Gospel Failure in Christian Media (This time in Daredevil)

Once again, I’m floored how the major religious media is missing out on the DC Comics Trinity War. Just to make sure, I did a Google search for ANY  religious media covering a comic book event centered around a major theological event, the question of sin.

You know  who I found?  Just us

As thrilled as I am to talk theological issues in comic books,  I don’t want to be the only one. I’m trying hard to get Christians to see the discussions going on in a community (Geeks) not known for their interest in God. I want these discussions to happen all over the Internet, not just here.

But, so far, nothing.

To illustrate the point further, we have the most recent  issue of  Marvel Comic’s  Daredevil: Dark Nights. Even for a super hero that discusses God A LOT, these three panels of Daredevil are bold statements of the Gospel of Christ. In fact, I reread them three times to make sure I understood the point.

Here are the panels…..


Wow, just wow. And, you know who is discussing this? Gospel Coalition? Christianity Today? Anyone?


Why is Christian media failing to pick up  on these discussions? What’s going on? Are they afraid of not being taken seriously if they cover “comic books”? Would they rather discuss the films of Terrence Malick even though only a small percentage of the population actually sees his movies (not that I’m against Terrence or his movies)?

Someone…ANYONE…answer these questions please…

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About Jonathan Ryan

Jonathan Ryan is a novelist, blogger and columnist. His novel, 3 Gates of the Dead, published by Open Road Media, is in bookstores everywhere. The sequel, Dark Bride, will be out in April 2015

  • forgedimagination

    It’s probably the typical combination of none of the media/ entertainment writers are interested in writing about comics/graphic novels, and also worried that their audience will get all bent out of shape if they did.

  • Zach W. Lorton

    Even with the boom in comic book movies, comic books themselves — especially universe-altering runs like “Trinity War” — don’t get the lion’s share of the press. It’s unfortunate, too, because I’d never heard of “Watchmen” until I saw the trailer for the film. Only after I researched it did I find out it had won the Hugo award and was the only graphic novel in Time’s All-Tim 100 Best Novels list. Then I bought it and read it before seeing the movie, and I was blown away.

    Comic books are even less covered in Christian publications, probably a backlash from the ultra-conservative freakout in the early 1980s to toys that featured both good and evil characters. Even as a kid, I saw the futility in the argument from people like Willie George who wanted to steer kids away from Masters of the Universe and M.A.S.K. toys. Comic books have evolved from their seemingly innocent heyday in the 1950s to something much more enigmatic, much less wholesome as a whole. So it’s a shame that most Christian publications don’t cover them.

    But they should.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tinseltalk Rebecca Cusey

    I love this post EVEN THOUGH I have a tattoo inspired by a Terrence Malick movie. True story.

    • Author Jonathan Ryan

      Dare I ask? :)

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tinseltalk Rebecca Cusey

        Aren’t tattoos basically giant signs saying “Ask!” ?

        Tree of life. Left forearm.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tinseltalk Rebecca Cusey

          Sorry the pic is so big. I don’t know how to change it.

          • Author Jonathan Ryan

            That is an awesome Tattoo….seriously….

  • Author Jonathan Ryan

    Zach and Forged,
    USA today, MTV GEEK and other major outlets have covered both story lines (Trinity War, Dardevil) pretty extensively.

  • http://Culture11.com Joe Carter

    Someone…ANYONE…answer these questions please…

    I can answer for The Gospel Coalition. And the answer is rather mundane: We didn’t know about it.

    There are hundreds of comic book titles published every month; I follow four (and Daredevil isn’t one of them). There is a flood of good pop culture products — more than anyone can keep up with. So why assume that Christian media outlets are even aware of this story? Did you contact any of them and point it out to them?

    I know if I had been tipped off to the story that I’d have checked on it.

    • Author Jonathan Ryan

      Thank you very much for stopping in, especially seeing you’re a fellow comic geek.

      I would like to address some points here:

      First, I’m very obviously being hyperbolic to make a point. NO major religious media outlets have a “Geek section”. None. Why? If these outlets had one, then these sort of stories wouldn’t get missed.

      I don’t find ignorance to be a very compelling excuse when it comes to two MAJOR titles in the DC and Marvel world. If we were talking about obscure titles, then I think your plea of ignorance would work. Both of the titles I mentioned above received national media attention.This is especially true when it comes to the Trinity War. Goodness, the subtitle for this series is “Trinity of Sin”.

      Second, consider yourself tipped now. :) In seriousness, I would love to have a cross section of discussion going on here and at Gospel Coalition concerning the Gospel possibilities in Geek Culture. I’m more than willing to host GC writers here if your willing to do so on your end. I think it could be a fruitful and interesting partnership. But, I think you’ll understand that I work for Patheos and my first obligation in regards to the news must come through them. So, please, feel free to email me to get things going.

      On a lighter note, what titles do you read? What’s your favorite? You really must go for Daredevil and Daredevil Dark nights. Myself, I’m a subscriber to Batman, Aquaman, Superman Unchained, Daredevil, Spiderman, GL and Nightwing.

      Thanks again, for your input. Much appreciated.

      • http://Culture11.com Joe Carter

        NO major religious media outlets have a “Geek section”. None. Why? If these outlets had one, then these sort of stories wouldn’t get missed.

        I think there are two reasons for this. The first is the resource-demand problem. The demand for “Geek” content is not as in demand as some other forms of content. For publications that have small staffs (TGC has 4 people) it’s hard to spread the resources around on the content that is in demand. The second reason, though, is (as I’m sure you’ve discovered) it is really, really hard to find good writing on pop culture. It’s very hard for TGC to find people who can write well about movies and fiction, much less comic books.

        I don’t find ignorance to be a very compelling excuse when it comes to two MAJOR titles in the DC and Marvel world.

        I’m a comic book reader and I follow a lot of varied media and yet I still didn’t hear about it. Also, since 52 and Civil War the “MAJOR titles in the DC and Marvel world” has become synonymous with “titles to avoid.”

        Both of the titles I mentioned above received national media attention.

        In searching for what I missed I found exactly one media story in USA Today with the uninspiring headline, “Doug Mahnke draws trenches of ‘War’ as ‘JLA’ artist.” I think most casual comic book enthusiasts missed the story.

        I’m more than willing to host GC writers here if your willing to do so on your end.

        I’m not sure how many TGC writers would have anything interesting to say about geek culture. But we’d love to have you send us a draft for an article on the Trinity War series. You can send it to me at joe@tgc.org.

        ***On a lighter note, what titles do you read? What’s your favorite?***

        Hawkeye — The best comic about what used to be a boring character. Like the Avengers crossed with the Rockford Files.

        The Walking Dead — I’ve read every issue to date. Still a great series.

        Saga — An interesting but overrated series with a lot of potential.

        Fables — Not as good as it used to be, but still better than most.

        Batman — I’m a Batman snob and haven’t found a title that consistently holds my interest. So I tend to go by story or issue on this one.

        • Author Jonathan Ryan

          Actually, there has been WAY more press coverage of the Trinity War. I just haven’t had time to dig up the links (forgive me).

          But, even more, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity for Christian media to lead the way instead of follow?

  • http://www.geekpreacher.com/ Derek White

    I’ve been wanting to jump into these series and do some work on them but for some strange reason none of these titles come across my desk. I guess it’s because the only DC title I read was Green Lantern and the only Marvel title I’ve been reading is Spiderman.

    Must catch up on this one but I’m glad you’re covering it.

  • http://www.mattbrady.net/ Matt Brady

    I think it goes back to Christian media tending to think of itself as its own separate culture instead of more or less a subculture that exists inside of a larger whole. The blinders can be awfully hard to remove…

    Thanks for keeping your eyes open and for sharing about this though. I haven’t read any comics in quite awhile, but this certainly has my inner repressed geek seeking to find his way back out!

    • Author Jonathan Ryan

      Let him out, let him out!!!!