The Modern Pantheon: Introduction

Characters from Avengers: The Age of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon
Characters from Avengers: The Age of Ultron, directed by Joss Whedon

Since I like to create my own mythologies in the books that I write, I am fascinated by a modern pantheon that has really caught on in popular culture: the Disney Marvel franchise. For this next series of posts, I will limit my comments to what has been revealed in these movies up to this point in time. It would be foolish of me to reveal my woeful unfamiliarity with the actual graphic novels. The films are a bit of an anomaly for the superhero genre in that they feature outstanding writing, production, directing, acting, AND special effects. They work on several levels.

Characters from Thor, directed by Kenneth Branaugh
Characters from Thor, directed by Kenneth Branaugh

 What I would like to key on are some of the mythological elements in these productions, especially certain god-like characters. It could be argued that, while abnormally powerful, they are not portrayed as full-fledged spiritual beings, but this is not a foregone conclusion. Though they are somewhat “scientifically” explained, the Marvel characters I will mention in later posts are not unlike the members of the Greek pantheon. These gods were physical enough that they sometimes procreated with mortals to produce demigods. Nor is this concept of embodied spirituality foreign to Judaism and Christianity. In the book of Genesis, there is a description of Abraham entertaining angels, who actually ate the food he offered them. In the New Testament gospels, we can read of the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In these and other cases, the boundaries between the spiritual and the physical are described as rather fluid.

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8 thoughts on “The Modern Pantheon: Introduction”

    1. Our eyes might be of similar vintage. I enjoyed reading The Odyssey. That’s a pretty good primer on Greek mythology, and I found it to be an entertaining read as well. It’s fun for me to see how some of this gets incorporated into modern comics, books, and movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. They haven’t been that well represented on film but I’ve always found DC’s Justice League to be more of a pantheon of gods than Marvel’s Avengers. The Avengers always seem confined to being mere mortals with extraordinary powers while The Justice League are actual other-wordly heroes. Wonder Woman actually faces of with Greek Gods such as Hades and Ares. Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve made a good point. I was using the movies as a springboard because I was so impressed with the products of the Disney Marvel franchise. I hope DC gets their act together more in upcoming films. My brother has been a guest as Deathbolt on The Flash and Arrow. Take care.

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