The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of Alpha Flight
Walter Langkowski, who is known as the superhero "Sasquatch" of the Canadian super-hero team Alpha Flight, is Jewish.
Infinity Crusade: Sasquatch was one of 33 characters who were identified as the most religious superheroes in the Marvel Universe in Infinity Crusade (June 1993). In this issue, a powerful being who identified herself as "the Goddess" kidnapped the superheroes she had identified as being the most religious active superheroes at the time. The Goddess was a manifestation of the "benevolent" side of Adam Warlock, and she planned to use these heroes in her crusade to rid the galaxy of evil and usher in a new golden age of peace. After these 33 characters had been kidnapped by the Goddess, the remaining superheroes gathered to try to figure out what was going on. The Vision analyzed data about who had been taken and who had not, and explained his analysis (Infinity Crusade #1, page 32):
Now that the appropriate files have been examined I believe I have sufficient hard data to put forth that theory I mentioned earlier. I feel confident I know why these particular paranormals were abducted. All the missing share a common trait or experience... An event or attitude that might be categorized as religious. Many among the missing hold deeply felt moral stands or intense spiritual belief systems. Those who do not fit that profile have all had after-death experiences... My theory does not hold that these attitudes aided in the missing individual's abduction, only that these traits may have determined who would be taken.
Excerpts from: "Are Superheroes Religious?" forum page, started 13 May 2004, in "The John Byrne Forum" section of the Byrne Robotics website (http://jb.24-7intouch.com/forum/get_topic.asp?FID=3&TID=558&DIR=P; viewed 9 January 2006):
13 May 2004
Yes... Kitty's always been Jewish. More Jewish folks... Doc Samson, Moon Knight, Volcana, Sasquatch, The Thing, Songbird... Sabra
From: "Wasn't Superman Supposed to be Jewish?" discussion board started 24 April 2006 on the official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread. jspa?threadID=2000073412&start=30&tstart=0; viewed 27 May 2006):
Posted: May 10, 2006 3:16 PM
Well, I do know is that Shadowcat (X-Men) is Jewish and that is the only Jewish character I can think of. Oh, and Sasquatch from Alpha Flight. And Ragman is the only one I can think of in the DC Universe.
From: "Religious Beliefs of Marvel Characters" discussion board started 20 October 2004 on Comic-Forum.com website (http://www.comic-forum.com/marvel/Religious_beliefs_of_Marvel_characters_397905.html; viewed 8 June 2006):
Date: 20 Oct 2004 21:55:56
Subject: Religious beliefs of Marvel characters?
Does anybody know the religious beliefs of various characters?
Date: 20 Oct 2004 23:16:20
From: Samy Merchi
Barring any actual solid evidence in the characters' own books, you could always fall back on the Infinity Crusade and see which sides the characters were on in that conflict. Anybody feel like whipping those issues out and checking these specific characters?
Date: 21 Oct 2004 03:52:34
From: The Black Guardian
Anyway, here's the list of those who "faithfully served" the Goddess: Captain America, Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man, Jean Grey, Namorita, Silhouette, Spider-Man, Puck, Archangel, the Inhuman Crystal, Firelord, Hercules, Shaman, Talisman, Moondragon, Quicksilver, the Scarlet Witch, the Silver Surfer, Sersi, the Living Lightning, Thor, the Invisible Woman, USAgent, Moon Knight, Wolfsbane, Doctor Strange, Wonder Man, Daredevil, the Black Knight, Windshear, Sasquatch, Storm, Gamora, Sleepwalker.
IIRC, even if you read the crossover, it's still pretty vague in what religions the heroes believed.
Date: 21 Oct 2004 03:57:48
From: Samy Merchi
In many cases, it [Infinity Crusade] is the strongest canonical reference to many of the characters' religious stance. Some lucky ones have been dealt with at more depth in their own books (DD, Rahne, Storm et al.) but for many characters Infinity Crusade is the biggest canonical reference. If we want to go by canon rather than sheer postulation.
Date: 21 Oct 2004 21:06:41
From: Matt Deres
At the risk to my sanity, I've dug out that series [Infinity Crusade] to investigate...
Sasquatch sees a Star of David...
From: "Who's Catholic in the Marvel Universe" forum discussion started 5 February 2005 on "HCRealms" website (http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123637; viewed 10 May 2007):
I know a lot of characters are Jewish, so I was wondering who is officially Catholic?
I know Daredevil is... I also believe Firebird from the West Coast Avengers... After that, I'm pretty much stumped...
Which characters are Jewish? Shadowcat's the only one I remember.
Sasquatch is Jewish.
Sabra... is Jewish.
Apparently Ben Grimm, the... Thing is... Jewish now...
From: "Religious Characters In Marvel" forum discussion started 15 September 2006 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-143850.html; viewed 25 May 2007):
09-15-2006, 09:01 PM
The other day I was thinking about religion and comic books... What I'm interested in is the way religious characters are portrayed in comic books...
I think the first step is listing what characters are what religion...
09-15-2006, 09:55 PM
Living Lightning is Christian, possibly Catholic
Sasquatch is Jewish...
From: "Jewish Heroes or Villians in Marvel Universe?" forum discussion, started 12 December 2005 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://www.xmenindex.com/forums/comicbooks/t-97146.html; viewed 31 May 2007):
12-12-2005, 05:50 AM
Reading the " Black Panther thread" got me thinking. Are there any Jewish heroes or villians in the Marvel Universe?
12-12-2005, 06:28 AM
...A few others I thought of:
Sasquatch (Walter Lagkowski) of Alpha Flight
12-13-2005, 03:44 PM
And what I'm saying is that more likely than not is not a good way to judge these things. Ben Grimm was more likely than not not Jewish, till Kessel wrote that story. Hell, Sasquatch wasn't, till Starlin needed an extra Jew for Infinity Crusade...
12-14-2005, 05:26 AM
Sasquatch is Jewish????
12-14-2005, 09:39 AM
Like I said, Starlin needed an extra Jew for Infinity Crusade, and this was still a good 10 years before the Thing was officially Jewish. So he's got an Eastern European last name, he's never actually been classified with one particular religion or the other... so when all the heroes were seeing the images of their faith, Langowski saw a Star of David.
12-14-2005, 11:19 AM
My personal rule of thumb is that if the name ends with ski, it's Polish. If it ends with sky, it's Jewish. Of course, there are lots of exceptions, but the rule is correct more often than not, in my experience.
That's why I assumed Sasquatch was Polish.
12-14-2005, 11:42 AM
There are Polish Jews. So it kind of throws that out the window.
Seriously, and this was the point I was trying to make with the whole Spider-Man thing, with all the forced name changes, assimilation and conversion, you can't assume whether or not a person is Jewish just from their last name. Or anything else really. Case in point.
Fantastic Four Issue 56/485 August 2002 was the first time Ben Grimm was revealed to be Jewish.
Not that long ago, but still a good move for the character (my favorite character btw) I think.
02-01-2006, 07:29 AM
Not "revealed"... "retconed".
Not an awful retcon, but a a retcon nontheless.
Same with Sasquatch's Jewishness.
02-03-2006, 12:32 AM
re: Not "revealed"... "retconed"... Same with Sasquatch's Jewishness.
Sasquatch wasn't so much a retcon. That was more of just a reveal. I think. I didn't read that much Alpha Flight, but I don't think Langowski's religion came up one way or the other...
02-03-2006, 08:03 AM
I quickly skimmed [my issues of Alpha Flight], but no mention of religion for Walter so far. He's more used as either a) the scientist, b) Aurora's boytoy or c) Wanda.
Last part is interesting though; living inside the body of a Native American goddess and of a demonic entity should have had some effect on his religious beliefs.
From: "Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters" forum discussion, started 10 March 2007 on "Brian Michael Bendis" part of "Comic Creator Boards" section of "Jinxworld Forums" website (http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/archive/index.php/t-106242.html; viewed 6 June 2007):
An ASTONISHINGLY detailed site that delves into the religions of superheroes. Someone has WAY too much time on their hands.
03-10-2007, 12:51 PM
...Sasquatch is Jewish? AWESOME! :D
From: "Comics and Religion", posted 8 March 2006 on "Savior Machine" blog website ("Personal blog of a Kuwaiti who works on building a community for his peers") (http://www.2by4.org/content/2006/03/08/comics-and-religion/; viewed 19 June 2007):
I've never considered what a super hero's religion was; it was a moot point. It was kinda given that Spiderman, or Superman would be raised under some Judo-Christian values, but it was never evident in the writing or the story. All you knew and cared about was that they were the good guys and were fighting the bad guys.
So when I saw this list of comic book characters religions I was amazed to see the level of research in the writing of these guys. Just look how they figured out that Spiderman is Protestant or Sasquatch is Jewish.
From: "The Religious Affiliations of Super Heroes", posted 27 June 2007 by Elizabeth "I'm Pro-Accordion and I Vote!" B. on Gather.com website (http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977041058; viewed 2 July 2007):
Okay, anyone could have guessed that Shamrock, a.k.a. Molly Fitzgerald, would have to be Catholic. But did you know that Superman is Methodist? The Shadow is a Buddhist? Who knew?
A website, www.comicbookreligion.com, attempts to catalogue our Superfriends by religion and ethnicity...
For Your Information:
Sasquatch is Jewish, as is Captain Underpants.
~~JOY ~~it's my name, not that I bring it ;-) H., Jun 28, 2007, 2:29am EDT
Now this made me laugh: "Sasquatch is Jewish..."
How was Sasquatch's religion determined, I wonder... lol
...Loved this topic BTW rated 10 for being so eye catching.
Webpage created 31 December 2005. Last modified 2 July 2007.
We are always striving to increase the accuracy and usefulness of our website. We are happy to hear from you. Please submit questions, suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to: firstname.lastname@example.org.