Real Name: Yama

Identity/Class: Hindu God

Occupation: God of the Dead

Group Membership: The Daevas (Hindu gods)

Affiliations: Gods of the Dead (Ahpuch, Eriskegal, Hela, Mephisto, Pluto, Seth), Hippolyta, Mahdi,

Enemies: Aba, Demogorge the God Eater, Kordu, Ral, Sali

Known Relatives:
Surya (father); Saranyu (mother), Tvashtri (grandfather/uncle),
Indra, Agni, Vayu (uncles); Ratri, Ushas (aunts), Chhaya (maternal aunt); Indu, Chandra (half-brothers);
Yami (sister/wife); Dyaus (grandfather); Prithivi (grandmother);

Aliases: Dakshinapatis

Base of Operations: Patala - The Hindu Underworld

First Appearance: (Atlas) Strange Tales I#29/6 (June, 1954); (In Vision) Amazing High Adventures#5/3 (December, 1986); (Real) Thor Annual#10 (1981)

Powers/Abilities: Yama possesses the conventional power of a Hindu god such as superhuman strength (Class 35 perhaps), stamina and endurence. he has has latent mystical powers occult in nature such as the ability to conjure hellfire.



History: (Amazing High Adventure#5/3) - <1870's> An Indian rebel called the Mahdi, seeking to destroy the British army, prayed to the Hindu gods, demanding the power to fight the British. In a vision, Yama, Ratri (goddess of night), Agni (god of fire, two-headed), Maya (goddess of dreams), and Kâli granted the Mahdi powers and weapons to fight the British. From Yama, the Mahdi gained a fiery sword, from Ratri the power of "the night's shadows", from Agni sacrificial flame, from Maya the power to drive his enemies to despair with illusions, and from Kâli the wheel of destruction. The Mahdi then used these powers in battle-only to discover too late that he had offended the gods by trying to order them around. The Mahdi's weapons were only illusions, and he died in battle.

(Strange Tales I#29/6) - In the 1950s the God of Justice came to Earth to take Aba, Ral, Sali and the spirit of the deceased Kordu with him for punishment after each gave a false testimony to gain an advantage by blaiming someone they hated for Kordu's accidental death.

(Thor Annual#10) - Yama was the ancient god of the dead through the Vedic and Hindu pantheons of India. Annoyed by the lack of new souls into his realm for centuries, he entered into an unholy alliance with six other gods of the dead to unite their realms. Their ritual, however, released Demogorge the God Eater from the dawn of time. Consumed by the creature, he was rescued by the Asgardian god Thor working in alliance with gods from various pantheons. (see comments)

(Fearless Defenders#3 (fb) ) - Hela bargained with the other death gods, including Yama, to resurrect Hippolyta.

Comments: Adapted by Alan Zelenetz and Bob Hall.

Yama's unique family comes from the fact that his father Surya took his brother's daughter Saranyu as a wife. Surya and Tvashtri are brothers.

All the gods of myth have a name which denotes their pantheons. Just as the Greek-Roman gods are Olympians and the Norse-Scandinavian gods are Asgardians, the Hindu-Persian gods are called Daevas. (These group names do not come from their perspective realms. The Egyptian gods are called the Ennead rather than Heliopolitians. The Celtic Gods are called the Tuatha Da Danaan because it means "children of Danu." Danu was the Celtic Gaea.

In Hindu myth, Yama rode a black buffalo.

In Thor Annual#10, Yama referred to himself as "Yama of the Orient."

In the Conan story, "The City of Skulls" (adapted to Savage Sword of Conan#59, reprinted in Conan Saga#64), we discover that in the Hyborian age, a land called Meru existed. Meru was a valley carved out of the mountains of the Himelias by Yama, king of the demons. (This story is apparently not in-continuity, however, as it seems to conflict with Conan the Barbarian I#37's story "The Curse of the Golden Skull".)

Alright, there's clearly a breakdown here. Hinduism is a very large and thriving religion, and as several people pointed out within hours of this file being posted, Yama should still be getting new souls...whether it's just the evil ones, or whatever.
--I would say the change occurred between the Hindu gods replacing the Vedic gods which Yama was. Under the new Hindu religion system, souls didn't go to an underworld anymore and instead were being reincarnated as per who you were. If you were good, you returned in a higher form; if you were bad, a lower one. In a sense, the Hindu gods under the rule of Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva put Yama out of business the same way Christ did for Hades, Eriskegal, Osiris and the others.--William Uchtman.
--Hmm, good answer! I just thought he was greedy--Snood

An odd mistake on the part of the author of the Amazing High Adventures concept. The concept of a Mahdi is a Muslim, not a Hindu concept. The Mahdi will serve as an assistant to Jesus when Muslims believe Jesus will return to stop the Anti-Christ, protect Muslims, and kill all pigs.
--John McDonagh

Thanks to Gammatotem for pointing out Yama's Strange Tales appearance.

Profile by William Uchtman.

Clarifications: Yama was the inspiration for, but should be differentiated from:

Strange Tales I#29/3 (June, 1954) - Mort Lawrence(artist), Stan Lee (editor)
Amazing High Adventures#5 (December, 1986) - Bill Mantlo (writer), Steve Purcell (pencils), Del Barras (inks), Carl Potts (editor)
Thor Annual#10 (1982) - Mark Gruenwald & Alan Zelenetz (writers), Bob Hall (pencils), Rick Bryant, Joe Rubinstein, Andy Myshynsky, Al Gordon & Kevin Dzuban (inks), Mark Gruenwald (editor)
Fearless Defenders#3 (June, 2013) - Cullen Bunn (writer), Will Sliney (artist), Ellie Pyle (editor)

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

First Posted: 01/22/2002
Last Updated: 06/13/2016

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