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Persephone (Olympian) (Earth-616)

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Pluto & Persephone 1

The god Hades fell in love with her and obtained permission from Zeus to take her as a bride without telling Demeter. In fact, Zeus is reputed to have suggested abduction to keep Demeter from knowing the truth. Abducted while in the presence of her friends the Sirens, Persephone was taken against her will to Tartarus where she pined for her mother and refused to eat. Demeter mourned for her daughter for ten days before Hecate, looking to make trouble for Hades, told her the truth. Unfortunately, while in the underworld, Persephone fasted by eating three pomegranate seeds. As Zeus arbitrated the case, Persephone was required to spend parts of the year on Olympus and Hades. Demeter also punished the Sirens by transforming them into birds and binding them to Anthemoessa as punishment for not reporting the abduction.

In later years, Persephone played an active role in dissuading Hades' whims against mortals as in allowing Queen Alcestis of Pherae to return to her husband. Aphrodite also gave her a coffin with the spirit of Adonis in it to hide for her, but she peeked inside and fell in love with the youth. Zeus arbitrated their feelings over him and forced them to share him separately. Years later, Peirithous, the king of the Lapiths, and his good friend, Theseus, King of Athens, both made pacts to marry daughters of Zeus. Theseus abducted the teenaged Helen (future spoil of the Trojan War) and Peirithous resolved to abduct Persephone. Admiring the guts of the two, Hades invited the two to sit down from their journey into the underworld and they became captured in chairs. Hercules rescued Theseus on his last labor, but Peirithous was forced to stay.

Facts and Misconceptions: Arion, the god of horses, and Despoena, goddess of fruit, are children of Demeter and Poseidon. Plutus, god of wealth, and Philomelus, god of farming, were children of Demeter and the demigod, Jasion. They have yet to be seen in the Marvel Universe.

Persephone's hair color goes from dark in Avengers I Annual #23 to blonde in Fantastic Four III#21. It can be surmised that Persephone's hair remains dark while in the underworld but becomes lighter when she visits her mother every spring.

No etymology, or source, has been found in Greek for Persephone's name, hence it is likely that her name is pre-Greek (which would explain all of her Greek aliases--everybody had a difficult time saying her name). In fact, she may have been a pre-Greek goddess.

Persephone was first identified as Demeter's daughter in Hesiod's Theogony. The myth of Persephone's abduction and Demeter's grief appeared for the first time in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter.

There is another tale, an Orphic myth, about Persephone by the epic poet Nossus of the 5th century AD that falls outside traditional lore but deserves mention, nonetheless. In it, Persephone was desired by all the gods yet kept secured at home by her mother. She was taken to Sicily and guarded by dragons, but Zeus, in the form of a dragon, seduced her. From this encounter, she eventually became the mother of Zagreus, the earlier form of Dionysus, whom the Titans tore apart. This account is probably the source of the misconception that Persephone and Zeus are the parents of Dionysus.

Power Grid [3]
Intelligence
 3
Strength
Speed*
 2
Durability
Energy Projection
Fighting Skills
 2
* Teleporter

Powers

Persephone possesses the conventional powers of the Olympian gods.

  • Superhuman Strength: Like all Olympians, Persephone is superhumanly strong. Her strength is about average for an Olympian female and she can lift about 25 tons.
  • Superhuman Speed: Persephone can run and move at speeds greater than the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Stamina: Persephone's 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 the build up of fatigue toxins in her blood begins to impair her.
  • Superhumanly Dense Tissue: Persephone's bodily tissues have about 3 times the density as the bodily tissues of a human being, contributing somewhat to her superhuman strength and weight.
  • Superhuman Durability: Persephone's body is much harder and more resistant to injury than the body of a human being. She can withstand great impact forces, falls from great heights, powerful energy blasts, and exposure to temperature and pressure extremes without being injured.
  • Superhuman Agility: Persephone's agility, balance, and bodily coordination is enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of even the finest human athlete.
  • Superhuman Reflexes: Persephone's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest human athlete.
  • Immortality: Like all Olympians, Persephone is, for all intents and purposes, practically immortal. Persephone is immune to the effects of aging and hasn't aged since reaching adulthood. She is also immune to all known Earthly diseases and infections. However, while Persephone can't die through natural causes, that doesn't mean that she can't be killed.
  • Regenerative Healing Factor: Despite her body's high resistance to injury, she, like all other Olympians, can sustain physical injury. However, if she is injured, her godly life force enables her to rapidly regenerate damaged tissue with much greater speed and efficiency than a human being. However, she is unable to regenerate missing limbs, organs, or brain cells, at least not without the aid of powerful magical aid.
  • Energy Manipulative Powers: Persephone possesses various mystical and energy manipulative abilities, most of which are undefined and unknown. However, they are known to include the ability to cross dimensions, cure the sick, create small electrical discharges, and influence the growth and prosperity of flowering plants.

Abilities

Persephone has some training in both armed and unarmed combat, though she rarely participates in combat situations.

Strength level

Like all Olympians, Persephone is superhumanly strong. Her strength is about average for an Olympian female and she can lift about 25 tons.



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Footnotes



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Recommended Readings

  • Avengers Annual #23 - In modern times, the Olympians were nearly snuffed out by their ancient enemy Typhon, who had escaped Tartarus. They were rescued by Hercules and his modern team of heroes, the Avengers. Zeus questioned Persephone about Pluto, suspecting that he had released Typhon himself, but she vouched for him, saying he had not departed her sight. Unknown to Persephone, Pluto had actually granted the Asgardian god Loki with the power to free Typhon.
  • Fantastic Four III #21 - Returning from a visit from her mother, Persephone issued an edict to Pluto to allow the young wards of the Fantastic Four to leave his realm unharmed.

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