Today we are presenting some interesting superheroes which are inspired by mythology! Have you often wondered what influences the past has on modern media or the origin of a favorite super? We will be able to enlighten you with a couple of popularly famous superheroes and their origin stories.
Perhaps even these crossovers might inspire you to take up an interest in the study of history or have something modern attached to their ancient splendor? A comic based on Thor for your bookshelf, or a ring with the power of Zeus?
Via: Den of Geek
Loki is a popular Norse god because of their tricky nature which is not subject to the usual depiction of a god. They can appear as a person, gender, or animal and often use this shapeshifting power to their advantage to trick other gods and mortals alike. He is represented as the symbol of twin snakes woven into an ‘s’ shape in Norse runes.
Loki is a neutral ‘super’ in Marvel comics and the cinematic universe. He is a fan favorite as being the cooky and very unpredictable brother to the lawful good Thor. He is often depicted as the villain in early stories, but in recent movies and tv series, there has been pushing to show this character in a new light. They show that he is multilayered and although he has a tricky streak, his heart is innate good at heart. The Loki, portrayed by Tom Hiddleson in the tv show Loki (2021-?) is shown to resent the mean things he did to others in the past and is trying to make a means to heal and move forward.
Via: The Guardian
Thor is the Norse god of lightning, storms, groves, trees, and the wielder of the powerful hammer, Mjölnir. He is regarded as the embodiment of the perfect warrior with a robust build, beard, strength, and an impossible foe to overcome in battle. Whereas his father Odin and his brother Loki battle with words and deceit, he settles it with his hammer.
Marvel created Thor for their comic and cinematic universe of superheroes. Thor is similar to the mythological god, except he is part of an alien race, the same said with Loki, called Asgardians. It is canon that their race was worshipped by human Vikings and became gods, but they are far from the whole mythology. When he was young he conquered the ten realms of his pocket universe with his enchanted hammer, but this made him too cocky so his father Odin Odinson sent him to Earth as punishment. Stripped of his memories, he became a med student called Donald Blake and would later overcome this to regain his memories and return home. He would join the Avengers and feel connected to Earth so spent a lot of his time there protecting it from evils.
Atlas was a Greek Titan god who personified strength carrying the entire Earth on the back of his shoulders. He led a war against Zeus as leader of the Titans, and his punishment for their defeat was to carry the world for the rest of his days. When he is depicted, he is often stipped bare, holding spherical earth on the back of his shoulders as he bends and struggles to hold on to this burden.
The superhero-inspired Atlas is not as famous as others on this list. He was in a small comic series that fell quickly into obscurity no sooner after being published in Golden Age Comics of the 1950s. In 2022, the YouTuber Austin McConnell came up with the idea to create a ‘bargain bin superhero cinematic universe’ using superheroes, including Atlas, which had fallen into the public domain as a way to make movies on a low budget. From this 1950s run, Atlas is an ordinary man who, at his lowest moment, gained extraordinary powers of strength from the Titan Atlas.
DC Comics also have their own Atlas superhero, which is much more famous than the latter. One observation was that the way they depicted him was he always seemed to skim the line between hero and villain -similar to the puzzle of including someone like Loki on this list of super ‘heroes.’ He is shown to want to save people in some superman comics that he appears in, but the next minute is plotting to kill him as well.
He is both a Greek and Roman mythological demigod hero with extraordinary strength as a result of being a son of Zeus / Jupiter and a mortal. He goes on harrowing adventures into the mythical world of the underworld, and mortal plain to cleanse the world of great evils and undercome great trials amongst these being the twelve labors of Hercules. He is a champion for the weak and their great protector.
In Marvel, he is part of the Olympian race and came to reside on Earth when he was banished from Olympus. During this period, he became a member of the Avengers. However, even if he is part of the team he is a rival of Thor from the same series of comics. He exhibits similar powers of extraordinary strength to his mythological counterpart and uses them to deal with threats against his new home planet.
He is an enemy of Wonder Woman in DC comics although he is not explicitly evil. He was a prisoner under the reign of the Amazons, a matriarchal society of women which Wonder Woman originated from, so no wonder he had a grudge against her! He is depicted as a brutish man with great strength, usually working to break the plans of Superman or Wonder Woman.
Apollo is the Greek and Roman god of the sun, archery, healing, music, dance, prophecy, and truth (to name a few, he was a significant god). He is often depicted in art as a man with a cloak wrapped around the neck of his bare body, with the soft youthful face of a typical Greek man. He is the most reasonable of all the gods, the type of man the youth should aspire to be like, and worshipped by many in the ancient worlds. He is highly lawful, creating the prose for which laws were created to aid city leaders with these tasks, giving words to poets, and the rightful aim of bows in battle.
Of course, with Apollo being such a great Greek god there would be a superhero inspired by him! There are many different takes on an Apollo-inspired superhero in recent years, for example, DC set in the Wildstorm Universe.
The DC Apollo wields solar powers, hence the name Apollo being the god of the sun and light and uses them to fight evil as part of StormWatch. A fun fact about this Apollo is he even has a husband called Midnighter! It's great to see the LGBT+ community represented in a traditionally straight comic world.
Zeus is the god of all gods in Greek mythology! He is the protector of the sky, often imagined flying around as the protector, father, and leader of all gods and humans. He is dressed as an old man with a long wavy beard and symbolized by a lightning bolt and eagle. He is not just powerful; he is known famously as a great lover-boy amongst gods with the ability to woo any man or woman with an insatiable charm.
Zeus appeared as a superhero in Marvel comics in 1949 with the same godly powers as the god of myth. He led a fictitious race of humanoids called Olympians from another dimension and fought in a similar manner against Titans to gain his place as king of all. He had many wives and fathered many children, including the famous Hercules. His high status meant he also had to dip his lightning rod into politics forming relationships with other higher beings like the Eternals and Norse-God-inspired races led by Thor and Odin.
Zeus was depicted in 1944 DC comics as a minor part of the Wonder Woman Methos. He has a similar backstory to the real-life equivalent –except the Olympians were real people. He has recently taken a more vital role in the DC universe as in 2011, it was revealed that he is the father of Wonder Woman with her mother Hippolyta (queen of the Amazons).
During the research for this list, it was surprising that the founding stories for many of these superheroes were made essentially unchanged from myth to comic. It is probably because, innately, it is fascinating to imagine a world with superheroes that are not dissimilar to our own and because the characters would be completely different if they were told otherwise. With all subject matter in the public domain, you can go wild with old stories of the past to imagine them in a new light and celebrate the old mixed into new media.
If you love the ‘old mixed into new’ media perhaps you should check out Thorum. We are a small ring business that creates fantastic bands inspired by a love for the old and new. Our collection has a range of rings inspired by mythological figures also superheroes exemplified on this list.