Signs & Portents

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Pagan News Beagle: Airy Monday, April 11

Disney looks to adapt (again!) one of the most popular example of Celtic mythology in young adult literature. The Catholic roots of Marvel's Daredevil are examined. And the maverick magician John Constantine visits the land of the fair folk in DC Comics. It's Airy Monday, our weekly segment on magic and religion in pop culture! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!

Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain, inspired by Welsh mythology, were some of the most popular books in young adult fantasy throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s. In 1985, Disney adapted one of the books, The Black Cauldron, as an animated film to mixed reviews. Now, Disney wants to give the series a second go.

Weird fiction is, alongside fantasy and horror (both of which the genre shares many qualities with), one of the literary genres most likely to make use of magic and the occult. Today, the genre's largely associated with authors like H.P. Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith, but its roots go back still further. One of the earliest authors in what became known as weird fiction was Edgar Allan Poe and his story "Fall of the House of Usher" is a prime example.

One of the most popular superheroes in film or television right now is Marvel's Daredevil, a blind attorney who uses his enhanced hearing and other senses to fight crime on the streets at night when he's not working in the courtroom during the day. Among other qualities, Daredevil is well-known for his devout Catholicism, which shapes his moral perspective and the way he sees his vigilantism. Aaron Earls takes a look at the character's religion for The Washington Post.

As much progress has been made in our society it remains a sad fact of life that women are disproportionately discriminated against and harassed compared with their male peers. This is as true in the video game industry as any other segment of society. In one recent example video game giant Nintendo gave in to pressure from anti-feminist advocates within the industry and fired Alison Rapp, a woman branded as a "social justice warrior" by critics and perceived as playing a role in censoring Nintendo imports from Japan.

Abrasive and chain smoking magician John Constantine may be off the air, but his adventures continue in the world of comics where he first made his debut. Recently, Constantine ventured into the world of faeries, a departure from his usual dealings with angels and demons. You can take a look at the storyline over at Comics Alliance.

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Aryós Héngwis (or the more modest Héngwis for short) is a native of the Pontic-Caspian steppe, born some 5000 years ago, near the village of Dereivka. In his youth he stood out from the other snakes for his love of learning and culture, eventually coming into the service of the local reǵs before moving westward toward Europe. Most recently, Aryós Héngwis left his home to pursue a new life in America, where he has come under the employ of BBI Media as an internet watchdog (or watchsnake, if you will), ever poised to strike the unwary troll.


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