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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters
the Great Ten
introduced in DC's 52

"The Great Ten" is a superhero team created by the Chinese government. All of its members are Chinese. Given this fact, it is not surprising that at least some of them are Buddhists. At least one of the Great Ten is a Buddhist. Perhaps more are, although, statistically speaking (if the team's religious composition reflects the religious demographics of China), it is unlikely that the majority of the members of the Great Ten are self-identified Buddhists. During the Cultural Revolution the Communist government in China actively killed Buddhist clergy and leaders and destroyed Buddhist temples as part of a national purge of all religions other than Communism. Although Buddhism remains a powerful influence in Chinese culture, the proportion of citizens in mainlaind China who identify themselves as Buddhists is far lower than it was in pre-Communist times.

The Great Ten were introduced as an organized superhero team in the pages of DC's best-selling weekly comic book series 52. At times the team played a prominent role in the series, particularly in the event known as "World War III," as the conflict between Black Adam and the rest of the world came to be known.


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)... So, what other Buddhists in comics have superpowers and fight crime/commit crime?

--kind of curious in this regard NB

01-13-2007, 07:26 AM

At least one member of the Great Ten, I think -- Thundermind, was it?

01-13-2007, 12:45 PM

Accomplished Perfect Physician of The Great Ten seems kinda Buddhist to me.

01-13-2007, 06:15 PM

Abyssal exalted perhaps.

01-14-2007, 04:07 AM

The name appears to reflect more a Confucionst or Taoist origin for his powers. FYI, the word is Confucian.

My first thought on the topic was Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. But I don't know if he counts as a superhero.

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