What's the problem with mythological superheroes?

I see many people here being against the “demigod-superhero” type of character,mostly people like Incredible,Hercules,Thor and Wonder Woman.They argue that mixing superheroes with mythological figures would make it less realistic,but please tell me,what is realistic in superhero comics?Is it realistic so many diferent alien species with overpowered abilities?Is it realistic to develop superpowers after exposed to anything readiotive?Is it realistic making tecnology so advanced do do pratically everything,minus curing cancer,protect the enviroment,and stoping the hunger in the world?Comics are made by entretain and be fun,so almost everything can be done on them,there’s no need to limit what can be done base don the opinion of some few people.Also many cosmic entities have roles close to the gods,and many of the times are even more overpowered than the gods.

One atractive on the above mentioned comics is that their are not limited to exist in ancient times,that would all their stories repetitive and clichê,interacting with the present day gives mucg more possibilities.Try to figure Thor without figthing with people like the Hulk and Silver Surfer,Herc and Amadeus Cho together,Wonder Woman working in the big 3 and the Justice League,and many other characters that she usually encounter wouldn’t be part of her books if it was only her in ancient times.If they made it that well WW woundn’t be anything more than Xena on a swinsuit for example.Thor would be the same to a lot of characters that you see on Warcraft and another RPGs of this style.I not saying that both are bad,it isn’t proper to the characters.It’s good to see in comics that the gods weren’t just a delusion of some people in the past and also exist at least on comics world.Mythology is a source of stories and archetypes so rich to be understimated.

As a fan of these character I love when they give a more modern look to the gods,be it in armors,clothing,weapons,equipament and architeture.When well done that can be awesome,some titles that use that is Jack Kirby’s New Gods and the Eternals that sadly people don’t seen to care about.Made up pantheons are a very cleaver idea because you’re not limited to using the archetypes of the same characters from diferent mythologies over and over.Of course the Eternals are mostly mortal that became well...eternal beings,but they are also heavily based on Greek mythology and still seen so diferent from the Marvel’s Olympian pantheon(I mentioned that eternals real is called Olympia?).There are simmilarities between them like both leader of the Pantheons Zeus and Zuras have similar names,similar looks(like a big red-haired guy with a beard)and a totally diferent personality,Zuras has the same personality that Zeus would have if he stayed with the Kid Zeus personality after he died in Assaut on New Olympus,that’s why I like him more.Many sword and sorcery comics and games also make their own pantheon,I particularry like the gods that the sorcercers of the Dr. Strange drawn their power like the Vishanti.Supernatural is just a type of origin of powers as any other,and in many cases is more of a explanation than a lot of pseudo scientific origins.

These kind of chracter keeps comics more diverse.Isn’r comic books supposed to be our modern mythology?Even books were made base don that afirmation,and they still search fantastic explanations to things we don’t know.And putting the ancient gods and heroes just makes things better,not worse.It’s intersting to see mythological figures on other settings,comics aren’t the real world,so everything is possible in there.

16 Comments
16 Comments
Posted by joshmightbe

Actually when you look at it all super hero comics are at the very least inspired by ancient mythology, same can be said for any super natural fiction really, many consider comic books to be modern mythology. Hercules was most likely the basis for the creation of the Original version of Superman.

Posted by PowerHerc

@joshmightbe said:

Actually when you look at it all super hero comics are at the very least inspired by ancient mythology, same can be said for any super natural fiction really, many consider comic books to be modern mythology. Hercules was most likely the basis for the creation of the Original version of Superman.

Hercules was one one of the characters Siegel and Shuster were in inspired by when they conceived & created Superman.

The others are purported to be Moses, Buck Rogers and Doc Savage.

Posted by PowerHerc

@CodeSaint: I think the main problems face mythological characters, especially ones with their origins rooted in ancient time, is the fact that many writers cannot, will not or won't even try to characterize them properly. Too often they are either written as over-stuffed blowhards or written no differently than modern mortal superheroes. It's rare indeed when they are written as godly beings of vast power, skill and experience worthy of the proper amount of awe, fear or respect.

Posted by joshmightbe

@PowerHerc: Also modern writers do try to place modern morality on characters from ancient myth, but comics are far from the only medium to do this. For instance in the movie Troy, The character Petrocles (not sure if I spelled that right) was called Achilles cousin but in the original myth they were lovers and from a story stand point that would have been a far more reasonable explanation for Achilles' reaction to his death but since they feared modern audiences would be upset about that they turned it into a more father/son relationship and on TV they had Hercules the legendary Journey, where Hercules was always saying things about how he wished he didn't have to resort to violence while the Mythological version he seemed to genuinely love fighting

Posted by Vance Astro
@joshmightbe said:

Actually when you look at it all super hero comics are at the very least inspired by ancient mythology, 

So, what myth was Spider-Man inspired by?
Moderator
Posted by joshmightbe

@Vance Astro: its more of a general statement than anything specific but he does follow the basic structure of the heroic journey that pretty much all fictional heroes in history follow, its all laid out in the book The Hero With 1,000 faces

Posted by PowerHerc

@joshmightbe said:

@PowerHerc: Also modern writers do try to place modern morality on characters from ancient myth, but comics are far from the only medium to do this. For instance in the movie Troy, The character Petrocles (not sure if I spelled that right) was called Achilles cousin but in the original myth they were lovers and from a story stand point that would have been a far more reasonable explanation for Achilles' reaction to his death but since they feared modern audiences would be upset about that they turned it into a more father/son relationship and on TV they had Hercules the legendary Journey, where Hercules was always saying things about how he wished he didn't have to resort to violence while the Mythological version he seemed to genuinely love fighting

Yes, I agree.

Posted by CodeSaint

@joshmightbe: Like Gail Simone did with him?

Posted by joshmightbe

@CodeSaint: Why does everyone here assume because I say something is common that I'm saying it always applies in every instance? Did I say anywhere that every single writer had the same line of thought when writing these type of characters? No I didn't I just stated that in general writers do things a certain way which is true, but there are exceptions.

Posted by CodeSaint

@joshmightbe: Sorry I didn't wanted to be rude.

I just wanted to put an example of a rare case he is played right.One promissing character that didn't survived the reboot along with the most recent runs of WW.Also complementing your post,in the mythology Hercules also had relations to his nephew Iolaus.

Posted by Deadcool

Do people really feel in that way with mythological characters?

=\ damn

Posted by joshmightbe

@CodeSaint: Its ok, but for the past few days every time I post anything about common things I get someone coming up with a rare occurrence thinking it disproves my point

Posted by Spiderslike

I wrote a blog similar to this last week but it was mostly about Thor. To me some of the partial disrespect magical and divine beings receive comes from the simple fact that it's hard for people to get into the right mind set when using mythology because they simply don't believe

Posted by Calvin

I don't like magic. I do like Diana, she's a great character. But just like I don't the simplistic approach to Clark's superpower's origin, I also don't like the magic/mythological origins of Diana's.

Posted by joshmightbe

@Calvin: So you like Diana but you don't like everything that makes her who she is?

Posted by gravitypress

Part of what makes a mythological character intriguing is their motivation. Why come down the mountain? Thor's attraction in Marvel is that the blood of his mother calls him there and the blood of his father causes him to protect his earthly domain. Hercules seems to be more of a thrill seeker who likes to protect the weak.