< Return to Religious Affiliation of Comics Book Characters
Above: Heimdall and Volstagg, two "gods" of Asgard (from Teutonic/Scandanavian mythology) speak of Jesus, although perhaps not reverentially. [From: The Amazing Spider-Man #503 (March 2004), titled "Chasing a Dark Shadow", page 7; written by J. Michael Straczynski, pencilled by John Romita, Jr., inked by Scott Hanna; reprinted in: The Amazing Spider-Man: The Book of Ezekiel trade paperback, Marvel Entertainment Group: New York City (2004).]
With the Islamic world in an uproar over Danish political cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, a Wausau-area native living in Chicago is awaiting distribution a few days before Easter of a novella-length comic book he wrote called "Loaded Bible: Jesus vs. the Vampires."
A year in the making, Tim Seeley's small but edgy offering through independent Image Comics is being talked about by peers in the industry and pre-emptively attacked by a few Christian e-mailers.
That's fine with Seeley, 29, who says that "under a veneer of a really fun, over-the-top-crazy, sacrilegious idea" he is subtly criticizing the mutual manipulations of organized religion and government since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
His tale of a sword-wielding Jesus reacting to a post-Armageddon society - with church-run cities and vampire invaders - is the latest reminder that the surreal universe of cartoons, comics and graphic novels can meld with religious imagery to attract, repel, enrage, inspire, educate or entertain people in the real world.
Jesus battles vampires in the new comic book "Loaded Bible."
[Comments section for this page]
Posted by Katie Q at 1:33 pm on June 14, 2006:
Absolutely. Comics are steeped in ethics and morals of a Judeo-Christian origin. I didn't mean to make it sound like comics are an intentionally godless art; heck, a long-running super hero, The Spectre, is the actual Wrath of God incarnate, and his series has often been used to explore issues on a cosmic level.
Comics have always implemented religion, both in symbols and spirit, in their stories and characters (To think of a weird example, in the DC Universe, where Batman and Superman live, Adolf Hitler used the spear Christ was pierced with to stave off heroes from invading Europe in WWII.). It's just that religion in a doctrinal or even an organizational sense (and therefore, "God") doesn't exist in comics much at all. It's not a bad thing, per se; just, on a personal level, it makes it difficult for me to believe the reality of the stories.
From: Michael, "No Sunday School In Smallville", posted 12 June 2006 on "Tales to Mildly Astonish" blog website (http://talestomildlyastonish.blogspot.com/2006/06/no-sunday-school-in-smallville.html; viewed 15 June 2006):
...There are precious few heroes of faith in comics, mainstream or alternative, and the more I think about that, the less I like it...
Religious-themed villains are another thing. Marvel has no end of devil-analogues -- Mephisto, Hades, Cloot, Satannish -- but they balk at letting the cloven-hooved one himself make an appearance. (There is one exception: an issue of the '70s Ghost Rider where Johnny Blaze's soul is rescued from Satan by a robed, bearded figure who identifies himself only as "a friend." There was a retcon not long after, but the issue's writer, Tony Isabella, has confirmed that he intended the "friend" to be Jesus Christ.)...
From: "Atheist superheroes?" thread, started 21 September 1999 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe/browse_thread/thread/e8d686f0b20944a6/1fc9137902d8202f; viewed 23 June 2006):
From: Robert Reinke
Date: Tues, Sep 28 1999 12:00 am
re: "Marvel has never said that the creator of the MU [Marvel Universe] is anything like what we consider god through readings of the Bible."
Never? What about Tomb of Dracula, where Satan acknowledges an omnipotent God, and the Fall, and where Christ's portrait weeps and exerts power over the count. Marvel comics has established gods and occasional, thankfully rare, references to the all-knowing, all-seeing, invisible and frustratingly hard-to-get-a-hold-of God many of us were raised to kneel to.
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?
20th June 2006, 12:40 AM
Jesus Christ in various series, incl. Thor; Marvel Holiday Special; Marvel Comics Presents; Wolfpack; Fantastic Four; Union Jack; Wolverine: Evilution; Daredevil: Ninja Marvel, etc. Judaism; Christianity (God)
HA! Jesus is listed as a supporting character, and his religion is apparently "Judaism; Christianity (God)"
And apparently god's religion is "god"
Yeah, I can see people having a hard time being atheist in a universe where "god" is a supporting character...
20th June 2006, 06:19 AM
CaptainManacles: Don't be difficult. The parenthesis indicate that Jesus is not merely a member of a religion, but a god.
Likewise, if Shiva were a comic character like Jesus, you'd have:
Shiva: Hinduism (God)
From: "Religion in the DCU?" forum discussion, started 25 October 2006 on "Comic Bloc" website (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-37480.html; viewed 20 July 2007):
October 25th, 2006, 11:06 AM
I posted this in another thread, but since it goes off-topic I decided to start my own. Anyways...
If Fourth World is still in continuity and The Presence is the God of the three major religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) I was wondering...
Where do Moses, Jesus and the Prophet Mohammed stand in the DCU?
I know the Spear of Destiny is laced with the blood of Christ, but is there anything else that's been mentioned?
October 25th, 2006, 11:08 AM
Well, there's the Crime Bible, made from the rock Cain used to slay Able, the Spectre, and I think all religions exist, they just are underplayed. I THINK, but I really don't know.
October 25th, 2006, 11:11 AM
I know in Hellblazer, they've confirmed Jesus' existence numerous times. I remember (either Ennis or Ellis' run) where Gabriel stated that he had impregnated Mary, and Jesus came from that.
October 25th, 2006, 11:41 AM
I think the DCU has the Campbellian ideal:
All Religions Are True.
After all, look at the JLA. We have a pagan Greek, an alien, an agnostic, an Native American Spiritualism follower, and that's all I can think of right now.
October 25th, 2006, 12:34 PM
Oh, I'm sure all religions exist in the DCU, and I know of the different heroes that are connected to God, and various other beliefs (like Ragman, Monolith, Zauriel, The Spectre, etc)
It's just that I've always wondered about where Moses, Jesus, and the Prophet Mohammed stood in the grand scheme of things.
Like a hero who was/is bestowed great powers by wielding the sword of Mohammed or the existence of the Holy Grail, or the staff of Moses, etc. That sort of thing.
October 26th, 2006, 04:46 PM
I look at it as henotheistic. There are many "gods" running around, from the new gods to greek gods, magic, etc. But there is also a supreme being that is over everything, under several names perhaps (the Source, the Presence, etc.) that seems to fall under the general idea of the three theistic religions' idea of a supreme power, but is tied somewhat closely to Christianity through the Spectre and Zauriel. Not simply Judeo-Christian, (or Muslim) for sure, but not polytheistic or Campbellesque "Everything has an aspect of truth."
October 27th, 2006, 01:10 AM
In Hellblazer all religions and all gods are "true". Jesus and the Christian mythos is just part of a larger spiritual world that Constantine is always railing against.
October 27th, 2006, 03:24 AM
I actually think that what Jor-El posted is the way the DCU (I'm putting Vertigo in that also) is constructed. Every religion being true, but one surpreme Creator (The Source/Presence). And while Constantine may always rail against that, he doesn't disprove it.
But my post was just to confirm the existence of Jesus in the DCU.
October 27th, 2006, 07:57 AM
Yeah, during Ennis run, a Gabriel story talking about what he had done for "The Father" metioned "a rape in Bethlehem."
Cousin Cory Springhorn
October 27th, 2006, 10:26 AM
Wow. Remember back in the late 80s, when Rick Veitch left Swamp Thing because DC refused to publish the story he'd written in which Swamp Thing was present at the crucifixion of Jesus? You suppose Roarin' Rick read this issue of Hellblazer and thought, "and they said my story would be offensive to Christians?!"