HELEN OF TROY

Real Name: Helen

Occupation: Goddess of beauty and perfection

Legal Status: Citizen of Olympus

Identity: The general populace of Earth is not aware of Helenís existence except as a mythological character.

Other Aliases: None

Place of Birth: Sparta (now part of modern Greece )

Marital Status: Widowed

Known Relatives: Zeus (father), Leda (mother, deceased), Tyndareus (foster father), Menelaus, Paris (husbands, deceased), Catreus (father in law, deceased), Polydeuces (brother, alias Pollux, deceased), Castor (half-brother, deceased), Clytemnestra (half-sister, deceased), Pleisthenes (son, deceased), Hermione (daughter, deceased), Molossus (son in law, deceased), Orestes (nephew/son in law, deceased), Tisamenus (grandson, deceased), Heracles, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysus (half-brothers), Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite, Discord, Eileithyia, Hebe, Pandia (half-sisters), Perseus (ancestor, deceased)

Group Affiliations: The Olympian Gods

Base of Operations: Olympus, formerly Troy and Sparta

First Appearance: (historical) Venus #1, (modern) Thor Annual 8

History: Helen is the daughter of Zeus, Ruler of the Olympian gods and the Calydonian princess, Leda, a wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta. Leda had a vision of her pregnancy in which a swan bestowed her four eggs out of which sprang her four children. Spartan priests translated the dream by claiming it meant that some of her children were going to be of divine birth.

Helen grew up to be particularly beautiful and her mortal guardian King Tyndareus sought to prevent bloodshed by forcing her suitors to exacting a vow of non-violence and by standing by the side of Helenís husband to protect her. King Theseus of Athens and his close friend, Peirithous, Leader of the Lapith tribes, however, had both made vows to marry daughters of Zeus. While Helen was only twelve years old, Thesus abducted her from Sparta and left her in the custody of his mother in Aphidnae. While Theseus and Peirithous left to kidnap Persephone from the Underworld, Castor and Pollux invaded Aphidnae, rescued Helen and left the throne in the hands of Theseusís enemies.

Helenís sister, Clytemnestra, was taken by King Agamemnon of Mycenae, which left Tyndareus without a successor to his throne. He betrothed Helen to Agamemnonís brother, Menelaus, who then replaced him on the throne of Sparta. Helen, however, ended up promised to Paris, a prince of Troy, by the goddess Aphrodite. While Menelaus was absent for the funeral of King Catreus, Paris spirited Helen out of Sparta and took her to Troy. Menelaus on his return called the kings and warriors on their vow to Tyndareus and declared war on a ten-year battle to be called the Trojan War.

Toward the end of the war, King Odysseus of Ithaca had a great Wooden Horse built to smuggle Greek soldiers into Troy. Helen somehow realized the Greeks were hiding in the horse and tried to dissuade them from more bloodshed but they ignored her. After Parisís death, Helen was abducted by his brother as a concubine and was killed by Menelaus who had secured his way past the Trojan walls inside the Wooden Horse. Menelaus also wanted to kill Helen for her role in the war, but could not bring himself to carry through the act. Aphrodite then instructed Hermes to spirit Helen to Egypt where King Proteus hid her from Menelaus. Menelaus tracked her there from advice given to him from Athena. Proteus removed Helenís memories of the war with water from the river Lethe as she returned to Menelaus.

In the aftermath of Agamemnonís death, Menelausís nephew, Orestes, came to him for absolution in the murders of his mother and her lover. Refused a defense, he tried to kill Helen for the grief caused in her wake and Aphrodite again advised Hermes to spirit her off this time to Olympus .

Helen meanwhile desired to return to Menelaus, but after his death, her stepsons Nicostratus and Megapenthes drove her from Sparta. She fled to Rhodes to live with Polyxo, one of the widows from Troy, who saw her and realized this was her chance to avenge her husband. She instructed her maids to impersonate Erinnyes, goddesses of punishment to slay her, but Aphrodite rescued Helen again and the maids had to fabricate a murder for Helenís absence. Believing Helen was dead, the Spartans placed a marker in her name next to Menelausís tomb.

Helen retreated to Olympus for several years with her visits to Earth few and far between. Hermes got her involved in the American Prohibition of the 1920s and 1930s, but she again retreated to Olympus believing that mortal life had become much more dangerous and violent than it ever had been. Aphrodite, however, drove her into the sport of flaunting her beauty as a model and cover girl in the 1940s during her own mortal career as Vanessa Nutley Starr, an editor to Hector Hammond, the publisher of Beauty Magazine, thus beating the line-up in their rival publication, Lovely Lady Magazine.

In the late 1970s, Helen learned that a former priestess of Hecate calling herself Helen Surtees living on Earth in the present had usurped her identity in order to live forever by absorbing the youth of mortals. Investigative reporter Carl Kolchak discovered the former priestess living in Chicago in 1975 and damaged her temple to Hecate as Helen used her powers as a goddess to turn Surtees to stone so that she could live just as she wanted, youthful and beautiful through eternity.

Height: 5í6Ē

Weight: 325 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Blonde

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

Known Superhuman Powers: Helen possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian Gods. Like all Olympian Gods, she is immortal. She has not aged since attaining godhood and cannot die by any known conventional means. She is immune to all known terrestrial diseases and is invulnerable to conventional injury. If 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 Zeus or Poseidon or a number of gods of equal power working together to revive her. Helen does have some superhuman strength and her own Olympian metabolism gives her 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 Olympianís superhuman strength and weight).

Helen also has significant potential to tap into and manipulate mystical energies, but her level of expertise even over several centuries is nowhere near that of Aphrodite, Athena or Artemis. She can teleport from Olympus to Earth, mystically change and alter her attire, superficially control the weather, erect force fields, assume states of intangibility or gigantic statures at will and throw fields of electrostatic force identical to lightning bolts. 

Abilities: Helen has little prowess in unarmed combat, but she has a keen mind and a gifted capacity for resourcefulness.

CLARIFICATIONS: Helen is not to be confused with:

         Hela, Asgardian goddess of the dead, @ Journey into Mystery #102

         Helen Surtees, Owner of the Max Match computer dating service, @ Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Episode ďThe Youth Killer,Ē 3/14/75

         Hellen. Eponymous ancestor of the Hellenic tribes of Greece

 

 

BACK TO MAIN PAGE