Real Name: Gilgamesh

Occupation: Ruler of Sumeria (c. 21st century BC), Warrior

Legal Status: Citizen of Sumeria in the Twenty-First Century BC

Identity: The general populace of Earth believes Gilgamesh to be a mythological character.

Other Aliases: None known

Place of Birth: Erech/Uruk (now part of modern Iraq)

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Lugalbanda (father, deceased), Ninsun (mother), Shamash (grandfather), Enlil (great-grandfather), Utnapishtim (ancestor, deceased), Hercules (reputed descendant)

Group Affiliations: ally of Enkidu

Base of Operations: Mobile, formerly Erech

First (Known) Appearance: (modern) Arak, Son of Thunder II #42

History: Gilgamesh was born the son of semi-divine King Lugalbanda of Sumeria in the Twenty-First Century BC. Lugalbanda so wanted an heir to succeed him that he prayed to the Sumerian gods for a worthy heir. His prayers were answered by Ninsun, goddess of dream, who was possibly sent to earth by Lugalbanda's father, the sun-god Shamash, son of Enlil, who had seized control of the Sumerian Gods.

Gilgamesh was born with the strength and vigor of the Sumerian gods and as an adult, he became a very just and beneficent king. He became so intent to protect his kingdom from invaders that he demanded his subjects to build and fortify the walls around his city, but in doing so, he so exhausted his people that they appealed to Ninsun for solace. Ninsun and the Sumerian Gods called upon Enkidu, the wild man of the forest and son of the goddess, Aruru, to head to Erech to dethrone Gilgamesh now considered mad with power. (Later legends would claim Enkidu was created from clay from the earth and given life, but this is erroneous).

Gilgamesh met Enkidu in battle in the forests of the giant Humbaba. Their battle was extremely violent with neither of them gaining a fair advantage over the other. Gilgamesh finally defeated the wild man, but instead of slaying him, he developed a great respect for Enkidu for lasting so long with him in battle. Having finally found someone equal to him in power, Gilgamesh and Enkidu became great friends. Together, they later joined forces to defeat and slay Humbaba.

Gilgamesh was eventually approached by the goddess Ishtar as a lover. Impersonating a deity named Siduri, she tried to seduce Gilgamesh, but he spurned her rather than be manipulated by her. Ishtar had her revenge by sending a great bull to terrorize the earth. Five hundred warriors reportedly fell before it before Gilgamesh and Enkidu managed to slay it, but in doing so, Enkidu was severely wounded. In order to save him, Gilgamesh undertook a long and arduous journey to Dilmun to seek advice from his mortal ancestor, Utnapishtim, for advice on how to conquer death. Utnapishtim recalled that the fruit from the tree of life in Ancient Eden could prevent death and grant immortality, but he also told him that the land of Eden had long been washed under the sea by the Judeo-Christian God to prevent mortal man from returning to it. 

Sailing beyond the horizon, Gilgamesh tied stones to his feet and dived deep into the sea several times until he found the tree of life. Plucking a single fruit from its branches, he then returned for shore. As he stopped to rest not far from Erech, he stopped to bath and the fruit was devoured by an unidentified serpent which then gained the power to shed its old skin and become young again. Gilgamesh still managed to slay it, but in his absence, Enkidu died in Erech.

Full of despair, Gilgamesh brooded for a long time before invading Allatum, the land of the dead, to try to rescue Enkidu. The forces of the underworld became too much for even him, and he barely made it back to earth. Traveling west to Mount Saphon, he humbled himself before the gods of his ancestors who were only willing to permit himself to be reunited with Enkidu's spirit. Gilgamesh asked Enkidu if the actions of life affected status in the afterlife and Enkidu confirmed the truth. Satisfied that he was destined to be reunited with him after death, Gilgamesh departed.

The events of Gilgamesh's later life and the details of his death are unknown. According to some stories, he wandered the earth alive for several years long after the fall of the Sumerian Empire. At some point, his life and exploits were confused with the Eternal known as the Forgotten One who traveled the earth amnesiac while doing great deeds and heroic acts. The Forgotten One was also confused with Hercules, son of the Olympian god, Zeus, and the later Hebrew champion, Samson.

Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 260 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black

Strength Level: Gilgamesh possesses Class 100 level strength and can lift (press) well over a hundred tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Gilgamesh possesses extraordinary superhuman strength, stamina and resistance to harm on par with the Sumerian gods. He can perform tirelessly for long periods of time and survive all manners of injuries just short of decapitation. He has incredible lung efficiency and invulnerability to pressure enabling him to exist underwater for extended periods. 

Abilities: Gilgamesh is an brilliant warrior in both armed and unarmed combat.

Comments: So far, Gilgamesh has only been seen as a minor character of the DC Universe; however, in the Marvel Universe, his attributes and history have been usurped by the Forgotten One, one of the Eternals. 

By some accounts, Endkidu is considered the Sumerian counterpart of the Native American forest-spirit known as Sasquatch, also known in legend as Bigfoot.

Dilmun is the ancient name for the modern land of Bahrain, but it is also used as the name of Sumerian heaven.

Clarifications: Gilgamesh is not to be confused with:  

Last updated: 02/11/07


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