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Webcomic / Punderworld

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Punderworld is a webcomic by Croatian comics artist Linda Luksic Sejic of Blood Stain fame. Set in the era of Antiquity, it tells the tale of how Hades met Persephone and they fell in love.

Can be read on Tapas Media here, Webtoons here, DeviantArt here and on Sigeel's Tumblr here.

This webcomic provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Demeter's portrayal in this comic moves her from overprotective to borderline abusive. She refuses to listen to any of Persephone's woes, and when she actually does listen for once, acts like the victim.
  • Accidental Misnaming: One of Persphone's gripes about how she and her mother are worshipped is that her name is virtually unknown in contrast to Demeter's; she brings up that mortals consistently refer to her as "Lady Kore" and complains it's equivalent to being called "Lady Girl".
  • Adaptational Consent: In some retellings of the myth, Hades kidnapped Persephone and essentially forced her to marry him against her will. Here it is pretty clear that the relationship is way more consensual, Persephone finding every reason to return to the Underworld or stall for time leaving it.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Persephone seems to think the vow of chastity that Artemis took and which her mortal priestesses follow is because she's only interested in girls. Artemis strongly hints this is the case, and she's shown acting suggestively around her female followers.
  • Analogy Backfire: Demeter says Persephone should be more like Artemis, whom she cites as someone who works hard and doesn't waste time on men. Persephone, however, thinks to herself that Artemis chose who she wanted to be and she prefers women anyway, so she's more "working hard to achieve her dreams" rather than "sacrificing personal desires for the greater good".
  • Animal Motif: Hera to peacocks. Her clothes are done to evoke peacock imagery and she rides a chariot driven by two giant peacocks.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Zeus is portrayed as a wannabe wingman who is a little too interested that his brother Hades is finally pursuing a relationship.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Persephone notes that Hades doesn’t have a beard (unlike his brothers and statues of himself), she cheekily asks if anywhere else on him is shaved. He then offers to show her… his armpits.
  • Berserk Button: Charon does not like being compared to mortals, or at least to Oedipus.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: According to Demeter, any man who doesn't "go through proper channels" and asks Demeter for Persephone's hand in marriage, doesn't deserve her. However she rejects anyone who does so.
  • Cool Big Bro: Zeus certainly acts the part, even though he's Hades' younger brother.
  • Cool Crown: Those aren't horns on Hades' head. That's his crown that grants him the power of Invisibility.
  • Daddy's Girl: When Artemis is officially inducted into the pantheon with her first temple, the party Zeus throws was done with the idea that she would be treated like a queen for a day.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Hades is a Chthonian god who stands out among the rest of his godly kin because he dresses in black and has a crown that looks like horns coming out of his head, but Hades takes his job in sorting through mortal souls very seriously and respects Zeus's authority.
  • Dramatic Irony: Demeter says if the god Persephone has a crush on was worthy of her he'd propose to her officially. Right at the same time Hades is walking towards their house with the intention to do exactly that.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Persephone is always barefoot and combines this with Fertile Feet, being the goddess of spring.
  • Expressive Hair: Demeter and Persephone, being nature goddesses, grow different types of plants in their hair depending on their emotional state (for instance, flowers normally, or thorns when upset).
  • Gender Bender: When we first see Charon, he is an older man with a thick beard. After he returns to his human-esque shape after scolding Oedipus, he is noticeably more feminine. Charon then threatens Oedipus if he tells anyone about their alternate forms.
  • The Glomp: Persephone does this to Hades in "Impatient".
  • Good Stepmother: While Hera was obviously pissed when she found out about Artemis, it is implied that the two eventually reconciled in some manner, even allowing Artemis to join the Olympians without complaint. Then again, it was Zeus who explained it, so it probably isn't so simple.
  • Invisibility: Hades is shown to have this ability, becoming invisible when Zeus because too pushy about his crush for his liking.
  • Loophole Abuse: In "death by paperwork", Persephone recommends dumping Theseus and Pirithous in Tartarus for trying to kidnap her. Since there are protocols for admissions to Tartarus, Hades has them fill out a mountain of paperwork instead. Persephone could not help but be impressed.
    Hades: If you want to avoid Tartarus and instead get back to your mortal life outside you will have to fill these forms correctly. I have found about 30 typos specifically in the sections Alpha 437 to Delta 304. Your name was signed incorrectly twice, oh and... did I mention this? Ancient Greek 2.0 is no longer a valid language in this domain. You will have to take a course to learn the version 3, as there are quite a few terms that changed.
    Persephone: Wow... some punishments truly are worse than Tartarus.
    Hades: Thank you, dear. I do my best.
  • My Beloved Smother: A given when Demeter is in your story. She is portrayed as a Control Freak who believes that she and Persephone, as Earth goddesses, are above attending parties with "lesser gods" and should not waste their valuable time on "idle frivolities." Since the only festival they ever go to (Thesmophoria) is for women only, it is implied that she does this to keep her away from boys.
  • Mythology Gag: Vlad and Elly of Linda's other work, Blood Stain, get a cameo appearance as one of the many souls in the underworld in this panel.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Implied in Persephone's case in "first date". Since lush meadows and waterfalls are already her domain, she is less than impressed when Hades tries to show her Elysium, instead finding interest in the more lava-cave areas of the underworld.
  • Not So Similar: When Oedipus asks why humans are socially and divinely penalized for incest when the Gods do it all the time, Charon rather angrily points out that humans are nothing more than meager flesh-creatures while the gods are "pure energy given form" that are "beyond [his] narrow-minded comprehension."
  • Pinocchio Nose: Persephone has difficulty controlling the flowers which grow in her hair because they're tied to her emotional state and she's been kept so sheltered. The flowers fully blooming is a sign of romantic interest, and when Demeter sees this, she instantly recognizes it.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: Many of the Greek gods in sexual relationships are no longer relatives, Hades and Demeter are never referred to as siblings or Persephone as his niece for instance. Though it seems the mortals in the comic believe the same myths as in the real world since Oedipus' shade asks Charon why incest is a crime for mortals when the gods supposedly do it so often.
  • Reused Character Design: Persephone's and Hades's character designs were originally Greek Mythology Alternate Universe counterparts to Elly and Vlad of Blood Stain.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Zeus invokes the Rules of Xenia - the idea that a host will offer food and care to a guest if the guest does not act like a burden - to get Hades to stop bothering him with work in the middle of the party.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: To Lore Olympus. Both are comics featured Webtoons that retell the Taking of Persephone myth as a fully consensual romance between a Hades who is depicted as an awkward and somewhat dorky nice guy and a Persephone who chafes to be free of her overprotective mother's restrictive control. However, Lore Olympus updates the realm of the gods into a modern-day setting and freely reinterprets the personalities of various mythological figures, while Punderworld maintains the classical setting and mostly depicts the gods and other major figures more in line with popular interpretations.
  • Unspoken Retort:
    • Demeter and Persephone are having an argument about attending Artemis's ascension as a goddess, with Persephone wanting to attend her party. Demeter at multiple points in the argument refers to it as "pointless frivolities", promoting such unspoken sarcasms from her daughter as, "Well, when she puts it like that...", And, "'Pointless frivolity'."
    • Hades is wandering around invisible, trying to find a trap he knows Zeus left for Persephone as part of his ill-advised but "well-meaning " attempt to play wingman to his brother. He finds Persephone looking over a chariot with a Pegasus harnessed to it. He wants to warn Persephone, but doesn't want her to know he's there, so he keeps mentally responding to her assessments of the chariot with such unspoken retorts as, "Because it's obviously a trap!"
  • Workaholic: Zeus implies that Hades barely ever leaves the Underworld, and when he does it is purely for work reasons. Zeus has to invoke the Rules of Xenia to make him stop and jumps at the chance to talk about girls.