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Just wondering if watching a Marvel movie or TV show [besides for the prohibitions on watching secular TV and movies in general] is considered idolatry or not, being that it deals with many pagan "gods" as well as "origins of the universe/civilization etc." that aren't in align with the Torah?

There is a similar question:

Does Shemot 23:13 literally mean Marvel & DC Comics are forbidden?

although several distinctions can be made between that one and this one:

  • that question is only asking if its in violation of Shemot 23:13 , this one is asking regarding the general prohibition of idolatry [which has many different sub laws and sources, not only from that verse]

  • that question only asked about "..Does this apply to discussing fictional movies", since its asking about the prohibition about "talking" about these things, while this question is asking about watching, which could also potentially involve the prohibition of "do not stray after your eyes", as well as the prohibitions [codified by the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch] not to even think about idolatry, not to "ask how they are worshipped", and if there is an idol with a sheet covering it, not to even peek underneath, as well as the law that if one is traveling on the road where there is an idol, one should ideally take an alternative route, and if that's not practical, one should at least run very fast past the idol etc. etc...

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  • @Harel13 lol nice I didnt know about that, although several distinctions can be made: that question is only asking if its in violation of Shemot 23:13 , this one is asking regarding the general prohibition of idolatry [which has many different sub laws and sources, not only from that verse] that question only asked about "..Does this apply to discussing fictional movies", since its asking about the prohibition about "talking" about these things, while this question is asking about watching, which could also potentially involve the prohibition of "do not stray after your eyes" etc
    – Raytshill
    Jan 25 at 7:41
  • Okay, then I recommend that you emphasize the difference between the two questions.
    – Harel13
    Jan 25 at 7:42
  • @Harel13 OK, I had just assumed it was obvious
    – Raytshill
    Jan 25 at 7:42
  • Basically, Judaism maintains two approaches, the conservative prohibits dealing with anything but Torah (for example Homer's Iliad), whereas the liberal approach allows everything that's not prohibited explicitly, and since the sages allegedly canceled the urge for idolatry, reading, watching, discussing foreign mythology is not prohibited. To wit, most Rabbis were well familiar with those.
    – Al Berko
    Jan 25 at 9:43
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    @AlBerko It is forbidden to study idolatry for its own sake. There are exceptions when it is necessary, which often apply to communal leaders such as rabbis. The difference is that everyone knows Marvel is just made of silly stories, so it isn't "studying" anything.
    – N.T.
    Jan 25 at 11:59

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Rabbi Yossi Sirote deals with your question (partially) in a Purim 5772/2012 publication "The Halachos of Superheroes". On Page 6 the following can be found:

What Are The Hashkafic Implications Of Superhero “Gods” Like Thor?

The second of the Rambam’s Thirteen Principles of faith is: I believe with perfect faith that Hashem is One. There is no unity that is in any way like His. He alone is our Hashem, He was, He is, and He will be.

Thus we KNOW that Superhero “gods” are not divine at all. Clearly they have superpowers which have gone to their head and now they have a god complex; they are delusional and believe that they are gods.

In this case, we should recommend psychiatric help. Of course there is no harm in benefitting from their superpowers, just as there is nothing wrong with interacting with other people who have mental illness.

Although it is "Purim Torah" he has an interesting halachic approach.

I thoroughly recommend the rest of this publication. It is thoroughly entertaining and informative.

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