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[Hermes in the War of the Gods]
Occupation: God of Thieves and Messengers, Messenger to the Gods of Olympus
Known Relatives: Zeus (father), Maia (mother), Pan (son), Cronus and Rhea (grandparents), other gods and goddesses (sisters, brothers, cousins, etc.)
Base of Operations: Olympus
First Appearance: Classical Greek Myths
Death of Hermes: At the hands of Circe (War of the Gods #3, 1991)

Near the dawn of humanity there came a race of beings whom the ancient Greeks would later know as gods. Empowered by the beliefs of their worshipers, each held sway over certain aspects of the world. From Chaos came Gaea and Uranus; from their union came forth a race of Titans, who were in turn cast out when Zeus, son of their leader Cronus, slew his father and founded Olympus (standard Greek mythology).

As their worshipers spread through the Mediterranean, a being known as Uxas (who would later become Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips) brought tales of the Greek Gods to a tiny village known as Rome, changing the names as he told their stories. To better oversee their two lands, they created avatars of themselves, one house remaining in Greece, the other in Rome. Over time, however, the two pantheons became distinct beings—Zeus and Jove, Hermes and Mercury, Athena and Minerva—each now a separate identity, rather than two appearances of one being (as told in Wonder Woman #131, 1998). With their worshipers divided, their power waned, and both houses fell into myth.

Their influence is not completely gone. The Amazons of Themiscyra still worship the Greek pantheon, and those gods still speak to the Amazons. Hermes himself was an ally of Wonder Woman during her early adventures in the outside world.

A few years ago, however, the sorceress Circe sought to gain supreme power over the universe by inciting all pantheons—Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, African, Aztec...even the New Gods of Apokolips and New Genesis—to fight a great War of the Gods. It was during this time that Hermes sought out the Flash so that he might steal his speed for the battle with Mercury. Hermes became a key player in the effort to thwart Circe’s plans, and Mercury joined with others to re-empower Captain Marvel (having contributed his speed to Shazam’s original spell), but ultimately Hermes died at Circe’s hand (War of the Gods, 1991).

The aftermath of the war led to a reconciliation between the Greek and Roman pantheons. Eventually, the two houses decided to once again merge, each Greek god becoming one being with his or her Roman counterpart.

Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.

Top of Page Primary Sources

  • The War of the Gods (1991), George Perez
  • “Shadows of the Past” - Wonder Woman #132 (April 1998), John Byrne

Art

  • War of the Gods #3 (November 1991) - could be Russell Braun, Pablo Marcos, Vince Giarrano, Scott Hanna, Romeo Tanghal, or any combination thereof.

Profiles

  • Who’s Who in the DC Universe #17 under Olympian Gods (July 1986)
  • Who’s Who Update ’87 #4 under Olympian Gods (November 1987)
  • The DC Comics Encyclopedia under Olympian Gods (2004)

Significant Flash Appearances

  • Flash #55 (October 1991): “To Race With Gods,” William Messner-Loebs

Related Commentary

The Flash Companion The Flash Companion
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