You don’t need to have read the comics to have figured out that mythology plays a huge role in the stories of Marvel and DC. The animated series and movies are there for people who don’t read and also the movies in the MCU with heroes such as Thor (Chris Hemsworth). I am sure we will get Themyscira in Wonder Woman (2017) with Gal Gadot reprising her role as the Amazon princess and Chris Pine making his first appearance as Steve Trevor. Furthermore, in Marvel we have Neptune, Goliath (David vs Goliath), Triton (Inhumans), Hercules, Hyperion and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to name a few. In DC, we have Ares, Hades, Zeus and Artemis. That’s just for starters. Asgard is also a major influence in the MCU and the comics deriving from Old Norse Mythology. Now, shall we begin?
Let us begin with DC’s Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Her place of origin is an island nation called Themyscira where she grew up with her sisters known as The Amazons. Themyscira was once known as Paradise Island. It’s a hidden island inhabited by the Amazons. The Amazons were sick of mankind’s evil in ancient Greece after being reduced to chains and shackles by Zeus’ demigod son Hercules. They had cut themselves off from the world and society to this island where they could practice a peaceful way of life. A place where only women are allowed. Men are seen as untrustworthy, greedy, selfish and are responsible for all the world’s problems. The Amazons are banned from venturing into the world outside.
In Greek mythology, Themyscira lies on the river Thermodo. The island nation is also the name of a place in modern-day Turkey. Its vicinity to Troy may explain why they reached Troy so hastily in the mythological Trojan War. Looking back on reading that story, I now see it is one of literature’s greatest trolls. Themyscira’s figurehead, Wonder Woman, is a feminist icon portraying this independent female warrior who doesn’t need a man to protect her. She does her own fighting. When Steve Trevor saves her from Ares in Wonder Woman (2009), she has a problem. She gets defensive and believes herself weak needing to be saved by a man implying that if she were a man, he wouldn’t have saved her. Wonder Woman’s first appearance was in All Star Comics #8 (1941).
One of the most renowned mythological heroes in comics is Thor known as The Mighty Thor. The character is based on the Norse god of the same name. He is the Asgardian god of thunder and wields the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, which grants him the ability of flight and weather manipulation amongst his other superhuman attributes like strength. Also he is the son of Odin, and the brother of Loki (comics/movies) as well. Asgardians speak much alike Shakespeare with lots of archaic lexis such as thine, thee, thy and thou. It’s refreshing to hear the British accent among the Avengers rather than the standard modern American-English lingo that is so common in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“This is beyond you, metal man. Loki will face Asgardian justice.”
Thor To Iron Man
By Odin’s Beard! It’s Loki! In the source material, Loki is no brother of Thor. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Frigga (Rene Russo) adopted Loki in the comics/movies but in the mythology he was never adopted, though Thor and Loki thought themselves blood brothers. Loki is the god of mischief, sometimes pranking his fellow gods, sometimes insulting them, but much of the time helping them due to the mess that he had conjured. Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Loki is legendary. He’s just so fun to watch and you can’t help but love his character even if he is hellbent on world domination and always has the best quotes. Marvel couldn’t depict the true Norse myths on-screen because they’re full of murder, chaos and weird sex. That wouldn’t fit with the PG-13 rating at all would it? That’s just not cricket.
“Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.”
One of the main characters in Thor’s stories is Sif. She is played by Jaime Alexander in both Thor movies and a couple of episodes in Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. She has played Sif in an episode per season of the series so I expect her to have another cameo in Season 3. In the mythology, she is Thor’s wife and very lady-like. She’s not a fighter. She just stands by Thor’s side and looks pretty but she’s also the goddess of Harvest. In my opinion, Marvel improved her character by contradicting the stereotype of women being weak, thus making her into a badass warrior though she is constantly pining over Thor. The original Sif is famous for her long blonde hair until Loki thought it would be amusing to cut it off. He lives up to his name. He is one of the greatest trolls there is. Sif wasn’t much for butchering her enemies during battle. When Loki cut her hair off, she got so sad that none of the crops would grow. Thor beat the crap out Loki until he gave her hair back.
Asgard is Thor’s birthplace and is one of the nine realms. The ninerealms being: Asgard, Vanaheim, Alfheim, Midgard (Earth), Jotunheim, Svartalfheim, Nidavellir, Niflheim and Muspelheim. One could call our planet Middle Earth. Earth is the home of us, Humans. It is connected to Asgard by the Bifrost (The Rainbow Bridge). Asgard is the dwelling place of the gods and goddesses. The male Asgardian, gods are named Aesir and the Asgardian goddesses are called Ásynjur. Odin rules Asgard and he is the chief of the gods. Odin is married to Frigg. She is the Queen of the goddesses. Through the gates of Asgard is Valhalla; it is the place where the Vikings that died in battle will go for the afterlife. Fans of History’s Vikings know that Valhalla is used very often. Take a shot every time someone say Valhalla. Furthermore characters like Floki have donned the personalities of gods like Loki. Floki is full of trickery and deceit. He was someone who appears as a friend to begin with and then he makes moves behind your back. e.g. killing Athelstan betrayed Ragnar. May Floki burn in hell.
Hades, Zeus and Poseidon are known as the big three in Greek mythology. The three sons of Kronos. Zeus is Lord Of The Skies and god of thunder. Poseidon is the earthshaker and Lord Of The Seas. Hades’ dominion is in the Underworld where he is God of Death. They drew lots after the overthrow of their father. He drew the short straw so he got the Underworld. Hades is an enemy of Wonder Woman along with Zeus’ progeny Ares. All four of these gods are in the DC and Marvel universes. There’s not much to say on them except that they are gods. strength, speed, stamina. They are more enhanced than any superhero, mainly appearing in the Thor and Wonder Woman storylines.
Another example from Marvel is the mad titan Hyperion. Personally, I call him mad because he’s so delusional and he is a psycho. Hyperion was one of the titan sons of Uranus representing light, wisdom and watchfulness. Furthermore he was the father of the sun,the moon and the dawn (physically and figuratively).Hyperion was married to his sister, Theia and they had three children together. They were called Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon) and Eos (the dawn). Hyperion, and his daughter Dawn were two of four pillars that kept his father Uranus in check. The other two pillars were his two brothers, Coeus (pillar of the south) and Crius (pillar of the north). This description of Hyperion couldn’t be more different from Marvel’s Hyperion. There’s been many Hyperions but the most notable ones are villains and just want to destroy the Avengers as was evident in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble animated series. He kills criminals rather than putting them behind bars. He and the Avengers have been at odds ever since. He wants to create the world in his own image and will stop at nothing to do that.
The Lost City Of Atlantis is renowned by many throughout the world even if people don’t know what it is or what happened. People know the name “Atlantis” from a myth or story but there are many conspiracy theories circling about whether or not it truly existed. Who knows? The place is in both Marvel and DC comics. In Marvel, it’s the home to the King Of Atlantis, Namor The Subraminer. Atlantis in DC is home to Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman, also King Of Atlantis and one of the founding members of the Justice League. Jason Momoa donning the role in Batman VS Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be great. I first saw him in Stargate Atlantis where he played Ronan then I saw him in Conan The Barbarian (2011) and then as Khal Drogo in HBO’s Game Of Thrones. I am sure he’ll be just as good as Arthur Curry in Dawn Of Justice (2016) and Aquaman (2018).
Let’s face it. The Justice League pack a punch. They may not all be from myth but they are godly in the eyes of humanity. Superman on his own is pretty epic. Then we have Wonder Woman who is a badass warrior. The Flash can run faster than sound and has regenerative healing. Did I forget to mention that he can travel in time? Batman, well he’s Batman. It’s self-explanatory. Cyborg is part man part machine and has access to all the world’s information. Lastly Shazam and The Green Lantern. They pack a serious wallop.
Bring us more mythology in movies and television! We will certainly get some in Thor III as it is attacking the Ragnarök plotline. Thor III: Ragnarok is basically going to be a Lord Of The Rings-style fantasy epic. Ragnarök is basically the Norse mythology’s apocalypse. I believe it was foreshadowed by Heimdall in Age Of Ultron when Wanda got inside Thor’s head. I love the whole fantasy feel of mythology. It would be good to get some of these characters adapted into the MCU or DCCU. I’d love Zeus, Hades and Poseidon to be in Wonder Woman (2017).
Heimdall: Is it him? Is that the first son of Odin?
Thor: Heimdall, your eyes?
Heimdall: They see everything. They see you leading us to hell.
I understand I could be tinfoiling it, but I couldn’t help but wonder.