Crossover Cosmology

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search


Wonderita: So isn't it weird for two people of conflicting theological origins to hang out all night?

Wonderella: Nope!

So, it turns out that All Myths Are True; you can have breakfast with the God of Thunder, chat it up with the Anthropomorphic Personification of Dreams, or even have a heart to heart with The Grim Reaper. All the while remaining totally un-conflicted about remaining faithful to the Big Guy Upstairs or whichever major religion the characters follow; even Crystal Dragon Jesus can hang with the Powers That Be and get a high five.

A Crossover Cosmology is different from All Myths Are True in that many of the cosmologies involved are themselves mutually exclusive either in world view, history, philosophy, or all of the above. The issue becomes especially thorny when polytheistic religions with large pantheons are mixed with monotheistic religions and reincarnation-based belief systems. It's rarely inadvertent, either. Black Adam getting his power from the Egyptian gods whereas his successor Captain Marvel gets them from the Greek gods (and one Biblical figure) wasn't a slip-up; neither was making both Hercules and Thor superheroes. Writers have no problem doing this to "pagan" gods, and outside the mainstream they don't have much trouble doing it to the Abrahamic God either.

This can be justified from the characters' viewpoint by having them point out that there's no reason they should believe that, say, Thor is a god in the same sense Yahweh is, when there are people who are flying around and summoning lightning, or are even immortal, who are plain old Mutants, metahumans, or aliens.

When taken to the extreme end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism it may result in a Cosmology where local deities are weak and irrelevant and Eldritch Abominations and other ancient nasties can and do casually traipse over any local deities' shrines and followers. Even in more optimistic portrayals, one has to wonder at the fairness of a universe that allows Galactus, Darkseid, Anti-Spirals, and Imhotep to exist.

Some belief systems work like this; the term "henotheism" exists to describe the belief that all gods exist, but one's particular god is superior. Of course, most people who ascribe to this don't have said gods playing croquet in their backyard. In fact, quite a few non-Abrahamic religions worked this way. The Romans believed in Jupiter, and the Egyptians believed in Ra, but the Romans didn't think believing in Ra was wrong, just not for them; they were fine with any kind of worship as long as you skipped Human Sacrifice and paid proper respect to the gods they did recognize. They experienced some amount of confusion in this regard when trying to take over Judea. The Romans also occasionally claimed other peoples' gods were their gods under different names, hence for example, the "Gallo-Roman" god Apollo Sucellus (combining the Roman sun god with a Gaulish god of agriculture), or Tacitus writing that the Germanic tribes worshipped Hercules (Donar) and Mercury (Woten); this is why certain Roman and Greek gods are all but interchangeable today.

Variations on the Romans' logic are quite popular in attempts to resolve the massive Continuity Snarl created by multiple similar pantheons coexisting, especially since the myths have often evolved from common ancestors. The Magic Word in this case is "aspect" - deities who closely share an archetype (say, Ares and Mars) are really aspects or interpretations of the same god. This even crops up within a lot of religions of the Loads and Loads of Characters variety, with Ehecatl being an aspect of Quetzalcoatl, and Kali being (sometimes) an aspect of Parvati. Monotheistic religions either worship the single ur-God of which all gods are aspects, or they only worship one of them.

See also All Myths Are True, A Mythology Is True, The Multiverse, Lowest Cosmic Denominator, Clap Your Hands If You Believe, Fantasy Kitchen Sink, Fantasy Pantheon, Gods Need Prayer Badly and Magical Underpinnings of Reality.

Examples of Crossover Cosmology include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Saint Young Men, which stars Jesus and Buddha as roommates in Japan while they take a break from their divine duties. One of the chapters has them participating in a Shinto festival, where Buddha worries that they'll be laughing stocks in Heaven if the god of the Shinto Shrine they're carrying finds out that they're there.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The Marvel Universe has many examples of cosmologies coexisting. As with other decades-old comics universes, the precise details can vary Depending on the Writer:
    • The most prominent Marvel god characters are the Norse god Thor and Greek demigod Hercules, both of whom have served on the Avengers. Many other pantheons exist as well, alongside "new" godlike beings such as the Eternals, the Celestials, the Elders of the Universe, Eternity, and others. A storyline in The Incredible Hercules featured Herc leading the "God Squad," a task force of Greek, Inuit, Egyptian, Japanese, and Aztec gods that teams up to defend the Earth from encroachment by alien Skrull deities.
    • A henotheistic aspect of Marvel cosmology is the ultimate Omniscient God-with-a-capital-G, called "One Above All." The Fantastic Four met him in one story, in which he turns out to be... Jack Kirby!!! (Or perhaps Kirby was simply A Form You Are Comfortable With.) Other stories have implied that the "One Above All" is a manifestation of Marvel Comics itself.
    • Galactus is said to change his appearance based on whoever sees him. To humans, he resembles a giant human. To other aliens, he resembles a member of their race.
    • One Ghost Rider story, established that there is a Spirit of Vengeance for each religion and nationality. One of the other Spirits says that the afterlife you go to depends on your belief.
  • DC Comics (both in The DC Universe and Vertigo Comics, which sometimes overlap and sometimes don't) also has a complicated cosmology, both in itself (with deities from many cultures as well as its own inventions) and Depending on the Writer:
    • Vertigo Comics' The Sandman had Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Shinto, and the Judeo-Christian gods, claiming that they all come from the human subsconscious and feed on human belief. The paradoxes created by this are ironed out by the fact that everything is true; the universe was created by Allah and Yahweh and every other creator god. To further muddle the waters, The Endless, Anthropomorphic Personification of fundamental concepts of reality, have more power than entire pantheons - though they can become weaker in a god's place of power. At the same time, the Sandman milieu is also presented as a henotheistic one in which Lucifer (and, especially, Lucifer's Creator) are depicted as far more powerful than even the Endless.
    • A Swamp Thing storyline made it clear that in the DCU, the Creator's omnipotence is itself a contingent result of the universe's belief focusing on human beings. The Elementals had a chance to shift that belief to other forms of life, effectively killing God and replacing him with whatever-the-Swamp-Thing-was-becoming.
    • The DCU's version of the Judeo-Christian God grows out of the lore surrounding the character of The Spectre, who is a being of almost limitless power. And if the Spectre is that powerful, what about his creator?
    • Vertigo's Hellblazer is set in the same pantheistic universe, where John Constantine might visit Hell one week and summon the Aztec god of death in the next. (Contrast with The Film of the Book, which uses Catholic theology exclusively.
    • Jack Kirby's New Gods are also part of the equation in the DCU. One Wonder Woman story suggested that the Greek gods discovered a small tribe in Italy that worshipped them (due to stories told by Darkseid for reasons of his own), and created duplicates of themselves to watch over them. As the Romans grew more powerful and developed a culture distinct from the Greeks, the duplicate gods changed to suit them, until they were entirely seperate entities.
    • A Superman story, set shortly after Zeus had teamed up with the Hindu pantheon in Wonder Woman, had Zeus inspired to set up the Interfaith Deity Council of Active Polytheistics, comprising himself, Odin, Thoth and Ale (a West African fertility goddess). They were opposed by a group of Gods Of Evil comprising Baal, the Morrigan (Celtic war goddess), Izanami (Japanese death goddess), Mixcoatl, and Ahriman (the Zoroastian Ultimate Evil).
    • Other stories portray Zeus as a member of the Quintessance—a group consisting of himself, the Phantom Stranger (whose generally accepted origin story is Judeo-Christian), Highfather of the New Gods, Ganthet of the Guardians of the Universe and Shazam (who receives his own powers from a mish-mash of gods including Zeus).
    • Captain Marvel anti-hero/villain Black Adam draws his powers from the Egyptian pantheon. Captain Marvel himself gets his powers from a Hebrew king, two Greek heroes, one titan, a Greek god, and a Roman god.
  • The Flare comic pages online in early June 2008 (pages 260ff.) take place on Mount Olympus. From page 259:

Terri: Our adventure with the Champions may seem like a dream, but you know perfectly well that it actually happened. (Clue From Ed: See League of Champions #1-3.)
Donnah: Aphrodite is real, and so are Pan and Zeus, and all the other surviving Olympians.

    • Flare herself is the daughter of a Norse Valkyrie.
  • In The Savage Dragon, all the various pantheons live together on a planet called Godworld (at least, until it's blown up), having been forbidden to visit the mortal realm since 1180 BC. They're ruled by the All God, a multi-headed composite of Odin, Zeus, Anu, Daghdha, Coatlicue, Mexitl, Abassi, Nzame, Lo, Biame, Karora and other unnamed elder gods. It's mentioned that Godworld has grown overpopulated due to the various pantheons interbreeding with one another and producing immortal offspring; nonetheless, a later story features some gods returning to Earth to abduct the remaining superpowered Earthlings of godly ancestry.
  • In the Necrophim prologue chapter, Lucifer sends Uriel to kill Jotunheim, king of the frost giants of Norse Mythology, hoping he will die in the attempt.
  • When Alan Moore was writing Supreme, Youngblood and Glory for Rob Liefeld's Extreme Studios, he invented a system of magic that based on the Kaballistic Tree of Life and could incorporate all religious systems, from Judeo-Christian to Greek, Norse and Egyptian, to whatever Eldritch Abomination the writers wanted to create for the story. Although he was never able to use this system in Liefeld's titles, he later incorporated this system in his own title Promethea.
  • The Red Seas currently involves a group of pirates who were made immortal by Odin attempting to resurrect the Greek gods to prevent Satan from unleashing Lovecraftian horrors upon the world.
  • The backstory of Harry Kipling (Deceased) involved every single one of humanity's gods suddenly returning. And they're not nice.

Film[edit | hide]

Literature[edit | hide]

  • This is inverted in the Discworld universe, where there are multiple gods and anthropomorphic personifications (the kind that exist only because people believe they should exist), and the Omnians are portrayed as odd in their insistence on a monotheistic belief system. It is often stated that several gods appear in more than one Pantheon - for example, many religions have different Thunder Gods, but they are actually all the same god, wearing different hats (He used to be separate gods, but apparently they merged as people started believing them to be the same god with a different name). The book Small Gods explores in detail the process by which gods are created and rise to be powerful.

And Dios knew that Net was the Supreme God, and that Fon was the Supreme God, and so were Hast, Set, Bin, Sot, Io, Dhek, and Ptooie; that Herpentine Triskeles alone rules the world of the dead, and so did Syncope, and Silur the Catfish-Headed God, and Orexis-Nupt.

      • At one point in the book, the various sun gods are seen fighting over the sun.
  • This is a justified trope in Steven Brust's Taltos series, which takes place on a world inhabited by both humans and Tolkienesque elves called Dragaerans. The gods of this universe are merely Sufficiently Advanced Dragaerans, who while worshiped by humans are treated casually/disdainfully by members of that race. In fact, one of the main Dragaeran characters is the daughter of the major goddess of the pantheon worshiped by humans.
  • Seen in American Gods by Neil Gaiman. But he shied away from most references to Judeo-Christian theology, except for the Queen of Sheba. And maybe Shadow once meets Jesus.
    • There's also that extended scene with the djinn, which comes from Islamic tradition.
    • One of the gods also mentions that Afghanistan's Jesus is having a rough time, and can't even get people to pick him up when he's hitchhiking.
  • Everworld: every god of every mythology on Earth decides to collaborate in making a parallel universe where they could all have a sphere of influence. It really gets messy when gods from other universes, like those of the Hetwan and the Coo Hatch, start barging in.
  • Lampshaded in John C. Wright's Orphans of Chaos (which features nearly the entire Greek and/or Roman Pantheon) when a character is asked something along the lines of "How can you be a Christian when you know the Greek gods exist?" Interestingly enough, the answer made sense.
    • It's also mentioned in Titans of Chaos that other pantheons do exist but that most of their members were destroyed in the war with Chaos.
  • In Christopher Moore's Coyote Blue Anubis is Coyote's older brother. In other books set in the same universe we meet Jesus, a human who has become the god of a cargo cult, the Celtic goddesses Babd, Macha and Nemain as well as angels, demons and djinn.
  • In Glen Cook's Petty Pewter Gods, not only do multiple pantheons of deities exist in the same world, but they compete for worldly prestige in order to maintain their claim on temple real estate in Tun Faire's Dream Quarter. As the gods' traits and looks are dictated by their followers' beliefs, this means that the senior deities of two rival pantheons look virtually identical, because their idols were commissioned from the same craftsman, who used the same mold to cast figurines of both.
  • The Dresden Files loves this trope. The Judaeo-Christian God exists—in fact, Harry's ally Michael even has a sword powered by a nail from the Cross. The gods of all other pantheons are mostly inactive but still exist and the fae play a major role in the series. The existence of chi and karma has been acknowledged. Outsiders---Lovecraftian horrors from outside reality—exist.
    • The Norse pantheon has adapted to the times, becoming a mercenary company led by Odin, with the Einherjar as the soldiers. Odin also seems to be taking an active role Harry's own world, appearing as part of the Grey Council.
      • In Proven Guilty, Harry specifically mentions that gods from Greco-Roman, Norse, Amerind, Africant, Australian Aboriginal, Polynesian, southeast Asian, and Hindu mythology all exist, and have lied dormant for centures. followers of Dionysus show up in one of the short stories trying to ignite a massive drunken rampage of sports fans.
      • There's also the Red Court's Lords of the Outer Night, which may or may not be Mayan gods. If they aren't, then they're impersonating them. Either way, the Mayan gods exist in the setting. Unless it was the Lords from the beginning, if that's the case, then they don't exist anymore.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians mainly involves the Greek gods, but Word of God says that the Roman gods exist as a younger offshoot of them (Janus appears in one book, but that's the extent of their invovlement). Rjordan's other series, The Kane Chronicles, hints that the Egyptian gods also exist in the setting. When Percy asks Dionysus whether the Abrahamic God exists, he responds that the question is "metaphysical" and that they don't know that any more than mortals do.
    • And now the sequel series to Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, is bringing the Roman gods fully into the mix, along with Roman demigods.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter trilogy, there are Greek gods and Gnostic theology, and angels, and William Shakespeare's The Tempest to cite only the major appearances.
  • In the Iron Druid Chronicles many different pantheons exist alongside each other. The protagonist is a druid who worships the Earth and pays lip service to the ancient Irish gods. The Greek god Bacchus is very powerful in Las Vegas while Native American deities still have some power in the surounding areas. The Polish witches get their powers from a moon goddess and a Viking vampire is trying to find a way to kill the Norse god Thor. Jesus and other figures from Christianity appear as a seperate pantheon with Mary frequently appearing among humans to help out the poor and homeless.
    • Some pantheons have additional versions that appear when the beliefs of two groups of followers diverge too much. There are dozens of versions of the Native American god Coyote. The North American version of Thor is seperate from the original Norse Thor and based primarily on the comic book character.
  • In Manda Scott's Boudicca series both the Celtic gods and Mithra play significant roles. It's implied that the Roman gods no longer take an active part in things because their worship has devolved into empty ritual.
  • Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen does this for a mixed bag of Celtic, Nordic, Irish, Welsh and English myths including The Morrigan, King Arthur, Merlin, Ragnarok and the Norse svart-alfar and lios-alfar.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In the Stargate universe, there's a different group of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens behind a great many belief systems. The villainous Goa'uld seem to have the biggest piece of the pie (they're the Egyptian, Greek, and Babylonian gods, and one of them even impersonates Satan.)
  • Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys eventually expanded from Greek mythology into demonstrating the literal existence of any and every religion's deities, including the monotheistic God and Hindu gods.
  • Lampshaded in Rome, when the very religious Vorenus asks Pulo to show some respect toward the Egyptian gods because "They where powerful long before Rome was born"
  • In Supernatural, a recurring character previously referred to as The Trickster (one of many) turns out to be the Archangel Gabriel, who left Heaven after the banishment of the Fallen and has been living in cognito among the pagans ever since. In one episode, he's also referred to as 'Loki' by other pagan gods, including the Norse Odin and Baldur (who apparently can't tell their own family member from an imposter).
    • Although it's possible that he is the original Loki...
      • Considering this particular version of Odin has *two eyes*, he could be an imposter, too.
      • Another thing to consider, contrary to popular modern portrayals, Loki is not related to Odin and his family at all. This tropers remembers the myth stating that he showed up after Odin created Midgard from his enemy's remains. That and Loki's very nature is trickery so if they DO notice something amiss with him, then they probably chalk it up to him being up to something/messing with them.

Mythology/Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Herodotus, some myths, and Euripides' play Helen claim that Helen of Troy was spirited away to Egypt for her safety/out of spite toward Aphrodite and Paris by Athena and Hera, where Amun-Zeus extracted her ka (Egyptian)/eidolon (Greek) (identical spirit double), which was taken to Troy with Paris unbeknownst to him (so, yes, the entire Trojan War was fought over a very pretty Doppelganger). The Classical Greeks took care to draw parallels between their chief deity Zeus and the Egyptian god Amun. Being the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, that make this Older Than Feudalism.
    • Also, Io was paralleled with the Egyptian Isis. In some versions of her myth, Zeus restores her to her human form when she reaches Egypt and she is thereafter worshipped by the Egyptians as the goddess Isis.
  • Many demons in modern Christian mythology are thought to have originally been the gods of the Hebrews' neighbor cultures, or at the very least were given their names by Christians. Theologians have debated whether those pagan gods were supposed to be actual entities who were demons all along or whether Christians simply applied the names of those gods to demons. If the latter is the case, then it likely stemmed from efforts by Christians to further discourage people from assuming that paganism held any real weight.
  • In the ancient world (aside from the Hebrews—see above), honoring another nation's deities was considered a friendly gesture. Cyrus of Persia, for example, paid homage to Marduk, a Babylonian god, while allowing the Jews to rebuild a temple to their own god.
  • The Hare Krishna movement believes the Judeo-Christian God and the Hindu god Krishna to be the same entity.
  • In both China and Japan the people have no problem accepting both the native pantheons and Buddhism.

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

Without form and void -- how Zen!

Role Playing Games[edit | hide]

  • The original game lines in Old World of Darkness all had creation myths specific to the supernatural monster they talked about (werewolves, mages, vampires, fairies, mummies, wraiths, demons) which were at times hard to reconcile if not mutually exclusive. Some were specifically Judeo-Christian, others were paganistic or had cosmologies unrelated to either. In some cases they had world views and game mechanics that said all other supernatural creatures should not exist, or that they ("they" usually being "mages") could do anything... except cure vampirism or lycanthropy.
    • It should be noted that Mages could cure vampirism...it just wasn't a good idea. The Paradox backlash from that would, in all likelihood, kill the Mage stone dead. As for lycanthropy, what's to cure? Werewolves are not sick, they've always been werewolves.
    • Mage having Clap Your Hands If You Believe as its key principle goes a long way though and combined with some alternate realities link the various game lines fairly well... except the vampires who are sometimes called Cainites and throughly linked with The Bible for their Backstory to being literally cursed with God. Albeit even that is dissmissable as superstistion and most "facts" in the World of Darkness were presented from a specific and unobjective point of view.
    • The New World of Darkness is even more inconsistent, the werewolf and mage backstories being particularly extreme in their incompatibility. Therefore, it cheerfully (as cheerfully as WoD gets, anyway) ignores this fact. They even lampshade the problem in the Changeling book, which contains an "Arcadia" which is a truly nasty place; the discussion of this mentions that no one knows whether it's the same "Arcadia" that Acanthus mages use to get their power. Mostly it waves this away be presenting these as mythologies which may well not be perfectly true
    • It is however subverted in Mage: The Awakening (specifically the Sourcebook Astral Realms) which has it that while every god ever believed in exists, they only do so in the Temenos (the collective human unconscious) and only have as much power as human regard affords them. Thus, a god like Anubis is powerful, though not nearly as powerful as he was, because even if he is not believed in, he is still a relevant cultural symbol. They also possess insights only into human matters (albeit to a great extent) lacking any understand of greater cosmic issues. It's pointed out that they still believe they are gods, and will not look kindly on any attempt to inform them of their true nature.
  • In Scion, you play the offspring of a God, and have a whole bunch of different pantheons to choose from. Admittedly, they did it in a unified, focused way that makes some sense within the system and world.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Several D&D supplements, such as Complete Priest's Handbook or the various editions of Deities & Demigods, discuss methods of integrating different historical pantheons into a campaign world. Options range from ruling that different pantheons' deities are inherently blind to one another's existence, to saying that all deities are part of the same mega-pantheon, with regional pantheons simply omitting gods who are less popular locally.
    • And then there's Spelljammer, Planescape, and Ravenloft which are basically Crossover Cosmologies for nearly every one of the various Dungeons & Dragons settings. Spelljammer especially, with characters visiting Realmspace, Greyspace, Krynnspace and many other Crystal Spheres in between.
      • While most canonic (Planescape) meta-mythology involves hundreds upon hundreds of deities of many pantheons interlinked in alliances or eternal cold wars, as well as things like the sacred pool of beauty being in shared ownership of several beauty/love goddesses (including Aphrodite) who as embodiments of different ideals pass their free time practicing friendly rivalry. Because why not? The smaller mortals like "high and mighty" PC will feel, the better!
  • In Rifts Earth, the mythological Pantheons each ruled directly over the civilizations that worshipped them, and clashes between the civilizations often included clashes between the Gods themselves. Most of them left the Earth a long time ago, but are starting to turn their eyes back towards their old territories, and the world at large... Except for the Egyptian gods, who are busy being the most powerful pantheon of a Medieval European Fantasy world.
  • In Warhammer 40,000, there's some theories put forth In-Universe that the "old beliefs" of gods, angels, demons, etc. were either outright fabrications or simply ancient proto-psykers getting glimpses into the Warp. Then of course there's the theory that the Immortal Emperor "popped up" now and again throughout history as particularly influential people.. Jesus, King Arthur and the like, but always either a great warrior or great philosopher (or both!)

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Age of Mythology.
  • Since even the most basic of random monsters in the Shin Megami Tensei universe are taken from some mythology or other, it ultimately ends up with a cast numbering in the THOUSANDS, taken from everywhere and anywhere. Inclusions range from most of the Norse, Egyptian, Roman and Chinese pantheons, to Zoroastrian gods, patron spirits of obscure, African tribes, minor demons and angels from Catholic apocrypha, and even a variety of anthropomorphic personifications. And most of them don't like you much, either.
    • You can help them grow to like you, if you can convince them to aid you.
      • There's around one demon (not counting Yamaoka from Persona) who doesn't come from any mythology: Alice. And even then, there's an urban legend that she died and looks for children whose souls she can take to be her playmates. This is exactly what she does in Shin Megami Tensei I. It doesn't help that she's an Alice Allusion.
      • Incorrect. There are quite a few original characters made for the series as well demons based on fictional characters. Like Beetlejuice Audrey.
  • World of Warcraft's pantheon contains expies of the Cthulhu Mythos, Greco-Roman, Norse, Voodoo and Mayincatec gods, as well as Native American beliefs, the elemental lords and the dragon aspects. In addition, the original Warcraft game referred to the Judeo-Christian God, but that was retconnned later into the more vague "Light". The Naaru were later introduced as the physical manifestations of the Light.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Gunnerkrigg Court mixes Native American mythology (Muut, Coyote, Glass-Eyed Men), French folklore (Renard and Ysengrin), Norse Mythology (Brynhildr appears briefly and she mentions "the old man" Odin), Chinese Mythology (Chang'e), Greek Mythology (that Minotaur), a wide variety of psychopomps and ghosts, fairies and golems.
  • To a lesser (namely because of the updating schedule) extent, Dresden Codak. The Codakverse possesses, amongst other things, Egyptian gods and Toltec gods and a regular Fantasy Kitchen Sink of other absurdities.
  • A plot point in The Order of the Stick, where the arguments between the different Pantheons, namely the Northern gods (based on the gods of Norse Mythology), the Southern gods (based on the animals of the Chinese Zodiac), the Western gods (based on the Babylonian pantehon), and the Eastern gods (based on the gods of Greek Mythology), who accidentally caused the Snarl, which wiped out the Eastern ones.
  • Lampshaded in this strip of The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
  • The Gods of Arr-Kelaan has several pantheons existing together, though to be fair, many of those pantheons were actually the same gods.
  • This is subverted in Wapsi Square. Rather early on, we are introduced to characters who seem to be deities and mythical figures from various cosmologies, but they are all actually remnants of an ancient civilization older than the cosmology in question. One character in particular played the role of multiple deities herself.

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In the Whateley Universe, an awful lot of cosmologies seem to be there. Great Old Ones have been banished from this realm, by the ancient Sidhe (who were shredded in that war). One mutant has been given religious powers by a sacred ring of the Catholic Church, and when she heals people she spends several seconds in Hell, being tortured by Satan (or someone who says he's Satan). There are demons and devils, which are actually different kinds of entities. The Tao is actively working in mysterious ways, partly through one of the protagonists and her mentor figures. Certain students at Whateley Academy are playing hosts to some of the obligatory Greek gods (Word of God has confirmed this, although the original author of their backstory hasn't been heard from in some years), there's a catgirl-paladin of Bast (in her capacity as a Lovecraft-inspired Elder Goddess, though the link to Egypt is bound to still be there) and the Circe is one of the Mystic Arts instructors at the school.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The animated Disney |Hercules series frequently crosses over Greek mythology with others (especially Norse mythology); Zeus and Hera have dinner dates with Odin fairly often, Hercules stands in for Thor (right before Ragnarok is put into motion, unfortunately for everyone) and the three Fates also serve as Urd, Skuld and Verdandi (Phil refers to it as "double dipping"). Some Egyptian gods appear in one episode.
  • In Gargoyles, most mythical monsters and gods turn out to be real and either based on Gargoyles, or on the Children of Oberon. In addition, the New Olympians are an island of misfit toys creatures from Greek myths descended from Echidna.
  • Family Guy showed Peter thank Jesus, who is then seen to state that it wasn't him, only for Vishnu to come up and quietly state that he is used to it.
    • Jesus and Vishnu also appeared in Seth MacFarlane's Comedy Cavalcade, in which Jesus boasted that Vishnu didn't have a birthday as celebrated as his (Christmas).
  • The Simpsons has done similar gags; God and Jesus Christ are real beings, but Vishnu sits at the center of the Earth, Buddha also dwells in heaven, Col. Sanders sits at the Lord's right hand tossing popcorn chicken into His mouth, and SpongeBob SquarePants is an apparently manic deity.
  • Samurai Jack has featured appearances of members of the Egyptian (Horus), Norse (Odin) and Hindu (Indra) pantheons although it's hinted that they might be Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. Also the Big Bad is the outgrowth of a remnant of a Cosmic Horror that looked an awful lot like Azathoth.
  • South Park has Jesus refer to his Chinese younger brother, an obscure Shout Out to the instigator of the Taiping Rebellion. The instigator of the Taiping Rebellion claimed this relationship for himself.
    • There's also the Super Best Friends, whose ranks include Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Joseph Smith, and Muhammad.
  • Superjail: the episode "Ghosts" features the afterlife with all the spirits of the deceased inmates, shows that Superjail was once a site for Mayan human sacrifices, has a witch doctor inmate who performs a ritual on the Warden, and in the end all the dead inmates and sacrificed people are being reincarnated by Hindu deities into flowers, insects and blades of grass. Phew!