Many centuries of myth have provided fantastic starting points for characters in American comics. Some of them are heroes, some of them are villains, and some of them can’t be lumped easily in either category. Here’s a look at some you may not be familiar with (and one you most likely are).Antaeus: In Greek mythology, Antaeus was the giant son of Poseidon and Gaia. The best-known comics version is Mark Antaeus, the son of an experimental scientist. Antaeus was injected with growth hormones by his father, and later added cybernetic enhancements to his body.Circe: This goddess imprisoned Odysseus and turned his men into pigs. In DC Comics, she is a villain of Wonder Woman who also turns people into animals and can raise the dead. In Marvel Comics, there is a character called Sersi who is a member of the Eternalsgod-like creatures who evolved from humans.Erinyes: Also known as the Furies, these Greek monsters were the gods of vengeance and manifestations of the anger of the dead. They take center stage in the Sandman collection The Kindly Ones, where they are witches targeting main character Morpheus. Sandman is perhaps the most mythologically dense of any American comic.Proteus: Proteus was a son of Poseidon capable of seeing the future and manipulating his shape. In the X-men comics, Proteus is an evil mutant who can possess people’s bodies and manipulate his own into a body of pure energy.Thor: Stan Lee dove into the realms of Norse mythology for his next superhero in 1962. In the comics, Thor is an immortal from Asgard who appears on Earth when surgeon Donald Blake taps his staff against the ground. The staff is Thor’s disguised hammer, Mjolnir.
October 6, 2010
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