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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of the X-Men
(who previously went by the name Rachel Summers and the codename "Phoenix")
Rachel Grey, better known as "Marvel Girl," is the daughter of the original Marvel Girl: Jean Grey.
When Rachel Grey was first introduced, she went by the name "Rachel Summers" (using the surname of her father: Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops) and she used the codename "Phoenix." She used both "Phoenix" and later "Marvel Girl" in honor of her mother, Jean Grey.
Rachel Grey is from an Episcopalian family, but was raised in a largely non-churchgoing, "lapsed" household. It is fairly well established that Rachel's mother Jean Grey was Episcopalian. Rachel even had an uncle on her mother's side who was an Episcopalian clergyman. Rachel's father Scott Summers is known to have been a Protestant, at least nominally, and most signs indicate that Scott was Episcopalian as well.
Neither Episcopalianism specifically nor Christianity in general have ever been a real part of Rachel's identity. She is not even known to call herself a Christian, a Protestant, or an Episcopalian.
In recent years, Rachel Grey was making an attempt to re-connect to her family on her mother's side, including her clergyman uncle, when all of the Greys were slaughtered by commando troops from the Shi'ar Empire. The Shi'ar are an alien race who for many years were close allies of the X-Men, but who were greatly upset by countless murders committed by Rachey Grey's mother Jean Grey in her incarnation as the Phoenix. The Shi'ar killed Rachel Grey's relative in an effort to stamp out the Grey family line so as to prevent further Shi'ar deaths at the hands of the Phoenix.
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.
05-15-2005, 10:39 PM
I'd guess that Ray [i.e., Rachel Summers Grey] would either be an atheist or belive in something connected to the Phoenix.
Going through a past like hers would either leave her convinced that there could be no God out there because how could he let something so horrible happen, or so dependent on religion that she'd never shut up about it.
I can't remember hearing her ever talk about her beliefs so I'm guessing it's the first option.
05-15-2005, 10:48 PM
...I'd say... Rachel and Nathan are all pretty skeptical when it comes to a higher power. Jean I see holding onto some type of religion mostly because it's been so ingrained in her upbringing...
From: "Where are the Christian Superheroes?" forum discussion page started 22 August 2006 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-81451.html; viewed 5 May 2007):
08-22-2006, 10:03 AM
...I pose the question to you, my fellow Talk@Ramanians: If Christianity is the most popular faith in the United States, why aren't there more openly Christian superheroes?
08-22-2006, 11:57 AM
I'm Episcopalian myself, so I remember whenever a hero comes up as one. From what I remember, Beast, Jean Grey (which would kinda make Rachel Grey one, too, in a way), Archangel, [and] Psylocke were all at some point identified as Episcopal.
Webpage created 13 June 2006. Last modified 5 May 2007.
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