LION OF CITHAERON
Real Name: None
Identity/Class: Terrestrial feline (Post-Hyborian era)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Hercules (Heracles), King
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Ravine lion, Thespian lion
Base of Operations: The foothills of Mt. Cithaeron, Greece
First Appearance: (corpse seen in Marvel Comics): Incredible Hercules I#126 (April, 2009)
Powers/Abilities: The lion of Cithaeron did
not appear to have any superfeline abilities and was much like a
typical Earth lion with sharp claws and teeth.
Height: Unrevealed (see comments)
Weight: Unrevealed (see comments)
(Incredible Hercules I#126 (fb) - BTS) - When the young demigod Hercules was sent to the cattle ranch to become better acquainted with his own superhuman strength after accidentally killing his music teacher, Hercules found that the lion of Cithaeron would menace his flock from its base at the foothills of Mt. Cithaeron.
(Greek/Roman myth) - The lion of Cithaeron killed and
devoured Euippus, son of King Megareus. Promising the hand of his
daughter Evaechme to the man who killed the lion of Cithaeron, Megareus
also promised to make the man who killed the lion his heir. After the
lion subsequently fed on many of Hercules' flock and began to also
menace the lands of King Thespius, Thespius invited Hercules to hunt
the lion, secretly hoping that Hercules would sire grandchildren for
him. Hercules hunted the lion for fifty days while laying with
Thespius' fifty daughters over fifty nights. Hercules eventually found
and cornered the lion near Thespiae.
(Incredible Hercules I#126 (fb) - BTS) - Hercules used his strength to slay the lion then took to wearing the lion's pelt as clothing.
(Greek/Roman myth) - At some point following
Hercules' slaying of the actual lion of Cithaeron, a man named
Alcathous visited Mt. Cithaeron to kill the lion and myths arose that
either the god Apollo
or Alcathous himself killed a different lion there, after which
Alcathous built a temple sanctuary dedicated to Apollo and Artemis, the
Greek deities associated with hunting. The myths also sometimes
credited either Alcathous or Apollo for killing the actual lion of
Cithaeron despite Hercules' earlier slaying of the beast.
(Incredible Hercules I#126 (fb)) - In 1291 B.C.,
Hercules, still wearing the lion's pelt, sat outside of the city of
Thebes as a group of Minyans arrived, planning to sack the city.
Unaware of who the young Hercules was, the Minyans discussed all of
what they had heard about Hercules of Thebes and Hercules slyly smiled
and mentioned how he had heard Hercules had slayed the lion of
Cithaeron at the cattle ranch he had been sent to to acquaint himself
with his own strength. As he told the story, the Minyans all looked at
Hercules and realized the young boy telling them the story was wearing
the lion's pelt, proving that the boy was Hercules. When the Minyans
attacked, the lion-clothed Hercules defeated them all, angering the
Minyan leaders, who soon sent their armies to Thebes. Still garbed in
the lion of Cithaeron's pelt, Hercules defended his actions to the
Thebe's King Creon but Creon needed time to think up a plan against the
Minyans and requested Hercules be placed into custody until a plan
could be formulated. After Hercules' fate was sealed by the King,
Hercules' mother and adoptive father refused to allow Hercules to die
dressed in the lion's pelt like a wild man and they presented him with
raiments decorated with the visage of the lion of Cithaeron to honor
Hercules' earlier defeat of the lion.
Comments: Adapted into Marvel Comics by Fred
Van Lente, Greg Pak, Rodney Buchemi and Greg Adams.
The lion of Cithaeron would have
been active at some point just prior to 1291 B.C., as we see a young
Hercules wearing the lion's pelt as clothing in 1291 B.C. and Hercules
mentions slaying the lion at some point in his even younger days. Myths
suggest that Hercules was eighteen when he slayed the beast and he did
not appear much older than that when he was seen wearing the lion's
pelt so I'd place the lion's activity as around 1291-1292 B.C.
The lion of Cithaeron's height and
weight were impossible to determine, as it was only ever seen in Marvel
Comics as a corpse/pelt.
Profile by Proto-Man.
The lion of Cithaeron should be distinguished from:
Incredible Hercules I#126 (April, 2009) - "Prince of Power" story - Fred Van Lente (story, script), Greg Pak (story), Rodney Buchemi (pencils), Greg Adams (inks), Mark Paniccia (editor)
First posted: 07/14/2023
Last updated: 07/14/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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