In the city of Kapilavastu, seat of power for the Shakya clan, the queen has a dream that presages the birth of her child, destined to be a great holy man or a great king.
When the baby is born (and the queen dies), his father, Suddhodana, decides to shield his son from the negative forces of the world. Prince Siddhartha sees no sickness, aged infirmity, or death until near the birth of his own son. When he does see the suffering of his people, the prince renounces his crown, life of luxury, and his newborn son; he sets out to be a bhikshu (a monk) to try to find a solution to suffering. He’s tempted by the demon Mara and works through the dharma of several teachers before reaching enlightenment and devising a dharma of his own: that of the Middle Way, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path. Then he takes his teachings to the world. Moore retells the life of Siddhartha from birth to death fairly straightforwardly, and the tale is adequately illustrated in graphic panels by Indian artist Nagulakonda, though his ancient India is largely populated by muscly, pale-skinned guys. Previous incarnations of the Buddha alluded to in the prelude are not explained, and the retelling as a whole is not particularly detailed, nor are there any historical notes.
This spiritual leader–as-superhero take is a middle-of-the-road retelling of the inception of the Middle Way. (Graphic biography. 14-18)