My beloved awakens after dreaming of an ancient, subterranean shrine and starts looking up totemic images online. Not to pretend to have been an ancient warrior at the dawn of civilization, nor to attempt to bond, in the most shallow, distasteful fashion, with indigenous peoples, but rather to simply reawaken the dream within her via the stylized evolutionary hierarchies and symbols of strength and protection that are totems.
This led us to the 3D modeling of ancient sites underway via the University of British Columbia's Ancient Spaces endeavor: Machu Picchu, the Acropolis, ancient barks, and more dazzle spectators and hint at near-future, virtual world immersion in reconstructed ancient kingdoms, perhaps the seventh generation of God of War and Zeus: Master of Olympus.
Or, even finer, the greenest of tourism: virtual ancient world tourism. The idea is anything but fresh, but its realization is still eagerly awaited by a longing few.
OK, it seems that our recent posts are heading toward a singularity which can only be reached via compiling a list of beings in mythology, comic books, role playing games, film, and television, that are explicitly described as being possessed of unlimited strength or force, indestructibility, irresistibility, or invincibility.
As a contrary example, though Galactus and Silver Surfer may be extremely powerful, it is never explicitly stated, or implied beyond a doubt canonically, that their powers are unlimited [like Hercules], or that they are superlative in their powers [like He-Man], and thus, they are excluded from the list. But, if you think you may have heard or read that a being has unlimited power and can't remember your information source, then we can tentatively include him/her/it, pending validation.
So far, we have:
The Hulk: [Marvel Comics] unlimited strength potential when enraged
Juggernaut: [Marvel Comics] unstoppable when moving forward
Superman: [DC Comics] overwhelmingly implied that he is indestructible and possessed of unlimited speed and strength.
Hercules: [Dungeons & Dragons] when enraged, there is "nothing he can't lift, nothing he can't bend, and nothing he can't break", though there is a small chance that I am remembering this incorrectly: it may be Atlas. If so, then replace D&D Hercules with D&D Atlas for this entry.
Frankenstein: [Gothic Horror novel by Mary Shelley] possibly indestructible except vulnerable to fire
Jason Voorhees: [Friday the 13th film series] indestructible
The Blob: [1958 Sci-Fi Classic] "indestructible", unstoppable
Lancelot: [Dungeons & Dragons] "invincible in combat"
Strong Guy [Marvel Comics] strength increases to unmeasured limit by absorbing kinetic energy
He-Man [1983-1985 cartoon series] "most powerful man in the universe"
Michael Myers [Halloween] indestructible
Illustration is of the Marvel Comics villain, Blob.
Just saw The Incredible Hulk (grade: B) and quickly began to think of Hulk vs. different superheroes, mythological beings, movie monsters, Dungeons & Dragons beasts, and science fiction entities, particularly from Star Wars.
The Superman vs. Hulk match up is as old as time and was sort of resolved in a Marvel-DC Crossover comic books miniseries, with Superman winning, but this was based on popular vote. As if basing the properties of the elements of the periodic table on a popular vote would decide their nature forevermore. This is science. Hard facts, cold data, metrics, and calculations should have been employed to determine the victor, a la Animal Face Off. Nevertheless, Superman vs. The Hulk is a great confrontation.
I Googled a few more match ups, such as Hulk vs. The Silver Surfer and Hulk vs. The Emperor, and then remembered a descriptive line from Deities & Demigods, an early Advanced Dungeons & Dragons volume: 'Nothing he can't lift, nothing he can't bend, and nothing he can't break'. I believe this described Hercules, though it may have been describing Atlas.
Was this unlimited strength game-determined or was it derived from myth? The 11th Labor of Hercules involved Hercules holding up the heavens, but it is not clear whether the heavens were supposed to be THAT heavy to the ancient Greeks. The balance of the tales are all brutal and might very well imply that Hercules has god-infused strength.
Results: Hercules over The Hulk, Superman, Silver Surfer, Palpatine, and the rest of them.
You need not look in modern graphic novels to find superheroes. The ancient mythologies contain the most exciting, sci-fi, gadget-laden, powerful, magical, superhuman, and charismatic beings the world has ever known.
But, finally, before seeming to imply that modern comic book heroes are anything less than awesome, they DO have a certain style and they do rule. Their costumes are unparalleled. Their adventures are geekriffic in the best of ways, and they excite in a way that the ancients do not.
Similar in color to water and vegetation, the Mesoamericans associated jade with life and death. Trace element types and amounts present affect the overall color of jade. Jade ranked high on the Mayan Mohs Hardness Scale, being the second hardest material known to them. Opacity ranges from nearly transparent to fully opaque.
A fascinating History Channel-style featurette on Wikipedia.