DEMETER

Real Name:  Demeter

Occupation: Goddess of Grain and the Harvest

Legal Status: Citizen of Olympus

Identity: The general populace of earth is unaware of Demeterís existence except as a mythological character.

Other Aliases: Ceres (Roman Name), Meter, Doso (mortal incarnation)

Place of Birth: Unrevealed, possibly Olympus

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Cronus (father), Rhea (mother), Tethys, Themis, Phoebe, Mnemosyne, Dione (aunts), Oceanus, Japet, Hyperion, Coeus, Crius, Ophion (uncles), Zeus (brother/husband), Poseidon, Hades (brothers), Hestia, Hera (sisters), Chiron (half-brother), Plute (half-sister), Persephone, Despoena (daughters), Arion, Plutus, Philomelas (sons), Hercules, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysus (nephews), Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite, Eileithyia, Hebe, Helen, Discord (nieces), Helios, Eos, Selene, Leto, Asteria, Pallas, Perses, Astraeus, Metis, Calypso, Prometheus, Eprimetheus, Menoetius (cousins)

Group Affiliations: The Olympian Gods

Base of Operations: Olympus

First Appearance:  (name only) The Order #4

History: Demeter is the daughter of Cronus, Ruler of the first generation of the Olympian Gods who were known as the Titans, and his wife, the Titaness Rhea. Fearing that he would be overthrown by one of his children, just as he himself had overthrown his father, Ouranus, Cronus imprisoned his own children in the deepest regions of Tartarus as soon as they were born. (Later legends claimed that he swallowed them and that they remained alive within him until freed by Zeus).  Upset, Rhea concealed her last pregnancy and hid the birth of her last son Zeus upon Earth.

Zeus ended up growing among mortals and as an adult set out to conquer Olympus. He freed his siblings from Tartarus and ended up seducing many of the female gods of Olympus to make them allies in his cause, including Demeter who bore him a daughter, Persephone. Although she became one of his first wives, it was Hera who became Queen of The Gods.  Zeus was successful in claiming Olympus as he and his brothers cast lots for the rest of creation. Zeus gained the heavens, Poseidon the seas and Hades (later known as Pluto) the underworld. Demeter inherited protection of the earth by choice to honor her mother, Rhea, who honored Gaea, Mother Earth. Hades, however, desired companionship in the Underworld and fell in love with Persephone.  He bribed Zeus for the right to court her and actually followed through in abducting her from Earth.

Unwary of the truth, Demeter pined unaware of what had happened to her daughter or knowing where she was. She allowed herself to be romanced by Poseidon and gave birth to Arion, the horse-god, and Despoena, the fruit goddess who later became Pomona to the Romans. At the marriage of the Theban King Cadmus to Harmonia, the daughter of Aphrodite, she was in another situation to be romantically seduced by the demigod, Iasion, a son of Zeus. She gave birth to Plutus, who became Consus, the Roman god of wealth, and Philomelas, who became Vertumnus, the Roman god of farming.  Iasion had his godhood stripped from him by Zeus for violating Demeter in her vulnerable state.

Demeter wandered the world under the name Doso looking for her daughter. She became friends of King Celeus of Eleusis and tried to make his son, Demophon, immortal in return for his kindness but was frightened by a nurse before she could burn off the childís mortality.  She revealed her true existence as Demeter to them and Celeus founded the Eleusian Mysteries to honor her afterward.

Demeter eventually cursed Ascalaphus, the son of the river-god, Acheron, for taunting her by exiling him to the Underworld.  Demeter eventually learned from Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft, and the sun god, Helios, that Hades had abducted Persephone and that Zeus had given him permission to do so. She retreated into self-imposed exile into a cave on Mount Elaeus near Phigalia. Zeus sent Pan to locate her and then had the Fates try to talk her into accepting the marriage, but she refused. Meanwhile, drought and famine was occurring on Earth as a result of Demeterís emotions.

Zeus finally sent Hermes to retrieve Persephone from the Underworld, but in her own misery of being separated from her mother, Persephone had eaten three pomegranate seeds given to her by Ascalaphus, who had his revenge on Demeter for being exiled to the underworld. Because Persephone had been treated kindly in the Underworld, she had to remain bound to her marriage and had to spend equal amounts of time in Hades and on Olympus with her mother. Demeter further punished Ascalaphus by transforming him into an owl. During Persephoneís absences, her children, Pomona, Consus and Vertumnus in duties over the earth and the harvest, frequently attended her in visiting earth.

Demeter particularly favored the Trojans during the Trojan War because they were descendants of Iasionís brother, Dardanus. Their descendants who founded Rome called her Ceres, but as Zeus allowed the worship of the Olympian Gods to die out, Demeter broke off many of her ties to mortals and in a sense retired as her role as a goddess without giving up her powers of immortality. She and Persephone, however, do often dress as human beings in order to pose as mortals to go visit and shopping on Earth. During one such trip, Hercules briefly interrupted them to inform them that Hades was holding the mortals Bounty, Caledonia and the young wards of the Fantastic Four captive in his realm briefly during their happy sojourn. The message caused Persephone to rush to the underworld to avoid a major altercation.

Despite her lack of modern worshippers, Demeter does still bestow power on human mystics and priestesses who know how to call upon her. In recent years, Demeter added energies that the sorceress Clea called upon to create Ardina, a female counterpart of the Silver Surfer.

Height: 5í6Ē

Weight: 460 lbs.

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Auburn

Strength Level: Demeter possesses superhuman strength enabling her to lift (press) 25 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Demeter possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian gods. Like all Olympians, she is immortal: she has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. She is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If she were somehow wounded, her godly life force would enable her to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of her bodily molecules to cause her a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of equal power, such as Zeus, Poseidon or for a number of Olympian gods working together to revive her. Demeter also possesses superhuman strength and her Olympian metabolism provides her with 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 Olympians' superhuman strength and weight.)

Demeter also has various mystical powers primarily to control the harvesting of plants especially, but not limited, to grain. She can create prosperous conditions for a bountiful harvest and even animate plants, vines and twigs to respond to her will. It has been theorized that her emotions are in tune to the harvest and that they are bountiful when she is happy, and that drought occurs when she unhappy. She can also cross-dimensional barriers between worlds and alter her form to appear in an immaterial state to present herself to mortals. On Earth, she sometimes takes a gigantic physical stature to appear intimidating to mortals. Her powers to control the weather are not as proficient as that of Zeus or Poseidon; she can cause rain to fall, but she cannot create storms or thunder showers. She can invoke curses as when she cursed King Erysichthon in ancient times with insatiable hunger and endow mystical ability in sorcerers and mystics that know how to call upon her such as Clea.

Demeterís physical appearance is somewhat affected by the harvest. Under the most prosperous time of the year, she appears as a beautiful goddess with all her godly powers of eternal youth and immortality very evident. During the fall and winter, she can take the form of an older woman, but one still in command of her full power. In the spring and summer, she returns to her true condition. Likewise, when she visits areas suffering by drought or blight or inflicted by pollutants, her visage is likewise affected. By channeling powerful primal energies from Gaea, she can restore or resuscitate conditions affecting the fertility of the earth. There are limits to her power though; she cannot bring plants to grow under arid conditions such as a desert without draining such fertile conditions from neighboring areas.

Comments: Demeter has not yet appeared in person in Marvel Comics; her first physical appearance in DC Comics has not yet been revealed.