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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Rev. Dr. Christopher Syn
the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh
(one of the world's first masked crime-fighters)
Rev. Dr. Christopher Syn, an Anglican clergyman, is a fictional character who occupies an interesting place in superhero history. The character donned a mask and costume to become the crimefighter (or superhero) known as the "Scarecrow of Romney Marsh." The character appeared in a series of seven novels written by Russell Thorndike, the first of which was published in 1915. This was over twenty years before the introduction of Superman, who is sometimes regarded as the "first superhero."
The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh had no actual super-powers, and can be seen as being the in the same tradition as other non-powered pre-Superman characters such as the Phantom. Christopher Syn's colorful and frightening alter ego may not have been a "super-hero" in this sense, but he was certainly a costumed crime fighter decades before Superman, Batman, et al.
From: "Superhero" article on Wikipeida" website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superhero; viewed 11 January 2006):
Another early superhero was the Reverend Dr. Christopher Syn, the protagonist of a series of novels by Russell Thorndike. Dr. Syn adopted the masked and costumed identity of the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh to defend his parishioners against the King's press-gangs and tax agents. Set during the 1700s, Thordike's first novel featuring Dr. Syn/the Scarecrow was published in 1915, pre-dating the dual-identity superheroics of Superman, Batman and others by more than twenty years.
Webpage created 11 January 2006. Last modified 11 January 2006.
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