AENEAS

Real Name: Aeneas

Identity/Class: Mystically-Enhanced Human/Demi-God

Occupation: King of Latium (c.1185-1150 BC), former Prince of Dardania

Group Membership: Troyans

Affiliations: Evander, the Forgotten One, Hector and the forces of Troy, Helen of Troy, Hermes, Neptune, Paris, Thor

Enemies: Achilles, Agamemnon, Diomedes, Hera, Odysseus, Patroclus, other Greek commanders at Troy

Known Relatives: Anchises (father), Venus (mother), Laocoon, Antenor (uncles), Eros (uncle, alias Cupid), Creusa (wife, deceased), Lavinia (second wife), Latinus (father-in-law), Ascanius (son), Silvius (grandson), Iulus, Brutus (great-grandsons), Romulus, Remus, Albanactus, Locrinus, Kamber (known descendants), Julius Caesar, Arthur Pendragon (alleged descendants), Dardanus, Teucer (ancestors, deceased)

Aliases:  None Known

Base of Operations: Latium (now part of Modern Rome); formerly Mobile, formerly Troy

First Appearance: Thor Annual#8 (November, 1979)

Powers/Abilities: Aeneas had exceptional strength, enabling him to lift at least 200 pounds with minimal effort, and enhanced stamina and resistance to injuries due to his semi-divine birth. He was stronger, faster and more inexhaustible than most human beings but not to a superhuman degree. He was also an exceptional warrior and swordsman as well as a shrewd and just ruler.

History: (Greek/Roman legend)- Aeneas was the son of Anchises, King of Dardania, and Venus, the Olympian goddess of love.  He was raised by minor goddesses for much of his life until he was presented to Anchises. Although a descendant of Zeus' son, Dardanus, Anchises was struck lame by Zeus for boasting of having a son of divine birth in order to teach him humility. Anchises was reputedly schooled to be a prince by the centaur Chiron.

(Thor Annual#8) - As prince, Aeneas led the Dardanian armies to Troy to when the Greek Armies attacked it trying to retrieve Helen of Troy. Sharing a common ancestry with the Trojans, Aeneas decided to go hunting for meat outside the walls of Troy during a lull in the fighting and became confronted by a boar of gargantuan size. He was rescued by the Asgardian god Thor who had been transported through time and space through a cave in his native Asgard. Aeneas was impressed by Thor's strength as the two of them became friends even as Thor was left bereft of his memories or identity. Thor honored Aeneas by defending him in the battlefield. After Aeneas was wounded by the Argive Commander Diomedes, Thor rushed to his defense but was plucked from the battlefield by Zeus to cease his involvement.

(Greek/Roman Legend) - Aeneas was likewise spirited from the war by Venus who had him healed by the goddesses Artemis and Leto who both favored the Trojans. Apollo, the sun-god, urged Aeneas to challenge Achilles, but Poseidon removed him from meeting him by revealing he had a greater destiny.

(Thor Annual#8) - Following a truce of non-interference with Zeus, Thor met with Aeneas in secret to reveal his godhood to him before returning to his own time. As Aeneas asked to know more about his world and gods, Thor promised that they would meet again.

(Greek/Roman Legend) - As the Greeks invaded Troy by smuggling themselves inside through a huge wooden horse, Aeneas fought his way through the burning city to rescue his lame father, Anchises, and carry him on his shoulders to safety. Leaving him and his young son, Ascanius, safely on a ship abandoning the city, he then returned to search for his wife not knowing she was already dead. He was captured as a slave by Neoptolemus, Achilles's own son, but escaped later and started searching for his father and son who had left port. He traced some Trojan refugees to Thrace, but while he was there he met the ghost of Polydorus, a Trojan prince who had been a friend of his years before. The ghost warned him that while seeking asylum among the Thracians, he had been murdered by them as they had been paid to kill all Trojans escaping the war.

Aeneas continued to search as he met King Anius of Delos, who had been a friend of his father. As son of Apollo, Anius prophesied that
Aeneas should search in the land of his ancestors. Aeneas thought he meant Crete, home of his ancestor, Teucer, but the ghost of Cretan
King Minos told him to sail to Sicily. Momentarily encountering the Harpies near the Strophades Islands, Aeneas was reunited with his
father and son in Buthrotum, Sicily, where the Trojan prince, Helenus, now ruled as king.

The goddess Hera soon tried to kill Aeneas and the Trojans for several reasons. She hated them for defending Helen of Troy, out of hatred of Venus for acquiring the golden apple and because they were all descended from Zeus' son, Dardanus. She had also been foretold by the Titaness Themis that their descendants would destroy her favorite city, Carthage. Her plot to kill them was foiled by Poseidon who favored Aeneas.

Venus's son, Cupid, meanwhile, caused Dido, the Queen of Carthage, to fall in love with Aeneas, but Hermes was always present to remind Aeneas of his destiny and forced him to return to Sicily. Feeling she had been spurned, Dido committed suicide.

Several of the Trojans retired to the land of Eryx, but Aeneas was being guided by the ghost of his father who had since died. He landed in the land of Latium ruled over by King Latinus, a descendant of the exiled Titan, Cronus. Hera instructed the goddess, Alecto, who was one of the furies, to stir up trouble between them. Told by her that Aeneas meant to conquer his land, Latinus refused to go to war and surrendered his throne to Aeneas and even gave his daughter, Lavinia, to him to take as a wife. Hera then stirred the other tribes against Aeneas, but Aeneas found support in Evander, King of Pallantum, which had been founded by Greek refugees.

(Avengers I#300 (fb) - BTS) - The Eternal known as the Forgotten One was one of the warriors who fought at Aeneas' side. With his help, Aeneas was able to conquer the region and unite all the tribes of Ancient Italy. He subsequently increased the size of Latium and renamed it Alba Longa.

(Celtic/Roman Legend) - Aeneas' great-grandson, Iulus, ended up becoming an ancestor to the Julian family line which would include Romulus and Remus who would found Rome and also Julius Caesar, the first Roman Emperor. His great-grandson, Brutus, would follow the exiled Fir Bholg tribes back to Eire (Ancient Ireland) where he would capture the land to be known as Britain and found the Pendragon family line of King Arthur.

Comments: Adapted by Roy Thomas, John Buscema and Tony DeZuniga.

Aeneas' father, Anchises, was struck lame by Zeus to teach him humility. One has to wonder if this was where Odin got the idea to teach Thor humility by turning him into Donald Blake.

The names "Greeks" and "Italy" here are topical since those terms did not exist in Aeneas' time period.

It cannot be ascertained as to whether or not Aeneas actually encountered the Harpies in the Strophades Islands. Savage Sword of Conan#54 establishes that the Akaana, a race of man-bats were mistaken as the Harpies by Jason and the Argonauts several years before. Whether Aeneas encountered the true Harpies, or rather the Akaana, is yet to be determined.

It has been established that in some instances in the Marvel Universe that the Eternals posed as the god's representatives before mortals. It is uncertain if this is the case in any instant in Aeneas' life, but given his relationship to Venus and none of the gods in his history have Eternal counterparts (except Hermes and Makkari), it is very unlikely. 

Profile by: Will Uchtman updated by Kyle Sims

CLARIFICATIONS: Aeneas should not be confused with:


Appearances:
Thor Annual#8 (1979) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks)
Avengers I#300 (February, 1989) - Walter Simonson (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)

Last updated: 01/28/04

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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