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I thought that since times have changed, I should move my remit to be the god of war, not merely the god of battle. The brave warrior risking his life in combat is passe- nowadays the civilized warmonger prefers the clinical indifference of a ranged drone strike. [...] The point is, I need to rebrand my image. Otherwise I'd just end up being the god of drunken slapfights in pub car parks.
The Hound explaining why he switched from Scary Impractical Armor to a general's uniform, Exterminatus Now
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A god or other supernatural entity adapts to the modern world due to some of their aspects or powers no longer being as important to their worshipers' lives as they were in their heyday. May be caused by Gods Need Prayer Badly and result in Odd Job Gods. See also Death of the Old Gods for when they can't keep up. Compare Postmodern Magic.


Examples:

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    Anime And Manga 

  • Fate Series: Throughought the Fate multiverse, many characters of mythology and old history are summoned into the modern world as "Servants". Some of them adapt to the new world just fine (such as Arturia or Gilgamesh), wearing modern clothing and indulging in present day food and entertainment; a few of them even use modern weapons in fights, such as Lancelot.

    Comic Books 

  • In Ultimate Marvel, Loki is the Norse God who best adapts to the modern world, posing as a PR agent and operative for the EU who stage-manages their version of the Ultimates. During the Liberators arc, he gaslights Thor and the Ultimates, by making the former seem like a madman and not a real Norse God, and turning the Avengers against him. The Liberators arc ends with the world finding out that the Norse myths were Real After All.
  • The Sandman:
    • Lucifer has made several attempts to modernize Hell over the centuries, most notably when he established a triumvirate with Azazel and Beelzebub in order to stave off a revolt. Before he finally retired from ruling Hell, he also created a modern office for himself, with a computer.
    • Later characters in a similar position are Ishtar (now a poledancer) and Susano-o (who now has a Japan Takes Over the World vibe, seeking to acquire Hell for his own pantheon).
  • Ares in Marvel Comics is just as fine lugging around modern weaponry like gatling guns as he is with swinging his own axe.
  • Wonder Woman: During Greg Rucka's run on Wonder Woman (1987) he modified the looks and behavior of most of the Greek pantheon to reflect the way they'd adapted, or failed to adapt, with the times:
    • Ares, Athena and Eros start wearing entirely modern outfits with Athena preferring business casual looks—sans shoes—and cropping her hair short, Ares going from his Tin Tyrant look to black pants an open black shirt and close cropped hair, and Eros adopting a slacker look with sunglasses and loose comfortable clothes.
    • Aphrodite gives up on clothes altogether and starts "wearing" a semi-transparent sash that floats around her and manages to keep her covered enough for the reader along with a pair of sunglasses.

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    Fan Works 

  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, nobody in Ankh-Morpork really believes in Justice any more. But there are lots of women with alternative viewpoints who firmly believe a Goddess called Dike should not be wasted. The former Goddess of Law and Justice, whilst adamantly maintaining that Her name is pronounced with two syllables, considers this new lease of life is a hell of a lot more fun and beats stumbling around in a blindfold whilst carying a sword.

    Film:Live-Action 

  • In Bruce Almighty, newly-divine Bruce gets stressed out from hearing everyone's prayers all the time, so he creates an e-mail inbox on his computer to collect and manage them.
  • In Wonder Woman (2017), Ares poses as Sir Patrick, a member of England's War Cabinet, posing as a bureaucract and politician who instigates war on both sides.
  • Hellraiser: Judgement: There's a frank discussion amongst the leaders of Hell how they are supposed to adapt to the shifting technological environment of mankind. While it breeds more sin than ever before, Pinhead concludes that the puzzle boxes are now outdated and once again they must actively go out in search of fresh blood.

    Literature 

  • The novel American Gods has many old gods who've been forced to adapt to the times to keep up a sliver of their old relevance.
    • Mad Sweeney is said to have started out as a local guardian deity, then developed into a pagan king, and now he's survived as a leprechaun.
    • Czernobog managed to substitute his old human sacrifices by getting a job at a slaughterhouse and killing cattle with a sledgehammer, but after getting forcibly retired he's a shadow of his former self.
    • Eostre is possibly the most powerful old god because her name was co-opted for a Christian holiday.
    • Hinzelmann is an ancient Germanic kobold produced by a child sacrifice who's attached himself to a small town in northern Wisconsin that he keeps prosperous except for the kids who go missing once a year.
    • Loki has taken on the guise of Mr. World, head of The Men in Black.
  • Good Omens: Pestilence (as in the third Horseman of the Apocalypse) gets replaced by Pollution after the invention of penicillin means there are a lot less plagues than before. It's noted that Death is the only one who never had to change (Famine is now making fast-food that contains no nutrients whatsoever and War is now a journalist going around third-world countries igniting wars by her mere presence).
  • The Dresden Files: Odin has a day job as CEO of a security firm, where his power is greatly reduced so he can avoid the All-Powerful Bystander effect and remain active in mortal affairs. He also holds the "mantles" of the Winter Court Fae Kringle and Santa Claus, roles which he fills part-time. As he says, a says, a life as long as his is full of strange twists and turns.
  • Discworld: Gods Need Prayer Badly, so some out-of-style deities will do whatever it takes to get by. The ancient volcano goddess Lela reinvented herself as Anoia, Goddess of Things That Get Stuck In Drawers, and has actually managed a minor renaissance in her new position.
  • In The Camp Half-Blood Series this happens to some of the gods and monsters of Classical Mythology since they have to adapt to modern North America. For example, Ares appears as a violent biker, Iris, Greek messenger goddess of rainbows, note , has more or less abandoned the 'messenger' part of her job and now runs a small store, the Amazons run Amazon.com, and Mount Olympus is over the Empire State Building.
  • Subverted in The Salvation War, where both Yahweh and Satan are extremely conservative (with the latter a regular Bad Boss and the former outright mad as well). In fact, it is believed that God closed the gates of Heaven a thousand years ago due to finding it easier than keeping Heaven good enough for the increased standards of humanity. However, a lot of the plot is centered around individual angels and demons trying to survive the war with Humanity by keeping up with times. One archangel runs a night club with rock band members snatched out of Hell.

    Live-Action TV 

  • American Gods: The Roman god Vulcan, god of fire and blacksmithing, refashioned himself as a god of firearms to capitalize on the American obsession with guns as a source of worship and power.

     Tabletop Games  

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    Video Games 

  • Touhou: Yasaka Kanako is a weather goddess seeking to increase her influence (due to waning belief in the outside world), notably by getting into technology. One of these plots saw her feed a three-legged crow (a symbol of the Sun in Japanese mythology) to a none-too-bright raven youkai so as to give Gensokyo a source of green energy. The result was Reiuji Utsuho, a raven girl with the power to control nuclear fusion.

    Webcomics 

  • Exterminatus Now: the Hound (a War God and Khorne expy) stops dressing in spiky black armor and instead wears a general's outfit, pointing out that modern warfare involves a lot less melee combat than it used to and therefore he's adapting to a world of drone strikes half a planet away.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Subverted when a woman is blessed by a god there to grant all her desires... who assures her that she is now fertile and assured to bear male children, his idea of what women consider a blessing not having kept up with the times.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 

  • Some Patron Saint's areas of influence extend to places that were not dreamed of in their lifetime, such as Saint Christopher being the patron saint of truck drivers (being the patron of travelers before cars existed), Saint Barbara the patron saint of artillerymen and Demolitions Experts (she protected against lightning and fire, logically extended to explosions), and Saint Joseph of Cupertino the patron saint of aviators and astronauts (as he was seen to levitate during sermons).
  • Ogun, the Yoruba god of smithing, saw taxi drivers and mechanics join in his worship.
  • Iktomi, The Trickster of the Lakota folklore, is a spider who is destined to spread his web all over the world. Today, some believe he has.


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