Theres Always Asgard (The Coyote Gospel)

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There is still no escape from the reality of mortality, and to attempt escape is to become a monster. But I would argue that the genres also provide us with beautiful pictures of the inevitable. Harry Potter does not give us answers to what lies beyond the veil, but it shows us that the preoccupation with escaping death leads us to miss out on life.

The Lord of the Rings also provides beautiful imagery. In the film version of The Return of the King, Gandalf says:. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it…White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise. In his graphic novels, Death is personified as a friendly goth girl. This unlikely picture of Death fits so perfectly because she is both older than the universe and as young as today, she simultaneously personifies the final End to all things and a mysterious beginning to what may or may not be Beyond.

In volume 7 of the series, Brief Lives , Death encounters a man named Bernie, who has magically lived for thousands of years. You got a lifetime.

taking fire from the gods and giving it to the geeks

All men — and women — must die. But first, we get what everyone gets. We get a lifetime. Sixth Gun is one of the best comics nobody is reading. There are 6 cursed, magical guns, created by some sort of pact with the devil. The first gun belonged to wicked Confederate General Oleander Hume, who gave the other five to his trusted inner-circle. Each gun holds a different special power. One can summon the ghosts of those that the gun has killed, another immolates anyone hit by its bullets, another fires with the force of a cannon.

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When the current owner is killed in a hail of gunfire, his daughter picks up the Sixth Gun to enact vengeance on his killers — only to find that the gun is now bound to her until her death. Writer Cullen Bunn is now on my list of creators to look out for. Sinestro over at DC, and Magneto for Marvel. The two biggest publishing houses in comics, Marvel and DC, have been under a lot of scrutiny in the past few years for how their titles portray women, people of color, and LGBT characters, as well as how many creators they employ who are women, people of color, or LGBT.

Last month saw the release of Ms. Captain Marvel was previously a DC title featuring the character now known as Shazam until Marvel recently re-acquired the rights. Anyway, part of including the stories of non-powered humans is telling the stories of fictional fans of the super-hero teams. The Avengers, being the most well-known group, naturally attract a lot of fans. The kind of fans that write fan-fics and blog about their favorite heroes. The kind of fans who act out pretend super-battles in their house while their family roles their eyes. The kind of fans who collect vintage trading cards of with their favorite heroes on them.

One of the most memorable scenes in that entire film was the fanboyish fawning that Phil Coulson does over his hero, Captain America. He asks him to sign his vintage collectible cards. Fans took to Phil Coulson right away. He was one of us, a non-powered hero that was prone to hero-worship himself — awkwardly embarrassing himself on a quinjet full of S. Back to , a new face of comic super-fandom has arrived: Kamala Khan, the star of Ms. Kamala is a quirky, nerdy, teenage Avengers superfan.

Well, for anyone who loved Coulson before his debut in the Agents of S. What most of us loved about Coulson was that he was charming in his awkward hero worship, but he was also competent, dangerous, and loyal. Kamala, in this first issue of Ms. The difference between Coulson and Khan is that where Coulson is a middle-aged white man, Khan is a teenaged, brown-skinned, Muslim girl. The X-Men were trying to live the dual life of young Americans whose identities would make them outcasts — a very real feeling for many people, even today.

For Kamala Khan, her religious identity and nerdy fandom set her on the fringes of her social scene; for others it might be sexual orientation, gender, age, or skin color. Everybody knows that feel.

Hijacked by Jesus

Well… Except for the boot thing I guess. You can find just about any game being played and watch for hours; while chatting with others enjoying it at the same time. What at first glance seems to be one of the worst games of Pokemon being played ever, is actually one of the greatest social experiments of our age being played out on the internet. As I said earlier, this would be no big deal if it were one person playing the game. Yet, in this case there are thousands now, and some of those people have other goals in mind. Yes, there are thousands of players trying to play the game properly, but for every one of them there is another who is trying to keep them from progressing.

Thus, the game becomes one of the most infuriating things to watch on the internet. The character spins around, goes back and forth, lets go of important items, releases pokemon, and so much more to its detriment because of these players. Yet, it is this back and forth that makes this game so interesting to watch. Despite the back and forth, Twitch Plays Pokemon is halfway through the game. Yet, this is not the most interesting story to come out this.

That honor goes to the overarching meta-narrative that the players themselves are creating. Certain items have become divine relics, mantras have been created, and when a pokemon is released a different pokemon is then blamed for the action. Twitch Plays Pokemon is the internet in a nutshell. It has the uncanny ability to make you laugh and scream all at the same time…. Geek culture has always been infatuated with big robots. Whether in manga, anime, video games, or television, there have always been stories of pilots and their larger than life suits that save the day.

Not in the sense that we all would want to pilot multi-story mechanical monstrosities though that would be a selling point for many of us, but rather it is the motivation of the pilot that makes these stories reach out to us. The Voltron pilots protected the galaxy itself in Voltron , and more recently, the Jaeger pilots from Pacific Rim fought to prevent the invasion of Earth from Lovecraftian creatures from another dimension.

In all these expressions of the genre, the pilots and other characters are fighting to protect something.

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In some of my personal favorites, they are fighting because it is the only option; and it is the right thing to do. Regardless, in each instance the pilots are fighting for the greater good…for something worth fighting for. Simply put, a man will go to great lengths to protect something that he loves. It is a simple and relatable truth that sits at the heart of the much of the mecha genre. We all would care to believe that, if given the chance, if given the ability, we would rise to the occasion and fight.

These are stories of men and women taking on gods and monsters; of fighting ideals and political machines; and these are things that a person cannot do on his own. They simply do not have the power. In many cases, they are completely powerless before their mech comes into the picture. Take for instance the more recent film, Pacific Rim. In it, the world is on the brink of being destroyed, and conventional wisdom and warfare has done nothing to stop the creatures from carving paths of destruction.

It takes the creation of Jaegers the mechs of this universe and their pilots to finally turn the tide. They use and choose to pilot their mechs because it gives them a chance; a chance to survive, to hold the line a little longer, to fight back the end for just one more day. The giant suits in all these examples are the equalizer; they are the one thing that puts the pilot on the same level as whatever they may be fighting. Latin America, it's not hard at all to imagine what the religious customs prior to Christianity may have looked like. This will often include a Mythology Upgrade.

It is however mentioned that Hades used to have a friendly relationship with humanity, but lost his faith in humanity due to their constant sins, and disrespect towards the gods. His favor to Orpheus is mentioned in the series. Surtur's portrayal is severely contrary to mythology, where he merely fulfills a cosmic role and barely has any personality; in the comics, he actively tries to bring about Ragnarok instead of waiting. The whole devil look and feud with Odin are exclusive to the comics. When Marvel got the rights to Angela , a Judeo-Christian angel from Spawn , they reinvented her as a Thor character and added angels to their version of Norse mythology.

Though in this case the Christian aspects are only surface-deep; Marvel keeps the words "Angel" and "Heaven" as "Heven" and the Gold and White Are Divine look, but beyond that these angels are nothing like the Biblical version they're completely mercenary and only value material goods, and they hate Odin and Asgardians in general. Kyknos, Ares's son, who wanted to build a temple out of skulls for his father and was killed by Hercules, is depicted as a traditional Satan-figure in the Marvel mini series Dark Avengers: Ares and later, Herc's miniseries.

He has yellow-red skin, hooves, and very obvious, big horns on his head. In the traditional texts, he isn't described that way which makes sense, because big horns would indicate a God of Woods and Animals or similar. This is specifically footnoted. This was completely deliberate on the author's part: The story is a very Asian-American story, and the author blended elements of Asian culture and American culture including his own religion — Christianity.

She's also very invested in tempting Hellboy to bring about the apocalypse. Later on, though, she self-defines as a more Lovecraftian amoral goddess who just wants to bring about the apocalypse because it's her nature to do so - less Satanic, but still far more malevolent than the for lack of a better term non-fictional Hecate.

To protect family values , Zeus's "special relationship" with mortal women was ignored, making Hercules a son of Hera , and poisoned by Hades, of course with mortality. Interestingly enough, the movie does nothing to rectify Hera's status as Zeus's sister , however, outside of just not mentioning it. Hades was one of the few Greek Gods who didn't routinely screw with mortals or curse them, and could even be convinced to help them Orpheus. Granted, kidnapping Persephone wasn't very nice, but that's probably the worst thing he ever did.

Moreover, he was genuinely in love with her and gave her a relatively happy matrimony, which is more than most other male gods of his level can boast of. It was also a deal with Zeus as a way of compensating for him getting the short end of the deal, being in charge of the underworld instead of sky or sea. This isn't the first time Hades' image was hijacked. The Nostalgia Chick gave her review going on in detail about how poorly this was handled. Disney did it again in Aladdin. Despite taking place in a Middle Eastern setting that should have been Islamic all the way in fact, the sultan mentions Allah in the first movie, albeit as part of a throwaway line about stubborn daughters , in Aladdin and the King of Thieves , the wedding of Aladdin and Jasmine is suspiciously Catholic-looking.

A more minor example is Chernobog from Fantasia ; though named for and based on a Slavic god, he was at least once referenced as Satan by Walt Disney. In the comics' canon, John does have a certain "relationship" with Heaven and Hell, namely that they both get up his arse, and all kinds of other mythical entities exist. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is based on films from the s, which commonly reduced various foreign cultures into caricature.

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In the film, the complex and sophisticated religion of Hinduism is reduced to nice people worshiping Shiva and murderous Thuggee cultists worshiping Kali. The film portrays Thuggee almost as a kind of Hollywood Satanism. While they did tend to ritually murder people, it was by strangulation via a yellow scarf, not ripping hearts out of someone's chest. It wasn't just the British who worked on eradicating them.

And, incidentally, Kali herself is Shiva's wife. Not the estranged kind, either. In Indy's defense, though, he does briefly note that the Thuggees are a heretical sect. Note that there is no relation between the two entities. The confusion exists because, English not having the level of vowel representation Indian languages do, the names of both the demon and the Goddess are written with the same spelling.

For those interested, the approximate pronunciations are as follows: In reality, Anubis was a protector and judge of the dead and all round cool guy when compared to some of his sibling gods, while Seth was originally god of the deserts of lower Egypt-the legends of his scheming and murder of Osiris is a later myth. In fact, the statues found next to Tutankhamun, called Shabts, would be more appropriate.

Of course, while it's true that Anubis was considered a kindly protector whose main concern was making sure souls made it safely to the afterlife, he's also the guy who checked if your soul was worthy of the next life and tossed it to Ammut as a snack if it wasn't In this way, he is more like the Christian God than Satan, as on Judgement Day, he is supposed to throw all sinners into the Lake of Fire.

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Who is apparently portrayed as a fiery devil-creature, though that's just his favored form. The Hades from the book version seems to be this trope at first, but Ares is the real villain. The sequel film pulls this again by turning Kronos into a Satan expy made of lava and hellfire. The Clash of the Titans: Hades is the bad guy.

However, at least the writers tried to provide some form of justification in that in this version of events, he was tricked into taking control of the underworld by Zeus. The blow is further softened by virtue of the fact that the rest of the gods are generally portrayed as all around dicks, particularly since the story of Medusa's origin is told as the "Poseidon raped her and Athena punished her for it" variant.

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On the other hand, it then turns Zeus into Jesus by having him bring Io back from the dead, despite the fact that only Hades can raise the dead. To make matters worse, it essentially makes Zeus an Expy of the Abrahamic God by having him be the creator of mankind, when in reality — or mythology, really — it was a Titan called Prometheus who created man from clay.

This is where the subtitle of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein comes from. Though not totally hijacked, the live-action film The Last Airbender incorporates Christian themes into places the TV show did not, notably, the use of crosses. Aang, an Airbender whose culture is based on Tibetan Buddhism, has his trademark arrow tattoo changed to resemble a cross.

In Gunga Din , the villains are worshipers of Kali, who is described as "The goddess of blood," who smiles at warfare, torture, and human sacrifice. Her cult is a Religion of Evil that murders indiscriminately, as many as thirty thousand people per year! To rub in the salt, the movie is prefaced with a line saying that the depiction of her and her worship is "based on historical fact.

In The Legend of Hercules , Hercules is not conceived through Zeus having sex with his mother Alcmene while disguised as her husband. Hera herself appears to Alcmene to tell her that she can become the mother of Zeus's son who will deliver the land from evil. Alcmene allows it, Zeus wills her to be pregnant and Hera names the son Hercules. Some reviewers have stated that the movie Superman is laden with Christ-like and Biblical themes from the story of Moses to a white haired God-like father. The main villain even resides beneath the city in his underground lair.

The whole "Superman as Jesus" trend really began when Jor-El, a mysterious spirit-father from the "heavens," claims that he's sending his son to Earth to show them the right way to live. Which really doesn't make any sense, since he's actually sending him to Earth to escape Krypton's destruction. The DC Extended Universe: In Wonder Woman , Queen Hippolyta tells a young Diana the story of how Zeus created the humans, but that his son, Ares, was jealous and set out to destroy them by seducing them to the dark side of war.

And later how Ares rebelled against the other gods and was cast out. Meanwhile, the Amazons were made as a counterpoint to Ares' evil. As this Tumblr post points out, it's basically a weirdly feminist retelling of Genesis where Adam was seduced by the serpent before God even bothered to create Eve. Apocalypse , Apocalypse, like in the comics, is an ancient Egyptian who commands the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The movie takes it further, with the horsemen possibly being the inspiration for the Biblical horsemen.

Apocalypse accuses modern society of idolatry, one of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, and Apocalypse ends up saying "All is revealed," as in the definition of an apocalyptic work. An ancient Egyptian would be familiar with a very different set of religious beliefs. Apocalypse is asleep during time periods when these Biblical beliefs would have been active, in areas outside of ancient Egypt, so it's odd that Apocalypse is such a huge fan of both the Old Testament and New Testament, as if he were a modern Biblical reader. The existence of an ultimate force of good , on the other hand, isn't really mentioned unless you count the Sons of Don; you could make a pretty good parallel between Gwydion and Jesus in The Book of Three.

He also, at least, acknowledges in the author's note that Arawn is "considerably more villainous" in his version, so at least he's aware of the situation. Ironically, later books in the series show that Satan is indeed something of a positive force. Michael Chabon 's novel Summerland is a real doozy. It takes place largely in a world that cheerily mashes together Native American and Norse Mythology. And for its next trick, the rules of the Universe are based on those of baseball. Believe it or not, the Cthulhu Mythos fell prey to this very early on, as August Derleth, who arguably rescued H.

Lovecraft from total obscurity, attempted to shape the Mythos into a coherent Shared Universe , in an essay, framed it as a struggle between a good and evil pantheon, the former represented by Nodens, an actual minor deity from real life mythology, who had a cameo in one of Lovecraft's stories. This did not catch on. Note, however, that there are still writers who like Derleth's idea of having two factions of gods fight each other, even if they reject the idea of painting those two factions as good and evil.

In Lord of Light , besides the fairly accurate Hindu gods, there is also an obvious Jesus metaphor among the cast of deities. However, the hint that he's supposed to be playing Jesus is "well — there's an evil necromancer to the West". Inverted in Jericho Moon , in which the Hebrews' Yahweh is suggested to be the Canaanite pagan god El on a monomaniacal ego trip. Yahweh's angels, when their forms are revealed, turn out to be indistinguishable from the amorphous demons of Egyptian paganism seen in the previous novel.

When Zeus' master lightning bolt is stolen, the first suspect is Hades. Hades is believed to have stolen the master bolt in order to start a rebellion. As it turns out, the thief was actually the lead character's camp counselor, Luke. The spin-off series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard features a pretty damn gutsy version of this for a children's book by mentioning Thor having a vendetta against Jesus ever since he didn't show up for a fight and taking his honor from him. In John Milton 's Paradise Lost , he informs us that the devils are future pagan gods.

This was a common Christian explanation of pagan gods-that they were really demons in disguise. Part of the final plan in Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus involves influencing the pre-existing Mesoamerican religion in order to 1 eliminate the practice of human sacrifice, and 2 prevent religious conflict when they come into contact with Renaissance Christianity. The basic gist of how they pull it off is to introduce a new prophet that tells the natives to look for a people across the sea who have discovered a divine figure whose blood-sacrifice permanently sates the requirement for human sacrifice.

When dealing with Ancient Greece in The Knight's Tale , Chaucer is mostly accommodating of the fact that they were pre-Christian, but does have some small slips like having them observe Sundays. The titular Julian , trying to revive Hellenistic paganism, realizes that this is his biggest problem. The Christians have brought in the masses by incorporating their holidays. Beowulf scholars believe that the 8th century poem is an adaptation of a Pagan epic from at least the century before, and that several elements in the story were introduced to make it resonate better with contemporary Christian audiences.

These include Beowulf invoking God, Grendel and his mother being descendants of Cain and unable to hurt Hrothgar in his throne because Christians believed that kings were protected by God and Grendel's Mother's lair being protected by snakes associated with Pagans and the Devil in Christianity. The final act with an elderly Beowulf fighting a dragon may have been entirely lifted from a Christian story St. George or similar and tacked after or over the original Pagan's end. The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess was strange about this depending on the situation, especially Ares, who tends to waver between being a Jerkass and being pure evil depending on the needs of the plot.

Hades was usually treated as just a dark but very overworked and unappreciated ruler of the Underworld. Eventually, the producers of Xena seemed intent on making up for lost time; in the last two seasons, the prophet Eli was an exceedingly thinly disguised Crystal Dragon Jesus and Xena was put on a quest to kill all the Pagan gods.

A darker metaphor occurred with Dahak. Early appearances and descriptions to his cult sound like an analogue of early Christians, before we found out he was an unrelated evil god. Ironically, the references are kept and added to afterward to deliberately creep out the audience. Dahak derives from Azhi Dahaka, of course. However, the Doctor implied that Sutekh's people might not strictly count as good guys, either. The depiction of Hecate in Charmed. Which still makes it a Hijacked by Jesus , since Hecate is certainly not this kind of generic evil goddess.

Stargate SG-1 at various points: An arc theme in the series is the slow discovery of the Jaffa that their masters the Goa'uld are not gods, but tyrants posing as gods. All well and good, but a big part of it is usually the discovery that the Goa'uld are not omnipotent or omniscient for example, when Teal'c disobeys Apophis behind his back and finds Aphophis does not know about it — even though those traits were never associated with the pagan gods the Goa'uld play the roles of.

Possibly justified , in that the Goa'uld were arrogant enough to have added those traits to their claims on godhood after adopting the names and personas of pagan figures. In one episode, SG-1 come upon a small population of people who had developed from ancient Norsemen Vikings, if you will into what was basically a 17th century society.

Instead of retaining their original pantheon, they had developed a cult centering solely on Freyr who, in reality, was of course the Sufficiently Advanced Alien responsible for bringing them there in the first place. Notable features of this cult included gathering in a suspiciously church-like building at regular intervals, branding Freyr their "savior", and the complete and total resignation to the will of their deity. All in all, it reads more like an attempt by the writers to use an "uncooperative, xenophobic, holier-than-thou, super-religious rural Christian" stereotype without running the risk of offending any Christians.

Interestingly, the people of the previous Norse planet worshiped only Thor. In another episode, the team found a transplanted medieval Christian village, where Sokar was posing as Satan. And it wasn't the only time parallels were drawn in universe between the two, who had even less in common than Hades and Lucifer.

The History Channel apparently once had a series called "Clash of the Gods. It may be based on some beliefs Hades was of course not depicted as a god, but as a servitor of Ol' Scratch that became very popular, as seen in The Divine Comedy. The series in general tends to draw a lot of analogies between pagan myths and Biblical stories, whether or not there's any actual historical connection between them.

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The show has also inverted this on occasion; the episode on Zeus draws parallels between Zeus being seen as the highest, most powerful god and the rise of monotheism, basically saying that Zeus was the source of most people's idea of the Abrahamic God. An interesting variation took place in a Christmas Episode of Northern Exposure , where the town of Cicily combined Christmas traditions with the local tribe's "Raven Festival", based on the story of Raven and the Sun-Holder's Daughter.

While this is a traditional Raven story among some tribes and the depiction in the show is fairly accurate, it does make Raven seem like a Crystal Dragon Jesus. In one of the few points where Joel's receptionist Marilyn Whirlwind spoke more than a few words at a time, she told the story to Joel: The ball of light was kept hidden by a selfish old chief. So the Raven turned itself into a spruce needle and floated on the river where the chief's daughter came for water.

She drank the spruce needle. She became pregnant and gave birth to a boy which was the Raven in disguise. The baby cried and cried until the chief gave him the ball of light to play with. As soon as he had the light, the Raven turned back into himself and carried the light into the sky. From then on, we no longer lived in darkness. The Christian priest Athelstan is kidnapped from his church in Britain, and forced to live alongside the vikings.

Although he stays loyal to his religion, he couldn't help but notice the similarities between the cruxificion of Jesus and the story of Odin hanging from Yggdrassil. He becomes troubled by those notions, and eventually accepts both religions. And even then he stays troubled, because a true Christian may not worship any other god. In other words, all pagan religion to Christianity is an actual work of demons rebelling against God, whether or not the religion predated Christianity as God, if He exists, existed before Christianity: Theos, Deus, Dievas, God, Allah, etc.

Christianity, itself, was derived originally from Judaism. Reform Judaism, which was developed mainly during the 19th century, dropped many of the ritual aspects of Jewish worship, adding prayers and sermons in the native language of the country, organs and other aspects that were similar to the practices of surrounding churches.