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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Reverend Craig
the preacher who raised Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair); later revealed to be her father


Appearances of Reverend Craig (http://www.marvunapp.com/master/cracri.htm):
CRAIG, Rev. - mutaphobic priest, father of Wolfsbane and Bridgit Shane
--[X-Men I#94], Marvel Graphic Novel#4: New Mutants (Cable minus 1, Marvel Graphic Novel#4, NM#, Excalibur I#93

Discussion

From: "Religion in God Loves, Man Kills: Using the clergy as a bad guy" forum discussion page, started 2 September 2003, on "Captain Comics" website (http://www.captaincomics.us/forums/index.php?showtopic=754):
Chris Fluit
Sep 2 2003, 08:47 PM
I can give you one example of a relatively positive portrayal of a preacher. It was in Uncanny X-Men 234 during one of the Brood storylines. Wolverine is being chased by the Brood when he stumbles into a tent revival. The pastor isn't scared of Wolverine (even though he's a mutant!) and tries to heal him from the Brood infestation. Okay, the casting out a demon bit may not be the most positive scene but the pastor was shown as someone who loves his wife, who really cares about people and who isn't a fraud.

That one character and that one issue have made it so that I don't object too strongly to Rev. Stryker or to the pastor who raised Wolfsbane [i.e., Reverend Craig]. As long as Claremont is willing to show pastors in both positive and negative light, I'll accept the latter.


The Culture Vulture
Sep 3 2003, 05:13 AM
Actually, the reverend who was the guardian fo Wolfsbane was fairly typical fo the fundamentalist Presbyterian you tend to find in the highlands - the "Wee Free" as I call them.
Chris Fluit
Sep 4 2003, 01:27 AM
The reverend who was Wolfsbane's guardian may have started out as a typical clergy but he didn't stay that way. First of all, he was virulently anti-Mutant and consistently referred to mutants as demonspawn. And secondly, it was later implied that he was actually Wolfsbane's father. Supposedly, he had a predilection for sleeping with unchaste women and had fathered at least two red-headed daughters.

That wasn't all Claremont's doing of course. Much of that back story was implied by none other than Warren Ellis. You'd think Warren Ellis has a problem with organized religion, wouldn't you?


Mr. Satanism
Sep 4 2003, 09:34 AM
I think the problem is that since the 1980s, when there were several people exploiting Christianity to make a buck, that the "Evil Preacher" has become a convenient stock villain for lazy writers, just like the corrupt cop or the brainless, violent Nazi skinhead. In real life, I have met many police officers, and all but one have been polite and professional. Despite my general distain for organized religon of any stripe, I have never met an "evil" religious leader. And I even met a polite Nazi skinhead once. I sure didn't agree with his politics, but I cannot deny that he was polite.

It all comes down to lazy, uncreative writing. Why show (or even tell) that a character is a "bad guy pretending to be good" when you can just make him a rabid Christian minister? EVERYONE knows those people are bad news. And, of course, they are almost always portrayed as completely dedicated to some inane "cause". They are never three dimensional characters who doubt themselves, grow, learn, or even show compassion to people who share their beliefs. Nazis were jerks, but I bet they were nice as hell to OTHER NAZIS, or to their families. They weren't automotons.

It's gotten to the point where having good cops or kindly clergy is seen as a sign of "edgy" writing. It's ridiculous.

From: "Claremont's 'Revenge' / CC Trademarks" thread on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks/browse_thread/thread/b6c76ad39ebedbac/82cfea80ebc7bade; viewed 12 June 2006):
From: Leor Blumenthal
Date: Thurs, Apr 30 1998 12:00 am

Characters with strong religious beliefs are depicted as old-fashioned, intolerant, or out of touch.

[This was one of about two dozen "CC trademarks" listed by this poster. These are plot devices that readers are suggesting Chris Claremont uses over and over again. Subsequent posters disagreed that Claremont is antagonistic to religious characters, and cited examples of positive portrayals. The upshot seems to be that Claremont's stories feature a relatively balanced portrayal of religion and religious characters, with some positive and others negative.]


From: AGr3691541
Date: Fri, May 1 1998 12:00 am

What, you mean like Nightcrawler or that preacher [William Conover] in the X-men/Brood confrontation just before Inferno?


From: Leor Blumenthal
Date: Fri, May 1 1998 12:00 am

No, like Reverend Craig, or the televangelist villain from "God Loves Man Kills"...


From: Tim Elf
Date: Mon, May 11 1998 12:00 am

re: "Does anyone have any other instances of positive (or negative) portrayals of religion in comics?"

Negative:
- Virtually anything by Warren Ellis.
- Rev. Craig, from Chris Claremont and Warren Ellis (which, to be fair, was at least a consistent character)


From: Samy Merchi
Date: Mon, May 11 1998 12:00 am

re: "I was originally complaining about Claremont's tendencies of ignoring character's religious beliefs except in major stories, and of treating certain religious characters (notably clergy) as intolerant."

Reverend Craig and Reverend Stryker vs. Father Bowen and Reverend Conover. 50-50 ratio. I'd say he was fairly balanced at using clergy for both good and evil.

From: "OT: Religious superteams" forum discussion, started 13 February 2007 on "Soap Operus" website (http://www.gossiping.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=167&view=previous&sid=98473f5c220e5dd12ab4c10df9d53477&mforum=so; viewed 29 June 2007):

Crinos
Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:15 pm

Religious superteams: Your favorite superheroes, sorted by faith. [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_collage.html]


Peter
Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:55 pm

That was kinda cool. People have written entire essays on the religious denominations of various super-powered folks...


Dizzy D
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:32 am

I'll repeat my criticisms of this list as I've done every time it's posted...

Reverend Craig: "Legion of Presbyterian Super-Heroes"??

[Editor of Adherents.com website responds to poster Dizzy D's comment: Dizzy D has note the inclusion of Reverend Craig in a picture under the heading "Legion of Presbyterian Super-Heroes." Well, obviously Reverend Craig is not a super-hero, and Dizzy D is quite correct if he points this out. Reverend Craig is simply the Presbyterian clergyman who raised Rahne Sinclair, the Presbyterian superhero known as "Wolfsbane." People familiar with Wolfsbane are aware of this and the links below the picture to pages about Reverend Craig and Wolfsbane explain this in detail. Reverend Craig was simply added to this picture to "pad it out" a bit. Presbyterians were so woefully under-represented (with only Wolfsbane and Mutator when I first created the picture, with Robbie Baldwin/Speedball/Penance added later), that I added Reverend Craig so the "Presbyterian Legion" picture did not look so sparse. Those who prefer to only see bona fide superheroes in these pictures are invited to mentally edit out the non-super-heroes such as Reverend Craig in the Presbyterian picture, Lisa Simpson in the Buddhist picture, etc. Dizzy D may rest assured that aside from this pictoral summary, Reverend Craig is not elswhere listed as a "superhero." He is listed on the "Other Notable Minor Characters" list on the main pages.]


Crinos
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 2:05 am

...the Reverend Craig thing did throw me there, but they do include villains in this list. (Apocalypse for example). So, whatever.


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