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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Lamont Cranston
The Shadow

From: "The Shadow" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow; viewed 12 May 2007):

...Cranston was written as a disaffected veteran of World War I who drifted through Asia and ultimately became a brutal warlord and opium smuggler, until he was kidnapped by a Tibetan order of monks and brought to their monastery. A tulku, their leader, recognizing the power of harnessing Cranston's inner darkness, reformed and trained him to use that darkness against evil rather than for it. Cranston then learned how to confuse and control the minds of others, particularly how to become invisible except for his shadow. His nemesis in the film was an evil warlord and fellow telepath named Shiwan Khan, the last descendant of Genghis Khan, played by John Lone. Their struggle eventually ended when Cranston threw a mirror shard into Khan's head; surgery saved his life, but it removed a small but critical piece of the front lobe of his brain, and thus the source of his telepathic powers. Though the storyline provided a certain logic to the old radio hit's suggestion that Cranston learned his dark art in the Orient, the film was a box office bomb that never came close to launching the new franchise planned for it...

The Shadow Strikes #20, featuring the Shadow involved in a story with Jewish and Christian characters, including Hitler and an Einstein-like professor.

From: "Jewish Comics Exhibit Notes" webpage, last updated 5 December 2004 (http://www.geocities.com/hadassahfink/comicexhnotes.htm; viewed 4 July 2007):

The Shadow Strikes #20
An unnamed Jewish physics professor (who bears a slight physical resemblance to Albert Einstein) leaves Germany to take a "visiting professorship" at Princeton. Hitler, who would rather have him dead than lose him to the Americans, send assassins to kill him, but the Shadow intervenes.

Discussion

From: "Buddhist supers?" forum discussion started 13 January 2007 on RPGnet website (http://forum.rpg.net/archive/index.php/t-306345.html; viewed 12 May 2007):

Nero's Boot
01-13-2007, 07:18 AM

Are there any Buddhist superheroes/supervillains? The only one I can think of is Swift from the Authority (she's a Tibetan Buddhist), but her behavior really doesn't speak much for her sense of piety. So, what other Buddhists in comics have superpowers and fight crime/commit crime?

--kind of curious in this regard NB


Brad Ellison
01-13-2007, 09:15 PM

There was also a pulp comic hero known as The Green Lama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Lama).

Would the radio version of the Shadow count? His powers of invisiblity of hypnotism stem from training recieved in Tibetan monasteries, and I seem to recall a couple of moments in the radio show that might hint at him being a current or former Buddhist.

From: "The Religious Affiliations of Super Heroes", posted 27 June 2007 by Elizabeth "I'm Pro-Accordion and I Vote!" B. on Gather.com website (http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977041058; viewed 2 July 2007):

Okay, anyone could have guessed that Shamrock, a.k.a. Molly Fitzgerald, would have to be Catholic. But did you know that Superman is Methodist? The Shadow is a Buddhist? Who knew?

A website, www.comicbookreligion.com, attempts to catalogue our Superfriends by religion and ethnicity...


Mugg Muggles, "The Man With the Jive", Jun 27, 2007, 6:33pm EDT

Anyone who has seen the (IMHO [in my humble opinion] quite wonderful) Alec Baldwin movie "The Shadow" knows he is a Buddhist. But, even if you just paid attention to the info on the radio show (while traveling in the "Orient" Lamont Cranston learned 'the power to cloud men's minds') it could easily be extrapolated. I don't recall reading any of "William Gibson"'s printed stories, but it must be there too.

Personally, it seems to me that many people's minds are pretty cloudy already, so it can't take too to cloud them entirely. lol [laugh out loud]...


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Webpage created 12 May 2007. Last modified 4 July 2007.
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