Real Name: Hestia
Occupation: Goddess of home and hearth, social worker, hostel owner,
Legal Status: Citizen of Olympus
Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of the existence of Hestia except as a mythological deity.
Other Aliases: Vesta (her Roman name), Vesta Reason (her mortal name)
Place of Birth:
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Cronus (father), Rhea (mother), Zeus, Poseidon, Hades (brothers), Hera, Demeter (sisters), Hercules, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Triton (nephews), Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Helen, Hebe, Eileithyia, Discord (nieces), Ouranus (grandfather, deceased), Gaea (grandmother),
Group Affiliations: The Gods of Olympus
Base of Operations: Olympus and Chicago, Illinois
First Appearance: Thor #301
History: Hestia is a member
of an other-dimensional race of beings known as the Olympians, who were once
worshipped as gods in the land that would be Greece and Rome. The Olympians were
descended from an older race of beings known as the Titans who were worshipped
as gods before the Olympian gods. Hestia is the eldest daughter of Cronus and
Rhea, members of the Titans. Fearing that he would be dethroned by one of his
offspring just as he had overthrown his own father Ouranus, Cronus imprisoned
each of his own offspring in Tartarus, the darkest section of Hades, the
Olympian underworld, as soon as he or she was born. (Later legends erroneously
claimed that Cronus had actually swallowed his children and that they remained
alive inside him until Zeus released them). While trapped in Tartarus, Hestia
regarded her younger siblings as her wards and saw to their well being in the
dismal dimension. Appalled at Cronus' treatment of their children, Rhea gave
birth to their son, Zeus, without Cronus’s knowledge and gave him to the
primeval Earth goddess Gaea to be raised in secret. Upon reaching adulthood,
Zeus freed his siblings and led them in a successful revolt against Cronus and
the Titans, ousting them from power as gods and claiming control of Ancient
After Zeus established himself as supreme monarch of the
Olympus and the Olympian gods, Hestia became the domestic engineer of Olympus.
Her cousin, Prometheus, assisted her in her tasks; Prometheus had been one of
the few Titans who had supported Zeus in conquering Olympus. Prometheus,
however, had developed great affection for the ancient Greeks who worshipped the
Olympian gods, and eventually stole a portion of fire from Hestia’s hearth to
give as a gift to mortal man to guide them out of their primal instincts. (Later
myths would claim that Prometheus gave fire to mortals to warm them from the
cold of the earth.) Whether Hestia was aware of Prometheus' actions has never
been determined, but apparently turned a blind eye to his deeds. Prometheus
ended up being punished by Zeus for his conduct for several millennia before
eventually being rescued by Hercules, the half-mortal son of Zeus, several
generations later. At one point, both Apollo and Poseidon desired Hestia as a
consort, but she swore a vow of chastity to Zeus that he has honored even today.
Hestia once was a member of the ruling council of the main
Olympian gods who stood presided over the majority of the pantheon. This council
was comprised of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, and Hestia along with Zeus's
more prominent children, including Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Ares, Aphrodite,
Hephaestus and Hermes. She later resigned her seat within the council in favor
of Zeus' son, Dionysus, who then became one of the twelve most important gods in
the Greek and Roman hierarchy of deities. It was said she did so because she
grew tired of the petty bickering during council meetings over mortal affairs.
Worship of the gods of Greece was later carried throughout the lands dominated
by the Greeks, especially in Rome where she was worshipped under the name of
Vesta. Under the name of Vesta, she had numerous priestesses known as Vestal
Virgins who paid her homage and tribute to her ancient vow of chastity. (Basic
tenets of this religion were adapted into the later Catholic Church existing
into modern times.)
Eventually, Zeus allowed the worship of the Olympian gods to
die out in favor of Christianity especially after discovering many of the Romans
were slaughtering Christians in their names. His decree was strengthened by an
edict from the Third Host of the Celestials ordering that that all the gods of
earth cease trafficking with mortal man. Worship of the Olympians also tapered
off after Zeus manipulated prophecies around Eve, the daughter of the
warrior-goddess, Xena, and the deaths of the Olympian gods. Hestia had escaped
this slaughter to retreat from Greece, but returned centuries later after
realizing spells by Zeus restored many of the Olympians to life.
Along with the Olympian gods, Hestia largely presided in
Olympus, but she often retreated to earth in mortal guise to benefit mortal man
from the guise of a mysterious hostel owner named Vesta Reason giving solace and
hope to the homeless of earth. She was present when Thor came to Olympus seeking
from Zeus a portion of the life energies required to restore the Asgardians
slain in battle with the Fourth Host of the Celestials.
In recent years, the Asgardian gods were killed in another
incarnation of Ragnarok, or Twilight of the Gods, which kept the Asgardians
trapped in an endless cycle of rebirth and destruction. Zeus decided that their
destruction was caused by the Asgardians being too distant from earth and
created the Olympus Group, a philanthropic organization on Earth devoted to
guiding mortal man to their fullest potential through earthly means. As head of
the company, Zeus adapted the mortal identity of J. Peter Reason, but to the
general public, he is considered the patriarch of a wealthy and affluent family
with numerous public eccentricities. Recently, Zeus gathered Hestia and the high
council of the gods to confront his wife, Hera, for manipulating Hercules into
appearing on a reality television show as part of an attempt to gain revenge
upon him, but Zeus instead wound up being jeered at by his own family for his
many infidelities. Hestia and the council instead voted against Zeus interfering
with Hercules' modern labors.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 410 lbs.
Hair: Brown (sometimes Blonde)
Strength Level: Hestia possesses superhuman strength enabling her to lift (press) 25 tons under optimal conditions.
Known Superhuman Powers: Hestia 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 significant power, such as Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo or for a number of Olympian gods of equal power working together to revive her. Hestia 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.)
Hestia also has undefined abilities to tap into and manipulate mystical energies to an unknown extent. It is conceivable that she has several of the main godly powers to travel between dimensions, alter her appearance and influence mortal minds, but she is not as obvious with these powers as several of the other Olympians. Her mystical affinity is largely devoted to the ideals of the home and hearth as well as the arts of domestication. The full extent of her power is unrevealed, but she is likely equal in power to such deities as Demeter and Hera.
Abilities: Hestia is a very beneficent and guileless deity capable of great compassion and care.
Comments: Vesta was not mentioned by name in Thor #301, but the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe #8 identifies that as her first appearance. She has also been credited among the Olympians in the DC Universe, but her appearances there are not as obvious.
Hestia has not yet made a known appearance in the "Xena/Hercules - The Legendary Journeys" continuity.
Last updated: 10/05/07
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