Comics / Spotlight / Religion and Comics

Zoroastrianism in Comics


By Hervé St-Louis
May 22, 2011 - 20:03

Zarathushtra.jpg
Zoroastrianism is a monotheist religion that originated from Persia, otherwise known as modern day Iran. Monotheist religions have one god instead of a pantheon, like Norse or Greek mythology. Zoroastrianism is older than Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is still practiced in Iran and other countries that have been influenced by Persian culture before Islam replaced Zoroastrianism as the dominant religion in Persia. Readers who want to find out about this religion can do so in comic books.

There are a few Zoroastrian comic book characters of importance. There are a few minor characters, the best known which would be the Fantastic Force villainess Zarathustra. Other Zoroastrian comic book characters, such as Marvel Comics characters Atar and Haven seem to combine elements from both Zoroastrianism and Hinduism. Zoroastrianism does not seem to have been explored in comic books to the same extent as other religions in character origins and mythologies.

To find out about Zoroastrianism in comics, one needs to look at the work of Indian publisher Amar Chitra Katha who have published through printed and digital comic book format several books explaining religions to younger readers. The quality in those comic books is not great and the plotting is very straight forward, like reading something from the 1940s. There is sophistication in neither the artwork nor the plots. However, readers looking for something simple to understand Zoroastrianism can probably rely on these books. What I do find funny about them is how all the Persian and Hindu people look so white in these stories.

I’m quite amazed that the comic book world, known for its propensity to create stories based on any religion or myth has not yet plunged into the world of Zoroastrianism to add some texture to its characters.  It seems that the best bet for now for people interested in finding out about Zoroastrianism is to rely on books on the topics.


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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