The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
also known as "Maker"
of the X-Men and X-Factor
Excerpts from: "Atheist superheroes" discussion page, started 2 March 2006, on "Atheist Network" website (http://atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=209834&sid=5ca5d2a99f2714e2f90fcee608eb4ac4; viewed 26 May 2006):
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:23 am
[In the context of a discussion about atheist super-heroes, this message poster is citing some counter-examples, listing overtly religious super-heroes who are clearly not atheists.]
Nightcrawler's a Catholic priest...
Forge believes in some native spiritualism thing.
Kitty Pride is Jewish.
It doesn't seem to come up much, but religion gets mentioned from time to time.
From: "Claremont's 'Revenge' / CC Trademarks" thread on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks/browse_thread/thread/b6c76ad39ebedbac/82cfea80ebc7bade; viewed 12 June 2006):
From: Leor Blumenthal
Date: Tues, May 5 1998 12:00 am
Why should religious people [in Chris Claremont stories] be constantly portrayed as backwards, primitive, or naive?
[Samy Merchi disagrees with previous poster Leor Blumenthal's contention that most religious characters written by Chris Claremont are "backwards, primitive and naive", or, on other words, negatively portrayed. Merchi counters Blumenthal's contention by categorizing all the religious Claremont characters he can think of. Most do not display the negative characteristics Blumenthal is complaining about.]
From: Samy Merchi
Date: Sat, May 9 1998 12:00 am
re: "Why should religious people [in Chris Claremont stories] be constantly portrayed as backwards, primitive, or naive?"
Intolerant, backwards, primitive, or naive: Rahne, Reverend Stryker.
Additions? You'll have to add eight backwards people to validate your point, or invalidate eight of the people I gave.
From: "The religions of comic book characters" thread started 10 February 2001 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe/browse_thread/thread/13590fda80c5d6e1/e5e0b094ced80f0b; viewed 12 June 2006):
From: Terry McCombs
Date: Sat, Feb 10 2001 6:35 pm
For the most part you don't get much of an idea as to the private lives of most comic book characters. Marvelish soap opera not withstanding.
What I mean is you don't get much of an idea what their politics or religion might be. This is sensible enough I guess as they don't want to offend any of their customers... for the most part you just can't really say just what, if any religion or personal philosophy that or that comic character might follow.
What do you think?
Date: Sun, Feb 11 2001 6:05 am
...As far as Marvel is concerned, there are a few characters where you do: ...Religious issues did show up quite a bit in the X-Men, with... the Native American heritage of Moonstar and Forge...
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):
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.
03-31-2006, 08:50 PM
...Forge believes in some Native American religion.
From: "X-Men religious affiliations" thread started 1 June 2002 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks/browse_thread/thread/78e6830d00083d2f/102a03cd2dab9fda; viewed 13 June 2006):
From: Chris Dodson
Date: Sat, Jun 1 2002 9:38 pm
I'm looking for information on the religious beliefs of all the current X-Men for a story I'm submitting to Marvel. The only one I know for sure is Nightcrawler (Catholic). I get the impression that Wolverine is an atheist or agnostic, but I have no in-comic evidence to support this. Any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated. Also, in your responses, could you provide titles and issue numbers of the comics in which the information is stated? Thanks.
From: The Question
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 5:17 am
Forge follows some form of shamanistic tradition I believe...
Date: Thurs, Jun 6 2002 1:18 am
IIRC, he somewhat unsuccessfully tries NOT to follow it ;-)
From: "The religion of comic book characters" forum discussion, started 3 December 2006 on RPG.net website (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=299781&page=6; viewed 25 April 2007):
12-04-2006, 11:46 PM
Re: The religion of comic book characters
Wow... Unitarians are sadly, sadly underrepresented in the comic book world. That, and I find that their "Native American Shamanism" listing is really... broad. It's like saying "believes in Jesus" and lumping all forms of Christianity together...
To be fair, though, I doubt it's the fault of the website. If the creators of the characters don't put more thought into the character's religion than "Native American Shamanism", it's a bit unfair to expect the website to be more specific.
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?
01-17-2007, 10:56 AM
Whatever the name is of the Cheyenne beliefs. Probably some form of spirit-worship, I guess.
01-17-2007, 11:08 AM
That's funny because Forge said "Thank you, God" in a recent issue of New X-Men. But then, I think it may have been just in the use of a general saying, like how we use "oh my god" and the more vulgar "goda**it.
Just goes to show how these sayings have become the norm in the American lexicon, no matter what religion you are. Forge had a concussion when he said this so he was pretty much out of it...
From: "Top Ten Most Stereotypical Mutant Characters Ever!!" forum discussion started 29 August 2006 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-141418.html; viewed 25 May 2007):
08-31-2006, 03:30 PM
I cannot believe Forge didn't make the list. He is not only a stereotype, but also a walking cliche. Here we have the Indian who left his ancestral land and rejected his beliefs. Yada yada yada he is attacked by demons and has to return to his roots to prevent the end of the world.
09-01-2006, 12:36 AM
I'm sorry. But am I the only one who wasn't aware that it was a sterotype of Indian men to be attacked by demons in order to save the world? :confused:
09-01-2006, 02:21 AM
[Use] Native American [instead of "Indian"]. Please.
A Native American who used a bow and Arrow and cut peoples skins off. That would be a sterotype.
The fact that he is ace at building things and is a rich bastard (Eagle Plaza anyone?) doesn't scream stereotype to me.
The magic/shaman bit maybe. But as i tried to say earlier, I think all characters have a little % of stereotype in them.
09-01-2006, 02:23 AM
re: Whenever I see an artist render Forge, Dani or Warpath with a headband, feathers, mocassin boots or those frilly-fringy things...
Maybe they're just proud of their heritage and their culture?
You'd want them to erase all evidence of it? How about we change their skin colour too so everyone's white?
09-01-2006, 11:13 AM
re: Maybe they're just proud of their heritage and their culture?
Oh please. That argument does not fly. We're not talking about whether the IMAGINARY COMIC BOOK CHARACTER might be proud of their heritage or not, we're talking about the reality of stereotyped depictions of minorities by comic book artists and writers because of pre-conceived notions of what they think all Native Americans look like.
Just becuase the artist is drawing a Native American, doesn't mean they have to wear feathers in their hair. I'm friends with a lot of minorites and other nationalities, including Native Americans, heck, I myself am Asian and trust me, there's nothing more tiresome and offensive than having to see depictions of offensive stereotypes still being perpetuated in the media.
09-09-2006, 06:47 AM
[Forge is] also a billionaire genius inventor with a bionic leg and arm. So he's got a bit more going on than just mystic Indian stuff.
09-10-2006, 05:00 PM
Dude, all mystic cyborg genius mutant Indigneous American's are more or less the same.
I wish they'd done something different with Forge.
From: "Please Help List Minority Groups" forum discussion, started 11-05-2006 on "Super-Hero Hype" website (http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=255464; viewed 12 July 2007):
11-05-2006, 02:40 PM
I'm doing a project for Ohio State University about subordinate group representation in Marvel Comic's superhero population (pretty awesome, huh?)
A subordinate group basically means a population that's not a dominant group. And I've got 7 categories to fill; ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, and physical or mental ability. ..though I think I'll cut socioeconomic status do to it's fine line-ish qualities in comics.
So, how about I'll give what I've got so far, and then feel free to add to my lists. I think I have a pretty good handle on the MU, but it's still huge and I don't want to forget anybody. Should be fun anyway...
Webpage created 26 January 2006. Last modified 12 July 2007.
We are always striving to increase the accuracy and usefulness of our website. We are happy to hear from you. Please submit questions, suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org.