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1940s

Whitney P. Hammond was the publisher of Beauty Magazine in the 1940s. By 1948 his magazine was lagging in sales and Hammond required some gimmick to boost circulation. When he was walking down the street one day, as fate would have it, he witnessed the Olympian goddess Venus materialize on Earth during the time she was interested in living the life of a mortal. Falling instantly in love with her, Hammond quickly took advantage of the situation telling the gathered crowd that it was all a publicity stunt for Beauty Magazine and spirited Venus to his offices. Not believing that she was the real Venus, Hammond intended to do a photo spread of her for his magazine, playing her up to be the descendant of Venus. When his editor Clarence Snippe heard this idea he refused to do it and Hammond fired him. Needing an instant replacement, Hammond then hired Venus to be the new editor, much to the chagrin of his secretary Della Mason. When Snippe began working for rival Lovely Lady Magazine and began working on an article featuring the 10 most beautiful women in the world, Hammond ordered Venus to find 10 more women for a competing article. Venus succeeded in this order by bringing various goddesses and deities from planet Venus to pose for photos, much to Hammond's delight. Although when the strange women disappeared just as quickly as they appeared, Hammond was confused.[1]

Whitney next travelled to Atlantic City for a beauty pageant and sent a telegram back to the office asking Venus to join him. However, thanks to the machinations of Della Mason, Venus ended up going to Cactus City instead. Hammond was furious that Venus never showed up, but quickly changed his tune when Venus showed him a front page story about her appearance in Cactus City, which had boosted publicity for Beauty Magazine. Next, Hammond took Venus to the printing press where Beauty Magazine is rolled out. There he watched in horror as the staff there fell head over heels for Venus and dragged her out before any more damage could be done. When they returned to the office Whitney was horrified to get a telegram from the plant telling him that Venus was welcome any time as she helped boost productivity. When Della Mason hired two private detectives to find out where Venus went during her frequent absences, Venus found out and paid them to play a prank on Della. As Della attempted to convince Hammond that she had evidence proving that Venus was involved in activity with the competition, the two private detectives came to the office and informed Della that they could not find another beauty magazine that would hire her as editor. Hammond was infuriated by the news, but Venus soon appeared and explained that it was all a prank, saving Della's job.[2] Whitney next assigned Venus to get an interview with Rodney Radiant, the most handsome man, and was delighted when Venus not only got an exclusive interview but also the news that Radiant was going to marry his high school sweetheart. Later, Whitney hired Paul Belvedere to work at the magazine, unaware that he was really Apollo who had come to Earth to find out what Venus was doing among the mortals. Hammond and his staff worked tirelessly on the next issue of Beauty Magazine and where horrified to find that the sun was not setting -- as a result of Apollo's magic. When Venus confronted Apollo a struggle broke out and Hammond attempt to get in the way. Hammond was blasted by a sun ray and knocked out, when he was revived he remembered nothing of the incident. Venus eventually punished Apollo and restored the planet to normal, leaving none the wiser of what really happened.[3]

By 1949, the relationship between Whitney and Venus strengthened despite the fact that Della Mason had shifted her attention from stealing the editors position to winning Hammond's heart. When Frank Foster attempted to romance Venus, Whitney beat him up and tossed him out of the office.[4] However, publishing deadlines prevented Whitney from paying as much attention to Venus as he wanted, and she decided to try and win his attention by pretending to be dating Samson. It was not until Samson attempted to force himself on Venus did Whitney get jealous, knocking Samson out with a single punch. When Della attempted to overshadow Venus' beauty, Venus saw through the plan and began dressing conservatively at work and got Whitney involved in the ruse. Whitney still refused to believe that Venus was really the goddess of love and was later convinced by Della to force Venus to see a psychologist, this plan backfired and Hammond accepted Venus for who she was anyway.[5]

Whitney next assigned Venus on a week long assignment to cover the impending marriage of Meg Saunders and her husband-to-be Danny, unaware that Venus was challenged by Zeus, who at the time was called Jupiter, to keep this couple faithful for a week or be forced to return to Olympus. Venus managed to prevent the couple from going astray and returned to Whitney.[6] Hammond next had Beauty Magazine to put out a float, which featured only Venus, for a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. However, thanks to the machinations of Asgardian god Loki, the Beauty Magazine float was disqualified from the competition. Loki then possessed Whitney's body and forced him to try and sell Beauty Magazine and pursue a relationship with Della Mason. Venus however managed to exorcise Loki from Whitney's body and prevent any permanent damage.[7] Later, Whitney and Venus were transported to Venus thanks to the arguments made by Jupiter's daughter Joya who sought to win Hammond's heart from Venus. Hammond was in a state of shock and assumed that he was experiencing a dream. Joya brought Venus on trial and tried to seduce Hammond. However, this allowed Loki to invade Olympus while the gods were distracted. Realizing the errors of her way, Joya posed as Venus and promised to accompany Loki back to his realm in Hades. Seeing the faux Venus leave, Hammond professed his love of her. The real Venus revealed herself and brought Hammond back home. Still thinking that the experience was merely a dream, Hammond's memories of the experience soon faded.[8]


1950s

At the start of the 50s, Hammond found that his romance with Venus was constantly tested from the mundane and mortal, to the super-natural and godly.

When Venus sought to reunite Rona Sanders with her lost love George Huston, Hammond initially allowed Venus to trick Huston into falling in love with her to accomplish the task. However, Whitney's trust in Venus was shaken by Della Mason who still sought to split the couple up. Tracking Venus down to the home of Rona Sanders, Whitney initially confronted George Huston, but soon reconciled with Venus when she reunited the two lovers.[9] Things were much more dire when Apollo's spirit briefly possessed the body of Beauty Magazine artist Marvin Klee. Seeing Venus unable to turn away "Klee's" advances, the despondent Whitney contemplated committing suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. He was stopped by Venus, who had since succeeded in exorcising Apollo's spirit from Klee's body and the two once more reconciled. Hammond later risked possible litigation when Venus wrote a new article for the magazine guaranteeing that she could bring out the natural beauty of any woman. Hammond was relieved when Venus managed to pull it off, despite the machinations of Della Mason to stop her.[10]

Once more Hammond became afraid that his relationship with Venus was in jeopardy the day a man calling himself Mr. Satin (really Loki's son the so-called Son of Satan) came to romance her, but trusted Venus to sort things out in private. Unknown to Hammond, a tornado that later threatened the offices of Beauty Magazine was created by the Son of Satan, but Venus soon vanquished him and returned to Hammond. Hammond soon became furious when rival publication Lovely Lady Magazine began publishing at a lower cover price. He sought out his lawyers who told him that he could do nothing to stop it. Hammond angrily returned to the office where Della informed him that Venus had quit to work for Lovely Lady. Unaware that this was yet another one of Della's attempt to break them up, Hammond bought the story and called off his relationship with Venus and ordered staff to no admit her to the building. However, Venus eventually returned with Lovely Lady Magazine's owner Paul Banner. Much to Whitney's surprise, Lovely Lady was floundering as a business and Venus had convinced Banner to sell the company to Hammond. Hammond happily purchased his chief rival and reconciled with Venus, much to Della's chagrin. Hammond later assigned Venus to cover the story of rocket scientist Randy Dover's mission to the moon. Hammond published the story a story citing the mission was a failure, unaware that Venus and Dover had succeeded in the trip, but Venus had wiped out Dover's memories to protect her godly identity.[11] Soon after, the Earth was in jeopardy when some unknown force was pulling it into the sun. Venus convinced Hammond to keep hope, and she eventually saved the world, and was happily reunited with Hammond.[12]

In 1951, Whitney's faith in his relationship with Venus was once more shaken during a time when she -- unknown to him -- was kidnapped by the sultan of Cassarobia. However, once Venus overthrew the dictator and returned to the United States, Venus once more patched things up with Whitney. He later went on a cruise with Venus and Della. Their ship was attacked by the so-called Fish-Men. During their initial attack Whitney was exposed to their radiation requiring immediate medical attention. While Venus dealt with the creatures, Whitney fully recovered from his exposure.[13]

Following this, Whitney developed a more trusting and professional relationship with Venus, and no longer faced opposition from Della who had seemed to accept the relationship he had with Venus. Whitney also began taking Beauty Magazine into a different direction and covering more conventional and strange stories instead of focusing entirely on beauty and romance, often sending Venus on journalistic duties, accompanying her on occasion, such as when she investigated the so-called Creeping Death,[14] and helping Venus stop the grave robbing Underearth Men. He and Della also inadvertently rescued Venus from being trapped as a two dimensional cut-out thanks to the invention of insane photographer Jerome Lenz. He also assisted Venus in investigating the strange "Live Dolls" show performed by circus entertainer Professor Zorsky. When Venus was briefly hypnotized by Zorsky, Hammond got into a struggle with the Professor who tried to shoot him. When Venus got free from Professor's spell, she attacked a villain also, resulting in Zorsky shooting himself by accident.[15] Whitney also assisted Venus in her investigation of the massive Undersea Titans and witnessed their failed attempt at taking over the surface world.[16]

In 1952,[17] Whitney and Venus investigated a medium whom Hammond believed to be a fraud. However, Venus and Whit witnessed in horror as the medium not only summoned spirits from the afterlife, but reunited two dead lovers. Later Whitney and Venus went on a cruise where they encountered the monstrosity called the Demon from the Deep. They fled from the creature until it realized that it was really the spirit of a dead murderer killed by ship security earlier that night and it vanished.[18]

As the decade progressed, Hammond became visibly older, Venus was unable to watch her love grow old and die and the pair soon parted.[19] Whitney's subsequent fate is unknown.




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