The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of the Seven Sentinels
Laurence Lomax, who is commonly known by his super-heroic name "the Hound," is a "super-hero" who was part of the super-team known as the "Seven Sentinels." This team was apparently a prominent and world-famous team of super-heroes in earlier decades, and they still command respect, although they are now senior citizens. Laurence Lomax is called "Larry" by his friends.
The Seven Sentinels are transparent analogues to DC Comics' most prominent super-team, the Justice League of America. The Hound is a direct analogue to Batman, the world's most famous superhero character. In Atoman's first appearance, he appeared alongside "Sun Woman", an analogue of Wonder Woman, and "Atoman," who was an analogue of Superman. This trio of legendary super-heroes, analogues of DC Comics' trinity of most popular heroes, arrived at the "Top 10" precinct in Neopolis to protest the arrest of M'rrgla Qualtz, an alien character code-named the "Vigilante from Venus," an analogue for J'onn J'onzz, a.k.a., the "Martian Manhunter," who was a founding member of the Justice League of America alongside Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman.
Like Batman, the Hound has adopted a masked costumed identity based on a mammal. Like Batman's alter ego Bruce Wayne, the Hound's alter ego Laurence Lomax is vastly wealthy and owns significant real estate in his city.
The Hound is a relatively minor character in the colorful and critically-acclaimed Top 10 comics written by Alan Moore and published by America's Best Comics. The original stories were illustrated by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon. The original Top 10 series ran for 12 issues, and has since been followed up by two additional 5-issue limited series, a graphic novel and a few other stories set in the same universe. Atoman did not appear until the 7th issue of the original series, and then he appeared only briefly. The Top 10 series does not focus on traditional super-heroes, but instead is a police procedural that focuses on the police officers of the Neopolis Police Department's 10th Precinct - officers who, like everyone else in Neopolis, have super-powers or are otherwise based on fanciful comic book-style characters. Thus, despite the fact that the Hound is one of his world's most prominent super-heroes, he plays only a minor role in the Top 10 comics in which he appears.
The Hound is presumed to be an Episcopalian/Catholic purely because he is an analogue of Batman, who is an Episcopalian/Catholic. (Batman is identified as an "Episcopalian/Catholic" because he apparently had one Episcopalian parent and one Catholic parent, although he has apparently not been formally active in any denomination as an adult.) The Hound's teammate Sun Woman clearly has the same religious affiliation as her DC Comics analogue, Wonder Woman, as evidenced by the fact that she invokes Helios, a classical Greek god that she worships. Presumably the Hound likewise shares his analogue's religious affiliation. There are, however, no references within the Top 10 comics themselves to the Hound's religious affiliation.
The Hound may be largely lapsed in the religious denomination(s) of his upbringing. But he clearly has some religious sensibilities. In his very first appearance he asked Captain Traynor if he knows any prayers.
Above: Legendary super-hero "the Hound" (a.k.a. Larry Lomax) protests the arrest of the alien M'rrgla Qualtz, his fellow teammate in the Seven Sentinels. The Hound is an analogue to the DC Comics character Batman. Here the Hound asks Captain Traynor if he knows any prayers. The Hound is flanked here by (left to right): M'rrgla Qualtz the Vigilante from Venus, Sun Woman and Atoman. Note how Sun Woman here invokes the Greek god Helios, indicating that she shares the same religious affiliation as her DC Comics analogue, Wonder Woman. [Source: Top 10 #7; written by Alan Moore, pencilled and inked by Gene Ha, layouts by Zander Cannon; published by America's Best Comics: La Jolla, California (2000); page 17.]
Above: The first appearance of Atoman. [Source: Top 10 #7; written by Alan Moore, pencilled and inked by Gene Ha, layouts by Zander Cannon; published by America's Best Comics: La Jolla, California (2000); page 16.]
First Appearance of Atoman
Atoman first appears partially shown in the last panel at the bottom of page 15 of Top 10 15. He then is featured on pages 16 and 17 alongside fellow members of the "Seven Sentinels", Sun Woman and the Hound. The dialogue from these pages is presented below. [Source: Top 10 #7; written by Alan Moore, pencilled and inked by Gene Ha, layouts by Zander Cannon; published by America's Best Comics: La Jolla, California (2000); pages 15-17.]
ATOMAN:Traynor! I want to talk to you!
JETMAN (Captain Traynor): I see. And you are . . . ?
ATOMAN (Craig Wallace): Don't be stupid. You know who I am. I'm Craig Wallace, I'm Atoman, and I still have a lot of influence in this town.
THE HOUND (Laurence Lomax): And I own a third of it. Now, where are you holding the Vigilante?
MONSOON (Hector Lopez): I tried to tell them you were busy, Captain . . .
JETMAN (Captain Traynor): It's okay, Hector. So, by "Vigilante," I take it you mean the so-called "Vigilante from Venus," M'rrgla Qualtz. At the moment we're holding it . . . her . . . for multiple homicide.
THE HOUND (Laurence Lomax): This is outrageous Captain. M'rrgla Qualtz was our comrade in the Seven Sentinels . . .
JETMAN (Captain Traynor): Mr . . . Lomax, isn't it? Laurence "The Hound" Lomax? Mr. Lomax, Ms. Qualtz has decapitatd and partially ingested a number of young women . . .
THE HOUND (Laurence Lomax): I don't accept that. M'rrgla is a hero. Craig, Delia and I would like to see her.
JETMAN (Captain Traynor): Well, then, I guess it would hardly be politic of me to refuse, would it? Ms. Qualtz is through here. I should warn you that she's going through some sort of alien life-cycle change. You may find her appearance distressing.
VIGILANTE FROM VENUS (M'rrgla Qualtz): Delia . . . Larry . . . Craig. Look what they've done to me. [By this, Qualtz means that the police have imprisoned her. Her appearance here, alien though it may be, is apparently identical to the way that the Seven Sentinels are used to seeing her. This is the first time, however, that Captain Traynor and the other police officers of the 10th Precinct have seen Qualtz in this essentially humanoid female appearance. When the police apprehended Qualtz, she was completely non-humanoid in appearance, like a monstrous insect or unidentifiable creature, and she was much larger.]
SUN WOMAN (Delia Spyros): Oh, M'rrgla. Oh, you poor thing . . .
ATOMAN (Craig Wallace): Traynor, this is disgusting. This woman saved Earth from the Krell Armada, and you won't even allow her clothing?
JETMAN (Captain Traynor): She . . . She looked different earlier.
MONSOON (Hector Lopez): Yeah. She tried using telepathy to make me free her.
VIGILANTE FROM VENUS (M'rrgla Qualtz): That isn't true. He wanted to sex me. A woman officer stopped him.
SUN WOMAN (Delia Spyros): By Helios! Captain, your department will pay for this!
ATOMAN (Craig Wallace): Sun Woman's right, Traynor. Our lawyers will pulverize you. That's not a threat, Traynor. That's a guarantee.
THE HOUND (Laurence Lomax): Absolutely so, Captain Traynor . . . Know any prayers?
Webpage created 31 March 2006. Last modified 20 April 2006.
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