God of fire, the forge, smiths and metalworking; weapons-maker of Olympus
Citizen of Olympus
The general populace of earth is unaware of the existence of Hephaestus except
as a character in mythology.
Vulcan (his Roman name), Mulciber, (NOTE: In some texts, Hephaestus is mistaken
Divorced mow remarried
Hera (mother); Demeter,
Hestia (aunts); Chiron, Poseidon, Hades (uncles); Aphrodite
(half sister/ex-wife), Cupid
(son), Aglaea (second wife), Asclepius, Deimos, Phobos, (nephews); Ares
(brother); Eileithyia, Discord,
Hebe (sisters); Apollo, Dionysus,
(half-brothers); Artemis, Athena,
Eileithyia, Hebe, Helen,
The Gods of Olympus
Olympus; formerly Lemnos, Greece
(historical) Red Raven Comics #1, (modern) Thor I#129
Hephaestus is the son of Zeus, King of the Olympian Gods and his wife, Hera. As
a youth, Hephaestus was not counted among the most handsome of the gods of
Olympus and Zeus accused Hera of being unfaithful and also of possibly in
conceiving Hephaestus alone through unknown means. During one of these tirades,
Hephaestus attempted to break up their quarrel by coming between them. In a
rage, either Zeus or Hera accidentally flung Hephaestus from Olympus and he fell
Crashing to Earth, Hephaestus landed near
the island of Lemnos and was nursed back to health by sea-goddesses known as the
They were able to nurse him to full health but his right leg never healed
right and he had to rely on external means to walk. While living on Lemnos, he
began his craft as an artisan and began creating inventions and jewelry for the
Nereids. As the Nereids often visited Olympus, Hera began to inquire on the
creator of their jewelry and eventually traced the work to Hephaestus who she
invited back to Olympus. Although backed by Hera to join the main pantheon,
Hephaestus tended to prefer his solitary life on Lemnos as a smith.
Zeus made his peace with Hephaestus by
making him master of the Cyclops who forged his thunderbolts. With their
assistance, he began to excel in his creations among which were the chains and
shackles of Prometheus. He also created Talos, the world’s first known robot
to be his assistant. He also sculpted Pandora, the statue brought to life for
Zeus to teach the nature of sin to mortals.
For all his skills, Hephaestus expected to
take Athena, goddess of crafts, to be his wife, but she refused his advances in
order to remain true to her vows to be a virgin-goddess. Gaea the Earth mother
comforted Hephaestus and she gave birth to his son, Cecrops, who later founded
Athens and arbitrated worship rights to it between Athena and Poseidon.
To relieve her son’s yearning for a
bride and to make amends on allowing him to be cast out of Olympus, Hera
petitioned for Hephaestus when Aphrodite joined the Olympian pantheon since she
saw a need to quickly marry off the unpredictable love-goddess. Hephaestus’s
marriage was short lived before she began having affairs with all the gods,
especially with his older brother Ares. The sun god Helios informed Hephaestus
of the adultery and the smith-god then rigged a trap in his marital bed so that
a cage would trap Ares and Aphrodite together while in the midst of another
romantic tryst. Successfully trapping them together, Hephaestus then dragged
them out before all the gods to embarrass them. Poseidon arbitrated the
hostility between Ares and Hephaestus as the smith-god ended up divorcing
Hephaestus eventually married Aglaea, one
of the attendants of Aphrodite who had disproved of the affair. He had other
affairs of his own without incident and had several sons by Anticlea, a daughter
of Autolycus, the self-proclaimed King of Thieves, who raised the boys to be
thieves like him. Nearly all of them terrorized the road to Athens until the
adventurer Theseus liberated the road.
Hephaestus eventually decided he could
blame his original marital misery on Hera. Also blaming her for his lameness, he
crafted her a great throne, which then trapped her within it when she sat upon
other gods fruitlessly tried to get Hephaestus to release her from his trap but
to no avail. Dionysus eventually succeeded by introducing wine to Hephaestus for
the first time and getting him drunk.
Hera seemingly forgave him for his past
digressions. Nonetheless, she held both him and Ares above all of other Zeus’s
children born out of wedlock. Hephaestus proved his honor to her by defending
her against the giant Mimas as he tried to conquer Olympus.
Eventually, Zeus became offended by the
Christians being killed by the Romans on Earth and sought to put an end to the
worship of the Olympian gods.
Hephaestus was one of the few who didn’t object to the turnover because
he preferred his role as a smith to that of the added responsibility as a god.
He took major interests in the progress mortals made in technology and industry
and often anonymously shared his expertise in the creation of objects of luxury
and transportation. By ignoring weapons of war, Hephaestus learned new ways to
annoy Ares. Eventually, because of the extent mortal man acquired in exploring
the Earth, Hephaestus had to move his forges to Olympus where mortal man would
not discover them.
In modern years, Johnny Mann, a war
correspondent during World War Two, stumbled upon Hephaestus’ abandoned forge
on Lemnos without realizing it and questioned out loud why the gods would allow
such bloodshed to exist on earth if they actually existed. Hephaestus appeared
to him anonymously and revealed to him that the gods did not create the wars of
man and that is why they had no part in it.
Hephaestus saw potential in Mann and with Aphrodite’s assistance gave
Mann the ability to attain the powers on an immortal to fight the evil of Ares
who was manipulating the conflict on Earth. Mann was one of the first of a few
mortals endowed with godly powers along with Captain Marvel, Red Wolf and the
Eventually, several of the Olympian gods
took for advantage the appearances on earth of “superheroes” or costumed
adventurers in order to make their existence known to mortals once more, but not
as gods. While no one believed in the existence of gods anymore, the general
public began believing that individuals such as Hercules, Aphrodite and Apollo
were superhumans paying tribute to these old myths. In truth, Hephaestus
remained in the background often sharing his mechanical expertise anonymously
with mortals while other heroes such as Thor and Wonder Woman encountered the
Olympians on a regular basis. When Hercules was the victim of a savage beating
from the Wrecking Crew, Hermes spirited him from a mortal hospital on Earth to
Olympus to save his life. Zeus blamed Hercules’ allies for the beating that
his son had sustained and rallied all the gods to bring the Avengers to Olympus
for trial. Hephaestus dealt with the Avenger Thor and even made an attempt to
lift his sacred hammer Mjolnir. The Avengers, meanwhile, managed to convince
Hephaestus that their involvement in Hercules’ beating was through no part of
their own and that Hercules had been lured into a trap after refusing to listen
to the orders of the Wasp. Before Hephaestus and the other gods could explain
themselves to Zeus, he struck them down for being found with the Avengers. By
now, Hercules had been revived through joint efforts by Prometheus and Dr. Druid
and he vouched for his own error, completely removing all blame from the
Because of his error in judgment, Zeus
issued an edict that the gods entirely remove themselves from the affairs of
mortals. While this had had no effect on Hephaestus, it has had more than an
affect on immortals as Aphrodite and Ares with more than a vested interest in
Weight: 645 lbs.
Hephaestus possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) about 40
tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers:
Hephaestus possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian Gods.
Like all Olympian Gods, he is immortal. He has not aged since reaching adulthood
and cannot die by any known conventional means. He is immune to all known
terrestrial diseases and is invulnerable to conventional injury. If wounded, his
godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would
take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily
molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for
Zeus or a number of gods of equal power working together to revive him.
Hephaestus does have some superhuman strength and his own Olympian metabolism
gives him far greater than human endurance in all physical activities.
(Olympian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human
tissue, contributing to the Olympian's superhuman strength and weight).
Hephaestus also has limited mystical
prowess common to all the gods such as the ability to transport long distances
and to create and project flame. He could place mystical enchantments on
inanimate objects to be more powerful than their natural properties or to hold
other enchantments. He can create entities out of molten metal that follow his
bidding and as well endow sentience in the physical objects that he can create.
He is also extremely long-lived having ceased to age since reaching adulthood.
He is immune to terrestrial disease and cannot be harmed by any conventional
Hephaestus is a master weapons maker, inventor, sculptor and artisan. Among his
creations are the chains of Prometheus, armor of Achilles and Talos the
artificial man. Hephaestus has extra-ordinary deductive abilities enabling him
to realize how any object works after studying it and then being able to
disassemble and assemble the object at will.
Hephaestus is lame and often resorts to additional means to walk.
Hephaestus should not be confused with:
member of the Super-Friends, @ Super-Friends #25
the Eternals, who has been mistaken for him in the past, @ Eternals II#1
Son of Vulcan, Johnathan
“Johnny” Mann, war-time war correspondent, @ Mysteries on Unexplored
enemy of Black Goliath, @ Black Goliath #3
the First Line, @ Marvel: The Lost Generation #7
@ X-Men 2099 #32
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