Real Name: Hermod

Occupation: God of speed and messengers

Legal Status: Citizen of Asgard

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Hermod except as a mythological deity.

Other Aliases: Heremod, Hermoth, Howard "Howie" Barker (mortal alias)

Place of Birth: Asgard

Marital Status: Single

Known Relatives: Odin (father), Frigga (mother), Balder, Hoder (brothers), Nanna, Solveig, (sisters-in-law, deceased), Thor, Bragi, Tyr, Vidar (half-brothers), Loki (foster brother), Ve (paternal uncle, alias Lodur), Vili (paternal uncle, alias Hoenir), Bor (paternal grandfather), Bestla (paternal grandmother), Fulla (maternal aunt), Fygorgyn (maternal grandfather), Jord (maternal grandmother), Mimir (great-uncle), Bor, Bolthorn (great-grandfathers)

Group Membership: Gods of Asgard, Lost Gods

Base of Operations: Asgard

First Appearance: Thor I #274

History: Hermod is the youngest son of Odin, King of the Asgardian gods, and Frigga, his wife. Noted for his speed and fleetness, he has been occasionally employed by Odin as a messenger. According to a sentient Severed Eye of Odin, the Asgardians have been trapped in recurring cycles of death and rebirth. The death of Hermodís older brother, Balder, had been tied into those cycles and Frigga chose to create spells to render him invulnerable to all weapons in order to prevent those prophecies from occurring. The only exception was mistletoe. (Whether mistletoe was an oversight by Frigga or whether it was a necessary side effect of her spells in unrevealed.) In his plans to conquer Asgard or at least destroy it, Loki had become aware of the prophecies tying the death of Balder to Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods, and fashioned an arrow from a sprig of mistletoe. Loki then guided Hoderís blind eye into fatally wounding Balder with the arrow. Balder died as a result with his wife, Nanna, dying of grief afterward. Knowing full well that Balderís death was the first sign of the end of the gods, Odin sent Hermod to Niffleheim, the land of the dead, to plead for the return of Balder from Hela, goddess of death. Hela refused to be untouched by Balderís death and refused to release him unless she had signs that all of Asgard grieved for him. When she came to Asgard to view the grief, however, Loki impersonated a giantess named Thokk complaining that she had no reason to grieve. As a result, Hela returned to Niffleheim. Hermod, however, revisited Balder and Nanna in the underworld and they gave gifts to him to take to Asgard just as Ragnarok claimed Asgard with Loki leading the enemies of Asgard into the city to vanquish it.

Several Asgardians actually survived Ragnarok, among them Hermodís brother Vidar. They found Odinís spear, Gungnir, and were successful in restoring Odin to life. Odin restored the other Asgardians to life afterward, including Hermod as well. Hermod had no memories of his death and rebirth and became a worthy warrior in his own right, eventually rescuing Hoder from Mogul of the Mystical Mountain. Eventually, Loki grew to adulthood once more after reliving his life from birth once more, and in the Twentieth Century, relearned the prophecies linking Balder to Ragnarok. This time, Odin used spells to bar Hela from claiming Balderís soul until he could be restored to life. Loki was tried before the gods for his crimes with Hermod serving as a witness was imprisoned as a result.

Despite having survived another cycle of death and rebirth, the Asgardians continued to face other threats to Asgard. Hermod was among the Asgardians who donated their life-energies to the Destroyer against the Celestials to protect Asgard, but those energies were lost when the Destroyer was melted into a slag of metal. Absent from Asgard when the life forces of the Asgardians entered the Destroyer, Thor revived his fellow gods by collecting the required life-energies from the sky-fathers of the other pantheons of earth. Hermod also witnessed the demon Surtur trying to destroy Asgard, a conflict that lead to the destruction of Bifrost, the rainbow bridge aligning Asgard on its cosmic axis, but it was restored sometime later.

Hermod witnessed several invasions to Asgard, including the curious exploration of the Poppupian known as the Impossible Man trying to explore the realm in search of his missing son. Hermod considered the eccentric alien a demon, but he helped to defend Asgard from the undead armies of Seth, the Egyptian god of death, as he sought to claim it. Odin had been lost in the battle with Surtur, but Seth had plucked him from out of his battle to exploit the Odin-Force for himself, but Thor managed to free Odin and vanquish Surtur.

Seth eventually returned to force Ragnarok into occurring by tampering with one of the roots of Yggdrasil aligned with Asgardís cosmic axis. However, Odin cast a spell to trick Yggdrasil into believing that Ragnarok had occurred by casting Hermod and the Asgardian gods into mortal lives with false identities. Hermod became the youth Howie Baker who lived in the protection of Frigga as Frieda Baker who he was led to believe was his aunt. After being attacked by the Men in Black, agents of Seth, Howie was rescued by Ericka Velez, the mortal incarnation of Sif, and reunited with several other Asgardians with partial memories of their true identities. The Lost Gods returned to Howie's home to find Freda gone, but discovered a trunk containing Asgardian weapons. An enchanted headband restored enough of Howieís godhood and superhuman speed to help the Lost Gods team up with the rock-troll Ulik and Amora the Enchantress to defend them against Seth. Odin had intended that Thor would be able to restore the Asgardians back to godhood, but he had not foreseen that Thor would be lost in another pocket universe after battling Onslaught. Over the years, several mortals had been temporarily endowed with Thorís might and a former cameraman named Red Norvall finally resulted in undoing Odin's spell, causing all of the Lost Gods to revert to their godly forms and returned to Asgard, including Howie who again became Hermod. Now that they were gods again, Seth had the opportunity to slay them all by destroying Yggdrasil, but Odin was able to overcome his mortal memories and defeat Seth. The experience, however, left them so fatigued that Asgard was then assaulted by the Dark Gods, forgotten enemies from centuries prior, who seized Asgard and took all of the Asgardians prisoners. Thor eventually escaped the pocket universe where he had been trapped and returned to Asgard, leading his fellow gods to victory over the Dark Gods.

Eventually, Odin was seemingly killed in battle against Surtur in yet another confrontation and Thor was pressed to take his place as leader of the Asgardian Gods. Loki, however, set about unleashing a revised version of Ragnarok. Hermod fell in battle defending Asgard, but Thor rose upon against Loki, decapitating him and carrying his head with him as he opened Asgard to Surtur in order to sever the threads of destiny keeping Asgard in recurring cycles of rebirth.

Height: 5' 11"

Weight: 415 lbs.

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Brown

Strength Level: Hermod possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) 30 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Hermod possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian gods. Like all Olympians, he is immortal: he has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to 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 a god of significant power, such as Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo or for a number of Olympian gods of equal power working together to revive him. Helios also possesses superhuman strength and his Olympian metabolism provides him 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.)

Hermod has greater than normal strength, speed and resistance to injury that the majority of the Asgardian gods, except for a select few like Odin, Thor, Vidar and Tyr. He can run at speeds up to the speed of light (187,272 miles an hour) preventing him from being seen when he is running. He can appear invisible to mortals, but not to gods, whether they are native to Asgard or not. His godly attributes enabling him to perceive information quicker and faster at top speed and to give him limited energy. He can run at speeds rivaling Hermes and the mutant Quicksilver. He can run at top speeds through dimensional apertures between worlds such as Earth and Asgard and Niffleheim without stopping or hesitating with any declination in speed.

Abilities: Hermod can maneuver with extraordinary effort on ice skates or roller blades.

Comments: Thanks to Michael Hoskins (Prime Eternal) for his help in compiling Hermodís Marvel appearances.

Clarifications: Hermod is not to be confused with:

Last updated: 02/19/07


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