We have a fair number of folks knowledgeable about ancient mythology 'round this here blog, so I thought it might be interesting to see what you'd think about this question of comics brought to life:
You can look up more information about these various groups of gods on Wikipedia or this nifty site called "Godchecker.com". My thoughts, such as they are, after the jump. Also, some of these are still (more or less) active in the world today, with actual followers and everything -- I certainly mean no disrespect to anyone out there who believes the gods of the given pantheon already really exist. I am referring instead to them as they might play out in a comic-book, super-hero sense, and not in any way to disparage how they are actively worshiped today.
- Celtic: The Celts were a pretty cool bunch, in my opinion, their gods having to do with all sorts of nifty things like the woods, music, hunting, and bravery. They didn't go much in for wholesale human sacrifice and the like, which is a bonus when ancient deity shopping. Furthermore, they had some pretty awesome attitudes about sex and love. A pretty good choice for the ease and comfort of us workaday mortals.
- Cthulhuan: I like to think that even a devout squid/octopus lover like P.Z. Meyers would not want to see this particular god and its cult come to life here in the real world, with all the horror and the brain exploding and the soul-eating and the hey-hey. No, thank you.
- Egyptian: A pretty bloody lot, overall, depending on which one you choose to follow. But for every Bast or Set you let in, you get a winner like Horus or Ra, so it's a bit of a mixed bag. They were heavily into hierarchies and priests and tithing, though.
- Greek: Talk about your fun-loving group of gods. Unlike their later, grimmer, Roman counterparts, the Greek pantheon knew how to have a good time. Sure, you had to put up with the (more than) occasional Zeus-wenching, but you also had the upside of demi-gods. This had the clearest path to what we think of as super-heroes on a large scale, so it'd be neat in that regard. The gods themselves tended to be capricious and saw mortals more or less as playthings, but they were not, for the most part, deliberately evil. Rather like children with more power than was good for them, but far from the worst of the lot.
- Hindu: There's a thread of super-heroism in some of the Bhagavad Gita and Mahabharata, in the sense that avatars of the gods would walk among mortals and perform great deeds. Despite having read both, a long time ago, however, I am not very well-versed in Hinduism. And as the most widespread of currently-practiced religions on the list, I hesitate to take it very lightly.
- Native American: Primarily nature spirits, my sense is that we could probably all do better if there were very powerful supernatural beings out there actively fighting to keep us humans in balance with the natural world.
- Norse: Talk about grim. Yes, they're cool in a Thor-hurling-hammers sense, but these guys made their living in the harshest climates you can imagine, and had the no-nonsense sensibility to match. Be careful what you wish for with Odin and his fellow gods.
- Roman: Like the Greek gods, only less whimsical and more "the pointy end of the spear goes in the other man".
So looking over the list, I'd probably go with either Native Americans or the Celts. Those gods seemed to be more in the role of big brothers or wise mentors and conservators than either completely evil overlords or stern slave-masters like a few of the other choices.
Which would you choose, and why?