Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Flash is a well known superhero.  He got his start, however, in mythology.  The original character was inspired by the swift feet of Hermes, Greek messenger god and all around great guy to know.  You can see the inspiration from the winged helmet and the winged sandals.  The Flash that we know of now has no direct mythology allusion, but was inspired by the original Flash, so the allusion is indirect.

Here are a few of the fastest gods and goddesses around.

Hermes - Greek fast messenger god. He is so fast that he sometimes uses his speed to steal.  He stole all of Apollo's cows the day he was born.  He had to give them back.  He has been used to promote Goodyear Tires and FTD Floral delivery.  There is a car named after his Roman counter-part, Mercury.  There is a great commercial that shows that he's not quite that fast, though.

Iris - Greek rainbow goddess.  She also travels super fast and as such delivers messages like Hermes does.  In fact she may have been even faster than Hermes at the job and it is quite possible that she is, in fact, the true mother of Eros, but that may just be a nasty rumor.

Julana - Australian deity who travels fast by burrowing underground.  Sounds pretty neat until you realize that he uses his power of fast travel to surprise women and, er, take advantage of them by "holding their hands" very aggressively and without their permission.

Ashvins - These Indian gods were like mythological ambulances.  These doctor gods rode around in golden chariots drawn by flying horses to get where they were needed.  When not healing someone, they stand on guards at the gates of death.

Pheme - Greek goddess of gossip.  She flies at great speed.  Her feathers are always moving.  Beneath some is a eye, looking for problems, beneath some is an ear, always listening for juicy details, and beneath others is a tongue, ready to tell stories (always with some truth) to others.

O.K., who did I miss?  Let me know and I'll add them to the list.