Thursday, April 28, 2005

Great Hera!

You know, for someone known mostly for writing police procedurals, Greg Rucka's does a HECK of a good job writing the Olympian Gods.

One of the hardest things about writing Wonder Woman is blending her mythological roots with her "real world" activities, and that's what Rucka does brilliantly. In my opinion as a classicist, he "gets" the gods. They are next to omnipotent ... but never do anything directly. The long-term effects of what they do seem natural and necessary to the develop of the world ... but in the short-run what they do seems childish, whimsical, and petty. They create change in the world ... but are incapable of intentionally changing themselves. They are worshipped not so much as superior beings, but as inalterable aspects of reality: for example, the need for conflict (Ares), the assertion of authority(Zeus), the need to scheme (Athena).

And Rucka has Diana's attitude about that just right, too. She doesn't blindly worship (um, well, except in the obvious sense), but steadfastly bows her head to the necessities the gods personify. Rucka actually understands how ancient paganism worked and portrays a living example in Diana ... and that's something I've never seen anyone pull off in a "real" book!

One thing though; what's with Ferdinand and the doctor lady? I didn't see that one coming!


Anonymous said...

I like his Athena, his Hera and his Zeus, but his Ares is too cunning & clever, too similar to Athena and too "Luciferian".

Very cool scene with Charon and a Styx made up of lost souls.

I think Ferdinand will be surprised when he becomes a normal Man and discovers that Leslie Anderson is a Lesbian (as was hinted). His gender, not his species is the REAL problem!

Marionette said...

"Blindly worship". Oh ha ha.

Could it be that was the really subtle point he was making all along? :p