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  1. #1
    Squall's Avatar
    Squall is offline Calm Before The Storm
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    If Superman is the American Hercules, then who's the Greek Batman?

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    I always found it facinating how our modern mythology really isn't that different in its themes from classical and ancient mythology. For example, George Lucas has said more than once that his Star Wars Saga is like a modern mythology; he compared it to The Odyssey, except with light sabres and starships instead of broad swords and sailboats. I thought it was a great analogy!

    This makes me think: Many people view Superman as the modern American version of Hercules. Well, since human nature really hasn't changed much since Ancient Greece, was there a character in ancient Greek mythology who closely resembles Batman?

    (I can vaguley remember an episode of the Disney's Hecules cartoon that had a Batman-like character work with Hercules to save ancient Greece from a villian of some kind. Of course, that character was a Disney creation, but it was hilarious to see those two have a Superman/Batman "World's Finest" thing going on! )

    My knowledge of ancient mythologies is more or less nonexistant, so I was wondering if anyone else knew if my question had an answer. Also, feel free to open this thread up to discuss other DCAU characters that resemble characters in ancient and classical mythology! (Wonder Woman notwithstanding, of course.)

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  2. #2
    Dens Maris's Avatar
    Dens Maris is offline Humble Supporting Character
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    Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

    Really.

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    EJill34 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dens Maris
    Hades, Lord of the Underworld.

    Really.
    According to Maxie Zeus...

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    Eddie G. is offline Former Wolf/Writer.
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    Superman is not completely defined as the modern Hercules, he is also considered to be a modern version of Mosses. As for Batman, I'm not sure if there was a Greek version of Batman, however we can see many versions of the Batman through out lit. One character who Batman is not only somewhat inspired by but has been incorporated into the Batman mythos as an influence in Bruce becoming Batman is Zorro.

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    Fernus is offline Abraham Sapien
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    Perhaps Odysseus from the long book The Odyssey. Here was a hero living on a journey to find his home. On his way, he faced many powerful gods and goddesses, and believed he could be somewhat better than they are. He does learn his place, however, that no matter how great he was, he was just a human compared to the gods of Greece.

    From the mythology stories or myths, I think Odysseus fits Batman pretty well.

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    Squall's Avatar
    Squall is offline Calm Before The Storm
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    Was Odysseus a regular human who used brains, training, and gadgets to try to do good deeds and hold his own with gods and monsters in the violent and dangerous fictional world of Ancient Greece?

    Favorites! (1) Action: Transformers & G.I. Joe; Visionairies; The DCAU; Robotech, DBZ, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo & Trigun; TMNT, MOTU; and Avengers: EMH; (2) Comedy: The Simpsons & Futurama, Space Ghost: Coast to Coast & The Brak Show, Sealab 2021, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, ATHF, The Boondocks, The Venture Bros., and Archer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernus
    Perhaps Odysseus from the long book The Odyssey. Here was a hero living on a journey to find his home. On his way, he faced many powerful gods and goddesses, and believed he could be somewhat better than they are. He does learn his place, however, that no matter how great he was, he was just a human compared to the gods of Greece.

    From the mythology stories or myths, I think Odysseus fits Batman pretty well.
    That was my thought as well. Odysseus was a man who beat (and outlasted) big bumbling brutes by being smarter and more determined than they were. It's probably appropriate that Bats cites Odysseus in "Only A Dream".

    Although if you're looking for someone a little brawnier who combined smarts, combat skill, and determination, Theseus could be seen as a Greek Batman. Unfortunately there are parts of his legend (ie. he's a rapist) that are unpalatable to modern tastes.

    KK

  8. #8
    Fernus's Avatar
    Fernus is offline Abraham Sapien
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squall
    Was Odysseus a regular human who used brains, training, and gadgets to try to do good deeds and hold his own with gods and monsters in the violent and dangerous fictional world of Ancient Greece?

    He outsmarted the Cyclops by using wit, as Batman would use. Remember, in Only A Dream when Batman told the story about Odysseus telling the Cyclops he was "nobody"? He was a normal human, defeating or escaping from monsters all over the fictional land.

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    BonyT is offline Sisyphus in Hell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krypton_Knight
    That was my thought as well. Odysseus was a man who beat (and outlasted) big bumbling brutes by being smarter and more determined than they were. It's probably appropriate that Bats cites Odysseus in "Only A Dream".

    Although if you're looking for someone a little brawnier who combined smarts, combat skill, and determination, Theseus could be seen as a Greek Batman. Unfortunately there are parts of his legend (ie. he's a rapist) that are unpalatable to modern tastes.

    KK
    I agree, Odysseus is an excellent analogy for Batman. And, truthfully, I don't think Odysseus is at all lacking in the necessary Batman-style brawn, KK: Remember Penelope's test for her unwanted suitors? She said she would only wed the one who could string her hubby's bow and make the improbable arrow shot; she was confident that no one besides Odysseus had the strength to manage to get the bow strung at all, much less wield it for the shot--and she was right.

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  10. #10
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    Jor-El is offline Krypton is doomed.
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    Last December, I actually wrote a paper on this very matter for my classical literature class. I compared Superman to Achilles (not Hercules) and Batman to Odysseus. I based my decision to draw the parallels between Achilles and Superman largely based on the scene in The Iliad where Achilles has retreated from battle and is begged to return just as in Kingdom Come where Clark retires and Diana has to try to stir his sense of duty. I also based it on Achille's fame for his incredible strength, the fact that he inspired his whole army, and his arbitrary weakness in his heel (Superman's arbitrary weakness, of course, being Kryptonite.)

    But Batman is definitely Odysseus. That one just speaks for itself.
    "He will be that world's man of tomorrow." -Jor-El, Superman: Birthright #1

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