Real Name: Balor

Occupation: Chieftain of the Fomore, god of death

Legal Status: Exiled Citizen of Eire

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Balor except as a mythological deity.

Other Aliases: Balar (alternate spelling)

Place of Birth: Unknown, possibly somewhere in Ancient Eire

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Buarasinech (father, deceased), Cethlenn (wife), Eithne (daughter), Lugh (grandson), Tethra, Indech (possible brothers), Dulb, Cenchos (possible nephews), Nindech (possible niece), Delbaeth I, Turbe (possible uncles), Elathan (possible cousin), The Dagda, Leir, Gwydion, Bres (nephews)

Group Affiliations: The Fomore, The Gods of Eire

Base of Operations: The Dark Realm, formerly Torach (now part of modern Ireland)

First Appearance: Avengers I #225

History: Balor is a member of an other-dimensional race of beings known as the Fomore, who were worshipped in ancient times as the ancestral spirits of Ireland. Their exact origins are unknown. According to one account, they are the descendants of Gaea in her role as Domnu, the Fomore mother-goddess. However, when Christianity first reached Ireland in the First Century BC, they were perceived as being descended from Ham, one of the Biblical sons of Noah who survived an incredible deluge in ancient history. If this account is true, then the Fomore may be semi-divine in origin, having mortal as well as immortal characteristics. One of their mystical characteristics was an aversion to the natural anathema of iron, a trait shared with the faeries native to Alfheim and Svartelhiem, two of the seven worlds in the cosmology of the Asgardian gods..

Balor and the Fomore claimed sovereignty over the island of Eire and repelled successive raids to the land by several invaders. In the 24th Century BC, they sent a flood to expel Fintan and Cessair, great-grand-daughter of Noah and grand-daughter of his son Japeth. Their grandson, Partholon, also tried to stake his claim to the island, but he was also repelled by Balor and the Fomore. Patholon's descendants emigrated to Greece and returned with enforcements, the Fir Bholg, and finally managed to claim Eire. Under unresolved means, the Fir Bholg willingly offered or were forced into worshipping the Fomore as deities.

The Tuatha de Danaan, reputed descendants of the Fomore, meanwhile laid claim to Eire. Their champion, Nuadhu, the son of the Dagda, met the Fir Bholg champion, Sreng, a the battlefield of Magh Turedh, and defeated the Fomore to claim Eire. Nuadhu, however, lost his hand in battle and could not rule; his throne taken instead by Bres, who being partially Fomore by birth, turned over Eire back to the Fomore. A prophecy soon predicted that if Balor's daughter, Ethne, gave birth to a son, that that son would raise up to dethrone him. Balor imprisoned Ethne in an impenetrable tower to prevent the prediction from occurring, but she was visited by the Cian of the Danaans who visited Ethne in the form of moonlight. Their son was raised in the court of a Fir Bholg king, Eochaid mac Erc, and as an adult, Lugh slew Balor by putting his eye out, the source of his power, and led the Danaans to repel the Fomore to Torach and then from the Earth's dimension. The Danaans soon reclaimed Eire under the leadership of Lugh, and replaced the ousted Fomore as gods of Eire. 

Eventually, the Danaans surrendered Eire to the Milesians, claiming their right through Partholon, their ancestor. The Danaans relocated for the world of Avalon, located in the other-dimensional realm of space of Otherworld. Because the portals to Otherworld were located underground, later myths claimed the Danaans were driven beneath the ground itself. The Danaans became worshipped by the later Celt and Gael races, but by now, the spells preventing the Fomore from returning to Earth began to weaken, possibly because of the Danaan's departure from Earth. The Fomore managed to invade Otherworld, and Amergin, a Milesian mage, and the Danaans joined forces against them assisted by the Black Knight, brought to this time by Amergin's magicks. Amergin also brought the Black Knight's allies, the Avengers, to do battle with the Fomore who restored Balor to life, but Balor and the Fomore were defeated and exiled from Otherworld.    

In recent years, Balor and the Fomore would clash with the Celtic Gods several times due to the ages long enmity and would even ally themselves with Morgan le Fay trying to remake the earth in her own image. At some point, Balor reputedly clashed with Jack O' Lantern, the national hero of modern Ireland, and returned to Otherworld by Maev, the Queen of the faeries. His present whereabouts are unrevealed.

Height: 12'
Weight: 675 lbs.
Eyes: Red
Hair: None

Unusual Physical Traits: Balor has one eye, resembling the Cyclops of Greek and Roman mythology, a horn coming out the top of his head and the hindquarters of a goat, which grants him a satyr-like pose and gait.

Strength Level: Balor possesses superhuman strength in the Class 100 range enabling him to lift (press) over 100 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Balor possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Fomore. Like all of the Fomore, he is exceptionally long-lived, but he is not truly immortal like the Gods of Olympus. He ages at an extremely slower rate and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to most forms of conventional injury. If he were somehow 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 several members of the Fomore working together to restore him to life even years after his death. Balor also possesses superhuman strength and his Fomorian metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Fomorian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to their superhuman strength and weight.)

Balor possesses incredible mystical power limited to his eye enabling him to channel and direct a beam of destructive energy from his eye capable of destroying anything he is looking at. The force of his blast is nearly proportionate to ten pounds on dynamite, and can physically decimate living things in his range of vision. The exact restrains of this power are unrevealed, but it is believed it can be deflected and maybe negated by weapons forged or armed by mystical enchantments.

Balor also seems to be physically stronger than the typical Fomore; he has superhuman strength, stamina, endurance and resistance to harm above the majority of the Fomore. He is vulnerable to the eye, however. 

Limitations: Like most of the Fomore, Balor is vulnerable to the natural anathema of "cold steel" or iron. It can also be used to disrupt his powers. 

Comments: This bio largely describes Balor of the Marvel Universe and his brief appearance in the DC Universe.

Photo of "Balor" is used with permission, courtesy of the Tribute to Ray Harryhausen Website.

Clarifications: Balor is not to be confused with:  

Last updated: 01/16/08


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