Zen and the Art of DC Comics’ “The Great Ten”

Comic Book Resources has a new interview up with comic-book author Tony Bedard, who “is set to unleash ‘The Great Ten’,”.

Rod Meade Sperry
14 August 2009

Comic Book Resources has a new interview up with comic-book author Tony Bedard, who “is set to unleash ‘The Great Ten’,” a 10-part miniseries.

According to CBR, “The Great Ten are “China’s high-powered team of super-functionaries” coming up against “their greatest challenge ever as the gods of ancient China have returned to destroy communist rule.” And yes, Buddhism plays a part. Some excerpts and a link to the full interview, after the jump.

Some excerpts:

What can you share with us about the story you’ll be telling in the series?

We’ll begin by focusing on Accomplished Perfect Physician, the “Doctor Strange” of the team, whose origin centered around a crackdown on Buddhist monks in Tibet. Now he’s being sent back to Tibet to crack down on a new uprising by a group that sort of parallels the real-life Falun Gong movement in present-day China. The Physician is very conflicted about this mission, and as the situation spirals out of control, the gods of ancient China return to protect their worshippers and to restore China’s traditional values – which means deposing communist rule. Each of The Great Ten will have to choose sides in this nationwide battle, but they’re also going to find that the gods have a secret of their own, and the future of China hangs in the balance.

What is it about Eastern philosophy that fascinates you?

I just remember reading up on Taoism and Buddhism and thinking, “Wow. This stuff really makes sense!” It’s not take-it-or-leave-it dogma, but a very practical way to approach life and to look at the world, and it directly addressed a lot of the anxiety and discord in my personal life. In a way, Taoism and Buddhism are more psychological systems than religions in the sense that we’re used to. Taoism is about living in tune with the way of the world. Buddhism is about letting go of frustrated desires and materialism to achieve inner peace. They are systems for living a calm, happy life. But I should point out that I don’t find them incompatible with Christianity. Like the old saying goes, “There are many paths to the mountain top. The differences disappear at the summit.” After lapsing for 20-odd years, I’m back to Catholicism and even teach Sunday school, but Taoism and Buddhism still color my view of the world.

You can read the whole interview here.

You’ll find more on the intersection of Buddhism and comix here.

Rod Meade Sperry. Photo by Megumi Yoshida, 2024

Rod Meade Sperry

Rod Meade Sperry is the editor of Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Guide (published by Lion’s Roar), and the book A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: Practical Advice and Inspiration from Contemporary Buddhist Teachers. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his partner and their tiny pup, Sid.