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Thread: The gorgons

  1. #16
    Lv 67 Pinsir's Avatar
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    I do think, as Dr. Poison often suggests, we should avoid directly lifting characters from mythology. You can use the monster as a template, but provide a different name, backstory, and characterization unrelated to the mythological Medusa.
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    Incredible Member WonderScott's Avatar
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    I agree that the Gorgons could be sympathetic characters based on their backstory, but I'd still like to see them as complex adversaries (not necessarily evil 24/7/365.)

    Part of me gets tired of redeemed villainesses (e.g. Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Maxima, etc.) If anything I'd like to see them more like the recent Barbara Minerva, who's about good-ish intentions and bad-ish choices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    I do think, as Dr. Poison often suggests, we should avoid directly lifting characters from mythology. You can use the monster as a template, but provide a different name, backstory, and characterization unrelated to the mythological Medusa.
    Think that rather spoils the point of using them.

    I mean, if you are going to announce your intention to use one or more Gorgons in an upcoming story, I think most people would be kinda disappointed if Medusa wasn't part of the package.
    Not to mention, Rucka actually did Medusa and her sisters correctly in terms of power, since it's only Medusa thats been cursed to have snakes for hair and the stone-gaze.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outside_85 View Post
    Think that rather spoils the point of using them.

    I mean, if you are going to announce your intention to use one or more Gorgons in an upcoming story, I think most people would be kinda disappointed if Medusa wasn't part of the package.
    Not to mention, Rucka actually did Medusa and her sisters correctly in terms of power, since it's only Medusa thats been cursed to have snakes for hair and the stone-gaze.
    I don't really think there are too many fans of Medusa the character, but of the basic design.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    I don't really think there are too many fans of Medusa the character, but of the basic design.
    That might be true, but on the other hand... no one else has that design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outside_85 View Post
    That might be true, but on the other hand... no one else has that design.
    In other media there is, like Vraska the planeswalker in Magic the Gathering

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    That's... A very obscure reference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    In other media there is, like Vraska the planeswalker in Magic the Gathering

    Well, Magic the Gathering doesn't have Greek Gods to blame for the gorgons appearances, so you have them looking like that as standard whenever they show up... which is rare because they tend to be quite powerful, like Visara the Dreadful and the Sisters of Stone Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outside_85 View Post
    Well, Magic the Gathering doesn't have Greek Gods to blame for the gorgons appearances, so you have them looking like that as standard whenever they show up... which is rare because they tend to be quite powerful, like Visara the Dreadful and the Sisters of Stone Death
    Funnily, in Theros, the plane inspired by Greek mythology, Pharika is a Gorgon goddess who created all the Theros gorgons. All the gorgons on that plane have serpentine lower torsos like her.

    If we revisit Gorgons I would want something like these characters, Medusa like characters that have their own identity. Make her a descendant of Medusa if you need to justify the existence of the character.

    Also you shouldn't make it so they automatically turn you to stone because I actually revisited the original Rucka run a few days ago and Medusa comes across as ineffective in her combat with Wonder Woman. Since Wonder Woman can't look at her straight on and yet parries her attacks easily. Maybe instead its like an energy she shoots from her eyes and its extremely taxing to use (in MTG for example, the ability to turn someone to stone is like using a spell). This would allow the character to have a bit more interaction with the world and not a walking death machine that requires a permanent answer.
    Also visit my blog where I expose Wonder Woman for the criminal she is!

    How come these anonymous sources failed to report Zack Snyder had left post-production on Justice League? They seem to know everything now...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinsir View Post
    Funnily, in Theros, the plane inspired by Greek mythology, Pharika is a Gorgon goddess who created all the Theros gorgons. All the gorgons on that plane have serpentine lower torsos like her.

    If we revisit Gorgons I would want something like these characters, Medusa like characters that have their own identity. Make her a descendant of Medusa if you need to justify the existence of the character.

    Also you shouldn't make it so they automatically turn you to stone because I actually revisited the original Rucka run a few days ago and Medusa comes across as ineffective in her combat with Wonder Woman. Since Wonder Woman can't look at her straight on and yet parries her attacks easily. Maybe instead its like an energy she shoots from her eyes and its extremely taxing to use (in MTG for example, the ability to turn someone to stone is like using a spell). This would allow the character to have a bit more interaction with the world and not a walking death machine that requires a permanent answer.
    True. But in the case of Wonder Woman, Medusa and her appearance is as the old myths described, that she's been cursed to look like she does.
    Oddly enough this reminds me of Heroes of Might and Magic, where a 'gorgon' is a bull covered in armored scales. But along side it there are 'Naga' which is the snake-headed, and serpentine lower body women. Both of whom have the turn to stone ability.

    If that was to happen, I would have simply have someone (god, goddess or Circe) curse another victim with the appearance.

    I would say Medusa only comes across as ineffective in Rucka's first run because she happens to go up against Diana, one of the greatest h2h combatants in comics and someone who is acutely aware of how to fight someone like Medusa. She is however quite a dull character because she is literally raised form the dead and the first thing she sets out to do is kill Athena's champion before getting scared off by the noise of New York.
    I kinda just view her as a deadlier version of Cyclops, she can interact with the world, but she needs to be blindfolded or have special eye-wear in order to do so.
    Last edited by Outside_85; 11-20-2017 at 11:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Outside_85 View Post
    I wouldn't call her a prominent Wonder Woman villain, since she is just a kind of legendary monster that shows up and in classic fashion gets herself beheaded or has her gaze turned on herself.
    Actually, having her gaze reflected on herself does not work. It is made very clear in the myth that you have to look at Medusa _directly_ to get 'stoned' . Perseus gets a highly-polished shield from Athena to use as a mirror so he _can_ look at Medusa and aim correctly to kill her (in her sleep, no less!) In Rucka's story, we see that the Gorgons give Veronica Cale a mirror when they visit her, so she can safely look at Medusa.

    I was a little miffed about that Batwoman story where Batwoman and Wonder Woman fight Medusa. In the end, Batwoman actually uses a mirror to turn Medusa to stone. This author really didn't do his homework. (Also, WW needs to be saved by Batwoman... that's a little ridiculous. OK, it's a Batwoman comic, so she takes the front role.)

    I once asked a history professor if there's any explanation in the Greek myths why Medusa's gaze doesn't work via a mirror, and of course he said that logic doesn't apply to mythology. My personal theory is that Medusa needs to be able to use a mirror to sort out her snakes when they get tangled up, so Athena arranged it so that she doesn't fry herself...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hgzip View Post
    Actually, having her gaze reflected on herself does not work. It is made very clear in the myth that you have to look at Medusa _directly_ to get 'stoned' . Perseus gets a highly-polished shield from Athena to use as a mirror so he _can_ look at Medusa and aim correctly to kill her (in her sleep, no less!) In Rucka's story, we see that the Gorgons give Veronica Cale a mirror when they visit her, so she can safely look at Medusa.

    I was a little miffed about that Batwoman story where Batwoman and Wonder Woman fight Medusa. In the end, Batwoman actually uses a mirror to turn Medusa to stone. This author really didn't do his homework. (Also, WW needs to be saved by Batwoman... that's a little ridiculous. OK, it's a Batwoman comic, so she takes the front role.)

    I once asked a history professor if there's any explanation in the Greek myths why Medusa's gaze doesn't work via a mirror, and of course he said that logic doesn't apply to mythology.

    My personal theory is that Medusa needs to be able to use a mirror to sort out her snakes when they get tangled up, so Athena arranged it so that she doesn't fry herself...
    It's likely they thought of the stone-gaze of the basilisk and Medusa's were the same.

    Well, I doubt Athena would give you this kind of curse and let vanity be a reason mirrors don't work. If we were to ascribe a reason, I would say Athena did it so Medusa couldn't kill herself with it.

  13. #28
    Astonishing Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    In one part of either the roman or greek medusa's sisters also wanted be cursed to be with their sister Medusa.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    In one part of either the roman or greek medusa's sisters also wanted be cursed to be with their sister Medusa.
    Indeed, there is a version where her sisters defy Athena and stand with Medusa, and Athena curses them also. I have also seen a version where the 3 gorgons are monsters from birth, and no curse is involved. Like with many Greek myths, the details vary, only the big picture is the same.

  15. #30
    Astonishing Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    I'm fine with the more villainous Medusa we got in Rucka's run. There are versions of the myth where Athena/Minerva cursed Medusa after being raped by Poseidon/Neptune, but other versions paint the affair as consensual and done in Athena's temple to spite the goddess. I think, if we're using Medusa in a Wonder Woman story, the consensual angle is the only way to go. Because otherwise, one of Diana's patrons cursed a rape victim. Unless fans and writers are okay with ditching any positive interactions between Wonder Woman and Athena, the rape angle cannot be used.

    That doesn't mean Medusa can't have depth, or that Athena's actions can't be called into question. By modern standards especially, inflicting a horrible curse on a woman who you caught doing the nasty in your house is a bit extreme.

    Quote Originally Posted by hgzip View Post
    Indeed, there is a version where her sisters defy Athena and stand with Medusa, and Athena curses them also. I have also seen a version where the 3 gorgons are monsters from birth, and no curse is involved. Like with many Greek myths, the details vary, only the big picture is the same.
    It really is bizarre how underutilized Euryale and Stheno are in the myths. Like you say, some myths don't have them be cursed at all, but others do have them get the stone gaze and snake hair (or all three of them are monstrous with that power since birth). And they are immortal and unkillable unlike Medusa. You'd think they'd be a much bigger deal than her.

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