MythMod - Happy Families Picture

In case you're wondering why I've been quiet the last week and a bit, well here's your answer. Finally, all the MythMod goddesses in one pic.

The principle behind the series is taking the idea of the planets as deities, and bringing it up to date with modern facts about the planets. Yes, this is thoroughly daft but hey, if I can't let my imagination get the better of me when I'm drawing, when can I let it get the better of me?

From right to left (it just turned out that way
MERCURY - Communication, Technology, Progress
"Gotta move with the times!"
One of the few planets the ancients got roughly right: the "messenger of the gods" screams around the Sun in just 88 days. Mercury is also constantly changing, with half of it being baked by the Sun and half freezing in the vacuum of space at any given time.

Because of this, I've linked Mercury with speed and change, and hence progress, technology and the like. Silvery for technology and the fact that Mercury is basically a lump of iron, light and dark shades represent both the light/shade nature of Mercury the planet, and the double-edged nature of progress. Mercury wears glasses because her eyes shine a pure, brilliantly blinding white: to give an indication of just how bright, the glasses actually dark shades.

Age is fairly meaningless really, but Mercury is the "youngest" of the planetary goddesses. She is smart, and a bit nerdy and shy - she tends to get bullied quite often by Venus. Although the least powerful of the goddesses currently, she scares the others sometimes because she has the potential to be stronger than them all. She prefers exerting a subtle, cumulative effect on humanity rather than one of raw power.

VENUS - Fire, War, Destruction
"Call me the Goddess of Love and DIE!"
The planet Venus is the victim of a runaway version of the greenhouse effect: the atmosphere is almost entirely carbon dioxide, with the temperature and atmospheric pressure though the roof. Venus also has active volcanoes, and fast-moving clouds of sulphuric acid scuttle through its upper atmosphere. Does that sound like a Goddess of Love to you?

Venus is the second-youngest of the goddesses behind Mercury. Taller and more conventionally powerful than all of the others bar Jupiter, she is a force to be reckoned with, although thankfully she prefers random destruction to actually directing her powers to any specific goal. With a temper so short it's non-existant and a vicious streak an AU long, you seriously do not want to cross her. However, with the appropriate cajolling and control, she can be highly effective.

MARS - Aging, Decay, Time
"Fighting? Well, I'm a bit rusty now..."

As Philip Plait once said, Mars' red is a more rusty colour than bloody, making him think of decay rather than war. Coupled with the fact that the planet is fairly old geologically, this all gives me the impression of Mars as an old lady.

The oldest of the seven (six counting Uranus and Neptune as effectively one entity) goddesses, and like Mercury conventionally underpowered, she also prefers the subtle approach to pushing her agenda. Mars' age has brought her a good deal of wisdom, and she usually serves as Jupiter's deputy despite her lack of power. Long ago, Mars actually did hold the post of goddess of war, but she became tired and eventually gave the job to Venus. In hindsight, this may not have been a smart move.

JUPITER - Leadership, Protection, Preservation
"Sometimes maintaining the status quo is the hardest job of all"

The other of the two planets that the ancients got roughly right, along with Mercury. As the largest planet, Jupiter is a natural candidate for their leadership. Jupiter also has the interesting extra effect of diverting comets into orbit around itself as moons, thus reducing the number that come into Earth orbit, hence the protection part: I have this image of her as some sort of cosmic cop. Uniform and appearance very loosely based off Paul Kidby's version of Sergeant Angua of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch (Discworld reference, for those who don't know). The truncheon is fairly obvious, and the red "third eye" in the helmet represent's the planet's Great Red Spot, a vast hurriance that could swallow up three Earths.

Despite being on the side of Right and Justice and all that stuff, Jupiter is notoriously paranoid and suspicious of all the other planets. Although the strongest goddess, she is always wary of the others ganging up on her. In particular, she spends so much time and effort dealing with Venus, she worries that the others could easily slip under her radar.

SATURN - Love, Beauty, Fashion
"Eating babies is SO last millenium, darling"

With the Love spot on the roster vacated by Venus, someone had to fill in and the planet with all those pretty rings seemed fairly obvious. The big hat idea also ties in Fashion and stuff. The only real change from the old design is a recolour from green-and-purple to pink-and-purple for two reasons: 1. pink is altogether far more lovey and 2. green and purple is a fair old clash, and I doubt the goddess of Fashion would stand for that. Oh, yes, and some drapey things under her arms. The windswept hair signifies the extreme winds on Saturn.

Though not a baby-eater anymore, Saturn still has a hard edge under her soft and fluffy exterior, and she can be cruel when she wants to be. More powerful than Mercury and Mars (and Uranus and Neptune if you counted them as separate entities), but weakened by the fact that unlike them she has no concept of sticking to a task: like fashion, her views are constantly switching.

URANUS AND NEPTUNE - Ice, Mind, Mystery
"Don't even think about a Sailor Moon reference

These were quite tricky. First of all, they hadn't even been discovered in ancient times, being found in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries respectively. So the names they got (Sky and sea gods respectively) worked quite well anyway. They're also remarkably similar, so picking out individual personalities would be hard.

I then hit on the idea of using their similarity as a plus point by portraying them as twins. No, they are not lesbians, hence the Sailor Moon reference (I don't watch the show myself, but I have a friend who does and he's explained the daftness of the characters to me), but they are very close to the extent that they are effectively one mind in two bodies. Mind was therefore a throwaway link to the mythological psychic properties of twins. Ice is fairly obvious, it's getting pretty cold out there, and they're also still pretty mysterious considering the only way we can detect them is by telescopes.

The two planets are very similar, but there are a few differences: Neptune has wilder winds, has a slightly larger mass and has the interesting distinction of fission reactions occurring in its core (Jupiter also has these). Uranus has a slightly larger diameter and, interestingly, spins on its side. So Neptune can be thought of as a bit more forceful and perhaps a little protective of her twin, while Uranus is gentler and subtler. Does Neptune dominate Uranus, or can Uranus wrap Neptune round her little finger? It's a fairly moot point, as they always think and act as one.

In the struggle for planetary dominance, Uranus and Neptune's agendas remain fairly hidden compared with their fellows, and their double powers make the others wary: although individually they are no stronger than Mars or Mercury, as a combination they are up their with Jupiter and Venus. They are useful allies and challenging enemies, but you can never say which they are at any given moment.

Brief tables of "facts":

AGES (oldest to youngest)
Uranus and Neptune (twins)

RAW POWER (most to least)
Uranus and Neptune

This is a complete re-working of: [link] and [link]
Continue Reading: Mercury