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#1 Edited by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

Sometimes, comic book writers talk about a certain character's religious beliefs, or make a religious figure a plot device (Superman for Tomorrow (priest), Daredevil: Born Again (his mom)). For example, right now I'm reading the first arc of the second volume of Daredevil created by Smith, Quesada, and Palmiotti. I love Daredevil, but this first arc (probably because its focus is on the antichrist) keeps referencing Matt's Catholic heritage, and it seriously bothers me. Daredevil's one of my favorite characters, but because I am atheist, Smith's emphasis on Daredevil facing his religious beliefs turns me away.

I love Thor and Asgard and Orion and the New Gods and Wonder Woman's Greek Gods, but talking about Christianity in Daredevil, or Islam in Green Lantern (Simon Baz), affects my reading negatively.

What do you guys think?

#2 Posted by lightsout (1836 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope. I don't have those beliefs personally but I see no reason anyone else can't have them (especially a fictional character). With the main-stream comics I don't see it come up much as a topic anyway.

#3 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Since I believe that both religions and comic books are fiction, I do believe religions combined with comic books are a match made in heaven. Nothing wrong with superheroes with religions since religions do continue to be a popular product in real life and religion institutions are more stable than even corporations and countries. In the silver age and bronze age, Superman would mention the krypton gods every now and then also.

#4 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

I should clarify that I don't mind Daredevil is Catholic. Batman's parents were Catholic too, and I love Batman. It just bothers me in Smith's Daredevil because it feels like those beliefs are being shoved towards me. I'd rather just keep religion and comics separate.

#5 Posted by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

I believe this thread's been done before...

Personally, it doesn't bother me. As always, comics often incorporate elements of the present-day into their world, as does most of fiction. Religion still plays a big part in present day society, so naturally it has to be addressed to a certain extent in the fictional superhero universes.

I'm a Christian, but reading a comic which focuses on say, a Hindu character's belief doesn't bother me at all. As long as religion isn't the centerpiece of the story, and isn't used in a proselytization context, I'm fine with it.

To be frank, I think it's a little silly to be bothered by this. Try to view religion as nothing more than an aspect of the character. One might consider religion as a whole to be fictional, but in a world of tights and flying colors, it shouldn't be too hard to accept.

#6 Edited by JediXMan (31321 posts) - - Show Bio

No, it doesn't bother me

In the case of Daredevil, being Catholic is a big part of the character, not just a small aspect. Same goes for Nightcrawler. It's not something that a writer did on a whim.

If it bothers you, I recommed reading about somebody else, because you're going to keep coming across this.

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#7 Edited by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark said:

I believe this thread's been done before...

Personally, it doesn't bother me. As always, comics often incorporate elements of the present-day into their world, as does most of fiction. Religion still plays a big part in present day society, so naturally it has to be addressed to a certain extent in the fictional superhero universes.

I'm a Christian, but reading a comic which focuses on say, a Hindu character's belief doesn't bother me at all. As long as religion isn't the centerpiece of the story, and isn't used in a proselytization context, I'm fine with it.

To be frank, I think it's a little silly to be bothered by this. Try to view religion as nothing more than an aspect of the character. One might consider religion as a whole to be fictional, but in a world of tights and flying colors, it shouldn't be too hard to accept.

@jedixman said:

No, it doesn't bother me

In the case of Daredevil, being Catholic is a big part of the character, not just a small aspect. Same goes for Nightcrawler. It's not something that a writer did on a whim.

If it bothers you, I recommed reading about somebody else, because you're going to keep coming across this.

Also, just like any other belief, if it is treated with real dignity, thought and care, I do not mind reading about it. If the argument is "OMG, YOU DO/DON'T BELIEVE IN A GOD, YOU SUCK!!!!1!!11", then I do not care to read it.

#8 Edited by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

@veshark: Interesting, because I used to be Christian and I felt the same way.

#9 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Catholics have a big share of the religion market so it is quite believable that many superheroes would be Catholic. 1/3 of humans are christians and these are mostly catholic/protestants/orthodox.

#10 Edited by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

@jedixman said:

No, it doesn't bother me

In the case of Daredevil, being Catholic is a big part of the character, not just a small aspect. Same goes for Nightcrawler. It's not something that a writer did on a whim.

If it bothers you, I recommed reading about somebody else, because you're going to keep coming across this.

I hate to agree with you, because what does that say about myself? I find him less interesting because I can't relate to him. Does that mean that, if I'm not the same gender or race as a character, I won't be able to relate to them, and subsequently I won't find them appealing?

#11 Edited by Teerack (7457 posts) - - Show Bio

It doesn't bother me at all. If I lived in a comic world I would have to be pretty foolish to not believe in god. I mean it's the same in video games for me. I always like characters like Tirion Fordring because because the light and all their god stuff is actually real so it's cool to see them laying down some divine justice.

#12 Edited by lightsout (1836 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't want to assume anything about the OP but from an observer's perspective, most times those that are bothered by religion (as opposed to just not believing in it), often had a bad experience with it (w/e that would mean, person to person). (That is, a opposed to someone like me who grew up Catholic, but just over time of less-formal practicing by my family + my own expansion of knowledge & life experience, I grew apart from that type of belief system. Therefore, as long as the person who believes it is a good person, I don't have a problem with it (in it's nature)).

#13 Edited by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Nothing wrong with Catholic superheroes since religions continue to be a popular coping mechanism for a painful life or stressful life. Religions also provide support communities which can help people live longer.

#14 Edited by Veshark (9058 posts) - - Show Bio

@gotwillpower

Well, I suppose it's different for everyone. You might feel so strong an attachement to your belief (or lack of) that you feel uncomfortable with anything different. There's nothing wrong with that, it's perfectly normal for some to be unaccustomed.

But I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's just comics. View it as nothing more as a part of the character; Catholicism for Daredevil is as essential to him as his visual impairment or Hell's Kitchen. It's just another aspect of the mythos.

#15 Posted by gotwillpower (679 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: That's actually really enlightening, because you're right. My parents don't accept my beliefs and often belittle me when I talk about evolution or science, but when I think of Christian pastors that I know, I don't feel the same adverse feelings.

lol, thanks for being my personal therapists. Your rates are a little steep though.

#16 Posted by AllStarSuperman (23008 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't usually mind religion, I'm a Christian. But if certain characters are actually supposed to be satan , The anti Christ, or Jesus. That turns me off.

#17 Posted by Night Thrasher (3709 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it's great for religion to be represented in comic books. I think that comics should represent the diversity of the world around us figuratively and literally. What I think we need more of is different religions for alien species.

#18 Posted by lightsout (1836 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: That's actually really enlightening, because you're right. My parents don't accept my beliefs and often belittle me when I talk about evolution or science, but when I think of Christian pastors that I know, I don't feel the same adverse feelings.

lol, thanks for being my personal therapists. Your rates are a little steep though.

:/ ..I'm sorry to hear that man. You're supposed to get total support from those people in your life.

You can send everyone else's checks to me :D

#19 Edited by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

I am ok with using christian mythology or Islam mythology in comic books altho probably better to avoid depictions of the Prophet of Islam to avoid retaliations. Comic books do have to avoid offending the religious same as all real humans who need to be mindful of the feelings of the neighbors since we don't live alone on the planet.

#20 Edited by guttridgeb (4832 posts) - - Show Bio

Not at all. Though to be honest it used to somewhat.

#21 Posted by Vance Astro (91415 posts) - - Show Bio

Actually I wouldn't mind a little more.

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#22 Posted by Dabee (2399 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm an atheist Jew, but it never bothered me. Simon Baz' Muslimhood is a big part of who he is, though. The character would really lose the point if it wasn't put into play, not to mention some of his charm. Don't forget that he's not super-religious, anyway. (i.e. He has tattoos, he's a car thief, etc.) Religion is a thing, and it would be strange for comics to completely ignore it.

Also, the X-Men need Judaism for their origin to work, let's not forget. Captain America is based around a Nazi villain, gotta have Jews for that to work. So, some diversity is always good.

#23 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

this thread has been done before

personally, I find it extremely hard how someone feels threatened or bothered negatively. if you dont have any of these beliefs (which makes sense, since even if you do follow a religiong, you only follow one but there's several mentioned in comics, from Islam to Buddhism, etc...) fine, you dont have them, but why feel threatened or bothered? that's what makes me curious. knowing more about practices, traditions, history and etc.. of a certain religion and doing that while exploring a character's past and personality is fantastic, and only someone who isn't confortamble with these themes could be affect negatively by it. how can someone seriously feel like anyone is shoving their beliefs down your throat by just showing that a character does this and that and prays here and then and believes in this but not that? it's just showing something, not argumenting it, or anything like it, so I really dont see why one would be bothered by it. It doesnt bother me at all and I quite enjoy when religion or any other multicultural/historical theme is added to comics, specially if it's done with research on the subject

#24 Posted by Akindoodle (1042 posts) - - Show Bio

If it's done right - advances the plot, adds to the character, settings, etc - without being preachy or insulting, it's fine with me. Mirrors the diversity of religion in real life. I think playing the cards right, it could send out really good vibes to the general public and not just comic fans. I, for one, would love to see a writer properly handle a Simon Baz team up with the Ragman (if he still exists). It would be relevant to real life and good PR is always a plus

#25 Edited by lightsout (1836 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: If the "complainer" claims they didn't have any bad-experience with religion (/people using religion for some sort of reasoning), then I'd say it was not-logical to be offended-by/uncomfortable-with it (/they're in denial), but otherwise I don't think it's anyone's business to judge. This poster let us know he didn't have good experiences with the conflict of his parents' beliefs vs his non-beliefs (which I think was very "brave" to open up about), and I'm sure there's no shortage of people who dealt with things bordering abuse with religion as the "reasoning" and therefore can't accept that there's people who don't use religion to justify "bad acts". While personally I can see the difference between those using it for bad & those who maybe just need some spiritual support, I can understand why certain people can't.

#26 Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt (13694 posts) - - Show Bio

doesnt bug me. im christian but have no problem reading about characters with different views.

#27 Edited by mrdecepticonleader (18737 posts) - - Show Bio

Not really but then I don't tend to read or really be that interested in characters that happen to be religious.

Suppose that is another perk to being a TF fan heh heh :D

#28 Posted by Kal'smahboi (3567 posts) - - Show Bio

Not at all. Religion is a fact of life and, like it or not, there are more religious people than not. I like reading stories about people, some will invariably be religious, and some will not be.

#29 Posted by Nightwing4 (374 posts) - - Show Bio

Loling at the OP. So, in a comic universe where TOAA and Lucifier are ACTUAL CHARACTERS, it bothers him that a character expresses his beliefs. And why should it bother him anyway? If there's no substance to religion, why get bothered? It should be in the same category as Thor, Odin and Zeus. Does Ghost Rider bother him too? Sheesh. People. Get over yourselves and enjoy the good stories.

#30 Edited by Tacos_Kickass (844 posts) - - Show Bio

I like diverse characters if that means some are religious then that's fine, its not like they are trying to shove religion down your throat. If they ended every Batman comic with 3 pages on why you should accept Jesus Christ in your life then that would be a different story.

#31 Posted by lightsout (1836 posts) - - Show Bio

I like diverse characters if that means some are religious then that's fine, its not like they are trying to shove religion down your throat. If they ended every Batman comic with 3 pages on why you should accept Jesus Christ in your life then that would be a different story.

XD. At least they know which characters stands the best chance of getting you to bend to his will. Someone make a demotivational poster of this, now!!

#32 Posted by Blood1991 (8082 posts) - - Show Bio

Religion doesn't bother me in comics anymore than in real life. So basically as long as no one tries to shove a book or pamphlet down my throat I'm all good. Besides we need more diversity in comics.

#33 Edited by nappystr8 (1156 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think anything should be off limits when it comes to art, and that translates to comics as well. Religion, its positives and negatives, are a huge part of the world we live in, and therefore a story that ignores religion and its effects all together makes for a story that feels less authentic and holds less emotional weight. I think the fact that Blue Devil is a devout Catholic, but he can't walk into a church without bursting into flames adds a completely new layer to his character. The fact that Christians in comics have to struggle with the idea of Thor and the Asguardians is very intriguing to me, as is the struggle characters like Beast and Mr. Terrific have as atheists in a world where angels and demons are a reality.

#34 Posted by PrinceAragorn1 (20301 posts) - - Show Bio

no it doesn't..

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#35 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

I think dc comics is doing ok in depicting religious people and also the irreligious to have a more realistic mix that does mirror the current state of the human species. The number of irreligious is on the rise particularly in Europe.

#36 Posted by Bruxae (14008 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it should generally be avoided unless it is and always have been part of a characters back story, then its something you sign on to when you start reading.

#37 Posted by Eternal19 (2076 posts) - - Show Bio

If it bothers you just to read about someone whos catholic then i think you need to reexamine yourself a bit. Because i dont see why that would be a problem

#38 Posted by dondave (38904 posts) - - Show Bio

I like diverse characters if that means some are religious then that's fine, its not like they are trying to shove religion down your throat. If they ended every Batman comic with 3 pages on why you should accept Jesus Christ in your life then that would be a different story.

#39 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: If the "complainer" claims they didn't have any bad-experience with religion (/people using religion for some sort of reasoning), then I'd say it was not-logical to be offended-by/uncomfortable-with it (/they're in denial), but otherwise I don't think it's anyone's business to judge. This poster let us know he didn't have good experiences with the conflict of his parents' beliefs vs his non-beliefs (which I think was very "brave" to open up about), and I'm sure there's no shortage of people who dealt with things bordering abuse with religion as the "reasoning" and therefore can't accept that there's people who don't use religion to justify "bad acts". While personally I can see the difference between those using it for bad & those who maybe just need some spiritual support, I can understand why certain people can't.

I get that maybe some bad experiences with religious folk might traumatise someone, but still.... it seems just a bit exagerated to strike down something you like just because of that.

I'm not saying I get the OP, but I also have lots of issues about this but slightly differently. Mainly because Im a believer but not exactly religious and highly adept of science in general. basically, I have problems with the religious folk i know because they can't accept simple scientific principles, like evolution or historical principles like Jesus as an historical figure and the Bible as chronologically contextualized book; and I also have issues with the non religious people I know because most of them deem idiotic for someone to believe in a higher power or to follow a religion. So, I'm basically cast out of both hemispheres, but that doesn't make me allergic to religion, maybe to religious discussion, yes, but to religions and philosofy and their studies and history and culture, no, not even close.

I dont know what experience the OP has been through, but for me, this only makes me more interested in seeing religion being depicted in an art form I appreciate, somewhere where I dont have to be bothered by the usual arguments in a rethoric way and i can just see people (albeit fictional) being people with their beliefs or non beliefs.
I think the OP would gain a lot if he tried to do that; just see it as a gateway to what happens in reality, power through knowledge, knowing more about religious thought and non religious thought.
But that's just how I see it. If the OP can't really bare with that stuff, then maybe he should switch to another character, maybe one where religion is not touched upon but still has a feel close to Daredevil's (like Batman, but I think he already reads those)

#40 Edited by Shark_Repellent_Bat_Spray (745 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm an atheist, but it doesn't bother me at all. If a character doesn't have their own lives, beliefs and opinions how could it possibly be interesting?

I don't think anything should be off limits when it comes to art, and that translates to comics as well. Religion, its positives and negatives, are a huge part of the world we live in, and therefore a story that ignores religion and its effects all together makes for a story that feels less authentic and holds less emotional weight. I think the fact that Blue Devil is a devout Catholic, but he can't walk into a church without bursting into flames adds a completely new layer to his character. The fact that Christians in comics have to struggle with the idea of Thor and the Asguardians is very intriguing to me, as is the struggle characters like Beast and Mr. Terrific have as atheists in a world where angels and demons are a reality.

I also agree with what Nappystr8 has said here.

However, if a writer was constantly trying to shove THEIR beliefs onto me then I would be annoyed and stop reading their work.

#41 Posted by SC (13403 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't mind, but I can sympathize/empathize with your dislike/distaste. For me the potential is there but for all things basically. Like I am an atheist, and I like both Hercules and Daredevil and Hercules believes in a higher power (and technically in Marvel he would/should from an in story perspective) and so does Daredevil, but Hercules doesn't really advocate faith or belief as much as Daredevil and if he did then it would be out of character to me, so dislike that change for that reason. Hercules is funny and boastful, and loves alcohol, woman, debauchery, fighting and doing the right thing, and so I wouldn't want to see him talking or acting the way Daredevil does - but I wouldn't like it if Daredevil started acting like Hercules. Also wouldn't like it if Hercules became an alcoholic and only loved drinking (at least for more than one story, because Hercules in rehab would be hilarious) so I sense that for you there is an imbalance with Daredevil's religion and how much of that they present to the reader in which case like I said before to me its the imbalance more so than the actual religious aspect.

I think the reason with Daredevil that it doesn't personally bother me is because thats how I have always perceived the character so I didn't really have much to lose as opposed to someone who doesn't perceive religion being that integral to the character. Also I tend to be critical and skeptical of all writers as far as what they try and present, but I am not usually bothered by what they think and know. Like most of the way Marvel is set (by writers of the past, and current arguably) is that Universe is a creation and therefore has a creator and so TOAA and a hierarchy exists to explain things such as reality but I am okay still reading all Marvel stories even though I cringe in real life when that argument is made about reality. Oh and nothing. In comics it exists but mainly due to most writers like most humans tendency to believe in things they can think. If I can think it it must be real. I mean all these things and elements and ways of thinking that in real life make me laugh and cringe I am okay with in comics. Oh if anything I am more bothered not by how religion is portrayed but by how science is heh heh. Intelligent characters making lists of who is supposedly most intelligent? Hah. Of course its really just the aptitude of the writers and what the readers buy.

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#42 Posted by UltimateSMfan (1512 posts) - - Show Bio

Anyone reading the new phantom stranger? ,I'm loving that series,don't know why but as a catholic sometimes something's bug me while reading it but then goin over it again I realise they are minor elements which then just make for good storytelling n then I really enjoy the story,so it doesn't affect me much,as long as the writers don't get sacrilegious,I'm not bothered.

#43 Posted by GundamHeavyarms (695 posts) - - Show Bio

No, it doesnt really bug me, as long as they aren't too in your face about it then its fine.

#44 Posted by Crash_Recovery (850 posts) - - Show Bio

A character's faith is an aspect of their character as important as their gender, culture, age, ethnicity, etc.

It's a strong aspect defining who they are, how they behave, and how they view the world.

It seems silly to be offended by how a fictional character (or real person for that matter) believes. It shouldn't affect how you feel about your faith or lack thereof.

#45 Edited by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

It bothers me that there's not more religion in comic books.

#46 Edited by Sgrunow (3 posts) - - Show Bio

I view comics themselves as modern mythology. That being said I find a characters personnal beliefs religious or otherwise to be a key component in what drives them as a person.

#47 Posted by lightsout (1836 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: You said it yourself, your experiences are different than the OPs. That's why one person can't really judge another person's feelings towards it because they didn't experience the series of events that caused them to come to that belief/opinion.

#48 Posted by mrdecepticonleader (18737 posts) - - Show Bio

Its interesting weather Batman is religious or not.I really think it depends on the writer/interpretation.Though most of the time he really doesn't seem that religious.

I always thought it was odd that Superman was religious despite the fact he is from another planet

#49 Posted by theDCkid (891 posts) - - Show Bio

Real people have religions, it just makes sense that characters would to.

#50 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: You said it yourself, your experiences are different than the OPs. That's why one person can't really judge another person's feelings towards it because they didn't experience the series of events that caused them to come to that belief/opinion.

true and i may have come off a bit rude, but I believe people, even having such experiences, should at least try to be reasonable or acceptant. the OP seemed ticked off with something the writers did almost surely unintentionally and that's not healthy. but as I said, if he really feels that way, then he should pick another comic, I dont think the writers even think about what they do as something that might be offensive to some, because it's really just casual