Jan 30, 2009

Geek Gods

Greek Mythology always held a fascination for me. Learning about them in school I imagined what it would have been like living in an era where these beings were worshipped. Not just that, I imagined what it would have been like to live among them. You want to scare your child into behaving? Tell them the story of Prometheus. I mean come on, even the Hercules narrator told us the ancient gods were petty and cruel. For good or bad, they were respected.

I propose there are a different breed of "gods" walking among us today. Geek Gods. These individuals are representatives of the early gods in that they've helped geekdom survive in one way or another. Some are definitely worshipped while others love to torture us. Here are your Geek Gods...

Zeus

There is no one better to play the role of the King of the Gods than Stan Lee. I think it's safe to say he's been the single most influential individual to geek society. Even though he wasn't there from the very beginning, Marvel is certainly the house that Stan built. No longer serving as president and chairman, he continues his involvement with comics in all forms. He's the ultimate fanboy favorite when he steps onto the screen for his cameo in Marvel films and without him there would be no Spider-Man, X-Men or Iron Man. Just think where Robert Downey Jr. would be right now...

Hades

He's controlled scores of demons, not to mention other gods, in his time. Of course Joss Whedon is Hades. Though enjoyed by many, few could have predicted the creator of the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer would go on to control his own universe. The Whedonverse is vast and inhabits many. Although not all of his creations have been commercially successful, Joss Whedon will never go hungry. He's created characters people can't get enough of. A feature length film was made out of a tv show that didn't even last a full season and who needs actors when you can continue living out their lives in comics. This past years Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog proves we're truly the devil's plaything.

Hermes

Hermes, the patron of boundaries and travelers, of orators, wit and invention. Wil Wheaton boldly went where no boy had gone before and kept on going. As Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation he joined the Traveler to explore other realities. As normal Wil Wheaton he went on to become a pillar in the geek community. He acts, he write, he plays a mean game of Dungeons & Dragons (or so I've heard). One of the most open geeks in the industry you can read his many varied and humorous ramblings on his blog WWdN: In Exile. He's also taken up residence on Twitter. If you're signed up and not following Wil, you're not a geek.

Dionysos

Dionysos is the god of wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy. If that doesn't sum up Warren Ellis I don't know what does. We might have to switch wine for whiskey though. Is there any subject too taboo for Warren Ellis? If you've read his novel Crooked Little Vein, you know the answer to that. Beware surfing his website while at work or if you're near children or the elderly or someone with a weak stomach for that matter. He's used the internet to the best of it's advantage to promote his comic work, most recently the weekly web comic FreakAngels. He's also an establishment on Twitter. The following that's resulted from his raw talent is no less than cultish at it's best. It's not unsurprising for a man who's mind is like a great labyrinth.

Ares

The god of war. Star Wars. George Lucas created an empire out of a space opera. An evil, evil empire. With that he single-handedly made an entire race of geeks along with something they would pay anything to be a part of for the rest of their lives. He also made studying archaeology cool and that's hard to do. Whether it's swords, whips or lightsabers, Lucas weilds them all with an iron fist. Go ahead, just try to break into LucasFilm. Actually, don't. Just watch Fanboys when it finally comes out. His visual effects company Industrial Lights & Magic made leaps in the industry and has created effects for over 200 films. Heroes geek Masi Oka even got his start there. The world would be a very different place without George Lucas.

Hera

Majel Barrett Roddenberry passed away late last year but I could think of no one better to fill the shoes of Queen of the Gods. Majel was with Star Trek from day one and has had a hand in every series to date. She kept the ship flying after her husband Gene's death in 1991 and was well regarded and respected by Trekkies everywhere. It's truly fitting that both their cremated remains were recently rocketed into space for forever exploration.

Demeter

Goddess of the pure, nourisher of youth. How can you not love Felicia Day? The first thing that brought her to our attention was as potential slayer Vi on Buffy. Little did we know she was a tride and true geek, not one of those fakers. She loves video games as well as sci-fi/fantasy novels. She also created, writes and stars in The Guild, a web based sitcom. She's a World of Warcraft player but the show keeps things simple by focusing on a generic online guild. With it she's helped break the stereotype that all online gamers are men who live in their parents basements. If you didn't know Felicia Day before, you certainly did after Dr. Horrible in which of course, she played Penny. She publishes a blog on her website and is another Twitter user.

Aphrodite

Justine Jolie is the perfect fit for the goddess of love, lust and beauty. She's a porn star. To be honest, that's probably the best way she's helped geeks to survive but that's not all there is to her. She's one of the few self-described geeks out there in the industry. Not only does she love games and anime, she goes to comic conventions. She also likes science fiction and Harry Potter. Yup, just your run of the mill geek girl. Who does lesbian porn.

Artemis

The hunter. If you've ever been on the receiving end of one of Rosario Dawson's deep looks, you're the prey, no doubt about it. She definitely got the blood pumping when she played the tougher-than-nails Gail in Sin City but it was when geekdom found out she was really into comics their heads exploded. Not only does she read them, she's created one. O.C.T.: Occult Crimes Taskforce was made along with writer David Atchison and illustrator Tony Shasteen. The character Sophia Ortiz was even modeled after her. Through the years, roles in Men In Black II and Josie and the Pussycats gave her plenty of geek cred as well. Coincidentally enough, she voiced Artemis in the soon-to-be released Wonder Woman animated film.

Athena

Athena is the shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavor. That is Gail Simone. You want heroic endeavors? Years ago, she pointed out a fondness female comic characters seemed to have for refrigerators. Shrewd companion of heroes? Let's see...Birds of Prey, Superman, Teen Titans, the Atom. Just to name a few. Her work on the Secret Six has been so popular DC finally made it an ongoing. Now, who am I forgetting? Just the biggest and best! Wonder Woman. Gail Simone made history when she became the first ongoing female writer for the strongest member of the big three this past year. Her great-grandmother was a Suffragette so it's no wonder she's paved such an amazing path for herself and others to follow.


27 comments:

Randy said...

I think that's a fine list, Jill. I don't think I could disagree with any of your choices.

I can't remember...were there any gods who might have turned their backs on their 'god-hood' to try and live life among the masses, only to find that their rightful place was among the very gods they tried to deny?

I would nominate either Adam West or William Shatner for this slot.

K. D. Bryan said...

Brilliant! I really love your choices here, Jill. Warren Ellis was particularly inspired.

Now I'm going to spend the rest of the morning trying to think of the perfect Geek God to represent Hephaestus.

D0nnaTr0y said...

Great post Jill! I, too, LOVE Greek mythology- it's what got me reading WW years ago!

This is a wonderful homage to today's great geeksters!

mandyannemurray said...

What a great list, Jill. You are so imaginative!

Amber Love said...

Damn, girl! You nailed it! I started at the top and agreed, "Why yes, of course, no one else but Stan." Then I went down each one and laughed. Whedon's control of demons! I would not have thought of that. Frank Miller and Alan Moore came to mind too but I'm such a bad pagan, I don't have my gods memorized. I wouldn't have praised Gail so much but that's just personal taste.

I was expecting Jack Kirby and Bob Kane. I'm sure there's a place for them too. I'm quite sure Kevin Smith could use some divine debauchery too.

Faith said...

I love this-it's a tribute to geeks with a geek format. Awesome.

Ghost In The Shadows said...

Totally Awesome. Justine Joli is an inspired choice. I can attest to being on the other side of one of Rosario Dawson's looks. Saw her twice at HeroesCon and she is so much prettier than her pictures show. Pretty in spirit as well as looks. This was a neat idea. I think I am gonna link this in a post. Thanks.

WITA said...

Very cool! Love that Felicia made it on there. :)

GeekBoy said...

Great idea for a great post that probably started as nothing more than a clever pun! I think you could easily go on and on with this list. You should make it a regular feature, and add a new one now and then when it occurs to you.

GeekBoy said...

Hey, how about Jerry Seigel (and Joe Schuster) as Prometheus? One of the old school gods, the Titans, he handed over the creative fire that got the superhero industry rolling. For his troubles, he was essentially lashed to a rock while the vultures (DC Comics) pulled money out of him, building a million dollar Superman franchise without sharing much more than a dime.

The Nerdy Bird said...

Thanks! I'm glad everyone is enjoying it. :)

MC said...

This was an awesome idea. I commend you for doing this.

Christine Rose said...

Very nice post! Being on the Geekalicous Grand Book Tour - I certainly embrace all things Geekalicious. And this is certainly a Geekalicious Geek God list!

The Nerdy Bird said...

Thanks! I'm so glad this has taken off like it has, I had a lot of fun writing it.

casey24601 said...

Taking nominations for minor geek god characters? Nathan Fillion can be your Sisyphus. He keeps trying to push his career up that mountain, and it keeps rolling back down.

The Nerdy Bird said...

Haha, aww!

John said...

No Summer Glau?

The Nerdy Bird said...

Is she a geek herself? I thought she was just in stuff we all like. Milla Jovovich would have been on the list if I was going by that. :)

M3 said...

Where is Gary Gygax?

Anonymous said...

Hephaestus- Why Jack Kirby- The man who created the heroes & villians of DC & Marvel. Or Steve Jobs and Bill Gates who created actual Geek stuff.

Lebeau2501 said...

Greek gods are superheroes and Michaelangelo was the Jack Kirby of the renaissance.

Anonymous said...

I'm, sorry to be a hater, but this list is fail. Its only media geeks. What about the scientists? Who here would deny the Dieification of Dr. Sagan? or any of the other Geeks who are doing more than entertaining us.

The Nerdy Bird said...

If you're sorry to be a hater then why be one?

Anonymous said...

Hercules- Joe Mad, no matter who he draws they have huge muscles.

Pan- Rob Leifeld, why not use the half goat to represent a guy who tries to hide his feet in every panel.

Mndrew said...

Gods seems a bit extreame, one would expect them to be able to preform miracles and spend endless time listening to prayers via Twitter or something. I personally perfer to think of them as the Geek Lords™.

ZomBee said...

Great list! genius concept. missing Gene Roddenberry though? If you have the wars you gotta have the trek? Maybe be he would be like the Roman version of Ares.
get it? Trek=roaming?
Ok I think I strained something on that pun.

Anonymous said...

Move Lucas to Vulcan the Smith (he made the gear (star wars) that let others achieve) and make Shatner (either as kirk or himself) Ares god of war. (he picks fights with everyone and tries to sleep with all the skirts) :)