Comic Book Talk The Place to talk about Comics

Religion in Comics

Old 09-11-13, 07:31 PM
  #1  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,490
Religion in Comics

SOURCE

In 1974, "Ghost Rider" creator Gary Friedrich left the book after the eighth issue, and writer Tony Isabella was brought in to replace him. The character of Roxanne Simpson was killed, removing the protection from Johnny Blaze that kept Satan (not yet called "Mephistopheles") from claiming his soul. Supported by writers Len Wein and Marv Wolfman, Isabella introduced a mysterious Friend who saves Johnny from Satan's grasp, and reappears in a few issues later.

However, things changed for the worse when Roy Thomas left Marvel, replaced by Jim Shooter. The latter apparently became offended by Isabella's intended finale to the Friend story, which was to unveil the character as none other than Jesus Christ. Shooter hastily rewrote the ending to make the Friend a demonic illusion, and Isabella quit the book, leaving Marvel soon after.

This bit of comic-book history intrigued me when I first read about it, and I was deeply saddened that Isabella's original ideas were trashed by someone he himself calls "ever-arrogant, ever-overrated, and just-plain-nasty". I'd love to see the original tale restored someday; what do you guys think? Here's a shot of pages 27 & 30 from issue #9, where the Friend first appeared.



moviefan2k4 is offline  
Old 09-11-13, 09:10 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Rick Veitch's Swamp Thing had a similar problem. His final storyline was supposed to end with Swamp Thing meeting Jesus. The story was approved and at the last minute, DC refused to print it. Veitch quit DC. Neil Gaiman and Jamie Delano were supposed to take over the book but declined in support of Veitch.

More here
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-11-13, 09:27 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 18,850
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

So Ghost Rider was rescued by Three Dog Night. Big deal...
Hokeyboy is offline  
Old 09-11-13, 09:52 PM
  #4  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,490
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
Rick Veitch's Swamp Thing had a similar problem. His final storyline was supposed to end with Swamp Thing meeting Jesus. The story was approved and at the last minute, DC refused to print it. Veitch quit DC. Neil Gaiman and Jamie Delano were supposed to take over the book but declined in support of Veitch.

More here
That's very sad too, and like so many things in current American society, is sourced in a rampant "no offense allowed" state of mind. The problem is such a mode of thought isn't even consistent, because those behind it rarely think twice of deliberately offending one of the largest groups in this country: conservative, Bible-believing, blue-collar patriots. I strongly doubt either DC or Marvel cared that much about offending religious people in those days, so much as wanting to cover their own interests. I'm actually eager to read some of the other "Ghost Rider" comics, that introduced heavenly angels and such to the books.
moviefan2k4 is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 07:19 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,902
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

In the 70s it probably wasn't that unusual for most people, up to and including demonic powered super heroes, to have friends who looked like Jesus.

"blue-collar patriots"
Lastdaysofrain is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 08:07 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Here I thought this was going to be a nice conversation about Jesus appearing (or not appearing) in comics.
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 10:07 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
mrhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,039
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?



I skimmed through this when it came out in the 70's. Don't know why DC decided to publish it but it did have cool Kubert art.
mrhan is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 10:30 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

moviefan2k4, have you ever read any of these?

THE 12 CRAZIEST MOMENTS FROM ARCHIE’S CHRISTIAN COMICS

In 1972, five years after he became a Born-Again Christian, artist Al Hartley took a job creating a comic book adaptation of “The Cross and the Switchblade,” a best-selling book that had been made into a movie starring the dream team of Pat Boone and Erik Estrada two years prior. The comic was a huge success, and paved the way for Spire Comics, a line of almost 60 Christian comics put out over the next ten years, most of which were written and drawn by Hartley.



Spire Comics also released Hansi: The Girl Who Loved the Swastika.
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 11:20 AM
  #9  
Challenge Guru & Comic Nerd
 
Trevor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: spiritually, Minnesota
Posts: 34,061
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by mrhan View Post


I skimmed through this when it came out in the 70's. Don't know why DC decided to publish it but it did have cool Kubert art.
I just won that in an ebay lot a few days ago.

Also used to own a pile of the Spire Christian comics, but have no idea what happened to them. I'll probably re-buy them on ebay someday when I'm in a nostalgic buying frenzy.
Trevor is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 11:51 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

I've only read a handful of Spire books and most of them were Archie. Up until about age 10, I assumed ALL Archie books were religious.


Maybe we could get the title of this Thread changed to "Religion in Comics" or something?
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 03:36 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Why So Blu?'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 29,213
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy View Post
So Ghost Rider was rescued by Three Dog Night. Big deal...
Why So Blu? is offline  
Old 09-12-13, 04:42 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
davidh777's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Home of 2013 NFL champion Seahawks
Posts: 40,676
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

I avoided this thread until I saw the feedback thread that it wasn't really about Ghost Rider but religion in comics.

Ha, I totally remember the cover of that Bible comic with the Kubert art but have no idea if I actually read it.

My uncle was a minister and knew I liked comics so he gave me some of those Spire issues. I wondered why they misspelled "sunshine" on the cover.

I also got some Bible comics that were collected in mass-market paperback form. I kinda liked those and wonder if they're still available/readable.

davidh777 is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 12:21 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

I wouldn't mind picking up some Spire books for old time's sake.

Anyone ever read any of Jack Chick's mini-comics? That stuff is beyond nuts! I had a stack of them when I was a kid thanks to a guy handing them out on the way home from school. The most I ever took away from reading them was no matter what you did, god will punish you. There was one with a man who prayed every night but still ended up in hell because he hadn't prayed hard enough or didn't do it with a whole heart. I think there was another one where a guy sinned because he looked at a woman lustfully and "committed adultery in his heart." NUTS!

I think I tossed them at some point during a move. Last time I saw one was walking around Hollywood Blvd and someone was handing them out. I didn't realize they were still making them.

The 10 Most Awesomely Insane Jack Chick Mini-Comics






Last edited by The Valeyard; 09-13-13 at 12:29 PM.
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 12:30 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 20,975
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

It's no secret that Marvel was heavily Jewish, at least for all non-artists for much of its early history. Both Marvel and DC were very careful to avoid explicit Christian references in their comics, aside from stock characters like priests and pastors. Jewish references and characters? There are tons of them in their comics.
PhantomStranger is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 12:48 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?



Shalom.
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 01:22 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Spiderbite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Birmingham, AL
Posts: 13,191
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
moviefan2k4, have you ever read any of these?

THE 12 CRAZIEST MOMENTS FROM ARCHIE’S CHRISTIAN COMICS


Thanks. Enjoyable read. I had a bunch of those comics as a kid that my father forced upon me. I remember when I was a teenager and selling all my comics that all of the Christian comics were never worth anything which always ticked me off since I kept them only for that reason.

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I avoided this thread until I saw the feedback thread that it wasn't really about Ghost Rider but religion in comics.


This was a cover that I remember well. I always thought these comics had interesting covers (I liked all the different people depicted on this one) but the interior stories always disappointed me even as a child. i would then just reach for a regular Archie comic and throw these on a "collection" pile that I didn't read but kept for the future.

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
I wouldn't mind picking up some Spire books for old time's sake.

Anyone ever read any of Jack Chick's mini-comics? That stuff is beyond nuts! I had a stack of them when I was a kid thanks to a guy handing them out on the way home from school. The most I ever took away from reading them was no matter what you did, god will punish you. There was one with a man who prayed every night but still ended up in hell because he hadn't prayed hard enough or didn't do it with a whole heart. I think there was another one where a guy sinned because he looked at a woman lustfully and "committed adultery in his heart." NUTS!

I think I tossed them at some point during a move. Last time I saw one was walking around Hollywood Blvd and someone was handing them out. I didn't realize they were still making them.

The 10 Most Awesomely Insane Jack Chick Mini-Comics





My dad would buy me Chick tracts every time he would go to the local Baptist Bookstore. I liked the comic aspect of them and actually thought the stories were usually interesting and the artwork impressive. But many of them gave me nightmares, especially the famous tract "This Is Your Life" which my dad gave me when I was around 5 years old. He would buy these tracts for a dime and I actually still have all of them somewhere. I found them a few years ago, read thru a few and showed my wife. Both she and I were stunned that my parents would give them to me randomly thru the ages of 5 to 12 years of age. Some are so explicit, I think many Christians would be taken aback if they read them today.
Spiderbite is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 01:40 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
mrhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,039
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

There was also this. It was about environmental issues but I'm sure religious people will interpret it otherwise.



Adams cleaned it up for this 1983 reprint.


Last edited by mrhan; 09-13-13 at 02:15 PM.
mrhan is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 01:45 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

^ That's a great cover.



Secret Origins #10 (1987) gave the Phantom Stranger 4 possible origins. Three of them had religious overtones. He was the Wandering Jew in the first one (I believe it was the last Stranger story drawn by Jim Aparo); A man who defies an angel of God in the second; and an angel who looses his wings in the fourth (I think that's what happened in that story). The third story was a sci-fi piece. I enjoyed the first and third one a lot. The other two were lost on me.

It's implied that the New52 Phantom Stranger is Judas.

Last edited by The Valeyard; 09-13-13 at 01:55 PM.
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-13-13, 02:03 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
mrhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 6,039
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

^ I have that issue. I still don't want to know his origin, though. I hope they never give us something definitive. I have two mint copies of GL #89. I almost had Neal Adams sign one but I didn't want to screw them up. If I had a lesser copy I would of had him sign that.
mrhan is offline  
Old 09-17-13, 04:44 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
The Valeyard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Building attractions one theme park at a time.
Posts: 10,468
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Why Jesus and Comic Books need each other.

Here's an article from Fox News by Art Ayris, the CEO of Kingstone Media.

This summer producers of the blockbuster movie "Man of Steel" used some of their marketing might to convince pastors that the image of Superman-as-Christ makes good sermon fodder.

Why?

Because the explosion of successful faith-based films and the record-setting performance of "The Bible" mini-series has proven the importance of the Christian market.
But Christians know that the archetype for all superheroes is Jesus! The Bible is full of heroes and hero tales. They’ve conquered film and TV, but an important battleground remains—comics and graphic novels. (Hey, where do you think they found Superman?)

More at the link.....

I never heard of Kingstone until this article. Reading through their catalogue, they have a title called "101 Questions" where they answer questions like "Where did Cain's wife come from?" and "The Bible and Dinosaurs."

Apparently, the "only possible answer" to who Cain's wife was is she was either a sister, niece or great-niece. Incest was okay back then because Adam and Eve did not have any genetic defects so it allowed the First Generation of descendants to have a clean gene pool and fool around. I gotta pick this comic up!

It also lists Mario Gully (creator of Ant) as the artist. Mario Gully!?!

Last edited by The Valeyard; 09-17-13 at 05:01 PM.
The Valeyard is offline  
Old 09-17-13, 05:11 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Hokeyboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 18,850
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Ant!?!
Hokeyboy is offline  
Old 09-17-13, 07:10 PM
  #22  
Banned
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,490
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
Anyone ever read any of Jack Chick's mini-comics? That stuff is beyond nuts! I had a stack of them when I was a kid thanks to a guy handing them out on the way home from school. The most I ever took away from reading them was no matter what you did, God will punish you.
Jack Chick is nuts; his products are all about fear, twisting the Scriptures to avoid the fact that God is equal parts justice and love. Jesus didn't deny the truth of eternal punishment, but He also knew fear wasn't a reliable method of evangelism. He rarely (if ever) spoke about hell with the crowds, mostly just the Pharisees and apostles.
moviefan2k4 is offline  
Old 09-17-13, 09:45 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,122
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by moviefan2k4 View Post
That's very sad too, and like so many things in current American society, is sourced in a rampant "no offense allowed" state of mind. The problem is such a mode of thought isn't even consistent, because those behind it rarely think twice of deliberately offending one of the largest groups in this country: conservative, Bible-believing, blue-collar patriots. I strongly doubt either DC or Marvel cared that much about offending religious people in those days, so much as wanting to cover their own interests. I'm actually eager to read some of the other "Ghost Rider" comics, that introduced heavenly angels and such to the books.
Swamp Thing was supposed to become the cross on which Jesus was crucified, and it was actually out of fear that Christians would be offended that DC chose not to run the story.

If you're interested in the Ghost Rider/Friend stuff, you should pick up Essential Ghost Rider volume 1. Note that it's in black and white.
JasonF is offline  
Old 09-17-13, 09:48 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,122
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
It's no secret that Marvel was heavily Jewish, at least for all non-artists for much of its early history. Both Marvel and DC were very careful to avoid explicit Christian references in their comics, aside from stock characters like priests and pastors. Jewish references and characters? There are tons of them in their comics.
Doesn't "all non-artists" in Marvel's early history consist of Stan Lee and his brother?

I don't remember any Jewish references or characters in early Marvel. Do you have specific examples in mind? Even Ben Grimm wasn't explicitly revealed to be Jewish until about 10-15 years ago.
JasonF is offline  
Old 09-17-13, 09:54 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 39,122
Re: Ghost Rider #9 - #19: Jesus and Johnny Blaze?

Originally Posted by The Valeyard View Post
^ That's a great cover.



Secret Origins #10 (1987) gave the Phantom Stranger 4 possible origins. Three of them had religious overtones. He was the Wandering Jew in the first one (I believe it was the last Stranger story drawn by Jim Aparo); A man who defies an angel of God in the second; and an angel who looses his wings in the fourth (I think that's what happened in that story). The third story was a sci-fi piece. I enjoyed the first and third one a lot. The other two were lost on me.

It's implied that the New52 Phantom Stranger is Judas.
#1 above was written by Mike Barr and drawn by Jim Aparo as you note.

#2 was written by Paul Levitz and illustrated by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez. In particular, an angel comes to spare him from God's wrath, but he commits suicide. God therefore bars him from the afterlife.

#3 (the sci-fi one) was written by Dan Mishkin and illustrated by Pablo Marcos. He was basically the last survivor of the previous universe, and it's implied that when this universe ends, he will be the last survivor of this universe.

#4 was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Joe Orlando. The Stranger is an angel who refuses to take sides in the war between God and Lucifer, and is thus not welcome in either Heaven or Hell.
JasonF is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.