ANTAEUS

Real Name: Antaios

Identity/ClassOlympian demigod

Occupation: Monarch of Libya (c. 1250 BC)

Group Membership: Olympian Gods

AffiliationsNeptune, Triton

Enemies: Hercules, people of ancient Libya, Tommy Tyme

Known Relatives: Neptune (father), Gaea (mother), Amphitrite (step-mother), Charybdis (sister),
Triton (half-brother), Rhode, Benthescyme (half-sisters), Tingis (wife)

Aliases: "Over stuffed hunk of lard" (name given by Tommy Tyme)

Base of Operations: Tritonis, Libya

First Appearance: Young Allies#16/2 (Summer, 1945)

Powers/Abilities: Antaeus possesses superhuman strength, stamina, endurance and resistance to harm at least on par with Hercules who has Class 100 level strength. His power seemed mystically connected to Gaea inasmuch as he could regain much of his strength and endurance upon contact with the earth. Antaeus was an accomplished warrior skilled in classical Greek wrestling and unarmed combat. Although unconfirmed, Antaeus may have the ability to alter his size and shape to appear as an above average muscular man or up to an unspecified gigantic height.

  He was a skilled warrior adept in classical Greek wrestling and used his great size and strength to quickly crush his opposition.

 

History:

(Greek Myth/Avengers I#265 (fb)) - Antaeus was the son of Neptune, the Olympian god of the sea, and Gaea, the primeval earth-mother. Endowed with incredible strength, Antaeus was connected to the throne of Libya ruled by his brother, Triton, another son of Poseidon. Antaeus derived his prodigious strength from contact with Gaea, the earth. When strangers came to his kingdom in Western Libya, it was his custom to require them to wrestle with him. Since, on the infrequent occasions when he was thrown, his strength was immediately renewed by the Earth, he invariably won these contests. He would celebrate his victory by piously using his victim's skull as roofing material for his father's temple. Antaeus finally met his match in Hercules, who was shrewd as well as strong. Traveling through Libya on his Eleventh Labor to the Garden of the Hesperides, Hercules discovered that Antaeus only grew stronger each time that he was thrown, and lifted him off the ground in a big hug and squeezed until the giant's body was broken and he died.

(Young Allies#16/2) - Antaeus was revealed to have enslaved the people of Libya who desperately sought a champion who could best the giant in wrestling and free them from bondage.

(Young Allies#16/2(BTS) - Antaeus faced a pair of brothers in combat and proved his superiority in wrestling by quickly killing them. As customary for his victories, Antaeus demanded a score of females from the loser's community as tribute for sacrifice.

(Young Allies#16/2) - Antaeus was met by the time travelling Tommy Tyme who tried to rescue the women that he acquired from his last victory that were meant for sacrifice. Tommy Tyme used a slingshot and struck Antaeus in the eye which forced him to drop his captives. Antaeus grew enraged and picked Tommy Tyme up off the ground and just as he was about to crush the boy, Hercules arrived to challenge him. Antaeus put the helpless Tommy Tyme down and began to fight Hercules who bested the giant repeatedly by throwing him to the ground. Antaeus who was in contact with the earth quickly regained his strength as Hercules began to tire from the endless battle. Tommy Tyme noticed the giant's trick and yelled at Hercules to lift Antaeus up over his head and not to let him touch the ground. Hercules hearing the boy's advice realized this fact and grabbed Antaeus in his mighty arms and lifted him off the ground. Tommy Tyme watched from atop a small hill as Hercules lifted Antaeus aloft in a great bear hug and crushed the life from giant's body.

(Young Allies#16/2) - Tommy Tyme returned to his future time period and later back in school, asked his teacher how Antaeus got his incredible strength and she explained that the giant was the son of Gaea and was invincible as long as he remained in contact with the ground.

Comments: Adapted by Charles Nicholas and Allen Bellman.

Mythological info from the Dictionary to Classical Mythology by Edward Tripp

Despite having the same parents, there are no myths linking Antaeus to his biological sister, Charybdis.

Antaeus is sometimes referred to as King of Libya, suggesting he took over the throne after Triton, but since Triton still claimed rule by time the Argonauts arrived after Hercules, it can postulated that Triton either shared his rule or had granted Antaeus dominion over his own small part of the kingdom. These details aren't answered in closer examination of the story.

It has been speculated that the Crusher encountered by Thor in Thor I#130 could also be Antaeus, but this has yet to be ascertained. For that matter, Neptunia from Venus#3 could be Rhode, but there's no indication for that assumption either.

Triton, god of the sea and son of Neptune, should not be confused with Triton, one of the Inhumans. Triton has a bio at the Guide to the Mythological database.

Antaeus appeared in Dantes poem "The Divine Comedy" as a giant that dwelled above an icy lake called Cocytus on the ninth circle of Hell. His function was to lower souls down into the pit where Satan could be found.

According to myth, after Antaeus was killed, Hercules consorted with his wife Tingis and married her and she soon bore a child named Suphax that eventually assumed Antaeus position as ruler of Libya and defender of the Berber nations on North Africa.

Thanks to Gammatotem for reminding us that Antaeus was originally named Antaios in Greek myth.

Profile by AvatarWarlord72 and Will U.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Antaeus is not to be confused with:


images: (without ads)
Young Allies#16/2, p4, pan1 (Antaeus main image)
Avengers I#265, p12, pan4 (Antaeus wrestles Hercules)

p12, pan 3 (roofing Poseidon's temple with skulls)
Young Allies#16/2, p4, pan3 (picks up Tommy Tyme)


Appearances:
Young Allies#16/2 (Summer, 1945) - Charles Nicholas (writer), Allen Bellman (art)
Avengers I#265 (March, 1986) - Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (pencils), Tom Palmer (inker), Mark Gruenwald (editor)


Last updated: 01/29/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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