Real Name: Morpheus
Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Olympus) Olympian god (Post-Hyborian era to modern era)
Occupation: God of dreams
Group Membership: Gods of Olympus,
(steed), monster (pawn)
Enemies: King Agamemnon (loose), Imp, Sir Reginald
Lamp O'Lime, Jefferson
Known Relatives: Hypnos (father), the Oneiroi (Phantasos, Phobetor) (brothers), Nyx (grandmother), Erebus (alleged grandfather), Aether, Charon, Dolos, Eosphoros, Epahos, Epiales, Epiphron, Eros, Geres, Horcos, Lysimeles, Mache, Momus, Phaethon, Phainon, Phoros, Ponos, Porphyrion, Pyroeis, Somnia, Stilbon, Thanatis/Thanatos (uncles), Ataros (alleged uncle), Algea, Amphillogea, Androctasia, Apate, Ate, Atropos, Clotho, Dysnomia, Eleos, Eos-Hemera, Eris, Euphrosyne, Hemera, Hesperides, Hybris, Keres, Lakhesis, Lethe, Limos, Neicea, Nemesis, Oizys, Philots, Pseudea, Sophrosyne, Styx, Thalassa, Usmine (aunts), Alecto, Hecate, Megaera, Tisiphone (alleged aunts), Ophion (alleged great-grandfather), Eurynome (alleged great-grandmother), Ouranous (alleged great-great-grandfather, deceased), Gaea (alleged great-great-grandmother), Pak-Man (alleged cousin)
Aliases: Dream, Sandman
Base of Operations: The extradimensional
Olympian realm of Erebos; sometimes Earth
First Appearance: Captain America Comics
I#15/2 (June, 1942) (in Marvel comics)
Powers/Abilities: Morpheus possesses the
conventional powers of the Olympian gods including vitality and
functional longevity, as well as superhuman strength, although apparent
reduced resistance to injury compared to other Olympians. He can
influence the dreams of humans, at times manipulating them into
nightmares for his amusement or to send influential messages for fellow
Olympian gods. Morpheus uses "Nightmare Dust" to
transform and create
living matter (particularly human-like forms) at will in order to toy
with human dreamers; he can cast this dust with sharp accuracy.
Morpheus can alter his density to sit on clouds but he
also rides a small donkey steed to quickly traverse clouds. Morpheus
can transform his human appearance.
Weight: 300 lbs. (variable to intangible)
(Greek myth) - Hypnos, the Olympian god of
sleep, had three sons: Morpheus (also called Dream to his fellow gods),
the god of dreams who can send human
shapes of all kinds to the dreamer, while his brothers Phantasos could
send inanimate objects and Phobetor (or Icelus to his fellow Olympians)
could send the forms of animals.
(Greek myth/The Iliad/[Marvel Illustrated: The
Iliad#1]) - Circa 1180 BC, Zeus sent the hooded Dream with the
duplicitous message to the sleeping arrogant King Agamemnon to attack
the near impregnable city of Troy.
(BTS) - Across the centuries
(possibly due to
seclusion), Morpheus took on a more whimsical form and mischievous
(Captain America Comics I#15/2) - From high up on a cloud, Morpheus chanced upon the sleeping Jefferson Vandermeer, coincidentally protected by the also slumbering but powerful Imp resting hidden in his ear. On a mischievous whim, Morpheus cast Nightmare Dust upon Jefferson, which manifested nightmarish changes and brought the furniture in the room to life. Roused by Jefferson's restlessness, the Imp and the animated lamp Sir Reginald Lamp O'Lime subdued the furniture, but Morpheus' hairy monster soon loomed. Concerned the monster was not scary enough, Morpheus cast more Nightmare Dust to make it bigger and more enraged. But the Imp, Jefferson and Lamp O'Lime evaded the monster, so Morpheus threw more dust and three thuggish gnomes suddenly materialized to torment them. Enjoying the fracas so much, Morpheus stretched the nightmare further, and the hapless Imp and Jefferson fell into a sea of sharks. Morpheus laughed so much at their plight that he accidentally fell from his cloud, ending the nightmare and its creatures. Bruised, Morpheus conceded he had learned a lesson not to pick on the Imp.
(Sub-Mariner Comics I#5/4) - During WWII, the
nefarious Japanese spy Hutsu used sleep perfume to extract US war
secrets and prayed, along with his drugged followers, before a large
classical statue of Morpheus.
Comments: Adapted by Stan Lee & Chad Grothkopf.
Morpheus is initially called the "god of sleep" in
the Captain America Comics story, but as Marvel continues to flesh out
its gods and pantheons, we can identify Morpheus as the god of dreams,
while the Olympian god of sleep is his father Hypnos.
While the Trojan War is Marvel canon (as seen in Thor Annual I#8), visual content from Marvel Illustrated: The Iliad may be considered topical.
In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Morpheus is one of the thousand sons ("Somnia") of Somnus and appears in dreams in winged human form. Ovid also mentions two of his brothers (named Icelos ('Like') to fellow gods or named Phobetor ('Frightener') to humans, and Phantasos ('Fantasy')). Apparently the three brothers' names are found nowhere earlier than Ovid and may be the author's invention, hence the names may be literary and not mythical creations, as suggested by A.H.F. Griffin. So did Ovid reflect Hellenistic beliefs or create new concepts?
Thanks to Snood for noting the Kushite god of sleep
is called Morfi (in Conan the Barbarian I#61), remarkably close to the
name Morpheus and very likely the same.
Could Phobetor (Frightener) be the Fear Lord Nightmare?
In one panel in Captain America Comics I#15/2, Morpheus has blue eyes, in another he has green; perhaps this reflects his later, more chaotic nature.
The "Mists of Morpheus" is an invocation used by sorcerers such as Dr. Strange and Scarlet Witch. its connection to the god is unrevealed, but it seems connected to restful sleep.
A similar-looking character, also named Morpheus the
god of sleep but called Morphy by all, appears in Comedy Comics I#12/10
(December, 1942) amongst otherwise anthropomorphic gods (except Venus)
in a castle in clouded heavens surrounded by planets. Where this sits
in continuity is anyone's guess. It includes a suited anthropomorphic
fox Mercury, a Neanderthal-esque brute bulldog Mars and a top-hatted
& formal suited wolfish Jupiter; only Venus looks familiar in her
human form with a white dress while visiting a soda shop... in the
heavens. Maybe this is its own dimension (similar to Marvel Apes) and
continued more recently with Chrissie Zullo's run of anthropomorphic
hero variant covers (2022-2023).
Many thanks to Loki for identifying the Sub-Mariner Comics and Comedy Comics appearances!
Profile by Grendel Prime.
Morpheus the god has no known connections to:
brutish unnamed monster manifested as part of Jefferson Vandermeer's
nightmare from Morpheus' Nightmare Dust. Already large and nasty,
Morpheus cast more Nightmare Dust to make it appear more fearsome. It
targeted Jefferson and Sir Reginald Lamp O'Lime, but the duo ran in
opposite directions to confuse it. The monster summoned aid from the
trees and other plants to capture them. But the tiny Imp jumped in and
helped the duo escape by distracting the monster and they ran away. The
monster disappeared when Jefferson's nightmare abruptly ended.
--Captain America Comics I#15/2
Nightmare was the faithful small white donkey that rapidly carried Morpheus across clouds. As the donkey disappeared when not needed, it may have been just a creation of Morpheus' when he needed to travel quickly.
Morpheus may have named his donkey steed to mock the
--Captain America Comics I#15/2
Nightmare Dust is composed of tiny particles that
Morpheus uses to accurately cast at a sleeper to cause mischief by
transforming objects and even creating human-like beings. However, when
magnified, the dust particles are chaotic in appearance, resembling
disassociated but familiar objects, such as a metal nut and miniature
--Captain America Comics I#15/2
Captain America Comics I#15/2, p1 (main image)
p2, pan6 (headshot)
p8, pan2 (casting dust)
p6, pan6 (monster, full view)
p5, pan1 (monster, headshot)
p2, pan4 (Nightmare)
p2, pan5 (Nightmare Dust)
Captain America Comics I#15/2 (June, 1942) - Stan Lee (writer, editor), Chad Grothkopf (pencils, inks)
Sub-Mariner Comics I#5/4 (spring, 1942) - uncredited writer, Al Gabriele (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)
First posted: 04/28/2023
Last updated: 04/28/2023
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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