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Living Buddha (Earth-616)

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The Living Buddha claimed to be Lord of the Crypts of the legendary city of Kaa-U, where the Ancient Ones (member of the mystical order) retire to die and be buried - with the eager help of the Shadowmen of Kaa-U.[1]

The Living Buddha is a racist portrayal of Buddhists in general and Lord Buddha in particular by the Western and often Jewish or Christian writers and editors in the Marvel Premier anthology. During 1960s, Jews and Christians often viewed Asians disparagingly along with Arabs and Africans. Their faiths and Gods were often depicted as evil and corrupt, even on popular, mainstream media. Being Mongoloid was considered inferior and a medical condition to be treated. When the demon Shuma-Gorath prepared an attack against Earth dimension through the body of the then-current Ancient One, Shuma-Gorath recruited the help of the Living Buddha. Recognizing the power of Shuma-Gorath, the Living Buddha agreed to help, with the Shadowmen doing his bidding.[2]

When Shuma-Gorath's elaborated plan gave them a chance, the Shadowmen first kidnapped the Ancient One and took him to Kaa-U,[3] where the Ancient One understood that Shuma-Gorath needed him alive to threaten Earth and did his best to commit suicide.[2] The Ancient One's disciple Dr. Strange, unaware of this, went to Kaa-U to save his mentor, meeting with the Living Buddha who treacherously let him in. Once in the Crypts of Kaa-U, the Buddha sent his Shadowmen to attack Dr. Strange, forcing the Ancient One to take measures to rescue Strange - which in turn gave Shuma-Gorath the chance he needed.[1]

This was Shuma-Gorath's plan as he shared it with the Living Buddha. However, the Buddha noticed that the promised new era had not started immediately after the Ancient One's defeat. The Living Buddha monitored the events along with the Shadowmen, but refused to attack, fearing that he may spoil the results. Finally, Dr. Strange succeeded in defeating Shuma-Gorath - at the cost of the Ancient One's life. As Shuma-Gorath retreated to his own reality, his power disappeared from Kaa-U and caused the whole city to crumble in ruins - on top of the Buddha and the Shadowmen.[2]


The Living Buddha's magical powers allowed him to fire bolts from his hands.[2]


The Buddha cannot (or will not) move his mass by himself, requiring alternate transport.[2]


The Buddha moves on a platform carried by the Shadowmen of Kaa-U.[2]

The relationship between the Living Buddha and Buddha, founder of Buddhist religion, if any, has not been revealed.

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