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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
arch-enemy of the Hulk
Samuel Sterns, better known as The Leader, is the arch-enemy of the Hulk. Sterns was a janitor before an accident radiated him with gamma rays and turned him into a genius. The Leader uses his genius and his ability to control the minds of others to forward his own evil goals.
Excerpts from: "Atheist superheroes" discussion page, started 2 March 2006, on "Atheist Network" website (http://atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=209834&sid=5ca5d2a99f2714e2f90fcee608eb4ac4; viewed 26 May 2006):
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 3:42 am
...not surprisingly more villains are revealed to be atheists than heroes: Lex Luthor, The Joker, Kingpin, The Leader, Sabertooth, the Leader, Abomination, Carnage, Red Ghost.
Usually, religion tends to be mostly ignored in comics and most often when it is addressed it tends to be treated fairly rough. How many times has the religious fanatic... bent on murder and mayhem been the villian of a comic?
From: "The Church of Superman" forum discussion started 19 June 2006 on the "James Randi Educational Foundation" website (http://www.randi.org/forumlive/showthread.php?t=58627; viewed 15 May 2007):
19th June 2006, 06:03 AM
The Church of Superman
Hmmmm... the "religious" affiliations of comic book characters. Huh?
19th June 2006, 07:47 AM
Oh boy. They have bunches of Atheist villains...
Most super-villains in mainstream comic books are atheists, agnostics, or simply non-religious.
Where do they get this garbage from? The Leader's a megalomaniac who never mentions god, and the Hulk is a lumbering brute who never mentions god either, yet Bruce Banner gets labeled as religious, but the villain doesn't?
19th June 2006, 12:05 PM
I really think a lot of these supervillains ended up as "atheist" because they're not as humanized to retain their evilness. Unless their religion or religious background fueled their motives to be villains in the first place, it's going to confuse the audience and make the superheroes look bad. If Lex Luthor went to church every Sunday like most of America, sat in services while thinking "hate hate hate kill Superman" it would be unintentionally funny or just confusing to people.
19th June 2006, 01:38 PM
I don't think it's even that complicated. I clicked on a couple of the villain pages, and all they do is quote some usenet or message board post by a guy complaining that comic books discriminate against atheists because the heroes are mostly religious, while the only atheists are the villains, such as [and he goes on to list a few, without any supporting evidence].
From what I can tell, most (if not all) of those villain pages should just list "unknown"...
Webpage created 26 May 2006. Last modified 15 May 2007.
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