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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of the X-Men
Sean Cassidy, better known as "Banshee," is a member of the mutant superhero team known as the X-Men, who are among the most popular characters in comics history, and whose stories are told in a number of comic book series published by Marvel Comics.
Banshee was born and raised in Ireland. Like the majority of people in Ireland, Banshee is a Catholic. Specifically, Banshee is from County Mayo, which is almost entirely Catholic.
Source: Classic X-Men #18 (Feb 1988), backup story, titled "Stalking Life," page 5; written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by John Bolton; reprinted in reprinted in X-Men Vignettes Vol. 2 trade paperback, Marvel Entertainment Group: New York City (2005), page 61.
Banshee was never portrayed as particularly religious. He was not, for example, as overtly Catholic as his teammate, Nightcrawler. Banshee possessed what might be described as a quiet faith. His Catholicism was a part of him, but it was not something he openly expressed, and he was aware that he was lacking in many areas with regards to his religious observance.
In X-Factor #7, Cyclops delivered the news of Banshee's death to his daughter, Siryn. Siryn was given a video tape that Banshee had made for the purpose of delivering a message to his daughter when he died. In the message, Banshee stated that he felt he had done more good than bad in his life, and that he hoped St. Peter would allow him entrance into Heaven. He expressed the hope that he would there be re-united with Siryn's mother. Siryn refused to believe that Banshee was really dead, citing all of the X-Men in the past who have been presumed dead but later returned.
From: "What religion do superhero's belong to? [sic]" forum discussion started 18 July 2002 on "Toon Zone" website (http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?t=41332; viewed 21 May 2007):
Excerpts from: "Are Superheroes Religious?" forum page, started 13 May 2004, in "The John Byrne Forum" section of the Byrne Robotics website (http://jb.24-7intouch.com/forum/get_topic.asp?FID=3&TID=558&DIR=P; viewed 9 January 2006):
07-18-2002, 01:02 PM
What religion do superhero's [sic] belong to?
I'd like to discuss what religious beliefs are favorite costumed hero's belong to. Everyone knows Daredevil is Catholic. But beyond that, what do we know of superhero's beliefs? I'm thinking of mostly the Marvel Universe, but you DC fans feel free to contribute as well...
07-18-2002, 04:03 PM
...Sabra, the superheroine protector of Israel, [is] Jewish... While on the topic of national heroes, I vaguely recall an Irish superhero (Shamrock or Siren) in the Marvel Universe, who I would presume to be Catholic. Is the X-Men's Banshee Irish or Scottish? And what's the predominant religion of Scotland, anyway? That would provide a reasonable guess for Dr. Moira MacTaggart from X-Men as well...
From: "Atheist superheroes?" thread, started 21 September 1999 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe/browse_thread/thread/e8d686f0b20944a6/e46638dbdaa8a219; viewed 22 June 2006):
13 May 2004
Catholic folks... Firebird (Bonita Juarez), Jeanne Marie Baubier (Aurora), Daredevil, Living Lightning, Karma (was, not sure if she's still practicing), Dagger (Cloak's partner), Banshee, Siryn?, Sunspot
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am
...Anyone care to post a list of those characters whose spiritual beliefs are on record?
From: David O'Brien
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am
...Banshee: He's a walking racial stereotype. He's definitely a Catholic...
From: "Up, up, and oy, vey!", posted 5 February 2006 on MetaFilter.com website (http://www.metafilter.com/39326/Up-up-and-oy-vey; viewed 19 June 2007):
From: "Religion of the X-Men" message board started 15 May 2005 on Comic Book Resources website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-58362.html; viewed 13 June 2006):
...By the way, Marvel apparently recognized early on that its original books had been too whitebread. All five of the original X-Men [Cyclops, Iceman, the Beast, Angel and Jean Grey/Marvel Girl] were WASPs ["White Anglo-Saxon Protestants"], but when they revived the book in the 1970's, the new team members (Havok, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine, Thunderbird, Banshee and Sunfire) were WASP, German Catholic, African Pagan, Canadian, Native American, Irish Catholic, and Japanese, respectively...
posted by Asparagirl at 8:14 PM on February 5
05-15-2005, 05:56 PM
Do you ever wonder what religion an X-Man is? I know they are just characters, but still, just for the fun of it.
I am wondering if you could guess their religion by their character, or what they've said, etc.
05-15-2005, 06:02 PM
Nightcrawler is obviously Roman Catholic. Rahne is Presbyterian. ...and Sunspot, are they Catholic too? ...Dust is Muslim. Kitty is Jewish... Banshee and Siryn are probably Catholic.
05-15-2005, 06:32 PM
re: "Cool. I wonder why so many Catholics?"
Catholic angst? It might just be coincidence, in that several countries that seem like exotic origin places to US readers are overwhelmingly Catholic - Banshee for example is Irish, so even if he has never believed in the religion he was almost certainly raised as a Catholic.
From: "Who's Catholic in the Marvel Universe" forum discussion started 5 February 2005 on "HCRealms" website (http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123637; viewed 10 May 2007):
I know a lot of characters are Jewish, so I was wondering who is officially Catholic?
I know Daredevil is. It's a major part of his personality and often occurs in storylines.
I also believe Firebird from the West Coast Avengers... After that, I'm pretty much stumped.
Anyone have any others?
How about the Irish contingent in the X-Universe:
Black Tom Cassidy
From: Visconde Carlo Vergara, "The Faith of Heroes (Superhero Religious Trivia)", posted 14 May 2006 on "Carver's House" blog website (http://carverhouse.blogspot.com/2006/05/sony-buys-us-rights-to-iranian-comic.html; viewed 15 May 2007):
What do Havok, Polaris and Banshee have in common aside from being mutants and affiliated with the X-Men? According to an article on Adherents.com, the three are Catholics... The site also cites the comics issues where the religious affiliations were suggested or revealed.
More heroes are presented in a table on this page [link to: http://adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html]. If you want pictures, look through this other page [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_collage.html].
From: "What are the religious beliefs of the main mutants in the X-Books?" forum discussion started 16 January 2007 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-160293.html; viewed 16 May 2007):
01-16-2007, 03:51 PM
What do you think the religious beliefs of the following mutants are?
01-16-2007, 04:38 PM
Kitty - Jewish
Jean - Protestant
Magneto - Jewish
Xavier - Protestant
Bobby - Jewish
Wanda - Jewish
Pietro - Jewish
Lorna - Catholic?
Storm - No idea...
Wolverine - Protestant?
Emma - Catholic?
Sam - Baptist?
Angel - Protestant?
Banshee - Catholic?
Chamber - Anglican?
Scott and Alex - Protestant
Psylocke - Protestant or Anglican
Webpage created 1 January 2006. Last modified 19 June 2007.
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