The Olympians, also known as the Old Gods, were an extra-dimensional race of beings who were worshiped as gods by the Ancient Greek and Amazonian civilizations. The Olympians were slain during the War of the Gods by Ares, who was later killed during the last days of World War I by Wonder Woman, Zeus' daughter with Hippolyta.
Humans no longer worship them due to their death thousands of years ago, and the majority of humanity incorrectly considers the Olympians to be nothing more than a myth.
Creation of Man
Centuries later, General Steppenwolf of Apokolips invaded Earth. Steppenwolf's arrival incited an alliance of Earth's forces. From Mount Olympus descended Zeus, Ares, and Artemis to aid in the battle that ensued, followed by the arrival of Earth's Green Lantern, Yalan Gur. Together with his children, Zeus helped to defeat a number of Steppenwolf's forces, fighting alongside Ares while Artemis destroyed their starships.
As the battle neared its end, Zeus smote Steppenwolf with a powerful blast of lightning, inciting the invaders to retrieve their commander, much to his chagrin, while Zeus interrupted the Apokoliptian Priests' ritual of combining the three Mother Boxes to form the Unity and terraforming the planet.
Influence on Atlantis
Anticipating his son would eventually return to complete his mission, Zeus bestowed upon the Amazons a weapon powerful enough to kill a god. With the last of his power, Zeus created the island of Themyscira for the Amazons, protected from Ares and the outside world.
Ares, exiled from his home, had spent his years among the humans influencing violence among their ranks. In the midst of World War I, General Erich Ludendorff and Doctor Isabel Maru were the latest of Ares' pawns, manipulated throughout the events proceeding the conflict to ensure that it would be a "war to end all wars".
Disguised as Sir Patrick Morgan, a member of the British War Council, Ares lead Diana and the Wonder Men to Belgium, where the war was more grim, as a means to convince her that humanity was truly corrupted and unworthy of the Earth. As the war reached its end, Ares revealed that the God Killer is no mere weapon, but Diana herself, instructing her that only a god could slay another god.
After failing convince Diana to join him, Ares decided to finally destroy her, and a fierce battle erupted on the airfield where German bombers were preparing their payloads. As the battle between the two continued, Diana, driven by her grief over Steve Trevor's sacrifice, overcame her self-doubt and used her power to smite Ares, the last of the Olympians.
Some, such as Lex Luthor, would still dedicate themselves to the study of Greco-Roman myths, and become mythologists. Lex, however, held a very negative view of Zeus in particular, and correctly deduced that many of the myths were inaccurate and based on the metahumans of old.
Olympians bear a similar outward appearance to that of humans, due to humanity having been created by Zeus in his image. However, they are much more massive than humans and other species, equal to the stature of a New God like Steppenwolf, as seen during the latter's Invasion of Earth.
Notably, they wielded tremendous divine supernatural power, able to summon immensely powerful bolts of energy capable of destroying Apokoliptian battleships with ease. As revealed by Ares, only a god (or a demigod child of one) had the power to kill another god. The Olympians could also travel between dimensions using their power.
Despite their physical likeness to human beings, the Olympians were otherwise very different, as they possessed far superior physical attributes, as well as were unaffected by the passage of time or illness.
Behind the Scenes
- While the actual pantheon of the Greek gods is quite extensive, including dozens of gods (though most are secondary or minor), only 14 gods are shown to exist in the DC Extended Universe.