STYMPHALIAN BIRDS

Real NamesInapplicable

Identity/Class: Mystically-Altered Birds (Post Hyborian)

Occupation: Predators

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Ares

Enemies: Hercules, The Argonauts

Known Relatives: Inapplicable 

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Lake Stymphalus in Northeastern Arcadia in the 13th Century BC (Now part of modern Greece)

First Appearance: Hercules III#1 (June, 2005)

Powers/Abilities: The Stymphalian Birds were a species of unknown bird (possibly eagles or vultures) fed on nectar and  ambrosia, the foodstuffs which allow the Olympian gods to maintain their youth, vigor, longevity and superhuman power. Granted impervious natures above normal birds of their type, they were particularly lethal man-eaters capable of carrying away human beings, specifically victims of war strewn behind on a battlefield. Their feathers were described as hard as metal and when flung with deadly force, they struck their targets like knives or daggers. They were particularly annoyed by loud noises however.

History: (Greek/Roman Myth, Hercules III#1 (fb)/Incredible Hulk III#112) - The Stymphalian Birds were born as normal birds at one time before they were found by Ares, the Olympian god of war, and raised on the food of the gods. When they were not following him into war, they lurked in the high trees in the swamps of Lake Symphalus in Arcadia where their voracious appetite was fueled by unwary travelers.  On his sixth labor,  Hercules espoused them from the area with noises from brass castanets created by Hephaestus for Athena. Athena lent them to Hercules for the occasion and with the birds in retreat, Hercules shot them out of the sky, placing their feathers upon his own arrows to help strike them down. A few of the surviving birds fled for an unidentified island in the Black Sea sacred to Ares, but they were discovered there by the Argonauts where the remaining number of them were killed off. Ares never forgave Hercules for the destruction of the Stymphalian Birds, and began a grudge with him that endured for centuries.

Comments: Adapted by Frank Tieri, Mark Texeira and James Palmiotti.

    In the recent movie, Hercules (2005), starring Paul Telfer as Hercules, the Stymphalian Birds were erroneously confused with the Harpies.

    The picture of the Stymphalian Birds in Hercules III#1 looks as if they are part human, but this is contradictory to the myth. They could actually be in the midst of carrying away human victims.

Profile by: WillU

CLARIFICATIONS:  The Stymphalian Birds are not to be confused with:  

 


Images:

Hercules III#1 , pg 28, left page


Issues:

Hercules III#1 (June 2005)
Incredible Hulk III#112 (January, 2008) - Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente (writers), Khi Pham, Stephane Peru (artists), Mark Paniccia (editor)


Last updated: 12/19/07

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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