HUNTSMAN

Real Name: Cephalus

Identity/Class: Uncertain. Magical warrior

Occupation: Hunter/tracker of Olympians for Zeus

Group Membership: Olympians

Affiliations: Arachne, Argus, Avengers (Ares, Captain Marvel (Noh-Varr), Hawkeye (Bullseye), Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn), Ms. Marvel (Karla Sofen), Sentry, Spider-Man (Mac Gargan), Wolverine (Daken) ), Eos, Eris, Delphyne Gorgon, Hera, Lamia, Mutates of Earth-6943, Pluto, Shadow-Hound, Typhon, utilized variety of mythological agents, including the Menoetius, Polyphemus, Scylla and Charibdis, and the Sirens;
former agent of Zeus;
former indirect pawn of Ares and
Hippolyta

Enemies: Aegis (Trey Rollins), Athena, Avengers (Black Panther, Goliath (Clint Barton), Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man (Parker), Spider-Woman (Drew), USAgent, Vision, Wasp (Pym), Wolverine (Logan/Howlett) ), Champions of Los Angeles (Angel, Black Widow, Ghost Rider/John Blaze, Iceman), Amadeus Cho, Hercules, Namor, Venus (Aphrodite)

Known Relatives: Procris (wife), Deioneus (father), Diomede (mother), Actor, Aenetus, Phylacus (brothers), Asterodia (sister), Aeolus (paternal grandfather), Enarete (paternal grandmother), Sisyphus (paternal uncle), Xuthus (maternal grandfather), Creusa (maternal grandmother)

Aliases: Huntsman of Zeus

Base of Operations: Mount Olympus

First Appearance: Ka-Zar Quarterly#1/2 (August, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: The Huntsman generates terror in the Olympians Gods, making them particularly vulnerable to him. All of his powers stem from his Power-Staff, which is directly powered by Zeus, himself. His abilities, and those of the staff, were initially completely dependent on the Huntsman maintaining contact with it. If it was knocked from his hands, he became completely powerless, and the staff had no more power than an ordinary wooden stick. In addition, the Huntsman’s powers are dependent on Zeus. If Zeus ceases to desire the Huntsman to accomplish his mission, his powers drop off sharply. If either of these situations occurs, anything summoned or created by the staff will return back to where it originated.

The Huntsman’s staff can project powerful bursts of energy, travel between dimensions (at least Earth and Olympus), generate convincing illusions, and summon (or create) creatures from Olympian mythology, or artificial duplicates of these creatures (see below). The Huntsman must speak some form of rhyme to summon these creatures.

The Staff drains the power of an Olympian on contact. In addition, the staff grants him superhuman strength and durability, presumably even to the Class 100 level if need be.

The Huntsman could also generate a flaming staff which allowed him to travel through the air on a trail of mystic flame. When thrown, it could temporarily disperse and paralyze all caught in its energy release. Again, Olympians were even more susceptible to this power than others.

Height: 6'1"
Weight: 285 lbs.
Eyes: Black
Hair: Brown

History: (Incredible Hercules#139 (fb) ) - In ancient Phocis the people knew Cephalus as the greatest hunter in the world. One morning the goddess of dawn Eos hit on him, but Cephalus stayed faithful to his wife Procris and rejected her advances. Eos nonetheless gave him a javelin made of light as a gift. When Procris heard Cephalus talking about a dawn in his sleep she was fearful that he had taken a lover and followed him during the hunt. When Cephalus heard rustling in the bushes he tossed his javelin and like always hit his target perfectly. When he saw that he had killed his wife Cephalus threw himself into the sea.

(Incredible Hercules#139 (fb) - BTS) - For his suicide Cephalus' face was twisted in Tartarus. Eventually Zeus took pity on him and raised Cephalus from Tartarus to turn him into his personal Huntsman.

(Ka-Zar Quarterly#1/2(fb) - BTS) - Huntsman hasn't been used in a long time by Zeus.

(Ka-Zar Quarterly#1/2(fb)) - Shortly after returning to Olympus following his first exile alongside the Avengers, Hercules again incurred the wrath of Zeus, and headed back to Earth. Enraged (and goaded by Ares), Zeus summonned the Huntsman to drag Hercules back to Earth

(Ka-Zar Quarterly#1/2) - Hercules, terrified by the Huntsman, encountered Goliath II and headed to Avengers Mansion to gain assistance. The Huntsman sent his Shadow-Hound to attack Hercules at the mansion, but Hercules managed to subdue it. The Huntsman then arrived and blasted the rest of the Avengers unconscious. Hercules flled from the Hutnsman, complaining that he was forced to flee against his will.

(Sub-Mariner I#29) - The Huntsman said that he had filled Hercules with too much fear, such that he could now sense his approach and escaped him. He summoned the Sirens to bring Namor under his control, whom he then sendt to overtake and occupy Hercules until he could smite him. This was effective, and after catching up with the two, the Huntsman summoned Polyphemus, Scylla, and Charybdis to subdue them (Namor had recovered his own will in struggle against Hercules). As Hercules and Namor began to overpower the three creatures, the Huntsman struck down Hercules from behind. Namor then knocked the staff from the Huntsman’s hands, causing the creatures and the Hutnsman’s powers to vanish. Zeus, however, intervened and summoned the Huntsman back to Olympus. Hercules and Zeus made their peace, and all was right again. Namor, his memory of the events erased by Zeus, snapped the now powerless staff of the Huntsman in half.

 

(Champions#2) - Ares, Hippolyta, and Pluto duped Zeus into agreeing to the marriages of Hercules to Hippolyta, and of Venus to Ares, in order to prevent an attack by a union of the lords of the death dimensions. When Hercules and Venus refused, Pluto coerced Zeus into summoning the Huntsman and sending him after them. Hercules had recently joined with a group of other heroes to form the Champions. They succeeded in initially fighting off the Huntsman (along with the Titan, Menoetius, whom he had summoned). However, the Huntsman then cast an illusion that made the Ghost Rider see the other Champions as Pluto and his allies, and he attacked and incapacitated them. When he saw what he had done, he was shocked and was easy prey for a blow from behind by the Huntsman. The Huntsman then took Hercules and Venus back to Mount Olympus.

(Champions3) - The Champions arrived in Olympus to stop the weddings. The Huntsman summoned an army of Pluto’s Mutates to battle them and warned Pluto of their arrival. Zeus heard this and questioned Pluto’s true motives. The Huntsman prepared to summon forth more allies, but got his head smacked against a stone wall by the Angel.

(Incredible Hercules#127) - Hera sent Huntsman after Athena's agent Aegis. Trying to escape Aegis jumped out a window and died when his breastplate's forcefield failed to protect him.

(Incredible Hercules#127 - BTS) - Huntsman took Aegis' corpse to the Excello Soap Company, a subsidiary of the Olympus Group.

(Incredible Hercules#127) - Aegis' brestplate led Athena, Hercules and Amadeus Cho to the Excello Soap Company where Hera was already waiting for them with Huntsman, Pluto, Typhon and Delphyne Gorgon. The fight between both factions was interrupted by the arrival of Iron Patriot (Norman Osborn) and his Avengers.

(Incredible Hercules#128) - Huntsman fought alongside Hera, Typhon, Delphyne and Pluto against Osborn's Avengers getting into a personal fight with Noh-Varr.

(Incredible Hercules#129) - Huntsman watched Hera tossed Hebe, Hercules' ex-wife, out a window. He was then ordered by Hera to stash away the Aegis breastplate.

(Incredible Hercules#138) - Huntsman was among Hera's legions that fought the Avengers at Olympus Group Tower.

(Incredible Hercules#139) - Huntsman concentrated on Wolverine, who tried to lure him into a trap. Though Cephalus missed Wolverine with his light javelin at first, the javelin returned to impale Wolverine.

(Incredible Hercules#141) - Huntsman next targeted Quicksilver, who ran away from Huntsman's javelin. Quicksilver ran past Huntsman and the javelin impaled Huntsman himself.

Comments: Created by Allyn Brodsky and Frank Springer.

The Huntsman seemed to show some direct allegiance to Pluto, but this was not elaborated upon.

There is no evidence one way or the other to determine whether the creatures summoned by the staff of the Huntsman are the genuine article or not. Some of these commented on the fact that they had been summoned (rather than created(?)). They may differ significantly from the stories of myth, but that’s artistic license for you.

Thanks to our resident Master of Mythology, William Uchtman, for clarifying/detailing the origins of mythological characters for me.
In addition, he comments (regarding the Huntsman): "something about him reminds me of Keres, an ancient god who predated the Titans. He sadisticly terrorized the spirits of the dead until ripped apart by Cerberus. I'm not saying this is who the Huntsman is supposed to be, but if I drew a depiction of him, it'd resemble the Huntsman.
"

Smite. What a great word.

In the All-New OHotMU Update#3 Huntsman received his own entry. In this entry it was suspected that he was the reincarnation of the famous Greek hunter Cephalus. It was finally revealed that he was Cephalus in Thor & Hercules: Encyclopaedia Mythologica. Laelaps' name was revealed in this entry as well.
--Markus Raymond

Clarifications: Huntsman should not be confused with:

Mount Olympus is not to be confused with:
Olympia, home of the Eternals, @ Eternals I#5

The mythological Scylla serves as the namesake for others, ie:

  • Scylla, Cylla Markham, transformed into a cyborg by Donald Pierce, @ Uncanny X-Men#260
  • Scylla, a genetically engineered hybrid human created by HYDRA, @ Iron Man III#36

The Shadow-Hound

 

Aka Laelaps possesses greatly amplified canine strengths and abilities. It is described as having claws of "burning ice"

--Ka-Zar Quarterly#1/2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





The Sirens

 

They represent the Sirens who would sing so beautifully that they would cause sailors to dive from their ships in an effort to be with them. The sailors would then be crushed against the rocks of the isle on which the Sirens stood. The original Sirens were half bird. These Sirens sang beautifully as well, although they were entirely humanoid, with the exception of their green skin. Their songs could summon and entrance anyone within earshot. They may be more effective against men. They were used to place Namor under the control of the Huntsman.

In Marvel Comics the Sirens were daughters of Phorcys and Ceto (including the one now known as Venus of the Agents of Atlas)

In Greek mythology, the Sirens were daughters of Achelous the river-god and Melpomene the Muse (daughter of Zeus). They were playmates of Persephone who left her alone to be kidnapped by Hades. Demeter punished them by binding them alone to the island of Anthemoessa near Italy. The Sirens were not evil, but they spent much of their lives starving for companionship.
--Sub-Mariner I#29

 

 

 






Menoetius

 

He was one of the Titans, who were the precursors of the Olympian Gods. In eons past, he was slain by a thunderbolt from Zeus. When summoned by the Huntsman, he had been transformed by the energy of the thunderbolt into living energy. He was "short-circuited" in battle against the Champions when the Black Widow caught him between a steel flagpole and a puddle of melting ice with her widow’s line.

In Greek mythology, Menoetius (also spelled Menoeceus) was a brother of Prometheus, Atlas and Eprimetheus. They were sons of the Titan Japet and Clymene, an Oceanide.

--Champions#2

 

 

 

 

 

 






Scylla and Charybdis are the original "rock and a hard place" -- they represented a rocky cliff and a whirlpool in the Strait of Messina off the coast of Sicily, between which sailor had to carefully navigate in order to avoid destruction.
The Scylla of mythology was originally a nymph changed into a monster. Scylla was the daughter of the sea-god Phorcys and Ceto (in mythology her mother was Hecate). The sea-god Glaucus fell in love with her and went to Circe to win her love. Circe however fell in love with Glaucus herself and transformed Scylla into a six-headed dragon to be rid of her. Scylla terrorized the seas in hostility until Hephaestus bound her to the cliffs near Sicily. She stayed there for so long she became part of the cliff (hence her transformation to stone). Charybdis was a whale-goddess, and daughter of Poseidon and Gaea. Possessed of a veracious appetite, she embarrassed her father on her first visit to Olympus by eating too much and was bound opposite Scylla to live off her scraps.

Polyphemus was one of the second-generation Cyclopes, and encountered the crew of Ulysses/Odysseus during the voyage known as the Odyssey.

Polyphemus was a son of Poseidon and the nereid Thoosa. His four brothers have never been named, but one fiction names them as Pallas, Argus, Atlas and Actaeus. They were peaceful shepards on Sicily (some myths say in Libya) who adopted the seer Telemus. He was so grateful that he warned Polyphemus to beware of Odysseus. Unfortunately, when Odysseus appeared years later, Polyphemus had forgotten the dire prophecy. Furthermore, Odysseus claimed his name was Nobody and only screamed out his name as he fled. As you know the Odyssey: "Brothers," Polyphemus cried out. "Nobody has blinded me and stolen my sheep !"
"Nay, foolish cyclops !" Odysseus screamed as his men rowed away. "You tell your brothers you were blinded by the cunning Odysseus !!"
Polyphemus, however, told his father who blinded him and Poseidon threw a curse on Odysseus to never reach home for several years.

 

 

 

 

All of the above three creatures demonstrated primarily immense strength and durability when summoned by the Huntsman.

--Sub-Mariner I#29

 

 

 

 






images:
Incredible Hercules#127, p4, pan1 (current appearance)


Appearances:
Ka-Zar I#1 (August, 1970) - Allyn Brodsky (writer), Frank Springer (pencils), Dick Ayers (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Sub-Mariner I#29 (September, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), Mike Esposito (inks), Stan Lee (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)
Incredible Hercules#127 (May, 2009) - Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak (writers), Dietrich Smith (pencils), Cory Hamscher (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#128 (June, 2009) - Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak (writers), Dietrich Smith (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#129 (July, 2009) - Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak (writers), Ryan Stegman (pencils), Terry Pallot (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#138 (January, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rodney Buchemi (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#139 (February, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rodney Buchemi & Reilly Brown (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#141 (April, 2010) - Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers), Rodney Buchemi (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 10/26/02

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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