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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Layla Miller
Butterfly
of X-Factor Investigations

Layla Miller is a mutant introduced as part of the Marvel-wide crossover event known as "The House of M." In a recent issue of X-Factor, Layla's teammate Wolfsbane asked if Layla is a Christian. Layla responded that she is "between religions" right now.

In X-Factor #8 (June 2006), Layla Miller spends the entire issue reading Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's famous novel and treatise on Objectivism. In a conversation with Quicksilver, Layla recapitulates some of Rand's philosophy. Elsewhere in the issue she identifies herself with the title of Rand's book. It may be going too far to label Layla an "Objectivist." But currently it is clear that Layla identifies with the writing and Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand. This is probably the closest we will come to seeing a solid connection between the mysterious Layla and an identifiable religious affiliation, at least for the forseeable future.

It is interesting to consider the ways that cryptic and far-knowing Layla Miller is similar to the mercurial and overtly Objectivist superhero known as "The Question," who was a creation of history's most devoutly Objectivist major comic book creator: Steve Ditko.

Layla's mutant power allows her to see where reality or history has been altered. She can also cause other people to made aware of changes in reality. This power was pivotal during the "House of M," during which time the Scarlet Witch had uses her powers to re-shape the entire world into one in which mutants were no longer persecuted but were, in fact, the dominant culture on Earth. Layla was one of the only people who knew that things were not as they should be, and she used her power to bring many super-heroes to an awareness of this fact, so that they could confront the Scarlet Witch and Magneto and put things back the way they were.

After the "House of M" limited series and cross-over event was over, Layla Miller showed up at X-Factor Investigations and maneuvered herself into being unofficially adopted by them.

Although known mostly by her given name, Layla Miller acquired the nickname or code name "Butterfly," which is short for "Butterfly Effect." This reflects an aspect of her super power, which is that she has an awareness of reality around her as well as the future. She is aware of how subtle changes might have important ramifications which are unpredictable by others. She can just influence events by seemingly simple actions and careful planning.

Discussion

From: "There Are No Lions Here", posted 15 October 2006 on "Pretty, Fizzy Paradise" blog website (http://kalinara.blogspot.com/2006/10/there-are-no-lions-here.html; viewed 30 May 2007):

[Reader comments:]

At 5:40 PM, Matt T. said:

...That Adherents site is nifty, but there's some hinky aspects to it... like the site's owners didn't bother to do more research into the labels and just figured if they're passionate about a certain aspect of politics - feminism, animal rights, social justice - it's the same thing as being a Catholic or a Baptist. Just came off as lazy to me.

Nor, for that matter, are socio-political philosophies like Objectivism (The Question, Layla Miller, Rorschach) religions in the classical sense. Again, I've met quite a few worshippers of Ayn Rand, but as the gentleman above said, every group has it's loons.


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Webpage created 25 May 2006. Last modified 30 May 2007.
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