Gods vs. Marvels, are the Marvel "Gods" really what they claim?

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Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio

 I’ve discussed this topic elsewhere and with my firend and fellow Comicviner HrdwrkngXsoldier quite a bit, but I thought maybe I’d revisit the topic here in this blog and see what kind of a response it gets.

In Incredible Hercules 138, during the Assault on New Olympus story arc, something US Agent said caught my eye. At first it just made me chuckle and give a little fist pump but after reading it over again later it really got my mind rolling on the subject.
The exact quote was:

“I don’t see how you (Hercules), the chick in the breast plate (Athena), or the kid in the cape (Zeus) are different than any other super human.

“I don’t believe you’re Gods any more than I believe Pym is the god of shrinking or Spidey is the god of wisecracks.

“Maybe Greeks did worship you in old-timey times, but that was a tragic mistake. There’s only one God, and he ain’t any of you – or Hera and her band of jokers for that matter.”

Pretty deep stuff coming from US Agent.

It was actually Athena’s response to him that really got the ball rolling for me and how I looked at Marvel Super Humans:

“Many in fact contend you “Marvels” have usurped the primary function of Myth… The latest manifestations of Eternal Cycles of Belief.”

Athena goes on to compare current heroes to gods of other Pantheons. She compares Spider-Woman to the Hindu God Kali, a hunter of shape shifting demons, alluding to her quest to find and kill the Skrull infiltrators for what they did to her prior to the events of Secret Invasion. She compares Spider-Man to the African/Carribean God Anansi, a trickster story teller spider god, alluding to Spidey’s connection to Anansi via the Totem storyline, which was unmade by One More Day, but is still considered canon. Finally she compares Wolverine to Cernunnos, a feral three clawed Celtic God, although Wolverine is decidedly lacking in antlers which Cernunnos posessed.

As my mind began to start down the path those two pages laid out I started to consider the nature of Gods, both in the MU and in Myth.

In myth Gods normally have a substance they consume or an object which grants them their powers and immortality. Routinely a mortal is able to kill a god or a god is tricked into giving up their immortality or powers. For example, in both myth and the MU Thor’s powers are gained from mythological items, his power over lightning and flight from Mjollnir and his immortality from the Golden Apples of the Tree of Life, the latter he must consume periodicly to maintain his immortality as do all of the gods of the Norse Pantheon. Although the myths differ from the MU version of Thor in that his immense strength comes from an enchanted belt, which does show up in the MU but differs in that in the myths Thor must wear it and a pair of Iron Gloves to even be capable of weilding Mjollnir where as MU Thor already posesses the great strength that makes it possible and does not require gloves, only that the wielder must be found worthy of the feat.

The same idea pops up in Greek and Roman Mythology, the Gods must routinely consume Ambrosia to maintain their immortality and mythological objects grant the gods their extra ordinary powers, i.e. Hermes’ winged sandles granting him his flight and incredible speed.

So, keeping that in mind, how does that make them different than allot of modern Marvels?

Is it their immortality? Mr. Immortal is evolved beyond death and has been shown alive at the end of time. Deadpool was cursed by Thanos to never die. That's a bit more than the Gods can claim as we've seen a whole heck of allot of recently. Selene and Apocolypse are both immortal mutants, who if left unchecked would live forever.

The latter two have in fact been worshiped as gods throughout history even though they’re both considered merely mutants in current continuity.  So why consider Gods Gods?  Why wouldn't we consider them merely Super Beings?

Is it their great powers? Take away MU Thor’s hammer and does he not just revert into a man, well he used to, we don't know if that weakness still applies in his new incarnation? How about Sentry. He was a junkie that was looking for a fix and stumbled upon the solution that granted him his “God Like Powers”. When faced with a “God”, in the form of Ares, he shreded him like he was made of paper mache. Wouldn’t Sentry qualify as a “God” if power was a prerequisite?
Another example of a being with God like powers manipulating the gods of the MU would be the Beyonder. He was able to snag Thor and Enchantress and manipulate them to his own ends and displayed power far beyond what they posess.

The more I thought about the subject the more I started to grasp what Pak and Van Lente were hinting at. US Agent was right. The “Gods” in the Marvel Universe are merely extremely long lived Super Beings, what made them Gods was the power of belief. Their followers both in history and in current continuity are all that makes them gods. Yes they posess vast powers, yes they’re immortal after a fasion, but they do not control the Universe. They may have infact helped create the world as the myths say, but the Universe/Existance is entirely another matter.

For all we know the Gods of the MU could be the result of tinkering by the Celestials who just did it out of profound boredome and wanted to see what the human reaction/evolution would be to beings of such immense power.

No, it was the belief by their followers that elevated them to that level. Humanity once believed that the beings I’m discussing in this blog were real. They worshiped and did what they thought was these gods’ will. They slaughtered other cultures in the Gods names. They sacrificed their loved ones in order to gain their favor. It was that belief that made them Gods. Whether they were real or not, it was that conviction that gave them power over their followers. The only difference is that in the Marvel Universe those beings were and continue to be real. And they continue to call themselves gods despite being worshiped by very few followers in the current MU. If you take away their followers in the MU they continue to exist as very powerful beings, but the lack of belief that they are gods eliminates that title like it did to Apocolypse?

A prime example of the power of belief in the Marvel Universe is Adam Warlock/the Magus and his relationship with the Universal Church of Truth.  All the followers have to do is believe that Adam Warlock is their Messiah and they feed the Church nearly limitless power to manipulate the Universe.  Even their mightiest warriors have only to believe that their cause is just and right in the name of the Church and they become beings of incredible power.

As far as the actual one god of the MU that US Agent is refering to only one being fits the traditional description of God, all seeing, all knowing, all powerful. That would be One-Above-All. I’ve heard people that make arguments towards Eternity, but he was shown suseptible to the powers of the Infinity Gauntlet when wielded by Thanos. The Living Tribunal while immune to the Gauntlet’s power and demonstating power beyond it is self-admittedly only an agent of One-Above-All.  The only real issue with One-Above-All being God is that very few individuals are actually aware of his presence.

By most accounts a different One Above All, the mightiest of the Celestials, is in fact what most monotheaistic religions consider God due to his direct hand in the history of man kind.

So Comicvine, what do you think about the question I've laid before you?  Is Divinity really Divine?  Or is it merely that the residents of the Marvel Universe give those beings power over them merely by believing that they are what they claim to be?

By what I've seen in the last couple of years the question of the nature of gods is very much up in the air.

#1 Posted by coolbeans (247 posts) - - Show Bio

I really liked reading this and iv thought about the exact same thing at times.  I think the theory that the marvel U "gods" are just long lived super beings who happened to be worshipped by ppl is legit. nice post
#2 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@coolbeans:   Thanks man, I've been thinking about this for quite a while.  I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks that there's more, or less depending on how you look at it, to the "Gods" of the Marvel Universe.
#3 Posted by coolbeans (247 posts) - - Show Bio

ya i gotta admit man US Agent i think he's got it figured out the guy is pretty smart
#4 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@coolbeans:   Well, I'm not sure if he's smart or so stubbornly set in his beliefs that he refuses to acknowledge anyone besides his god as a god, but in either case I believe he's right in this point, which is why I was so enamored with his little rant at the Olympians.
#5 Posted by PowerHerc (85336 posts) - - Show Bio

It seems quite reasonalbe that  the gods of the MU are not in fact divine but rather separate races of super-beings whose natural abilities and lifespans are far superior to 
common mortals, but is now matched and even surpassed by many mortals.  Amongst the gods there are many traits all seem to share, many have a special or more than one  
special talent/ability/power not shared or far beyond the other gods.  This seems to set them apart (above) the common gods, much like superhumans are apart (above)

normal humans.  The gods do in general seem like races of superhumans far superior to mankind while the mightiest and most gifted amongst them have occupy a status 
above the common gods parallel the role of super-beings above normal people in the earthly realm.   
 
So, essentially, I agree with you.  But I tend to think that even the average/common god (Fandral, Hogan, etc.)  is generally on a level equal to a mid-power level super-being , and the top level gods far above nearly all super-beings (Hercules, Thor)  with some even matching or surpassing cosmic beings (Zeus, Odin).   
 
Thor #300 proved how the Earth-born gods stack up to the Celestials power-wise.  Odin animated the Destroyer armor with his lifeforce and proceeded to absorb the power and life- 
forces of all the other Asgardians except Thor (who was in exile).  He then took Asgards most fearsome weapon - the Oversword of Asgard - and challenged the entire fourth Celestial 
Host (9 Celestials total).  The Odinforce, the  cumulative power of all the Asgardians, the indestructible/irresistable Destroyer armor and the Oversword all combined to no avail. 
The Celestials effortlessly defeated Odin and disintegrated the Destroyer and the Oversword, humbling the Earthly gods without exertion.  The Celestials proved to be as far above 
Asgardians as the Asgardians wer above mortals.  I guess the old maxim that states " It doesn't matter how good you are, there's always someone better."  

#6 Edited by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@PowerHerc: You may be my favorite Comicviner PowerHerc, you presented a well thought out and logical argument both for and against my blog and I appreciate that more than you know.
 
What my argument against what you have to say is that while Zeus and Odin may be down right all powerful Earth wise an actual Cosmic Entity like an Eternity are infinitely more powerful than the Gods of Earth 616.   What Godhood on Earth comes down to is the willingness of said god's followers to believe them to be the highest power in the Universe in whatever sense they describe themselves as.  Whether they actually are or are not is the actual question.  Thor can summon Lighting and Storms anywhere in the Marvel Universe, but is he the absolute be all end all when it comes to Thunder?   If he actually took his powers up against the Living Tribunal would they mean a thing?  No,  they would not. 
 
The Celestials, who knows, they've always been the MU's big question mark.  The fact that it takes an Infinity Gauntlet to take one of them down says allot about their nature, so as always we'll just have to wait and see as far as they're concerned.  How awesome is it going to be when we actually get some answers abou them though?
 
So, are gods really gods?  Or is it just what people who believe in them call them?  Their races grant them extraordinary powers for sure, no one can deny that.
 
Just because someone calls for people to follow Brian's gourde and others call for you to follow his shoe doesn't necessarily mean that either are signs of divinity or that Brian is in fact the Messiah.  All that it means is that those people believe in what they're saying to you, whether you go along with them is up to you.  The same applies to the Marvel U.  Beliefs are chosen and just because someone believes something does not make it a fact.
#7 Posted by PowerHerc (85336 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fresh03:
I understand what you're saying.  I think that the gods of the MU may be called gods and regarded as gods by the people of the MU, but they're  
not actually deities thus not actually gods.  For that matter I would'nt categoerize anybody in the MU as an actual god (including Living Tribunal,  
Eternity, Etc.) becausethey owe their existence and power to yet another higher power(s) whom would presumably be far beyond these beings 
in power.

 
To my way of thinking, the worship of a being/beings is not enough to qualify for deification and though relevant as to whether someone is 
perceived as a god, it's irrelevant as to whether someone actually is a god.

 
I guess there may be just one God.  Maybe.

#8 Posted by Man of Lengend (997 posts) - - Show Bio

WOW nice article i agree with POWERHERC
#9 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio

There's also the fact that many of Marvel's pantheons are related to Gaia (who is an Elder God; I just don't know if ALL or just a couple from each pantheon are desceded from her), so maybe Marvel's "godhood" is a genetic trait more than anything else.

#10 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio

@~The Wanderer~:  Precisely my point.  In stead of Gods perhaps they're merely a different race that's genetic trait lends to them being insanely powerful.  The Celestials messed with pretty much all life on Earth during their previous Hosts, who's to say that they didn't create that Species from early life like they did all of the variety of Inhumans, Mutants, and Superbeings that have shown up thus far.  I stand by my point that it's merely the fact that people look at these beings and saw something they couldn't explain and assumed that they were the divine as a way to rationalize what they were seeing.

@PowerHerc:
Exactly.  That's where One-Above-All comes in.  One-Above-All is generally considered and shown to be the creator of the characters and thus the one God that actually birthed them and controls all aspects of them. 
 

#11 Posted by DEGRAAF (7912 posts) - - Show Bio

i think its great they are trying to take the gods off their high horse
#12 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29510 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm trapped in the deepness of this thread.

#13 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03 said:
"@~The Wanderer~:  Precisely my point.  In stead of Gods perhaps they're merely a different race that's genetic trait lends to them being insanely powerful.  The Celestials messed with pretty much all life on Earth during their previous Hosts, who's to say that they didn't create that Species from early life like they did all of the variety of Inhumans, Mutants, and Superbeings that have shown up thus far.  I stand by my point that it's merely the fact that people look at these beings and saw something they couldn't explain and assumed that they were the divine as a way to rationalize what they were seeing."
Very true. Weren't the Eternals created by the Celestials? They and the Deviants got their own entires in Marvel's Encyclopedia Mythologica, indicating that they're on about the same power levels.
@DEGRAAF said:
" i think its great they are trying to take the gods off their high horse "
I both agree and disagree. I think it's fine if they portray gods of dead religions as weaker than the original mythologies might indicate, but then I think they should officially explain them as being simply "super beings", "aliens", etc. Currently, Asgardians and Olympians are repeatedly referred to as "gods", which is a bit annoying when they have very little recent feats to back up their claim to divinity more than any other Marvel super being.
#14 Posted by DEGRAAF (7912 posts) - - Show Bio
@~The Wanderer~ said:

@DEGRAAF said:
" i think its great they are trying to take the gods off their high horse "
I both agree and disagree. I think it's fine if they portray gods of dead religions as weaker than the original mythologies might indicate, but then I think they should officially explain them as being simply "super beings", "aliens", etc. Currently, Asgardians and Olympians are repeatedly referred to as "gods", which is a bit annoying when they have very little recent feats to back up their claim to divinity more than any other Marvel super being. "

i agree. thats jsut it tho, i think they started out as gods and as the other super people got more powerful they decided to not continue to make the "gods" stronger and so they had to justify and explain it some how. Now they are, they are bringing them down to just super human levels instead of gods (which i think might cause trouble when you look at the most powerful ones that are just shy of cosmic). They seem to be all off of one source and as the older, more powerful ones die the power moves down the chain.
#15 Posted by D3athstroke (4157 posts) - - Show Bio

They are Gods Because People Calls Them Gods.
Call Them tomatoes and they will be tomatoes
They are Just old Super Humans created by Celestials

#16 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio
@DEGRAAF: Hmm, I hadn't exactly thought about that...but that's also possible.
#17 Posted by DEGRAAF (7912 posts) - - Show Bio
@~The Wanderer~ said:
" @DEGRAAF: Hmm, I hadn't exactly thought about that...but that's also possible. "

thats just from what ive noticed. I mean every time Oden dies his powers get handed on to someone else. In the most recent hercules they are talking about somone taking Zeus's, Athen's, and Hercules places and powers and they even stat to Phobo's that he is the rightful heir and should be given the powers of his father as well as the others
#18 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio

@D3athstroke:  
I agree, although not precisely on the Celestials thing.  As I've said that's what my suspicions have led me to believe is the case but it's never been said outright that the Celestials created the Gods. 

@~The Wanderer~:  
Yep, the Celestials did creat the Eternals and the Deviants, I believe during the First Host. 

@DEGRAAF:

Interesting.  That falls in line with the laws of conserving engergy.  Energy cannot be created or destroyed only transfered or transformed.  That would also explain why Dr. Strange was able to fix Mjolnnir using the Odin Force.  Hmmm....  That just got the ball rolling on a couple of more ideas.

#19 Posted by DEGRAAF (7912 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03 said:
"

@D3athstroke:  
I agree, although not precisely on the Celestials thing.  As I've said that's what my suspicions have led me to believe is the case but it's never been said outright that the Celestials created the Gods. 

@~The Wanderer~:  
Yep, the Celestials did creat the Eternals and the Deviants, I believe during the First Host. 

@DEGRAAF:

Interesting.  That falls in line with the laws of conserving engergy.  Energy cannot be created or destroyed only transfered or transformed.  That would also explain why Dr. Strange was able to fix Mjolnnir using the Odin Force.  Hmmm....  That just got the ball rolling on a couple of more ideas.

"

lol glad i could help. Ive only noticed it with the "Gods" tho
#20 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@DEGRAAF:
Lol, yeah, you got some ideas bouncing around my heat for my next lengthy and overly thought out blog.
#21 Posted by Walker696 (980 posts) - - Show Bio

interesting.............I wouldn't be surprised if someone from Marvel saw this and made a story from it. I mean I've wondered myself why they are considered so high up on the chain when normal beings (or none God-like beings can challenge them). Above all of that when you factor in the higher beings on a galactic level they look even worse off. I honestly feel like if the heroes banded together they could take down the Gods, now why they would do it, I don't know but that would be one epic ass battle with Thor, Herc, and Ares on the front lines for the Gods against a united front of the most powerful beings.

#22 Posted by coolbeans (247 posts) - - Show Bio

this really is one of the most enjoyable threads to read i like the ideas being tossed around
#23 Posted by PowerHerc (85336 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03:
It's my opinion that the One Above All has been shown to be the head/leader of the Celestials and that's as far as it goes.  He's never been shown to be the actual God/creator of everyting seen and unseen, known and unknown.  I've never seen or heard of him being depicted as, referred to as or even hinted to be the actual God/creator anywhere.  What makes you think he is.  It seems like a major reach to me.   
 
If he is god, how was it that Thanos was able to defeat the combined might of nearly every cosmic being in the MU including the Celestials (which would include the One Above All).  It's highly unlikely that the One Above All could ever be defeated or would even feign defeat were he the actual creator of all (God).  The One Above All is a Celestial and, as the name suggests, ranks as the highest of the Celestials.  He's no more The God than Zeus, Odin, Beyonder, Galactus or anyone else.  Sorry.
#24 Posted by Primmaster64 (21073 posts) - - Show Bio

Finally someone!!! I thik they are all just superhuman.

#25 Edited by The Sadhu (848 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article Fresh03, thourghly enjoyed reading it. You make many valid points and your response to others and their feedback is to be commended.
 
I also enjoyed reading PowerHercs response... just one question regarding One Above All... 
 
I was under the impression that there are actually two beings in the MU with this name 
 
One Above All (Celestial) 
 

 
The-One-Above-All (God) 
 
Please correct me if I'm wrong
#26 Edited by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@PowerHerc: 
There are two One Above All's.  One Above All and One-Above-All.
 
The Celestial leader:   http://www.comicvine.com/one-above-all/29-29861/
 
and the Cosmic Entity:   http://www.comicvine.com/one-above-all/29-44473/
  
The Celestial called One Above All is generally assumed to be who most monotheistic religions in the Marvel U base their model of God on because of his interference in the history/development of  the various races in the MU.
 
One-Above-All, the cosmic entity, rarely if ever shows up, thirteen times in the history of the MU, and is generally unknown to the Marvel U outside of a select few individuals who have encountered him and realized who he was.  When he does appear he normally takes on the form of the character's creator.  He's shown up in the guise of Stan Lee when speaking to Dr. Strange and Jack Kirby when he spoke with the Fantastic Four.  Living Tribunal has said that One-Above-All is who he answers to and he easily shrugged of the power of the Infinity Gauntlet..
#27 Edited by PowerHerc (85336 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03:
 
I didn't know that.  Thanks for the info.  This being the case, maybe the true God/creator has indeed been depicted in the Marvel Universe.  Until someone comes along and ups the ante when it comes to total power and deities and trumps it.  I'm comfortable with the concept of God depicted in a comic, though.  Why not?  Thanks again. 
#28 Posted by hrdwrkngXsoldier (193 posts) - - Show Bio

Fresh and I tried to get this discussion going on another message board in a land far far away.  I'm glad to see some interest sparked on the subject.  Mostly I think he posted this one out of bitterness for his copy of Herc Fall of an Avenger not being in his pull box, so I didn't pick it up.   Really we have talked about this at work so much.  I do like how you all pointed out that the 'power' leaves the god and is passed on to the next owner.  What are we going to find out is the cause of who is chosen.  Is it done by sheer will of the departing 'god'  or is it some sort of Marvel manifest destiny that we all are unaware of?  There are many ways that writers can take this.  I hope the heroic age will tackle some of it, but I don't count on writers to do their homework almost 70% of the time.
#29 Posted by Handcannon (542 posts) - - Show Bio

I kinda hate how they depower non abrahamic Gods in comics , sometimes its just downright sad on this view.

#30 Posted by Postacrat (515 posts) - - Show Bio

Well these beings existed for thousands of years, in most popular displays of ancient times humans are very fragile and easy to impress.  What I mean by this is if you could start fire from your hand in a time nobody else new about you could be considered a god in legend.  So these "beings" living on or near earths dimension being so powerful  thousands of years ago, are probably going to be considered gods.  I could see this being the reason for that God Reference in the MU, and the gods themselves just got big heads over it as there power grew.  After all the gods of myth were said to be arrogant, and somewhat petty....

#31 Posted by Primmaster64 (21073 posts) - - Show Bio

They probably are aliens like earth X

#32 Posted by krazemon (1 posts) - - Show Bio

How about this: what if the Gods are beings that the Celestials never touched?  Maybe contrary to all of our thinking, the Celestials first weakened humans so that they could not truly rise up against them but then planted the  "mutant seed" so that the humans would be useful enough, ignoring the fact that many mutants and super-humans might gain greater power than expected (sentry, molecule man, phoenix).  Following this logic, maybe the Olympians and the Asgardians were originally two groups that the Celestials missed and evolved on their own.

#33 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@krazemon: 
 
Interesting thought.  I could certainly see some scenario along those lines coming up down the line.  It would explain their powers and why they've always been so far above humans until recent times.
 
My only argument against that is the Celestials pretty much shrug off anything short of the Infinity Gauntlet.  Earth's Gods really pose no challenge to them.  They probably view them as playthings like they do humans.
#34 Posted by Primmaster64 (21073 posts) - - Show Bio

I think they might be aliens touch by the Celestials.

#35 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@Primmaster64: 
 
Well the Eternals series suggests otherwise, actually if you want to get as much as is available on the Celestials that's the place to go.
 
Besides myself, who else is loving Hickman's Fantastic Four and SHIELD runs?  What he's doing to clear some of this up has been just brilliant thus far.  The Inhumans and the mutants are not the only races that the Celesitals have messed with.  I can't wait to see where he's going with all of this.
#36 Posted by homeslice (178 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03: 
I think u r right. they are only called that because people still or used to worship them. they aren't in the true sense of the word.
#37 Posted by seekquaze (617 posts) - - Show Bio

If I catch the jest of your arguement it is the gods are really just superpowered beings from another dimension who stumbled upon power sources that made them immortal.
 
I can see your reasoning with that and under other circumstances I would agree.  But I think writers at Marvel or at least some of them have drawn a difference between gods and other superpowered beings though not ever writer follows it:
 
1.  Roy Thomas created an origin for the gods unique from the Celestials or science.  The Elder gods were born from Earth's spiritual biosphere and after Atum killed most of them his released the cleaned godstuff into the sky.  Early humans' dreams and wonderings gave this godstuff shape into the gods of today.  Not ever writer strictly follows this and some stories contradict this, but it is the generally accepted origin.  In theory, anything made or empowered from this godstuff would be a god.
 
2.  The link between gods and their worshippers.  
If a superhuman like Captain America dies no matter how much people may belief or wish for his return barring outside circumstances that is not going to happen.  If a god dies and there is sufficent belief or knowledge of them that god can return.  In Thomas's story Gaea stated Asgard could have returned through this means, but belief had waned to a point where it was not possible.  JMS alluded to this enabling Thor's return in the relaunch.  Ajak the Eternal stated the link between the Skrull gods and their worshippers.  When Kly'bn died at about the same time Reed Richards became free.  I think that was Pak and Lente's way of trying to make a difference.  The Universal Truth found a way to scientifically harness the energy follows devote toward faith and have it affect reality, but I do not think this is the same thing.  The link is not there.
 
3.  Desak the Godhunter
Desak hunted gods by following a special energy unique to both alien and Earth gods.  He ignored other superpowered beings.  This implies there is something sets the gods apart from other superpowered beings.
 
4.  Various other comments.
Every once in a while you get a writer who is creative enough to give the gods that bit of difference.  Fraction had Tony recently notice Thor can talk in space without a radio or telepathic means and can't figure out how.  Paul Cornell had Nate Grey stated Ares was not just a super-strong being, but an embodiment of all war past, present and future.  There battle was shown to echo across time. 
 
5. Magic vs. Science
 The Eternals are creatures of science.  They have never called themselves gods even though they have at times been worshipped as gods.  As far as I know they have never disputed the claims of the Olympians or Asgardians to being gods.  To me this means they draw a difference between creations of science and magic.  Whatever the Olympians and Asgardians are they are of the classification of beings called "gods."  Kly'ben too drew a difference between his status as an Eternal and as a god. 
 
 
It is true most writers treat the gods as just super-powered beings.  It is true the fact they were once the most powerful guys around is often portrayed as where the "god" title comes from.  It is true that what determines a god largely comes down to a matter of personal belief and how one chooses to define a god.  The Korbonites regarded the Asgardians as aliens.  The Skrulls regarded them as gods.   It is true the title is something thrown out by a writer or character to try and increase how awesome they come across as.  I think that writers over time have drawn enough of a difference between gods and other superpowered beings.  In fantasy settings gods are not always the most powerful beings, highest powers, or creators of the universe.  In some "god" just refers to a specific classification of being. A classification the Asgardians and Olympians meet that other superpowered beings do not.

#38 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@seekquaze: 
 
Never said they were from another dimension, merely a different race than humans, or possibly just humans with some substances on their side.
 
1.  That would go along with my power of belief theory, I never discussed the Elder Gods, who are another blog entirely.  If elder gods birthed the gods of man there's still nothing to say that the Elder Gods weren't a creation of the Celestials.  Celestials visited Earth long before the Gods showed themselves.
 
2.  Again, there's nothing as of yet to say that isn't the case.  Cap is the ultimate symbol of hope in the modern MU and he did come back.  This falls in line with what Athena said, that modern heroes are assuming the roles of gods who have passed on are assuming new identities.
 
3.  This goes along with that I said.  Gods are another race or there is something in their genome that makes them different , like the X-Gene in mutants.
 
4.  I never claimed that they didn't embody what they claimed to be, there very well may be a "God of War" who has every war that ever will be in his blood, but does that necessarily make them a god?  Cap or Nick Fury could be the new god of War, they've got War on their hands and are the MU's ultimate soldiers, with Ares gone who fills the void in the Pantheons?
 
5.  You've got a point there, the Eternals never claimed to be gods, but they existed before anything even remotely resembled a god had surfaced on Earth, and they were created by the Celestials.
 
Give the new Herc issues a read, they address most of this stuff, Amadeus Cho is currently on a quest to out God the "Gods" and it's been a blast thus far.
#39 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03 said:
"4.  ...there very well may be a "God of War" who has every war that ever will be in his blood, but does that necessarily make them a god?  "
What else would make them a "god of war", if not that? 
#40 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@~The Wanderer~:

This goes back to my point in my initial blog entry.  Is Spidey the God of Wise Cracks or Pym the God of Size Changing?  Just because someone or something calls themself something doesn't neccesarily make it true.  Storm can control the weather and was worshiped as a goddess, does that make her one?  To those that worshiped her yes.  In truth though she's just a mutant with extra ordianary powers, the same can be said for allot of the super humans in the current MU.  Had they been born in a different time they would have inspired whole cults of religion and had legions of followers, but because they're born in the current era they're viewed as Super Humans instead.
#41 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03: I don't think that's what I asked about.  I meant, what criteria would one have to fill for you to recognize a character as a "god" of a certain domain?  Where is the line, in your opinion, between a war/battle-themed character and an actual war god?
#42 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@~The Wanderer~:
Well, currently I don't recognize any of the members of the Marvel Pantheons as Gods of the MU.  They're all just incredibly old Super Beings with incredible powers, but they all require objects or substances to retain those powers and remain immortal.
 
Amadeus Cho and Vali Halfling are both currently both trying to gather as many of those substances and objects as is possible.  If Cho got his hands on some Golden Apples or Ambrosia would that make him the God of Quantum Variables or just an immortal?
#43 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03: Ah, I see..I think.
As far god of quantum variables, I guess that would depend on what Cho's powers/abilities are like after he's achieved said immortality haha.
#44 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@~The Wanderer~:
Basically what it comes down to is that if they were true Gods as they claim to be they should be far beyond anything that a human or mutant could achieve or become.  The fact is that that is just plain not true in the Marvel Universe.  Sentry's powers were/are beyond those of the Gods, no ifs ands or buts about it.
 
My point in all of this is that the Gods are considered Gods because the population of the Marvel Earth call and believe them to be that.  If people stopped believeing them to be Gods they'd just be Super Beings.  They're not worshipped by the majority of the modern MU but that doesn't decrease their power levels, so they're not powered by the belief of their followers, they're powered by the substances and objects that they take to give them their powers, take those away from them and they wouldn't even be that super nor would they be immortal.
#45 Posted by ~The Wanderer~ (34406 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03: True, you have a very good point there.
I think that the main reason Marvel makes their gods inexplicably weak/mortal, isn't because they intend to make their pantheons less god-like, but because otherwise all of their fights would be curbstomp battles and thus really uninteresting.  Of course, when it's about Asgard, Marvel is a tad more justified in making their gods mortal, since they weren't quite immortal in the original Scandinavian myths to begin with...
#46 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio
@~The Wanderer~:
Precisely.  But that's not just true of the Scandanavian Pantheon, it's true of nearly all of the Pantheons of the acient world, yes they're supremely powerful and immortal, but they have to get the power from somewhere, it's not inherent in them.
#47 Posted by seekquaze (617 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03: 
 
1.  I'm afraid there is much to say the Elder gods were not birthed by the Celestials.  All evidence of the Celestials' earliest visit to Earth was about a million years ago.  The Elder gods trace their birth back hundreds of millions if not billions of years ago.
 
2.  Again this is very different.  In Captain America: Reborn Captain America never really died.  He was sent through time and brought back through the mechanisms of the Red Skull.  The implication from the stories is that gods can be brought back through sheer belief.  
 
3.  You ask what separates a superpowered being from a god?  What separates them is what separates and Eternal from a god.  There are certain traits unique to gods that other beings do not share.  Those traits are necessary to be defined "god."  
 
5.  The Elder gods like Atum, Gaea, and Chthon existed before the Eternals.  From the remains of their godstuff is where the current generations of gods sprang up from.  
 
I have read all of the issues of Incredible Hercules and the first issue of Prince of Power.  
 
I think the problem is you have one definition of "god" as powerful being far beyond mortals.  Gods even have to be the god of something.  That is not how it works in Marvel.  The definition of "god" in Marvel is not a supreme being.  Gods are beings who share certain traits.  What those traits are is not clearly defined.  Writers over the years have tried, but each as their own idea.  It could just be power source if even that.  It could be ambrosia, the apples of Idunn, Soma, Celestial peaches, etc.  all confer basically the same power source and thus whomever eats them becomes a god.  Why is Pym not the "god of size changing?"  Because he does not consume this food source or share the same power source as the gods.  If Pym did he would become a god.  God of what?  I don't know.  What says you have to really be a god of anything.  
 
Another example that comes to mind is the Discworld series of books.  In them the gods are products of human thought. The more belief a thought has the more powerful it becomes.  If they lose too much belief they become mere shadows of there former shelves.  Throughout it all they are still considered "gods" because that is how the term is defined in that universe.  A similar case is in the works of Neil Gaiman both American Gods and The Sandman comic series.  In none of these are the "gods" supreme beings, but beings who are born from human thought.  The Endless in Sandman make it clear they are not gods, but they agree that beings like Baast are gods.   Yet by modern times the goddess Ishtar is so weak she has to work as a stripper.  Dream still calls her a goddess.   In the Percy Jackson books, the Olympians call themselves gods, but they are not so much about belief as somehow tied to Western Civilization.  They do not claim to have created the universe nor do they confirm or deny the existence of a more powerful being than them. 
 
I one time asked the question on why the New gods are gods and not just highly evolved aliens with advanced technology.  I got a lot of interesting responses about symbolism, gods of technology for a new age, etc.   What a lot of it came down to is Jack Kirby in the fictional universe of DC intended them to be gods so gods they are.  That and I think most of the gods in DC share a common origin of being born of the "godwave" so they share a common origin like Marvel gods.
 
So, what makes the Marvel gods "gods" and not just superhuman beings?  One, there is a specific type of being defined as "god" and those beings share those traits.  It is not about power.  In none of the examples I have mentioned are the gods the supreme beings.  In some cases they are not even that much more powerful than humans. It is about who shares those traits.  The symbolism and other stuff is mostly going into the question of "What does it mean to be a god?" Why is that the definition of god in that universe?  Because that is what its creators said it is.
#48 Posted by Fresh0133 (491 posts) - - Show Bio

1 .  As I said before, Elder Gods are completely different beast, whether they are the creators of Earth or not is open to debate, even when the Celestials first host hit Earth is open to debate, the records are murky at best and the definitive book on them is merely semi-in canon at best.  Alternate futures are a bitch to figure out.
 
2.  Cap's body was dead, no ifs ands or buts about it, it was confirmed so many times it was ridiculous.  The Science Red Skull and Zola issued brought him back.
 
I actually don't disagree with the majority what you're saying, what I do disagree with is if the Gods are classified as such because their "Traits", that goes along with what I've been saying, what's to separate them from Mutants and Inhumans, those are separate species, possibly related to humans who are far beyond a baseline human.
 
The thing is though, what if Storm got her hands on a Golden Apple?  Would she be the Goddess of Weather because of that and her abilities?  Tribes in Africa still worship her as a goddess.  If that's all that separates them then all of the MU is capable of becoming a god of something, whether they were born to it or not.

#49 Posted by Pr_Beyonder (2429 posts) - - Show Bio

I saw that post from Us Agent :P
#50 Posted by seekquaze (617 posts) - - Show Bio
@Fresh03:   
 
I thought Capt's body was sent through time.  Or was it one of those quantum variables where it is officially both alive or dead?  I didn't real the whole mini and barely remember it.  I think my point still stands.  The implication so far is gods can be brought back by sheer belief.  Captain Ameria had to be brought back by science.  
 
As to your other point.  Yes, everyone in the MU is capable of being a god.  If Storm was elevated to godhood than she probable would be the goddess of weather.  This was already dealt with some one time when Loki tried to get her to replace Thor.  
 
In a way I think it is like mutants. Unless things have changed all that really separates mutants from normal humans is an active x-gene. I can't remember if all humans are born wtih it  or only mutants.  Anyway, if all are born with is all it takes is the activation of it for someone to move from homo sapien to homo superior.  If normal humans are not born with it all it takes is a skilled enough geneticist to do some gene therapy to insert and activate the mutant gene.  
 
I think with gods it gets a bit more complicated.  There is a spiritual/mystical aspect to it that other forms of superpowered beings lack. We know from Simonson's runs that consuming the golden apples is enough to confirm god-level power on normal humans.  The Wrecker runs off of Asgardian power.  The same with Beta Ray Bill.  Yet none of these beings were ever considered gods.  In the Prince of power mini Vali stated a combination of items were requited to make one a true god.  So it appears to be something besides superhuman powers or even have that particular power source.  Hopefully, it is something Pak and Lente will explore further. 
 
 
 

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