The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Green Arrow II
of the Justice League of America
Connor Hawke is best known as "Green Arrow," a costumed super-hero who has no actual super-powers, but relies on his skill in archery and martial arts. Connor Hawke is the son of the original Green Arrow - Oliver Queen. Because Hawke is the second costumed adventurer to use his name and costume, he is routinely identified by comic book historians as "Green Arrow II."
Hawke was raised as a Buddhist monk in a Zen Buddhist monastery and has consistently and clearly identified himself as a Buddhist. This is a central aspect of his character.
From: "Who is your religious superhero?" message board, started 21 March 2006 on "Ship of Fools" website (http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=006489; viewed 1 November 2005):
22 March, 2006 06:58
I don't read much of the new Green Arrow, but Conner's Buddhism also seems authentically written.
From: "Religion in comic books" discussion forum started on 24 April 2006, on DC Comics official message board website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000072787&tstart=0; viewed 1 May 2006):
Posted: Apr 24, 2006 10:31 PM
Does anyone know if there are any DC Comics characters who are portrayed as being Christian or Catholic in religion?
Posted: Apr 25, 2006 9:01 PM
Doc Mid-Nite is Catholic. Kevin Smith turned Connor Hawk into a sorda kinda Catholic... Somebody has prob already mentioned Nightcrawler's Christian creed (think he's Catholic)...
Posted: Apr 25, 2006 9:20 PM
Where did Kevin Smith turn Connor Hawk into a sorta Catholic? I mean we're talking about Ollie's son right?
I remember that issue pretty well where he said clearly he was Buddhist but he was celebrating christmas with Ollie and Dinah just because it was for the sake of family (or something to that effect).
Or did I get the names mixed up?
Posted: Apr 25, 2006 10:18 PM
I clearly remember there being crosses and Catholic imagery at the monestary. It was never explicitely mentioned, though.
From "He's strong! He's powerful! He's fantastic! And he prays!" forum discussion page started 1 October 2002 on ToonZone.net website (http://forums.toonzone.net/archive/index.php/t-50423.html; viewed 12 July 2007):
From: "What Religion is Your Favorite Superhero?" discussion board started 20 April 2006 on official website of DC Comics (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000072337&start=15&tstart=0; viewed 8 May 2006):
10-04-2002, 09:35 AM
Hey let's not forget the Green Arrow, Connor Hawke, the Tibetian Buddhist.
Hmm... Are there any other Buddhist Super-Heroes?
Posted: Apr 24, 2006 3:31 AM
re: "Wow, if Superman is Methodist, it gives you new respect for the religion"
Er . . . why? He's heroic, sure, but is he more heroic... than Wonder Woman, who venerates the Greek gods? More heroic than Catholics like Doctor Mid-Nite, or Buddhists like Green Arrow?
...Not trying to be argumentative, just scratching my head . . .
From: "Muslim characters in comics" message board, started 22 January 2006 in Batman discussion board area of official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000059913&start=30&tstart=0; viewed 9 June 2006):
Posted: Jan 25, 2006 3:50 AM
BTW [By the way], someone mentioned to me that Connor Queen is a Buddhist and used that as an example of religion in comics. I'm not sure, but I think that Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion. I have a strong recollection that a practicing Buddhist once told me that. [Feel free to correct me]
[WEBMASTER: Correction: Buddhism is indeed a religion. All religions are also philosophies, and all religions have adherents who claim that their religion is not a religion but is only a philosophy. Connor Hawke (or "Connor Queen") identifies Buddhism as his religion.]
From: "Banned for using this nic" thread began 4 Apri 1999 in rec.arts.comics.dc.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.dc.universe/browse_thread/thread/f38288dc4e56542/8a873a0a53da3d0d; viewed 12 June 2006)
From: reader comments to "No Sunday School In Smallville", posted 12 June 2006 on "Tales to Mildly Astonish" blog website (http://talestomildlyastonish.blogspot.com/2006/06/no-sunday-school-in-smallville.html; viewed 15 June 2006):
From: Robert Justus
Date: Mon, Apr 5 1999 12:00 am
To keep this on topic (sorta), why are most heroes not as religious as they could be? ...the only really religious person that's sane that I recall in DCU is Huntress, and I guess Wonder Woman... Anyone else...?
From: Chuck Burke
Date: Sat, Apr 24 1999 12:00 am
...Connor (Green Arrow) Hawke is a Buddhist, or something similar...
Flidget Jerome said...
I think sometimes religious backgrounds fall by the wayside because writers are daunted by having to write about a faith that they aren't familiar with or can screw up spectacularly when they try; look at Conner Hawke, a character that even a writer as good as Kevin Smith had offering a prayer to a Christian-style god even though he's a Buddhist monk.
From: reader comments accompanying "Holy Superheroes" article, written by Steven Waldman and Michael Kress, posted 12 June 2006 on BeliefNet.com website; reprint of "Beliefwatch: Good Fight" article published in Newsweek, 19 June 2006 issue (http://www.beliefnet.com/story/193/story_19306_1.html; viewed 14 June 2006):
6/15/2006 2:24:49 AM
Let's see, there's a rather good listing [of the religious affiliations of super-heroes] here: [link to this site]
I play on a DCU role-playing board, and the players don't tend to shy away from matters of faith... Matters of Faith and their questions are every bit as fascinating as any comic-book brawl.
Oh, and for the record, the character I play? Connor Hawke, the second Green Arrow, a former Buddhist monk before taking up the mantle from his long-lost father.
From: "Comic Book Characters Listed by Religion" forum discussion started 7 March 2006 on "Truth and Beauty Bombs" website (http://www.truthandbeautybombs.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5569; viewed 10 May 2007):
Professor Stevie Freezie
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 11:28 am
Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:39 pm
Ollie's religion is "Liberal Communist Marxist"? And they list him in the top most religiously active heroes? Maybe they mean his kid, the Buddhist monk?
From: "Religious Beliefs of DC Heroes" forum discussion, started 4 July 2006 on ComixFan website (http://x-mencomics.com/xfan/forums/showthread.php?p=1357699; viewed 6 July 2007):
Jul 4, 2006
I am a Christian (Baptist) in real life and I was wondering if anyone knows any DC characters that have been labled to a certain religion. I think DC has tried to stay away from religion, but... I thought this would cool topic. So please list anything you might know on this subject.
Jul 5, 2006
Well I don't think DC characters are very relgious because DC comics in general seem to have a very general liberal feel to it. That's not to say only conservatives are religious, but that's my opionion. Ok lets see... well Wonder Woman is polytheist since she believes in the Greek Gods. And I know Green Arrow II (Connor Hawke) is a Buddhist. But that's all that comes to mind...
From: "Superhero Religious Views?" forum discussion, started 9 June 2007 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-116001.html; viewed 13 July 2007):
06-10-2007, 04:39 PM
...With both Superman and Batman, they tend to leave religion out of it, probably to avoid discussions like these. Sure you can have Daredevil as a Catholic, but Supes and Bats are very iconic characters and one of their appeals is that they can appeal to anyone...
Ollie may believe in something now after being dead but Hal never said they were in Heaven, "an aspect of it" yes. He could have been in Heaven but he also could have been in Elysian Fields (spelling? the Greek myth of where good people go when they die). Connor is Buddhist (yay, my peeps)... it really doesnt matter.
From: "Increasing comic circulation through different perspectives" forum discussion, started 30 November 2005 on "Comic Bloc" website (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-15542.html; viewed 20 July 2007):
November 30th, 2005, 03:34 AM
In the last few days, since the thread on "Liberality for all" I have been pondering a number of seperate, yet to me, related issues affecting the comic industry in the USA. Among these are the long term trend of declining sales among mainstream comics, the ideologicall monopoly that liberals hold on the comics industry on the creative side, and the severe lack of credible, and more to the point admirable comics characters with a more conservative outlook. While I don't subscribe to the idea of a "vast leftwing conspiracy" in comics it is impossible to deny that most of those involved in the business of comics on the creative side are firmly and proudly liberal, and that while for the most part, politics comes up only tangentially in comics most Superheroes do seem to be of a liberal mindset.
I think that in the interest of honesty, we must at least examine the idea that perhaps the overwhelming presence of more liberal creators, when contrasted with the fact that the majority of Americans fall slightly more to the right of the political spectrum than left may be in some way related to the long term trend of declining sales... So could the creation or emphasis of charcters as conservatives, open the industry to new readers?
November 30th, 2005, 08:17 AM
There are two examples that spring to my mind when I started reading this thread. Green Arrow under Chuck Dixon and Hawkman.
Chuck Dixon is very much a conservative and I think especially his death of Green Arrow (Ollie) was as much the death of the character as it was an attempted slaying of the liberal icon it had become. Dixon's Ollie was a confused weary liberal, who ran away from his problems often times leading him into worse situations. He joined an ecogroup under government action and then because of his libido and general lack of faith in the system comes extremely close to betraying his country, and only when he realizes what he is doing does he try and stop the attack on Metropolis, with a foolish but good intentioned action he sets off the double trigger and is killed by a biobomb.
Chuck then, after Ollie's death, fleshes out Puckett's character of Connor Hawke, who I don't think is a conservative but is at very least a moderate, with strong religious beliefs, and in comparison to his father he could be mistaken for Rush [Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host]. In Connor's run an ongoing theme was saving the Ashram (his church) through his private actions against a faithless former student who wanted to descrate it. He had alot of old school type values, and wasn't having premarital sex like it was going out of style.
But given all of that, I didn't see any conservatives in the letter column or any conservatives fighting for the book. There wasn't any rallying cry and imo [in my opinion], while it wasnt the total focus of the book it was leaning with a conservative writer...
I'm not sure that politics really play a crucial role in comics, occassionally we see politcal debate, but by and large I dont think its a rallying point for either conservatives or liberals. I dont think that it really affects that many people, when they are deciding to buy comics or not. I think costume origin powers writer and artist are much bigger factors and political persuasion is an after thought...
From: Ranuel, "Religion of Comic Book Characters", posted 26 June 2007 on "Why Am I In This Handbasket?" blog website (http://ranuel.livejournal.com/25893.html; viewed 15 August 2007):
If you are a comic geek then you probably already know that Nightcrawler is Catholic and Kitty Pryde is Jewish but what about The Hulk? Or over at the competition you can't miss that Azrael is Catholic but what about the new Green Arrow? ...
Webpage created 2 May 2005. Last modified 15 August 2007.
We are always striving to increase the accuracy and usefulness of our website. We are happy to hear from you. Please submit questions, suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org.