LION OF CITHAERON

Real Name: None

Identity/Class: Terrestrial feline (Post-Hyborian era)

Occupation: Menace

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Hercules (Heracles), King Thespius

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)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

History:
(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.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The lion of Cithaeron
should be distinguished from:


images: (without ads)
Incredible Hercules I#126, p7, pan4 (Hercules wearing the lion of Cithaeron's pelt, main image)
Incredible Hercules I#126, p4, pan4 (lion of Cithaeron, headshot of corpse)


Appearances:
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 posted07/14/2023
Last updated: 07/14/2023

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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