This distracted the Gods long enough for Loki to stage an attack on the realm. Realizing the errors of her ways, Joya posed as Venus and agreed to return with Loki to Hades. In the aftermath, Hammond professed his love of Venus and Jupiter returned them both to Earth.
As the new decade advanced, Venus found herself conflicting with various Gods, super-natural threats, and other supernatural forces, while still trying to assist the lovelorn people of Earth whenever possible.
Venus first came to the assistance of a young woman named Rona Sanders who sought to find her long lost lover George Huston. After getting permission from her publisher Whitney Hammond, Venus tracked down Huston and discovered that he had become a con-man bilking women out of money and leaving them high and dry. Tricking Huston into falling in love with him and paying back the women he cheated. Venus then brought the reformed Huston to the home of Rona Sanders to find her on her death bed. Only Huston's profession of love to her could, apparently, bring her out of her illness. When Venus could not force Huston to love Rona, she appealed to Jupiter. Jupiter agreed to help and took some of Venus' love powers and transferred them to Rona Sanders. This ultimately made George fall in love with Rona, curing Rona of her illness (although it seems more likely that Jupiter merely cured Rona of her illness).
Venus soon found herself once more harassed by Apollo who resumed his efforts to win her heart. Unable to return to Earth due to Jupiter's decree, Apollo made a deal with a demon named Zoroba to take his place on Olympus while his spirit was allowed to roam free on Earth. Apollo then possessed the body of Beauty Magazine employee Marvin Klee and attempted to romance Venus. Venus found herself powerless to avoid Apollo's charms. However, Venus soon learned that Zoroba was using this deal to trick Jupiter to allow Loki to reside on Olympus and leave his banishment in Hades. With Apollo stuck on Earth while Zoroba is in his real body, Venus tricked Zoroba into coming to Earth, freeing Apollo and foiling Loki's plans. Venus soon learned that her love Whitney Hammond was so despondent by seeing Venus with "Marvin Klee" prevented him from committing suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge and the couple reconciled. Venus took a large risk with her next feature for Beauty Magazine: Offering to bring out the inner beauty of any woman who wrote in. Venus sought the aid of such beings as Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and others to secretly help write her answers. Della Mason, seeking to discredit and fire Venus, convinced the frumpy Minnie Glees to purposely fail Venus' attempt at beautification so that she could sue Beauty Magazine. However, Venus saw through this ploy and gave Minnie a make over in order to romance Marvin Klee.
Venus was again harassed by an evil suitor, this time Loki's son Son of Satan who sought to force Venus to love him. When Venus initially refused, he caused a number of natural disasters and threatened to destroy the Beauty Magazine building with a tornado. Surrendering, Venus then lulled the Son of Satan into a false sense of security long enough for her to summon the powers of Apollo to encase the Son in a fireball from the Earth's Sun and send him on a perpetual orbit around the Earth. Venus was later tricked by Della into covering a bogus story about a new editor at rival publication Lovely Lady Magazine, in an effort to get Venus fired. Venus however learned the Lovely Lady's owner Paul Banner was going broke and convinced him to sell his magazine to Whitney Hammond. Venus was later assigned to write a story on scientist Randy Dover's rocket which he intended to use to travel to the moon. Venus learned that Randy had been neglecting his fiancée and vowed to use the mission to make him focus on Ann Saunders. Successfully landing on the moon, Venus was forced to reveal her godly powers in front of Randy to protect him from creatures called Luna-Things and volcanic eruptions. This made Randy fall madly in love with her, and with the aid of Jupiter and Mercury knocked Randy out and returned to Earth. There she made it look as though the rocket mission had failed, and that everything was all a dream. Venus then scoffed at Randy, making him realize that Ann Saunders was the girl he really loved.
The Earth was once again imperilled when it was suddenly being pulled into the sun. Faced with the extinction of the human race, Venus tracked down the cause -- a scientist named Michael Templar. She learned that Templar built the device out of anger when rejected by a woman named Elsa, and accidentally smashed it. Broken hearted, Templar suffered from a mental block preventing him from reversing the effect. Venus then showed Michael that Elsa did not love him, but his lab assistant Maria did. When Templar could not accept Maria's love, Venus summoned the spirits of Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and others to briefly possess Maria. The inner beauty radiating from Maria caused Michael to fall madly in love with her and the two scientists worked together to save the world from annihilation. Venus was next sent to cover the a story about Professor Buffanoff who had claimed that he created a device that could travel to what he called the "third dimension". Sneaking back into Buffanoff's lab that night to get a closer look at the device, Venus was soon subjected to it, and found herself transferred into Buffanoff's mind where strange creatures dwelled and plotted to escape into the real world and slaughter the human race. Venus used her powers to convince Buffanoff that what he was doing was wrong, and the scientist committed suicide. This unleashed the creatures, whom Venus lured to Olympus where they battled Jupiter, Apollo and the Asgardian thunder god Thor who drove the creatures back into Buffanoff's mind, killing them. Venus then destroyed the invention to prevent it from imperilling the Earth again.
At the start of the year Venus found herself trapped in the nation of Cassaroba whose sultan wished to make her his new bride. She was unable to use her powers thanks to a spell put over the area by Loki. However, when Venus was marked for death by the sultan Loki -- in a rare show of love -- removed his spell and Venus helped the locals overthrow the sultan and established a new ruler. Returning to the United States, Venus joined Whitney and Della on a cruise that was briefly stopped by the irradiated Fish People, who were spawned by atomic tests along the Pacific. Venus managed to quell the irradiated creatures with the help of Neptune. Back in New York, Venus stopped a Romany hypnotist named Roberto who used his hair salon to turn women into thieves. Later she saved the city from embittered and discharged solider John Dark and his mechanized army with the aid of Ares. Venus also got assistance from Thor when she stopped the massive Creeping Death from consuming the Earth.
Soon Venus became involved in various strange and supernatural happenings, often investigating them in the capacity of her job at Beauty Magazine. She began to rely less on and distance herself from the other Olympian gods. Venus jointed German scientist Baron Franz Heinrich on a rocket trip to Mars where Heinrich sought to discover the Fountain of Youth. There they had a clash with Azrael whom the Baron seemingly slew. When they returned to Earth, Venus helped teach Heinrich the real "fountain of youth" was the love of his wife. Investigating a series of mysterious hangings, Venus discovered the killer to be Raoul Hamud a prisoner serving a life sentence in jail who could control ropes with his mind. She later investigated a modern day Lothario John A. Donis whom she exposed as the Olympian god Adonis who was trying to prove he was a better lover than Venus. While investigating strange grave robberies, Venus discovered that the subterranean Underearth Men where transplanting their brains in the cadavers in a plot to take over the surface world. However, Venus slew them by exploiting their weakness to sunlight. Venus was briefly turned into a two dimensional cutout by insane photographer Jerome Lenz however she eventually was restored to normal. Later while investigating Professor Zorsky and his bizarre Living Dolls show, Venus was briefly placed under his hypnotic control. Venus was freed thanks to Whitney Hammond, and Zorsky was killed by a bullet from one of his own gun.
Soon after, Venus was lured to the office of the Corpo Construction company by Sylvia Corpo who believed herself to be the Queen of the Gargoyles and believed she was commanded by the stone gargoyles in her building, Venus managed to escape with her life, but Corpo was not so lucky. By this time, it appeared that Della had given up on her rivalry with Venus and the two worked together to expose Mr. Natas was behind the disappearances of people in the town of Corona Way. They discovered Natas was a crematorium owner who believed himself to be Satan himself. To avoid capture, Natas jumped into his own incinerator. Soon after, Venus came to the aid of her co-worker Betty and exposed her step-father as the one responsible for driving her mother insane. Venus next accepted Lord Etherington's invitation to investigate his castle which he believed was haunted by the ghost of his daughter. The truth, as Venus soon learned, was that Cathy Etherington was sealed in an upper chamber of the castle to die by her father and she spent the last decade using the secret passages in the castle to haunt her father in revenge. Back in New York, Venus noticed that he co-worker Jimmy Rogers was becoming increasingly moody. Visiting him at home she was surprised to find that somehow his drawings had come to life and assisted him in stopping his mad creations. The surface world was next terrorized by the Undersea Titans, until Venus realized that they would turn into living statues once dried of their moisture. With the aid of the military the creatures were forced back into the depths of the ocean.
In 1952, Venus investigated a series of massive tidal waves that struck newly developed costal homes built by Seacret Real Estate. Venus investigated the owner, Diana Seacrest. Venus soon uncovered that she was really Neptunia, daughter of Neptune. She was causing the floods out of revenge against the United States for their atomic bomb tests, believing that these tests had killed her father. Venus easily defeated Neptunia, and Neptune has since turned up alive and well, the rumours of his death proven false.
Venus' conflict with Neptunia is the last recorded clash between Venus and other Olympian gods, and her powers seemingly faded once more, likely due to another decree from Jupiter. However, even though she was lacking in power, this did not stop Venus from encountering the supernatural and macabre. She and Whitney Hammond investigated a medium that they presumed was a fraud, but were surprised when not only did the medium prove that he could summon spirits, he also was able to reunite two deceased lovers. The couple next took another cruise where they encountered the so-called Demon from the Deep an apparition of a murderer who was shot dead on the ship hours earlier. Fleeing from the Demon, the couple found the killer's original body. Upon seeing his mortal form the Demon discorporated into nothingness. Back in New York, Venus was working late one night when a delivery man gave dropped off an unsolicited package. The package contained the so-called Box of Doom. The spirit inside tempted both Venus and the delivery man to open the box. Venus was able to resist it's offers of great power, but the delivery man was not so strong. Opening the box, he was transformed into a vampire and attacked Venus. Fleeing into a subway, Venus slew the vampire by ramming a stake through his heart. Also during this period, Venus encountered the shape-changing hero Effigy, although the details of this encounter are mostly unknown.
As the 1950s came to an end, Venus soon began to notice that her lover, Whitney Hammond, was growing old and would eventually die. Unable to bring herself to watch this happen, Venus then abandoned her mission on Earth and returned to Olympus, where she remained for many decades. During her absence from Earth, a Siren co-opted Aphrodite's Venus identity and was active as a costumed crime fighter during the remainder of the 1950s.
1960sVenus briefly resurfaced on Earth in the early 1960s, changing her appearance and style to fit more with the times. She became enthralled by a Nazi war criminal known only as the Rumor who manipulated her love powers to make a loyal army to overthrow the American government. An unfortunate side-effect to his influence over Venus was that her powers only appeared to effect young children. However, she soon enthralled the hippy super-hero known as Sunshine due to the fact she was pregnant. Sunshine subsequently used her own powers to also enthral her crime fighting partner and husband Captain Hip. This led to a clash with the super-heroes known as the First Line who were accompanied by Thor, who had been sent to Earth by his father Odin to combat this very plot. Rumor forced Venus to use her powers against Thor, forcing him to battle the First Line's Frank. Ultimately, the Rumor was silenced by Effigy and Black Fox, freeing Venus from his control. Venus once more vanished from the eyes of mortals until the modern age.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Venus possesses the various superhuman attributes of an Olympian.
Superhuman Strength: Like all Olympians, Venus is superhumanly strong. Her strength is about average for an Olympian female and she can lift about 25 tons.
Superhuman Speed: Venus can run and move at speeds superior to even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Stamina: Venus' musculature produces considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of ordinary humans, and most other Olympians for that matter. She can physically exert herself at peak capacity for several days before the build up of fatigue toxins in her blood begins to impair her.
Superhumanly Dense Tissue: Venus' bodily tissues have about 3 times the density as the bodily tissues of a human being, contributing somewhat to her weight and superhuman strength.
Superhuman Durability: Venus' body is much harder and is more resistant to physical injury than the body of a human being, and most other Olympians. She can withstand great impact forces, can withstand high caliber bullets, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and exposure to temperature and pressure extremes without being injured.
Superhuman Agility: Venus' agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Reflexes: Venus' reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
Immortality: Venus, like all other Olympians, is functionally immortal. She hasn't aged since reaching adulthood and is immune to further aging. She is also immune to the effects of all known Earthly diseases and infections. However, this doesn't mean that she can't be killed.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite her resistance to injury, it is possible to injure Venus. If injured, however, her godly life force enables her to rapidly heal damaged tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than a human being, and most other Olympian gods. She can't, however, regenerate missing limbs or organs without the aid of powerful magical assistance.
Energy Manipulation: Like all Olympians, Venus has the ability to manipulate great amounts of energy for a number of purposes. Venus is particularly adapt at changing her shape to appear as another humanoid being and she can even adopt the form of animals such as dolphins. Venus can also teleport herself across great distances, even dimensions such as teleporting from Olympus to Earth. Venus can also render herself invisible form mortal eyesight for an indefinite period of time. As the goddess of love, Venus has the mystical ability to arouse love and passion in others and transform weapons into objects of peace. The only known beings who are immune to her love-power are the goddesses Artemis, Athena, and Vesta.
Enchantment: Venus has the ability to enchant mortals and gods alike, making them fall in love or lust after her, allowing her to bend their wills.
Teleportation: Venus has the ability to teleport, which she used regularly during the 1940s and 1950s, allowing he to travel between Earth and planet Venus in a matter of moments.
Imposition: In one instance, Venus showed the ability to impose herself into flat surfaces, such as a poster and appear to be part of the surface.
- Venus is a master of all the arts and sciences of physical love, and she has extensively studied the subject of emotional/sentimental love.
- She can breathe underwater and swim at great speed.
- Venus possesses the abilities of a siren, including to affect men with her song, which reflects her mood - her song usually causes abrupt lust in a subject, but a song sung while she cries will cause acute despair.
Unlike most Olympians, Venus has had virtually no combat training or experience.
EquipmentVenus wears an enchanted girdle called the Cestus that enables the wearer to charm anyone to become a love-slave by arousing love and sexual passion in others at the wearer's will. It can also neutralize or transform all weapons of war into objects that can be used for peaceful purposes.
Dimensional teleportation using her own powers.
- 47 Appearances of Aphrodite Pandemos (Earth-616)
- 33 Images featuring Aphrodite Pandemos (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Aphrodite Pandemos (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Aphrodite Pandemos (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Aphrodite Pandemos (Earth-616)
- Aphrodite at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Venus #3
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #12
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Venus #1
- ↑ Champions #1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Venus #2
- ↑ Marvel Mystery Comics #91
- ↑ Venus #4
- ↑ Venus #5
- ↑ Venus #6
- ↑ Venus #7
- ↑ Venus #8
- ↑ Venus #9
- ↑ Venus #10
- ↑ Venus #11
- ↑ Venus #12
- ↑ Venus #13
- ↑ Venus #14
- ↑ Venus #15
- ↑ Venus #16
- ↑ Venus #17
- ↑ Venus #18. Data of the other two Venus stories shouldgo here.
- ↑ Venus #19
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 Marvel: The Lost Generation #5
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #12
- ↑ Agents of Atlas #1
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 12