starwolf_oakley: (Default)
starwolf_oakley ([personal profile] starwolf_oakley) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-01-26 12:20 am

Hyper-religious villains: Silver Dagger

The Superman/Destiny post mentioned using "the church as villains" in superhero comics. So I'm posting some pages featuring Silver Dagger, a Dr. Strange villain who used to be part of the Vatican. Steven Gerber wrote this story, so references/homages to H.P. Lovecraft abound. Frank Brunner and Dick Giordano did the art.

Silver Dagger thinks (incorrectly) that he's killed Dr. Strange. Now he wants to "save" Clea, thinking (incorrectly) she's a regular human hippie who got corrupted by Dr. Strange's black magics.

Whenever you hear someone saying "I'm as sane as anyone!" you know they are going into an origin flashback.

Fanaticism. It will nail you every time.

So, the Vatican keeps black magic books. Which makes as much sense the Ministry of Magic keeping "forbidden tombs" in Hogwarts' library where curious students can read them.

Silver Dagger should make sure that "Necronomicon" isn't a prank book created by Lovecraft fans.

I'm pretty sure "fight fire with fire" doesn't hold true for evil magic. This took place shortly after Dr. Strange took over as the Sorcerer Supreme for the Ancient One... by killing him (to stop Shumah-Gorath and save the world), and the Ancient One ascended to a higher plateau.
freezer: (Objection!)

[personal profile] freezer 2010-01-26 06:02 am (UTC)(link)
To my recollection, "insane" was one of the few things his enemies *didn't* call Christ...
freezer: (Default)

[personal profile] freezer 2010-01-26 06:11 am (UTC)(link)
And this is basically the Judeo-Christian version of "FOOLS! I'LL SHOW THEM ALL!", yes?
box_in_the_box: (Default)

[personal profile] box_in_the_box 2010-01-26 09:59 am (UTC)(link)
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2010-01-26 06:12 am (UTC)(link)
So, the Vatican keeps black magic books. Which makes as much sense the Ministry of Magic keeping "forbidden tombs" in Hogwarts' library where curious students can read them.

Why wouldn't the Vatican (who are anti-magic) keep books of black magic under lock and key to keep them out of circulation?
box_in_the_box: (Default)

[personal profile] box_in_the_box 2010-01-26 09:56 am (UTC)(link)
Without meaning to impugn the honor of any individual Catholics, even the briefest glance through a history book (or, for that matter, many newspapers from the past decade or two) will remind you that even this would be far from the stupidest decision that the Catholic Church has ever made.

"Where should we keep these incredibly dangerous and insanity-making Evil Books Of Evil?"

"Ah, screw it; just file 'em in the public-access shelves. On another subject, what should we do with the guys who keep getting charged with molesting kids?"

"I dunno ... just move 'em to different parishes and consider the matter closed?"

"Works for me!"

I used to complain about real-world groups in comic books being portrayed as one-dimensionally incompetent and/or evil, until real life itself started supplying me with plenty of examples of how many of the groups with actual power in the real world are even stupider than your average Captain Planet villain.
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)

[personal profile] wizardru 2010-01-26 12:38 pm (UTC)(link)
The public access shelves of the Vatican Library in the Holy See, mind you. It's not like John Q. Public can just wander in and get access to the books. Of course, it's more likely he was reading the Vatican Secret Archives.

As to the Catholic church making bad decisions...well, no argument there.
halialkers: (Default)

[personal profile] halialkers 2010-01-26 02:59 pm (UTC)(link)

And in the case of other denominations, there's Luther willingly stabbing the peasants in the back when they revolted due to his own ideas. And the whole business of the 1204 Crusade. And the murders of Ali and Hussein. Religious leaders being stupid is a time-honored tradition.
halialkers: (Default)

[personal profile] halialkers 2010-01-26 02:57 pm (UTC)(link)
One could make a slight snark that anyone who devotes enough time to a religious hierarchy to become a bishop is questionable in sanity as it is but-oh, wait..../snark.
darkblade: (Default)

[personal profile] darkblade 2010-01-26 06:31 am (UTC)(link)
I'm not normally one to endorse concepts like book burning but we are talking about books of evil magic here.

Is there any good reason to not destroy them to prevent them from being used for evil?
okkult3000: (Default)

[personal profile] okkult3000 2010-01-26 06:35 am (UTC)(link)
What if destroying them releases things?
darkblade: (Default)

[personal profile] darkblade 2010-01-26 06:44 am (UTC)(link)
That would make a certain amount of sense but you'd think they'd lock the demon prison books somewhere with some level of security.
bensanaz: (Default)

[personal profile] bensanaz 2010-01-26 07:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, it's pretty insecure if just any old archbishop recently considered for the Papacy can stroll in.
foxhack: (Default)

[personal profile] foxhack 2010-01-26 07:29 am (UTC)(link)
Well, if that happens, who you gonna call?
box_in_the_box: (Default)

[personal profile] box_in_the_box 2010-01-26 09:58 am (UTC)(link)
It wouldn't have killed them to throw in even just a single Tolkien-esque line about how certain artefacts are so evil that they literally CAN'T be destroyed.
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)

[personal profile] wizardru 2010-01-26 12:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes. Being ignorant of evil means you have no defense against it. How can you know what evil is capable of and how to fight it if you destroy the books that tell you exactly that. The problem, of course, is that we never get those kind of counter-measures in comics. You only see Vatican-sponsored monster hunters in other places, like Les Pactes des Loupes, Hellsing or Peacock King. I can't remember many US comics that feature un-ironic examples of Christian super-powered beings or investigators, except in a few horror titles (like John Carpenters Vampires, iirc).
darkblade: (Default)

[personal profile] darkblade 2010-01-26 12:58 pm (UTC)(link)
There were a few side remarks across the Hellboy-verse suggesting that the Vatican supports the BPRD but I don't recall anything explicit.

That general idea was supposed to be the idea behind the Order of Saint Dumas which produced Azrael.

Then there is that sacred order of battle nuns that has been recently added to the Ghost Rider mythos.

Thats about it though.

[personal profile] lonewolf23k 2010-01-26 10:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Antarctic Press has/had Warrior Nun Areala, part of an entire organization of Warrior Nuns and Mage-Priests sponsored and equipped by the Vatican, tasked with hunting down Demons, Monsters and the occasional Nazi Supervillain.

It was better then it sounded.
bruinsfan: (Default)

[personal profile] bruinsfan 2010-01-26 11:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, the original copy of the Darkhold is supposed to be indestructible. Doubt that would apply to its copies like the Shiatra Book of the Damned, but it's possible that lots of black magic tomes are at least resilient enough to survive being put to the fire. Magicians are always finding them locked away in tombs and abandoned towers where normal books and scrolls would just be piles of dust or mold.
aaron_bourque: default (Default)

[personal profile] aaron_bourque 2010-01-26 06:59 am (UTC)(link)
Because they make such lovely fires!

[personal profile] arilou_skiff 2010-01-26 12:10 pm (UTC)(link)
To be honest, the church actually did keep a few "books of evil magic" around for reference purposes. It's the same reason the vatican is one of the resources for odd heresies.

[personal profile] thandrak 2010-01-26 11:44 am (UTC)(link)
The Vatican has file copies of every book on the Big List of Prohibited Books.
How else is someone to know if a book is prohibited or just one of the same name?
Makes perfect sense they'd have a ton of black magic books.
halialkers: (Default)

[personal profile] halialkers 2010-01-26 03:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Hmm.....I wonder why Raven's never fought a hyper-religious villain. Kid Devil fought Kid Crusader and then there's this where's the DCU version of Gilgamesh to try killing off *actual* half-demons? Raven and Etrigan should have a lot of those types in their Rogue's Galleries....
akodo_rokku: (Default)

[personal profile] akodo_rokku 2010-01-26 05:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Raven tends to be her own rogues gallery.
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2010-01-26 09:02 pm (UTC)(link)
Mostly because she's never been a particularly religious character. A few modern references aside (Like her apparently being affected by the end of the last age of magic), she was never a magic user per se, and her father isn't a demonic entity per se either. Trigon is an alien being of vast power who LOOKS and ACTS like a demon, but isn't. She's not a spellcaster, but an empath with mystical training.

A fine distinction perhaps, but one worth remembering with Raven.
espanolbot: (Default)

[personal profile] espanolbot 2010-01-26 10:38 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought that he was a mixture of supernatural and alien elements, like Darkseid or one of Lovecraft's beasties.
ext_399474: (Default)

[identity profile] 2010-01-27 12:33 am (UTC)(link)
Kid Crusader is a Titans villain. From the one armed Risk, Crazy murderous Batgirl anti-titans gang... I know he had a mad on for Kid Devil, but wouldn't he also work just as well as a Raven villain?
espanolbot: (Default)

[personal profile] espanolbot 2010-01-27 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I know who Kid Crusader is. I was talking about Trigon.

And yeah, he could work as a Raven villain.

Possibly also a Traci 13, Etrigan and Shadowpact villain as well.
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2010-01-27 12:49 pm (UTC)(link)
Darkseid is a good comparison for Trigon, better than, say, Satanus or Blaze
halialkers: (Default)

[personal profile] halialkers 2010-01-27 12:13 pm (UTC)(link)
That may be, but would the likes of Kid Crusader even believe in other dimensions to start with? I'm pretty sure he'd mistake Trigon for a demon regardless of his actually being one or not.
icon_uk: (Default)

[personal profile] icon_uk 2010-01-27 12:56 pm (UTC)(link)
He might, but he'd find that it rendered much of his arsenal actively useless. Things that DID affect Kid Devil like Holy Water and the like, would have no effect on Raven whatsoever.

In classic New Teen Titans story, when being chased by the Brotherhood of Evil, Raven sought sanctuary (in terms of a respite rather than the old concept of sanctuary) in a Catholic Cathedral. She was surprised that the priest welcomed her, and in a nice moment, the priest pointed out that just because he was priest didn't mean he was out of touch, he read the papers, watched the news and had even been known to enjoy the odd video game, and he'd seen the good Raven had done with the Titans.

In an even nicer moment, the Brotherhood pursued her to the church, but when they found her, Phobia ordered the Brotherhood to let her escape and catch her at her next stop, as she found the thought of fighting in a church to be highly distasteful. Even villains have certain standards.