Real Name: Hermes Diaktoros
Identity/Class: Olympian god
Occupation: God of commerce, speed, travel, and thieves; Herald of Zeus and the Olympian gods
Group Membership: Olympian gods
Affiliations: Avengers, Gaea, Mike, Inari, Jules Keen, Young Gods
Enemies: Apate, Argus, Snaky Blake, Cronus, Dolos, Eternals, Hypnos, Makkari, Mikaboshi, Nyx, the Titans, Typhon
Known Relatives: Zeus (father), Maia (mother); Hermaphroditus, Pan (sons); Abderus, Autolycus (sons, deceased); Odysseus (Ulysses, great-grandson, deceased); Telemachus (great-great grandson, deceased); Clymene, Gaea (great-grandmothers), Ouranos (paternal great-grandfather, deceased), Iapetus (maternal great-grandfather); Cronus, Rhea (paternal grandparents); Atlas (maternal grandfather); Epimetheus, Prometheus (great-uncles), Menoetius (great-uncle, deceased); Chiron, Neptune, Pluto, (uncles); Apollo, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Hercules (half-brothers); Artemis, Eileithyia, Eris, Hebe, Persephone, Venus (half-sisters); Calypso, Demeter, Hera, Vesta (aunts); Alex Aaron, Cupid (nephews), Aeneas, Orpheus (nephews, deceased), Harmonia (niece)
Aliases: Mercury, Cyllenius, the god of the stone heap; Herman, Hermy, He of the stone heap, Old Heapy (for those of the Laconian dialect)
Base of Operations: Olympus
First Appearance: Venus#3/3 (December, 1948)
Powers/Abilities: Hermes possesses the conventional Olympian godly attributes of superhuman physical properties, vitality, and functional immortality. He has not aged since reaching adulthood, is immune to harm from conventional means of injury, and cannot suffer from any earthly disease. Should he sustain any non-fatal injury, his metabolism enables him to recuperate at a superhuman rate of speed. Hermes is somewhat stronger than the average Olympian god (Class 30) and can lift about 35 tons optimally.
Hermes is the fastest of all the Olympian gods whether in running or flying. He can run on land at supersonic speeds (the speed of sound is 770 mph at sea level) and is capable of flight at speeds just below that of the speed of light -- 186,000 miles per second. Crossing between dimensions such as from Olympus to Earth does not diminish his speed in the least. Hermes can appear to be invisible to mortal eyes when he runs at supersonic speeds. Hermes' stamina is virtually inexhaustible due to his godly metabolism.
Hermes is a capable inventor, surpassed in skill on Olympus only by Hephaestus, the smith-god. As the herald of the gods, Hermes is a god of eloquence, as well. Possessing uncanny prudence and cunning, Hermes is the master of thievery, perjury, and fraud. He is also an excellent player of the lyre, a stringed instrument of his own making.
Weapons: Hermes wields a magical wand called the Caduceus, which enables him to control beings lesser than gods, transform objects into gold, and channel magical energies.
Weight: 520 lbs.
Hair: Strawberry blond
History: (Greek-Roman Myth) - Hermes was born centuries ago to the Olympian god-king Zeus and to the goddess-nymph Maia. Maia was one of the many daughters of the Titan-god Atlas who called themselves the Pleiades. Zeus, on one of his legendary amorous escapades, came to Maia in the cave she lived in on Mount Cyllene without the knowledge of his wife Hera, and made love to her. This union impregnated Maia and thus she became the mother of Hermes. (Because he was born on Cyllene, Hermes was sometimes referred to as Cyllenius.)
(The Homeric Hymn to Hermes/Greek-Roman Myth) - Hermes was considered highly crafty and intelligent during his childhood. He created the lyre from a turtle shell and secretly stole the divine cows of his half-brother, Apollo. Apollo eventually uncovered this and took the matter to Zeus. Hermes surrendered and even bartered to Apollo using his lyre as a means of payment to Apollo. Apollo then chose to champion Hermes' introduction into the ruling council of the Olympian Pantheon as he was impressed by Hermes' attitude.
Hermes eventually became the messenger of the
Olympian gods. As such, part of his duties were to guide the souls or
astral forms of the Olympians' mortal worshippers who had died down the
underworld, after they had been magically preserved by his uncle Hades
(Pluto), god of the dead and the Olympian underworld. Hermes was also sent on several missions to aid immortals and mortals
alike at the behest of his fellow Olympians. For example,
Hermes was also sent on several missions to aid immortals and mortals alike at the behest of his fellow Olympians. For example,Hermes liberated the mortal Io, one of the lovers of Zeus from the giant Argus, who had been ordered by Hera to watch over her. Hermes calmed the giant with his flute, and while Argus slept, Hermes decapitated him and freed Io. Hermes, at Zeus' command, also persuaded his aunt, the goddess-nymph Calypso to release his mortal descendant Odysseus (Ulysses), the King of Ithaca and a former participant of the Trojan War. Calypso fell in love with Odysseus and made him her captive after he was shipwrecked on her island Ogygia and desired to make him immortal like the gods if he married her. However, Zeus sent Hermes to free Odysseus. It is said Hermes, in conjunction with the goddess Athena, also saved Odysseus from being transformed into a pig by the Eternal Sersi (whom the ancient writer Homer believed to be a goddess-sorceress by the name Circe as recorded in Greek mythology). He gave Odysseus the mystical herb called moley which symbolized to Sersi that Odysseus was protected by the gods and was not to be harmed. (It is also a possibility that while Odysseus was indeed protected by Athena and Hermes, it may have been the speedster Eternal Makkari and the then-Eternal princess Thena who appeared to Odysseus and advised him on his treatment by Sersi since it is known that several Eternals were confused with the Olympian gods in ancient times. Indeed, Thena and Makkari were confused with Athena and Hermes in ancient Greece and again in Rome under their Latin names of Minerva and Mercury.) Hermes also guided Eurydice back down to the underworld after she had been allowed to spend one day on earth with her husband, the mortal demigod Orpheus. He also once rescued his half-brother Ares from imprisonment by their cousins Otus and Ephialtes. The latter were giants and sons of Poseidon who tried to overthrow the rule of the gods of Olympus.
As with his father Zeus and the other gods, Hermes had numerous affairs with goddesses and mortals. From these unions were born several offspring, both mortal and immortal. The offspring of Hermes are believed to be Abderus, Autolycus, Hermaphroditus and Pan, and there are several legends attached to each of Hermes' children. Abderus was a companion of the demigod hero Hercules, then called Heracles, and was devoured by the Mares of Diomedes after Heracles had left him in charge of them. Autolycus, who was the ancestor of Odysseus and borne to Hemres by the mortal woman Chione, grew up to be one of the greatest thieves in Greece having learned his craft from his father as Hermes was the patron god of thieves. The god Hermaphroditus, named after both his parents, was conceived from the union of Hermes and Aphrodite. The god Pan is also a son of Hermes. It is said that Pan's satyr-like appearance terrified his mother so much when he was born that she fled in horror at the sight of her newborn son. The abandoned Pan was then taken by his father to Olympus where the gods grew to love him. Pan eventually became the patron god of fields, forests, woods, shepherds and flocks. Hermes was also revered under the Latin name of Mercury when the worship of the gods spread from ancient Greece to Rome.
(Avengers: No Road Home#1 (fb) ) - Hermes joined battle against the gigantic two-headed serpent Amphisbaena alongside Athena, Artemis, Hercules, Neptune and Zeus. They vanquished the monster.
Hermes attended the festivities after the battle.
(Avengers: No Road Home#4 (fb) ) - Hermes joined the Olympians' battle against Nyx and her children Hypnos, Apate and Dolos when they turned on the other Olympians. Hermes battled Dolos, but at the end of the battle had Hypnos at his heel. In the aftermath Zeus exiled Nyx and her children into a prison of eternal darkness.
(Thor I#301 (fb)) - During the time of Gaea's plot with the earth-goddesses to gather the 12 best examples of humanity into the Young Gods, Hermes was employed to deliver at least one of the 12 young people to Gaea.
(Venus#7/1) - When Joya accused Venus of being a traitor to Olympus for loving Whitney Hammond, Hermes was sent to deliver Venus and Hammond to Olympus, and observed the trial which followed.
(Venus#10/3) - When Venus journeyed to the moon with scientist Randy Dover, and wished him to cease loving her, Hermes assisted her in causing Dover to forget he had landed upon the moon, and returned them to Earth.
(Venus#11/1) - When Earth began to move closer and closer to the sun, Hermes carried Venus from Mount Olympus to the laboratory of the man responsible, scientist Michael Templar.
(Venus#12) - While Venus was held by Sultan Khorok in Cassarobia, Hermes was among the Olympians who attempted to encourage Venus to escape from him, but she remained in Cassarobia in order to change the system.
(Marvel Tales I#135/4) - High school runner
Len Grant injured his leg but nevertheless insisted on participating in
a track meet. Getting dressed for the run, Len was unable to find his socks
and borrowed a pair he found in the locker room. Len found that his leg
was healed and his speed greater than ever, enabling him to win the race
with ease. Afterward, Hermes retrieved his magic socks and departed.
(Journey into Mystery I#26/text) - While racing some jets in the sky Hermes got off course and landed in Mapleton, a small American town. He watched a junior league baseball game from the side and caught the attention of Mike, one of the players. Distracted by him Mike screwed up and lost the game for his team. Afterward a bully named Snaky Blake blamed Hermes, who called himself Hermy, for the team losing the game. Mike protected Hermy from the bully, but Hermy easily dealt with Snaky himself by forcing him to run for a few hours by tapping him with his stick. Because Mike stood up for him Hermy revealed his true identity and granted Mike a wish. Because he was a slow runner, which threatened his spot on the team he asked Hermes to give him a few tips about running, which Hermes did. Hermes told Mike not to tell anybody because Zeus would become angry if Hermes told his secrets to humans. He left, but seemingly returned to watch the next game as a sudden breeze whipped across the field.
(Bizarre Adventures#32) - Hermes summoned the mortal Jules Keen -- gifted with a psychic predisposition to win (aka luck) -- to Mt. Olympus. Hermes granted Keen increasing power over luck until he eventually became luck itself, or the god of luck. However, Keen soon realized that to never lose is a gambler's hell, as the gamble no longer held any interest or challenge.
(Thor: Blood Oath#3-4) - Hermes observed Hercules and Thor as they fought over the enchanted pig of Dionysus.
(Thor I#129) - Hermes was sent from Olympus by Zeus on a mission, just as Hercules was taken to Hades by Pluto.
(Thor I#291-292) - During the war between the Eternals and the Olympians, Hermes fought bitterly against the Eternal Makkari, who had impersonated him often in the past. The battle ceased not long after it began, and Hermes returned to Olympus with his fellow Olympians.
(Thor I#301) - Hermes was present when Thor received energies from Zeus with which to revive the Asgardians slain by the Celestials.
(Hulk vs. Hercules: When Titans Collide#1 (fb)) - Hermes was sent to Earth to retrieve Hercules so that he could rid Olympus of the Hulk. The Hulk's attack on Olympus led to giants releasing Cronus from Tartarus and Hermes fought alongside his family against the giants and Cronus until Hercules finally resealed the entrance to Tartarus.
(Avengers I#279) - After Hercules was horribly injured in battle with the Masters of Evil, Hermes was sent by Zeus to return him to Olympus for recovery.
(Avengers I#281) - Hermes assisted Artemis and Dionysus during their mission to capture the Avengers on Earth. Employing his superhuman speed, Hermes was able to defeat the Black Knight and Captain America. He also caught Captain Marvel from the sky after Artemis shot her down. He was taken by Captain Marvel's beauty, but Artemis reminded him that she was their enemy.
(Avengers I#284-285) - As Zeus led Ares, Artemis and Dionysus against the Avengers, Hermes assisted Prometheus and Hera in their plan to end the fighting, and brought Hercules to Prometheus so that he might be healed. Revived but temporarily insane, Hercules struck Hermes down. Hercules' rage was finally settled by Dr. Druid. After Hercules himself opposed Zeus, Zeus realized his error, and ordered all Olympians to remain in Olympus and not interfere with the earth.
(Sensational She-Hulk#36) - Hermes was sent by Venus to send her son Cupid to her.
(Thor I#465) - Hermes was summoned by Zeus to send a message to Asgard following Pluto and Ares' accusation that Thor had attacked them without provocation, but after listening to Pluto's case, Zeus decided to confront the Asgardians personally.
(Thor II#7) - Hermes and other Olympians assaulted Thor when he visited Olympus, believing that the Asgardians were responsible for the assault on their home. The true perpetrators were the Dark Gods, however, and Thor was permitted to depart.
(Hercules III#2) - Having assumed the appearances of mortal businessmen at the Olympus Group in order to maintain a connection with humanity, Hermes learned that Hercules had agreed to appear in a reality television program which would enact new versions of his labors, and he sped to Zeus to inform him of this development, interrupting his father as he was having sex with an employee.
(Hercules III#4 - BTS) - Hermes was presumably present with the Olympus Group as they convened a board meeting on Earth. Zeus had gathered them to confront Hera for manipulating Hercules into appearing on television, but he wound up being jeered at by his own family for his many infidelities. They finally voted against interfering with Hercules' labors.
(Ares#1) - Hermes assumed the form of a mortal teenager to confront Ares on Earth and request his aid for Olympus, as they were in combat against Japanese demons led by Mikaboshi. Ares refused to join him at the time.
(Ares#4-5) - After Ares had joined the battle, Hermes schemed with the messenger god of the east Inari to find a means to trick their peoples into allying against Mikaboshi. When Inari came to Olympus, he offered his people's aid, but Ares refused. When he asked for water, Ares gave it to him. Inari then presented the water to his people as a gift from the Olympians, and they agreed to join the battle.
(Secret Warriors#10) - Hermes was present when Phobos (Alexander Aaron), son of Ares, was found worthy by the Council of Godheads to be a god.
(Herc#6.1) - After Hercules stole numerous weapons from the Armory of Ares Zeus sent Hermes to find the burglaring Hercules. After talking to Apollo about how Hercules had been drunk at the Bacchanalia's since returning to Olympus Hermes went to Dionysus to ask him about Hercules' whereabouts. After learning that Hercules had been kicked out after waking up too early and sent home to his wife Hebe Hermes visited her. Hebe wasn't sure Zeus would treat Hercules fairly and reminded Hermes how Hercules had saved them all from the Chaos King and restored Olympus. She told him about Hercules hearing prayers in his sleep and that he went to Brooklyn.
Arriving at the Brooklyn Height Hermes searched for Hercules at the Cowanus Heights, Prospect Park and eventually found him at Sunset Park fighting Mr. Negative and his Inner Demons. Hermes watched Hercules use the stolen Olympian weapons against them and when Negative ordered some Inner Demons to murder their hostages Hermes knocked out the gunmen and saved the hostages. Mr. Negative fled.
The next day Hermes, dressed as a jogger, visited Hercules at the diner Athena. Hermes asked for wine and told Hercules that he was there to find a thief. Hercules got angry at first, but when Hermes told him that he found not a thief, but one who listened and was where he was needed, something like the Gods used to be. Hermes told him he would tell his master that he couldn't find the thief. Hercules thanked Hermes, who transformed back to his true form before returning to Olympus.
(Herc#5) - Hermes traveled to Earth to tell Hercules that the Asgardians had awoken the Serpent (Cul), but that the Asgardians, Olympians and other Pantheons had decided to forbid all gods from interfering. Hercules reminded Hermes that he was not a god any longer and Hermes replied that Zeus could change that again. Hercules told Hermes to return to Zeus and tell him that Hercules was not interest to become a god again. While Hermes left he told Hercules he would grieve for him when he returned one last time to guide Hercules to Pluto's door because Hercules had chosen certain doom.
(Avengers: No Road Home#2 (fb) ) - Nyx and her children Apate, Dolos, Hypnos and Oyzis attacked the Olympian gods, including Hermes, on Mount Olympus. Zeus told Hermes to run and warn Hercules of Nyx's return, but he was sent to sleep and stabbed to death by Hypnos.
Comments: Adapted by an unnamed writer and artist.
Stories such as that in Bizarre Adventures#32, which use no other characters locked into the modern era, can be easily fit into the real time in which they were published. I'd like to place this story as having occurred in 1982, to fill in adventures in the pre-modern era.
John McDonagh once mentioned that Hermes also appeared in Tales of Suspense I#57-58 in a text story which was a reprint from Journey Into Mystery I#26. According to Ronald Byrd, any text story that appeared in two parts during the final transition to all-hero material was a reprint of an earlier story.
Thanks to Ron Fredricks for adding Venus#11.
Profile by Alex K, Will U, Prime Eternal, Ronald Byrd, Snood and Markus Raymond.
Hermes should not be confused with:
Herc#6.1, p20, pan4 (main image)
Marvel Tales I#135, p4, pan7 (Atlas Age)
Avengers I#281, p10, pan3 (alternate costume)
First Posted: 12/22/2001
Last Updated: 12/12/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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