Real Name: Charon

Identity/Class: Olympian god

Occupation: Ferryman of the Dead

Group Membership: Olympian gods

Affiliations: Gordon Allsworth, Ares, Hercules, Jimmy, Master Judge of the Lower Depths, Pluto

Enemies: Cain Denis, Robert

Known Relatives: Erebus (father), Nyx (mother), Aether, Moros, Keres, Thanatos, Momus (brothers), Hemera, Nemesis, Ponos, Limos, Usmine, Mache, Phonos, Pseudea (sisters), Ophion (alleged grandfather, deceased), Eurynome (alleged grandmother), Ouranous (great-grandfather, deceased), Gaea (alleged great-grandmother)

Aliases: Charun (Etruscan Myth)

Base of Operations: The River Styx, Hades

First Appearance: (Golden Age) Captain America's Weird Tales#74 (October, 1949); (modern) Thor I#462 (May, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: Charon possibly possesses the same conventional attributes of the Olympian gods including superhuman strength (Class 25 perhaps), extreme long life and resistance to injury. It is unknown as to whether he can manipulate any forms of magic, but he can apparently shapeshift into any form appropriate to the situation and is set to appear wherever he is needed in the world to bring someone across the river Styx. While appearing on Earth he is always accompanied by a hut and boat in many different forms. It is unknown if his his skeletal appearance is his true appearance or an illusion created for the sake of his position.

History: (Greek/Roman Myth)- Charon is the son of the ancient (possibly Hyborian) gods Erebus, god of day, and Nyx, goddess of night. Predating Zeus overthrowing the Titans, he was probably serving as a ferryman delivering the souls of mortals to underworld for millennia before Pluto began governing the underworld. He has only been negligent in this position on a few occasions as when Theseus, the Athenian King, and his best friend, Peirithous, leader of the Lapiths, paid their way through on their way to attempt to abduct the daughter of Zeus, Persephone. On his way to retrieve his beloved Eurydice, the Argonaut Orpheus tempted Charon’s heart with a song and on his last labor, Hercules was also allowed to pass. Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, was also allowed to pass through to consult the dead seer Teiresias and Aeneas, the wandering prince of Dardania, was also permitted to Underworld to consult with the souls that had passed over into the afterlife.

(Incredible Hercules#129 (fb) - BTS) - When Hercules forced Charon to carry him into Hades during his 12 labors, Pluto punished Charon with a year in chains.

(Captain America's Weird Tales#74) - The Red Skull went to the lower region and managed to write Captain America's name in the Fatal Book, the book in which those who would be damned were found. At midnight Captain America was taken to the river Styx. Charon introduced himself and brought Captain America on his ferry to the Master Judge of the Lower Depths. (see comments)

(Suspense#18) <1952> - Fleeing from the authorities through the swamps (presumably somewhere in the US) murderer Cain Denis found a ferryman's hut and holding him at gunpoint forced the befuddled ferryman to bring him to the other side of the river even though the ferryman told him that he was waiting for someone else. When the ferryman learned that Cain was a murderer and would be hung if he was caught the ferryman he gladly took Cain with him because now he knew that Cain was the one he was waiting for. The ferryman revealed himself to be Charon, who took Cain to the other side of the river Styx to the underworld.

(Spellbound#31) <1956> - Businessman Preston financed two professors' hunt for the treasures the Incas lost while fleeing from Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro's men in the Amazon jungle. The treasure hunt was without success though Preston was arrogant and believed money could buy him everything. One night he set out with the map by his own and found a river where a key could be seen on the map. He knocked on the door of a hut and asked the old man inside to bring him across the river, but the man told him that it was forbidden. Preston offered him more money each time the man told him he wasn't allowed to do it, but when Preston offered him 10,000 dollars, Charon, the old man inside began to consider taking Preston across the river Styx even though it was forbidden to take the living to the other side.

(Thor I#462)- In modern years, Charon delivered the war-god Ares to Pluto, who wanted his allegiance in using Thor's brief madness as a weakness to attack him.

(Thor Annual I#19)- Charon transported Pluto through Tartarus while Pluto examined various people he had imprisoned there while scheming a new attack on Thor.

(Hercules III#5) - Charon ferreyed Hercules, television producer Gordon Allsworth, Jimmy the cameraman, and Robert the assistant across the River Styx. When Robert told him that he loved him on "Tales From the Crypt," Charon broke his thousands of years of silence to curse Robert out and throttle him.

(Incredible Hercules#129) - When Hercules, Amadeus Cho and Aegis approached him to get a ride on the River Styx, Charon, who was still angry for breaking his silence the last time Hercules came to him, demanded ten thousand gold chips from him as payment. Amadeus Cho won enough chips and Charon was sure that he would be punished again for bringing Hercules and his friends to Tartarus.

(Chaos War: Ares#1) - In a cruel joke on Ares after his death at the hands of the Sentry (Bob Reynolds) Pluto had Charon seemingly deliver Ares to the Elysian Fields only to thwart him entering the Elysian Fields each time and abduct him from Charon's boat and cast him into the lowest gates of Hades.


(Deadpool vs. Thanos#3) - Charon was fleeing from a war in Hell when Deadpool, Thanos and Black Talon dropped into the Styx. Mistaking Charon for his beloved Death Deadpool kissed Charon before Thanos and Black Talon could warn him that it was actually the ferryman. Charon crawled back to his boat to escape after Deadpool released him from his embrace.

Comments: Adapted by Stan Lee (?)
Reused in Marvel Comics by Ron Marz, Jim Starlin and Bruce Zick.

In Etruscan Myth, Charon is called the son of Mantus (Hades) and Mania (either Persephone or Hecate). This is obviously erroneous.
    --Obvious to whom?

The ocean goddess Eurynome is also mother of the three Charities (Roman Graces) known as Pasithea (wife of Hypnos), Euphrosyne and Aglaea (Roman Charis, second wife of Hephaestus) by Zeus. If the account of Eurynome as Charon’s grandmother were true, the Charities would be his aunts.

The twist in the end assures that the story was not a dream. The Red Skull in this story was not identified. Follow the link to Albert Malik's profile to learn more about it. Captain America should be Jeff Mace, but it is also possible that it was already the Communist hunting fake "Steve Rogers". The "Master Judge of the Lower Depths" most likely was Pluto. The only problem with this story is that Charon seemingly broke his silence which would make Hercules in his 2005 title a liar which wouldn't be a big surprise.

Thanks to Per Degaton found the info for the Weird Tales appearance.

A Hyborian version of someone resembling Charon also appears on Conan the Barbarian#250. A skeletal ferryman transports others across the River of Darkness :

The use of a coin to pay the ferryman for a trip across the River of Darkness is obviously derived from the Greek/Roman Myth of paying Charon to ferry the dead across the River Styx. The Hyborian era (16, 000 - 8, 000 BC) obviously predates the Greek and Roman Civilization, but it makes sense for the Hyborian version to have simply continued into the later legend, especially given the location of the real River Styx (Stygia, which became Egypt) in the Hyborian Era, and its connection to the underworld's River of Darkness.

While it is conceivable that Charon predates most of the Titans and their progeny the Olympians, it is unsure if it is actually he or not.

Other ferryman gods in other pantheons include Mahaf of the Egyptian gods and Ursanabi of the Mesopotamian gods. The latter character appeared in Captain America Annual#11 (possibly an Eternal?).

A Charon imposter appeared in Young Allies#13.

Per Degaton notes that the character who appeared in the corner box of Journey Into Mystery Volume II is a ferryman, not unlike Charon.

Charon also appeared in Uncanny X-Men Annual#4, "Nightcrawler's Inferno".
--Jason Carpenter
The whole realm of Hell (mirroring Dante's Inferno) in that story is a facsimile conjured by Margali Szardos.

During Secret Wars III a Charon appeared in Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos#2 (September, 2015). It is unknown if he was an alternate version or from Earth-616.
--Markus Raymond

Deadpool vs. Thanos took place after Deadpool's own Secret Wars tie-in series, so it had to take place after the big event.
--Markus Raymond

In Valkyrie: Jane Foster#7 (March, 2020) the disease threatening Death manifested itself as Charon to Doctor Strange, Valkyrie, Cardiac, Excalibur (Hussain), Manikin and Night Nurse.
--Markus Raymond

Thanks to Gammatotem for pointing out Charon's Atlas Era appearances.

Profile by Will U and Prime Eternal Update by Markus Raymond (Atlas Era, Chaos War, Deadpool and more).

Charon should not be confused with:

  • Charon, Charlie Ronalds, anti-mutant terrorist, @ X-Factor Annual#8
  • Charon 2099, Controller from the Theatre of Pain, @ X-Men 2099#22
  • C'Harona, Hyborian priest of Mitra, @ Conan the Barbarian#147

Chaos War: Ares, p2-3 (main)
Suspense#18/4, p4, pan6 (1950s in America)
Spellbound#31/3, p4, pan8 (1950s in Amazon jungle)
Thor Annual I#19, p1 (green robe)

Captain America's Weird Tales#74 (October, 1949) - Stan Lee (editor)
Suspense#18/4 (May, 1952) - unidenitified writer, Manny Stallman (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Spellbound#31/3 (December, 1956) - unidenitified writer, William Wellman (pencils), Jack Abel (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor I#462 (May, 1993) - Jim Starlin, Ron Marz (writers), Bruce Zick (penciler), Mike Decarlo (inker), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Thor Annuall I#19 (1994) - Roy Thomas (writer), Jerry DeCaire (pencils), Romeo Tanghal (inks), Mike Rockwitz (editor)
Hercules III#5 (September, 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Incredible Hercules#129 (July, 2009) - Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak (writers), Ryan Stegman (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Chaos War: Ares#1 (February, 2011) - Michael Avon Oeming (writer), Stephen Segovia & Carlos Rodriguez (pencils), Danny Miki, Carlos Rodriguez, John Wycough, Victor Olazaba & Don Ho (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Deadpool vs. Thanos#3 (December, 2015) - Tim Seeley (writer), Elmo Bondoc (artist), Jordan D. White (editor)

First Posted: 10/27/2003
Last updated: 05/19/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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