What is the Judeo-Christian God's place in the Comics pantheon vs the other "Gods"?

The Spectre in DC Comics is/was the personification of the judgement and vengeance of the Judeo-Christian God, and the Swamp Thing often makes reference to God, the Devil and references the Christian conception of Heaven and Hell along with the angels and demons.

The DC and Marvel universes, however, are lousy with Gods and various pantheons of all varieties and DC even has a sorta/kinda origin story for all this called the “God Force or God-Wave”. It’s a sensitive subject, however, and IIRC there was once story many years ago when Galactus, who would normally have more power than a bushel load of ordinary Marvel garden variety “Gods”, said, “Even Galactus is no God!”, assumedly referencing THE Judeo-Christian God.

So where is the JC God in all this? How do DC and Marvel reconcile or otherwise wedge the JC God into all this relative to the all other “Gods” extant. Is the JC God considered some kind of “Super-God” more powerful than even the Beyonder or is he just part of the overall God scrum?

I’m no expert, but I’m fairly sure that Jahweh, aka Jehovah, aka the Judeo-Christian God, has never made an actual appearance in Marvel Comics OR DC comics. Both publishers do have a variety of incarnations of Death, as well as versions of “Satan,” (notably Marvel’s Mephisto), but neither has ever dared actually come right out and have God guest-star…

…unless you count his multiple appearances in the “Preacher” series, from DC’s Vertigo imprint. It’s worth noting that this is not part of the regular DC continuity, so it’s not like God and Batman could team up to go kick the Joker’s ass or anything.

Marvel, however, has published comics about a variety of religious figures from the Judeo-Christian pantheon, most notably Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

Click here and scroll most of the way down the page to see what I mean.

Can’t say about DC or Marvel, but for high-level hijinks will have to mention the infamous “Son O’God Comics” parodies in National Lampoon in the 1970s. Drawn by no other than Neal Adams, IIRC, the panels depicted a Jehovah, Jove, multi-armed Vishnu and Mumbo Jumbo, God of the Congo, among others, observing the trials and tribulations his offspring goes through, changing into a superhero by saying the magic words “Jesus Christ!” Seems to me there was wagering and high-fiving and other fun and games in the Gods’ Living Room, etc. Well worth hunting up .

Old Testament or New Testament God?

Of course, God is currently dead in the Preacher continuity. Of course, I’m sure he’ll be brought back. You know how comics are. They can’t let a popular dead character just stay dead, they’ve always got to ressurect them.

God appears at least once in DC comics, one of the Lobo mini-series. He apparently finds Lobo really funny and laughs like this…


Of course, that might not be considered cannon.

Well, part of the reaon is that, when it comes down to it, you have three options for including God:

  1. God is just another character, like Odin.

  2. God is a transcendant being of awesome, infinite power.

  3. God stands around, cracks jokes, and gives the heroes advice. (i.e., the Holy Father Figure)
    In the first case, God is no longer very interesting, and you just won’t and basically said every Christiant in your comic world is a complete dunce, worthy of ridicule. At this point, you also have the theorectical possiobility of Christiant superheroes getting vastly more power than their diety. This does not work very well because Christianity is not a mythic/poetic religion in the same way as the pantheistic ones.

    In the second case, there is nothing interesting that can be shown.

    The third case is better fulfilled by an agent of God or some mystical superbeing, not God.

The Savage Dragon had an issue once where a Kirby-esque God battled an equally muscular Satan.

And would Batman be prepared?

Astro, you just embarrassed me at work! Congrats!

Living Tribunal is the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe. Well, the most powerful ever visualized. But even he recognizes The One Above All. TOAA has never actually been shown to have his hand in matters and we’re not really told what TOAA does, but it’s pretty much assumed that this is God, just not given name so as not to offend anyone.

God appears quite a bit in some comics, at least conceptually. In Sandman, for instance, the Judeo-Christian religious framework encompasses all of the mythos, with angels, demons, and Satan as major characters at one time or another. There was even a brief glimpse of Heaven, I believe, and several excursions into the pits of Hell. Gaiman, I believe, considered the other pantheons as “lesser gods” for the purposes of his story, and left the Judeo-Christian one purposefully ineffable (a theme that comes across in a couple of Gaiman’s later novels as well.) While it’s certainly arguable whether the Judeo-Christian god is subject to the same “laws” as the other ones (the more worshippers he has, the more powerful he is,) there are, IIRC, suggestions that the J-C god is the Prime Mover…that which began everything.

Also, in Alan Moore’s superb Promethea, he explored the Kaballah at length in a multi-issue series, and at one point, Jesus Christ was explicit depicted as one of the “Risen Gods” of the Fifth Sephira, in the same class as Balder, Osiris, Mithra, etc. I particularly liked Moore’s thematic treatment of Christ, by the way…as the living embodiment of where godhood meets the highest and noblest in humanity. Also, in a different issue, the main characters actually entered the highest Sephira, Kether, which is the Godhead. So the Judeo-Christian god has at least once been specifically graphically depicted in a non-comedic way in comic form.

Right now in The Mighty Thor, a large cult of people calling themselves Asgardians have begun publicly worshipping Thor as a god, even demanding that they have Thursdays off as a religious holiday (because it’s Thor’s Day). The Catholic church and perceives Thor as a major threat to their power and influence, as do many governments. Asgard itself is floating above New York City, and has been for quite awhile now (although none of the other comics in the Marvel universe seem to acknowledge this). So far the Judeo-Christian god hasn’t turned up to challenge, Thor, but some of his followers have tried to kill Thor and the Asgardians who worship him. Thor himself has not demanded worship, but he hasn’t told people to stop either. So, score one for the Norse guys over the Judeo-Christian guys, I guess.

I think it would be lots of fun if God and Batman teamed up to fight the Joker though.

Yeah, but all the really good team-ups have to start with misunderstandings and fights… Oh wait! I can see it now!

Batman gets angry at G-d, blaming the allmighty for the death of his parents, and jumps him while he’s playing skee-ball.

Jehova sees Batman’s mask with the ‘horns’ on top, thinks it’s Satan, and the two beat the tar out of each other in an arcade, until the Joker shows up and they have to band together!

Yeeeeeeah! That’ll save the Batman movie franchise!

Or I could just go lie down now…

…'course, if you leave the JC God out of the day-to-day functionings of your comic’s universe out of respect of your reader’s sensibilities, you bring up another problem…namely, when überuniversal entities (Like Galactus, or the Monitor and Anti-Monitor) start mangling the fabric of existance, or pagan Gods (Like the Asgardians or Olympians) show up and start mucking about on Earth…it kind of makes the JC God look like he’s never doing anything.

Especially when Satanic characters do show up on a regular basis. :eek:

I totally want to read those tourism shill comics. X-Men at the Texas State Fair! Spidey and the Hulk save the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders! Yeeeee-hawww!

So can Batman beat God if he’s prepared?

At least as far as DC is concerned, I think the gods of the various pantheons, or at least the more benevolent and wise ones, recognize that they are not the “creators” and that there’s a being greater than all of them.

In Sandman-Seasons of Mist, toward the end when it’s been decided who will take over hell, Odin asks one of the angels on whose authority it claims the keys to hell. The angel just replies “who do you think?” and all the other gods and demons and lords of order and chaos are just left silent, as if to suggest that “oh, yeah…we can’t argue with that.”

DC has an Israeli supercharacter named “The Seraph” who had the strength of Samson etc. and could call for miracles like stopping the flow of time and whatnot. He got pissed in one story and beat a terrorist half to death, but the big G (never seen, but represented by glowing text) intervened, scolded Seraph and took away his powers until he atoned at the next Yom Kippur.


The Beyonder wasn’t far different that Tom the Dancing Bug’s “God-Man”.

It’s kind of indirect, but in Marvel comics you can only ward off vampires with a crucifix or other religious object if you, the wielder of said object, actually believe in the power it symbolizes. Once, Wolverine tried to fight Dracula with a Star of David and it didn’t work, but it worked when Kitty Pryde used it. That’s more an example of personal empowerment than divine intervention, but either way, Dracula had to back off.

Don’t you mean Nightcrawler and a crucifix, not Kitty Pride and a Star of David?