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Perhaps it's because of the connection of incredibly attractive and powerful people intervening in our daily lives with saving the world. Perhaps it's because having the godlike serve to protect our lives is the closest we can get to getting the divine to serve us. Perhaps it's what comes naturally of making a character stronger than the strongest person. Whatever the case, comic book writers (and others) have seen the obvious logic in not just making godlike superheroes, but making gods superheroes.

The ancient Greek myths (as well as those from any number of other ancient cultures) often featured the heroic (by the standards of the time) adventures of various Demi-Gods, usually people with mixed Divine and Mortal parentage since the Gods themselves were usually too busy being complete dicks and getting away with it, because, well they are the Gods...

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Note: There's a lot of overlap with Physical God, so this trope only refers to mythological gods or original divinities becoming superheroes.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball;
    • Kami was Guardian of Earth but also a Flying Brick able to help the heroes take on the various aliens that attacked Earth.
    • Goku and Vegeta's Super Saiyan God forms that Goku learned to fight Beerus, the God of Destruction in Dragon Ball Super. Other gods in the setting confirm that these forms do make them gods note 
    • Vermoud is Universe 11's God of Destruction and commands a Sentai group called the Pride Troopers.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics
    • The Mighty Thor is one of the first (and more obvious) examples.
    • Thor's sister, Angela, joined the superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy, and fought alongside them.
    • Thor's lover, Lady Sif. Although she doesn't join any superhero team and mostly fights for or in Asgard, she does have her moments in Midgard (Earth).
    • Even Thor's adopted brother freaking Loki was in some superhero teams: In the second lineup of the Young Avengers, admittedly the guy was most of their problems too, and if we count disguises in one iteration of the Mighty Avengers (as Scarlett Witch).
    • Brunhilde the Valkyrie is a super heroine as well. She had a lengthy stint as a member of the Defenders.
    • The Ultimates takes an interesting look at Marvel's Thor, focusing on the fact that anybody who claimed to be a god would immediately be classified as insane. The existence of superpowers only makes it worse, of course, as his powers are not entirely inexplicable.
    • As is The Incredible Hercules.
    • And Ares, god of war, sometime member of The Avengers.
    • Snowbird from Alpha Flight is an Inuit demigoddess. Her family would make occasional appearances in the book, and their enemies, the Great Beasts, were recurring villains.
    • The Golden Age Marvel heroes Mercury and Venus were Exactly What It Says on the Tin. In modern continuity, Mercury was revealed to be Makkari of The Eternals, and Venus was revealed as merely a Siren.
  • Thor also appeared in Elementals. Not too surprising, since all the supers there have magical or mythological origins.
  • Inverted in The Savage Dragon: Thor is a villain.
  • Over at DC, Hercules is treated as a Jerkass more often than not, usually showing up to get in fights with Wonder Woman or Superman. His most notable outing as a hero was in the Silver Age series Hercules Unbound where he defended the remnants of mankind in a post-nuclear world.
  • Wonder Woman gets half-points for a few reasons: she's an Amazon, which are basically a race of semi-immortal demigoddesses, and she was created when her mother, Hippolyta, prayed to the gods to create her from clay. The New 52 changed things so that she was Zeus' daughter, but DC Rebirth has changed it back. In Wonder Woman (1987) she briefly became the goddess of truth, but was able to return to her (semi-)mortal state as an Amazon in short order.
    • The second Wonder Girl, Cassie Sandsmark, is a modern demigoddess, being the daughter of Zeus and a normal Muggle archaeologist. (During the New 52 she was reimagined as Zeus' granddaughter.)
  • The New Gods, though the degree to which most of the New Gods are gods rather than Human Aliens with superpowers and advanced technology varies a lot. Jack Kirby originally conceived them as new characters to introduce into the Thor mythos—they were literally a new pantheon for modern times, hence all the technological and modern imagery, rather than ancient chariots and swords. But he jumped ship to DC and took them with him. In that sense, the name "New Gods" is something of an Artifact Title.
  • The current JLA and Doom Patrol introduced not simply a superheroic god, but the God of Superheroes himself, Ahl. Reaching down from his domain in "Final Heaven" millions of years ago, he gave birth not only to the idea of justice, but to the concept that would eventually become Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, from whom all other superheroes symbolically descend; the area where he touched Earth, having risen up to meet him and eventually becoming a mountain in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, would one day become the first headquarters of the original Justice League, who were unaware of the true significance of Mount Justice. By the time we learn of him however he's long since been murdered by Haxxalon the Star Archer with "The Brick That Can Think", which in an apparent attempt at communicating its own sentiments on the matter had "I'M SORRY" written on it.
  • Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen is the quote source for A God I Am Not but at the end of the story he accepts his role as a Deity of Human Origin and leaves Earth to create human life elsewhere. It later turns out he created The DCU.
  • The comic series Supergod by Warren Ellis revolves around various countries' attempts to create superheroes based on their religion or mythology. The projects have mostly... not fulfilled their hopes.
  • Viz had a story called SuperGod and The Son of Man Wonder where God and Jesus are superheroes who fly around doing nothing but assuring victims of accidents and crimes that they'll go to Heaven when they die (apart from the man having impure thoughts about his wife's sister) and that their tormentors will burn in Hell unless they repent and get to sit at God's side for all eternity.
  • National Lampoon had the Son-O'-God comics about a guy who could transform into a superhero Jesus.

    Comic Strips 
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    Film 

    Live Action TV 
  • The Secrets of Isis featured a school teacher who used a magic amulet to transform into the titular Egyptian goddess and save people.

    Theater 
  • Invoked in most productions of Godspell where Jesus has a Superman logo on his t-shirt.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath has all the major deities actually be genetically-altered cyborgs. Most of them besides Asura become the main villains. It should be noted, though, that there is a spiritual component to them, as they can be powered up by the prayers and souls of mortals.

    Web Original 
  • Given this is a Supers Trope, you know there's a Whateley Universe example, and here it is: The New Olympians may or may not be the classical Greek Gods reborn. They certainly think they are, and have appropriate powers.

    Western Animation 
  • The Avatar from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is the earthly embodiment of the show's equivalent of God.
  • The Justice Friends Super Group hfrom Dexter's Laboratory has Valhallen the Viking god of Rock.
  • The Super Best Friends from South Park are a supergroup composed of Jesus, Muhammed, Moses, Krishna, Joseph Smith, Lao TSE, Buddha and an Aquaman parody called Seaman.
  • One of the most powerful characters in The Tick is the Mighty Agrippa, Roman god of the aqueduct. According to the series canon, he's the last god to join the Roman pantheon, but when he showed up the rest had left for another planet. Despite being a low-ranking god, he's still a Physical God and one of the strongest beings in the series.

Alternative Title(s): Super Gods

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