Ereshkigal is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess in the Sumero-Akkadian pantheon who was associated with the land of the dead. She is named the "Lady of the Great Place" and in texts of the 3rd millennium BC is the wife of the god Ninazu, but later is referred as the was the wife of Nergal. She married Nergal, her brother’s son, the war-god, to keep him from conquering the underworld. In her kingdom of the dead, Ereshkigal reigned in her palace at Ganzir, the doorway to Irkalla. She watched for lawbreakers and on guard over her subjects so they were unable to escape her rule. Her realm of the underworld is guarded by Seven Judges and Gatekeepers who are charged with keeping wondering mortals out. Her offspring and servant was the demon Namtar. Her power extended to Earth where, in magical ceremony, she liberated the sick possessed of evil spirits.
Ereshkigal’s sister was Inanna/Ishtar the goddess of love and war but there was great enmity among the two sisters. Another Sumerian myth tells the story of her sister Inanna's visit into the underworld. The Goddess is not pleased to see her as she fears she has come to take over her Kingdom. She turns her into a corpse but is eventually she is forced to release her.
In the Burney Relief some archaeologists believe that it is a representation of the goddess Ereshkigal. In this sculpture she is shown as a naked winged Goddess standing on a lion with owls flanking her sides which are her symbols.
Anu (father), Kishar (mother); Enki (brothers), Mami, Damkina (sisters); Nergal (husband); Nusku, Gibil, Kinyras, Martu, Enlil, Marduk, Ninurta, Hadad (brothers-in-law/nephews), Zarpandit, Ningal (nieces/sisters-in-law); Inanna (former sister-in-law)
History in Comics
Erishkigal has been an inspiration in comic titles throughout the years and each character published with her name has taken his aspects as a goddess of the underworld from ancient history.
Ereshkigal was introduced by Marvel Comics in two different series. In the series Tales of the Zombie #4, as she was invoked by an Egyptian man who had created a zombie in order to force a woman he had desired into marrying him. With time the woman eventually learned how to control the zombie herself, and used it to murder him.
Erishkigal was also a main nemesis of the Asgardian god of storm Thor. She appears in the story-line of the series Thor, Annual #10 as an unsatisfied goddess who had fell from worship of man. Since centuries had passed and with the lack of procured souls to her realm, she entered into and unholy alliance with other gods of the dead from different pantheons to unite their individual realms. The ritual that they entered had results which they had not anticipated accidentally released the ancient force of Atum in his form of Demogorge the God Eater. Erishkigal was than consumed by the Demogorge, but she was rescued by Thor working in alliance with several thunder and sun gods of different pantheons.
In the Annunaki entry of the Marvel publication of Marvel Universe Handbook #3 it was assumed that Ereshkigal kept a measure of her power and godhood, thereby avoiding degenerating into a demon by expelling her demonic aspects as Allatou.
Powers and Abilities
Eriskegal possesses the conventional powers of the Mesopotamian gods including superhuman strength which is class 25 at least, and durability including certain undefined mystical skills such as the ability to conjure hellfire.