Chaos, Hearts And Flowers: A Siren’s song

Chaos, hearts and flowers: A Siren’s song (Editor’s note: With the recent announcement of the coming in October of the mini-series Chaos Warstarring a returning Hercules, Cosmic Book New’s own Captain Cosmic, Contributing Editor Byron Brewer, takes a look at one of the Olympian’s purported “god squad” allies, that Agent of Atlas known as Venus.) By Byron Brewer VENUS I first met this Agent of Atlas in the pages of The Champions, although I believe her comic book history dates back to 1948 with Venus #1. Although in her appearance with the Champions, readers assumed – as they always had, I suppose – that this red-tressed woman was the actual goddess of love also known as Aphrodite, it was later revealed that she is a Siren and not the true deity. The origin of “Venus,” whom I am assuming by the already-popular issue #2 cover to be the character that will be involved in Chaos War, was revealed by, of all folks, the Sub-Mariner’s childhood playmate and cousin, Namora. According to the Scourge of the Sea, Venus is a soulless Siren that lured sailing ships to her with her voice and fed on the sailors. To prevent his ship and his crew from being “fed” upon, the captain of a merchant ship hired a mystic to kill her. The mystic instead gave her a soul. The Siren then took the form of a beautiful woman (forbidding herself to speak again) and was taken in by a nunnery, where she lived for decades and believed herself a mute servant girl until she one day joined a chorus, filling the visiting clergy with lust. She was then expelled from the nunnery. Learning how to use her voice for good, she blocked out all memories of her previous life and assumed that she was indeed the goddess Venus reborn. Now calling herself Venus, the character resurfaced in the 1940s and acted as a superhero. Learning the truth about her past, Venus fell into despair and nearly destroyed her companions with her song. Jimmy Woo resisted her song and reminded her of all the good she had done, restoring her belief in herself and allowing her to reverse the effects on the others. She has since become a mainstay with the Agents of Atlas, using her restored powers to soothe and calm her opponents while traveling the world in Marvel Boy’s ship along with her teammates. In recent days, she was abducted by the true Olympian goddess Aphrodite, angry at her for assuming her name and guise. Rescued by her group, they have had further battles with Aphrodite until, in a climactic battle of song, the goddess decides to appoint Venus in her place, recognizing that she has not been truly dedicated to love since Troy. Venus has the power to project images of herself and to control the emotions of others, as well as the ability to fly at high speeds, shield herself from mortal sight, and shift her physical form into other beings, even dolphins. Venus possesses a magical girdle named Cestus that enables its wearer to enchant anyone to become a love-slave, and to neutralize or transform all weapons of war (that will certainly come in handy during any Cosmic Chaos War, eh?). Hephaestus designed the girdle. After the restoration of her memories, Venus realized her empathic abilities were really derived from a powerful “Siren song,” able to heal and restore, curing people’s souls by giving them a moment of true bliss in which they can live their most prized fantasy. (Has the Shaper of Worlds heard about this young lady?) Her voice is mystically empowered with advanced mind-control abilities, related to her mood: when she speaks in joy, she fills her listeners with bliss and fanatical love for her; when she cries in sadness, her listeners drown in despair too. Her power was strong enough to immediately subdue the Sentry into helping her find Norman Osborn during his Dark Reign. Like many characters with vocal-based abilities, it has been shown that Venus’ Siren song can be disabled if she is gagged. I am not a regular reader of Atlas, but I do like the team’s concept and their past history. I am hoping exposure in a “Big Event” such as Chaos War with Cosmic consequences will help readership for both Atlas and Marvel Cosmic in general. I would actually love that! Chaos Wardebuts in October!