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Topic: OT: Jesus Christ: Super-Hero? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Tony Midyett
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Posted: 30 January 2011 at 11:01pm | IP Logged | 1  

Remember that controversy back in the '80's, when a writer wanted to do a story in which a time-traveling Swamp-Thing was to become the cross on which Jesus was crucified?  Jesus was to have been portrayed as a "White Magician", a sorcerer who practices "good magic".  DC refused to publish the story, and a big stink was raised over the whole thing.  My question is, would DC or Marvel hesitate to publish such a story today, what with Luke Cage having anal sex, and Ultimate Blob eating Ultimate Wasp, and Arion having orgies with women wearing dog collars, and everyone cursing like sailors all the time, etc.?  The Big Two allow sexual innuendo, graphic violence, and profanity---would they draw the line at "Jesus Christ, Super-Hero Team-Up fodder"?
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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 30 January 2011 at 11:19pm | IP Logged | 2  

I think stuff like PREACHER went far beyond the proposed Swamp Thing #88,
in terms of "blasphemy".

Edited by Flavio Sapha on 30 January 2011 at 11:20pm
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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 30 January 2011 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 3  

Tony, look up SON-OF-GOD, by Neal Adams, for THE NATIONAL LAMPOON.
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Brad Krawchuk
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Posted: 30 January 2011 at 11:47pm | IP Logged | 4  

The Big Two publish all the crap they do because no one knows about it; even top sellers like Spider-Man and Green Lantern are far outside the purview of 99% of the population. People don't protest or care about things that don't concern them. You'd be better off making the argument after Wasp gets eaten on screen complete with gore in an Avengers movie, or when the next Superman movie has groups of naked women (with nipples and crotches cleverly hidden) cooing over the villain of the piece. Until then, a medium most people don't care about can do whatever it wants.

Were DC or Marvel to produce a Jesus-as-Super-Hero book, though, the tiny little bit of publicity it would garner would be enough to get a HUGE number of Christians up in arms. One site - Newsarama, CBR, Bleeding Cool, hell, a mention of it on HERE - would leak it, and suddenly ET or EW or Time or someone would pick it up, and then it would be EVERYWHERE because a huge number of people care about Jesus for some reason. 

How many superhero wives Dr. Light rapes? I bet you less than a tenth of a percent of all people in North America even know who Dr. Light is. 
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 31 January 2011 at 12:59am | IP Logged | 5  

Brad, your post reminds me of what happened to South Park about 5-6 years ago.  Their ratings dropped quite a bit, almost to the point where practically no one was watching.  Some of the stuff they snuck in there was absolutely jaw dropping.  I'm not sure if this was a conscious "what the hell, let's go to town" decision by Matt and Trey or if it was the natural progression for South Park to up it's own ante...

The same seems to be happening to the shrinking audience for comics -- when hardly anyone is reading the creators will be able to get away with murder (literally and figuratively!).

It's going to be extremely interesting to see what happens when the largest demographic that is buying comics starts getting to retirement age (heh, like print comics will even be around at that point).
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Tony Midyett
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Posted: 31 January 2011 at 1:54am | IP Logged | 6  

In the Marvel Universe, Merlin, Santa Claus, and the lost continent of Atlantis are real, and Jack Kirby is Yaweh, sitting at his drawing board, drawing the unfolding events of the universe.  Satan has been introduced, yetis are real......why not have Jesus show up and battle the bad guys?  Personally, I'd like to see him meet Howard the Duck and fight Dr. Bong.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 12:44am | IP Logged | 7  

Jesus (or a painting of Him) was a key element in a Tomb of Dracula story back in the day. The O'Neil/Adams run of GL/GA had a Christ figure crucified on an airplane propellor. Somehow the sun still rose on the industry the next morning.

Since then we've had Jesus Hates Zombies, Loaded Bible, Preacher, Kevin Smith's Dogma, and God as a recurring character in Savage Dragon. The industry would have survived Rick Veitch's White Magician, but DC was within its rights to not want to put up with the headaches.

It is true that no one's really watching the industry anymore. Why not draw on the walls to see if we can get Mom to yell at us? Somehow, though, if Preacher didn't do it, I don't know what would...

 

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Tony Midyett
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 3:22am | IP Logged | 8  

How about Dr. Strange is a re-incarnation of Jesus?  That would offend people on multiple levels.  
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Brad Krawchuk
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 6:09am | IP Logged | 9  

Brian - Jesus wasn't a character in a mainstream book though, was he? Unless I missed the Preacher cross-over issue with Superman, or the time Daredevil teamed up with Alanis Morissette to take down Mephisto, I don't think that's what we're discussing here. 

Incidentally, I really like Preacher, and when The DaVinci Code came out amidst all that controversy about Christ having kids, I thought "that's controversial? Preacher did it much better, and funnier, years ago!"
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 10  

For more offensiveness per page than you'll find anywhere else I recommend Robert Kirkman's BATTLE POPE!

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Paul Simpson Simpson
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 7:11am | IP Logged | 11  

 
Try doing a comic story with Mohamed as a character. We've all seen what happens then. The artist who did it got death threats.Death threats over a cartoon. That is insane.We can't even judge weather it's offensive or not because the pussy ass media would not even show the fucking picture. It was blurred out like it was a pair of breast or something. I would say the same thing to Christians as I would the Muslims. Grow up and get the fuck over it. Oh yeah, Preacher rocked. It and Sandman were two comics I got my wife to read when we hooked up all those years ago. She loved them.
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Tony Midyett
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 7:37am | IP Logged | 12  

I keep trying to get my wife to try Sandman, but she won't budge.  She reads Barks' duck comics, Stephen King's comic adaptations/spin-offs, JB's Dark Phoenix....but she hasn't gotten around to Sandman yet.  I bet she gets totally addicted when she does, though.  I "forced" her to watch Lost, kicking and screaming, and she was instantly hooked.
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Paul Simpson Simpson
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 8:16am | IP Logged | 13  

My wife had NEVER read a comic book before Sandman and Preacher......Philistine. She liked The Death books too.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 14  

Jesus was a regular in GHOST RIDER while Tony Isabella was writing the book -- at least until the Powers that Were at Marvel realized what was going on and Johnny Blaze's "friend" became somebody else.

Maybe it's time for that adaptation of the Book of Matthew I have been threatening to do for so many years now!

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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 8:42am | IP Logged | 15  

Joe Casey did an X Men story with the evil Church of Humanity, whose Pope-like leader wore a robe that featured a cross...until Joe Quesada got wind of it and ordered the symbol removed.
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Paul Simpson Simpson
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 16  

Jesus was a regular in GHOST RIDER while Tony Isabella was writing the book

++

I was pretty young back then and that one went right over my head.

All of this nonsense stems from our society giving weight to every idiot who screams " I'm Offended " no matter how stupid the so called offence.

--

(Edited to distinguish quote from response - JB)

Edited by JohnByrne2 on 01 February 2011 at 10:57am

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Roger A Ott II
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 10:03am | IP Logged | 17  

Well, of course!  Our culture is becoming way too sensitive about way too many things, so imagine how bad it will be in another 50-60 years, when everyone with a backbone will be too old to do anything about it.


Edited by Roger A Ott II on 01 February 2011 at 10:04am
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Martin Redmond
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 10:10am | IP Logged | 18  

I don't find the Swamp Thing idea offensive personally but I can see why DC'd have deemed it a commercial risk and I think the creators involved should've been mature enough to accept the decision. DC was footing the bill for it so it was the company's choice to make.



Edited by Martin Redmond on 01 February 2011 at 10:17am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 11:00am | IP Logged | 19  

Well, of course! Our culture is becoming way too sensitive about way too many things, so imagine how bad it will be in another 50-60 years, when everyone with a backbone will be too old to do anything about it.

••

You're forgetting the inevitable pendulum effect. During the Seventies, when everything was wild and crazy and nothing seemed to offend anybody -- or, at least, anybody of consequence -- I expressed my concern that the pattern of history would assert itself, and we would swing to the opposite extreme. My spider-sense tingled the first time I heard the term "political correctness".

50 or 60 years from now, we'll probably have swung thru another period of complete abandon, and be heading BACK into one of repression!

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Paul Simpson Simpson
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 11:31am | IP Logged | 20  

 I miss the days of a good offensive Richard Pryor or Redd Foxx album. It was funny because it was offensive. I was a kid so I did not always understand what they were talking about, but it sure was funny.

Thanks for the edit JB. My bad.



Edited by Paul Simpson Simpson on 01 February 2011 at 11:36am
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Pete Carrubba
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 11:38am | IP Logged | 21  

I agree with JB. PC is nothing more than a way to control language, and thus, thought. George Carlin did a wonderful bit on euphemistic language that addresses it quite nicely.




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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 11:48am | IP Logged | 22  

I have commented before, on more than one occasion, that some of the current "generation", so eager to take offense at everything and anything, would suffer a severe case of exploding headitis, if they could time travel back to Marvel in the Seventies. Then the thinking was informed almost entirely by the eternally non-PC NATIONAL LAMPOON, and it seemed that no one could ever really be offended by things that were so totally off the wall -- so utterly and deliberately extreme. Some example (and watch these get ME in trouble now!):

• It was the habit in the Office to refer to CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FALCON as "Captain America and the Fowl Coon".

• Black Goliath was frequently referred to as "The Big Nig".

• One writer expressed his desire to do a Black Goliath story titled "The Jig is Up".

• Another wanted to put the credit names on furniture on the opening splash of an issue he scripted, so the name of a Jewish member of the team could be lettered on a lampshade.

• And, of course, the various examples of "fuck", "shit", and other such words worked into backgrounds are infamous.

And if there was anyone who didn't think these were "funny", they sure didn't say anything about it at the time!*

-----

* Altho in the PC world in which we live today, there are plenty of people now all to eager to talk about how "difficult" it was to work at Marvel in those days. Retroactive offense?

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Paul Simpson Simpson
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 12:14pm | IP Logged | 23  

From my reading of interviews and such a bunch of those guys back then were children of the 60's and leaned liberal. Sounds like a good case of retroactive liberal guilt. It's sad that the generation who stood up for freedom and equality has become a bunch of do what I say morality nannies and foisted their shit on my generation.

Edited by Paul Simpson Simpson on 01 February 2011 at 12:15pm
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Jesus Garcia
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 12:43pm | IP Logged | 24  

Mel Gibson's The Passion impressed me in the following way: I realized that the abuse the Christ endured -- the scourging scene was very grraphic and culminated in ribs showing through the flesh -- placed him in a superheroic position.

Assuming he had full "God abilities" at this disposal, he could have placed himself out of harm's way. He had the power but chose not to use it. Somehow, my exposure to scripture had failed to fully make me understand this point; seeing it graphically like that, brought about a stunning understanding.

It hit the same note that is struck when The Batman choses not to use deadly force on his opponents.

However, I don't think Christ could be a superhero with ongoing tales because it's a case of "I came, I saw, I conquered -- the end." The power of his passage would be diminished by sequel appearances. At best, you could do untold tales.

Makes me think of Adam Warlock under Jim Starlin. The 1977 Avengers Annual was probably one of the most thrilling comicbooks I<ve ever read because it lived up to it's premise of Warlock being with Warlock at the end. And it was intended to be and END. Further appearances of Warlock just serve to dilute the impact of what I consider the finale to the story.

The other thing is that, as depicted in the Bible, Christ only uses his powers ocassionally or not a all: mostly he talks. Not very interesting for fans expecting action.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 February 2011 at 12:55pm | IP Logged | 25  

Mel Gibson's The Passion impressed me in the following way: I realized that the abuse the Christ endured -- the scourging scene was very grraphic and culminated in ribs showing through the flesh -- placed him in a superheroic position.

••

Mike Carlin made a similar comment. Gibson's Jesus would HAVE to be the Son of God, just to survive what was done to him! (Being able to lift his arms when the muscles of his torso have been stripped away down to the ribs would be nothing less than miraculous!)

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