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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
From: James Pedrick, "Profile of Gamora" page on "Profiles of the Silver Surfer, his foes and his allies" website, a "Marvel Comics Authorized Fan Site" (http://marvelite.prohosting.com/surfer/profiles/gamora.html; viewed 31 December 2005):
First appearance: Strange Tales #180
Real Name: Gamora
Occupation: Former assassin, spy, and former minion of Thanos
Legal status: Citizen of Zen-Whoberi
Place of birth: Planet Zen Whoberi, Silican system, Milky Way
Place of 1st death: Sanctuary, Thanos's space station
Known relatives: None (raised by Thanos)
Group affiliation: Infinity Watch
History: Gamora was the sole survivor of the alien humanoid race called the Zen Whoberis, a peace loving people who refused to convert to the doctrines of the Universal Church of Truth, a zealous religious order seeking to establish a galaxy wide empire. Agents of the church called the Grand Inguisitors herded the entire population of the planet into a valley and exterminated them for their resistance. The mad Titan named Thanos rescued the infant Gamora and brought her through time to a period at least two decades prior to her people's deaths. Aboard his space station sanctuary, Thanos raised Gamora and used advanced technology to endow her with certain superhumanoid physical abilities. Thanos also subtly altered her perceptions so she would not recognize the evilness of her deeds. Thanos planned to send Gamora to assassinate his enemy, the Magus, leader of the Universal Church of Truth and an alternate future self of Adam Warlock. In the meantime, he dispatched her to practice her craft against the Grand inquisitors who in the alternate future she came from one day kill her people. Thanos hoped that the presence of a non-contemporary element like Gamora inserted into the Magus's present would disrupt his opponent's plans and thus lead to a different future than the one Thanos glimpsed in Gamora's time. Gamora's presence was detected by the Magus, however, and she was prevented from ever getting close enough to assassinate him. She did however, assist Adam Warlock in his battle against his evil future self. When the Magus was defeated, Gamora returned to her master Thanos and soon learned of his true goal, the destruction of the stars. Horrified, she tried to slay Thanos with a dagger, but Thanos instead slew her. Adam Warlock found her with the slightest spark of life remaining in her body and used his soul-gem to absorb her spirit (or consciousness). Gamora's spirit form resided in the verdant pocket dimension of the gem, along with those of Adam Warlock, Pip the Troll, and a host of others.
Powers: Gamora possessed no known superhumanoid powers, but was a highly accomplished athlete trained in gymnastics, hand to hand combat, the uses of all the known weaponry of the galaxy, and stealth techniques.
Gamora was one of 33 characters who were identified as the most religious superheroes in the Marvel Universe in Infinity Crusade (June 1993). In this issue, a powerful being who identified herself as "the Goddess" kidnapped the superheroes she had identified as being the most religious active superheroes at the time. The Goddess was a manifestation of the "benevolent" side of Adam Warlock, and she planned to use these heroes in her crusade to rid the galaxy of evil and usher in a new golden age of peace. After these 33 characters had been kidnapped by the Goddess, the remaining superheroes gathered to try to figure out what was going on. The Vision analyzed data about who had been taken and who had not, and explained his analysis (Infinity Crusade #1, page 32):
Now that the appropriate files have been examined I believe I have sufficient hard data to put forth that theory I mentioned earlier. I feel confident I know why these particular paranormals were abducted. All the missing share a common trait or experience... An event or attitude that might be categorized as religious. Many among the missing hold deeply felt moral stands or intense spiritual belief systems. Those who do not fit that profile have all had after-death experiences... My theory does not hold that these attitudes aided in the missing individual's abduction, only that these traits may have determined who would be taken.
From: "Religious Beliefs of Marvel Characters" discussion board started 20 October 2004 on Comic-Forum.com website (http://www.comic-forum.com/marvel/Religious_beliefs_of_Marvel_characters_397905.html; viewed 8 June 2006):
Date: 20 Oct 2004 21:55:56
Subject: Religious beliefs of Marvel characters?
Does anybody know the religious beliefs of various characters?
Date: 20 Oct 2004 23:16:20
From: Samy Merchi
Barring any actual solid evidence in the characters' own books, you could always fall back on the Infinity Crusade and see which sides the characters were on in that conflict. Anybody feel like whipping those issues out and checking these specific characters?
Date: 21 Oct 2004 03:52:34
From: The Black Guardian
Anyway, here's the list of those who "faithfully served" the Goddess: Captain America, Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, Jean Grey, Namorita, Silhouette, Spider-Man, Puck, Archangel, the Inhuman Crystal, Firelord, Hercules, Shaman, Talisman, Moondragon, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, the Silver Surfer, Sersi, the Living Lightning, Thor, the Invisible Woman, USAgent, Moon Knight, Wolfsbane, Doctor Strange, Wonder Man, Daredevil, the Black Knight, Windshear, Sasquatch, Storm, Gamora, Sleepwalker.
IIRC, even if you read the crossover, it's still pretty vague in what religions the heroes believed.
Date: 21 Oct 2004 03:57:48
From: Samy Merchi
In many cases, it [Infinity Crusade] is the strongest canonical reference to many of the characters' religious stance. Some lucky ones have been dealt with at more depth in their own books (DD, Rahne, Storm et al.) but for many characters Infinity Crusade is the biggest canonical reference. If we want to go by canon rather than sheer postulation.
From: "Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers: O Deadly Night" forum discussion, started 2 December 2003 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-6949.html; viewed 28 June 2007):
12-04-2003, 03:29 PM
Don't forget that wacky Thanos/Gamora Christmas story from an old Marvel holiday special. :cool::cool: :cool:
I should [make] clear... Thanos was in the 1993 edition of Marvel Holiday Special which also featured an Art Adams Cover and a Peter David Hulk Hanukkah story. :cool: [The "Hulk" story mentioned here is the classic Doc Samson story about Hanukkah.]
Webpage created 31 December 2005. Last modified 28 June 2007.
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