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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Kitty Pryde
Shadowcat
of the X-Men and Excalibur


Kitty Pryde, a member of the X-Men most commonly known by the codename "Shadowcat" (and previously known as "Sprite" and "Ariel") has always been depicted as overtly Jewish. Kitty Pryde is one of the few recognizably Jewish characters in major super-hero comics and, in fact, is one of the few major super hero characters to overtly and recognizably belong to a real mainstream religion.

Kitty Pryde's Jewishness is most evident simply through her wearing of a Star of David, often as a necklace. Her religious affiliation is simply one part of her character, and has never been a source of caricature or a central focus of her persona. Kitty Pryde is most frequently regarded as a practicing Jew, although clearly her religious expression is not on the same level of intensity and frequency as her X-Men teammate Nightcrawler, a devout Catholic. It seems doubtful that Kitty Pryde is an Orthodox Jew. Of the four major branches of American Judaism, Pryde probably belongs to either Reform Judaism or Conservative Judaism.

Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) wearing a Star of David necklace
Above: The Ultimate X-Men version of Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat of the X-Men) wears the Star of David even more prominently than the original version of the character in the mainstream Marvel universe.

These images are from Ultimate Spider-Man issue #44, "Tampered"; written by Brian Michael Bendis, pencils by Mark Bagley, inks by Art Thibert; reprinted in Ultimate Spider-Man hardcover collection volume 4 (Marvel Entertainment Group: New York, 2004).]

Kitty Pryde's full name is Katherine Anne Pryde. Before joining the X-Men (and, subsequently, other super hero groups, such as Excalibur), Kitty Pryde was originally from Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. With approximately 248,000 Jews, Chicago is the 6th largest Jewish community among all the cities of the world. (It is exceeded by New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, and Philadelphia.)

Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) wearing a Star of David necklace
Above: Kitty Pryde in civilian clothes, wearing a Star of David necklace, from an issue of Ultimate X-Men.

One of the few times when Kitty Pryde's Jewish background has had a direct impact on her "professional" life as a superhero has been when Magneto, arch-enemy of the X-Men, has related to her as a fellow Jew. Magneto, however, is limited in the degree to which his actions are directly informed by conventional Jewish ethics and values, and he has often been unhesitant in his attempts to kill Kitty Pryde.

In The Uncanny X-Men #159, it is Kitty Pryde's faith in Judaism that allows her symbol (the Star of David on her necklace) to repel Dracula. It is worth noting that in the critically acclaimed DC Comics graphic novel Batman/Houdini: The Devil's Workshop (pub. 2003, an Eisner Award nominee), Houdini also repelled a vampire with a Star of David necklace.

Not all writers of the X-Men have given attention to Kitty Pryde's Judaism. But influential X-Men scribe Chris Claremont (who created the character along with John Byrne) is one of the writers who most consistently portrays Kitty as a religious Jew. In an message forum on the "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-58362.html; viewed 3 January 2006), one fan observed (15 May 2005), "Whenever Claremont writes her, she [Kitty Pryde] can barely shut up about being Jewish." Another replied, "I have to agree with this. She's one of the most outwardly religious people on the team. She talks about it, and participates in traditions like Yartzeit when she is mourning Piotr. I'd say her and Kurt are strong enough in their religion to properly represent their respective religions."

Kitty Pryde was shown performing Yartzeit for her recently deceased former boyfriend Piotr "Peter" Rasputin (Colossus) in an issue of Unlimited X-Men. It has been observed that Yartzeit is traditionally only performed for actual family members, and only performed for fellow Jews, neither of which applied to Rasputin, a Russian Communist atheist. In observing Yartzeit for Piotr, Kitty showed that she is a "very Reform" Jew, or the story was written by by a writer who was unfamiliar with or unconcerned about the normative Jewish practice of Yartzeit. As a fellow member of the X-Men (and the man that Kitty had once hoped to spend the rest of her life with), Kitty could indeed have thought of Piotr as "family."

Another important aspect of Kitty Pryde's character is her love of learning, science, and technology. She is extremely proficient with technology and a brilliant student of science.


X-Men #159, featuring Jewish super-heroine Kitty Pryde repulsing Dracula with her Star of David necklace.

From: "Jewish Comics Exhibit Notes" webpage, last updated 5 December 2004 (http://www.geocities.com/hadassahfink/comicexhnotes.htm; viewed 4 July 2007):

Uncanny X-Men #159
Dracula decides to try to turn the X-men's Storm into a vampire. When Kitty Pryde realizes this, she tries to ward him off with a cross, but fails because she is not Christian herself. When he tries to grab her neck, his hand is burned by her Star of David necklace.

From: Andrew A. Smith (Scripps Howard News Service), "Comics superheroes of many faiths", published 3 February 2000 in The Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/religion/446482.html; viewed 30 November 2005):

Jewish superheroes abound, including the X-Men's Kitty (Shadowcat) Pryde...

From: "Progenitors, Prodigies and Assorted Black Sheep" (http://www.geocities.com/soho/study/4273/relate.html; viewed 4 July 2007):

Northguard was created in 1984 by Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette as the lead feature for the black & white Canadian comic book New Triumph... Northguard was also Jewish (although, not an especially religious kind of guy). So, like C.C. [Captain Canuck, a Latter-day Saint], the character chosen to epitomize Canadian identity was not a stereotypical WASP figure. In fact, Northguard is one of the only superheroes in comic book history identified as Jewish (X-Man/Excalibur-ian Kitty Pryde, Fathom of the Elementals, and Colossal Boy of The Legion of Super-Heroes are the only others that come to mind) -- and certainly the first to star in a comic (as opposed to being part of a team).

From: Leah Finkelshteyn, "Thwak! To Our Enemies", published in Hadassah Magazine, June/July 2003 Vol. 84 No. 10 (http://www.hadassah.org/news/content/per_hadassah/archive/2003/03_JUN/art.htm; viewed 19 June 2007):

Colorful, powerful and generally over-the-top - superheroes are a surprising manifestation of the venerable Jewish tradition of repairing the world.

The peace is broken at the X-Men's center of operations in Professor Charles Xavier's mansion. Dracula hovers over a beautiful woman. As he moves in for the kill, Katherine "Kitty" Pryde leaps to the rescue, cross in hand. The vampire laughs - the cross has no power over him.

He grabs Pryde by the neck, but her necklace, silver with a Magen David charm, repels him and his hand bursts into flame. Pryde, the super-hero also known as Shadowcat, is Jewish, and only a talisman of her own faith can defeat the monster.

Shadowcat is far from the only Jewish superhero found in the pages of comic book adventures. Colossal Boy's problems include grappling with whether he should be dating an alien instead of a nice Jewish girl, and Sabra, outfitted in blue-and-white, is Israel's defender...

...In the late 1950's and 1960's, comics' Silver Age, conformist heroes gave way to a more diverse comic world. Stan Lee and Marvel introduced a new type of "real-life" hero with the wall-crawling teenage Spider-Man who worried about money and social acceptance as well as how to defeat the many-limbed Doctor Octopus. In the 70's and 80's, Jews started appearing, sometimes with a beard and a hat in a crowd scene, sometimes as minor heroes. Shadowcat showed up around that time, too...

...As sequential art expands and matures, and as Jewish talents continue to have a hand in the development process, the list of Jewish characters and creators could go on - threading through comics much as the Jewish American experience threads through the entertainment industry.

Yet that Jewish voice can be overwhelmed by the desire to appeal to a mass readership. With notable exceptions, mainstream comics still have a way to go in acknowledging its Jewish roots.

Kitty Pryde enrolled in the University of Chicago this year, in a miniseries called Mekanix. She wanted to grow up, lead a normal life, find the person behind the costumed hero. Mekanix explores bigotry, even touching on homeland security and racial profiling, but Pryde's identity still, in part, stays hidden - nowhere in the series does it overtly mention that she is a Jew.

From: "Who's Jews in the Marvel & DC Universe?", posted on Orthodox Union website (OU.ORG - Your Gateway to the Jewish Internet), (http://www.ou.org/ncsy/projects/kp/5763/kpwint63/thing.htm; viewed 20 December 2005):
The Thing may be the heaviest hitter to announce his Jewish roots, but he's far from alone. There are plenty of fellow Israelites in tights to join him at the Seder table.

Several characters were created with the obvious intention of being Jewish heroes (as opposed to heroes who happen to be Jewish)... Then there are characters who happen to be Jewish. From Marvel... Kitty Pryde of the X-Men is Jewish and X-Men arch-villain Magneto might be, as well.

From: Jeffrey Weiss, "Comic-book heroes seldom reveal their faith: Recent revelation of the Thing's religion was a rare moment for pop culture", published in Dallas Morning News, 24 August 2002 (http://www.bluecorncomics.com/thingjew.htm; viewed 21 December 2005):
Over the years, the writers told readers all kinds of things about the habits and foibles of the characters. We knew about their taste in clothing, their troubles with relationships, their sense of humor. But we rarely discovered whether they followed any particular religion.

That seems odd in one way. Back in the dawn of the modern comic book, more than 90 percent of Americans self-identified with a particular religion, mostly some kind of Christianity. Why wouldn't reality-linked superheroes have a particular religion?

Explicitly Religious Comics Characters
[list of 20 characters features 10 characters under the "Jewish" subheading, including:]
Shadowcat, Kitty Pryde, is a member of the X-Men.

Selections from: Steven M. Bergson, "Jewish Comics: A Select Bibliography" last updated 28 June 2005 (http://www.geocities.com/safran-can/JWISHC.HTM; viewed 23 December 2005):
Claremont, Chris. "Claiming the Crown" X-Men: True Friends #3 Nov. 1999 (NY: Marvel).
Ignoring Star Trek's "temporal prime directive", Shadowcat tries to get in touch with her Polish relatives to warn them about the death camps, but fails because she doesn't know enough about them. She explains to her friend Alasdhair the events of the Holocaust that are to come.

---. "Gold Rush!" The Uncanny X-Men #161 Sep. 1982 (NY: Marvel), reprinted in X-Men Classic #65 (NY: Marvel, November 1991), X-Men Archives #4 (NY: Marvel, Late January 1995) and The Essential X-Men #3 (NY: Marvel, July 1998).

---. "Into the Abyss" New Mutants #27 May 1985 (NY: Marvel), reprinted in X-Men Archives #2 (NY: Marvel, January 1995) .

---. "Night Screams" Uncanny X-Men #159 July 1982 (NY: Marvel).

---. "The Price" Excalibur #11 Aug. 1989 (NY: Marvel).

---. "The Spiral Path" Uncanny X-Men #199 Nov. 1985 (NY: Marvel)

---. "The Two-edged Sword" Excalibur #9 June 1989 (NY: Marvel).

---. "Widget" Excalibur #10 Jul. 1989 (NY: Marvel).

Raab, Ben. "Current Events" Excalibur #120 May 1998 (NY: Marvel).

Raab, Ben. "With Friends Like These" Excalibur #121 June 1998 (NY: Marvel).

Skolnick, Evan. "'Unto Others'" Marvel Holiday Special (2nd story) (NY: Marvel, 1996).
Jewish superheroine Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat) consoles Anita Foster - a black girl whose church was torched by a racist arsonist. Kitty compares the racist destruction of the church to the desecration of the Jews' temple 2,000 years ago by the Syrian Greeks. Kitty explains that both acts were wrong because all people are the same - even mutants. Kitty tries to prove that mutants are just like other people when she uses her power to retrieve Anita's lost, priceless locket.

Discussion

From: "What religion do superhero's belong to? [sic]" forum discussion started 18 July 2002 on "Toon Zone" website (http://forums.toonzone.net/showthread.php?t=41332; viewed 21 May 2007):

07-18-2002, 01:02 PM
wonderfly

What religion do superhero's [sic] belong to?

I'd like to discuss what religious beliefs are favorite costumed hero's belong to. Everyone knows Daredevil is Catholic. But beyond that, what do we know of superhero's beliefs? I'm thinking of mostly the Marvel Universe, but you DC fans feel free to contribute as well...


07-18-2002, 04:03 PM
Ed Liu

...Kitty Pryde of the X-Men and Sabra, the superheroine protector of Israel, are both Jewish. I'm also going to stretch a bit and claim that Magneto's wife was probably Jewish as well, which would make the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver ethnically Jewish, although I've never seen them refer to their religions in the comics...

From: "'X-men' comic books and movie tackle Christianity" forum discussion started 11 April 2003 on IIDB Secular Community Forums website (http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-50750.html; viewed 12 July 2007):

callina
April 12, 2003, 10:56 PM

Don't forget that X-Man Kitty Pryde is Jewish -- or she was in the 80's when I collected the title.

From: "Catholic Clix - Comic info needed!" forum discussion started 3 May 2003 on HCRealms website (http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-40338.html; viewed 24 May 2007):

thornnspear
05/03/2003, 21:04

Ok, so in recent films it's been apparent that Daredevil and Nightcrawler are Catholic...

So, who else out there could be fielded in a "Catholic" Heroclix team?


Valandar
05/04/2003, 18:23

BTW, Kitty's Jewish... kinda cool that the single most popular female X-men (according to survey) is the only one that is clearly religious at all...

Me, I'm agnostic, but more power to you if you have faith in anything at all. As long as you don't try to ram it down my throat, that is.

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):

Darren A. Dew
13 May 2004
Kitty was always Jewish...
Dana Smith
13 May 2004
Yes... Kitty's always been Jewish. More Jewish folks... Doc Samson, Moon Knight, Volcana, Sasquatch, The Thing, Songbird... Sabra
Kevin Bennett
14 May 2004 at 5:28 am
I enjoy it when a character's faith (or lack of it) is explored. Done properly, it can enrich characterization and be a powerful dramatic tool. I recall a long ago scene in X-Men when they were fighting the Brood where the atheist Wolverine and the Christian Nightcrawler had a brief discussion about faith, and I really liked the issue from around the same period in which the X-Men were battling Dracula. Wolverine attempts to make the sign of the Cross, but it has no effect on the vampire because he isn't a believer. However, Nightcrawler's cross works, and Dracula also burns his hand on Kitty's Star of David necklace when he grabs her.
Excerpts from: "Religion/Spirituality" discussion page, started 29 November 2003, on ComixFan.com website (http://www.comixfan.com/xfan/forums/archive/index.php/t-24121.html; viewed 10 January 2006):
Eric Travis
Feb 5, 2004, 02:49 pm
Mutants and religion can go hand in hand... But in my mind, if you want a strong Christian character searching for answers and divine help, then you can't go wrong with the original New Mutants series. Specifically, Rahne Sinclair...

Other strong religious characters include (of the X-Men variety): Dani Moonstar (Cheyenne/Norwegian beliefs), Kitty Pryde (Jewish)...

When handled respectfully and appropriately, religion (of any flavor) can add a whole new level of impact and insight to comic book stories. When badly or sloppily handled, it can very easily turn into mockery of whatever point it was trying to make.


Magic Rabbit
Feb 6, 2004, 03:09 pm
[Wolfsbane is a] much, much better example [of a religious character than Nightcrawler] because Wolfsbane's religious beliefs were written as being a very strong part of the character - always. Kitty, Shan [i.e., Xi'an], and Amara are the only others that I would include.
From: "Superman's a Methodist" post on "JLucas's Blog" blog website, posted 16 March 2006 (http://community.heraldonline.com/?q=blog/21/feed; viewed 10 May 2006):
Growing up, some comic book characters' religions were obvious: Kitty Pryde was very vocal about being Jewish; Nightcrawler was a devout Catholic. But if you've ever wondered about the faith of some less obviously religious caped and cowled vigilantes, look here.
From: "Religious Themes in Comics" forum discussion page, started 21 May 2003 on "Sketchy Origins" website (http://www.sketchyorigins.com/comics/archive/index.php?t-1380.html; viewed 12 May 2006):
Fae
05-21-2003, 02:10 PM

I enjoy Religion in comics most when it's explored through the personal experience/development of a character... I thought it was neat that Kitty was Jewish... Anything that makes it personal, that respectfully approaches and explores the human experience of how the individual relates to the Divine through the traditions of their own Religion is always interesting to me!


librarian
05-22-2004, 09:35 PM

I think it's neat when any of the characters are shown to be Jewish, expecially if their Jewishness is used effectively as a plot point (such as when Kitty tried to use a cross against Dracula).

From: "The Corner" (letter column), published in National Review Online, 29 July 2002 (http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/2002_07_28_corner-archive.asp#85294266; viewed 12 May 2006):
SUPERHERO OF THE TRIBE!
[Jonah Goldberg]
Posted 9:42 AM

The Thing is Jewish! The heart and soul of the Fantastic Four is a Hebrew according to a report in the New York Post...


BTW ["By The Way"]
[Jonah Goldberg]
Posted 12:03 PM

Comic book geeks have been writing me in regard to the news that the Thing is Jewish. Yes, I did know that Kitty Pryde was Jewish too. But her powers were awful. Being intangible is much less impressive than being the second-strongest Marvel superhero...

From: "Jewish Comic Book Characters" message board page, started 15 May 2006 on IGN.com website (http://boards.ign.com/Comics_General_Board/b5033/117625205/?16; viewed 19 May 2006):
Werehunter
Date Posted: 5/15 8:13pm

Anyone remember the Christmas Marvel special where The Thing states to Franklin that him and Kitty Pryde as they only two openly Jewish Superheroes? I always found that amusing for it says that there are others that hide that fact.


Myst36
Date Posted: 5/21 9:06am

re: "You think Magneto had a Bar Mitzvah?... What other Jewish comic characters you can think of?"

Kitty Pryde was 13 and 1/2 years old when her powers first manifested and she was contacted by both Xavier and Emma Frost, so she may have had her Bat Mitzvah by that time. I don't think that's ever been addressed in the comics.

Excerpts from: "Atheist superheroes" discussion page, started 2 March 2006, on "Atheist Network" website (http://atheistnetwork.com/viewtopic.php?p=209834&sid=5ca5d2a99f2714e2f90fcee608eb4ac4; viewed 26 May 2006):
Pyewackett
Posted: Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:23 am

[In the context of a discussion about atheist super-heroes, this message poster is citing some counter-examples, listing overtly religious super-heroes who are clearly not atheists.]

Daredevil's Catholic.

Nightcrawler's a Catholic priest...

Forge believes in some native spiritualism thing.

Kitty Pride is Jewish.

It doesn't seem to come up much, but religion gets mentioned from time to time.

From: "Religious affiliations of comic characters" message board started 29 January 2006 in "Gotham After Dark" section of EZBoard.com website (http://p073.ezboard.com/fgothampmfrm37.showMessage?topicID=161.topic; viewed 27 May 2006):
Hitman Tommy Monaghan
1/30/06 5:51 am

...Seriously though there are a few heroes out there that have been id'ed [identified] as one religion or another but I kinda fall on the line of "none specified" as best. Not because I'm anti-religion, but because it makes these icons just that, ICONS and universally acceptable regardless of religion...


Abaddon8780
1/30/06 8:09 am

I agree with Tommy, though there are those characters whose religion is a part of what defines them and can get away with it (Kitty Pryde and Kurt Wagner for two). But I think by not saying anything, it's left up to the reader to assume who is what and I think that's more or less the best way to approach it.

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):
redzone
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: "an Asian as a major hero. FINALLY. but..." message board started 21 April 2006 on official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000072443&start=15; viewed 31 May 2006):
ponypants
Posted: May 1, 2006 9:08 AM

Speaking of minorities...

The new Asian Atom isn't replacing a typical white male whom, as with most heroes, you'd presume to be Christian. Ray Palmer is one of the few Jewish characters in comics, and certainly one of the most famous and prominent.

The only other major Jewish character is Kitty Pryde of the X-Men...

From: "Passover Wave! Ragman and--?" message board started 13 April 2006 on official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?forumID=29209087&threadID=2000071426; viewed 1 June 2006):
nigelowrey
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 10:54 AM

...Marvel wise, Kitty Pryde, the Thing, Doc Samson, Moon Knight and Vance Astro/Justice are all Jewish...


hateradereloaded
Posted: Apr 13, 2006 9:15 PM

So far my League of [Jewish Superheroes] is as follows:

...Kitty Pride ... Bet she had a nose job like Jennifer Grey and changed her last name. Pure JAP move.

[7 other Jewish superheroes listed, with comments about each.]

From: "Religious Inclinations of heroes" message board, started 1 March 2005 on StarDestroyer.net website (http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?t=63632; viewed 8 June 2006):
Stravo
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:38 pm

Post subject: Religious Inclinations of heroes

What about other heroes? I notice religion rarely plays a part in mainstream superhero comics (absent things like the Vertigo line) but have you ever picked up on hints or outright admissions by some heroes as to their religious inclinations?

Seems that atheistic heroes are as rare in comics as in real life. If they are religious it's a sort Judaeo-Christian wishy washy sort of religion... Any other examples of guesses?


The Prime Necromancer
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:50 pm

Kitty Pryde a.k.a. Shadowcat is Jewish, right?

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
From: OSinner1

Subject: Religious beliefs of Marvel characters?

Does anybody know the religious beliefs of various characters?


Date: 21 Oct 2004 01:45:45
From: JWMeritt

Trick question! There ARE Gods that are Marvel characters. One blatantly obvious: A vampire is repelled by religious symbols...

...The few times it [religion] has played a role is when Wolvie made a cross in front of Dracula, who was suprised by its non-effect (it was wielded by a nonbeliever), and Nightcrawler took the cross away from Wolvie and seared Drac big time. And then Drac was burned on Kittie's Star of David. And of course the Vamp that sputtered out on Thor's hammer...

From: "Muslim characters in comics" message board, started 22 January 2006 in Batman discussion board area of official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000059913; viewed 9 June 2006):
sandwraith
Posted: Jan 22, 2006 9:15 PM

Problem is, most people who hear this will probably say that there's nothing much to write about a Muslim or Islamic character, but then I think of the Phantom Stranger and the Judeo-Christian references in his origin and more recently Brian K. Vaughan's Runaways that has a Judeo-Christian reference here and there. I'm not asking for a super popular Muslim superhero like Superman or Batman but at least one that has some respectabilty. Let's take Kitty Pryde for example. She's by far the most popular Jewish character in Marvel. She's not by any means an ultra-popular character, but everyone X-versed knows who she is and that she's Jewish.


bcbdla
Posted: Jan 22, 2006 11:48 PM

It's rather difficult for non-Muslims to write a Muslim character without being stereotypical.

Most DC heroes from other nations and/or cultures are stereotypical.


sandwraith
Posted: Jan 23, 2006 12:47 AM

I disagree with the fact that non-Muslim writers can't write a good Muslim character though. I mean Greg Rucka isn't Jewish (to my knowledge) but he wrote a very good Judaism-themed story for Kitty Pryde in an X-Men GN [graphic novel] I read. I think its really a matter of interests... maybe we Muslims are just too boring or uptight to be portrayed in the seedy underbelly of the Superhero world? I agree with the fact that most Muslims aren't Arabs. I myself am a Malay-Indian Muslim. Hinduism isn't too widely regarded in comics either, but I guess Kama Sutra man did make Whose Line Is It Anyway?


bcbdla
Posted: Jan 29, 2006 12:14 PM

In the U.S. we have way more interaction with Jews and Judaism than we have with Muslims and Islam. Jews have been strongly integrated into mainstream U.S. society for decades while Muslims are still on the fringe.

DC and Marvel staff are unlikely to have characters who simply happen to be Muslim. I think the closest is Dust and even her costume is a huge flag waving a constant reminder of her religion - unlike other members of the X-Men. I mean, Nightcrawler doesn't wear a huge cross on his costume nor does Shadowcat dislay her Star of David.

The two major religions in the U.S. are Christianity and Judaism - and those two are closely linked through the Old and New Testaments.

How U.S. Jews incorporate their faith into daily life is simply easier for U.S. writers to grasp.

From: "Cockrum rant..." message board started 24 October 2005 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-87768.html; viewed 12 June 2006):
DocBrass
10-24-2005, 02:14 PM

Calling an obvious one here, 2 quick comments:

Gee... isn't Bendis Jewish?

And isn't Kitty Pryde [in Ultimate X-Men a well-written and developed Jewish character?


jam37wcc
10-24-2005, 03:01 PM

It is kind of a stupid rant to make when the person running the Marvel Universe right now (Bendis) and writting some of the stories that she is talking about, is Jewish.


RichJohnston
10-25-2005, 08:19 AM

I mentioned Bendis' heritage in the piece. And that he's the son of a Rabbi.

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". And despite Nightcrawler being Catholic and Kitty Jewish, when did Kurt go to confession, or Kitty light Sabbath candles? He never shows them practice any rituals, except generic ones like singing Christmas carols.


From: AGr3691541
Date: Sat, May 2 1998 12:00 am

Well, the point is he hasn't portrayed all religious people as intolerant, just some of them - and this just seems like an accurate reflection of society. Also he obviously doesn't show a lot of the characters religious life because 'Nightcrawler Goes To Church' would make a crap issue. But he has made their beliefs part of the story, as in Nightcrawlers soul-searching after meeting the Beyonder or Kitty's anger at the Lightning Squad in Excalibur. Do you want all religious characters to be tolerant, trendy and with-it? Now that would be soooo realistic wouldn't it?

- Lazy Line Painter Al
-who's folks come from Northern Ireland, so I could write you an encyclopedia on Religion and It's Intolerance.


From: Samy Merchi
Date: Tues, May 5 1998 12:00 am

...As to Kitty, why would other people than Christians have to be portrayed as die-hard fanatics? Christianity isn't the only religion who has the right to have people whose beliefs are less than ideal.


From: Leor Blumenthal
Date: Tues, May 5 1998 12:00 am

My problem isn't with Kitty's observance (or lack thereof). In that respect she accurately reflects the bulk of the Jews in America and Canada (including Chris Claremont). But if Kitty is going to be singled out as the "Jewish X-man" then I'd like to see her do more than wear a Magen David. Other than the time she visited a Holocaust memorial with Magneto, Claremont used her Jewishness as window dressing. She isn't observant? Why not tell us why. Kurt skips confession? Make that the focus of a story. Instead we get stereotypes that are as inaccurate as any of the Anti-Mutant propaganda of Graydon Creed.


From: Samy Merchi
Date: Tues, May 5 1998 12:00 am

Um. Can you prove that she is singled out as 'the Jewish X-Man'? I honestly don't see that being the case. She's the 'child prodigy X-Man', if you insist on categorizing her with just one trait.

Other than that time, Claremont didn't use her Jewishness. He was not required to deal with her Jewishness any more than he was required to deal with, say, Roberto's Catholicism. And he didn't. Just like he didn't deal with Roberto's Catholicism.

re: "My problem isn't with Kitty's observance (or lack thereof). In that respect she accurately reflects the bulk of the Jews in America..."

So on one hand you're saying that Kitty's an accurate depiction, and on the other hand you're complaining about inaccurate depiction? Is this a correct interpretation?


From: AGr3691541
Date: Wed, May 6 1998 12:00 am

re: "Why should Kurt's faith only matter when it is called into question?"

Because it's an interesting development. Nightcrawler reading the Bible for half an hour would make a crap comic (although no worse than the current X-men/Doctor Doom Annual).

re: "Why should religious people be constantly portrayed as backwards, primitive, or naive?"

Erm... except for the fact that they're not. The preacher in God Loves, Man Kills is an attack on TV evangelist style religion. It plays on peoples' fears, promotes intolerance and is led by sanctimonous nutters. They exist in this world. I've seen TV Evangelists promote hatred thru self-righteousness. Some religious people ARE backwards, primitive and naive.

While Nightcrawler, Kitty Pryde and the preacher in the Brood storyline [William Conover] all show religious characters that are none of the above.

re: "But if Kitty is going to be singled out as the 'Jewish X-man'..."

I think the point is that she is not just the Jewish X-man. She is a complete character of which her religion is only a part. A token 'Jewish' character smacks of the religious small-mindedness you say you're against.

re: "Other than the time she visited a Holocaust memorial with Magneto, Claremont used her Jewishness as window dressing"

Rubbish, and you can't back that up with any evidence. Kitty's Jewishness has been used primarily when necessary (her anger at the Lightning Squad Shadowcat) but most of the time it has no relevance to the main storyline.


From: Leor Blumenthal
Date: Fri, May 8 1998 12:00 am

I never said I wanted Kitty to be the "token Jew". What I said is that her Jewishness is generally ignored, except on certain occasions when it might be useful to compare the anti-mutant sentiments to the Holocaust, or for a similar reason.

If her Jewishness has no relevance to the story it shouldn't be highlighted, but why should it be ignored? She used to wear a Magen David. Why did she stop? Several of her teammates have deep religious feelings. How does that make her feel? Show us a panel here, a caption there. Be subtle.

When was the last time that the X-books (or any mainstream comic for that matter) handled religion as something other than an oppressive tool used by narrow minded zealots?

re: "there are bad TV evangelists out there, would you rather we pretended they don't exist."

I know they exist. I also know that there are people with religious convictions who don't go around demanding that anyone who disagrees with their beliefs be demonized.


From: Samy Merchi
Date: Sat, May 9 1998 12:00 am

re: "Why should religious people [in Chris Claremont stories] be constantly portrayed as backwards, primitive, or naive?"

Let's see.

Tolerant, un-backwards, un-primitive, un-naive: Kurt, Reverend Conover, Hank..., Ororo, Kitty, Dani, Forge, Amara..., Lilandra.

Total: 9.

Intolerant, backwards, primitive, or naive: Rahne, Reverend Stryker.

Total: 2.

Additions? You'll have to add eight backwards people to validate your point, or invalidate eight of the people I gave.

re: "She [Kitty Pryde] used to wear a Magen David. Why did she stop?"

You're correct here. I'd really like to know why she doesn't wear one anymore. (Though I think she does, it's just crappy art.)


From: AGr3691541
Date: Sat, May 9 1998 12:00 am

Her [Kitty Pryde's] "Jewishness" is ignored because it is irrelevant to the story. If Claremont had tried to force Jewish references in, say the Shi'Ar Brood storyline, it would have stuck out a mile or be limited to horrible cliches, like Kitty saying 'Oi Vey' when surprised. It would have led to her being labeled the Jewish X-men, which is something neither of us want.


From: Leor Blumenthal
Date: Mon, May 11 1998 12:00 am

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. In hindsight, Claremont was following the comic book norms of tiptoeing around religion. However I have noticed that when he did have characters discuss religion, or express religious beliefs, he rarely used actual ritual, or organized religion. I'm not sure if that's also part of the tiptoeing or if it's for another reason.

The other problem I have (which I may not have stated clearly in previous posts) has to do with Kitty's lack of religious identity. I take it as a given that Kitty is non-observant. Her parents are non-observant, and she grew up in a secular environment. However, she originally had a strong Jewish identity. She wore a Magen David, and went with Magneto to a memorial for Holocaust victims. But somewhere along the line she just stopped wearing the Magen David, and she dropped her Jewish identity like a hot potato. It started after Excalibur started, and since then she has mentioned that she is Jewish all of twice in the last three years (that I remember): Once to tell off the Uncreated, and once in a Hanukah story for a Christmas Special.


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

At least in Finland, not all people who are nominally Christians (i.e. enrolled in the church) particularly believe in God. I'd believe the same to be true of Jews. So I'd think maybe this is true in America as well. Even if you're nominally a Jew, you don't necessarily have to have the strongest beliefs in the world. However, you are taking issue with Kitty not being a devout Jew, whereas we have for example Kurt being a very devout Catholic. Therefore, I would assume that you don't have the biggest problem with religion in general, but rather the fact that the only Jewish X-person is not particularly religious. What can I say? That's the way the cookie crumbles. Claremont made some religious people more religious, and some less religious. This is realistic. I am sorry that it ended up being Kitty who was one of the less religious ones, but I doubt Claremont intended this as any kind of a slur towards Jews.

re: "However, she originally had a strong Jewish identity. She wore a Magen David, and went with Magneto to a memorial for Holocaust victims."

These being just about the only two things one would know she was a Jew from. I remember when I read UXM [Uncanny X-Men] #199, I was surprised to learn that Kitty was a Jew. It had never caught my eye before. Aside from UXM #199, I think the meeting with Lightning Squad in Excalibur was the only other scene which really spotlighted the fact that she was a Jew. I really would not say that she had a 'strong' Jewish identity, when I had for years been missing the fact that she even was a Jew in the first place.

re: "But somewhere along the line she just stopped wearing the Magen David, and she dropped her Jewish identity like a hot potato."

The Magen David was not drawn in in every single issue up to #199, and it wasn't drawn in in every single issue after that. It might or it might not be drawn in less frequently these days, I haven't compiled statistics, but is that really such a major point? Maybe she's wearing it under her shirt or something? Just because it's not drawn hanging over her shirt doesn't mean it's not there.

re: "It started after Excalibur started, and since then she has mentioned that she is Jewish all of twice in the last three years (that I remember)..."

Which is more often than most characters mention their religion. (Aside from people like Ororo or Amara who constantly use their religion in their gasp-phrases.) Also note that it is more often than most atheistic characters mention their atheism...


From: Richard Patton
Date: Sat, May 16 1998 12:00 am

Nightcrawler and Kitty Pride of this [newsgroup's] fandom were fairly religious...

From: "The religions of comic book characters" thread started 10 February 2001 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe/browse_thread/thread/13590fda80c5d6e1/e5e0b094ced80f0b; viewed 12 June 2006):
From: Terry McCombs
Date: Sat, Feb 10 2001 6:35 pm

For the most part you don't get much of an idea as to the private lives of most comic book characters. Marvelish soap opera not withstanding.

What I mean is you don't get much of an idea what their politics or religion might be. This is sensible enough I guess as they don't want to offend any of their customers... for the most part you just can't really say just what, if any religion or personal philosophy that or that comic character might follow.

What do you think?


From: Menshevik
Date: Sun, Feb 11 2001 6:05 am

...As far as Marvel is concerned, there are a few characters where you do: ...Religious issues did show up quite a bit in the X-Men, with... Kitty Pryde's very secularized Judaism...

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):
Emerald Ghost
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.


Archer
05-15-2005, 06:02 PM

Kitty is Jewish, Magneto was Jewish but is now probably agnostic...


The Lucky One
05-15-2005, 07:38 PM

...As for [other] characters...
Kitty Pryde, Sabra - Jewish...


Dr. Killbydeath
05-15-2005, 07:41 PM

The saddest thing is how under-represented Jews are, and their portrayal.

Kitty might be the least religious Jew ever (plus I'm sure her family would love that she's going out with a guy who's grandparents probably muscled them out of Russia), Magneto is superevil. And Sabra shows up three times every twenty years.


Sean Whitmore
05-15-2005, 07:52 PM

re: "Kitty might be the least religious Jew ever"

Really? Whenever Claremont writes her, she can barely shut up about being Jewish. :)


Dr. Killbydeath
05-15-2005, 07:55 PM

Hmm... Well, either way, she doesn't usually put on an air of Judaism. And she should be with a nice Jewish boy. I hear the new young Cantor at Beth Shalom is single...


jeangreydp
05-15-2005, 07:55 PM

re: "Whenever Claremont writes her, she can barely shut up about being Jewish."

I have to agree with this. She's one of the most outwardly religious people on the team. She talks about it, and participates in traditions like Yardzeit when she is mourning Piotr.

I'd say her and Kurt are strong enough in their religion to properly represent their respective religions.


Dr. Killbydeath
05-15-2005, 07:58 PM

She did Yertziet... Not only did I miss that, but it's completely out of place. You only do yertzeit for family members and definitely only for Jews. This would make her a very Reform Jew.


jeangreydp
05-15-2005, 08:01 PM

It was in an issue of [X-Men] Unlimited [that Kitty performed Yertziet.]

I didn't know Yertziet was specific to Jews, but yeah I guess that's a plot-hole. Otherwise, I'd say Kitty considered Pitor her family.


Dr. Killbydeath
05-15-2005, 08:11 PM

Unlike Christians, Jews don't pray for people outside our faith. But in a more reform sect it would be contended that a) Peter was family and b) the mourning is more about the mourner than about the dead (Orthodox is much more about tradition and percieved correctness)...


Dr. Killbydeath
05-16-2005, 07:17 PM

...to most people [Magneto] is a villain, and the most recognizeable Jew in comics. (Shadowcat is less known, and The Thing is barely ever mentioned as a Jew.)

From: "Religion and X-Men" thread started 21 July 1998 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks/browse_thread/thread/b61ff5d2e422d0a5/1ebe80a26a7df2e5; viewed 13 June 2006):
From: Alan D. Earhart
Date: Tues, Jul 21 1998 12:00 am

Some of the recent discussion got me thinking about this once again.

When has religion been used as a plot device in an xbook? [i.e., a comic book series related to the X-Men]

I got to thinking about the UX-Men [Uncanny X-Men] Dracula arc oh-so-long-ago in which, if memory serves me, Kitty is able to have some power over Dracula using a Jewish symbol. This being the power of belief and conviction has over the undead.

I seem to remember something from the New Mutants but I can't put my finger on it.

And, there was the Nightcrawler scene in the cartoon.

Others?


From: Harlaquin1
Date: Wed, Jul 22 1998 12:00 am

...when Magneto and Kitty went to a Holocaust convention (I don't know if that's religion being used as a plot but they did discuss about being Jewish), which of course is where the then newly formed Freedom Force attacked and arrested Maggie.


From: Gfnoonan
Date: Wed, Jul 22 1998 12:00 am

...Does Kitty practice reformed Judaism? She seems pretty clearly not Orthodox or Hasidic.


From: Alan Lewis Sauer
Date: Wed, Jul 22 1998 12:00 am

I couldn't say about her [Kitty Pryde's religious] practice; I'm fairly sure she believes.


From: Timothy Larson
Date: Wed, Jul 22 1998 12:00 am

re: "...does Kitty practice reformed Judaism?"

Actually, the correct term is "reform Judaism".


From: mrfixit
Date: Mon, Jul 27 1998 12:00 am

Magneto and Shadowcat are both Jewish and they both attended a Holocaust memorial (although not religious it did mention religion throughout the issue).

From: "(OFFTOPIC) Sleepwalker and a RANT!" thread started 9 April 1996 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks/browse_thread/thread/530027d02cbeb884/7c688dd20f2f433c; viewed 13 June 2006):
From: Brian
Date: Wed, Apr 10 1996 12:00 am

Say, this [religious affiliations of the X-Men] would be a neat thread. My memory doesn't really remember a lot of the X-Men having stated a religion. Kitty's Jewish...

From: Joshua, "Superhero Religions", posted 14 June 2006 on "Carpathian Kitten Loss" blog website (http://kittenloss.blogspot.com/2006/06/superhero-religions.html; viewed 14 June 2006):
In this week's Newsweek periscope [link to Newsweek article: "Belief Watch: Good Fight", http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13249146/site/newsweek/], there is an odd piece on the religions and presumed religions of superheroes...

According to the list, which is taken from a website called Beliefnet.com [link to http://www.beliefnet.com/features/comicbookfaith.html]...

In the Jewish corner is the Thing, Kitty Pryde and villian Magneto...

From: "Religion in comic books", posted 14 June 2006 on "Get Religion" blog website (http://www.getreligion.org/?p=1679; viewed 14 June 2006):

Posted by Katie Q at 10:18 pm on June 14, 2006:

...And super hero comics by and large aren't about religion... It's just very few heroes have a functional religious life during their off-time, and that's rather unrealistic and alienating... So, who else? The Thing and Kitty Pryde, who only remember they're Jewish when the story calls for it?

From: Bripe Klmun, "Holy Superheroes?", posted 15 June 2006 on "Bripecave" blog website (http://www.bripeklmun.dk/blog/?p=189; viewed 15 June 2006):
Source [link to "Holy Superheroes"/"Beliefwatch: Good Fight" article from Newsweek coverdated 19 June 2006; http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13249146/site/newsweek/]

[Excerpt (focusing on Superman's religious affiliation) from Newsweek article]

I personally find the whole thing dumb. As a general rule, it's not remotely important what religion a superhero (or super villain) subscribes to. Some are of obvious importance, like Thor or Odin - some are important to their character development (Magneto), and some it's of mere background information (Kitty Pryde)...

From: Michael, "No Sunday School In Smallville", posted 12 June 2006 on "Tales to Mildly Astonish" blog website (http://talestomildlyastonish.blogspot.com/2006/06/no-sunday-school-in-smallville.html; viewed 15 June 2006):
...There are precious few heroes of faith in comics, mainstream or alternative, and the more I think about that, the less I like it. Most heroes' religion is used as a type of shorthand characterization, something to fill space in the Handbook. Kitty Pryde and Ben Grimm are Jewish, but you never see them paging through the Torah or asking forgiveness at Yom Kippur...
[reader comments]

David said...
There's only a few defenses I could give for the obscurity of genuine religious practice in comic books... because religious values are so dearly held, I do wonder if it wouldn't alienate a Jewish reader if Superman was a Christian or a Christian reader if he was an atheist...

The way to get around this difficulty is to avoid the specific faith of the real icons like Superman... But I see no reason why you wouldn't empahsize the Catholocism of Nightcrawler or the Jewish faith of Kitty. It didn't repel fans of X2 in the first example.

From: "X-Men religious affiliations" thread started 1 June 2002 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks/browse_thread/thread/78e6830d00083d2f/102a03cd2dab9fda; viewed 13 June 2006):
From: Chris Dodson
Date: Sat, Jun 1 2002 9:38 pm

I'm looking for information on the religious beliefs of all the current X-Men...


From: Tom Warren
Date: Sat, Jun 1 2002 9:49 pm

I believe that Kitty Pride is Jewish. The issue where they fight Dracula had a bit about this in there...


From: Nichol
Date: Sun, Jun 2 2002 2:58 am

I seem to recall an issue where Wolverine and Kitty were fighting vampires. She fended them off using her Star of David, but Wolverine made a cross with his claws and had vampires all over him. The point was that a wearer's faith in a religious artifact protected them, not the artifact itself. Wolverine had no faith in the cross, so therefore it did nothing...


From: Prestorjon
Date: Tues, Jun 4 2002 7:08 pm

If we're thinking of the same issue, the one where Dracula goes after Storm (which oddly enough I first saw in a Dutch version), then what happened was that Kitty actually went after Dracula with a cross and he simply batted it away and grabbed her by the neck at which point he burned himself on her Star of David.


From: Brian Doyle
Date: Sun, Jun 2 2002 8:28 am

...Shadowcat - Jewish...


From: Kenneth
Date: Sun, Jun 2 2002 11:59 am

...Kitty Pride is, of course, Jewish...


From: Dan
Date: Sun, Jun 2 2002 9:26 pm

Storm worships some nameless goddess. Cannonball is a Christian denomination. Shadowcat is Jewish. Not sure about the rest. Most writers take it for granted that a) characters believe in a god and b) that they're Judeo-Christian.


From: Jim Longo
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 10:09 am

As has been stated, Kitty Pryde is Jewish, and there's an ongoing debate about whether Magneto was...


From: Prestorjon
Date: Tues, Jun 4 2002 6:57 pm

Nightcrawler is Catholic. Kitty Pryde is Jewish...


From: EBailey140
Date: Fri, Jun 7 2002 5:47 am

...Kitty's Jewish. Magnus was Jewish, but didn't practice...

From: "Superheroes and religion", posted 14 June 2006 on "On Christopher Street" blog website (http://somacandra.livejournal.com/410090.html; viewed 16 June 2006):
[reader comments:]

From: mysanal
Date: June 16th, 2006 11:31 pm (UTC)

...Religion was often touched on in comics, but when Chris Claremont took over the X-Men in the 1980's, he made the characters regiously diverse as well as ethnically diverse. I think Shadowcat and Nightcrawler were the first characters to have specific religious affiliations...

From: "Any Christian Superheroes?" thread began 22 April 2004 on rec.arts.comics.dc.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.dc.universe/browse_thread/thread/4e5839f075fecf76/8821b5db671e7ce1; viewed 20 June 2006):

From: Gustavo Wombat
Date: Thurs, Apr 22 2004 12:03 pm

I can't think of any major superheroes that strongly believe in any real faith, and that surprises me. Certainly not in the DC Universe. I think there are more minority superheroes than religious ones...


From: Brian Doyle
Date: Thurs, Apr 22 2004 12:36 pm

Nightcrawler is devoutly Catholic and Kitty Pryde is Jewish...


From: AJSolis
Date: Fri, Apr 23 2004 2:12 am

Let's see, there's the Jewish Shadowcat, Firebird is Christian...


From: Dreighton
Date: Fri, Apr 23 2004 4:01 pm

...Shadowcat/Kitty Pride is Jewish, and wore (wears?) a Star of David...

From: "Atheist superheroes?" thread, started 21 September 1999 on rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.marvel.universe/browse_thread/thread/e8d686f0b20944a6/e46638dbdaa8a219; viewed 22 June 2006):
From: Dwiff
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

...Anyone care to post a list of those characters whose spiritual beliefs are on record? Of the top of my head:
Sabra: Hebrew (d'uh)
Shadowcat: Hebrew
[5 other characters listed]

From: "Up, up, and oy, vey!", posted 5 February 2006 on MetaFilter.com website (http://www.metafilter.com/39326/Up-up-and-oy-vey; viewed 19 June 2007):

Oh, and Kitty Pride is Jewish, also.

posted by Sangermaine at 11:43 PM on February 5


I sure hope so.

posted by interrobang at 11:53 PM on February 5

From: Mareska Kellemvore, "No real update yet", posted 24 June 2006 on her blog website (http://mareska.livejournal.com/116525.html):
Mareska Kellemvore (mareska) wrote, 2006-06-24 12:54:00: Newsweek recently published an article about the religions of various superheroes. Now some have been established in continuity... I'm pretty sure Shadowcat is Jewish...

From: Doug Tonks, "A Higher Power", posted 22 October 2006 on "All New! All Different! Howling Curmudgeons: Two-Fisted Comics Commentary and Criticism!" blog website (http://www.whiterose.org/howlingcurmudgeons/archives/009995.html; viewed 25 April 2007):

The never-identified but usually heeded "they" claim that there are two topics you should never talk about: religion and politics. But since Mike already brought up religion... I'll follow it up with a link to this page [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html], which lists the religious affiliations of various comic book characters. Many of the religious identifications are backed up with lengthy supporting arguments, but some of the more minor characters get little or nothing in the way of explanation.

Some of them are not too surprising... Others are obvious: Nightcrawler and Daredevil are each Catholic, and Kitty Pryde and the Thing are each Jewish...

Posted by Doug at October 22, 2006 7:12 PM

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):

Mr Wesley
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?


nietoperz
08-22-2006, 10:07 AM

I don't think there are so many openly Jewish or Muslim Superheroes either (at least not American ones). In the end, non-denominational heroes will appeal to a broader spectrum of readers, or at least I'm sure that's the theory.


MoneyMelon
08-22-2006, 10:08 AM

I don't think there are so many openly Jewish or Muslim Superheroes either.


Timberoo
08-22-2006, 10:16 AM

...btw [by the way] - Kitty Pride is Jewish.

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):

Shellhead
02/05/2005, 15:35

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...


[http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=123637&page=2]

venomeng
02/07/2005, 18:58

Which characters are Jewish? Shadowcat's the only one I remember.

From: "What are the religious beliefs of the main mutants in the X-Books?" forum discussion started 16 January 2007 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-160293.html; viewed 16 May 2007):

01-16-2007, 03:51 PM
What do you think the religious beliefs of the following mutants are?

Scott
Jean
Professor X
Magneto
Wolverine
Wanda
Lorna
Bobby
Pietro
Storm


ibrakeforchinwe
01-16-2007, 04:38 PM


Kitty - Jewish
Jean - Protestant
Magneto - Jewish
Xavier - Protestant
Bobby - Jewish
Wanda - Jewish
Pietro - Jewish
Lorna - Catholic?
Storm - No idea...
Wolverine - Protestant?
Emma - Catholic?
Sam - Baptist?
Angel - Protestant?
Banshee - Catholic?
Chamber - Anglican?
Scott and Alex - Protestant
Psylocke - Protestant or Anglican

AnthonyJ
01-16-2007, 07:09 PM

Most comic book characters are blandly nondenominational with a tendency towards being WASPs [i.e., "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants"]. The only ones I would consider obviously practicing members of a faith are:

Kitty: Jewish
Jean: founder and prophet of the Church of the Phoenix
Magneto: Jewish
Storm: Neopagan, Goddess worshipper
Sam: Baptist
Kurt: Catholic


fishtaco
01-17-2007, 07:47 AM

Yeah, Wolverine's atheist. Nightcrawler and Shadowcat are obvious. Storm (and probably Magik) are complicated. Rogue is Christian, but I don't think we know whether that's Protestant or Catholic or something else. I don't think Longshot understands the concept of religion, so I guess that might make him an atheist. Wolfsbane is Presbyterian, Cannonball is Christian as of New Mutants (1st Series) #15. I suppose Magma believes in the Roman (Greek) gods? Forge? I think Gambit is atheist. Thunderbird III is Hindu. There are Shi'ar gods... Shaara, Kythri), Lilandra worships them.

From: "Tonight I'm gonna party like it's 5767", posted 22 September 2006 on "SwanShadow Thinks Out Loud" blog website (http://www.swanshadow.com/2006/09/tonight-im-gonna-party-like-its-5767.html; viewed 21 May 2007):

Happy New Year and L'Chaim to all of SSTOL's Jewish readers! (You know who you are. At least, I hope you do.)

In celebration of Rosh Hashanah - which, for the benefit of my fellow goyim, begins tonight at sunset - today's Comic Art Friday celebrates heroes and heroines of the Hebrew persuasion. If you're an SSTOL regular, you've seen both of today's artworks on previous occasions, but feel welcome to enjoy them again on this New Year's Eve/Day (depending upon what time of day you read this).

This first piece is a favorite from my ever-growing "Common Elements" series, featuring pairs of unrelated heroes who share some factor in common. On the left, one of the most influential creations in the history of comics: Denny Colt, a.k.a. The Spirit. On the right, the first mainstream superheroine to openly acknowledge her Jewish faith: Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, a.k.a. Shadowcat, of the X-Men and Excalibur.

[The Spirit and Kitty 'Shadowcat' Pryde, pencils and inks by comics artist Brian 'Briz' Ahern]

The common element I had in mind when putting Denny and Kitty together actually isn't their religion [the Spirit is not Jewish], but their code names. Early in her superheroic career, before settling on the Shadowcat identity (though she's often referred to in the comics simply by her real name) Kitty used the nom de guerre Sprite, which (not surprisingly) derives from the same linguistic root as Spirit.

From: "Religion in Comics", posted 22 December 2006 on "Noble Nonsense" blog website (http://www.mania.com/noblenonsense/blog/136.html; viewed 25 May 2007):

If you go to wikipedia (or www.marveldatabase.com) and type in say... Hawkeye. You won't get his religious affiliation. I don't know and or care what he is. In fact the only two people I know for certain their religious beliefs are is The Thing and Kitty Pryde. Both Jewish. Which come to think of it The Thing being Jewish makes sense in a comparison to the legend of the Golum. I doubt that was the intention though.

But I guess the main reason for this post is this question: Should writers address religion in comics?

I guess I'm mixed on this. I mean to some degree I want to know that my favored characters have some sort of spiritual side. Except I think it would be hard to have a religious belief in said universe. I know it can easily be argued that it could change my opinion of the character if I knew their religious affiliation. But in reality it really hasn't. I still like Thing. Doesn't bug me at all that his religion is different than mine. He saves the world who cares if he's not my denomination of Christianity?! Kitty Pryde is still my third favorite X-Man...

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):

Nogs
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...


mattbib
09-15-2006, 09:03 PM

Shadowcat is Jewish, as is Sabra.

Firebird is Christian, though I don't know which denomination.

From: "Islamic super heroes: Are there any?" forum discussion, started 23 August 2005 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-76010.html; viewed 28 May 2007):

Crinos
08-23-2005, 10:06 PM

Well, anyways, I was thinking of an idea for a UN-sanctioned super hero team with represenatives from different countries, and one of them is a female telepath from Turkey... named Sultana. And I suddenly realized that for the life of me I can't think of a single Muslim super-hero from either Marvel or DC.

So, are there any? And please don't turn this into a political debate.


PatrickG
08-24-2005, 07:17 AM

In any case... Note how few Jewish super-heroes there are in an industry whose biggest names are very often Jewish.

I'm thinking of Kitty Pryde, Gim Allon and Barry Allen as the biggest name ones. And I think it's been an afterthought in all three.

I think the characters are supposed to represent us all even if they don't reflect us all.

From: "What if ShadowCat and Colossus were... [married in the 616 Marvel U?]" forum discussion, started 24 April 2006 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=121205; viewed 30 May 2007):

[http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=121205&page=3]

04-25-2006, 05:47 PM
LoneWolf21

...Now would it be a Catholic or Jewish ceremony?


04-25-2006, 05:53 PM
Amokitty

Since it's never been stated that Peter belongs to the Russian Orthodox church, and it's been implied that he had an Atheist upbringing - we're DEFINITELY looking at a Jewish ceremony here. Peter would look great in a yarmulke! L'Chaim!!


[http://forums.comicbookresources.com/showthread.php?t=121205&page=5]

04-30-2006, 09:14 AM
scapebabe

This [blogger's posted self-made illustration imagining the wedding of Colossus and Kitty Pryde] is pretty and all, but isn't Kitty Jewish and Piotr an atheist? Kitty would get married under a chuppah, or if she wanted to compromise for Piotr, they'd more likely have a civil ceremony. Just sayin'. I am admittedly a detail nut.


04-30-2006, 06:45 PM
Kirayoshi

Nice pic, Gloveman. One quibble: why the cross on the podium? Kitty's Jewish, Piotr's usually depicted as an athiest/agonstic(although sometimes I more likely suspect he's a non-demoninational deist), there should be a Star of David on the cloth. Any wedding between these two should be a traditional Jewish wedding, complete with veil over Kitty's face and Piotr breaking the glass under his heel.

From: Gary Stern, "The spiritual Spider-Man", posted 7 May 2007 on "On Religion" blog website (http://religion.lohudblogs.com/2007/05/07/the-spiritual-spider-man/; viewed 30 May 2007):

...Beliefnet has compiled a very funny quiz on the religious life of superheroes. Really. Here's a sample question:

Q3. Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) of the X-Men is one of the most overtly Jewish superheroes of all time. How does she prominently display her faith?
1. By exclaiming "oy vey" whenever something bad happens
2. By wearing a Star of David necklace
3. By going to temple often
4. By leaving work early on Shabbat

Beats me...

From: "Guess who's the Jew?" forum discussion started 24 October 2005 on "Silver Bullet Comics" website (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-732.html; viewed 30 May 2007):

Kelvin Green
10-25-2005, 05:57 PM

...Speaking of X-characters though, isn't Kitty Pryde from a Jewish family?


Charles Rocketboy
10-25-2005, 06:44 PM

Yep, she's 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):

furie
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?


spideyguy0
12-12-2005, 06:07 AM

The Thing, Kitty Pride, and Sabra come to mind, and I'm pretty sure there are more. I think I have a list somewhere.


Loki
12-12-2005, 06:09 AM

Off the top of my head, Magneto would mostly fall into the villain category. On the heroic side, Sabra, Shadowcat, Thing, White Tiger (Kasper Cole, not the others of that name).


El Santo
12-15-2005, 01:29 PM

...On another note, when was it established that Kitty Pryde was Jewish?


Sandy Hausler
02-01-2006, 05:05 AM

re: I have a feeling that there are more Jewish, or those who have Jewish characters in the Marvel Universe.

Kitty Pryde, when she first started appearing in the early issues of X-Men, wore a Jewish Star (Star of David) necklace all the time, which is a pretty clear statement that she's Jewish, though not of her religiousity.

Of course, Sabra, being Israeli, has a costume that reflects her Jewishness, though that is more a nationalistic thing, than a religious one, in my opinion.

Other heroes, whose Jewishness has been stated in unmistakeable terms are:

Moon Knight -- his father was a rabbi.

Leonard Samson -- he went to yeshiva (Jewish day school) as a child...

No Jewish character has ever been shown to be devout, certainly not a super hero.

From: "Comics and Religion Discussion (DC/Marvel)" forum discussion, started 30 May 2007 on "Killer Movies" website (http://www.killermovies.com/forums/453153_1-successful-religion-based-comics-dc-marvel; viewed 6 June 2007):

What If...
May 31st, 2007 04:00 AM

There's really no point to this thread, and no point for you to attempt to justify your religious based super hero.

Yeah, Kitty is Jewish and Hulk may be catholic, but that's only one aspect of their character, and their character is not defined by religion like you are making it seem.

From: "MSNBC talks religion of superheroes" forum discussion started 15 June 2006 on BKV.TV website (http://www.bkv.tv/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=117679&sid=4ea823f1318d399750740ae4287a02f5; viewed 6 June 2007):

Jason
Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:04 am

I've always thought of Superman's story as being more an allagory for the Jewish immigrant experience in America. He comes from a far away place, with a very ethnic name, Kal-El, to the heartland of America where he becomes the very WASP-y Clark Kent. He's even clothed in the colors of the American flag, minus any white.

As for other religious superheroes, Kitty Pryde's a practicing Jew, isn't she? And of course Nightcrawler's a devout Catholic.

From: "New Joe Fridays: Week 49" forum discussion, started 1 June 2007 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=114952&page=5; viewed 8 June 2007):

06-03-2007, 04:58 AM
TheToileteer

You brought up the issue of comic-book stereotypes and religions. Since I study religion (all kinds, really) this is something I've thought about a lot...

So, on to religion. What religions do we find represented in Marvel? ...Mainstream religions were generally unmentioned before the 1990's (though we do find Cap consulting the New Testament for inspiration during the 1970's... Then suddenly a number of characters were revealed as being of Roman Catholic background (Daredevil, Invisible Woman, Nightcrawler, Punisher), or occasionally Jewish (Thing, though he is predated by minor characters Doc Samson, Sabra, Kitty Pryde, and Justice)... What was the motivation for all this? ...Jack Kirby once drew the Thing with a prayer-shawl, and Jewish ethnicity seemed to reinforce the character's constant suffering and kvetching (and maybe his sense of humor too)...

From: "Wonder Woman and Religion", posted 21 February 2006 by Ragnell on "Written World: Hyper-Feminist Comic Book Culture Commentary" blog website (http://ragnell.blogspot.com/2006/02/wonder-woman-and-religion.html; viewed 20 June 2007):

[User Comments]

RAB said...

In a way, I feel this discussion gives the writers at DC more credit for nuance and intent than they actually deserve. Speaking as a lifelong non-Christian, it's always seemed pretty obvious that the DC (and Marvel) position on religion and philosophy is exactly that of mainstream America. Some sort of nondefined Protestantism is the default "normal" state and characters who are anything else -- including Catholic or Jewish or atheist -- are only those things because it's immediately vital to their histories or a significant plot point. There might be one or two exceptions (Kitty Pryde got to be a Jewish character without her backstory involving the Holocaust or Israel or the Golem of Prague or anything like that) but overall, a generalized nonspecific Christianity is the rule. The Spectre is not the voice of a god, but The Voice of The God...and that God is certainly not Yawheh or Allah... [i.e., this poster believes the Spectre is not representative of Islam or Judaism, but represents a Christian theological viewpoint]...


kalinara said...

re: But as a rule, comics writers are so immersed in the default assumption of the Protestant God being the one real God -- even if they themselves aren't believers -- that they can't get outside that headspace.

Sorry to hijack Ragnell's blogspace but I disagree with this completely. A great many comic book creators *aren't* actually of a Protestant background...

Over at adherents.com, there is a fantastic list [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html] that compiles character beliefs based on creator and writer commentary and visual clues.

Let's look at some of the Jewish characters listed:

Kitty Pryde as you mentioned, Ben Grimm, Ragman, Colossal Boy/Gim Allon, Atom Smasher/Al Rothstein, Firestorm/Martin Stein, The Atom/Ray Palmer...

Now many of these characters are lapsed/non-practicing, it's true, but quite a few are pretty devout in their own quiet ways. And none of them have really had their Judaism used as a Holocaust/Israel related plot point...

From: "Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters (Doug Ramsey Fans, please help)" forum discussion, started 17 October 2006 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-87949.html; viewed 20 June 2007):

JMarsh642
10-17-2006, 02:42 PM

I found this site white tries to identify the religious affiliation of comic book characters.
http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html ...


Drcharles
10-17-2006, 08:42 PM

Excellent site. I only knew one character's religion, and that was Daredevi, a Catholic. Very interesting site. Thanks


LucasSiegel
10-18-2006, 02:10 PM

Cool site, JMarsh, thanks for linking that. Of course, I'm surprised when people say they only knew one or two, and yet no one mentioned Nightcrawler, the former Catholic Priest candidate. Kinda obvious what his denomination is.

And Kitty Pryde is the most famous Super-Jew I know of.


Kid Doozer
10-18-2006, 02:12 PM

Remember when she defeated Dracula with her Jewishness? Cause I do.

And it was awesome.


nolanjwerner
10-18-2006, 02:16 PM

I remember she went totally JAPpy [Jewish American Princess] on him.

Actually, thats the coolest scene ever. I so want to write that.

And yet, conversely, I also want to write a story where she questions her Jewish faith and becomes a cultural Jew.


Kid Doozer
10-18-2006, 02:19 PM

And registers on JDate.com


nolanjwerner
10-18-2006, 02:21 PM

No, then we have an interfaith relationship storyline.

Imagine what a strong image it would be to have her throw away her incredible disappearing Star of David necklace.


JMarsh642
10-18-2006, 02:22 PM

She's already dating someone [Colossus] who grew up in Russia - most likely without any religious background.

From: "Stuart Moore's A Thousand Flowers: O Deadly Night" forum discussion, started 2 December 2003 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-6949.html; viewed 28 June 2007):

Ace
12-02-2003, 10:19 PM

I'm actully really really fond of the early - mid 90s Marvel Christmas specials. I remember some really good stories in there particularly a Spidey/JJJ one and a Shadowcat one. It's been years, but I think some of them were even better than that.


PretentiousMoi
12-02-2003, 11:15 PM

I'm fuzzy on the details, but didn't Kitty Pryde's first solo adventure in X-Men take place at Christmas? Something about her not joining her teammates for a Christmas outing and remaining alone in the mansion to face one of the N'gari (or whoever) and the book ending sentimentally with Kitty realizing that she was part of the X-Men family. Now that I think about it, it was very similar to HOME ALONE, even though I'm pretty sure it pre-dated that movie...


Royal Nonesuch
12-02-2003, 11:43 PM

It was the holiday season (Kitty probably wasn't looking forward to Christmas, since she's Jewish), and she was depressed that she wouldn't be able to see her parents, so she was sticking around in the mansion when some N'Garai demon showed up. At the end, the X-Men reveal that they left because they went to go get Kitty's folks to surprise her.

The story itself, I thought, referenced Alien more than it did Home Alone, which it did indeed predate.

From: "Superman Was Jewish?" forum discussion, started 6 July 2006 on "Superhero Hype!" website (http://forums.superherohype.com/archive/index.php/t-241110.html):

Fantasyartist
07-10-2006, 08:42 AM

Nah, I don't think the Man of Steel either is or was intended to be Jewish per se... there aren't that many Jewish superheroes running around. (The Thing, Shadowcat, Moon Knight and Doc Samson all spring to mind), far fewer than say, African-American, Hispanic or Oriental!

From: Brad Meltzer, "Jewish Superhero Website Listing", posted 28 June 2007 on his official MySpace website (http://www.bradmeltzer.com/labels/Comics.html; viewed 9 July 2007):

Thanks to Jack G. for this. And I so admire The Acidic Jew [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/AcidicJew.html].

Jewish superhero website listing:

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_collage.html#Jews


[reader comments posted in response to this, at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=70196334&blogID=281610033&Mytoken=98182113-1D51-4F53-83316A28FAF456D570762504]

I love that site. It's informative, and also in some cases funny. I love Ragman, though. Of all the Jewish heroes, he's probably my favorite... It's somewhat sad that Ragman is competing with Atom-Smasher for biggest Jew in DCU, since Ragman's the only one in a title right now (Shadowpact). Marvel at least The Thing is pretty definably the biggest [Jewish character] in their universe, followed by Shadowcat...

Posted by Transit of the Earth, as seen by Mars. on Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 4:16 PM

From: "New Joe Fridays Week 28", published December 2006 on Newsarama.com (http://www.newsarama.com/NewJoeFridays/NewJoeFridays28.html; viewed 8 June 2007):

RQ: ted_dahlman [question]: I can only think of three Marvel characters who are practicing Jews (Thing, Shadowcat, and presumably Sabra), two who are practicing Christians (Nightcrawler and Firebird, both Catholic), along with a few Muslim heroes who have figured into minor roles in several stories, and the thousands of "mutant-hating bigots" who have shown up dressed in clerical garb.

JQ [Joe Quesada, editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics]: Hey there, ted_dahlman. Marc Spector, Doc Samson, and Magneto are also... Jews... I know there's more, but I just thought I'd mention these four as they seem like important ones to include.

From: "Please Help List Minority Groups" forum discussion, started 11-05-2006 on "Super-Hero Hype" website (http://forums.superherohype.com/showthread.php?t=255464; viewed 12 July 2007):

11-05-2006, 02:40 PM
Popo 85

Hey guys,
I'm doing a project for Ohio State University about subordinate group representation in Marvel Comic's superhero population (pretty awesome, huh?)

A subordinate group basically means a population that's not a dominant group. And I've got 7 categories to fill; ethnic, gender, religious, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, and physical or mental ability. ..though I think I'll cut socioeconomic status do to it's fine line-ish qualities in comics.

So, how about I'll give what I've got so far, and then feel free to add to my lists. I think I have a pretty good handle on the MU, but it's still huge and I don't want to forget anybody. Should be fun anyway.

Religious:
Shadowcat - Jewish
Thing - Jewish
Magneto - Jewish
Daredevil - Catholic
Nightcrawler - Catholic

From: "Religious Super Heroes PC or otherwise" forum discussion, started 17 September 2003 on "HERO Games" website (http://www.herogames.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-8036.html; viewed 12 July 2007):

Hermit
Sep 17th, '03, 09:38 PM

Another thread got me to thinking a bit about religious super heroes. They do occur in comic books. Some it barely gets mentioned, some few are quite devout in their faith. Examples that come to mind are Nightcrawler, Firebird, and Daredevil. Both Kitty Pryde and Ben Grimm are Jewish...

From: "Gods and Champions" forum discussion, started 11 September 2004 on "HERO Games" website (http://www.herogames.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-21728.html; viewed 12 July 2007):

Katherine
Sep 11th, '04, 04:46 AM

Doesn't it seem that religious based Superheroes get a sort of lopsided treatment? Characters like Thor, Hercules and others never seem to catch much flak for claiming to be pagan gods and such, but Christian based supers are either unheard of or portrayed as over zealous wack jobs. I'm not a particularly religious person so please don't take this a some sort of rant, just something I've noticed...


Enforcer84
Sep 11th, '04, 02:08 PM

Well, Nightcrawler is Catholic, Shadowcat is Jewish. But they don't fight crime as "God Boy" or anything like that...

From: "Question about Magneto" forum discussion, started 12 May 2006 on "Giant in the Playground" website (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-15296.html; viewed 17 July 2007):

Haggis_McCrablice
05-16-2006, 01:40 AM

...In X-Men: Evolution... in a holiday episode Kitty "Shadowcat" Pryde is seen lighting a menorah, indicating she's Jewish.

From: "Religion in the DCU?" forum discussion, started 25 October 2006 on "Comic Bloc" website (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-37480.html; viewed 20 July 2007):

ady Obie
October 27th, 2006, 07:35 AM

I've always found these things interesting since I was a kid (like how Judaism doesn't look at Christ as the Messiah, or how Islam considers Moses and Jesus to be prophets like Mohammed)

One thing I like about comic's portraying a character's religion is it makes a character more realistic, even if if said character doesn't share your religion or does but doesn't observe it the same way you do ;)

For the curious, the reason Judaism doesn't look at Christ as the Messiah is we who are Jewish believe all people below G*d are equal to each other :)

I have to admit I smile every time I see Kitty Pryde wearing a Jewish Star pendant (and got a kick out of seeing her light a Hanukkah Menorah on an episode of X-Men Evolution).

From: "Where are all the Christian super heroes?" forum discussion, started 14 May 2007 on "Uber Christians" website (http://uberchristians.org/vb/archive/index.php/t-673.html; viewed 2 August 2007):

Pendaric
05-14-2007, 05:32 PM

...Where are all the Christian super heroes? ...


Texas Lynn
05-15-2007, 01:25 AM

I was thinking of Nightcrawler... Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane) was raised Calvinist... The Guthries (Sam, etc.) are Baptists. Clark Kent is a Methodist. Kitty Pride is a Reform Jew. Magneto is Jewish too.

From: "2000AD characters with defined 'real' religious orientations" forum discussion, started 7 March 2005 on "2000 AD Online" website (http://www.2000adonline.com/?zone=fan&page=messagethread&choice=13185; viewed 3 August 2007):

posted by Tordelbach on 7 Mar 05 at 17:58

2000AD characters with defined 'real' religious orientations

Just reading the always interesting 'Fool Brittannia', where Reggie... asks about the whereabouts of characters with clearly-defined religions in comics.

To his informal shortlist, I could only add (IIRC [If I recall correctly]) Kitty Pryde from 'X-Men', who is/was Jewish, and David from 'Strangers in Paradise', who is/was devoutly Christian. This got me thinking: what about Tooth?

Do we have many 2000AD characters with defined 'real' religious orientations?

From: "Need Help With A Research Project" forum discussion, started 9 December 2005 on the "Comic Bloc" website (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-16070.html; viewed 6 August 2007):

Atom-Smasher
December 13th, 2005, 10:57 PM

In relation to question 6: as a Jewish comic book reader, I look around a great deal for any sign of Jewish stuff in comics. It's a habit. Things like the upcoming Sgt. Rock mini about rescuing the rabbi in Eastern Europe are few and far between. Interestingly, the three highest profile Jewish characters at Marvel--Kitty Pryde, the Thing and Moon Knight--have a mini-series, an ongoing and an upcoming ongoing, respectively. On the DC side, Ragman is in the Shadowpact ongoing, but otherwise, Atom Smasher is in jail and... that's it. No one's heard from Seraph and Hayoth for years, and I think I'm the only person that considers Black Canary to actually be Jewish (I have my reasons). Atom Smasher could become a player in OYL considering his current imprisoned status and his apparent recruitment by Amanda Waller.

As for Jewish themes in writing, the legend of the Golem has influenced a number of characters, most notably Marvel's Thing...


[Reader comments:]

Phil Masters said:
Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, a.k.a Shadowcat/ Sprite of The Uncanny X-Men, was identified as Jewish years ago. (Don't ask me how: not being a Democrat Congressperson or a Guardian columnist, I don't possess finely-tuned Jewdar capable of detecting hidden Hebrews in unexpected places).

Fortunately, there are other ways of detecting these things. In this case, I believe, it was the moment when Dracula sneered at the crucifix she was wielding with insufficient conviction, went for her throat - and bounced off the Star of David pendant she was wearing with a screech of vampiric pain.

One doesn't have to make these things up. There are people already being paid to do so.

From: Tom R., "It's Kabbalah-in' Time!", posted 24 July 2006 on "Father McKenzie" website (http://fathermckenzie.blogspot.com/2006/07/its-kabbalah-in-time.html; viewed 10 August 2007):

...UPDATE 2: My impeccable source informs me that the Thing is not in fact the first Jewish superhero, nor even the first for Marvel. Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, a.k.a Shadowcat/ Sprite of The Uncanny X-Men, was identified as Jewish years ago. (Don't ask me how: not being a Democrat Congressperson or a Guardian columnist, I don't possess finely-tuned Jewdar capable of detecting hidden Hebrews in unexpected places). Perhaps Kitty was ethnically Jewish but non-practising, whereas Ben Grimm is the first to actually practice the rituals of Judaism (eg, reciting the Shema) on Marvel's pages...


{Reader comments posted on this page:]

Phil Masters said:
Fortunately, there are other ways of detecting these things. In this case, I believe, it was the moment when Dracula sneered at the crucifix she was wielding with insufficient conviction, went for her throat - and bounced off the Star of David pendant she was wearing with a screech of vampiric pain.

One doesn't have to make these things up. There are people already being paid to do so.

From: "What is Professor X's Religion?" forum discussion, started 21 July 2007 on Yahoo Groups website (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ux-fans/message/6980; viewed 11 August 2007):

Steven / steviemort45
Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:24 am

Reading X-titles over the years religion has played a big part in many of the characters lives, Nightcrawler is very dedicated to Catholicism. A big part of Kitty is her faith in Judaism. Storm was worshipped as a godess. But one character who faith has never been explored (to my knowledge) is Professor Xavier's. Is he Catholic, Jewish, or is he an atheist?


[http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ux-fans/message/6984]

Duane / dualind
Jul 21, 2007 2:27 pm

...All the comments that were made about it got me thinking... I know that Kitty Pryde from her mini series claims to be Jewish.


Daniela de DPX Comics / dpxcomics


Jul 21, 2007 2:40 pm

...Kitty is Jewish. She often wears the Star of David (five-point star) in a necklace. There have been many references to this in the comics. http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/Shadowcat.html


Flyin' Ryan / fynryn
Jul 21, 2007 6:31 pm

...the Star of David which has come to represent Judaism, is actualy six points, not five. (But that was probably just a typo), and derived from the seal of Solomon used in magic.


Duane / dualind
Jul 21, 2007 9:56 pm

I know that the Star of David is a six point star and it is used somewhat in magic. I think that the big star (type) that is used in magic is the five star (used in the Pentagram). Anyway, thanks again Daniel. That site [Adherents.com] has had a lot of TLC [Tender Loving Care] put into it. Someone has spent a lot of time researching this.


Daniela de DPX Comics / dpxcomics
Jul 23, 2007 4:25 pm

...Sorry about the star thing, guess I didn't bother to count them points :P

From: Ranuel, "Religion of Comic Book Characters", posted 26 June 2007 on "Why Am I In This Handbasket?" blog website (http://ranuel.livejournal.com/25893.html; viewed 15 August 2007):

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html

If you are a comic geek then you probably already know that Nightcrawler is Catholic and Kitty Pryde is Jewish...


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