Athena is the daughter of the Olympian god-king Zeus and his first consort Metis, the goddess of prudence who was the daughter of the Titan sea-deities Oceanus and Tethys. After defeating the earlier generation of gods known as the Titans for the rule of the dimension known as Olympus, Zeus chose to mate with the Titaness Metis sometime prior to making his elder sister, Hera, his lawful wife and Queen of the gods. Thus, Zeus's union with Metis resulted in Athena being born near Lake Tritonis in Libya. Tritonis was controlled by her cousin, the god Triton, a son of the sea-lord Poseidon. After Athena's birth however, Zeus was informed of a prophecy given by his grandmother Gaea that Metis' second child by Zeus would be a god more powerful than his father and who would replace him as ruler of the gods as Zeus had done to his father Cronus who likewise had replaced his father Ouranos. Hence, Metis exiled herself from Olympus to prevent the prophecy from coming to pass. Raised by her elder cousin Triton, Athena befriended Pallas his daughter who was similar in age to her. Athena accidentally killed Pallas during a bout of simulated combat and thus annexed Pallas' name to her own in memory of her fallen cousin. To this day she is sometimes called Pallas Athena.
Of all of Zeus's numerous offspring, Athena has always had the king of the gods favor above all others. This may be due to the fact that Athena's personal interests have always diverged from those of the other gods. Whereas most of the Olympian deities have focused their lives on pursuing hedonism and are usually controlled by their passions and engage in petty bickering amongst themselves, Athena's temperament has usually been more humble in comparison and has always striven to pursue and act with knowledge and wisdom. Athena was so favored by her father that she was the only god-child of Zeus allowed to wear the Aegis, the magically-protective breastplate of Zeus. The only other exception of Zeus's offspring wearing the Aegis was when his mortal demigod son Perseus, by the human princess Danae, was allowed to use it with Athena's blessing when confronting the Gorgon called Medusa.
At some point, after the Olympians had made their presence known to the ancient Greeks around 2000 B.C., Zeus discovered Olympia, home to the superhumanly long-lived offshoot of humanity known as the Eternals which resided near the gods' home of Olympus itself. Olympia was the capital city of the Eternals and was ruled by Zuras. Zeus and Athena then traveled to Olympia to meet with Zuras and his daughter Azura, named after her father. Athena noticed the physical resemblances between Zeus and Zuras and herself and Azura and hence suggested a pact of non-interference between the two races where the Olympian Eternals would act as the gods' heralds on Earth at certain times. The pact was sealed and Azura changed her name to Thena to honor the pact. However, during the centuries that followed, many human worshipers of the gods mistook several Eternals for the gods themselves. For example, Cybele was mistaken for Gaea and Rhea, Helios for Apollo, Hero for Heracles (Hercules), Makkari for Mercury/Hermes, Phastos for Hephaestus, Thena for Athena, and Zuras for Zeus, etc. This led to a great resentment by the gods for their Eternal representatives.
Throughout the millenia Athena has had many encounters with mortals in the lands of Greece when the gods were formally worshiped. Among these incidents include her competition with the mortal called Arachne. Arachne was a vain woman who considered her weaving ability greater than that of Athena's. To resolve the matter, a competition was declared between the two where they would weave tapestries. Arachne created a tapestry that depicted events that happened in the lives of the gods and Athena, consumed with rage and jealousy at Arachne's handiwork, tore Arachne's tapestry apart causing the girl to flee and subsequently commit suicide in her grief. As penance for her actions, Athena cast a spell over Arachne and transformed her into a spider, preserving her life and allowing her to spin and weave via the natural abilities of a spider until the day she died in her new form. This was one of few episodes of Athena losing her temper and acting just as petty as the other gods as she is usually a more even-tempered goddess in relation to her peers. Another encounter with a mortal was when she made a sojourn from Olympus to Earth and was spied upon by Teresias while bathing. Unlike her sister Artemis who once when spied upon by the hunter Actaeon became enraged and manipulated events which led to his death, Athena instead cast a spell on Teresias which blinded him but to compensate for this endowed him with the gift of precognition.
Athena also participated in the Trojan War which occurred from 1194 B.C. to 1184 B.C., taking the side of the Greek warriors against the Trojans to avenge, at least in her mind, an insult performed on her by the Trojan prince Paris. Paris had deemed Venus as the most beautiful goddess of all after a contest was formed among Venus, Athena and Hera to be judged as "the most beautiful". During the war, Athena fought against Ares, and empowered Prince Argive so that he could strike Ares a near-mortal wound. 
Athena's encounters included her dealings with both mortal and demigod champions. Among these included Perseus, her half-brother, whom she aided in his mission concerning Medusa; Jason whom she aided in his quest for the magical Golden Fleece and imparted to him a magical talking oak as an oracular guide attached to his ship, The Argo; Cadmus whom she aided in slaying the dragon of Ares; Odysseus (Ulysses) whom she aided in returning home to Ithaca from the Trojan War and reclaiming his kingdom; and Heracles (Hercules), another half-brother of hers whom she aided during the course of his legendary Twelve Labors. All these heroes she aided in their various quests fulfilling her role as the goddess of warriors, guiding and advising them in their adventures.
Athena was one of the most beloved goddesses among the Grecian peoples. So much so that the city known as Athens was named for her from its original name of Attica and during the days of ancient Greece she was the protector of its people. The naming of the city in Athena's honor took place after she won a contest between her and her uncle, the sea-god Poseidon to decide who would lay claim to the city. Poseidon gave the people a salty spring to curry their favor but they ultimately chose Athena over Poseidon when the goddess provided an olive tree that was more useful. Thus, she became the patron goddess of Athens. Athena was also worshiped under the Latin name of Minerva during the days of ancient Rome.
Athena observed as Hercules attempted to convince Zeus to wage war on Asgard. Ares confided to her that he hoped Hercules would be successful. Athena stood alongside Zeus as he forbade Pluto from working on earth. Athena observed Pluto's conflict with Zeus. Athena accompanied Zeus to a meeting with Odin, as he requested their aid in opposing the Eternals.
Athena participated in the assault upon the Eternals' home city, Olympia, and fought her one-time impersonator Thena. The battle with the Eternals soon ended, and Athena withdrew with the other Olympians.
Athena observed as Hephaestus attempted to lift Thor's hammer, Mjolnir, but they were interrupted by the arrival of the Avengers at his workshop. Athena fought with Thor, but their battle ended when he saved her from a pool of molten metal. Realizing that the Avengers were not, as Zeus had claimed, enemies of Olympus, Athena convinced Hephaestus to hear them out, and then accompanied them with Hephaestus and Venus to visit Hercules, in an attempt to heal him. However, they were found at Hercules' bedside by Zeus, who blasted all of them with his lightning. Athena and the other Olympians who had allied themselves with the Avengers took awhile to recover, as Zeus's fury had been even greater against them. Athena was present as Zeus forbade all Olympians from interfering with the earth.
Athena appeared to Trey Rollins and revealed to him that she was his patroness and had chosen him to bear the breastplate Aegis as her new champion, carrying on the tradition of past heroes of ancient Greece including Achilles, Jason, and Odysseus.
Athena was presumably present with the Olympian pantheon as they convened a board meeting on Earth at the Olympus Group, assuming the appearances of mortal businessmen in an attempt to maintain some connection with humanity. Zeus had gathered them to confront Hera for manipulating Hercules into appearing on a reality television show as part of an attempt to gain revenge upon him, but he wound up being jeered at by his own family for his many infidelities. They finally voted against interfering with Hercules' labors.
After a battle with Pluto, Athena met with the other gods of Olympus as they discussed how distasteful Ares' brutality was to them. Athena fought for Olympus as it was invaded by Japanese demons led by Mikaboshi, and looked to Ares for strategy on the battlefield. Athena joined the Olympians in their last battle against Mikaboshi's forces. Aided by benevolent Japanese gods of the east, the Olympians prevailed, though at the cost of Zeus's very life by Mikaboshi. 
Athena commonly offered shelter to Hercules and Amadeus Cho at her estate in Vermont, after Amadeus aborted his attempt to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. upon the injuring of his coyote pup, after much coaxing on Hercules's part. The two used the alien technology of the planet Sakaar to teleport to Athena's house in Vermont, and warning Hercules both about Ares, and Amadeus' potential for becoming good or evil. After Hercules and Amadeus ultimately make it to her estate, she tells Amadeus of Hercules's past and capability to become as monstrous as the Hulk, who had once stormed Olympus after the Sorcerer Supreme of the mortal plane, Doctor Strange, had banished him into the Crossroads of infinite realms, along with warning them of the threat of the Secret Invasion.
When Hercules clashed with Ares's son Kyknos, Athena and Ares asked the Fates if Hercules would best him. They replied that Hercules would slay Kyknos unless he were killed first. Ares intervened on the battle to assist his son, but Athena came to Hercules' aid in order to level the playing field. Ultimately, Hercules succeeded in slaying Kyknos. 
Athena takes them to San Francisco, to convene a meeting of Earth's various pantheons, in the shadow of the Dreaming Celestial to discuss the threat, after a brief conflict with the Eternals, her pitted against her counterpart Thena as Hercules became entranced, based on a misinterpretation of the Dreaming Celestial's message. Athena reveals Urania's premonition served as her warning, and displays a beheaded head of a Skrull. She sends the God Squad, comprising of those selected personally by the Gods of the North, South, East and West, as well as a representative of the Elder Gods called by the Egyptian Horus deity of Hercules, Snowbird, Ajak, Atum and Amatsu-Mikaboshi, joined by the boy genius Amadeus Cho, mortal companion of Hercules. Fearing that the shifting of the cosmic axis would replace them with a new patheon of alien deities and prompt the Demogorge to lay waste to them all, the Earth gods chose to counter this new threat by following Athena's proposed simple and direct strategy of journeying to the realm of the Skrull gods and eliminating them there, while the remaining heroes of the planet, combined with any of their alien or extradimensional allies, joined forces in hopes of repelling the threat directly through force; the Earth gods also refrain from all uniting to destroy the Skrull Empire thus, for many believe such an action would leave them open to internal attack by the Olympians, as they now lacked a proper home. Athena delivered to Cho the second prophecy of Urania: that all of the Earth gods's efforts would fail in the end if Amadeus could not do the hardest thing he had ever done to help Hercules at his weakest. Mikaboshi asked Hercules whether his sister's eyes had always been so green, hinting at deception, though later proven to be unfounded. The Council urged the god-heroes to reach Nightmare to attain a map of the route to the Skrull deity world, which they succeed to Mikaboshi's magical shadow copy. Following the "God Squad"'s victory and destruction of the two central Skrull deities, (though at the cost of both the Demogorge and Ajak) and Mikaboshi's takeover of the Skrull slave deities, Athena is shown watching from her scrying pool, and she says that this is an even better result than she had planned for, curiously expressing no alarm or shock when Mikaboshi vows to get revenge on the Olympians. Athena is thus confirmed not to be a Skrull.
In the past, she has shown using her foresight to predict the birth of Amadeus Cho and the events of the World War Hulk, predicting that while the still young Hercules would grow to be a force for good, Amadeus would always be her champion, foretelling the modern times and his final choosing in becoming a force for good himself, and her and Hercules's helper  Thus she accepted him as her helper.
Athena also aids Hercules and Amadeus against the new Amazon threat in Love and War after the triumph of the God Squad and the conclusion of the Secret Invasion, at the Dark Reign's very blossoming, both in combat and in strategy. The Earth is reshaped, albeit briefly, and Athena is returned back to reality alongside all other denizens of the planet. Meanwhile, Hera and Pluto have taken over the Olympus Group, the modern day seat of power for the Olympians, via the inherited shares of Zeus after his death (Zeus's soul is held by Pluto, and Amadeus and Hercules joins to free him) and by buying out Poseidon, and have decided the company has a new major goal: the deaths of Athena and Hercules. As a part of her master plan, Hera has Aegis killed, and using his body as a bait, lures Athena, Amadeus and Hercules into a trap. Among Hera's retinue is Delphyne Gorgon, who wishes to kill Athena in revenge for her cursing the original Gorgons. Athena formulates a new plan to counter Hera, and the heroes escape in the midst of a battle between Hera's forces and the Dark Avengers.
Athena's ingenuity, combined with the height of her wisdom is fully realized when she sends Hercules and Amadeus upon their most dangerous mission yet: to Hades, Olympian realm of the deceased, to seek out and bring back Zeus, the deity with whom she was closest with, to counter the sinister plots of Hera. This leads to Pluto, Lord of the Dead, is trying Zeus for Crimes Against Creation in the infernal depths of Hades, with 500 slavering Damned serving as jury, Amadeus Cho for the defense, and the lead witness for the prosecution is Hercules. 
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Athena possesses the conventional powers of the Olympian gods:
- Superhuman Strength: Athena possesses superhuman strength substantially greater than the average Olympian goddess and somewhat greater than the average Olympian god. Whereas the average Olympian male and female can lift 30 and 25 tons respectively, Athena can lift about 35 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Athena can run and move at speeds greater than even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Stamina: Athena's advanced musculature generates considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a human being. She can physically exert herself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before fatigue begins to impair her.
- Superhumanly Dense Tissue: The tissues of her body have 3 times the density of the tissues that make up a human body, contributing somewhat to her weight and superhuman strength.
- Superhuman Durability: Athena's body is much harder and more resistant to injury than that of an ordinary human. Athena can withstand high caliber bullets, great impact forces, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, falls from great heights, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining physical injury. She has survived a massive explosion caused by Pythagoras Dupree that was sufficient to detroy an entire town.. Among the Olympians, his durability is equaled by his brother Ares.
- Superhuman Agility: Athena's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Athena's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
- Immortality: Athena, like all Olympians, is functionally immortal in the sense that she is immune to the effects of aging. She hasn't aged since reaching adulthood and is immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections. However, the Olympians, like other god pantheons, are not completely immortal. While they are immune to disease and aging, it is possible for them to be killed through sufficient force.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite her resistance to injury, Athena can be injured with sufficient force or weaponry. However, Athena is capable of rapidly healing injuries faster and more extensively than a human is capable of. However, Athena can't regrow missing limbs or organs without magical assistance.
- Magical Energy Manipulation: Athena possesses considerable magical abilities as an Olympian goddess, at least on a scale to that of Ares. She can fly at great speed, change her size or form to appear as another person, animal or object, render herself and other beings invisible from mortal eyesight (for example when she was a secret participant in the Trojan War), create illusory images, animate inanimate objects, and control the shape and form of objects or people (notably she changed the physical appearance of Trey Rollins, the New Warrior youth aka Aegis). She also bears the gift of foresight used to predict the birth of Amadeus Cho. Athena can also project powerful and destructive mystical energy bolts, cross the distance between dimensions and materialize objects. While she joined with Hercules and Amadeus Cho, she has yet to demonstrate such wide use of her godly abilities (likely due to the weakening of her magic on Earth, as in the case of other Olympians and Asgardians), though she has most commonly used it to change from her regular mortal garb into full battle armor as well as summon her mace and shield, as well as mentally pinpoint the location of those gifted with her items, such as Aegis, even deceased, and conjure portals to teleport herself, Hercules and Amadeus to other nearby locations on Earth.
- Divine Empowerment: Athena has the ability to empower other beings. She empowerd the mortal Prince Argive, who struck a blow on Ares so powerful that is nearly killed him.
Athena possesses a scrying pool enabling her to see into other dimensions, even into the dimensions of alien Skrull deities virtually unreachable, without detection. As even members of the Council of Godheads are incapable of teleporting to other points within the same dimension, Athena, even if her magic had not waned, is unable to do so as well, instead having gained a driver's license for her green automobile.
Athena possesses a brown owl she calls Pallas, one with base primal instincts and needs (such as catching prey) and an apparent inability to mimic speech, yet appears highly intelligent for an animal.
Super Intelligence: As the Olympian Goddess of Wisdom, Athena has devoted a great deal of time throughout the centuries to studying and mastering many areas of knowledge including all fields of non-technical science. She is considered a super-genius among the other deities of Earth and possesses a degree of cosmic awareness that renders her nearly omniscient when using it.
Master Strategist: Athena is also the Olympian Goddess of War, making her extraordinary at combat both armed and unarmed and is a highly competent military strategist even superior to her half-brother Ares, the God of War. However, she does not share Ares's lust for battle and bloodshed.
Weapons Master: She is a master of the weapons used at the time of ancient Greece and Rome including the sword, spear, and shield.Great Magical Knowledge: Athena also possesses a large amount of knowledge in the magical field. She is probably on par with the Asgardian Enchantress, and her might in mysticism is at least on par with that of her brother Ares's.
Class 50;Athena can lift 35 tons under optimum conditions making her stronger than the average Olympian female who can lift 25 tons.
- Aegis (Breastplate)
Sword, Spear, Shield
Athena believes intelligence is essentially “pattern recognition.”
- 54 Appearances of Athena Parthenos (Earth-616)
- 23 Images featuring Athena Parthenos (Earth-616)
- 2 Quotations by or about Athena Parthenos (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Athena Parthenos (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Athena Parthenos (Earth-616)
- Athena at marvunapp.com
- Athena at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition #9
- ↑ Greek-Roman myth
- ↑ Thor Annual #8
- ↑ Thor Annual #5
- ↑ Thor #164
- ↑ Champions #2
- ↑ Thor #289
- ↑ Thor #291-292
- ↑ Avengers #283-284
- ↑ Avengers #285
- ↑ New Warriors Vol 2 #10
- ↑ Hercules Vol 3 #4
- ↑ Ares #1
- ↑ Ares #3
- ↑ Ares #5
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #116
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #116-120 (August 2008)
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #126
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #121-123
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #127-128
- ↑ Incredible Hercules #129-130
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #14
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #137
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #139
- ↑ Thor Annual #8
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