DEIANEIRA

Real Name: Deianeira

Identity/Class: Human (Post-Hyborian Era)

Occupation: Monarch

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Achelous, Hercules

Enemies: Nessus

Known Relatives: Oeneus (father), Althaea (mother), Laocoon (brother), Meleager (brother, deceased), Cleopatra (sister-in-law), Gorge (sister), Andraemon (brother-in-law), Thoas, Oxylus (nephews), Calydon, Toxeus, Plexippus (maternal uncles), Leda, Hypermnestra (maternal aunts), Alcathous, Agrius, Staphylus, Meles (paternal uncles), Thestius (maternal grandfather), Porthaon (paternal grandfather), Hercules (husband), Hyllus (son)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Trachis, later Calydon (both now part of modern Greece), 13th century B.C.

First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes III#1 (May, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: None, Deianeira possessed the normal human strength level of a woman of her size, height and build who engaged in moderate physical activities. She is possibly fairly accomplished in unarmed combat.

History: (Greek-Roman myth)- Deianeira was the daughter of King Oeneus of Calydon. She was the older sister of Meleagar who not long after he was born was destined by the Fates to die as soon as a cord of wood finished burning. Their mother, Althaea, saved the wood and Meleager grew to adulthood and became one of the Argonauts. Too young at the time for the adventure, King Oeneus sent his eldest son, Laocoon, to look after him. Through her brother, she met Hercules, the son of Zeus, who was also one of the Argonauts. A few years after the search for the Golden Fleece, a wild boar began terrorizing Calydon and Meleager joined with several of the Argonauts to kill the Calydonian boar. Meleager succeeded in killing it, but he presented the hide as a gift to Atalanta. When his uncles tried to take it from her, he killed them. Heart-broken, Althaea took out the enchanted wood which preserved her sonís life and burnt it to ashes. Meleager died as a result and his wife, Cleopatra, mourned so incessantly for him that the goddess Artemis turned her into guinea fowl to forget her grief.

(Greek-Roman myth/Hercules III#2 (fb)) - As Deianeira came of age, she was courted by the river-god Achelous, but Hercules also desired to court Deianeira and had to fight him in a trial of combat to earn her hand.

(Greek-Roman myth) - After they were married, they had a son named Hyllus, but then Hercules accidentally killed a servant by accident and he exiled himself from Calydon. Deianeira accompanied him as they moved to Trachis.

(Greek-Roman Myth/Marvel Superheroes III#1/2 (fb)/Hulk: Hercules Unleashed#1 (fb)/Incredible Hercules#113 (fb) )- On the way to Trachis, Deianeira was nearly carried off by the Centaur Nessus. Hercules killed him for the insult, but Nessus schemed to have his revenge. As he died, he gave Deianeira a sample of his blood knowing it was tainted by the blood of the Hydra from Herculesí arrows. He presented it to Deianeira as a love charm knowing full well of Herculesí philandering ways. Several years later, Deianeira eventually learned of Herculesí infatuation for Iole, the daughter of his old mentor, King Eurytus of Oechalia. Her father had promised Iole to anyone who could best him in a contest of archery. He lost the contest to Hercules, but refused to surrender her to him because he was in excess of forty years older than her at the time. Hercules left, but returned with several of the Argonauts to take her by force. Deianeira was not aware that Hercules was bringing Iole to Trachis as a bride to their son Hyllus. Convinced of his philandering, she gave Hercules a sample of Nessusís so-called love charm as it exploded on him and began incinerating him. In unbridled pain, Hercules tore from their home and tossed himself into the Achelous River in agony to put out the flames. Realizing the error of her accusation, Deianeira became unable to handle the reality of what she had done and committed suicide.

Comments: Adapted by Dan G. Chechester, Margaret Clark, Keith Pollard and Kim DeMulder.

Some myths claim Deianeira is the daughter of Dionysus and Althaea, but traditionally she is the daughter of Oeneus.

Deianeira was Herculesí second wife. His marriage to Megaera (depicted so far only in Disneyís Hercules) was annulled after a long separation. After attaining godhood, Hercules married Hebe as a means of coming to a truce with Hera.

Herculesí involvement with King Eurytion is complicated by the fact that Hulk: Hercules Unleashed claims it was the Argonaut Eurytion who showed him to use the bow and arrow. Eurytion refused to give his daughter to him because he had shown Hercules his skills in archery. Since the incident is told through the mindís eye of Hercules, perhaps Hercules is merely confusing the old names, connections and motivations.

Deianeira has been portrayed on TV by actress Renee OíConnor (who later became Gabrielle on Xena) and by Tawni Kitaen from the Tom Hanks movie "Bachelor Party."

by Will U

CLARIFICATIONS:
Deianeira is not to be confused with:

Cleopatra, Deianeiraís sister-in-law, is not to be confused with:


Images taken from:
Hulk: Hercules Unleashed, page 14, panel 4
Hulk: Hercules Unleashed, page 14, panel 2


Appearances: Marvel Super-Heroes III#1 (May, 1990) - D.G. Chichester & Margaret Clark (writers), Keith Pollard (pencils), Kim DeMulder (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Hercules: Heart of Chaos#2 (October, 1996) - Tom DeFalco & Ron Frenz (writer/pencils), Pat Olliffe (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Hercules III#2 (July, 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Incredible Hercules#113 (February, 2008) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Khoi Pham (pencils), Paul Neary (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 06/07/04

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