JASON

Real Name: Jason (originally spelled Iason)

Occupation: Adventurer, former monarch

Legal Status: Citizen of Thessaly in the Thirteenth Century BC

Identity: The general populace of earth is unaware of Jason except as a semi-legendary character out of mythology.

Other Aliases: None

Place Of Birth: Iolcus (now part of modern Greece)

Place of Death: Iolcus

Martial Status: (Medea) Divorced, (Glauce) Widowed

Known Relatives: Cretheus (grandfather, deceased), Tyro (grandmother, deceased), Aeson (father), Pelias, Pheres, Amythaon, Neleus (uncles), Crete (aunt), Acastus, Alcestis, Asterius, Melampus, Bias (cousins), Medea (first wife), Alcimenes, Eriopis, Medus, Mermerus, Pheres, Thessalus (sons by Medea), Eriopis (daughter by Medea), Euneus, Deipylus (sons by Hypsipyle),

Group Membership: Leader of the Argonauts 

Base of Operations: Mobile through Ancient Greece (c. 1300-1260 BC)

First Appearance: Marvel Preview #10

History: Jason is the son of Aeson, son of King Cretheus of Iolcus. His wife, Tyro, had been seduced by the god Poseidon and gave birth to the sons Pelias and Neleus. Aeson was in line for the throne of Iolcus, but Pelias usurped it in his stead and ordered all of Aesonís heirs to be put to death. As one of Aesonís daughters tried to save the infant Jason, she hid out in a temple of Hera and called out to the goddess Hera three times to be saved before being killed. Hera spirited Jason away and gave him to the wise centaur Chiron to be raised. Pelias believed Jason to have been killed by his supporters, but his priests warned him to beware of a man who would come wearing only one sandal. Jason grew up in Chironís presence along with many of the heroes of the time such as Hercules, Castor, Pollux, Theseus and others. When he reached twenty-one, he decided to lay claim to the throne of Iolcus. Pelias had scorned Hera for all of his life and she decided that since she was indebted to protect Jason that the young man would be ideal to gain her vengeance on Pelias. She also believed that Medea, granddaughter of the sun god Helios, would be clever enough and treacherous enough to overthrow the devious king. Zeus, lord of the gods of Olympus, however, told her that she could only help Jason three times for each time Jasonís sister had called upon her. Traveling to earth, Her took the form of an old woman stranded by the Anaurus River. She requested Jason to carry her across it and as a result, he lost a sandal in the waters. Appearing in Iolcus, Jason appeared with one sandal and stood before King Pelias claiming his right to the throne. Having lived in fear of the oracle, Pelias was bound by rules of hospitality to not harm his guest. Moreover, he had promised not to kill any more members of the family of Aeson who lived in seclusion outside the city. Seizing an idea, he asked Jason what he would do if an oracle had predicted that someone was supposed to kill him. Jason commented he would send that person on a dangerous and foolhardy mission. Seizing on those words, Aeson commanded Jason to search and bring back the Golden Fleece to Greece.

Feasting with his other relatives to layout his plans, Jason also consulted the temple of Hera. She revealed to him that she had been the old woman that he had carried and because of Zeusís edict, she could only help him two more times. For the second time, she sent him to have his ship built by Argus the boat builder because only he could create a craft worthy of carrying a boat for such an adventure. He sent out word for the greatest heroes of Greece and was reunited with Hercules and Theseus among countless others. (In one account, time-traveling members of the Twentieth Century counter-terrorist group known as GIJoe infiltrated the group, but this may be part of another time-line). In their travel for the Golden Fleece, they encountered several beasts and killed giants among several dangers. Jason romanced Medea in Colchis to gain her support in obtaining the fleece and she proved instrumental in helping him and his men in capturing it. As Jason and his men returned home, Medea returned with him to Greece although they had to visit her aunt Circe, to absolve her of her sins. Circe absolved Medea of the act of playing a part in her fatherís death, but upon hearing the full circumstances, she sent Jason, Medea and the Argonauts on their way. On their return, the Argonauts encountered the giant Talos near Crete and Hera was able to help Jason one last time by showing him the way to defeat it. During Jasonís absence, a rumor began in Iolcus that Jason had died at sea and Pelias celebrated believing he was rid of the last pretender to his throne. Fearing that Pelias would not live to his word, Jason meanwhile docked the Argo some distance from Iolcus and returned over land with only fifty men by his side. Medea hatched a plan herself by restoring Aesonís youth with her magicks and then showing Peliasís daughters how to do the same trick. However, by altering the routine, Medea knew that Pelias would burn to death in a hot bath. With his death, Jason won the throne. He claimed Medea as his queen, but the natives of Iolcus refused to accept her as being from a barbarian realm as their ruler. Jason left Iolcus to his cousin Acastus to rule and traveled to Corinth where her father had been born and once ruled. Hera no longer had any interest in Jason after the death of Pelias. Jason and Medea ruled Corinth and their son Thessalus later returned to Iolcus to rule after Acastus. Still feeling adventurous at times, he took part in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar and often lived in Thebes as a guest of King Creon. He became ambitious enough to marry Creonís daughter, Glauce, in order to gain advantage for himself and his children who had no rights as progeny of Medea from Colchis. Creon exiled Medea in order to divorce her from Jason and she retaliated by killing Creon, Glauce and her own children before escaping to Athens. Despondent on how his life had turned, Jason returned to Iolcus and discovered the ruins of the Argo rotting on the beach where it was last left. As he sat in his crumbling shadow remising on his life with grief and disgrace, the main prow of the ship collapsed and struck him a fatal blow. According to one account, Hercules was traveling nearby as he heard Jason cry out and rushed to save him, but it was too late. Realizing he was dying, Jason remised on the errors of his past to Hercules just before dying his last breath. Hercules then cremated his body atop a funeral pyre created out of the burning Argo.

Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

Strength Level: Jason possesses the normal human strength of a man of his size, height and build who engages in extensive physical exercises. 

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Abilities: Jason was well trained in wrestling and unarmed combat as well as a fair swordsman. According to the myth, he was also possessed of good judgment, smooth tongue and charisma with women. He also proved himself to be a brave and resourceful leader. 

Paraphernalia: At some point in his life, Jason wore the aegis either as a gift from Athena or from Hera.

Comments: This bio involves Jason's appearances in Marvel Comics; it is unrevealed if he has appeared in the DC Universe.

There have been two movies based on the Argosy; the first ďJason and the ArgonautsĒ (1963) is by far the most enjoyable and is possibly the closest to the actual story. Highlighted by the special effects of Ray Harryhausen, it starred Todd Armstrong as Jason and Nancy Kovak as Medea. (All of Armstrongís lines ended up redubbed prior to its release.) In 2000, actor Jason London took the title role in a more extravagantly visual film, which unfortunately fell a bit further from the legend. In the ďHercules, The Legendary JourneysĒ TV-Series, Jason was portrayed with even less basis on the myth by Jeffrey Thomas. And then there is the Seventies TV-Series ďJason of Star CommandĒ with Craig Little which is something else altogether.  

Jason is a member of the Aeolian family tree of Greek Mythology (descendants of Aeolus) and as such, much of his relatives have to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, his Aunt Crete was the eponym of the island of Crete, but she was also supposed to be the mother of King Asterius, the Cretan king who adopted King Minos who in turn is supposed to be counted as one of Jasonís elders. In fact, many of the Argonauts were members of this family tree, but sometimes Aeolus is a grandfather or as much as an ancestor eight generations removed. Since thereís no indication in the myths that Aeolus was long lived and had children for every generation he was still alive, it might be more accurate to be presuming that certain Argonauts were Aeolians under various different ancestors named Aeolus.

There are several versions and motivations in the story of Jasonís life. This history reports the traditional version with as many of those motivations as possible involved. The back-story to the Golden Fleece was that it had carried Phrixus and Helle, heirs of King Athamas of Thebes to Colchis. Helle had drowned in the Hellespont, but Phrixus made it to Colchis. After his death, the shade of Phrixus in the underworld was angry because his bones sat dishonored in a foreign land. Reputedly concealed in the fleece, returning his bones to be buried in Greece would lay him to rest. While the myths are vague on the final location of the fleece, it was likely buried with the bones of Phrixus.

Heraís three promises to Jason seem to be a modern addition to the story of Jason. Sometimes itís a part of the legend, sometimes it isnít, but itís included here anyway.

Jason and the aegis is a creation of the Marvel Universe; its not mentioned in connection to him in the myth. Furthermore, according to Athena, other heroes who had worn it were Perseus, Jason, Theseus, Achilles and Odysseus. Since Jason and Theseus were contemporaries (as were Achilles and Odysseus), this list of heroes appears to be suspicious unless they just wore them at different times of their lives. In the myth, Zeus lent it to Athena and sometimes to Apollo. Perseusís gifts were from the Hesperides, Theseusís gifts from Poseidon and Achilles received his armor from Hephaestus by way of his mother, the goddess Thetis.

Clarifications: Jason is not to be confused with:

Last updated: 08/17/11

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