ATLAS

Real Name: Atlas

Identity/Class: Titan

Occupation: Mountain god

Group Membership: Titans

Affiliations: Amazons (Artume, others), Titans

Enemies: Athena, Atlanteans, Hercules, Namora, Olympian gods, Perseus

Known Relatives: Japet (father), Clymene (mother), Prometheus, Eprimetheus, Menoeceus (brothers), Pleione (wife), Hyas (son), the Hyades (Coronis, Cleeia, Phaea, Eudora - daughters), Hesperides (daughters), the Pleiades (Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope and Merope - daughters), Hermes (grandson), Jasion, Dardanus, Lacedamon, Lycus, Nycteus, Hyrieus, Hyperenor, Aethusa, Oenomaus (grandsons, deceased)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Olympus, formerly the Atlas Mountains in modern Morocco

First Appearance: Thor I#356 (June, 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Atlas possesses greater strength (Class 100 perhaps), stamina, endurance and resistance to injury than any other Titan or Olympian god except for perhaps Hercules. It is unrevealed if he has any mystical potential.

History: (Greek-Roman Myth) - Atlas is a member of an extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Titans who predated the Olympians as gods of Ancient Greece. He was the son of the Titan Japet and Clymene, a minor goddess. Atlas also took a lesser goddess named Pleione as his wife and she bore him a son, Hyas, and numerous daughters known as the Hesperides, the Hyades and the Pleiades. The Titans ruled the Earth for millennia until Cronus overthrew their father Ouranus. The dying Ouranus prophesied that a son of his own would overthrow Cronus. Cronus then began imprisoning his children in Tartarus as soon as they were born. Cronus' wife, Rhea, concealed her sixth pregnancy and gave her son to Gaea to raise. Zeus eventually grew to adulthood and freed his siblings into helping him conquer Olympus.

While some of the Titans sided with Zeus, Atlas sided with Cronus because Zeus had seduced three of his daughters. He commanded the Titans against Zeus and the Olympians, but was defeated as Cronus fled Olympus. Defeated, Atlas was imprisoned on Earth and given the arduous task of holding up the heavens.

(Incredible Hercules#123 (fb) ) - Located in Atlantis Atlas held up the heavens. Atlantean sorcerers eventually harnessed a fraction of the Axis Mundi's power inside the Omphalos to control the turning of the Axis to make themselves the center of the Earth forever. The process caused Atlas immense pain. The powerful energies wielded through the Omphalos were later partially responsible for the Great Cataclysm.

(Incredible Hercules#123 (fb) - BTS) - The Axis Mundi shifted to a new location.

(Greek-Roman Myth) - Atlas was located in area of the Atlas Mountains of what would later become modern Morocco. He was situated somewhere in the area where the Hesperides protected the garden of Hera where grew the golden apples of the gods. The Titaness Themis meanwhile warned him to beware of a son of Zeus who would come to steal some of the apples.

During his imprisonment, Atlas's daughter, Maia conceived Hermes, who was later accepted into the Olympian Pantheon. Electra conceived Zeus Jasion, who became a lover of Demeter, and Dardanus who conquered the Dardanian tribes and founded the great city of Troy. Taygete gave birth to Lacedamon who founded the city of Sparta. Poseidon seduced Celaeno and Alcyone. Celaeno's sons, Lycus and Nycteus became co-regents of Thebes and Alcyone's sons, Hyreius and Hyperenor, also became eponymous rulers while little is known of her daughter Aethusa. Sterope bore Ares, Oenomaus, a King of Elis while Merope became wife of the wily King Sisyphus of Corinth and mother of his son Glaucus.

Several centuries later, Perseus, the son of Zeus, was traveling through the area after slaying Medusa the Gorgon. The Hesperides offered him lodging before his long journey home, but Perseus also wanted to take some apples as a gift for his mother. Atlas saw him and called out to warn him, but Perseus used Medusa's head to turn him to stone.

(Thor I#356 (fb) - BTS) - Atlas was restored to normal.

(Thor I#356 (fb)/Hercules III#1 (fb)/Incredible Hercules#121 (fb)/Greek-Roman Myth)- Two generations later, Hercules came to the Hesperides to fetch some Golden Apples on his Eleventh Labor. After slaying the dragon Ladon that protected the garden, he learned that no mortal man was allowed to touch them. Atlas promised to pick them for him and even reminded Hercules that Prometheus was his brother and that Hercules could trust him as much as he trusted his brother. Believing Atlas to have served his sentence, Hercules freed him and supported the heavens on his shoulders for a while, but then rather than return to his sentence, Atlas opted to return the apples to Mycenae himself. Realizing he had been tricked, Hercules shook the heavens as a few fragments fell to earth. Adequately gaining the Titan's attention, Hercules then asked Atlas to hold the heavens a second so that he could get a better hold on them, but as Atlas took his place once more, Hercules collected the apples and quickly left the area.

(Incredible Hercules#124 (fb) ) - The Axis Mundi shifted to Washington DC and with it Atlas holding up the heavens. On September 18, 1793 Atlas appeared to George Washington when he set the Southeast Cornerstone of of the US capital.

(Incredible Hercules#124) - Artume used the Omphalus to release Atlas from his burden once again. In return she only offered him a chance at revenge on Hercules. Atlas hit Hercules with the Washington Monument, but in the end Hercules was able to knock out Atlas with Namora's help.

(Incredible Hercules#132) - Atlas was once again forced to hold up heavens. Hercules showed Zeus the Axis Mundi's many forms including Atlas.

Comments: Adapted by Bob Harras, Jackson Guice & Bob Layton.

Some sources claim that Atlas was the son of the Giant Eurymedon, but since Eurymedon was not born until millennia after Zeus conquered Olympus, this has to be erroneous. However, an argument could be made for Eurymedon being an alternate name of Japet.

Knowing what we know of meteorology and astronomy, it is difficult to comprehend what sort of burden that Atlas could have held that would have been construed as holding up a planet (or even the heavens) especially considering that his brother Prometheus was merely restrained to a mountain to have an eagle peck away at him. Conceivably, Atlas could have been imprisoned to holding up a mountain or an inevitable avalanche that threatened his daughters tending the Garden of the Hesperides, but it just stands to reason that if he was holding up one or the other, he would have to in a location that the still mortal Hercules could still reach from the area of the Atlas Mountains.

For that matter, it is unknown as to how Atlas survived being turned to stone by the head of Medusa enough to aid Hercules in his Eleventh Labor. Possibly, he managed to live through the results or his godly stamina allowed him to resist them completely after several years.

Profile by Will U

CLARIFICATIONS:
Atlas is not to be confused with:


Images taken from:
Incredible Hercules#124, p9, pan1 (main)
Thor I#356, p6, middle right picture (with Hercules)


Thor I#356 (June, 1986) - Bob Harras (writer), Jackson Guice (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Hercules III#1 (June, 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Incredible Hercules#121 (November, 2008) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Clayton Henry (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#123-124 (January-February, 2009) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Clayton Henry & Salva Espin (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#132 (October, 2009) - Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak (writers), Reilly Brown (pencils), Nelson DeCastro (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Last updated: 09/15/10

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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