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Editorial | Greek Mythology in Popular Culture

Several months ago, I wrote a blog post discussing the ubiquitous references to Norse mythology in modern day pop culture, but Scandinavian folklore certainly does not have the market cornered. The wise King Solomon once said, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and it certainly seems that way sometimes in media and entertainment. Tired rom-com plot lines are trotted out every year—sometimes with the same dialogue—and Adam Sandler doesn’t seem to be able to create an original story to save his life. However, Greek myths have a life all their own, and when incorporated correctly, they appeal to an ancient tradition that really enhances the story.

In comics, as with most entertainment, there are two ways to incorporate myths: either the artist can harken directly back to Greek stories by incorporating members of the pantheon directly into the cast of characters. Examples of this are Hades from the Lady Pendragon comics, various appearances of Artemis and Aphrodite in all manner of comics, or even Hercules as a member of the Marvel Avengers team. Alternatively, comic creators can sneakily refer to Greek myths or just steal inspiration without giving direct credit. A good example is in Aquaman, the not-quite-Poseidon character about whom Marvel is in the process of creating a movie.

Jason-Momoa-Aquaman

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in the upcoming film.

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Filed under Comics, Editorial, Geek Life, Movies, Television, Tracy Gronewold