25 Best Comics for Pagans

Everyone is looking for comics and media that truly speaks to them.  In a contemporary society that is primarily Christian, this creates a strong tradition looking towards representation of Abrahamic faiths in our literature.  Comic books, on the other hand, have a strong turn towards representations of the Old Gods.  The primary reason for this is the function that superhero comics have traditionally had.  As modern archetypes of Gods and Goddesses, they often tell moral tales where they clash like massive Titans.  Because of the way that traditional myths and folklore stand, with a great focus on adventure and magic, they also have been a huge canon of source material for graphic literature.

This actually is helpful for those who have been drawn to a pagan path and want to see something that draws on or relates to their tradition.  Whether it is representing their pantheon or myths, telling stories that share the values of their spirituality, or having realistic representations of followers, even in the comic page there is some distance that we have to where we should be for inclusivity.  Even so, there are a lot of stories and series you can turn to if you want to jump into a pagan-inspired story, or to share with kids or family members that also want to reflect on the hero and traditions that you share in your home.

Here is a compiled list of the 25 best comics for pagans, Wiccans, Asatru, reconstructionists, Druids, and all different types.  We should note that we kept the list mainly to European inspired paganism, only because there is a whole entire canon for those inspired by Latin American traditions, Hoodoo and Voodoo, as well as Asian traditions in the pagan set, such as Shinto or Hinduism(though we still might have a bit of this as well).

It should also be noted that Gods of many pantheons, though especially Norse, Hellenic, and Eygptian, have been used in superhero comics so extensively that you can likely find almost every major mythological character.  Therefore we are trying our best to narrow those included in this list to ones that stay pretty close to neo-pagan themes and relevance, though you will clearly see that we have a lot of bias and choose what we personally like the best!  We will also be putting together a list of those instances of gods playing in both Marvel and DC Comics.  We also note that there are so many great books that could be on this list, and many that get little public acknowledgement, and so we have a few “honorable mentions” at the end.

 


25. Hammer Of The Gods

A funny look at a Viking looking for Thor to confront him about his failed life.


24. Wonder Woman

This DC Superheroine may not seem like the first on the list for a pagan-centric story, but as a mythological character herself and a worshiper of the Greek Pantheon, she actually draws heavily on myths in her stories and personality.  A good choice is issues #1-35 from the New 52 run.


23. Dark Gods

The name really says it! The dark gods have risen up and are taking over, and it is up to certain squads of spiritual/military leaders to launch the rebellion. But should they actually be trusted? This ultraviolent take on the power of imagination and creativity in spirit is interesting from the start.


22.  Justice League of America

Grant Morrison re-imagines the JLA as a pantheon of Gods themselves, which plays into a retelling of the archetypal universalist myth.


21.  The Sandman

This groundbreaking series from Neil Gaiman goes deep into mythology and folk legends from all traditions, with the series itself drawing on a pantheon of its own: The Endless.  Specifically look at the Endless graphic novel.

22.  Raven’s Children

Bringing a classic story from the Northern Tradition, with a black-and-white sketch epic with the Norse Gods taking the wheel of the traveler’s lives.

21.  Sheba

A great book about the Eygptian Gods responding to the conquest of Islam in the Middle East.  Sheba confronting Seth about his plan to smash Mecca drives an incredible story of the clash of societies.

20.  Age of Bronze

Not directly telling a story steeped in myth, but instead looking at Greek society inspired directly by the Old Gods.


19. Incredible Hercules

This Marvel series draws on Greek myth in the same way that Thor is built directly from the Eddas. Here, it takes Hercules and places him in the modern world while also making him a relevant and ongoing part of the Greek ancient tales.


18.  Soulwind

Soulwind from Oni creates a really interesting mix of fairy tales, legends, superstitions, and unique spiritual paths to tell a story that you have to read from beginning to final end.


17.  Thor

This is an obvious add, though many of the Marvel Thor books are much more superhero than myth.  Many, however, really draw hard on the Eddas and you see Odin, Freya, Loki, and Asgard regularly.  Specifically, try:

16. Grant Morrisons 18 Days

A brand new book from Grant Morrison that goes directly to the Hindu pantheon to tell a story of ancient war and heroism.


15. Viking

This short running book is similar to Northlanders in topic, yet creates an almost psychadelic tale of crime and revenge in the ancient Norse world.


14. Lucifer

This is the miniseries then regular series that ran on Vertigo through the late 1990s, and mixes mythology much like Sandman did.  Looks deeply at the resonance of myths and magic in the human psyche, and the way that these influences cross cultures.


13. Kid Eternity

This really draws on the philosophical elements that are present in much of the European traditions, especially Asatru and many esoteric covens.  Looking at identity, time, and resurrection are brought into the world of antiquated superheroism, and you get another treaty on the mystical underpinnings of reality from Grant Morrison.


12.  God is Dead

What if all the gods of every pantheon and religion came on Earth at once?  What if they acted out the most horrific violence and sexual depravities that are in the back alleys of folk myths?  This is what Jonathan Hickman’s brutal spanning story is, where Greek Gods consort with a hippie Jesus, Satan is a sexual king, and life and death lose and gain meaning daily.  Certainly not for kids.


11. The Books of Magic
This is again more of a book dealing with the occult, magic, and myths in general, but The Books of Magic is one of the best original miniseries, then ongoing series, of the 1990s.  In a plot that is like a darker and more spiritually relevant Harry Potter, it drives into the power of storytelling and spellcasting, and draws a connection both between the dark fantasy world of Vertigo and the classic mythical power of DC Comics’ superheros.


10.  Swamp Thing

While also deepening the philosophy through Alan Moore and subsequent writers use of Swamp Thing as a vessel for discussions of mysticism and ecology, he acts as a Greenman avatar throughout the series.  One of the best comic runs in history.


9.  Slaine: The Horned God
Coming out of the U.K.’s 2000 AD anthology, Slaine tells a Conan-like story the draws directly from Celctic folk traditions and authentically represents recorded mythology.


8. Thorgal

This book from Belgium is a real gem that most American readers will never have heard of.  Drawing heavily from Norse Heathenry, Viking adventure, and the Atlantean mysteries, it is a fun book that is worth tracking down.


9. Conan the Barbarian

This is an interesting take on mythological themes by creating a paramythology, with its own planet, background and origin stories, and specific gods and earth spirits. Conan travels from the north, is enslaved in the middle east, and travels around the ancient world. He maintains his faith, encountering the gods and creatures of others, and though it is a unique world being built, it creates an interesting take on warrior mythology.

Conan Series to Try:
Kurt Busiek’s Restart
Brian Wood’s Epic Run
Conan: The Definitive Collection


8. The Invisibles

This work from Grant Morrison is more inspired by broad esoteric traditions and Chaos Magic, but it is a good representation of these elements and of mysticism in general. The entire series, which mixes conspiracy theory with superhero and detective teams, is a sigil created by Grant Morrison to change his own life. This will spill out onto you as you read it and have your ideas about reality and spirituality challenged.


7. The Hero (Book One)

A retelling of the Greek Heracles story with a beautiful cartooning style and the format of engaging adult fairy tales.


6. Northlanders
In the same vein as Age of Bronze, this is an incredible series of Viking stories about the confrontation between Heathenry and Christianity. One of the best historical comics you will ever read, and beautifully varied and unique Viking sagas.


5. Fables

This is one of the richest series in modern years, where every character from folk traditions live in a world of their own and had to crossover during wartime to live in New York. Here you are going to see characters from fairy and folk tales as well as mythology interacting with each other, which is a lovely way of getting to know the characters and to see them in an engaging new world.

4. Kingdom Come

While this story is also heavily indebted to the New Testament, it does maintain a certain Ragnarok of the Superhero Gods, and is well worth including on a list for people that want to see pagan spirituality represented behind the capes.

 

3. India Authentic

A great showcase of Hindu Gods for English speaking audiences, which is really opening up to a diverse polytheist universalism yet with a Hindu focus.

 

2. Oh My Gods!

This seminal web comic is well read by young witches and pagans looking to find something that speaks to the young culture of polytheistic faith. A fun book that is a must have for those living the faith.

A rich retelling of Hereclus’ story, with wonderful cartooning and parable rich adult fairy tales.

1. Promethea

Again, a mix of spiritual and magickal traditions, Prometheus is one of the best treaties on magic, myth, and polytheism that exists. Telling the story of a woman doing research on the recurrence of the Promethea character, she realizes she is a new vessel for the spirit and uses imagination to draw on her and explore the deep world of magic. The five volumes of this book are Alan Moore’s volumes to explain the ideas behind this spirituality, the use of myth and metaphor in magic, the way that it plays out in the ancient and modern world, and how to understand it all today. A brilliant and stunningly beautiful book, and one of the perfect educational pieces for understanding the magical world.

Honorable Mentions:


Valhalla Mad


God Complex

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