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10Venus

First appearance: Venus #1

Marvel is no stranger to tapping into ancient mythologies for story ideas. Namora was a part of the lost city of Atlantis, but that’s just one example - over the past several decades, it seems as if almost every Greek deity and demigod has made their way into the pages of a Marvel comic book.

Venus (despite the fact that she was named for her Roman counterpart) was no exception. Though it would eventually be revealed that the character was a Siren merely posing as the goddess of love and beauty, Venus debuted as part of the traditional Greek pantheon. The earliest stories, told in the self-titled Venus magazine, started out as lighthearted affairs... though, by the magazine’s end, the stories depicted had become much darker, more mature affairs.

After the magazine’s cancellation, Venus wouldn’t be seen again for the better part of two decades. Eventually, the goddess-in-disguise returned as part of Namor the Sub-Mariner’s ongoing series, where she was changed into something of a mischievous manipulator before becoming a strange hybrid of hero and victim in later years.

When the original Venus was revealed to be one of the monstrous Sirens, the genuine article re-appeared - though this version of Venus demanded to be known only as Aphrodite. This version of the character was far more ruthless than the original (even going so far as to brand the false Venus for her crimes), though Marvel never established Aphrodite as a true supervillain. Essentially, Marvel somehow managed to give the same character two very different portrayals.

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