Everyone knows that superheroes have their origins in the ancient myths of Greece, Rome, and other old empires. But the more things change, the more they stay the same. Today, we worship superheroes in the same ways we once worshipped the gods. Okay, so maybe we’re not sacrificing virgins on the pyre, but it’s hard to deny that Comic-Con feels like a religious experience for some and that we all accept the sanctity the Bible of Canon.
Looking even closer, you’ll start to see even more similarities between the JLA and the Greek pantheon on gods. And it’s not just the obvious ones (like Aquaman and Poseidon). All twelve major Olympian gods have a counterpart on the Watchtower. With the release of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at how the two pantheons measure up.
12. Zeus = Superman
The ruler of the sky with nigh-unlimited power.
Perhaps one of the more obvious entries on the list, but that doesn’t make the comparison any less appropriate. Both Superman and Zeus are born leaders, the most powerful of their respective groups. Superman is often thought of as godlike, the alien deity who has become incredibly protective of his adoptive home. Like Zeus, Superman dons a disguise so that he may walk among the mortals and see what life is like on the ground. But both are much more at home in the sky, soaring above us like the gods they are.
11. Hades = Batman
The dark prince, preferring underground quarters and with unimaginable wealth.
As Hades is the dark brother of Zeus, so too is Batman the dark version of Superman. Like Hades, Batman makes his home underground and a significant part of his power comes from his riches. This aspect in particular perhaps makes Batman more like Pluto, the Roman version of Hades, but we’ll table that for the moment. It’s hard not to think of Batman as ruling the underworld of the DC Universe, deciding the ultimate fate of damned souls. Additionally, Batman is often found on the outside of the JLA circle, the member no one quite trusts, much like Hades and his Olympic family.
10. Poseidon = Aquaman
Ruler of the seven seas, able to command the ocean and its inhabitants.
Ok, you knew this one was coming. It’s actually harder to find differences between Poseidon and Aquaman, considering the former is one of the main inspirations for the latter. They both even have the same weapon of choice, the trident. Perhaps the main difference between the two is that while Poseidon is one of the three most powerful of the Olympian Gods, Aquaman has become something of a joke. I guess it just goes to show that the ancient Greeks thought that the ability to talk to fish was a lot cooler than we do.
9. Hera = Wonder Woman
The protector of the family and traditions.
So, putting aside the whole warrior aspect of the “Amazon warrior” for a moment, Wonder Woman is really all about the traditions of her people. She fiercely defends her home and her family. Probably the main thing she would disagree with Hera about is the whole “needing a good man thing”, although she does find herself paired with Superman almost as much as Steve Trevor, so then again, maybe not. At any rate, both are effectively the “mother” of their respective groups, and react quite fiercely if any of her number are attacked.