Mythology vs Comicology: The Chimera

For some time, the idea behind the chimera, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple animals: upon the body of a lioness with a tail that ended in a snake's head, the head of a goat arose on her back at the center of her spine. The Chimera was one of the offspring of Typhon and Echidna and a sibling of such monsters as Cerberus and the Lernaean Hydra. The term chimera has also come to describe any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals and, more generally, an impossible fantasy. The most well known chimera right now in comics is Ai Apaec, better known as the six-armed dark Spider-man currently in Dark Avengers. being that has the head, torso, and arms of a human, the lower half being a spider's body, snakes for hair, and long sharp fangs. He was worshipped by the Moche people of South America (Peru). He was eventually captured by government officials and held in a secret government base somewhere underwater.

While not quite the real creature of myth, Ai Apaec does follow quite the walking effect of the creature of legend, even with his ability to turn into a six-armed version of Spider-man in his costume, he is still under the main part of a being composed of several features of others. The Chimera is generally considered to have been female (see the quotation from Hesiod above) despite the maneadorning its lion's head, the inclusion of a close mane often was depicted on lionesses, but the ears always were visible (that does not occur with depictions of male lions). Sighting the Chimera was an omen of storms, shipwrecks, and natural disasters (particularly volcanoes). Iron that he was found in South America in an unstable region when Norman Osborn recruited him for the next version of the Dark Avengers. Hopefully as Dark Avengers continues we will learn more of Ai Apaec and just how close he is to the true legend of the Chimera.

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