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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of the X-Men
Karima Shapandar (who is also known by the codename "Omega Sentinel") is a non-mutant super-powered character who has been associated with the X-Men, although she is not known have officially been a member. Karima Shapandar was a member of a mutant superhero team based in Genosha and featured in the comic book series Excalibur. The team did not actually call itself "Excalibur," and aside from being mutants who have a connection to the X-Men, Karima Shapandar's team had no direct connection to the British-based superhero team named "Excalibur."
Karima Shapandar is a Hindu.
From: "X-Men" page on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Men; viewed 7 January 2006):
In addition, characters within the X-Men mythos also reflect religious... minorities... Thunderbird III and Karima Shapandar are followers of the Hindu faith.
From: "Karima Shapandar" webpage on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karima_Shapandar; viewed 7 January 2006):
Karima Shapandar is the name of a fictional character associated with the X-Men spinoff Excalibur. She first appeared in X-Men Unlimited #27 and was created by Chris Claremont and Brett Booth.
Karima was a police officer from India who was transformed into an Omega Prime Sentinel by Bastion of the Operation: Zero Tolerance program.
It all started when Karima was dispatched to look after Neal Shaara (who would later become known as Thunderbird). Neal was looking for his brother, Sanjit, who had gone missing researching some mysterious disappearances in Calcutta. A bond quickly developed between the two, and they were on the verge of beginning a romantic relationship when they were attacked and captured by Bastion. Neal learned that Sanjit had become a Prime Sentinel, programmed to seek out and destroy mutants. Bastion intended to do the same to Neal and Karima, but the morphing process catalyzed Neal's latent mutant power, which destroyed the building around him. Sanjit fought his programming long enough to disable the other Sentinels, but died in the process.
As Neal cradled Sanjit's body, Karima quietly told Neal to run. She had discovered that she was a Prime Sentinel; humans transformed into sentinels and set up as 'sleeper' agents, unaware of their programming until a nearby mutant activated them (as in Neal's usage of his mutant powers).
"I am an Omega Prime. Within moments I will have reached my full combat mode -- with my core programming to destroy creatures like you. It is becoming increasingly difficult to even think of you as human. Your only chance is to disappear. Get as far away from India -- and from me -- as you can. Assume a new identity... a new life."
Neal refused, saying he loved Karima. Karima begged him to leave, saying she couldn't hold on much longer. Neal was forced to flee.
Karima later resurfaced on the decimated mutant homeland of Genosha, where she encountered Charles Xavier and Magneto. The two were able to disable her sentinel programming and restore her mind, but the technological modifications to her body remained.
Karima is currently staying on the island, working as a police officer to restore order. She is trying to adjust to her new form, which comes into conflicts with her Hindu beliefs.
Webpage created 7 January 2006. Last modified 7 January 2006.
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