Zeus was the youngest son of Cronus, ruler of the superhuman extradimensional race of Titans, and his wife, the Titaness Rhea. Cronus and Rhea were the offspring of the sky god Ouranos and the primeval Earth goddess Gaea. (Ouranos and Cronus are not to be confused with the Eternals Uranos and Kronos). Cronus overthrew his father's rule by fatally wounding him. The dying Ouranos prophesied that Cronus would likewise be overthrown by one of his own children. As a result, upon the birth of each of his own children, Cronus had the infant imprisoned in Tartarus, the most dismal section of the extradimensional underworld known as Hades. The offspring he sent there were Pluto, Neptune, Hera, Demeter, and Vesta. (Later, legends erroneously claimed that Cronus had actually swallowed his children and that they remained alive inside him until Zeus released them).
Appalled at the mistreatment of their children, Cronus's wife Rhea concealed her sixth pregnancy from him and secretly gave birth to Zeus on Mount Lyceum in Arcadia, an area of the land now known as Greece. Rhea gave the infant Zeus to the safekeeping of Gaea, who hid the baby in the cave of Dicte on Aegean Hill on the isle of Crete, where he was tended by various minor goddesses.
Zeus grew to adulthood among the Shepard's of Mount Ida, Crete, and then set about taking revenge on Cronus. Zeus went down into Tartarus and freed his siblings, who had all now grown to adulthood, Zeus also freed the three one-eyed giants called Cyclopes and the three hundred-handed giants called Hekatonchieres, all six of whom Cronus had imprisoned there for fear they would help overthrow him. The grateful Cyclopes taught Zeus how to wield his energy-manipulating powers in battle. Zeus and his allies fought a ten year war with the Titans which ended with Zeus's victory. He imprisoned most of the male Titans in Tartarus and established himself in the small "pocket" dimension of Olympus as supreme ruler of the Olympian race.
Zeus married the goddess Hera, but he engaged in many love affairs with goddesses and with mortal Earth women both before and during the Heroic Age of ancient Greece. Some of his children were gods; others were mortal human beings such as Helen of Troy. Zeus's son by the mortal woman Alcmena, Hercules, was born a mortal, but Zeus transformed him into an immortal god later.
Zeus, Hera, Neptune, Demeter and Vesta, together with Zeus's children Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Venus, comprised the membership of the high council of the Olympian gods known as the Pantheon. Vesta later resigned her seat in the council in favor of Zeus's son Dionysus. Zeus's brother Pluto was not a member of the Pantheon, preferring to spend virtually all of his time within Hades, which he ruled.
In ancient times Zeus and his fellow Olympians successfully defeated challenges to their rule by the giants Otis and Ephialtes, by a small army of superhuman giants, and, most dangerously, by the monster Typhoeus, father of Typhon, the Titan who has menaced the Olympians in recent times.
After the end of the Hyborian Age, the Olympian gods sought worshipers on Earth. (It seems unclear if the Olympian gods themselves existed during the Hyborian Age. Once, the descendants of time-traveling Greeks, who had come to the Hyborian Age from the time of Alexander the Great, encountered a native temporal inhabitant of the Hyborian Age. This native temporal inhabitant of the Hyborian Age, upon hearing these people invoke Zeus, stated "I never heard of a god or demon named Zoos".) Neptune became the patron god of the water-breathing Atlanteans, worshiped as early 5800 BCE. Zeus sought that the Olympian gods be worshiped by the people of the land known as Greece.
Zeus also learned that Greece's Mount Olympus, the location of the main inter-dimensional nexus between the Olympian dimension and Earth, lay near Olympia, the principal city of the Eternals. Zeus and his daughter Athena, goddess of wisdom, held a meeting with Zuras, the leader of the Eternals, and his daughter Thena . Noticing the strong physical resemblance between Zeus and Zuras and between Azura and herself, Athena suggested [that the Olympian gods and the Eternals form an alliance whereby the Eternals would act as the gods' representatives on Earth. The other three enthusiastically agreed, and Azura took her current name of Thena to signify the signing of the pact. However, over the years many ordinary human beings came to think of many Eternals not as the gods' representatives but as the gods themselves. This led to a growing resentment by the gods towards the Eternals which recently erupted into a brief war. However, today the Eternals and the Olympian gods are again at peace with each other.
Worship of the Olympian gods spread from Greece to Rome and throughout the Roman Empire. The gods intervened frequently in human matters at first, as in the Trojan War, but did so less as time passed. When Christianity finally replaced the worship of the Olympian gods in the Roman Empire, Zeus decided that the time had come for the Olympians to break most of their ties with Earth. Neptune, however, was still allowed to watch over his Atlantean worshipers.
Since the worship of the Olympian gods had died out, Zeus forbade his brother Pluto, ruler of Hades, the Olympian underworld, from collecting any more of the souls of the dead from Earth. Pluto obeyed the edict resentfully. Finally, the bitter Pluto convinced himself that Zeus had proven himself to be an incompetent leader by allowing the worship of the Olympians to come to an end. Zeus, noting Pluto's increasingly ominous rebelliousness, warned him against attempting to overthrow him. Nonetheless, Pluto has attempted unsuccessfully to overthrow Zeus, as has Zeus's own son, the war god Ares.
However, despite the end of the worship of the Olympian gods, Zeus has retained affection for and interest in the people of Earth.
A millennium ago Zeus' son Hercules led a band of warriors he had transported through time from ancient Greece to battle Norsemen who were under the protection of the Asgardian god Thor. This conflict led to war between the Asgardians and Olympians. Zeus secretly met with Odin, ruler of the Asgardians, and the two gods not only put an end to the war, but also formed an alliance to defend Earth from danger posed by the alien Celestials. Odin and Zeus met with the heads of the other races of gods who were or had been worshiped by Earth mortals to discuss the Celestials' possible threat to Earth, and then Odin, Zeus, and the Hindu god Vishnu went to confront the Third Host of the Celestials on behalf of all of Earth's gods. However, Odin and Zeus were forced to pledge not to interfere with the Celestials when the Celestials threatened to seal off the interdimensional passageways connecting the gods' dimensions with Earth. As a result of this pledge, the Olympian gods had to lessen their contact with Earth, although Zeus's offspring Hercules and Venus have spent periods living among Earth human beings in recent years. The Celestials' Fourth Host recently decided to spare Earth from destruction and has left the planet.
20th CenturyFor reasons unknown, Zeus had gone on an extended leave of absence, leaving Olympus under the command of Aphrodite during a period in which the Olympians began adopting their Roman names. Eventually, as Venus, relocated Olympus to the planet named after her. She soon grew bored and returned to Earth to find real love. In 1949, Zeus (now calling himself Jupiter) learned of this and was furious. He appeared before Venus and demanded that she return to Olympus at once, but she refused stating that she had work on Earth to do by helping lovers stay together. Jupiter then offered her a challenge that she could not find the perfect couple and keep them together in a week. Venus did find this couple in Meg Saunders and Danny Fine. In an effort to make Venus lose, Zeus sent Apollo and Daphne to Earth in mortal guises to try and break the couple up. However, Venus saw through the attempt and foiled it winning her right to stay on Earth.
Zeus was more benevolent to Venus' mission thereafter, but regularly tested her right to remain on Earth. Having previously banished the Asgardian god Loki to Hades, Jupiter was forced to let him loose due to a loop hole in his banishment by allowing Venus to remain on Earth. Loki then set about spreading hate across the Earth until Venus promised to be his queen in Hades. Jupiter then intervened telling Venus that she passed her test and banished Loki to Hades once more. Next when Jupiter's daughter Joya accused Venus of forsaking her godhood for the love of mortal Whitney Hammond, Jupiter wearily agreed to have a trail to prove Joya's accusations. Both Venus and Whitney Hammond were brought to Olympus to stand trial. However the trial abruptly ended when Loki invaded Olympus. Joya, seeing the errors of her was disguised herself as Venus and offered herself as a bride to Loki to stop the invasion. Soon after, Hammond proved his devoted love to Venus and Jupiter returned the couple to Earth.
In 1950, Jupiter became more of a help to Venus, often coming to her aid whenever she summoned him. When Venus was attempting to reunite long lost lovers Rona Sanders and George Huston, she found herself in trouble due to the fact that Huston had fallen in love with her and refused to love Rona, who was dying of an illness. Apparently, only George's love for Rona could cure her. Venus called on Jupiter for aid and he imbued Rona with a portion of Venus' powers causing George to love her and cure her of her illness at the same time. Later, when Apollo requested to return to Earth to once more try and win Venus' love, Jupiter denied the request. In order to get around this, Apollo made a deal with the demon Zoroba to possess his body while Apollo's spirit was sent to Earth. Zoroba took the opportunity to bring Loki to Olympus and posing as Apollo attempted to convince Jupiter to allow Loki to leave his exile in Hades and reside on Olympus. However, Venus eventually exposed the plot and forced Apollo to return to his body, and Jupiter once more banished Loki back to Hades. Shortly thereafter, Venus and rocket scientist Rodney Dover found themselves stranded on the moon and imperilled by a volcanic eruption. Jupiter was summoned once more and he stopped the flow of lava then dispatched Mercury to return Venus and Rodney to Earth.
Earth was once more in peril when scientist Michael Templar built a device that threatened to hurtle the Earth into the sun. Venus sought Jupiter's aid to stop this, but it was beyond his power to stop the Earth's path to destruction. Instead he had Mercury take Venus to the man responsible to try and get him to stop the disaster. As Earth edged closer to extinction, Jupiter appealed to Venus to return to Olympus, warning her that even an immortal goddess might not be able to survive plunging into the sun. However, Venus eventually convinced Michael to build the device and saved the Earth. Not long after Olympus was endangered by creatures that were literally spawned from the mind of mad scientist Buffanoff. Jupiter recruited the aid of Apollo and the Asgardian thunder god Thor to defend Olympus from the creatures. When the creatures proved to be too powerful to stop, Venus saved Olympus by tricking them into following her back into the Professor's dying brain where the creatures also perished.
In 1951 Jupiter could not aid Venus when she was trapped in the nation of Cassaroba due to the fact that Loki had placed a spell over the region that prevented the Gods from using their powers there. However, Jupiter appealed to Loki's love for Venus when she was slated for death by Cassaroba's sultan and convinced him to remove the spell, saving Venus' life. Jupiter next aided Venus by freeing her from the hypnotic control of Romany hypnotist Roberto. Later he allowed Venus to seek the aid of Mars and Thor to stop insane inventor John Dark and his mechanized army, and Thor again when the Earth was terrorized by the Creeping Death. Venus also sought council from Jupiter prior to undertaking a mission to the planet Mars. Later, when Venus was almost strangled to death by the Raoul Hamud (Earth-616), teleporting her to Olympus in order to save her life. Later when Venus captured Adonis after he ran amok on Earth, she turned him over to Jupiter for punishment.
Soon after, Zeus ceased offering his assistance to Venus for reasons that are as yet unexplained. He eventually resumed using his traditional Grecian name after this period.
Today Zeus remains the ruler of the Olympian gods and of Olympus itself, as well as a staunch ally of the Asgardians. He has set up the Olympia Corporation to maintain a small presence on Earth.
An alternate future of the 24th century has been glimpsed in which Zeus and the other Olympian gods, except for Hercules, leave Olympus for another plane of existence. Hercules remains behind to father a new race of gods. Whether or not the Olympian gods will come to such an end in what becomes the "mainstream" future is as yet unknown.
Recently, Zeus led the Olympian gods in battle against the forces of Mikaboshi. With the aid of the remaining gods of the Japanese pantheon, who had been attacked and decimated by Mikaboshi's forces, the Olympians were victorious. Zeus sustained severe injuries at the hands of Mikaboshi and died.
His brother Pluto took him prisoner and put him on a mock trial, to be judged by all his old enemies and other various villains. Despite Hercules' defense of his father, and Zeus' words on his own behalf (that without Zeus (as God) their lives would be ruled by blind coincidence), the jury decided against Zeus, and he was forced to drink the waters from the River Lethe, which erased his memory and regressed his body to that of a child's. He escaped with Hercules and they determined to hide him from Hera until grown. While lacking his once-great strength, he retains his ability to control the weather and summon lightning powerful enough to smite trolls and other monsters.
He has recently been returned to his previous form of a full grown adult after the events of Chaos War and rules the Olympians from the new Mount Olympus. When Hulk tried to force Zeus to help his family, Zeus then mocks his heroism and gave the green goliath a humiliating defeat in battle, but allowed his son Hercules to rescue Hulk due to believing that no torment that he gave to him could be worst than he simply being the Hulk.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Zeus possesses the conventional superhuman attributes of an Olympian god. However, as Skyfather of the Olympian gods, many of these abilities are vastly superior to those possessed by the vast majority of his race. Indeed, in recent stories he managed to defeat The Hulk and Galactus in physical combat (though its worth to notice that Zeus was possessed by the nearly omnipotent Chaos King in the latter).
Superhuman Strength: Like all Olympians, Zeus is superhumanly strong. His strength is far superior to the vast majority of his race and he is capable of lifting over 100 tons, without supplementing his strength with his other powers. He is, physically, the second strongest of the Olympians, surpassed only by his son Hercules.
Superhuman Speed: Zeus is capable of running and moving at speeds much greater than even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Agility: Zeus' Agility, Balance, and Bodily Coordination, have been conditioned to levels that are far superior to the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Reflexes: Zeus' Reflexes have been greatly conditioned and are much more superior to the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
Superhuman Stamina: Zeus' highly advanced physiology generates almost no fatigue toxins during physical activity. As a result, he possesses almost limitless superhuman stamina. His stamina is matched among the Olympians only by his brothers Pluto and Neptune and his sons Ares, Hercules, and Hermes.
Superhumanly Dense Tissue: Zeus' skin, muscle, bone, and all other bodily tissues have 3 times the density of the same tissue in the body of a human being. This contributes somewhat, to Zeus' superhuman strength and weight.
Superhuman Durability: Zeus' body is highly resistant to all forms of physical injury, far more so than the vast majority of his race. He is capable of withstanding great impact forces, exposure to temperature and pressure extremes, falls from great heights, and powerful energy blasts without sustaining injury. His resistance to injury among the Olympians is matched only by Pluto.
Regenerative Healing Factor: Like all Olympians, if injured, Zeus is capable of healing himself with superhuman speeds and efficiency. He is even capable of regenerating missing limbs or organs if necessary. Among the Olympians, his healing powers are equaled only by those of his brother Pluto.
Self Sustenance: Zeus is almost completely self sustained, he does not require air, and does not need to eat or drink, he only requires sleep, in order to eliminate and/or prevent the build of fatigue.
Immortality: Like all other Olympians, Zeus is functionally immortal. He is immune to aging and has not aged since reaching adulthood. He cannot die by any conventional means. Zeus is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections.Energy Manipulation: Zeus possess vast energy powers of an unknown nature, which surpass the energy wielding powers of any other Olympian god. Magical in their apparent form and function, these powers can be employed for numerous purposes. Zeus's ability to generate tremendous amounts of electrical energy and to project them from his hands in the form of lightning bolts has become his trademark. Zeus can generate and manipulate other forms of energy as well. Only a small number of the ways in which Zeus can utilize his superhuman abilities are as yet known. Among these are the augmentation of physical strength and endurance and the enchantment of living beings or of objects. Zeus can create interdimensional apertures through which he can transport himself and even the entire Olympian army. He can project his image, voice, and energy bolts from the Olympian dimension into that of Earth. Zeus can change his shape into that of other humanoid beings (as when he impersonated Amphitryon, the husband of Hercules' mother Alcmena), of animals, or even of objects.
Precognition: Zeus also has limited precognitive abilities, and in ancient times was the patron of an oracle at Dodona, through which he delivered prophesies. These abilities enabled Zeus, at the time of the Trojan War, to "remember" the Asgard-Olympus war which had occurred centuries afterwards.
|* Heightened intelligence with cosmic awareness; Heightened strength when augmented by energy; Teleporter|
AbilitiesZeus is a formidable hand-to-hand combatant and is particularly skilled at employing his vast energy manipulating abilities in combat situations.
Class 100+: Zeus is capable of press lifting over 100 tons without supplementing his strength with his other powers.
TransportationDimensional teleportation using his own powers.
Thunderbolts made by Hephaestus.
- Like Humans, an Olympian can be stronger and weigh more depending on His/Hers current level of conditioning, which fluxuates depending on the Olympians current training regime, at his weakest, he can lift about 90 tons and weighs in at only 560lbs, at his strongest, he can lift over 100 tons and weighs in exactly 660lbs, with a perfect and optimal musculature, this weight being the result of his super dense Olympian skin, bone, and 100% lean, defined, and perfectly proportioned muscle.
- Though an Olympian's hair does not change after he/she has reached adulthood, Zeus has sometimes been seen with long hair, this is due to his powers of Shapeshifting.
- 121 Appearances of Zeus Panhellenios (Earth-616)
- 16 Images featuring Zeus Panhellenios (Earth-616)
- 6 Quotations by or about Zeus Panhellenios (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Zeus Panhellenios (Earth-616)
- Fan-Art Gallery: Zeus Panhellenios (Earth-616)
- Venus (Olympian)
- Zeus at the Guide to the Mythological Universe
- Marvel Directory
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