The historical study of witchcraft includes looking at the "political, cultural, scientific,
religious, psychological, and gendered dimensions of the topic."
~Beth Pollard, SDSU History Professor, teaches the history
of magic and witchcraft accusations in the western historical tradition
Use the tabs above to learn about comics that may represent witchcraft in each era. Included in this guide are graphic novels and comics. Comic strips and political cartoons are not covered. The guide is by no means exhaustive. There will likely be more comics that cover the topic than the titles we’ve chosen as representative examples, but we hope this will give you a good place to start. Happy researching!
Themes you might look for in comics that could relate to Greco-Roman Witchcraft: Voodoo dolls, curse tablets, amulets, binding spells, Greek magical papyri, Egyptian and Persian magic.
Age of Bronze (Image)
A retelling of the Trojan War.
Greek Street (Vertigo)
Retells and reimagines Greek myths, set in modern London. Story Arc: Medea’s Luck is collected and includes nos. 12-16.
Story of Jason
Jason: Quest for the Golden Fleece, 2007 Borrow from SDSU Library
Jason and the Argonauts (Dell Comics), 1963
Jason and the Argonauts: Kingdom of Hades (Bluewater Comics), 2007
Classics Illustrated Greek #2: Jason and the Argonauts
The Odyssey : a graphic novel Borrow from The Circuit
Homer's Odyssey in graphical novel form.
The Sandman (Vertigo)
The Sandman Presents Thessaly : Witch for Hire Borrow from The Circuit
Characters include Thessaly and Orpheus
Three witches of ancient Greece unleash a vengeance. Spans Ancient Greece, Middle Ages, Victorian Era, and modern 1990s.
Themes you might look for in comics that could relate to magic in the Medieval period: paganism, Christianization, devil worship, clairvoyance, use of medicinal herbs, alchemy, astrology, black versus white magic, witch doctors (or white witches), Tempestarii (weather-makers), magic largely thought to be performed by educated males, and Malleus Maleficarum (published in 1486).
Run Freak Run (online comic) http://runfreakrun.com/about/
Holy Inquisition/Witch Hunts
Malleus Maleficarum (SLG), 2013
The Malleus Maleficarum in graphic novel format.
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc is said to have been burned at the stake for witchcraft.
Promethea (America’s Best Comics / Wildstorm)
A modern college student embodies Promethea, the daughter of a 5th century AD magician who was hunted by a Christian mob.
Artesia (Sirius, Archaia)
A witch herself, Artesia was born to a witch who was burned by witch-hunters.
Madame Xanadu (DC)
Madame Xanadu is a clairvoyant and astrologer who uses of medicinal herbs and alchemy.
Books of Magic (DC)
A young boy decides whether or not to become the world’s greatest magician.
Also see Witchcraft and The Sandman, listed in the Greco-Roman period.
Themes you might look for in comics that could relate to magic in the Early Modern period: pact with the Devil (as opposed to respectable, learned magic), witchcraft becomes more associated with women, secret meetings (especially at night), cannibalism, sacrificing babies, casting evil spells, having sex with animals, orgies, desecration of Christian symbolism, rise of the modern fairy tale witch imagery, and witch hunts (burning, hanging, pressing or drowning).
Marvel 1602 (Marvel)
Strange weather and the death of Elizabeth is blamed on the “witchbreed.”
Power Company Witchfire (DC)
Witchfire discovers she is a homunculus (popularized in sixteenth century alchemy).
Witchcraft: Le Terreur (Vertigo)
Stars the 3 witches from The Sandman. Takes place during the French Revolution.
"Double, double toil and trouble" - Three witches serve up prophecies.
Lucifer Morningstar, the Devil, abandons Hell to live on Earth. Character originated in The Sandman.
After evil is accidentally unleashed, three powerful witches use the book of magic to save the world.
Wytches gain powers by pledging humans as sacrifices in a forest.
A secret organization dedicated to the eradication of supernatural.
Salem Queen of Thorns (Boom!)
After discovering the truth about magic and witches in Salem, Elias Hooke leaves his position as an inquisitor for the church to fight true witchcraft.
Wanted Comics no. 13, “The Salem Terror” Online
Characters include Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn, Tituba, and Bridget Bishop.
Unknown Worlds (American Comics Group)
Number 18 “Witch Hunter of Salem”
Arrested For Witchcraft!: Nickolas Flux and the Salem Witch Trials (Capstone Press), 2014
Marvel Team-Up (Marvel) nos. 41-44
Four-part story arc where the team travels back to Salem in 1962. Characters include Cotton Mather.
Fantastic Four (Marvel) vol. 1 no. 185
In a town called New Salem, survivors of the Salem Witch trials live on. Characters include Salem’s Seven, Agatha Harkness, and Nicholas Scratch.
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose (Broadsword)
Salem and Tituba appear in many of the issues.
Fables: The Wolf Among Us (DC)
Salem and Tituba are included.
The New Mutants (Marvel) vol 1
Salem appears in numbers 38, 45, 57, and 58.
Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft
"Reflecting the shifting opinion of witches in both folklore and real life, the volume includes the idea of witches as agents of evil, trying to seduce ordinary people away from righteousness, and an interview with a Wiccan priestess."
Dominque Laveau Voodoo Child (Vertigo) Borrow from SDSU Library
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, someone has killed the New Orleans voodoo queen. Dominique is the secret heir of the powerful voodoo queen Marie Laveau.
The FBI investigates a large group death during a Santeria ritual. The series draws on several Afrocaribbean religions.
Marie Laveau character (Marvel)
While this Marvel Voudou Priestess does not have her own title series, she appears in issues of many different comics. For examples, please see Comicvine.
Papa Midnite (Vertigo Comics)
Linton “Papa” Midnite is a powerful voodoo priest and sorcerer. Sometimes an ally and sometimes an enemy of John Constantine, occult detective.
Strange Tales (Marvel) nos. 169-173
Jericho Drumm, an educated psychologist in the U.S., returns to his native Haiti to visit his dying brother, a Vodou priest. After his brother dies, Jericho masters voodoo and becomes a powerful priest, Brother Voodoo. He replaces Doctor Strange at one point in a 5 issue series: Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural.