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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Lt. Cathy Colby
Lieutenant Cathy Colby, who is commonly known by her super-heroic name "Peregrine," can be classified as a "super-hero" by virtue of the fact that she has super powers (or at least super-abilities by virtue of the winged costume she wears), wears a colorful costume, and is a resident of Neopolis, a city in which virtually all of the residents are comic book-style super-characters. More importantly, however, Peregrine is a police officer who works out of Neopolis Tenth Precinct, known by the nickname "Top 10."
Peregrine was one of the stars of an ensemble cast of Neopolis police officers whose stories were chronicled in the colorful and critically-acclaimed Top 10 comics written by Alan Moore and published by America's Best Comics. The original stories were illustrated by Gene Ha and Zander Cannon. The original Top 10 series ran for 12 issues, and has since been followed up by two additional 5-issue limited series, a graphic novel and a few other stories set in the same universe.
From: Michael Surbrook, "Peregrine (Lieutenant Cathy Colby)" page on "Comics-Derived Character Adaptations" website (http://surbrook.devermore.net/adaptionscomic/topten/10peregrine.html; viewed 30 March 2006):
(Lieutenant Cathy Colby)
Next to nothing is said about Peregrine's background in the series. She's married, is a lieutenant in the Neopolis Police Department, and has strong Christian beliefs (Jack Phantom says she's "a born again"). That's about all we know about her.
As a devout Christian, Peregrine doesn't swear ("creep" and "jerk" is about as bad as she gets), doesn't take the Lord's name in vain (and doesn't like to hear others use it, either), and tries to be understanding of her fellow man. On the other hand, Jack Phantom, a lesbian, makes the comment "I'm lucky she even works with me," although, I'll admit the two do work well together as an investigative team. Peregrine does have a dark side to her as well. She tends to set her beliefs aside when dealing with certain criminals. Her near throttling Mr. Bennet (who killed three people in a teleportation accident) comes to mind, as does Jack Phantom having to restrain Peregrine from virtually beating Sun Woman into a pulp.
From: Matt Yocum, "Interview: Greg Garrett" about his book Holy Superheroes! Exploring Faith & Spirituality in Comic Books (http://www.comiccritique.com/interviews/ginterviewSt10.html; viewed 15 May 2007):
I recently finished a book by Greg Garrett entitled Holy Superheroes! Exploring Faith & Spirituality in Comic Books. Mr. Garrett weaves his way through the tapestry of comics, threading through the concepts of power, responsibility, truth, justice, evil, and vigilantism...
Mr. Garrett has published the novels Free Bird (2002) and Cycling (2003) as well as nonfiction works such as The Gospel Reloaded: Exploring Spirituality and Faith in The Matrix along with Chris Seay. In addition he's written short fiction, articles, personal essays, film, music, book reviews, and worked as a sports writer. Mr. Garrett is a Professor of English at Baylor University and is currently studying to be a priest in the Episcopal Church. I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Garrett while he was in the deserts of New Mexico working on a book on religion and film...
MY: As the book clearly shows, spiritual lessons can be learned from the archetypal heroes in comics. Are you aware of any religious characters in comics? How much does this play, do you feel, into who they are as a character?
Greg Garrett: A few overtly religious characters in comics - that is to say, a primary part of their identity is that they are people of faith - would be Kurt Wagner/Nightcrawler from the X-Men, Peregrine and The Maid in Alan Moore's Top 10 mythos, and some writers' versions of Matt Murdock/Daredevil. There are other characters who profess a belief in God or a supreme being - in Holy Superheroes I mention a scene from one of the Superman books where Superman tells Lois that he is no different from anyone else using the abilities God gave him - but these four are characters for whom faith actually seems to make a difference in how they live their lives and in how and why they do the work they do. There's a difference between surface religiosity that many people profess - "I believe in God" or "I go to synagogue every week" - and religion that transforms a person's life, and I'd have to say that these characters seem to embody that transformation. The true work of religious people is the work of bringing peace and justice into the world. It's a gospel message, it's in the Hebrew Torah and the Koran, and we see it played out in the lives of these characters.
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, 10:33 AM
One of the characters in Top Ten was a devoted born again Christian. [This message poster is probably referring to Peregrine.] In the most recent hard cover there is a Joan of Arc analog as well, very Christian. I'd say whomever wrote that blog needs to read more comics. [This message poster apparently means that the person who started this thread and wrote the introductory message probably needs to read more comics, because they exhibit an unfamiliarity with overtly Christian comic book characters, of whom there are many.]
Webpage created 30 March 2006. Last modified 15 May 2007.
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