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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 11, 2006 / 15 Tamuz, 5766

Caped crusaders bust heads, talk to the Divine

By Bill Radford


More and more superheroes are coming out as creatures of faith

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In the fifth issue of "Infinite Crisis," a recent comic book miniseries from DC Comics, the heroes meet in a church to gather their forces — and seek help from a higher power.


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"We ask you, Lord, to take care of those who have already fallen," says Zauriel, a fallen angel and a former member of the Justice League of America. "We ask you to watch over those that have been injured and those that are missing."


"Lord, hear our prayer," says Blue Devil, a human turned demon and "a good Irish Catholic."


Outside, Ragman and Mr. Terrific discuss faith. Ragman is Jewish; Mr. Terrific reveals he's an atheist.


"Atheist?" Ragman asks. "I thought Mr. Terrific was supposed to be the smartest man in the world."


The two-page scene is an unusual acknowledgment of religion and faith among the superheroes of the DC universe. And it's a sign of how comic book creators have become more open in exploring religion in the colorful, action-packed world of superheroes.


"I think you have to touch upon the aspect of religion because it is such an important part of people's lives," says DC executive editor Dan DiDio. "We had to show that there is some level of belief that takes place with our characters."


In the foreword to "The Gospel According to Superheroes," a book examining superheroes and religion, legendary comic book writer and editor Stan Lee says he always avoided any mention of specific religions in his stories.


"I thought of myself as an 'equal opportunity writer,'" he says.


But a few writers have brought religion into the mix when taking on some longtime characters. Frank Miller, for example, established Marvel's blind Daredevil as Catholic many years ago.


"From a story point of view, a guy that dresses up like a devil but is devoutly Christian is interesting," says Joe Quesada, Marvel Comics editor in chief. "Just the same way that the fact that he is a lawyer by day and practices vigilante justice at night is interesting and makes for great storytelling."


More recently, Ben Grimm, the Thing from the Fantastic Four, was revealed to be Jewish.


It had long been established that Grimm grew up in an eastside New York neighborhood that was, at the time the character was created, "a very Jewish area of New York City," Quesada says.


"It just seemed to make sense for Ben," he says. "If it makes sense, we'll absolutely go there. If it's just frivolous, what's the point?"


The growing acknowledgment of religious beliefs reflects a cultural shift, says Douglas Rushkoff, an author, media critic and writer of "Testament," a comic book series with religious themes.


When comic books appeared in the late '30s, "America was supposed to be a melting pot," Rushkoff says. "That was our cultural metaphor. Religion and ethnicity were supposed to be subordinate to our role as Americans.


"I think now we're much more in a multicultural phase where people are trying to discover their roots."


But don't expect most superheroes to suddenly start going to church or synagogue and discussing their religious beliefs.


In the growing subgenre of Christian comics, usually the province of small, independent publishers, religious themes are freely explored.


Larger publishers such as DC and Marvel have a wider readership to worry about.


"I don't know of any mainstream publisher who would bite that bullet too hard, not in fear, but in concern of not wanting to divide their audience," comic-book writer Fabian Nicieza says.


With or without overt references to religion, superhero stories resonate for people of faith, says Greg Garrett, author of "Holy Superheroes! Exploring Faith & Spirituality in Comic Books."'


Garrett, a professor of English at Baylor University in Texas, is seeking his master of divinity degree at Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest.


He says comic-book readers can find a powerful Messiah figure in Superman, who was created by two Jewish teenagers. Kal-El, Superman's name on the planet Krypton, roughly translates to "All that is G-d" in Hebrew. Spider-Man teaches lessons about power and responsibility. Batman can be seen as "an avatar of G-d's justice."

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© 2006, The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services