More Dual Nature in “Boxers” by Gene Luen Yang

Going back to duality…

The Emperor & The Priest

For some reason, there is a shortage of bearded men in this novel. I wonder if it is not coincidence that the priest on page 15, and Little Boa’s warrior incarnation on page 115 look similar.

Beyond their beardedness, both characters are prominent figures in their own movements. Little Boa is in many ways, a disciple of Kung Fu, although this is not exclusively “Christian” language, it does lend some food for thought. 

ICONOGRAPHY

{don;t know why I wrote it in ALL Caps, but let’s roll with it shall we.)

In Chinese cultural context, there is a belief in the Five Main Elements: wood, fire, water, metal and earth (in no particular order). Arguably, each of the spirit warriors embodies one of these elements, and its specific characteristic.

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From a Comics Perspective,

Iconography

  1. visual images and symbols used in a work of art or the study or interpretation of these.
  2. a collection of illustrations or portraits.

Eventhough there is no heavy Christian symbolism, comic books themselves are a kind of iconography and, depending on the following, can border on the religious. Not that it’s that serious, but children usually idolize superheros and even get to a state of devotion to and worship of comic book heros (Batman vs. Superman, Marvel vs. DC, etc.).


I think the use of warriors (or superheros) is intentionally meant

to stand in stark contrast to the Western equivalent, superheros’.In the next book, Saints,  I am sure more contrasts or Chinese equivalents of Western ideas or symbols will arise.Not that there is some major reason for this, but it is still an fascinating technique.


(Not a huge fan of Boxers  to be honest. I found it too overwhelming. oh well)

Let’s roll the dice on Saints and see how that goes.

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