Was Theseus the Superman of His Time?

The blockbuster movie this summer is Man of Steel, a reboot of the Superman franchise that finds Clark Kent as a young loner reluctantly battling extraterrestrials from his home planet. But it may as well be about Theseus, here slaying a monster while seemingly contemplating what he had for breakfast. He’s bored but dutiful—superheroes answer the call because, well, who else can? The ancient Greeks and Romans loved this notion as much as we do, inventing superheroes like Theseus and Hercules (played by the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in next year’s blockbuster Hercules: The Thracian Wars) and super-villains like Medusa. Every civilization, it seems, needs someone to stop the unstoppable.  

—Tim Gihring, writer, June 26


Photo credit: Clay Enos

Entertainment Weekly, June 11, 2013