Ancient To Modern: Borrowed Gods (6)

Poseidon

In Greek mythology, he is the god of the sea. His name in Roman mythology is Neptune. Here are some representations in painting and sculpture from various centuries:

Shown on a Corinthian plaque (550-525 B. C.).
Shown on a Corinthian plaque (550-525 B. C.).
Poseidon from Milos, 2nd Century B. C. (National Archaeological Museum of Athens).
Poseidon from Milos, 2nd Century B. C. (National Archaeological Museum of Athens).
Andrea Doria as Neptune by Angelo Bronzino.
Andrea Doria as Neptune by Angelo Bronzino.
Neptune and Amphitrite by Jacob Gheyn II.
Neptune and Amphitrite by Jacob Gheyn II.

He has been borrowed and modified for inclusion in the Marvel Universe where he interacts with Namor, the Submariner…

Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics (Personally, I'm cheering for the Hulk.)
Credit: Marvel Comics (Personally, I’m cheering for the Hulk.)

… as well as the DC universe. Of the images I examined, I didn’t like the mean-spirited tone of most of them (Poseidon going rogue, hitting Wonder Woman, bloody noses, bloody mouths, etc.), so I included only one for this post. This is the best I found for my purposes, and it shows an angry Poseidon battling an angry Aquaman.

Credit: DC Comics
Credit: DC Comics

DC characters are so angry so much of the time. It strikes me as rather one-dimensional. This is definitely not the DC comics of my childhood.

More examples of shameless borrowing continue next week.

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8 thoughts on “Ancient To Modern: Borrowed Gods (6)”

  1. When I was a kid, Neptune (I preferred the Roman name. What the heck was a Poseidon, anyway?) was my favorite pagan god.

    He just seemed more interesting and imaginable than the other gods.

    I think it was because he was associated with the ocean and not some strange mythical place, like Olympus or the Valhalla of the Norsemen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s interesting how the traditional deities, like Poseidon, intersect with the modern superheroes, who often are godlike in some ways. It’s just so tempting to pit a superhero, like Aquaman, against a deity like Poseidon with all the weight of history behind him.

    Liked by 1 person

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