PAN

Real Name: Aegipan

Identity/Class: Olympian god

Occupation: God of shepherds, flocks and forests; former museum security guard and innkeeper

Group Membership: Gods of Olympus

Affiliations: Gods of Olympus

Enemies: Titans, Typhon

Known Relatives: Hermes (father); Dryope (mother, SEE COMMENTS); Abderus, Autolycus, Hermaphroditus, Silenius (half-brothers); Marsyas and the other Satyrs (nephews); Zeus (grandfather); Maia (grandmother); Chiron, Neptune, Pluto (great-uncles); Apollo, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Hercules (uncles); Artemis, Eileithyia, Eris, Hebe, Persephone, Venus (aunts); Calypso, Demeter, Hera, Vesta (great-aunts); Cupid Aeneas, Orpheus, Harmonia (cousins)

Aliases: The Goat-God, Faunus, Sylvanus

Base of Operations: Olympus; sometimes mobile on Earth, Peloponnesian Arcadia (former)

First Appearance: Tales to Astonish I#6/3 (November, 1959)

Powers/Abilities: Pan possesses the conventional attributes of the Olympian gods such as superhuman strength (possibly Class 15?), longevity, stamina and resistance to injury. He also has some mystical powers such as the ability to commit feats of material transformation and possibly to teleport between Earth and Olympus. He is adept at playing the syrinx (also called panpipes) and he has a very wily mind and a raucous sense of humor.

Physical Features: Pan had the hind-quarters of a goat, pointed ears, and two small horns on his head.

History: (Greek-Roman Myth) - Pan is the son of Hermes, the god of messengers and thieves. His mother is generally unrevealed because his appearance so frightened her that she ran away. Pan lived in the lesser mountains around Olympus, although he was a patron god of Arcadia. He spent much of his time using his powers to protect the animals of the forest and pursuing lesser faerie-like divinities (called nymphs) for sexual favors. He even once fell in love with the goddess Syrinx. She fled to the protection of her father, the river-god Ladon, to protect her and he transformed her into marsh reeds to conceal her. Unable to tell which one was she, Pan reportedly took some of the reeds to make his panpipes or else named the one he already owned after her.

Pan was a staunch defender alongside the Olympian Gods and as Zeus conquered Olympus, Pan discovered that his shout could invoke terror against the Titans in their battle against the Olympians. His scream was such a source of terror that it became the source of the word “panic.”

Pan also pursued the moon-goddess Selene and wooed her attention by showing and promising her a beautiful white fleece. A favorite companion of Gaea (Mother Earth), Pan discovered the hiding place of Demeter when she hid following the abduction of her daughter Persephone. He reported her location to Zeus ,and he sent the Fates to convince her to return to Olympus.

Several generations later, Gaea (upset over the treatment of the Titans) gave birth to the Giants and Pan again used his scream against them. Typhon, who preceded the Giants, however, appeared unfazed against his screams and wounded Zeus by removing the sinews from his hands and feet. Pan and Hermes banded together to rescue Zeus and help him defeat Typhon.

(Greek-Roman Myth, Tales to Astonish I#6/3 (fb)) - Around 490 BC, Pan encountered a runner named Philippides near Mount Parthenius and requested from him why the Athenians did not honor him since he had befriended them in the past and wished to continue their friendship. Philippides reported this message to the Athenians as Pan came to their defense in the Battle of Marathon against the invading Persians shortly thereafter. Using his shout to invoke terror in their enemies, he used his magic to transform their weapons into harmless objects such as plants and fruit and saved the city from invasion. Honoring Pan, the Athenians consecrated a cave on the north side of the Acropolis to worship him.

(Tales to Astonish I#6/3 (fb)) - Pan remained fascinated by mortals and over the years assumed mortal disguises in order to remind mortal man of the grandeur of the Olympian Gods, particularly himself.

(Tales to Astonish I#6/3) - Posing as a security guard, Pan overheard a man named Norman criticizing a portrait of Pan to his girlfriend, Diane. Without identifying himself, he walked over and tried to impress Norman with his history and feats, but Norman remained unimpressed. Unable to dissuade Norman’s attitude, he caused Norman's hair to fall out to the point that it would only resemble a crew cut.

(Tales to Astonish I#36/4) - A man visited a town amidst the Swiss Alps, which claimed to be the home of Pan. Taking up lodging at a local Inn, the man hoped to debunk the rumors of Pan's existence. When everyone in town claimed to have seen Pan at some point, the man forced a bartender to tell him how to locate Pan. Though he had no luck searching the woods, he followed a trail of hoofprints back to his hotel. The man fled from the town after learning that the Innkeeper was Pan (or at least that he had cloven hooves instead of feet).

(Journey Into Mystery Annual#1) - During Thor's first visit to Olympus, he noticed Pan blowing his pipes as he entertained his fellow gods.

(Bizarre Adventures#29/1 - BTS) - Karras, a satyr posing as a lawn service specialist, killed and sacrificed homeowner Harold Parkette to Pan. (see comments)

Comments: Adapted by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Christopher Rule.

    Pan’s parentage is a matter of debate. Traditionally, he is the son of Hermes, but he has also been called the son of Zeus and Hybris, Zeus and Aex, Zeus and Boetis, Apollo and Dryope or the son of Helios. His mother has been variously identified as Iris the rainbow goddess, Penelope the wife of Odysseus or Penelope, daughter of King Dryops. Chronologically, since his existence predates both the mortal candidates for his mother, Iris is the most likely candidate.

    The Bizarre Adventures story is most likely not Earth-616 canon, but has little excepting it from the fact. The story, "The Lawnmower Man," was written by Stephen King, based on his short story of the same name. While most of these sorts of tales are considered outside of continuity, there have been enough included in such so that this one could be seen to be on the gray edge of such for now.
    I see no reason to leave them out. It's just the narrow-minded who keep screaming "canon, canon, canon!" If there is nothing to exclude it, then leave it. The perfect out is to put it in real time (the time of publication) rather than in the sliding timescale, which allows the modern era to bypass it.
--Snood.

Thanks to Monsterblog, who permitted the use of scans from their site.

Tony Randall played Pan (along with a host of other creatures) in the classic movie, "The Seven Faces of Doctor Lao" (1964).

Thanks to Snood for covering TTA I#36!

by Will U

CLARIFICATIONS:
Pan is not to be confused with:


Images taken from:
Tales to Astonish I#6, page 1, panel 4
Tales to Astonish I#6, page 3, panel 3
Tales to Astonish I#6, page 3, panel 5


Tales to Astonish I#6 (November, 1959) - Jack Kirby (pencils), Christopher Rule (inks), Stan Lee (editor)
Tales to Astonish I#36 (October 1962) - Steve Ditko (artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Journey into Mystery Annual#1 (1965) - Stan Lee (writer/editor), Jack Kirby (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks)
Bizarre Adventures#29 (December 1981) - Stephen King (writer), Walt Simonson (artist), Denny O'Neil (editor)

Last updated: 03/12/05

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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