SIRENS

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Classification: Humanoid extraterrestrial race

Location/Base of Operations: Formerly the Sirenum scopuli islands;
    the sirens banished by Cronus are imprisoned within a cave in the American southwest (presumably relatively close to Albequerque, New Mexico)

Known Members: Leucosia, Ligea, Parthenope, Venus (original name unrevealed)

  • Pisinoe meaning ‘Persuasive Mind’
  • Thelxepeia meaning ‘Soothing Words’
  • Aglaope meaning 'Beautiful Face'

According to Greek Mythology one siren played the lyre, one siren played the flute and the third siren sang. The other names mentioned in legends are as follows:

  • Aglaophonos meaning 'Beautiful Voice'
  • Parthenope meaning ‘Maiden-Face’
  • Leucoisa meaning 'White One'
  • Ligeia meaning 'Clear Toned'
  • Molpe meaning 'Music'
  • Teles meaning 'Perfect'
  • Raidne meaning 'Improvement'
  • Thelxiope meaning 'Persuasive Face'

Affiliations: Ancient One (Yao), Ceto (mother/creator; see comments), Hera, Phorcys (father/creator; see comments), unwittingly Al and Fred, multiple unidentified bikers and soldiers they briefly controlled
    a trio of Sirens were either summoned and controlled, or created, by the Huntsman (Cephalus);
    possibly formerly Persephone

Enemies: Aphrodite, the crew of a pre-Atlas Foundation ship, Cronus (aka Kronos and Saturn), Ghost Rider (John Blaze/Zarathos), Matt Ronson; presumably the Argonauts (including Boutes and Orpheus (possibly Khoryphos)), the Muses, Odysseus and his crew, Sersi, numerous sailors, numerous soldier, multiple unidentified bikers; possibly Demeter

Aliases: Sirens of Kronos (on cover of Ghost Rider II#52); "Lorelei-types," (from John Blaze); "way-out chicks" (US soldier)

First Appearance: Uncanny Tales I#42/1 (April, 1956)
    (Possibly creations of the Huntsman in the form of Sirens) Sub-Mariner I#29 (September, 1970);
    (Sirens of Kronos) Ghost Rider II#52 (January, 1981);
    (Venus/Siren) Agents of Atlas I#1 (2006)
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Powers/Abilities: The Sirens can sing in hypnotic fashion, their voices projecting across great distances, vocally mesmerizing those who hear their song and compelling the listeners to follow their commands, even to the point of causing their own deaths. Under the service of  Phorcys, they commonly mesmerized sailors, typically causing the sailors to either crash their ship into the rocks or leap overboard to be smashed on the rocks. By seemingly choosing these actions, the human victims were considered fair game for Phorcys to consume. 

     By some accounts, the Sirens were fated to die if anyone should survive their singing.sirens-olympian-subm29-singing

    Victims could understand their speech even though they didn't speak English.

    At least the trio of Sirens who encountered Ghost Rider could transform into giant birds with human heads and fly into the air. Their talons could presumably be used as weapons.

    Some sirens appeared in mermaid form (human woman upper body, piscene lower body; see comments).

    Venus the Siren was unique by having received a beautiful soul, so her abilities may not be typical of the other Sirens. However, it seems likely that beyond changing her motivations, her abilities otherwise remained the same.

    Venus shares Aphrodite’s ageless, perfect beauty and potentially limitless lifespan, but lacks her counterpart’s superhuman strength and durability, so she can be injured or killed more easily. The siren’s ability to survive crushing undersea pressures is mystical in nature, not a physical trait. A
superhumanly swift swimmer, she can see, hear, breathe and speak underwater. She heals rapidly and has a heightened degree of heat resistance. She can slightly alter her appearance at will, changing her hair color or eye color.

    Her hypnotic voice affects those around her (especially men) whenever she speaks, often making them pleasantly dazed and suggestible. By consciously trying to vocally mesmerizeothers, especially if she sings, she can compel people to do or thinkalmost anything, though certain strong-willed or mentally anomalousindividuals can resist. While singing, she often projects a huge illusion of herself, usually naked and surrounded by shimmering lights and mist, which helps reduce her listeners to a state of euphoric bliss. Her song can show people visions of their innermost desires, or a sad wail can induce crippling despair by showing them visions of their greatest pains and losses. She can emotionally soothe people by humming, and is fluent in numerous languages.




Traits: The Sirens of Phorcys were formerly non-sentient beings who led sailors to their death without remorse. Being granted a soul by the Ancient One has made Venus into a compassionate and heroic woman.

    The Sirens banished by Cronus sought vengeance on him and were perfectly content to murder a large city of humans to accomplish that goal.

    The Sirens who encountered Matt Ronson seemed to want the ship to crash and were interested in plundering the ship, but they didn't use their voices.

Type: Bilaterally symmetric semi-humanoid reptilian bipeds
Eyes
: Two (on head; solid red color seen)
Fingers
: Four (including opposing thumb)
Toes
: Unrevealed
Skin color: Gray
Average height: Approximately 4'10"?

History:

(Assault of New Olympus Prologue#1 (fb) - BTS / Incredible Hercules#138/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Elderspawn Phorcys (spawn of Set) was forbidden by his aunt the Elder Goddess Gaea from attacking mortals until/unless they attacked him or willingly submitted themselves to him.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#12: Venus (Siren)) - Phorcys bypassed this ban by mystically creating his sirens, magical females whose hypnotic singing voices would lure sailors into fatal accidents, providing meals for Phorcys.

(Marvel Tarot) - The Sirens were spawned by Phorcys and Ceto.

(X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas#2/2 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#12: Venus (Siren))) - To maximize their charms, Phorcys had crafted these sirens in the image of the goddess Venus (aka Aphrodite). The Sirens became his loyal thralls and influenced humans to become Phorcys' food.

(Mythological history (Homer's The Odyssey, Book XII) / Marvel Classics Illustrated#18 / The Odyssey#5 (see comments)) - Advised by Circe (the Eternal Sersi) of the danger of the Sirens but wishing to hear their song, Odysseus (Ulysses in Latin) had his men bind him to the ship's mast and refuse to unbind him no matter how he begged or threatened, while they packed their own ear with wax so they could not hear anything. As they sailed past, Odysseus was enchanted by the music and demanded to be freed, but both deaf and forewarned, the others left him tied down until they were out of range of the song.

(Mythological history) - With a mortal having survived/withstood their song, the Sirens threw themselves into the ocean and apparently drowned.

(Mythological history (Apollonius' Argonautica, Book IV) - As the Argonauts sailed past the Sirens, Orpheus (possibly the Eternal Khoryphos) played his lyre and/or sang so divinely (and/or loudly) that he drowned out the Sirens' song; only Boutes of Athens heard the Siren song and was compelled to jump into the water, but his life was saved by Cypris (possibly Aphrodite).

(Mythological history) - Hera visited the Sirens to hear their songs. Suitably impressed, she invited them to enter a singing contest with the nine Muses (Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, Urania). The contest produced some of the most haunting music that the Greeks had ever heard, with the Sirens pouring all of their arresting heartache into their music. Still, the Muses -- goddesses of music  -- won the competition. To celebrate, they plucked out the Sirens’ feathers and made crowns for themselves. The Sirens returned to their island in humiliation.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - For their "evil trangressions," the Sirens Leucosia, Ligea, and Parthenope were imprisoned by "Kronos" (aka Cronus and Saturn, the latter of which he was known by to the Romans) within stone sarcophagi and banished to a remote and savage land (outside what would become Shelbyville in the American Southwest) within a sealed cave within a cliff.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#12: Venus (Siren)) - Most of these sirens were gradually slain, but at least one survived into modern times.

(Assault on New Olympus#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - The Sirens were slain, robbing Phorcys of his means to gain the sustenance he craved.

(Agents of Atlas I#5 (fb)) - Around the end of the 19th century, the secret society later known as the Atlas Foundation sent two ships  from the orient sailed to Morocco to recover an enchanted artifact (acutally their dragon, Mr. Lao). While rounding a reef, a Siren (aka Naiad) sang to them, entrancing the sailors, and the first ship crashed on the rocks and was destroyed. The second ship contained the sorcerer known as the Ancient One (Yao) who made the Siren into a whole being, granting her a soul as beautiful as her physical form. Newly sentient and horrified by her many murders over the centuries in service of Phorcys, the siren wandered the land for days in despair. She was eventually believed to be the goddess Venus (Aphrodite), and -- burying her history as a sea monster -- she came to believe she was the goddess Venus returned.

(Assault on New Olympus#1/2 (fb) - BTS) - Phorcys was unaware that any of the Sirens had survived.

sirens-olympian-uncannytales-42-1-2-face (Uncanny Tales#42 - BTS) - In 1956, after 6 months alone in an island lighthouse, an exhausted Matt Ronson fell asleep at his watch. Apparently observing him from afar, a group of apparent Sirens noted that he was asleep.

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(Uncanny Tales#42) - One of the Sirens knocked at the door, awakening Ronson, who was shocked to see a woman on the island. He invited the drenched woman into the lighthouse, but when he asked who she was, how she got there, etc., she replied only that she had come to wait there with him.

    As storm clouds gathered in the evening sky, Ronson -- distracted by his beautiful guest -- failed to light the lightouse's warning beacon. He noted that she was a strange woman and that he had never seen anyone like her before, but that just hearing her voice made him feel alive again.

    Suspecting rocks from previous maps, an approaching ship sounded its foghorn, alerting Ronson, but as he prepared to turn on the lighthouse light, a female instead asked him to stay down with her, telling him that after the ship crashed on the rocks he and her sisters could plunder the ship for wealth. Ronson suspected that the women were the Sirens of legend, and as they approached him, his struggles to get away caused him to knock over a gas lamp that set fire to the lighthouse. Warned by the fire's light, the ship reversed engines and was saved.

    When the ship docked the next day, the crew disbelieved Ronson's story of the Sirens, until he showed them a number of bare foot prints.

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sirens-olympian-subm29-summoned-full(Sub-Mariner I#29) - Sent by Zeus to force Hercules to return to Earth, but knowing that Hercules could sense his power/presence and flee, the Huntsman instead plotted to enlist Namor the Sub-Mariner to overtake his quarry. As Namor approached, the Huntsman used his staff to summon (or perhaps instead create facsimilies of) a trio of Sirens. The green-skinned women then played their lyres and sang, swiftly entrancing Namor and forcing him to approach. With Namor now under his command, the Huntsman sent the Sirens back to Olympus (or dispersed his creations).


(Sub-Mariner I#29 - BTS) - Namor eventually regained his wits in battle with Hercules, and he subsequently knocked the Huntsman's staff of power out of his hands, rendering him powerless and easily subdued by Hercules.


(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - In recent years, dynamite was used to blow up a boulder that had rolled down onto the road in front of the cliff containing the Sirens, which was to be part of the Shelbyville 100-Mile Enduro-Classic motorcycle race. Feeling that the entire cliff had been shaken by the explosion, Fred suggested to Al that perhaps he had used too much dynamite, but Al told Fred he just wanted to be sure.

    The explosion knocked askew the lid of Leucosia's sarcophagus.


sirens-olympian-gr52-three-full-rearview(Ghost Rider II#52) - Leucosia was elated to be free of her sarcophagus, and she first chose to step once more into sunlight and express her joy in song. As she sang, a pair of men were entranced by the song, causing them to wreck their truck; relatively unharmed they headed up the mountain to follow the sound.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Having been told by Fred and Al that they could start the race after hearing the dynamite blasts, Tim and Jerry started the race; arriving late, Johnny Blaze took off to try to catch up.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - Unable to lift the massive stone slabs over the sarcophagi holding Ligea and Parthenope, Leucosia heard the roar of the onrushing cyclists. Though initially marveling at the gladiators approaching on chariots that bellowed like rolling thunder, Leucosia resolved that they were men who could help free Ligea and Parthenope. She sang, entrancing the group and causing some of them to crash but all of them to follow the sound of the music.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Catching up, Blaze came around a corner and couldn't stop before hitting the downed cycles after slipping on spilled oil. Although he maneuvered to land his motorcyle upright, he still was knocked out when his head struck the cliff wall.sirens-olympian-gr52-trio-upper

(Ghost Rider II#52) - After the other, ensorceled bikers arrived in the Sirens' cave, Leucosia had them lift the stone slabs off of Ligea, and Parthenope's sarcophagi.

    All three Sirens watched as the recovered Blaze approached them, and -- as they noted that he was more handsome than the others -- Parthenope asked if she could be the one to entrance him. Leucosia and Ligea agreed, althought Leucosia questioned whether she could still find her voice after all these years, but Parthenope assured her that her voice had never failed where handsome men were concerned. As Parthenope sang, Blaze began to fall under her spell but finally resisted by turning into the Ghost Rider.

    As they saw the flaming demon approaching, Leucosia feared that lord Kronos had divined their escape and sent forth a demon from out of their own underworld to destroy them. Sending the entranced bikers against Ghost Rider, the Sirens converted into avian forms and flew off.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Not wishing to harm the entranced bikers, Ghost Rider melted the ground below their cycles, causing them to be stuck, and then drove up a sheer cliff wall to escape them.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - Several miles away, the Sirens spotted a US missile convoy headed for San Jethro for a test firing of the Kronos nuclear missile. Assuming the soldiers to be associated with their Kronos, the Sirens entranced them and -- after learning of the missile ability to wipe out a target radius of up to 250 miles -- then forced them to take them to San Jethro, planning to use the weapon to destroy a city, believing that they were using Kronos' weapon to achieve vengeance against Kronos for their imprisonment of "so many centuries."

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Pursuing the Sirens, Blaze encountered a wrecked command jeep and learned from its occupants the Sirens' activities and plans.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - Arriving at San Jethro, the Sirens entranced the guards and staff there as well, and had the soldiers prepare the missile for launching.

sirens-olympian-gr52-leucosia-sing(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Blaze arrived at San Jethro.sirens-olympian-gr52-avian-distant

(Ghost Rider II#52) -The Sirens had the missile launched, intending to strike Albequerque. As Blaze approached, he turned back into Ghost Rider, and the Sirens, appreciating the danger, turned into bird-hybrids while exhorting their mesmerized soldier to kill the flaming demon. After immobilizing the troops in rings of fire, Ghost Rider rode his motorcyle up the launching tower. Too late, the Sirens realized Ghost Rider could reach him, and they attempted to flee, but he caught them each with hellfire blasts, stunning them, although their wings nonethless allowed them to glide safely to the ground.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - As Ghost Rider created a flame cycle and navitated his own safe return to Earth, those within Fort San Jethro's control tower regained their wits and aborted the missile's flight, causing an explosion that destroyed the missile, apparently without setting off the nuclear weapon.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - Ghost Rider brought the Sirens back to the cavern from which they had escaped and returned them to their sarcophagi.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Ghost Rider then resealed the sarcophagi with mystic flamed and then moved a massive sheet of rock to cover the cavern's entrance.

    Believing the Sirens would never again be free to threaten mankind, Ghost Rider rode off.

(Agents of Atlas I#5) - Namora revealed Venus' origins as a Siren/Naiad, restoring her memory of her past.

(X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas#2/2) - After revealing Venus to have been created by Phorcys, Aphrodite summoned Phorcys.

(Assault of New Olympus Prologue#1 (fb) - BTS) - Aphrodite told Phorcys of Venus' existence, and Phorcys compelled Venus to come to the San Francisco bay.

(Assault of New Olympus Prologue#1) - Phorcys compelled Venus to sing and compel the people to jump off the bridge into the water so he could devour them. The Agents of Atlas arrived to oppose Phorcys.

(Incredible Hercules#138/2) - After Jimmy Woo broke free from Phorcys' control, the creature considered that its time was passed, and it sank beneath the waters on San Francisco.

Comments: Sirens were created by unknown persons (possibly Homer) as part of Graeco-Roman/Olympian mythology.
    first adapted into Atlas/Marvel Comics by Bernie Krigstein.

    This is a race profile and is not intended to fully cover the Venus siren, who will get her own profile...someday!

    When Namora first revealed Venus' origins, she referred to her a "naiad" or "siren." Phorcys also referred to them as sea nymphs.

    The question in my mind is...are these all the same sirens? Are there more than one type of sirens, or is there only one true kind of siren, while the others are posers?

    According to mythology, there are two separate origins for the Sirens. The on involves being creations of Phorcys, while the other has them as daughters of Achelous and one of the Muses (such as Terpsichore, Melpomene, or Calliope)

    The OHotMU Olympians entry, which was written before Phorcys was revealed to be the creator of (at least some of) the Sirens, said this:

The daughters of Achelous and the divine muse of dance Terpsichore, the immortal Sirens lived on the Sirenum Scopuli Islands and were companions of the goddess Persephone. When Persephone was abducted by Pluto, her mother Demeter (aka Ceres) had the Sirens emit a mesmerizing song to call for her. This “siren song” would later lure mortal sailors to their watery deaths. Sub-Mariner #29 (1970)

So, I'll have a conclusion at the bottom, but for now, enjoy some various myth interpretations:

Courtesy of www.greekmythology.com/Myths/Creatures/Sirens/sirens.html

Half-birds, half beautiful maidens, the Sirens were singing enchantresses capable of luring passing sailors to their islands, and, subsequently, to their doom. Daughters of the river god Achelous and a Muse, they were fated to die if anyone should survive their singing. When Odysseus passed them by unharmed, they hurled themselves into the sea and were drowned.

Sirens Family
Traditionally, the Sirens were daughters of the river god Achelous and a Muse; it depends on the source which one, but it was undoubtedly one of these three: Terpsichore, Melpomene, or Calliope. However, according to the great tragedian Euripides, the Sirens’ mother was actually one of the Pleiades, Sterope.

In Homer, only two nameless Sirens are mentioned. Later authors usually talk about three, naming them in any number of ways. It would seem that Theixiope, Aglaope, and Parthenope are the three names one encounters with the highest frequency.

Sirens Dwelling Place
In any case, most agree that they lived on three small rocky islands, called Sirenum scopuli by the Romans. It was said that the Sirens’ dwelling place was a ghastly sight to behold: a great heap of bones lay all around them, with the flesh of the victims still rotting off the dead bodies…

Sirens Portrayal
In the “Odyssey,” Homer says nothing about the Sirens’ outward appearance, but one can infer from the text that he has in mind humanlike creatures, if not beautiful maidens. However, at a later date, this all changed and both poets and artists started depicting the Sirens in a similar fashion to how the Harpies were usually portrayed – that is, as creatures with the body of a bird and a woman’s face.

The Abduction of Persephone
Quite a few stories tried shedding some light on this transformation, but the most famous two are related to the abducting of Persephone, to whom it was said that they had been either servants or companions. According to the first one, Demeter turned the Sirens into bird-like monsters because they had failed to help her daughter. The second one is much more flattering to them: in this case, the aggrieved Sirens asked Demeter for wings themselves, so that they can help her search for Persephone better.

Sirens and Odysseus
After Odysseus had made up his mind to leave Aeaea and head back to Ithaca, the love-stricken Circe had no choice but to let him go. However, on going away, she warned him of the dangers that yet awaited him on his journey.

“First you will come to the Sirens,” she told him, “who enchant all who come near them. If anyone unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again, for they sit in a green field and warble him to death with the sweetness of their song.”

There was only one way for a sailor to pass the Sirens unharmed; and that was by not hearing them sing. So, advised by Circe, Odysseus ordered each member of his crew to stuff his own ears with beeswax. As for himself, he opted for a much riskier solution.

Ever the adventurer, he had himself bound to the mast, instructing his sailors to tie him even tighter if he starts begging them to be unfastened or tries to break loose by himself. Ever the adventurer, Odysseus didn’t want to miss the opportunity to experience the luring song of the Sirens and hear what the fuss is all about.

Sirens and Orpheus
As enchanting as their singing might have been to mortals, the Sirens seems to have been no match to divine musicians. The Argonauts, for example, had no problem whatsoever to evade these terrible creatures, since they had none other than Orpheus on board. The very moment he heard their voices, the divine poet drew his lyre and started strumming a tune so loud and lovely that the bewitching song of the Sirens was instantaneously drowned out.

Truth be told, even a second of the Sirens’ singing was enough to lure one especially sensitive member of the Argonauts’ crew – a certain Boutes of Athens – to jump overboard and start swimming towards them. Fortunately, he was saved by Aphrodite who, subsequently, took him as her lover and bore him a son, Eryx.

Sirens and The Muses
The Sirens were never more humiliated than when Hera persuaded them to challenge the Muses to a singing contest. Unsurprisingly, the Muses won, and, as a punishment, they plucked out the Sirens’ feathers and used them to make crowns for themselves.

Courtesy of Siren - Dangerous Creature in Greek Mythology | Mythology.net

Persephone’s Handmaidens

Before the Sirens became the Sirens, they were mortal girls who served the goddess Persephone. These lovely girls trailed behind Persephone when she visited her favorite meadows to pick flowers. They sang to her in sweet voices and played instruments to please her. When Persephone was abducted by Hades, the loyal handmaidens volunteered to help look for her. Demeter gave them golden wings, so that they could fly over the earth searching for Persephone—but the search was vain, since Persephone had been imprisoned in the underworld. Heartbroken over the loss of her daughter, Demeter lashed out against the innocent handmaidens, who had failed to bring good news back from their search. She cursed them, declaring that they would stay in their bird form until someone passed by their songs without stopping, at which point they would die. Then she banished them to an uninhabited island.

Competition with the Muses

After some time, Hera came to visit the Sirens on their lonely island. She had heard praise for their songs, full of beauty and anguish, and she was not disappointed by the live performance! So the goddess decided to give the girls a challenge. She invited them to enter a singing contest against the nine muses. After consulting together, the Sirens agreed to enter the contest. Of course, they had heard of the Muses’ legendary music, but they also knew that the power of their own songs. The competition produced some of the most haunting music that the Greeks had ever heard, with the Sirens pouring all of their arresting heartache into their music. Still, the Muses—goddesses of music, where the Sirens were mere mortals—won the competition. To celebrate, they plucked out the Sirens’ feathers and made crowns for themselves. The Sirens returned to their island in humiliation.

Voyage of Odysseus

During his ten-year voyage home, Odysseus passed by the island where the Sirens lived. Fortunately, he had been warned of their powers ahead of time, so as his ship drew near the rocky coast, he ordered all of his sailors to pug their ears with beeswax.Odysseus, however, was determined to hear the legendary music of the Sirens—and live to tell the tale. With this goal in mind, he ordered his sailors to tie him to the mast of his ship. He then gave orders that he should not be untied, no matter how he begged or threatened them.

The nervous sailors agreed to tie up their captain. No sooner were the ropes knotted than Odysseus heard voices, unimaginably high and clear, calling to him. Odysseus was, understandably flattered, and he began to wish to meet the beautiful women who sang so sweetly to him. After a few more lines of the siren music, Odysseus was in a frenzy to be released. He raved at his sailors—who, fortunately, could not hear him since their ears were full of beeswax—and strained at his ropes until they cut into his skin. But the ship drifted on, and in an hour, the island was behind them and the spell subsided. After Odysseus passed the island, the Sirens hurled themselves into the sea and died, making him the last person to hear their bewitching music.

History

The Sirens appear in Greek’s oldest works of literature. Homer, Virgil, Pliny the Elder, Ovid, Seneca, and Hesiod all describe these bewitching singers. By the end of the Greek period, Grecian scholars had concluded that the women were no more than fable—yet their legend lived on for centuries after the Greek civilization crumbled away.

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Writers as far back as William Shakespeare began to merge Sirens with mermaids, combining the sweet, vibrant appearance of the fish-maidens with the dreamy voice of the Sirens. Over time, the link between these two creatures has grown tighten. Today, it’s hard to find a feathered Siren in popular culture.

Although the original Sirens have gone out of fashion, Siren-mermaid hybrids are still incredibly popular. They can be found in all sorts of works of fantasy, from fairytales written by Hans Christian Anderson and CS Lewis to blockbuster movies like Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean

Encylopedia Brittanica

Siren, in Greek mythology, a creature half bird and half woman who lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of her song. According to Homer, there were two Sirens on an island in the western sea between Aeaea and the rocks of Scylla. Later the number was usually increased to three, and they were located on the west coast of Italy, near Naples. They were variously said to be the daughters of the sea god Phorcys or of the river god Achelous by one of the Muses.

In Homer’s Odyssey, Book XII, the Greek hero Odysseus, advised by the sorceress Circe, escaped the danger of their song by stopping the ears of his crew with wax so that they were deaf to the Sirens. Odysseus himself wanted to hear their song but had himself tied to the mast so that he would not be able to steer the ship off its course. Apollonius of Rhodes, in Argonautica, Book IV, relates that when the Argonauts sailed that way, Orpheus sang so divinely that only one of the Argonauts heard the Sirens’ song. (According to Argonautica, Butes alone was compelled by the Sirens’ voices to jump into the water, but his life was saved by the goddess Cypris, a cult name for Aphrodite.) In Hyginus’s Fabulae, no. 141, a mortal’s ability to resist them causes the Sirens to commit suicide.

Ovid (Metamorphoses, Book V) wrote that the Sirens were human companions of Persephone. After she was carried off by Hades, they sought her everywhere and finally prayed for wings to fly across the sea. The gods granted their prayer. In some versions Demeter turned them into birds to punish them for not guarding Persephone. In art the Sirens appeared first as birds with the heads of women and later as women, sometimes winged, with bird legs.

The Sirens seem to have evolved from an ancient tale of the perils of early exploration combined with an Asian image of a bird-woman. Anthropologists explain the Asian image as a soul-bird—i.e., a winged ghost that stole the living to share its fate. In that respect the Sirens had affinities with the Harpies.

 
    Reviewing the stories themselves and the myth information above, with the two completely different origins, and the avian vs. piscene natures, draws me to the conclusion that it is EXTREMELY likely that there were two variants of Sirens in the Marvel Universe: The more piscene/aquatic Sirens that are the creations of Phorcys (which would include the versions that encountered Matt Ronson and likely those summoned/created by the Huntsman, as well as, obviously, Venus the Siren and her ilk) and the avian Sirens, who were the children of Achelous and a Muse (or Sterope of the Pleiades), who became avian following their transformation by Demeter,  such as those that were banished by Cronus and who encountered the Ghost Rider.

    Thanks to John Holstein for pointing out the appearance in Uncanny Tales, and thanks to David A. Zuckerman for supplying me with the color images!

    Thanks to Mike Castle for providing the images from Marvel Classics Comics#18 and The Odyssey#5.
    Neither of these are typically "canon"/in-continuity for Reality-616; however, when they represent the best source of the historical events, legends, stories, they're at least worthy of discussion.

    This profile was completed 04/09/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.

Profile by Snood.

CLARIFICATIONS:
The Sirens should be distinguished from:


Leucosia

sirens-olympian-gr52-leucosia-face

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - For their "evil trangressions," the Sirens Leucosia, Ligea, and Parthenope were imprisoned by "Kronos" (aka Cronus and Saturn, the latter of which he was known by to the Romans) within stone sarcophagi and banished to a remote and savage land (outside what would become Shelbyville in the American Southwest) within a sealed cave within a cliff.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - In recent years, dynamite used to clear a nearby road for a motorcycle race freed Leucosia from her sarcophagus, and she then ensorceled the bikers to free Ligea and Parthenope. As John Blaze approached, Parthenope asked to be allowed to ensorcel him, but he resisted by turning into the Ghost Rider.

  Leucosia feared that lord Kronos had divined their escape and sent forth a demon from out of their own underworld to destroy them. Sending the entranced bikers against Ghost Rider, the Sirens converted into avian forms and flew off.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - Spotting a US missile convoy headed for San Jethro for a test firing of the Kronos nuclear missile, the Sirens ensorceled the soldiers and then planned to use the weapon to destroy the city of Albequerque, believing that they were using Kronos' weapon to achieve vengeance against Kronos for their imprisonment of "so many centuries."

(Ghost Rider II#52) - The Sirens had the missile launched from Fort San Jethro. When Ghost Rider arrived they turned into avian form to flee, but he reached them and incapaciated them with hellfire, after which those within Fort San Jethro's control tower regained their wits and aborted the missile's flight, causing an explosion that destroyed the missile, apparently without setting off the nuclear weapon.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - Ghost Rider brought the Sirens back to the cavern from which they had escaped and returned them to their sarcophagi.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Ghost Rider then resealed the sarcophagi with mystic flamed and then moved a massive sheet of rock to cover the cavern's entrance.

    Believing the Sirens would never again be free to threaten mankind, Ghost Rider rode off.


sirens-olympian-gr52-leucosia-emerging
sirens-olympian-gr52-leucosia-full


Ligea





sirens-olympian-gr52-ligea-face

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - For their "evil trangressions," the Sirens Leucosia, Ligea, and Parthenope were imprisoned by "Kronos" (aka Cronus and Saturn, the latter of which he was known by to the Romans) within stone sarcophagi and banished to a remote and savage land (outside what would become Shelbyville in the American Southwest) within a sealed cave within a cliff.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - In recent years, dynamite used to clear a nearby road for a motorcycle race freed Leucosia from her sarcophagus, and she then ensorceled the bikers to free Ligea and Parthenope.

As John Blaze approached, Ligea noted how he was much more handsome than the other bikers. Parthenope asked to be allowed to ensorcel him, but he resisted by turning into the Ghost Rider.

  Leucosia feared that lord Kronos had divined their escape and sent forth a demon from out of their own underworld to destroy them. Sending the entranced bikers against Ghost Rider, the Sirens converted into avian forms and flew off.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - Spotting a US missile convoy headed for San Jethro for a test firing of the Kronos nuclear missile, the Sirens ensorceled the soldiers and then planned to use the weapon to destroy the city of Albequerque, believing that they were using Kronos' weapon to achieve vengeance against Kronos for their imprisonment of "so many centuries."

(Ghost Rider II#52) - The Sirens had the missile launched from Fort San Jethro. When Ghost Rider arrived they turned into avian form to flee, but he reached them and incapaciated them with hellfire, after which those within Fort San Jethro's control tower regained their wits and aborted the missile's flight, causing an explosion that destroyed the missile, apparently without setting off the nuclear weapon.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - Ghost Rider brought the Sirens back to the cavern from which they had escaped and returned them to their sarcophagi.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Ghost Rider then resealed the sarcophagi with mystic flamed and then moved a massive sheet of rock to cover the cavern's entrance.

    Believing the Sirens would never again be free to threaten mankind, Ghost Rider rode off.


sirens-olympian-gr52-avian-confronted
sirens-olympian-gr52-avian-aflame


Parthenope





sirens-olympians-gr52-parthenope-face

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - For their "evil trangressions," the Sirens Leucosia, Ligea, and Parthenope were imprisoned by "Kronos" (aka Cronus and Saturn, the latter of which he was known by to the Romans) within stone sarcophagi and banished to a remote and savage land (outside what would become Shelbyville in the American Southwest) within a sealed cave within a cliff.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - In recent years, dynamite used to clear a nearby road for a motorcycle race freed Leucosia from her sarcophagus, and she then ensorceled the bikers to free Ligea and Parthenope.

As John Blaze approached, Parthenope asked to be allowed to ensorcel him, but he resisted by turning into the Ghost Rider.

  Leucosia feared that lord Kronos had divined their escape and sent forth a demon from out of their own underworld to destroy them. Sending the entranced bikers against Ghost Rider, the Sirens converted into avian forms and flew off.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - Spotting a US missile convoy headed for San Jethro for a test firing of the Kronos nuclear missile, the Sirens ensorceled the soldiers and then planned to use the weapon to destroy the city of Albequerque, believing that they were using Kronos' weapon to achieve vengeance against Kronos for their imprisonment of "so many centuries."

(Ghost Rider II#52) - The Sirens had the missile launched from Fort San Jethro. When Ghost Rider arrived they turned into avian form to flee, but he reached them and incapaciated them with hellfire, after which those within Fort San Jethro's control tower regained their wits and aborted the missile's flight, causing an explosion that destroyed the missile, apparently without setting off the nuclear weapon.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - Ghost Rider brought the Sirens back to the cavern from which they had escaped and returned them to their sarcophagi.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Ghost Rider then resealed the sarcophagi with mystic flamed and then moved a massive sheet of rock to cover the cavern's entrance.

    Believing the Sirens would never again be free to threaten mankind, Ghost Rider rode off.



sarcophagi

sirens-olympian-gr52-sarcophagi-1(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - For their "evil trangressions," the Sirens Leucosia, Ligea, and Parthenope were imprisoned by "Kronos" (aka Cronus and Saturn, the latter of which he was known by to the Romans) within stone sarcophagi and banished to a remote and savage land (outside what would become Shelbyville in the American Southwest) within a sealed cave within a cliff.

(Ghost Rider II#52) - In recent years, dynamite used to clear a nearby road for a motorcycle race freed Leucosia from her sarcophagus. Unable to lift the lids off of the other sarcophagi, she then ensorceled the bikers to free Ligea and Parthenope.

(Ghost Rider II#52 (fb) - BTS) - After defeating the Sirens, Ghost Rider brought them back to the cavern from which they had escaped and returned them to their sarcophagi.

(Ghost Rider II#52 - BTS) - Ghost Rider then resealed the sarcophagi with mystic flamed and then moved a massive sheet of rock to cover the cavern's entrance.

sirens-olympian-gr52-sarcophagi-sealed sirens-olympian-gr52-sarcophagi-rock


images: (without ads)
Uncanny Tales I#42/1, pg. 4, panel 4 (full, feathery forms);
          panel 5 (faces)
Sub-Mariner I#29, pg. 4, panel 1 (Huntsman summoning Sirens; full, shadowed);
          panel 2 (upper bodies with lyres);
Marvel Classics Comics#18, pg. 26, panel 2 (mermaid sirens)
Ghost Rider II#52, pg. 3, panel 4 (sarcophagi with Leucosia's hand);
          panel 5 (Leucosia emerging);
       pg. 4, panel 1 (Leucosia; full, standing);
          panel 2 (Leucosia dancing);
       pg. 6, panel 3 (Leucosia face);
       pg. 10, panel 3 (three, full, mostly posterior view);
          panel 5 (Parthenope, face);
       pg. 12, panel 3 (Ligea, face);
       pg. 14, panel 2 (three, upper);
       pg. 18, panel 1 (avian form close-up);
          panel 2 (distant);
       pg. 19, panel 3 (confronted by Ghost Rider);
       pg. 20, panel 1 (hellfire);
       pg. 22, panel 2 (Ghost Rider sealing sarcophagi);
          panel 4 (closing rock over cave)
The Odyssey#5, pg. 15, panel 1 (mermaid sirens)
Agents of Atlas I#5, pg. , panel 1 (original form of future Venus)


Appearances:
Uncanny Tales I#42/1 (April, 1956) - Bernie Krigstein (story and art)
Sub-Mariner I#29 (September, 1970) - Roy Thomas (writer), Sal Buscema (penciler), Joe Gaudioso (inker), Stan Lee (editor)
Marvel Classics Comics#18 (June, 1976) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Jess Jodloman (artist),

Ghost Rider II#52 (January, 1981) - Michael Fleisher (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Denny O'Neil (editor)
Agents of Atlas I#5 (February, 2007) - Jeff Parker (writer), Leonard Kirk (penciler), Kris Justice (inker), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Marvel Tarot (August, 2007) - David Sexton (writer/designer), Doug Sexton (technical consultant), Jeff Christiansen (continuity consultant), Michael Short & Cory Levine (assistant editors), Mark D. Beazley & Jennifer Grunwald (associate editors), Jeff Youngquist (editor)
The Odyssey#5 (March, 2009) - Roy Thomas (writer), Greg Tocchini (penciler), Norman Lee & Roland Paris (inkers), Nathan Cosby (assistant editor), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#12: Venus (Siren) (2010) - Jeff Christiansen (head writer), Mike Fichera, Markus Raymond, Mike O'Sullivan, & Madison Carter (writers, coordination assistants), Sean McQuaid (profile writer)
X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas#2 (January, 2010) - Jeff Parker (writer), Gabriel Hardman (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Assault of New Olympus Prologue#1 (January, 2010) - Jeff Parker (writer), Gabriel Hardman (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)
Incredible Hercules#138/2 (January, 2010) - Jeff Parker (writer), Gabriel Hardman (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)


First posted: 09/06/2021
Last updated: 09/04/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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