DIONYSUS

Real Name: Dionysus Acratophorus

Identity/Class: Olympian god

Occupation: God of wine and revelry

Group Membership: Gods of Olympus

Affiliations: Thor, Warriors Three (Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, Volstagg the Enormous), Butcher T. Washington;
formerly the Bacchae and Maenads

Enemies: A.I.M., Avengers, Mikaboshi, the Titans, Typhon

Known Relatives: Zeus (father), Semele (mother, deceased), Ariadne (wife, deceased); Priapus (son); Gaea (great-grandmother), Ouranos (great-grandfather, deceased); Cronus, Rhea (paternal grandparents); Cadmus (maternal grandfather, deceased), Harmonia (paternal grandmother, niece); Chiron, Neptune, Pluto (uncles); Agave (maternal aunt, deceased); Ino/Leucothea (maternal aunt); Demeter, Hera, Vesta (paternal aunts); Pentheus (cousin, deceased); Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hercules, Hermes, (half-brothers); Artemis, Athena, Eileithyia, Eris, Hebe, Venus (half-sisters); Alex Aaron, Cupid (nephews), Psyche (niece-in-law, deceased)

Aliases: Bacchus, Dion

Base of Operations: Olympus; formerly Earth in Dion's Bar

First Appearance: Venus#4/1 (April, 1949)

Powers/Abilities: Dionysus possesses the conventional powers of the Olympian gods including superhuman strength (Class 30), vitality, longevity and resistance to injury. In ancient times, Dionysus possessed strength that rivaled that of his half-brother, the war-god Ares and could lift (press) 70 tons. He has certain magical abilities which allow him to change his form or that of another person or object, to appear as someone else, an animal, or an object. He also has the power to control the growth of vines. Dionysus is capable of teleporting himself, other persons, and objects between dimensions such as from Olympus to Earth and vice versa. Dionysus' abilities waned over the centuries as he did not continuously practice them but instead pursued more hedonistic interests. Dionysus also knows how to place persons under a spell that makes them lose all rational thought and act as if in a maddened, berserker state through the use of certain potions that his victims ingest. He used his knowledge of this to once control the She-Hulk and make her attack her teammates in the Avengers.

Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 620 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Bald

History:
(Greek-Roman Myth) - Dionysus was born several millenia ago to the Olympian sky-god Zeus and the mortal princess Semele, who was the daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes and his wife, the goddess Harmonia. Zeus became enamored of Semele and mated with her, unknown to his wife Hera. Hera eventually found out the truth and disguised as a human, convinced Semele to ask a certain boon of Zeus when next he came to her. Zeus agreed to grant Semele's wish when he appeared to her -- and deceived by Hera -- she asked that he would come to her as he came when he was wooing Hera. Unable to refuse, Zeus came to Semele's chamber in his godly aura of lightning and thunder. Semele died from fright, but Zeus was able to save the child created from their union. Zeus then entrusted the baby to his son Hermes upon which the speedster-god conveyed him to Ino and Athamas, who were the sister and brother-in-law of Semele. Ino was later transformed into the sea-goddess Leucothea by Zeus in gratitude for raising his son and during the travels of King Odysseus after the Trojan War she helped and advised him on his journey after he incurred the wrath of Neptune.

Upon coming of age, Dionysus, aware of his true lineage, attempted to spread his worship among the Grecian peoples by first starting with the kingdom of Thebes, the land of his birth. Thebes was then ruled by his cousin Pentheus. When Dionysus made assertions of being both the son of Zeus and a god, he was ridiculed by Pentheus and soon after several altercations, was driven from the city. Dionysus formed a band of followers among the Theban women and placed them under a spell where they became devoid of rational thought, and afterwards returned to Thebes to punish those who had denied his godhood and that he was the son of a god. Pentheus was highly angered at the worship of Dionysus and forbade it, but he had no power over the people under Dionysus's spell, including his own mother Agave. To punish Pentheus, Dionysus lured his cousin to the wilds where subsequently he was killed by the Maenads (women under Dionysus spell) and then mutilated by his mother, Agave. Because of the powers he exerted at Thebes and other places he came upon to indoctrinate his worship, Dionysus became known throughout Greece as the god of ecstasy and revelry. Dionysus then came to join the gods on Olympus and eventually became a member of the ruling council after his aunt Vesta ceded her position, having grown weary of her fellow gods' petty bickering. Dionysus was the only member of the Olympian ruling council who was born of a mortal woman -- all the other members were borne from full immortal heritages.

Dionysus once took to wife the human princess Ariade, daughter of King Minos of Crete. After helping the hero Theseus, who was a son of Neptune, escape from the Labyrinth after he killed the monstrous Minotaur, Ariadne left Crete with Theseus as his lover. However, Theseus eventually abandoned her on the island of Naxos while on the way to Athens. Ariadne was then approached by the love-goddess Venus who informed her that she would marry a god. Indeed, Dionysus took Ariadne as his wife and lived happily with her on Olympus until the day she died.

(Tales To Astonish I#6/3) - In the early days of the Greek gods, Dionysus was seen revelling with Pan and other Olympian gods.

(Incredible Hercules#140 (fb) ) - Dionysus was present at Hephaestus' wedding to Aphrodite.

(Incredible Hercules#140 (fb) ) - Dionysus was present when Hephaestus paraded Aphrodite and Ares around in Olympus (caught in a net) after catching them together in bed.

(Roman Myth)- When the worship of the Olympians spread from Greece to Rome, Dionysus was worshipped also by the name of Bacchus.

(Thor Annual#8) - During the Trojan War, Dionysus observed the interference of the time-traveling Thor from Olympus.

(Thor Annual#5) - Dionysus was present as Hercules attempted to convince Zeus into launching a war against Asgard.

(Thor: Blood Oath#2 (fb) - BTS) - Dionysus once invited Hercules over to drink with him, but Hercules refused to leave, and took possession of Dionysus' enchanted wine-making pig. Without access to his wine, Dionysus began to age into an old man. Consulting an oracle, he was told that four men would wash up upon a river to help him.

(Thor: Blood Oath#2) - When Thor and the Warriors Three appeared at the river, Dionysus greeted them, and led them to the pig, even though they intended to take the pig for themselves.

(Thor: Blood Oath#3-4) - Thor managed to fight Hercules to a standstill, and he gave up custody of the pig. With his wine back, Dionysus regained his youth and permitted Thor and the Warriors Three to take the pig, also giving them an enchanted cloth which shrank objects placed inside.

(Thor I#129) - Dionysus was present in Olympus when Hercules was taken to Hades by Pluto.

(Thor I#131) - Dionysus witnessed the return of Hercules to Olympus after he had been saved by the Asgardian Thor.

(Champions#2-3) - Dionysus observed the conflict between Zeus and Pluto, as Pluto attempted to force Hercules to marry Hippolyta, and Venus to marry Ares. When Pluto's scheme was thwarted by the Champions, Zeus joined Dionysus for a drink.

(Avengers I#281) - Dionysus was among those Olympians who served Zeus in his attempt to punish the Avengers for injuries Hercules had suffered from the Masters of Evil. Disguised as a human vendor, Dionysus sold the She-Hulk an Italian ice which was laced with the Elixir of Frenzy, and set her against her fellow Avengers. When Dr. Druid attempted to restore the She-Hulk to normal, Dionysus used his mental powers to reinstil the elixir's potency. However, he had caught the attention of the Black Knight, who saw that Dionysus was the only bystander who hadn't run away. Captain Marvel blasted Dionysus with energy, and he seemed to fall unconscious.

Dr. Druid examined Dionysus where he fell, but realized too late that he was not unconscious, and Dionysus strangled Dr. Druid until he was unconscious. The She-Hulk then attacked Dionysus, hurling him through the air. Before she could strike another blow, Dionysus produced a potion which he blew into her face, knocking her unconscious.

(Avengers I#283-284) - Dionysus stood alongside Zeus against the Avengers in Olympus, and again fought She-Hulk. He attempted to face her in physical combat, but the She-Hulk proved far more powerful than he, and struck him down with a pillar.

(Avengers I#285) - Dionysus was present when Zeus forbade all Olympians from interfering with the earth in the future.

(Solo Avengers#11/2)- Dionysus grew despondent because of his defeat at the She-Hulk's hands, and stole a nuclear warhead from Earth, which he intended to use to destroy Olympus, believing that the Olympian race was dying, and might as well go out with a bang. Hercules attempted to talk him out of it, but Dionysus created a servant, Butcher T. Washington to deal with him. Butcher T. Washington nearly slew Hercules, but at the last moment, Dionysus saved him, and returned Butcher T. Washington and the warhead to Earth. Dionysus then placed himself at Zeus' mercy, and was stripped of his powers and memories, then sent to Earth, to serve as Dion, a bartender at "Dion's Bar".

BTS- At some point, Dionysus' memory was restored, and he returned to Olympus.

(Thor I#398) - Dionysus was among the gods across the pantheons who sensed the Enchantress' anguish when she believed her lover Heimdall to be dead.

(She Hulk II#38-39 (BTS)) - Dionysus observed his nephew Cupid from Olympus, as he attempted to place Mahkizmo under a love spell on behalf of his mother Venus.

(Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed) - Dionysus partook of a feast with the Olympians' guest, the Hulk. Dionysus found him to be a truly incredible drinker.

(Thor II#7 - BTS) - At Olympus, the gravestone of Dionysus was seen as a casualty of the Olympians' battle with the Dark Gods.

(Hercules III#4 (fb) - BTS) - Dionysus was resurrected at some point through unrevealed means.

(Hercules III#4) - Dionysus joined with the Olympian pantheon as they convened a board meeting on Earth at the Olympus Group, assuming the appearances of mortal businessmen in an attempt to maintain some connection with humanity. Zeus had gathered them to confront Hera for manipulating Hercules into appearing on a reality television show as part of an attempt to gain revenge upon him, but he wound up being jeered at by his own family for his many infidelities. As his family voted against interfering with Hercules' labors, Dionysus was absorbed in talking on his cell phone, attempting to set up meetings with human celebrities, and Zeus finally struck him with lightning to get his attention. Dionysus was so annoyed that he voted against his father.

(Ares#1) - After a battle with Pluto, Dionysus met with the other gods of Olympus as they discussed how distasteful Ares' brutality was to them.

(Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular#1/1) - While intoxicated, Dionysus stumbled and fell off Mt. Olympus and plumeted to Earth, where he landed unconscious on Christmas Mountain, Wisconsin. He was found by agents of A.I.M., who later took over Dr. Tannenbaum's secret base and connected the soused Olympian god to a device there that channeled his power into an Inebriation Wave that put the heroes of the world into a drunken stupor. Deadpool and the Great Lakes Initiative (all immune to the effects of the Inebriation Wave) foiled AIM's plot and freed Dionysus.

(Assault on New Olympus Prologue#1 - BTS) - When Athena asked Dionysus to help against Hera he was too drunk to even listen to her.

(Journey Into Mystery I#627 (fb)) - Mephisto spoke with Dionysus in the Infinite Embassy where various godheads had gathered to speak of the threat of the Asgardian fear god, the Serpent.

Comments: Adapted by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Thanks to Continental Op for pointing out Dionysus' first appearance. If anyone can provide a summary for Venus#4 it would be much appreciated.

Some accounts say that Dionysus was born from Zeus's thigh after he had saved him from Semele's ashes.

According to some versions Dionysus, also called Zagreus in this account, was born the son of Zeus and Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. Hera then convinced some of the Titans to lure the infant godling with toys, and then they mutilated him, eating everything but Zagreus' heart, which was saved by either Athena, Rhea, or Demeter. Zeus killed those self-same Titans and then reformed his son from the heart and implanted him in Semele who bore a new Dionysus Zagreus.

Deadpool/GLI update by John Kaminski.

by Alex K and Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Dionysus should not be confused with:

The Bacchae who formerly followed Dionysus have no KNOWN connection to:


Appearances:
Venus#4 (April, 1949)
Tales to Astonish I#6 (November, 1959)
Thor I#129 (June, 1966) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor I#131 (August, 1966) - Stan Lee (writer), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Thor Annual#5 (1976) - Steve Englehart (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tony DeZuniga and friends (inks), Archie Goodwin (editor)
Champions#2 (January, 1976) - Tony Isabella (writer), Don Heck (pencils), John Tartaglione (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Champions#3 (February, 1976) - Tony Isabella & Bill Mantlo (writer), George Tuska (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Marv Wolfman (editor)
Thor Annual#8 (1979) - Roy Thomas (writer/editor), John Buscema (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks)
Avengers I#281 (July, 1987) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Avengers I#283-285 (September-November, 1987) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Solo Avengers#11 (October, 1988) - Bob Layton (writer/pencils), Jackson Guice (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Thor I#398 (December, 1988) - Tom DeFalco (writer), Ron Frenz (pencils), Don Heck (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Incredible Hulk: Hercules Unleashed (October, 1996) - Peter David (writer), Mike Deodato Jr. (pencils/inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Hercules III#4 (September, 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Thor: Blood Oath#2-4 (December, 2005-January, 2006) - Michael Avon Oeming (writer), Scott Kolins (artist), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Ares#1 (March, 2006) - Michael Avon Oeming (writer), Travel Foreman (penciler), Derek Fridolfs (inker), Warren Simons (editor)
Deadpool/GLI: Summer Fun Spectacular#1 (September, 2007) - Fabian Nicieza & Dan Slott (writers), Nelson (artist), Nicole Boose (editor)
Assault on New Olympus Prologue#1 (January, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rodney Buchemi (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#140 (March, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rodney Buchemi (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Journey Into Mystery I#627 (November, 2011) - Kieron Gillen (writer), Richard Elson (art), Ralph Macchio (senior editor)


Last updated: 07/10/12

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