The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of the New Warriors
Silhouette Chord, a Marvel Comics superheroine best known simply as "Silhouette," was a member of the New Warriors, a superhero team comprised primarily of teenagers and young twenty-somethings.
Like many other superheroes, Silhouette is Catholic. Silhouette's religious beliefs and spirituality were clearly at least somewhat important to her, as indicated by the fact that she was one of Marvel's "most religious" superheroes recruited by the Goddess during the Infinity Crusade crossover event. Silhouette's Catholic religious affiliation was never utilized as a major aspect of her character or as a significant plot point, however.
Silhouette's apparently intimate relationships with fellow New Warriors Night Thrasher and later Bandit suggest that she was not devoutly observant of all aspects of Catholic moral standards.
One particularly unusual aspect of this character is that she had an obvious physical handicap. She was paralyzed from the legs down and used crutches.
Silhouette was introduced in New Warriors #2. She was a mainstay of the team and appeared frequently in other series which had New Warriors crossover stories. By the time Silhouette left the New Warriors in issue #51 of theri series, Silhouette had appeared in 87 separate comics, in series such as Night Thrasher; Darkhawk; Nova; Amazing Spider-Man; Spectacular Spider-Man; Web Of Spider-Man; Fantastic Four; Avengers; Captain America; Thor; Dr. Strange; Infinity Crusade; Infinity War; Warlock and the Infinity Watch; Uncanny X-Men; X-Factor and X-Force (see: http://www.coreyblake.com/nwcc/characters/inactive/silhouette.html)
Little has been published about Silhouette since she left the New Warriors team and their original series was cancelled.
Infinity Crusade: Silhouette 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.
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/e8d686f0b20944a6/2f9353e0760b00e7; viewed 23 June 2006):
Date: Wed, Sep 22 1999 12:00 am
re: "Anyone care to post a list of those characters whose spiritual beliefs are on record?"
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.
Webpage created 31 December 2005. Last modified 23 June 2006.
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