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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
DC Comics villain, proprietor of the House
Veronica Sinclair is known as "Roulette," a DC Comics villain who is the proprietor of "The House," an illegal gambling establishment where corrupt wealthy and powerful individuals (principally supervillains) can bet on the outcome of combat between super-powered individuals, often including super-heroes who have been abducted and forced to fight each other.
Roulette is regarded as a villain, but she actually does adhere to a strict code of ethics. Her belief system could be identified as "Fair Play," and is based on her understanding of the belief system of her ancestor, Terry Sloane, the original superhero known as "Mr. Terrific."
Terry Sloane was one of the smartest men in the world and crafted his own belief system centered around "Fair Play," which was the slogan that was emblazoned on the chest area of his costume. Veronica Sinclair believes that the late Terry Sloane was her grandfather, although contemporary sources indicate he was actually her great-uncle. Regardless of the exact nature of their relationship, Veronica Sinclair has a reverential attitude toward the original Mr. Terrific and she has attempted to adopt his code of ethics as her own.
In truth, Terry Sloane undoubtedly would have disapproved of Veronica Sinclair activities, including her abduction and mind-control of superheroes. But Veronica Sinclair manages to ignore this reality, and instead applies the concept of "Fair Play" in the illegal business she runs, even if it means she will lose money or put her operation at risk.
Roulette is an unusual case of a comic book villain having a worshipful attitude toward a superhero's values and ideals. Realistically speaking, Roulette is not a paragon of virtue or ethics, and probably would not have adopted her extreme devotion to "Fair Play" except for the fact that she admires her famous ancestor and is seeking to connect to him by admiring him and trying to follow in his footsteps. Roulette own troubled family life left her emotionally stunted in some obvious ways, and she seeks to fill the gaps in her emotional life both by controlling others in betting establishment she runs ("the House") and by trying to establish a connection to her deceased ancestor.
Roulette resents the modern-day heir to Mr. Terrific's mantel, Michael Holt, another man who has "Fair Play" printed prominently on his costume, but who is not related to Terry Sloane by blood or family relations. Roulette deems Michael Holt as a person unworthy to call himself "Mr. Terrific" and serve the ideal of "Fair Play," a concept she holds sacred. Thus, Roulette has tried to destroy Mr. Terrific, and in doing so has become a foe of both him and the superhero team he leads, the Justice Society of America.
Is Roulette an atheist, like the modern-day Mr. Terrific is? It seems likely that this is the case. Michael Holt, the modern Mr. Terrific, and Veronica Sinclair, the villainous Roulette, provide an interesting contrast between two people who both subscribe to a similar belief system ("Fair Play"), both reject traditionally recognized organized religion, both are atheists, and yet the two of them are quite different. Holt is a deeply moral and strongly ethical hero while Roulette is a villain whose actions must be regarded as horribly evil.
Roulette is clearly a villain who gives no thought to the the illegality of her business activities, her role in the murder of her captured gladiators, and the usurption of peope's free will. Certainly she subscribes to no contemporary organized religion. But aside from her devotion to Terry Sloane (the first Mr. Terrific) and the concept of Fair Play (as she understands it), little has been revealed about Roulette's personal religious beliefs.
Below: Roulette's devotion to her ancestor Terry Sloane (Mr. Terrific) and his beliefs in "Fair Play" are evident in this scene, in which she gazes at Sloane's portrait and decides to release her captives, the former Justice Leaguers now known as the "Super Buddies." [Source: Formerly Known as the Justice League #4, published by DC Comics (2003), page 18; reprinted in Formerly Known as the Justice League trade paperback (2004), page 88; written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, pencilled by Kevin Maguire, inked by Joe Rubinstein.]
After appearing for many years as the Brazilian representative to the DC Comics international super-team known as the Global Guardians, Fire became incorporated into more mainstream DC Comics continuity when she joined the Justice League International and later became a mainstay member in some US-based incarnations of the Justice League. She also was featured as a member of Maxwell Lord's short-lived team the "Super Buddies," and she became a member of the international law enforcement force Checkmate.
As a Catholic, Fire has never been portrayed as particularly devout. But this may be due, in part, to the religion taboo that prevalent in mainstream comics at the time she was introduced, and is not necessarily an indication that she is a "lapsed" or "non-practicing" Catholic. (This taboo prevented most overt portrayals of real-world religiosity.) Fire's Catholicism has never been an important part of stories featuring her, and is certainly not central to her character in the way it is with some of her Catholic colleagues, such as Blue Devil, Huntress and Doctor Mid-Nite. Nevertheless, Fire has generally been portrayed as a fairly ethical, upstanding person throughout most of her superhero career. Some of Fire's behavior might be viewed as questionable from a strict Catholic viewpoint. For example, at times she seems to have a penchant for exhibitionism. She also has tendencies toward vanity and selfishness. But relatively speaking, Fire has been morally conservative in most ways.
Fire's normally bright, bubbly character darkened somewhat and she engaged in ethically questionable behavior after she joined Checkmate in the One Year Later period (2006). Her Catholic upbringing and sensitivities conflicted with her behavior. For example, Fire felt deep remorse after participating in a military operation that resulted in the deaths of many enemy combatants, despite the fact that she was acting as a government-sanctioned soldier and the people who died were bloodthirsty terrorists. Fire was sensitive to the sanctity of life (a Catholic teaching), even though she was participating in what could be classified as a "just war."
Eventually this change in Fire's character culminated in her murdering a villain in order protect her father. Fire was jailed for her actions and subsequently began trying to return to being the person she usually is, rather than the killer she had become.
From: "Roulette (DC Comics)" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roulette_(DC_Comics); viewed 23 June 2007):
Publisher: DC comics
First appearance: JSA Secret Files #2 (September 2001)
Roulette's grandmother was a Golden Age villain of the same name, who ran a conventional casino and fought Mister Terrific, as well as having a relationship with his brother, Ned. Both Ned and Roulette have been retconned into Mr Terrific's history, and do not appear in the original stories. The current Roulette believes Terry Sloane to be her grandfather, rather than great-uncle, and sees the current Mister Terrific as an unworthy successor. Her casino ("The House") is a superhuman gladitorial arena, capturing heroes with teleporter technology similar to Holt's T-Spheres, and pitting them against each other, while various supervillains bet on the outcome.
In her debut, she captured most of the current Justice Society and forced them to fight each other; Mr Terrific and Dr Mid-Nite were forced to play a chess game where the loser would be electrocuted, Sand and Hawkman had to reach Hawkgirl while infected with a fast-acting lethal virus (Of which Kendra had enough of the cure for one) while Black Adam clashed with Atom Smasher.
However, all managed to escape their traps; Black Adam and Atom Smasher's fight lasted so long that the mind-controlling drugs used on them to heighten their hostility towards each other wore off, Sand remained in his earth form to slow the spread of the virus until another cure could be found by Dr Mid-Nite, and Mr Terrific and Dr Mid-Nite managed to draw in their chess game and destroy it while the game re-set itself. Roulette teleported them away before they could capture her, however.
A wall of fallen heroes was the only indication of the many DC Comics heroes who had been killed in battle in "The House." The names include Impala, Maxi-Man, and Ram of the New Guardians.
Roulette and the House reappear in Formerly Known As The Justice League, in which she captures the Super Buddies. The subliminal programming which prevented heroes escaping fails to work on Fire because her native language is Portuguese, and she releases the others. When this is followed by Mary Marvel shorting out her aggressor chip due to extreme stress, Roulette decides they have won and orders them teleported away.
Most recently she has appeared in JSA Classified (#19, Jan 2007). Dr. Mid-Nite had infiltrated her current fight club location in search of information regarding purported organ-napping. She agreed to give him information only if he beat her bodyguard in a game of arm wrestling. He did so, using his knowledge of nerves and their debilitation, and though she felt he had "cheated" she gave him the name of a model who had surgically implanted wings. After Dr. Mid-Nite left, she called the owner of the surgical clinic, who later proved to be Delores Winters, and told her of the hero's investigation into the implants and operations.
In Justice League Unlimited, Roulette debuted in the season four episode The Cat and the Canary, where she had added Wildcat to her costumed fighter vs. costumed fighter no-holds-barred tournament, Meta-Brawl. The fight ring highlighted the distrust of metahumans by civilians, as evidenced by the many paying spectators who cheered non-metas like Wildcat on and execrated the metahumans.
Green Arrow and Black Canary directly confronted Roulette's Meta-Brawl (hooking up in the process). They were forced to battle other participants of Meta-Brawl, including Sportsmaster, Bloodsport, Electrocutioner, Atomic Skull, Hellgrammite, Tracer, Evil Star, and Amygdala.
In season five, Roulette upgraded the premise of Meta-Brawl in the face of falling profits. She utilized Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom mind-control technology to brainwash female Leaguers - including Vixen, Fire, Wonder Woman, and Black Canary to create a re-imagined "Glamour Slam". This tournament was destroyed and the heroines rescued by a team-up between the resuscitated Canary and Huntress (in itself a first, because Huntress and Canary had been in opposition since their violent altercation in Double Date).
Webpage created 11 January 2006. Last modified 17 June 2007.
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