It is no surprise that I claim to be a nerd. I am one through and through and I am a proud nerd as well! No one denies that. I like video games, reading books, and of course anything related to super heroes. While watching the cartoon movie ‘justice: league doom’ I thought to myself about the two greatest superheroes that the DC universe has, batman and superman. (Although the flash is still my favorite for his smart-ass personality and the fact that he is faster than superman makes him the coolest in my opinion! Think of all the food he would have to eat in order to maintain pace with his metabolism. He could literally eat Chinese food and pizza every hour or half hour for the rest of his life and not gain a pound! Who wouldn’t want to eat their favorite foods and not become obese or diabetic!!)
Back to the subject at hand, these two heroes easily outshine every other super hero out there including those in the marvel universe. Batman is essentially a trained assassin that has billions of dollars at his disposal. Oh he is also intellectually considered a genius and easily surpasses that of everyone in his universe save maybe Lex Luthor, superman’s arch nemesis. Superman is easily defined by his name. He is a super man! He has super strength, super speed, heat vision, and is invulnerable to everything save for kryptonite. Interesting right? I know I sure think it is!
Now my closest friends (the ones that have bonded with me for my intellectual side rather than my charm and good looks) know that I am a HUGE fanatic of Greek mythology. (Thank you Mrs. Rucker may you rest in peace) I have read the odyssey and the Iliad since 6th grade where my teacher the sweet Mrs. Rucker taught it to us. I think I have read both works a good 6 or 7 times each. The main characters in the odyssey and Iliad are Odysseus and Achilles. Odysseus is a Greek hero who goes to war only to piss off Poseidon and basically has to wander the seas for 20 years all while trying to make it home to his kingdom, son, and wife. He has many adventures and uses his wit and mind to escape many a horrible situation. For those of you who don’t know Odysseus was the person who engineered the idea of the Trojan horse to help the Greeks win the Trojan War against Troy! (Never trust a Greek bearing a gift is a phrase coined from Homer’s work) The Trojan War is basically all about Achilles. Achilles is the son of a water nymph, Thetis and a great warrior king Peleus. Fun fact: both Poseidon and Zeus courted Thetis. So Achilles father could have been Zeus or Poseidon but she had a prophecy surrounding her stating that she would bear a son greater than his father. Upon finding this out Zeus stopped courting her and told Poseidon his brother to do the same! He then ordered her to marry Peleus a great human warrior and king. They did and then they created Achilles. A demi-god that was invulnerable except for his Achilles heel. His mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx by his heel making him invulnerable to everything except in that one spot. Interesting right?
In college I took several courses about Greek mythology. The basis of these classes was to find symbolism within the text and compare it to certain modern works. So essentially what I was doing was reading Greek mythology and watching movies in class and for “homework” (A special thank you to my family for paying for my school. Mom & pops gracias con toda mi alma) Now begins the fun part! I just gave a brief description of four characters: Achilles, Superman, Odysseus, and Batman! Why? Well it is because they are basically the same people but from different times/universes. Allow me to elaborate.
Odysseus is the king of Ithaca. He has a bow that no matter how strong you are he and only he is capable of stringing it. Not because of his strength but because of his mind. He has it set to a certain point where only he knows how to string it. However, you don’t see it until the end. I just threw it in as an example to show his ingenuity. He creates plans that will help him escape death or gain victory. (Prime example being the Trojan horse)
Batman is an intelligent super hero. He uses his brain to get out of hairy situations. Although he is a trained assassin and a great fighter he is human and vulnerable to bullets, knives, and anything else. However, he develops plans to maximize his limited Physical ability (comparatively to superman who has limitless power). Batman is the Odysseus of our time or at least of his universe.
Achilles is a demi-god. Dipped in the river Styx by his mother so he is only vulnerable in his Achilles heel. He is stronger than most and incapable of being killed except for that one spot on his body. Superman is an alien (and god) in a sense as he is invulnerable to everything except for one thing, kryptonite. Superman is the Achilles of his universe.
While there are many differences between the four I can see many similarities as well. I may have just taken my nerdiness to a whole other level! Combining Greek mythology and the DC universe? Pretty awesome! What do y’all think? Are these super heroes the same as these Greek heroes?