When we think of comic books we think about heroes. Heroes with mighty powers, heroes in the midst of thrilling sagas, heroes from outer space or other dimensions or the land of myth and legend. But today we're going to see some comics about heroes without any mighty powers or super weapons, heroes that are thrust into a savage land where death lurks everywhere! Heroes with nothing, that is, except the knowledge that they're in the employ of none other than the mightiest force in the entire universe!
Yes, it's God's Heroes in America, the comic where monks tell, uh, Santa Anna, I think, to stop drinking their Frangelico, to get out and don't come back! Maybe they're hiding Zorro in that monastery. Let's find out!
Meanwhile in the summer of 1628, Father John DeBrebeuf was hanging out near what will one day be the Ontario town of Penetanguishene on the Georgian Bay, looking for death behind every tree while also waiting for a chance to use his sense of humor. It's unclear why, as the nearest comedy club was 100 miles and 350 years away.
Uh oh, looks like the Wyandots aren't happy with Father John's crossed stick craftworks. Time for some fast talking, Father!
Even in 1628 who's causing all the problems? Turkeys! Throughout history, nothing but jive turkeys.
Wait, he's been preaching at them for a week straight? Yeah, you'd better pray, buddy.
Thankfully, the great turkey in the sky gobbles down upon Father John and the parched land, bringing both rain and a new career path for Father John as a great sorcerer. Be careful with that sorcery stuff Father, that Inquisition thing is still happening in some parts!
If only we held our modern-day weather forecasters to these kinds of consequences for the accuracy of their predictions!
Things are looking up for Father John! The rains have come, the kids are washing behind their ears, the chief has appointed him Great Sorcerer, what could go wrong?
And here's the twist ending - Father John just got a death sentence as a wizard who can be killed on sight! Ha ha, you native peoples and your rough-hewn humor! Ho ho ho. And that's the end of our little story. Father John had much to learn and went on to minister to the Hurons. Right?
Sure. Now here's the punchline - he was captured by Iroquois and martyred, and if you want some great Catholic nightmares, you can look up exactly what they did to him. Because that's what God's Heroes In America is all about, God's Heroes dying in various and sundry ways at the hands of the heathen and the unrighteous. Why, here's one now!
It's those dang Iroquois again, proving that upstate New York was always kind of scary! Don't get off the Thruway, that's my advice.
Meanwhile a hundred years later in New Spain, Father Francisco Tomás Hermenegildo Garcés is getting his martyr card validated at what will one day be Yuma Arizona, just down the chilly Colorado River from where Waylon's Water World will one day entertain the descendants of both parties to this massacre. Kinda makes you think.
And even in the 1920s Catholic priests were being martyred, not with the tomahawk or the war-club, but with the tools of the modern age. Progress!
Maybe that was his signal he was ready to be shot, and maybe it wasn't. We'll never know! One thing we DO know is that if you were a Catholic priest in the Americas you were taking your life in your hands for two, three, maybe four hundred years! Which, let's be fair, considering the monkey business they was up to themselves, is probably not surprising. If you enjoyed these stories of horrific pagan murder, many many more are freely available from your local diocese. And also, if you enjoyed these tales of horrific pagan murder, maybe you should speak to a clergyman while you're there. Because that's just wrong, man!
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