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ATAR

Real Name: Agni (His Vedic name, Atar is his Persian name)

Occupation: God of fire and purification

Legal Status: Citizen of Nirvana

Identity: The general populace of earth is unaware of Atar except as a mythological character.

Other Aliases: Angiras, Haubas (Sabaean Name)

Place of Birth: Unrevealed

Marital Status: Married

Known Relatives: Dyaus (father), Prithivi (mother), Indra, Vayu, Tvashtri, Surya (brothers), Ushas, Ratri (sisters), Kama (brother in law), Agneyi (wife), Kartikeyi (son, deceased), Angiras II (grandson), Agni II (great-grandson), Varuna (grandfather, alias Ormazd)

Group Affiliation: The Yazatas (Persian Gods), ally of the Council of God Kings and the Hindu Gods

Base of Operations: Nirvana and Naqsh-I-Rustem near Persepolis, Iran

First Appearance: Amazing High Adventure #5

History: Agni is a member of an extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Devas, who were worshipped as gods by the races of Ancient India and the Indus Valley region of the Middle East. The ancestors of the Devas were the Adityas or Vedic Gods descended from Aditi, who was identified as the Earth Mother Gaea by the Ancient Greeks. Very little is known about his role or his character except he was one of the most important gods of the early Vedic Pantheon. He presided over sacrificial flames and guided the spirits of the cremated dead to the underworld to await their next life. The Vedic Gods, however, were ousted from power by the Rakshasas, a race of demonic entities led by Ravanna, who supplanted the Vedic gods. Agni protected the monkey-god Hanuman during the resulting conflagration and hid him on Earth to protect him. Afterward, Agni was forced into the role of cook before the demons.

In the resulting wars against the Rakshasas for sovereignty over heaven, Agni slew the Kravyads, flesh-eating Rakshasas that resembled boars. Over the course of several battles, Vishnu of the Vedic pantheon subsequently led the gods to conquer the Rakshasas and exile them to the underworld, leading to the worship of Vedic Gods being replaced by the prospering religion of Hinduism. Several of the former Vedic gods who lost worship rites under Hinduism separated from the rest of the pantheon and became members of the Yazatas or Persian gods under Zoroasterism religion. Agni became the god Atar under Zoroasterism, a religion where all the old Vedic Gods found worshippers under new names. Varuna, the former ruler of the Vedic Gods ousted by Vishnu, became Ahura Mazda or simply, Ormazd, the ruler of the Persian Gods in Zoroasterism.

During the time that the Vedic gods were supplanted by the younger more powerful Hindu gods, Atar had discovered that his son, Kartikkeya, who had been the Vedic war-god, had been slain by Skanda, the son of Shiva, in order to claim his worshippers. Skanda assumed his predecessor’s identity and took over many of his aspects. Atar meanwhile became credited with slaying Azhi Dahaka, one of the Asuras, Vedic deities who had lost their worshippers under the Hindu pantheon. Guilty for many undefined atrocities against the gods, Dahaka was chained to a mountain by Atar.

Over several millennia, Hinduism continued to flourish throughout India while the religion of Zoroasterism declined. Persia became conquered by Alexander the Great and the Turks and became modern Iran. Today, there are very few worshippers of the Persian religion. During this time, Atar presided in the ruins of Naqsh-I-Rustem near Persepolis, Iran. He still had worshippers under Hinduism, but his prominence as a deity was not as great as it had been millennia before. In the late Nineteenth Century, an Indian rebel named Mahdi seeking to destroy the invading British army prayed to the Hindu gods demanding the power to destroy the British. Among the gods that appeared to him and grant him power and weapons, Atar granted him the power over sacrificial flame. Mahdi tried to use these powers in battle against his perceived enemies only to discover too late that his gifts were only illusions. Atar and the other Hindu gods had merely humored Mahdi in giving him power to teach him a lesson against demanding gifts from the gods. Mahdi was slain in battle as a result.

Atar meanwhile was loyal to both the Hindu and Persian gods and offered his services to Vishnu and the Hindu Trimurtri when requested. Vishnu had since become a member of the Council Elite comprised of the heads of the other pantheons of gods on Earth. Their duties were to gather and compare information on common threats to earth. When the former pharaoh Akhenaton returned to earth in possession of cosmic powers to claim the earth, Vishnu allowed Atar to accompany him and represent the Persian gods in discussing the brief threat that Akhenaton posed. Thanos of the Eternals later ousted Akhenaton’s power from him and destroyed and recreated the universe afterward. Very few beings in the universe are aware of these events.

Since then, Atar has returned to his home near Persepolis. To the general public, he is revered as a Persian holy man. The general populace does not believe him to be the deity he claims to be.  

Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 475 lbs
Eyes: Red
Hair: Black

Unusual Physical Features: In his godly form, Atar appears as a red-skinned man with three heads and six arms holding weapons. He sometimes appears as a four-armed figure with a body of black smoke. 

Strength Level: Atar has superhuman strength enabling her to lift (press) around 40 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Atar possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Devas or Hindu gods. Like all Devas, he is extremely long-lived, but he is not immortal like the Olympian gods. He has not aged at an extremely slow rate since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Varuna, Mitra or Vishnu for a number of Hindu or Persian gods of equal power working together to revive him. Atar also possesses superhuman strength and his Deva metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Deva flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the superhuman strength and weight of the Hindu and Persian gods.)

Atar also has several powers mystical in nature. He seems be able to control fire to use it in purifying objects tainted by impure or demonic taint, but he has yet to demonstrate the full range of his power. According to his worshippers, he could purify objects be eating them and then returning the purified objects. He can purify earth as well by burning it. He can also cross between various dimensions to guide the cremated dead to the afterlife. He is semi-omniscient; because he is linked to fire in all its forms, he is aware of everything that occurs around him. The full range of his power is unrevealed.

Abilities: Atar is a capable warrior in armed and unarmed combat.

Weapons: Atar is well-versed in the use of all forms of Hindu weaponry.

Pets: Atar often rides upon a ram.

Comments: This bio mostly sums up Atar’s appearances in the Marvel Universe. It is unrevealed if he has appeared in the DC Universe.

This entry obviously merges the many details and characteristics of Atar (Agni) with all his facets in Hinduism, Zoroasterism, Balinese-Hinduism, Buddhism and other forms.

In his role as Atar, Agni is described as the son, rather than the grandson, of Varuna (Ahura Mazda). But then, in myth, terms like son and grandson do not exist and “son” was used in place of these modern terms.

Naqsh-I-rustem is a silent valley in modern Iran (formerly Persia) near the ancient ruins of Persepolis. Numerous temples and statues of the Persian gods exist here.

CLARIFICATIONS: Atar should not be confused with:

Last updated: 04/18/07

 

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