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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
In the graphic novel Batman: Hong Kong, Benny Lo witnessed Batman in action and was inspired to craft a super-heroic identity for himself: "Night-Dragon."
Night-Dragon is identified as a Taoist. This identification is not based on the fact that he is a Chinese person from Hong Kong. Most Chinese superheroes have, in fact, not been identified as Taoists.
Night-Dragon can clearly be identified as a Taoist for a number of reasons:
- He cites specific Taoist religious doctrine (such as yin and yang) and balance between opposing forces or light and dark.
- He has the Taijitu ("yin and yang") symbol tattooed on his chest.
- He adds the Taijitu ("yin and yang") symbol to the costume and weapon he uses as "Night-Dragon."
- His origin has specific Taoist thematic elements: he is the nephew of both a cop and a crimelord, and he strives to be in the "middle," balancing these two elements of his family and Hong Kong society.
Top: Benny Ho (the Taoist superhero known as "Night-Dragon") rips off his shirt, revealing his Taoist symbol tattoo.
[Source: Batman: Hong Kong, published by DC Comics (2003); written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Tony Wong; page 27.]
Left: Inspired by having witnessed Batman in action, Benny Ho dons his "Night-Dragon" costume for the first time. Benny Lo is a Taoist and he included the "Tao" symbol on his costume and weapon.
[Source: Batman: Hong Kong, published by DC Comics (2003); written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Tony Wong; page 51.]
Left: Note the Taoist symbol on the back of the "Night-Dragon" costume that Benny Lo created for himself.
Left: Note the Taoist symbol on the handle of the sword Benny Lo has created for use in his "Night-Dragon" super-hero identity.
||Left: Benny Ho and Batman consider the situation they face, citing the Taoist doctrine of yin and yang. It may actually be Batman narrating at this point, but his words reflect Benny Ho's Taoist beliefs. [Source: Batman: Hong Kong, published by DC Comics (2003); written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Tony Wong; page 111.]:
All the city's "normal" crimes will proceed unchecked tonight, with Chow-Yee's entire force devoted to the larger effort . . . searching for a single individual lost amid Hong Kong's crowded five million. And like a dark yang fused to the police yin, Tiger One-Eye's united triads are also combing the city.
||Left: Benny Ho expresses Taoist concepts as he explains to Batman the path he intends to walk as "Night-Dragon." [Source: Batman: Hong Kong, published by DC Comics (2003); written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Tony Wong; page 127.]
Text from scene pictured above, in which Night-Dragon's words reflect his Taoist beliefs. From: Batman: Hong Kong, published by DC Comics (2003); written by Doug Moench, illustrated by Tony Wong; page 127:
Batman: Night-Dragon. Thought you might need some help.
Night-Dragon: Not yet . . . but if my uncles every find out who I really am--
Batman: They know exactly who you are -- and now, I hope, so do you. The sins of the father do not--
Night-Dragon: Maybe not. We'll see how it goes -- from here.
Batman: You're all right?
Night-Dragon: Not really. But Angela's waiting-- and I'll get there.
Batman: You've found your way, then?
Night-Dragon: Right down the middle -- and straight through the shadows between both sides.
Batman: Not an easy path.
Night-Dragon: No. Thanks for the map.
Webpage created 2 June 2007. Last modified 2 June 2007.
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