Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wonder Woman lore and Greek Mythology

I love the Wonder Woman movie, faithfulness doesn't equal good, and unfaithful doesn't equal bad.  This analysis of how Wonder Woman comics and their adaptations handle Greek Mythology should in no way be seen as a criticism of the film or the comics.  I simply like talking about these things as a Nerd of both Mythology and Western Comics.

The first change in how Wonder Woman lore uses Greece Mythology is in basically treating the Amazons as Greeks, when the Greeks saw them as the ultimate antithesis to the Greek way of life.  I'm the kind of person who does want to be believe real Amazons actually existed, and on my Revised Chronology blog I've recently speculated some on that very topic.

For a long time Wonder Woman lore at least depicted the Amazons as favoring female deities, even if which ones they got wrong (ironically in Greek Mythology Aphrodite was an enemy of the Amazons more often then Ares was).  It's the New 52 trend of making Diana another offspring of Zeus that has caused this to change.  And now the Wonder Woman movie never even mentioned any Goddess by name, it was only Zeus and Ares.

Wonder Woman Comics have at least never been guilty of what TVTropes calls the Hijacked By Jesus trope.  The movie however seems to have fallen into that area.  Is it because an Israeli actress is playing Diana? who knows.

 "But Mithrandir, didn't just argue the Amazons were Israelites"  yes, Danites after they fell into Idolatry and became devotes of Anath, so still not Monotheists or even particularity Henothesitic.

However I can say as a positive, making Ares the Lucifer figure fits far better then Hades.  The Ancient Greeks did tend to view Ares as necessary evil at best (Ironically the Amazons were often depicted as Daughters of Ares, though I think that came from them being daughters of Anath).  It was their greatest contrast to Greece that Rome viewed Mars as their patron deity.  And the Roman cult of Mars continues today in America, commemorated on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

The movie arguably makes Wonder Woman herself Jesus.  And having a female as the Messianic Archetype is interesting to me, with my arguing a Biblical Example of it in the Song of Solomon itself.  And was part of my recent praise of Nausicaa of the Valley of The Wind.

There is a point in the film's backstory where the Amazons seemed effectively like Tolkienian Elves, with the biggest difference being the Elves are usually older then Humankind.

The gods all being dead now feels like a huge waste.  But I have a hunch we may learn in the Justice League film, or it's sequel, that the New Genesis gods are basically the Olympians reincarnated.

Some people are upset that Ares doesn't look how he usually looks in Wonder Woman Comics, or the 2009 Animated Movie which I hated.  I for one hate that look for Ares, the Greeks took great pride in that their gods looked human.  Olympians being British always works for me.

I have posted before on The Titans of Myth, how on the Titans at least DC Comics is better then other modern depictions of Greek Mythology.  The main thing that is off about the DC Titans is they pair all off them together into 6 pairs while in actual Mythology only 8 of them were paired up.  Kronos&Rhea, Oceanus&Tethys, Hyperion&Theia and Phoebe&Coeus.  Iapetos wasn't married to Themis but rather a daughter(s) of Oceanus and Tethys.  Krios married a daughter of the primordial sea gods.  Themis and Menemosyne either never mated or were among the mothers of Zeus's many demigods.

If the Wonder Woman solo sequel focuses on non Mythological Wonder Woman antagonists like Cheetah or Dr. Psycho, it might work out, but would feel like a step down in scale.  However nothing in the movie rules out Circe or The Titans still being around.  But the Titans I like best in Teen Titans stories.  I would love it if Troian Bellisario got to be Donna Troy.

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