Undiscovered Stories Ep. 01: Bigger than Batman V Superman.

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Forgot Batman v Superman. Instead, here’s Attila the Hun vs. Pope Leo I.

Wait, what? From Batman to Pope Leo? And who even was this guy?

Before I jump into this story and why it’s inspired a new project, I wanted to talk a bit about the title of this series – Undiscovered Stories.

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For those that know me, my motivation to start Lucha Comics was simple: I wanted to bring new stories to people like me. That’s it. All I know of comics was as a fan. I had no idea as to how comic books get published – after all, how hard could it be? Well, it didn’t take me long to find out that it’s really hard. It takes time, money, and a lot of heart. Even once you’ve found some great talents to work with and come up with a brand (which in itself is a chore!) then you need to really decide what kinds of stories you want to tell. Fortunately, I have friends like the talented B.J. Mendelson to remind me when I am thinking way too hard, because clearly, my thing is undiscovered stories. Whether it is a true biography of Macbeth, a Latino Superhero kids book, or something in between, Undiscovered Stories are what I love to dive into to. So, what does this have to do with Pope Leo?

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Pope Leo I was a Roman aristocrat, the first Pope to be given the title of “the Great” and credited with developing the modern ideas of papal authority. His work led to the foundation of Jesus Christ being a hypostatic being – that is, both divine and human without confusion or division. This in itself is worthy of historical recognition, but there is something far more interesting about his 20 year reign in the middle of the 5th century.

Enter the antagonist of this story: Attila the Hun was running roughshod over Europe, conquering everything in his path. Ready to take Italy, Attila and his forces marched to the gates of the Vatican, ready to plunder and demand its complete and total surrender. Attila had already forced the Eastern Roman Empire to pay him a tithing of 700 pounds of gold a year, but the deal soon fell through the the Huns continued their vicious assaults on the Romans.

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Attila and his forced made their way to the Vatican, where they would surely pillage one of the richest stores of treasure of perhaps any era. Even in 450AD, the wealth of the Catholic Church was staggering to say the least; countless priceless treasures would already be taking up residence within the walls of the Vatican. But perhaps most importantly (and easily overlooked) was the fact that the Church directly owned every one of its dioceses, paid zero tax worldwide on its revenues and assets, and even had its own armed forces. The Vatican’s combined wealth and influence in spheres of faith, government and even banking (google Knights Templar sometime) are unfathomable by today’s standards.

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Surely, facing such an unprecedented threat – the Huns largely had free reign of the Eastern Roman Empire as few could stand up the them – the Vatican would deploy its entire armed forces, right?

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As Attila was ready to storm the Vatican, Pope Leo walked out, alone and unarmed, where he spoke briefly to Atilla. The would be conqueror turned and left, never to return again – leaving Vatican City untouched.

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Tune in next week for the Story of Macbeth: The Red King.

Want to support Lucha Comics & Undiscovered Stories? Check out Bitemark on kickstarter.

Special thanks to Matti Silver of Dark School, our resident occult and theological expert. I’d also like to give a shoutout to B.J. Mendelson, all around great guy and author of All Social Media is Bullshit.

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