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Hephaestus (/hᵻˈfɛstəs/ IPA, Χεπχαεστουσ in Olympian) is the Greek god of technology, volcanoes and blacksmiths. Mocked by his family because of his defomity and his lack of control over his fire, Hephaestus grew to hate both other gods and all forms of biological life. With the help of his army of indestructable Talos robots he created a sector almost entirely devoid of life, scheming to become more powerful than his brothers and sisters thanks to his miraculous inventions.

Biography

The son of Zeus and Hera, Hephaestus was born as a lame hunchback with little control over his power: his body was constantly on fire. This isolated him from his family: the only one showing kindness to him was his aunt Hestia. The two were briefly engaged, but Haphaestus later married his half sister Aphrodite.

The marriage was unhappy, with Aphrodite repeatedly cheating on him. Hephaestus grew more and more isolated from the rest of the galaxy, with the only company of his robots and his robotic mistress Galatea.

Due to the proximity of their sectors, Hephaestus became a bitter rival of Demeter. After her fall at the hands of Noriko Null, Hephaestus suddenly greatly increased the size of his sector and started a brief conflict known as the Vulcan War to take control of the Olympian Galaxy in a secret alliance with Hermes. This failed thanks to the Vanguard, who invaded the Vulcan Forge to contront him.

SPOILER WARNING: Plot details after Beyond The Impossible #106


During the fight he was immobilized by Noriko Null and his body was phased inside the core of the neutron star when it became a black hole, killing him in the process.

Powers

Immortality: Hephaestus does not age; he has kept his current apparent age for hundreds of thousands of years.

Flight: Hephaestus can lift his own body telekinetically. It's possible he can't travel faster than light, since he used a starship to move between planets.

Invulnerability: By placing a mental lock on his molecular structure, Hephaestus can prevent his body from being harmed. It allows him to survive the pressure and radiation of the surface of a neutron star for extended periods of time.

Godlike strength: Hephaestus is as strong as he thinks she is. He has shown to be able to move with ease on a neutron star and has survived attacks from Artemis.

Godlike stamina: Hephaestus doesn’t need to eat, drink or sleep.

Universal translator:Hephaestus can understand any language instantly. People around him will have the same ability, but it will fade over time without prolonged contact.

Heat generation: Hephaestus' body is constantly generating heat and flames; he's been compared to "a flamethrower you can't turn off". It's possible he is completely immune to heat damage like Vesta.

Neutral matter armor and hammer: Hephaestus wears an armor of neutral matter, a light metal with the same molecular density of neutron star matter but with a microscopic fraction of its weight. Neutral matter is supposedly completely indestructable, capable of withstanding even on the core of a star.

Superhuman intelligence: Hephaestus is one of the smartest beings in the galaxy, possibly at the same level of a Nexus-powered individual.

Known inventions

Talos robots: The foot soldiers and oracles of Hephaestus. Programmed with advanced artificial intelligence, capable of flying faster than light, powered by plasma fusion reactors and protected by neutral matter armor. A single Talos is capable of conquering an entire planet or to destroy all forms of life on it.

Galatea robots: Female robots created as lovers for Hephaestus, far more independent than the Talos but similarly powerful. Haphaestus seemingly employs a single Galatea at a time.

Talos Collective: The collective consciousness shared by all Talos robots, controlled only by Hephaestus and Galatea.

Neutral matter: The signature invention of Hephaestus, a light metal with the same molecular density of neutron star matter but with a microscopic fraction of its weight. Neutral matter is supposedly completely indestructable, capable of withstanding even inside the core of a star. Its only weakness is that, if destabilized, it gains the same weight of neutron star matter. Hephaestus is the only known being capable of forging neutral matter and is responsible for the creation of several objects of the same material: his own armor and hammer, the shield and staff of Athena, the outer shell of his Talos and Galatea robots, the hull of the Aetos, the walls of the Vulcan Forge and more.

Plasma fusion reactors: Miniaturized power sources that grant each Talos immense firepower. Reverse-engineered by Noriko Null.

Gravity dampeners: Capable to reduce the gravity on the surface of a neutron star to Earth levels.

Aetos: The capital ship of Haphaestus, with the shape of a large bird of prey. Its hull is entirely covered in neutral matter.

Vulcan Forge: A palace made of neutral matter, serving as headquarters to the Talos and as a capital to the entire Hephaestus sector.

Winter Armor: An armor designed to cool down his body from the constant heat it generates, Hephaestus abandoned when its power proved to be too hard for him to control. Recovered and improved by the Scribe and the Winter King.

Heaven-Slayer: A sword capable of cutting through anything, including neutral matter itself. Created by Haphaetus as a last resort in case any of his creations rebelled against him.

Trivia

  • He is technically the ruler of Earth at the start of the series, despite having never set foot on it and having no knowledge of its location
  • The name of his capital ship, the Aetos, is the name of the eagle sent in mythology to devour the liver of Prometheus
  • The Talos take their name from a giant automaton built by Hephaestus in Greek mythology. It's unknown if the giant version existed in the Beyond The Impossible universe.
  • Galatea takes her name from the myth of the statue turned into a woman with the same name. Interestingly, Hephaestus was not involved in the myth: Galatea was transformed by his wife Aphrodite
  • Neutral matter is probably inspired by Adamantine, the indestructable metal from Greek mythology
  • Despite his importance to the series and the Olympian Galaxy, Haphaestus has appeared only in eight issues of Beyond The Impossible and in "Untold tale of Vesta"

Defining episodes

Gallery