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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Mark Antaeus
Antaeus
of the Justice League of America

From: "Antaeus" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antaeus_%28comics%29; viewed 4 May 2006):

Antaeus II
Mark Antaeus was the son of a scientist who injected Mark with experimental growth hormones as he grew up. Because of these hormones Mark pushed the boundaries of human agility, strength and endurance although never becoming truly superhuman.

Mark became a fireman and a local hero, idolising Superman to the extent that he had a large 'S-shield' tattoo across his back (It should be noted that this shield was the one worn by Superman in Kingdom Come foreboding the dark turn Mark would take). After failing to rescue a family caught in a burning building Mark had something of a nervous breakdown, disappearing for over year. When he returned it was revealed he had volunteered to STAR Labs as a guinea pig for cybernetic enhancements. Despite being horribly disfigured under his cybernetic armour the hero 'Antaeus' was blissfully happy to be able to help people and this small town hero's exploits came to the Justice League's attention. He was quickly admitted to the JLA and shown to partake in many adventures (only within this book).

Anteus behaviour was somewhat erratic and he came into conflict with Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner who feels that he is unreasonably driven and doted on his idol, Superman. He also draws away from his human life, cutting off his family and fiancee.

When the JLA refuse to step in to remove a middle-eastern despot, Antaeus goes against their wishes, overthrowing a hostile government and murdering their leader (who bears a striking resemblance to Saddam Hussein). Antaeus then comes into direct conflict with the JLA, he puts up a good fight but his cybernetic sytems are badly damaged and he retreats. Seeing that his actions have destablised the country and ultimately made things worse for it's citizens Antaeus is consumed with grief and regret and lets his damaged nuclear reactor (the source of his power) explode.

In an epilogue we see Superman's grief over his inability to help Mark and Mark's Helmet is placed in the JLA trophy room.

Trivia
Apart form his staring role in the one shot JLA: Superpower, Anteus only other appearance was in the JLA/Avengers crossover in which all previous members of the JLA and the Avengers appear.


JLA: Superpower - one-shot graphic novel starring Antaeus

Discussion

From: "Religion in comic books" discussion forum started on 24 April 2006, on DC Comics official message board website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000072787&start=15&tstart=0; viewed 1 May 2006):

regularguy
Posted: Apr 25, 2006 10:26 PM

...former JLAer Mark Antaeus was probably Catholic; his mother kept a cross on the wall, fingered prayer beads when she was nervous, described the family as not being Jewish, and otherwise made me wonder, "Why the heck did this guy choose to dress up like a Roman soldier?"


brokenbatfan
Posted: Apr 25, 2006 11:24 PM

Rome adopted Christianity before its fall.


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Webpage created 1 May 2006. Last modified 11 June 2007.
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