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Venus (Marvel Comics)

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Venus, from Agents of Atlas #5. Pencils by Leonard Kirk.
Character Name = Venus
Real Name = Aphrodite
Publisher = Marvel Comics Debut = Venus #1 (Golden Age)
Sub-Mariner #57 (Jan. 1973) (modern age)
Alliances = Olympian Gods
Agents of Atlas
Aliases = Victoria Nutley Starr
Powers=
*Immortality
*Emotion control
*Illusion generation

Venus is a fictional character in the Marvel Comic universe, based on the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) from Greek and Roman mythology; however, it is later revealed that she is a Naiad and not the true goddess. The Marvel version of the character first appeared in Venus #1 (Aug. 1948), and made her first Silver Age appearance in Sub-Mariner #57 (Jan. 1973).

Contents

Publication history

In the original 1940s Venus series, Venus dwelled on the planet Venus with her female companions. She traveled to Earth and took on the human identity of Victoria "Vicki" Starr, a journalist and editor for Beauty magazine. She developed a romantic relationship with Beauty editor Whitney Hammond; he and Venus's rival Della Mason were among the few people to meet Venus who did not believe her when she claimed that she was a goddess. The series began as a light-hearted humor/fantasy series, but as the series continued, its focus shifted towards darker fantasy and horror themes. Through the course of the series, the Marvel Comics interpretations of several mythological figures appeared, including Hercules and Zeus and various other Olympians, Satan, and in their first Marvel appearance, the Norse gods Thor and Loki. Venus was canceled with issue #19.

The character drifted into obscurity after her series ended, and Venus did not reappear again for 25 years, when she resurfaced in an issue of the Sub-Mariner's comic book. Venus manipulated Namor into defeating Ares, who was attempting to force her to love him. Venus was now a guide for young activists such as Namorita, searching for ways to promote peace, and to end modern warfare. At this time, she wore only a swimsuit or a revealing white gown.

Fictional character biography

Venus is the Olympian goddess of love who is Zeus' daughter by the minor goddess Dione. Venus wears an enchanted girdle called the Cestus which enables her to arouse love and passion in others at will and to transform weapons into objects that can be used for peaceful purposes.

In recent decades, she has used the secret identity on Earth of humanities professor Victoria N. Starr, but she is now back on Olympus.

For the most part, her subsequent appearances featured her alongside other Greek deities, and did not reference the character's history from her own series.

The series Marvel: The Lost Generation revealed that Venus and several other heroes who had been active in the 1950s briefly banded together, but did not remain as a team. This team has recently re-banded in Agents of Atlas and Venus has rejoined the team.

Venus's true origins were revealed by Namora: this Venus was actually a soulless naiad that lured sailing ships to her with her voice and fed on the sailors. To prevent his ship and his crew from being feed on, the captain of a merchant ship hired a mystic to kill her. The mystic instead gave her a soul. The naiad then took the form of a beautiful woman (forbidding herself to speak again) and was taken in by a nunnery, where she lived for decades and believed herself a mute servant girl, until she joined a chorus, filling the visiting clergy with lust. She was then expelled from the nunnery. Learning how to use her voice for good, she blocked out all memories of her previous life and assumed that she was Venus reborn, based on the legends she had heard about a beautiful, immortal girl wandering the world as a goddess in a human body and winning her battles with the power of "love". ‘Venus’ resurfaced in the 1940s and acted as a superhero. After learning the truth about her past, Venus fell into depression and filled all of her companions with despair. With Jimmy Woo’s help, she reconnected with her past life and regained all of the abilities she possessed as a naiad.

She had since accepted to stay with the Agents of Atlas, using her restored powers to soothe and calm her opponents, while travelling around the world in Marvel Boy's ship, along with her fellow teammates, shutting down the villanious branch of the former Atlas Foundation. She eventually came up with the idea to alter Spider-Man's perception of a common fight, leaving him with false memories of having helped someone else instead of mindwiping him.

Powers and abilities

Venus has the power to project images or illusions of herself and to control the emotions of others, as well as the ability to fly at high speeds, shield herself from mortal sight, and shift her physical form into other beings, even dolphins. She is immortal, and presumably possesses the enhanced physical characteristics typical of Olympian gods in the Marvel Universe. After her memories were restored, she gained a powerful "siren song", able to heal and restore, curing people's souls by giving them a moment of true bliss in which they can live their most prized fantasy. Her voice is mystically empowered with advanced mind-control abilities, related to her mood: when she speaks in joy, she fills her listeners with bliss and fanatical love for her; when she cries in sadness, her listeners drown in despair too. Her power was strong enough to immediately subdue the Sentry into helping her find Norman Osborn during Dark Reign.

Other versions

What if?

  • What If volume 1 #9 showed Venus as a member of a 1950s Avengers team which assembled to defeat the Yellow Claw. This story was initially suggested to have occurred in the main Marvel Universe (Earth-616) - but the series Avengers Forever later revealed that it was an alternate timeline, which was soon destroyed by the time traveler Immortus.

References

Bibliography

  • Agents of Atlas (mini-series) #1-6
  • Agents of Atlas (regular series) #1- (ongoing)
  • Avengers vol. 1 #283-284
  • Captain America Comics #1
  • Champions #1-3
  • Hercules vol. 3 #4
  • Marvel: Lost Generation #5
  • Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 3 #9
  • Marvel Valentine Special #1
  • Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Golden Age
  • Sensational She-Hulk #36
  • Sub-Mariner vol. 1 #57
  • Thor Annual #8
  • Venus #1-19
  • What If? vol. 1 #9

External links