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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Andrea Thomas
Isis

Isis is a DC comics superhero who first appeared in a live-action Saturday morning TV show, and later appeared in DC Comics. The original Isis was Andrea Thomas, an American woman who received powers from gods of the classical Egyptian pantheon.

After a long absense, Isis was reintroduced to the DC Universe as a major supporting character in the weekly TV series 52 (2006-2007). Now she was Adrianna Tomaz (a name obviously based on the original incarnation of the character: Andrea Thomas). This new version of Isis had a similar look and powers, but she was apparently a native of Kahndaq, the nation led by Black Adam. Isis was thus already an adherent of Egyptian classical religion even prior to receiving her powers from Black Adam. Black Adam's powers come from the ancient Egyptian gods, and thus the powers of this new Isis were similarly derived from these gods.

From: "Isis (DC Comics)" article on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isis_(DC_Comics); viewed 3 June 2006):

Isis is a DC Comics superhero, the main character of The Secrets of Isis, a live-action American Saturday Morning television program that served as the second half of The Shazam!/Isis Hour. The show was produced by Filmation Associates

Like the main character of the first half of the program, Captain Marvel, Isis also had roots in ancient Egyptian mythology. The Secrets of Isis starred Joanna Cameron as Andrea Thomas, a high school science teacher who gains the ability to call upon the powers of the goddessIsis after finding an Egyptian amulet. Fifteen episodes of The Secrets of Isis were produced for The Shazam! Isis Hour, and the character also appeared in three episodes of the Shazam! portion of the show.

The Secrets of Isis was given its own timeslot in 1977, for which seven new episodes were broadcast alongside reruns from the first two seasons. Isis later appeared in animated form on Fimations' Tarzan and the Super 7 show in 1980

Isis' first appearance in comics was in Shazam! #25 (Sept-Oct. 1976). She was later given her own tv tie-in book the following month, the title ran for two years...

In January 2002, DC Comics re-introduced the goddess Isis... as one of the chief gods worshipped by the Bana-Mighdallian Amazons in the Wonder Woman comic. Although the Bana tribe was introduced in the late 1980s, their gods were not shown until 2002. Her introduction depicted her in a standard white sleeveless gown and Egyptian head-dress containing her trademark symbol. Later the various Amazon gods were depicted as selecting more modern appearances for themselves. After this Isis was then shown as wearing a black business suit with skirt, long straight black hair and a neck choker containing an ankh.

Isis will be re-introduced in the DC Universe during the comic event 52. Previewed covers and solicitations show a romantic involvement with Black Adam, another character with ties to Egyptian mythology.

Cover of Isis #3, showing Isis battling the Egyptian serpent god Set
Cover of Isis #7

From: "Isis TV Show" page on "Retro Junk" website (http://www.retrojunk.com/details_tvshows/671-isis/; viewed 14 June 2006):

Aired: 1975 - 1976
Show Type: Live Action
Country of Origin: US
Show Summary: Thousands of years ago, Egyptian Queen Hatchupset was given an amulet by her Royal Wizard. This amulet empowered the queen with the powers of the goddess Isis; to command the elements of sky and earth. Flash forward to present time (1970's that is) young science teacher Andrea Thomas found this lost amulet while on an archaeological dig. She found she was heir to the "Secrets of Isis." By bearing the necklace that had the amulet, and calling out the phrase "OH MIGHTY ISIS," Andrea was transformed into Isis. As Isis, she could "soar as the falcon soars, run with the speed of gazelles, and command all the elements of sky and earth." In order to invoke her powers, she had to recite incantations. Her most famous incantation - "Oh zephyr winds which blow on high, lift me now so I can fly" - assisted her in taking flight. She also had control of animals, fire, water, etc. Her powers were usually used to help teach young people she came in contact with, a moral lesson. Her associates, Rick Mason, Cindy Lee, Dr. Barnes, and later, Rennie Carroll, were oblivious to her dual identity. Isis was seen as the female counterpart to Shazam (Captain Marvel). They had a few crossover episodes to each other's shows.

Discussion

From: "Superheroes and religion", posted 14 June 2006 on "On Christopher Street" blog website (http://somacandra.livejournal.com/410090.html; viewed 16 June 2006):
From MSNBC [Newsweek], the story is here [link to: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13249146/site/newsweek/]

Beliefnet has a chart of superheroes classified by religious affiliation [link to: http://www.beliefnet.com/features/comicbookfaith.html], or by educated guess at religious affiliation. Wonder Woman was most interesting to me of course--it had not occurred to me that she was a classical Pagan :-)

Of course, there is always Isis, too. When you're a science teacher and Goddess avatar, its easy to figure out your religion. :-)


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Webpage created 3 June 2006. Last modified 16 June 2007.
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