The Four Horsemen in Comics


      

When it comes to matters of faith it is often the case that the dominant religion in an area will refer to its own beliefs as dogma and the word of God (or the gods) while ascribing the beliefs of others to the status of legends or myths.  In terms of the applicability of this to a fictional medium it makes it so that a certain amount of reverence is paid to certain belief system while those of others can be somewhat relegated to more superstitions (for instance native American religion often gets a poor portrayal.)  Of course as comics are primarily centered in the USA which is predominantly Christian, the portrayal of most biblical characters is either true to dogma, or significantly modified to essentially have no relation to the original source material (another stream would be the depiction of religious characters meant only for shock value.)  Of course comics has a strong track record of stealing their material from other mediums, whether it be from myth or from literature.  In keeping with this though it is common to steal certain elements from the Bible, although generally these are played into more mystical or spiritual stories.  In one case at least that I can think of though this is not the case and that is with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of the Last Judgment (spooky!)  As they relate to comics though the only versions I can think of are completely different incarnations.  Granted I can only think of three, but in the X-Men stories they are a group of mutants, and in the story 52 they were biotechnological terrors.  Another story from silver age Wonder Woman had them as marauding aliens.  Of course some stories from this biblical group might tie in more closely with the Bible, but they do serve as an interesting microcosm of how we treat our religions. 

12 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by Saren

There was a JLA/JSA crossover where they fought the Seven Deadly Sins when they possessed seven heroes. Batman was Wrath and Power Girl was Lust, of course.

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Posted by difficlus

@CitizenBane said:

There was a JLA/JSA crossover where they fought the Seven Deadly Sins when they possessed seven heroes. Batman was Wrath and Power Girl was Lust, of course.

JLA/JSA: Vice and Virtue and one of my most loved arcs after Terror Incognito.

Posted by SC

On Beta Ray Bill's planet, they are known as the Four Menmen of the Apocalypse.  
 
Characters like Sentry and Hope have drawn upon some biblical references as well/themes etc 
 
Great blog. 

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Posted by InnerVenom123

@SC: Sentry's biblical references were so freaking pointless. =P

Posted by SC
@InnerVenom123 said:

@SC: Sentry's biblical references were so freaking pointless. =P

 
Just like all Brian Michael Bendis writing bwhahaha. 
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Edited by The Stegman
 
 
 
i loved the 52 versions the most
Posted by CATPANEXE

The Four Horsemen are referenced and used in some manner in almost every manner of thing one can find in the United States to be honest. Everything from music, to television (Dexter currently actually, by currently I mean it's on my tubby right now and they just said " Four Horsemen " aloud while typing this, X-Files had its, ect), to business, to technology and science, ect, to everything. It seems more of a hat tip, and that the idea of actual conceptual entities based on these concepts is seen as " cool " by most persons, I think the same applies to comic books and it just follows that flow as much as any other trend it incorporates. Death herself is actually an immensely popular figure in the states. Really literal interpretation is a hard claim to make since their actually isn't a true literal interpretation, only ones stemming from one or another persons imaginations, even the first recorded. Comics also tend to be of the practice, at least the mainstreams like Marvel and DC of not portraying anything strongly Chorister in any manner that can be prevented because Choristers tend to be very possessive over all Biblical mentioned elements, and go as far as violence when they see it outside of their domains. Speaking of trademarking God, I think as well large companies deviate as much as possible because most elements, like the Four Horsemen are actually public domain which leads to heavy trademarking issues and dangers in the latter merchandizing stages of the characters (X-Mens Apocalypse and Angel/Archangel/Death heavily pointed at in this case.).

Posted by ComicMan24

The Horsemen of Apocalypse

Uncanny X-Force #3
Edited by RazzaTazz
@CitizenBane said:

There was a JLA/JSA crossover where they fought the Seven Deadly Sins when they possessed seven heroes. Batman was Wrath and Power Girl was Lust, of course.

Interesting, the 7 deadly sins arent dogma though
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Posted by saoakden

The Four Horsemen has caught my interest since the game Darksiders came out. So far they seem crazy powerful.

Posted by TreeOfLife

All right some stuff on X-Men.  You should read more of them.  

Posted by RazzaTazz

@TreeOfLife: I hesitated to even put that part in, don't you have something better to do like study?

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