Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Medusa the fictional character!

Medusa first appeared in Fantastic Four vol. 1 #36, and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
edit] Fictional character biography
Medusa belongs to the race of
Inhumans, a species of prehistoric earthlings mutated by the Terrigen Mists produced deep under the Inhuman city-state of Attilan, presently located in the oxygen-rich Blue Area of the Moon. Crystal (who later became the wife of the Avenger Quicksilver) is Medusa's younger sister. Medusa was born on the island of Attilan to nutritionists Quelin and Ambur, who were both Inhumans. Quelin was the brother of Rynda, wife of King Agon. Because of that family connection, Medusa was considered a member of Attilan's Royal Family. Her parents chose to expose her to the Terrigen Mists when she was a child, though currently the Inhumans' tradition dictates that exposure to the Mists must wait until puberty.
During her adolescent years Medusa would often visit her cousin
Black Bolt during his confinement, and she learned to communicate with him through body language. During the course of these visits, the two fell in love and became engaged. She attended Black Bolt's release from his isolation cell at the age of eighteen, and witnessed the first confrontation between Black Bolt and his insane brother Maximus the Mad.[1] Maximus also claims to be in love with Medusa, and has made frequent attempts to usurp both the throne of Attilan as well as his brother's bride-to-be. It was in Maximus' first successful attempt to take the throne that Medusa was knocked off a sky-sled by the Trikon and afflicted with amnesia. She left Attilan, and wandered Europe as a thief.[2]

Medusa, by Jack Kirby
Medusa first made her appearance in Fantastic Four #36 as Madam Medusa. At that time, she suffered from amnesia as a result from a plane crash. While wandering through Europe, she comes to the attention of The Wizard, who is seeking a worthy female to become the fourth member of his new quartet, the Frightful Four, Silver Age nemeses of the Fantastic Four. Wizard's partners, Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete, ask him how he could come up with a suitable female. Wizard says that he knows of a female and that she'd be perfect. A few weeks later Wizard meets again with his comrades. Pete asks him if he found someone with a power great enough to match that of Susan Storm. Wizard announces that his female may be even more powerful! When they see Medusa, they are most impressed. The red-haired villainess performs superbly in the Frightful Four's first battle with the Fantastic Four. Madam Medusa seizes Sue Storm with her scarlet tresses, so tightly that the blonde girl can't move! The Wizard then wishes the helpless Miss Storm pleasant dreams, as he knocks Sue out with a can of sleep spray. The Frightful Four then attach the Wizard's anti-gravity discs to Sue, Reed, Ben and Ben's girlfriend, Alicia Masters, and send the quartet floating helplessly into the sky. If not for the lucky intervention of The Torch, who is away when the Frightful Four invade the Baxter Building, but later receives a signal for help from Alicia when she finds the fallen Sue Storm laying unconscious, Medusa and her comrades would have certainly succeeded in finishing off the Invisible Girl, Mr. Fantastic, the Thing and his girlfriend!
The next battle of the quartets takes place in Fantastic Four #38, "Defeated by the Frightful Four". Paste-Pot Pete now calls himself The Trapster and his new name fits him perfectly! For a second straight time, Madam Medusa succeeds in her task of beating the Invisible Girl. She lays a trap for Sue Storm and the blonde girl walks blindly into it. She lures Sue to a fashion show and pretends to be a designer who will show her wedding outfits. Madam Medusa then captures Sue with her invincible hair, while the Trapster snares the girl with his sticky paste. Medusa, along with her evil comrades, Wizard and Trapster, then abduct their helpless captive into the sky. They take her to an isolated Pacific atoll. They go underground and Wizard tells Trapster to place the girl on the floor near the detonation mechanism of his atomic Q-bomb. The Frightful Four then lure the rest of the Fantastic Four to the island, using Sue as the bait. A battle soon erupts, but as the Q-bomb is about to explode, the Frightful Four escape in their ship, leaving the lovely Susan Storm still underground near the deadly Q-bomb. Ben hears Sue's cries and Reed, Johnny and him rush to the semi-conscious blonde girl. The Fantastic Four's lives are just barely saved, thanks to Reed's idea of having Sue use her force field. However, all four of them have lost their powers. This is the first time that the Fantastic Four have been defeated in battle and Medusa's capture of Sue Storm made it all possible!
Medusa and her comrades again battle the Fantastic Four in issues #41-43. Wizard brainwashes the Thing in issue #41 and he joins the Frightful Four. The Frightful Four then easily defeat Sue, Johnny and Reed. Medusa grabs Sue with her hair and tells the Invisible Girl that it was foolish of her not to flee for her life, because now it is too late! Fortunately for her, Sue breaks free with her force field and hides inside of it. The Thing, however, threatens to knock Sue into the middle of next week and she faints before he smashes her force field. Medusa then brilliantly has Trapster place Sue in a chemically treated plastic bag, which is impervious to Sue's invisibility power, making the blonde girl helpless. In Fantastic Four #42, we begin by seeing Sue still helplessly imprisoned in the giant plastic bag Medusa had Trapster create. When Torch frees Sue, Medusa again initially traps Sue with her hair, but then Sue turns the tables and captures Medusa in a force field. In Fantastic Four #43, Sue attacks Medusa with a series of force spheres, but then Medusa counters and wraps her up in her mighty hair. She even captures the Torch in Fantastic Four #43 by soaking her hair with water and then drenching his flame. All in all, Medusa fared quite well while a member of the Frightful Four. Her team almost beat the Fantastic Four in #36. They did beat them in #38 and again in #41. The scarlet villainess beat her blonde opponent, Sue Storm, in Fantastic Four #36 and in #38. Their fight was a tie in #41, but Medusa still bested Sue by directing Trapster to imprison the blonde girl. Sue won their fight in #42, but Medusa came back and was winning in #43 when Reed stopped the fight. The most success the Frightful Four had was when Medusa was on the team!
She was then pursued by
Gorgon on behalf of Maximus.[3] It was some time before the disastrous effects of worldly pollution on the Inhumans was known, but eventually Medusa regained her senses and joined forces with the Fantastic Four. She was reunited with Black Bolt, who had been searching for her, and returned to Attilan. However, she became trapped in Atillan by the "negative zone" barrier created by Maximus.[4] She was eventually freed from the barrier by Black Bolt, and left the Great Refuge to visit the outside world as an adventurer.[5] The Fantastic Four became friends and allies and aided the Inhumans on several occasions, such as during the frequent power struggles between Black Bolt and the deranged Maximus.
Medusa has been known to join the Fantastic Four as a team member for brief periods of time. She became a temporary replacement for
Susan Richards[6], known as the Invisible Girl at that time, when she was on leave caring for her comatose son Franklin Richards. Through her relations with the Fantastic Four, Medusa and Black Bolt have sought to achieve an understanding and peace between the races of Earth and Attilan. Nevertheless, the Inhumans have been forced to relocate their home of Attilan several times due to unwarranted human hostility.
Black Bolt would eventually become the king of the Inhumans upon the death of his parents. Medusa oversaw the moving of Attilan to the
Blue Area of the Moon.[7] Alongside the Inhuman Royal Family, she battled the Avengers under Maximus's mind control.[8] Medusa and Black Bolt were then married and Medusa was made queen, becoming both royal consort and royal interpreter.[9] When Medusa became pregnant, Attilan's Genetics Council argued that the pregnancy should be terminated due to the possibility of the child inheriting Maximus' insanity coupled with Black Bolt's immense and destructive power. Medusa defied the Council and fled to Earth to avoid the compulsory abortion and live anonymously in the desert until the child was born, a son named Ahura.[10] Black Bolt reconciled with Medusa and the pair returned to Attilan and turned their infant son over to the Genetics Council. Following these events Ahura was not mentioned or seen in the Marvel Universe for several years.
Later, alongside the Inhumans and the original
X-Factor, she battled Apocalypse.[11] Alongside the Inhumans and Avengers, she also battled the Brethren.[12]
[edit] Royalty
Medusa's primary role among the Inhumans is as interpreter for her liege and husband, the silent but commanding Black Bolt. As such she is an experienced state figure within the quasi-feudal system of the Inhumans' government, and is used to speaking with awareness of regal issues of protocol and comportment. This imperial attitude is usually tempered by her strong sense of morality and fairness.
[13][14] For the protection of all Inhumans (her first priority) and to aid her allies (such as the Fantastic Four), she is a fierce warrior.
edit] Beyond!
Main article:

Medusa and Venom, by Scott Kolins
Medusa is featured in the six issue series Beyond!. She is kidnapped along with other famous and infamous superhumans to the artificial planet known as Battleworld. After witnessing Venom apparently murder Spider-Man, she passes royal judgement that he must undergo fifty lashes. She supersedes the authority of the Avenger's representative, Janet Van Dyne, and uses the control over her hair to create a whipping motion so fast that it produces miniature sonic booms, which Venom is especially vulnerable to. While Henry Pym tries to dissuade Medusa from continuing the punishment, Venom is able to stab Medusa through the thigh. Later on in the issue, Medusa saves the team during the sudden crash landing of their space vessel by absorbing the majority of the impact with her hair. As stated by Wasp, Medusa is the team's primary short-range offense. Eventually the team triumphs over the Beyonder and returns to Earth. At the end of the series, Medusa can be seen alongside Black Bolt attending the funeral of her Beyond! teammate Gravity. She gifts Gravity's parents with a precious statue, the highest honor amongst the Inhumans, in commemoration of Gravity's sacrifice.
edit] I Heart Marvel
Main article:
I Heart Marvel
Medusa stars and narrates in a one-shot vignette appearing in issue #3 of the Marvel Ai edition. Titled Silence of the Heart, the story explores the relationship between Medusa and Black Bolt. Medusa explains that her husband's silence is a burden that she also bears. Black Bolt makes an appearance at this point and the two are shown to make love as Medusa contemplates her longing to hear a moan, whisper, or laugh from him.
edit] Son of M
Main article:
Son of M
This title focuses on Pietro Maximoff following the events of House of M. After attempting to commit suicide, a dying Pietro is brought to Attilan by Crystal. While Gorgon protests, Medusa grants Pietro asylum in Attilan until he is fully recovered. Once healed, a depowered Pietro tries to convince Black Bolt and Medusa to allow him access to the Terrigen Mists, but Medusa firmly states that Terrigenesis is a process forbidden to outsiders and that such a process upon a human could result in drastic mutations. Pietro manages to expose himself to the Mists regardless, and receives new powers before collecting both the Terrigen Crystals and his daughter, Luna, and returning to Earth. The crystals eventually end up in the possession of a black-ops sector of the United States government. The sector's subsequent refusal to return the crystals sparks a declaration of war between the Inhumans and the United States.
During this title it is made reference that Black Bolt and Medusa are childless. Upon discovery that Luna has been taken to Earth by Pietro, Medusa advises Crystal that perhaps it is right that Pietro should spend time with his daughter. Crystal remarks that if Medusa had children of her own she might be able to understand how she felt over the matter. It is not apparent whether this is an example of Ahura's existence being retconned from the Marvel Universe, or if this is meant to be a sarcastic comment in reference to Ahura's supposed confinement.
edit] Silent War
Main article:
Silent War

Medusa and Maximus, by Frazer Irving
The events of Silent War immediately follow the events of Son of M.
The Silent War series reveals a growing rift between Medusa and Black Bolt as the two disagree on his decision to declare war against the United States for failing to relinquish the Terrigen Crystals. Medusa finds herself no longer able to interpret her husband's wishes as she used to. While Medusa is issuing Black Bolt's war declarations to the Inhumans council he becomes frustrated and snaps his fingers to silence her, indicating that she wasn't relating what he intended. Medusa later confides to Black Bolt that he had never treated her that way before, as if she were a dog, and Black Bolt responds apologetically.
Their son, Ahura, also reappears in this series as a mentally unstable adolescent. Medusa argues that Black Bolt seems not to care that their son is being kept in isolation, and advises him that despite his orders she has gone to visit Ahura in his cell on more than one occasion. Black Bolt is angered by this and becomes physically aggressive with Medusa, grabbing her face and mouth to silence her. In her growing confusion with her husband's actions, Medusa finds herself drawn to Maximus against her will and would visit him often in his prison cell. It is revealed by
Luna, Crystal's daughter, that Maximus had somehow implanted a "darkness" into Medusa's mind that was affecting her actions. Later on, Medusa and Maximus share a kiss as a distraught Black Bolt watches from the shadows. Medusa's thoughts at the time, however, reveal that she is not in control of her actions and that she only loves Black Bolt. The end of Silent War is left a cliffhanger with Black Bolt confined in prison, Ahura released, and Medusa now at Maximus' side as he assumes the throne of the Inhumans. It has not been confirmed whether the series will continue.
Due to inconsistencies with other Marvel titles featuring Black Bolt during this time, it is unclear when, and if, Silent War takes place in relation to
The Illuminati, World War Hulk, and Secret Invasion storylines.
edit] World War Hulk
Main article:
World War Hulk
Medusa appears alongside Black Bolt in issue #1 of the World War Hulk series.
Medusa is seen with Black Bolt when
Hulk attacks Attilan. She warns Hulk not to pursue a fight with her husband, as Black Bolt has defeated Hulk in past battles. The fight begins and Medusa is not shown to interfere or assist. Black Bolt is subsequently defeated by Hulk, though the battle is not shown beyond Black Bolt's opening attack and it is made unclear as to how Hulk managed to win the fight.
edit] New Avengers: Illuminati
Main article:
New Avengers: Illuminati
It has recently been revealed that Black Bolt has been replaced by a Skrull impostor for an unknown amount of time.[15] The impostor revealed himself to the Illuminati and was killed. Both the sudden rift between Medusa and Black Bolt apparent in Silent War and Black Bolt's later defeat at the hands of Hulk in World War Hulk could be attributed to this development, for it is uncertain just when Black Bolt might have been replaced by his Skrull duplicate.
edit] Secret Invasion: Inhumans
Main article:
Secret Invasion
This upcoming story by Heroes writer Joe Pokaski digs into how the Inhuman Royal Family deals with the news that the Black Bolt they knew was a Skrull impostor.[16]. Medusa is shown fighting a Skrull that not only possesses her powers, but also possesses the powers of Mister Fantastic.[17] Medusa heads into Kree space to get Ronan the Accuser to help look for the Skrull ship containing Black Bolt and her son.[18] She succeeds in rescuing her family and returning to Attilan.[19]
[edit] Powers and abilities
Medusa possesses a long, thick head of red hair; thanks to her exposure to the mutagenic Terrigen Mist, every strand of her hair has greater tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, and sheer resistance than an iron wire of the same thickness (average hair diameter: .045 inches). She possesses the psychokinetic ability to animate her hair for a number of feats, including elongating it to almost twice its normal length (Medusa's hair is approximately 6 feet (1.8 m) in length when relaxed), and using her hair to lift and move heavy weights (up to 1.6 tons); a portion of her hair must be used to anchor the rest at these greater weights, so that more than her scalp/skull is used as a brace.

Medusa and her hair, by Jae Lee
Medusa can control the movement of her hair as if it were countless thin appendages growing from her head. A psionic field permeates her mutagenically altered hair-cells, causing mutual attraction across the gaps between strands. These relatively small forces operate in conjunction to develop larger forces. Through concentration, she can psionically move her hair in any manner imaginable. She can snap the length of it through the air like a whip (the tip of which moves faster than the speed of sound), or rotate it in a fan-like manner. She can bind persons or objects with it as if it were rope, or use it to lift objects which weigh more than she could lift with her arms. Her scalp, skull, and neck do not support the weight of an object that she lifts: It is held aloft by the psionic force coursing through the hair. Medusa can also perform delicate manipulations with her hair such as lock picking or threading a needle, and such complex acts of coordination as typing or shuffling a deck of cards. Although she has no nerve endings in her hair, she can "feel" sensations on all parts of her hair by a form of mental feedback from her psionic field.[20]
Medusa is also able to retain some degree of control over her hair after it has been cut or otherwise severed from her scalp.[13] She presumably has the typical enhanced physical abilities granted by the genetically superior Inhuman physiology. She is also highly skilled at interpreting the gestures and body language of Black Bolt, and has a fluency in a special sign language used to communicate with Black Bolt.
Like all Inhumans, Medusa's immune system is weaker than that of an average human. However, due to her frequent ventures into the outside world, Medusa's immune system has been strengthened until it is no longer as weak as that of her fellow Inhumans. As such she has attained a resistance to the pollutants of the outside world, which enabled her to join the Fantastic Four (as well as be a former member of the Frightful Four) in the first place.
Medusa is an accomplished thief, using her hair.
edit] Other versions
edit] Earth X
In the alternate future of
Earth X, Medusa's hair volume has drastically increased. She has lost Black Bolt and fears the emotional loss of her son, Ahura. She is the acting ruler and Queen of the Inhumans. Many of her remaining friends and allies have mutated due to the incidents on Earth. As a way to tie together some of the powerful factions remaining on Earth, Captain Britain proposes to her.[volume & issue needed] Their story continues into the mini-series Paradise X, where convienence has turned into love. However, the status of their relationship and their political positions is thrown into turmoil when Captain Britain's presumed lost wife Meggan is brought back to life.[21]
[edit] Heroes Reborn
Main article:
Heroes Reborn
Medusa's home city of Attilan plays host to the Fantastic Four. As in other realities, she speaks for her husband, Black Bolt. The Four are asked to help the Inhumans stop the plans of Maximus the Mad, who seeks out and plans to control the Terrigen Mists. The group at first does not understand the request, which leads to a battle. Medusa proves herself a capable fighter, helping to keep the battle at a stalemate.
In this universe
Galactus is worshipped, and the Royal Council pay reverence to him and his team of heralds in the form of finely crafted statues throughout Attilan.
edit] Marvel 1602
Main article:
Marvel 1602
Medusa appears in the Marvel 1602 miniseries: 1602: Fantastick Four as a member of the "Four Who Are Frightful", and the Wizard's lover. Like her Ultimate counterpart, she has snakes for hair. She must also wear a veil, to prevent her gaze turning men to stone. While her introduction describes her as "inhuman" her origins are not mentioned. She appears to be a native French speaker (hence, "Madame" Medusa).
edit] Mutant X
Main article:
Mutant X (comics)
After the Beyonder/Goblin Queen and the vampire Dracula lay waste to the Earth's heroes in an attempt to conquer the Multiverse, a team of Inhumans, Medusa included, and Eternals attack from above. They battle in the heart of Washington D.C. Dracula easily slays the entire group.[volume & issue needed]
edit] Marvel Zombies 3
Marvel Zombies 3 #2 she along with the Inhuman Royal Family are shown to be zombies have visited a zombie Kingpin to ask for food which they get.[22] In the next issue Machine Man blows up her head.[23]
[edit] Ultimate Medusa

Ultimate Medusa and Black Bolt, by Jae Lee
Main article: Ultimate Marvel
A version of Medusa appears in the Ultimate Marvel series, first appearing in the Ultimate Fantastic Four issue Annual 1: Inhuman. She is still the queen of the Inhumans and wife to their leader, Black Bolt. As with her namesake, in this universe her skin is green in color and she has actual snakes for hair. It is not stated whether her newly serpentine hair restricts or enhances her abilities in any way. Along with Crystal, the Inhuman Gorgon is female and also Medusa's sister. Black Bolt's brother, Maximus, does not display any romantic feelings for Medusa in this universe.
Unlike other versions, Ultimate Medusa is against all associations with the
Fantastic Four and believes that the two races of Inhumans and humans can never co-mingle in peace. She also exhibits an extreme degree of loyalty towards her people, stating that there can be no greater honor than to put aside one's individual happiness for the welfare of Attilan. Despite these sentiments, she expresses regret over her husband's inability to vocalize his feelings.
edit] Other media
edit] Television
Medusa appears alongside the rest of the Inhumans and later the Frightful Four in an episode of the 1978
Fantastic Four cartoon.
Medusa appears in the
1981 Spider-Man cartoon episode "Under The Wizard's Spell". The episode has her serving the Wizard again due to a collar he puts on her.
While she doesn't appear in
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, Mona Osborn attends the ESU party dressed as Medusa in the episode Triumph Of The Green Goblin.
Medusa appears in four episodes of the '90's
Fantastic Four animated series voiced by Iona Morris.
edit] Video game
Medusa appears as an NPC in
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance voiced by Nancy Linari. She was brainwashed by Doctor Doom to serve him, though she was imprisoned at Attilan. She has special dialogue with Invisible Woman.

Who am I??

In Greek mythology, Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα (Médousa), "guardian, protectress"[1]) was a gorgon, a chthonic female monster, and a daughter of Phorcys and Ceto;[2] Only Hyginus, (Fabulae, 151) interposes a generation and gives another chthonic pair as parents of Medusa;[3] gazing directly upon her would turn onlookers to stone. She was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon[4] until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion. She also has two gorgon sisters.

[edit] Medusa in classical mythology
The three
Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys and his sister Ceto, chthonic monsters from an archaic world. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus's Prometheus Bound, who places both trinities of sisters far off "on Kisthene's dreadful plain":
Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, wingedWith snakes for hair— hated of mortal man—
While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as beings born of monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as a being both beautiful as well as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 BC
Pindar already speaks of "fair-cheeked Medusa".[5] In one version of the Medusa myth, Medusa who was very beautiful and very arrogant, boasted that she was even more beautiful then the goddess Athena. For this Athena became wrathful and cursed her that anyone who looks at her face would be turned to stone. In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid (Metamorphoses 4.770), Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden, "the jealous aspiration of many suitors," priestess in Athena's temple, but when she and the "Lord of the Sea" Poseidon lay together in Athena's temple, the enraged virgin goddess transformed her beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn men into stone. In Ovid's telling, Perseus describes Medusa's punishment by Athena as just and well-deserved.
edit] Death

Perseus with the Head of Medusa, by Benvenuto Cellini, installed 1554
In most versions of the story, while Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon, god of the sea, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King
Polydectes of Seriphus as a gift. With help from Athena and Hermes, who supplied him with winged sandals, Hades' cap of invisibility, a sword, and a mirrored shield, he accomplished his quest. The hero slew Medusa by looking at her harmless reflection in the mirror instead of directly at her to prevent being turned into stone. When the hero severed Medusa's head from her neck, two offspring sprang forth: the winged horse Pegasus and the golden giant Chrysaor.
Jane Ellen Harrison argues that "her potency only begins when her head is severed, and that potency resides in the head; she is in a word a mask with a body later appended... the basis of the Gorgoneion is a cultus object, a ritual mask misunderstood."[6]
In Odyssey xi, Homer does not specifically mention the Gorgon Medusa:
"Lest for my daring
Persephone the dread,
From Hades should send up an awful monster's grisly head."
Harrison's translation states "the Gorgon was made out of the terror, not the terror out of the Gorgon."
According to Ovid, in North-West Africa Perseus flew past the Titan Atlas, who stood holding the sky aloft, and transformed him into stone. In a similar manner, the corals of the Red Sea were said to have been formed of Medusa's blood spilled onto seaweed when Perseus laid down the petrifying head beside the shore during his short stay in Aethiopia where he saved and wed his future wife, the lovely princess Andromeda. Furthermore the poisonous vipers of the Sahara, in the Argonautica 4.1515, Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770 and Lucan's Pharsalia 9.820, were said to have grown from spilt drops of her blood.
Perseus then flew to Seriphus where his mother was about to be forced into marriage with the king. King Polydectes was turned into stone by the gaze of Medusa's head.
Then he gave the Gorgon's head to Athena, who placed it on her shield, the
Some classical references refer to three Gorgons; Harrison considered that the tripling of Medusa into a trio of sisters was a secondary feature in the myth:
The triple form is not primitive, it is merely an instance of a general tendency... which makes of each woman goddess a trinity, which has given us the
Horae, the Charites, the Semnai, and a host of other triple groups. It is immediately obvious that the Gorgons are not really three but one + two. The two unslain sisters are mere appendages due to custom; the real Gorgon is Medusa.[6]
[edit] Modern interpretations
edit] Psychoanalysis

Medusa (by Arnold Böcklin, circa 1878)
In 1940,
Sigmund Freud's Das Medusenhaupt (Medusa's Head) was published posthumously. This article laid the framework for his significant contribution to a body of criticism surrounding the monster. Medusa is presented as "the supreme talisman who provides the image of castration — associated in the child's mind with the discovery of maternal sexuality — and its denial."[7][8] Psychoanalysts continue archetypal literary criticism to the present day: Beth Seelig analyzes Medusa's punishment from the aspect of the crime of having been "raped" rather than having willingly consented in Athena's temple as an outcome of the Goddess' unresolved conflicts with her own father, Zeus.[9]
[edit] Feminism
In the 20th century,
feminists reassessed Medusa's appearances in literature and in modern culture, including the use of Medusa as a logo by fashion company Versace.[10][11][12] The name "Medusa" itself is often used in ways not directly connected to the mythological figure but to suggest the gorgon's abilities or to connote malevolence; despite her origins as a beauty, the name in common usage "came to mean monster."[13] The book Female Rage: Unlocking Its Secrets, Claiming Its Power by Mary Valentis and Anne Devane notes that "When we asked women what female rage looks like to them, it was always Medusa, the snaky-haired monster of myth, who came to mind ... In one interview after another we were told that Medusa is 'the most horrific woman in the world' ... [though] none of the women we interviewed could remember the details of the myth."[14]
Medusa's visage has since been adopted by many women as a symbol of female rage; one of the first publications to express this idea was a 1978 issue of Women: A Journal of Liberation. The cover featured the image of a gorgon, which the editors explained "can be a map to guide us through our terrors, through the depths of our anger into the sources of our power as women."[14] In a 1986 article for Women of Power magazine called "Ancient Gorgons: A Face for Contemporary Women's Rage," Emily Erwin Culpepper wrote that "The Amazon Gorgon face is female fury personified. The Gorgon/Medusa image has been rapidly adopted by large numbers of feminists who recognize her as one face of our own rage."[14]
[edit] Nihilism
Medusa has sometimes appeared as representing notions of
scientific determinism and nihilism, especially in contrast with romantic idealism.[7][15] In this interpretation of Medusa, attempts to avoid looking into her eyes represent avoiding the ostensibly depressing reality that the universe is meaningless. Jack London uses Medusa in this way in his novel The Mutiny of the Elsinore:[16]
I cannot help remembering a remark of De Casseres. It was over the wine in Mouquin's. Said he: "The profoundest instinct in man is to war against the truth; that is, against the Real. He shuns facts from his infancy. His life is a perpetual evasion. Miracle, chimera and to-morrow keep him alive. He lives on fiction and myth. It is the Lie that makes him free. Animals alone are given the privilege of lifting the veil of Isis; men dare not. The animal, awake, has no fictional escape from the Real because he has no imagination. Man, awake, is compelled to seek a perpetual escape into Hope, Belief, Fable, Art, God, Socialism, Immortality, Alcohol, Love. From Medusa-Truth he makes an appeal to Maya-Lie."
—Jack London, The Mutiny of the Elsinore''
edit] Medusa in art

Medusa Rondanini

Head of Medusa, by Peter Paul Rubens (1618)
Main article:
Cultural depictions of Medusa and gorgons
From ancient times, the Medusa was immortalized in numerous works of art, including:
Medusa on the breastplate of
Alexander the Great, as depicted in the Alexander Mosaic from Pompeii's House of the Faun (c. 200 BC)
Medusa Rondanini, a Roman copy of the Gorgoneion on the aegis of Athena; later used as a model for the gorgon's head in Antonio Canova's marble Perseus with the Head of Medusa (1798–1801)
Medusa (oil on canvas) by Leonardo da Vinci
Perseus with the Head of Medusa (bronze sculpture) by Benvenuto Cellini (1554)
Medusa (oil on canvas) by Caravaggio (1597).
Head of Medusa, by
Peter Paul Rubens (1618)
Perseus Turning Phineus and his Followers to Stone (oil on canvas) by Luca Giordano (early 1680s).
Perseus with the Head of Medusa (marble sculpture) by Antonio Canova (1801)
Medusa (oil on canvas) by Arnold Böcklin (c. 1878)
Perseus (bronze sculpture) by Salvador Dalí
Medusa remained a common theme in art in the nineteenth century, when her myth was retold in
Thomas Bulfinch's Mythology. Edward Burne-Jones' Perseus Cycle of paintings and a drawing by Aubrey Beardsley gave way to the twentieth century works of Paul Klee, John Singer Sargent, Pablo Picasso, Pierre et Gilles, and Auguste Rodin's bronze sculpture The Gates of Hell.[17]
[edit] In flags and emblems

Flag of Sicily

Municipal coat of arms of Dohalice village, Hradec Králové District, Czech Republic
The head of Medusa is featured on some regional symbols. One example is that of the flag and emblem of Sicily, together with the three legged trinacria. The inclusion of Medusa in the center implies the protection of the goddess Athena, who wore the Gorgon's likeness on her aegis, as said above. Another example is the coat of arms of Dohalice village in the Czech Republic.
edit] In popular culture
Main article:
Cultural depictions of Medusa and gorgons
The petrifying image of Medusa makes an instantly recognizable feature in market-driven popular culture.
Medusa has most recently appeared in
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, played by actress Uma Thurman and in the remake of Clash of the Titans, played by Russian supermodel Natalia