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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Linda Danvers
Supergirl


The fictional character of Supergirl (the post-Crisis version written prominently by Peter David during the late 1980s and 1990s) was an active Methodist. Supergirl's minister, Rev. Larry Varvel, was based on a real-life Methodist minister of the same name.

From: "Supergirl Vol. 4 #3" page on "The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe" website (http://www.dcuguide.com/Sg/Sg4_003.php; viewed 21 December 2005):

Supergirl Vol. 4 #3
November 1996 [$1.95]...
Story: "And No Dawn To Follow the Darkness" (22 Pages)
Credits: Peter David (plot, script); Gary Frank (pencils); Cam Smith (inks)...
Feature Character: Supergirl
Supporting Characters: Fred Danvers, Sylvia Danvers, Mattie Harcourt; Cutter Sharp (next in Supergirl Plus #1) Reverend Larry Varvel (first appearance; a priest of the Leesburg United Methodist Church, [apparently the church that Supergirl began attending])...

Synopsis:
Supergirl was barely getting adjusted to her new life in Leesburg - Linda Danvers's life - when the catalysm known as Final Night seemed to snuff out the sun. The megalomaniacal Gorilla Grodd took this opportunity to strike up an alliance with Buzz. Grodd uses an amulet powered by the eclipsed sun to turn the town's population into a savage reflection of themselves, and because Supergirl choose to be human when she took on Linda's life she was susceptible.
Reverend Larry Varvel, Supergirl's Methodist minister, first appeared in Supergirl Vol. 4, issue #3. Rev. Varvel was a major recurring character in this series. He also appeared in Supergirl Vol. 4 #4 ("Belly of the Beast"), #5 ("Supergirl In Chemical Imbalance"), #10 ("Hidden Things"), #11 ("Sound And Fury"), #15 ("Gods of the Twillight"), #36 ("Heck's Angels, Part 2: Justice Delayed"), #37 ("Heck's Angels, Part 4: Demon in the Bottle"), #39 ("On Ice")


Rev. Larry Varvel, Supergirl's Methodist minister Biography of the real-life Rev. Larry Varvel, upon whom Supergirl's minister was based, from: Staff directory page of the official website of the First United Methodist Church, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (http://fumcba.org/staff.asp?id=403&task=staffdisplay&staffid=70; viewed 21 December 2005):

Larry Varvel - Senior Pastor
Phone: 258-#### Ext. 200
Email: larry.varvel@#####.org

Rev. Larry Varvel, a native of Tulsa, is a 1978 graduate of Tulsa Memorial High School. He attended the University of Oklahoma in Norman where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Letters in 1981 and a Master's degree in Philosophy in 1983. He earned his Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California in 1986.

Before coming to Broken Arrow in 2003, Larry served as the pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Atoka, Oklahoma, Quail Springs United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City and the First United Methodist Church of Ada, Oklahoma. During his seven years at Quail Springs, Larry completed two major building programs, and the worship attendance grew from under 80 to over 300. During his six years in Ada, Rev. Varvel was awarded the Denman Evangelism Award for excellence in the area of Evangelism by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism.

Larry has an extensive background in musical theater and drama and often portrays biblical characters in dramatic monologues. His hobby is collecting comic books and super-hero memorabilia in general, and Batman in particular. He has been written into comic books; the fictional 'Rev. Larry Varvel' in DC Comics' Supergirl is based on Larry.

From: Larry Varvel appearance index page on "The Big Red S: A Superman Site" (http://greatkrypton.com/superman/comicidentities.php?IdentityID=1144; viewed 21 December 2005): Larry Varvel has appeared in the following issues.

Supergirl (Vol. 4) 3       November 1996
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 4 December 1996
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 5 January 1997
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 10 June 1997
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 11 July 1997
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 15 November 1997
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 33 June 1999
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 36 September 1999
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 37 October 1999
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 39 December 1999
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 43 April 2000
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 44 May 2000
Supergirl (Vol. 4) 49 October 2000
Supergirl Plus 1 February 199

From: "Supergirl" article on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supergirl; viewed 21 December 2005):

Supergirl is a DC Comics superhero, generally considered the female counterpart to Superman. Created by Otto Binder (the creator of Captain Marvel's female counterpart Mary Marvel) and Al Plastino, she first appeared in Superman #123 (1958).

Due to a somewhat disjointed continuity, several variations of Supergirl have appeared in comic books. However, in her most well-known incarnation, Supergirl is Kara Zor-El, Superman's Kryptonian cousin... In the mid-1980s, after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, in which Kara Zor-El died, the character started a 20-year stint where she went through several incarnations unrelated to Kara Zor-El, and characterized by having something to do with more complex science fiction. The most famous of these versions [was] Matrix (also known as Linda Danvers or the Earth Angel Of Fire)...

A new Supergirl title appeared in September 1996. Writer Peter David merged the protoplasmic Supergirl with a troubled young Virginia woman named Linda Danvers, together becoming an "Earth-Born Angel". There were three of these Earth-Born Angels: the Angel of Fire, Supergirl; The Angel of Love, a super-being named Comet based in Linda's hometown of Leesburg; and the Angel of Light, a super-being named Blithe. All three earth-angels were created under very specific circumstances in which one being selflessly sacrificed him or herself to save the life of another who was, in every way, beyond hope. This selfless sacrifice resulted in the two beings merging and becoming earth-born angels.

As an earth-born angel, Supergirl faced the Carnivore, the first vampire, a supremely evil being who was determined to create hell on earth by taking control of all three of the earth-borns. Following the death of Linda's romantic interest, Dick Malverne, Supergirl succumbed to the Carnivore, resulting in the balance of good and evil shifting in evil's favor. With the help of the other two earth-borns, she defeated the Carnivore, but the only way to do so was by taking his life. Linda fell from grace and was separated from the angelic part of herself.

Linda acted as Supergirl for a while, attempting to locate her angelic aspect with the help of a former demon, Buzz. The angel was being held by the Demon Mother, Lilith, mother of the Carnivore, who wanted to use Supergirl to free her son from perdition. By forcing Supergirl to follow the chaos stream, a tributary of the river Styx, to find her earth-born aspect, she caused Supergirl to absorb enough chaos energy to warp reality and open the gates to perdition. Buzz and Linda managed to stop the Demon Mother, and Linda's powers were returned to their former level, minus the earth-born angel powers. Her earth-born angel aspect merged with the super-being Twilight, who became the new earth-born angel of fire.

The themes and plotlines of David's Supergirl were often sophisticated and aimed at a slightly more mature audience than most mainstream comics. Due to the earth-born angel storyline, religion was often a topic of the stories, and Supergirl even met and conversed with a young boy who she believed was God. Supergirl's earth-born aspect was being held in the Garden of Eden, revealed by this series to exist somewhere in South America, hidden from mortals. The Demon Mother was also said to be Lilith, who is believed by some to be the first wife of the biblical Adam, the first man.

From: Alan Donald, "The Tenth Draft" column, published in 2003 on Silver Bullet Comics website and also published as a magazine insert (http://www.silverbulletcomicbooks.com/final/105584240589479.htm; viewed 12 May 2006):
The Panel
Very different people from different parts of the comicbook industry, with different experiences and ideas on the industry come together to answer your questions... Peter David, the Old Boy, Captain Marvel, Supergirl, Star Trek novels and so bloody much more it makes my head spin...

This week's question is:
"What is your opinion on the portrayal of religion in comicbooks?"

The Old Boy [Peter David]: "Ah... Well, I'm hardly unbiased on this one, since religion was a major theme for much of my "Supergirl" run. Basically, for the most part religion is treated as simply another source of characters, both demonic and angelic. Rarely do we see heroes (or even villains) making decisions or stating opinions rooted in religious upbringing... which is kind of a shame, considering religion informs so many things that are said and done in every aspect of society, up to and including government."

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):

Today, there may be fewer Jewish comics creators than in the past, but they are still making their mark in what has become an American institution struggling for legitimacy. The hot list - talents whose names on the cover are likely to ensure a title's popularity - includes writer Peter Allan David (Supergirl, DC, and The Incredible Hulk, among others); British import Neil Gaiman, writer of the award-winning The Sandman (Vertigo, a DC imprint), a series subtly peppered with midrashim; and author-illustrator Brian Michael Bendis, who in an article on his Web site, www.jinxworld.com, talks about coming up with ideas for his crime-noir titles on Passover.

"My Jewishness has insinuated itself into my writing," admits David, a 20-year comics veteran. In the 1990's, he reworked the Supergirl character. She became an angel whose abilities come from the Shekhina, the Hebrew term for the feminine aspect of God's presence.

"[Supergirl's] plots keyed off themes of redemption and explorations of spirituality," says David. "There was even a story set in the Garden of Eden."...

Discussion

From: "Superman is Jewish in origin" message board, started 15 September 2005 on KryptonSite.com website (http://www.kryptonsite.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=41222; viewed 21 December 2005):
kia
09-18-2005 01:54 PM

Yeah, post-Crisis [on Infinite Earths, published 1985] I'm quite certain [Superman is] a Protestant of some kind and Linda Danvers of course is a Methodist.

From: "Denominational Affiliations of Superheroes", posted by Sheridan Voysey on 2 July 2006 on "The Open House (life, faith, culture)" blog website (http://www.theopenhouse.net.au/2006/07/denominational_affiliations_of.html; viewed 19 June 2007):

With all the hoopla this week of the Superman Returns movie, you might be interested to know that almost all our superheroes have some kind of denominational affiliation. Baptist, Anglican, Methodist, Catholic - you'll find connections in the storylines of our best hooded, caped, spandex-covered, super-people.

Supergirl and Superboy - Methodist
Do you remember Supergirl? Generally considered Superman's female counterpart, Supergirl first appeared in 1958 and several variations of her have appeared in comic books since then. But during the late 80s and 90s, Supergirl was an active Methodist. Her minister, the Reverend Larry Varvel, was based on a real-life Methodist minister of the same name...

...So, Dr Bruce Banner, The Incredible Hulk, is a lapsed Catholic; Batman is a possible Anglican; Superman is a Methodist, and Spider-Man an unnamed Protestant. I'd like to know what a Presbyterian superhero would look like, or even a Pentecostal!

Superman consults Christian ministers when he needs advice; Supergirl regularly attends church; Superboy asks God what he's doing here; The Hulk believes in an afterlife, and Spiderman prays.

It seems even Superheroes need to bow the knee for some divine help every now and then.

From: "Batman and Superman - Religion" page on "Krypton Site" message board website (http://www.kryptonsite.com/forums/showthread/t-45423.html; viewed 21 December 2005):
Kia: Supergirl, Linda Danvers was a Methodist. Religion played a very important part of that series and she was an Earth-born Angel, serving God (The big "G" Christian God).
From: "Religion in comic books" discussion forum started on 24 April 2006, on DC Comics official message board website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000072787&start=45&tstart=0; viewed 1 May 2006):
sumo
Posted: Apr 28, 2006 9:00 AM

Just curious - I have always wondered how follows feel about the traditional religious type things in comics:
- Zauriel
- Earth Angel aspect of the Linda Danvers Supergirl
- Wally, the god-boy (also from PAD [Peter David]'s Supergirl)
Spectre as God's designated spirit of vengence

Mostly it was the non-religious who seemed to complain about "all that religion stuff" in Supergirl.

I couldn't figure out why - as it seemed more sacreligious than religious - and I expected the believers to be more uncomfortable with it than disbelievers.


geofffl
Posted: Apr 28, 2006 2:14 PM

I find it amazing how the non-religious people talk about tolerance but they are the ones who are intolerant and close-minded about those of any faith. Talk about two-faced (and not the Batman villan).

From: archive of "Should Hal Jordan be a Christian" message board, started 15 April 2005 on Comic Book Resources website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-53171.html; viewed 22 May 2006):
protege
04-16-2005, 12:27 PM

Let me put it this way; i have a hard time with religious subjects in general, which is why i had a hard time getting into the last Supergirl series.

From: "An argument for why religion should stay out of comics" message board started 17 May 2006 on official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000076170; viewed 30 May 2006):
jinnyah
Posted: May 17, 2006 8:40 AM

I myself am an atheist and, for the most part, I have to admit that I have nothing but the deepest antipathy for religion as a whole. But I don't feel that religion has no place in comics because religion... does exist and does have a place in society. To say that religion should be kept out of comics just because we don't like it is no less bigoted than all of those homophobes saying that gays should be kept out of comics because "gays are gross" or whatever. It's no less bigoted than any racist trying to say that anyone of -x- race should be kept out of comics for whatever stupid, racist reason.

If comics are to be a reflection of the real world, and to some extent they are, then it would be wholly unrealistic for religion to be kept out of them. It's also an extremely bigoted thing to say that all of anything in this context should be kept out of comics just because you happen to disagree with or not like it.


thespandexkid
Posted: May 17, 2006 9:11 AM

I'm an atheist, and I certainly agree with one of your statements!

Seriously, though, many of my favourite jokes use religious concepts like heaven and hell, and many of my favourite stories use them too, like the old Supergirl as an angel business, for instance. I think that religion does form part of the framework of our society, even if it's only codifying basic beliefs for how we would all want to be treated anyway (most of the Ten Commandments, etc).

We have so many phrases, superstitions, and references that we all use in everyday life which come from religion, that to keep religion out of comics would severly limit comics. Just imagine comics without hell or heaven, for starters. And not just religious beliefs of Judeo-Christian background, either. Did you know that the legend of Satan being an angel originally is from Islam? There is no reference to it in the Bible anywhere. (Well, not in the King James! Someone may have been fooling around since then I guess!)

Also, no religion would mean no Spectre, no Zauriel, no Ragman, and worst of all, no Wally (oldish Supergirl again!). I'll keep comics just as they are.


mrrara
Posted: May 19, 2006 8:29 AM

Satan being an Angel is related to Jewish Mythos. He is in the book of Job. Satan, in Hebrew, means Challenger. As in, the challenger of humanity. He is, indeed, an Angel...

From: "Gail's idea for Cass -- What could have been" discussion forum started on 29 May 2006, on DC Comics official message board website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000077543; viewed 2 June 2006):
gartenmedia
Posted: May 29, 2006 9:42 AM

I think we know what happens to religious characters... See a certain previous Supergirl... I like the idea of Cassandra [Batgirl] finding faith because I think it's an obvious continuity from where she left off in her book...


black_alice
Posted: May 31, 2006 8:05 AM

Heh. The Angel of the Bat storyline might have made an interesting way for the return of Azrael, (who went by Agent of the Bat for awhile I think), and even the fomer Supergirl Linda Danvers, who was once an angel herself.


gl2814.1
Posted: May 31, 2006 11:13 AM

I kinda agree with black alice in that this has been done with Azreal, and Supergirl. I don't think you could do comics involving religion because it becomes to controversial, and takes away from the character and the story. Besides Cass wanted the mantle of the Bat, and I don't think religion and crimefighting go to well together, anyone read about the crusades?

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: alasdairw
Date: Thurs, May 14 1998 12:00 am

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

PAD's Supergirl would be a positive one...

From: "Banned for using this nic" thread began 4 Apri 1999 in rec.arts.comics.dc.universe newsgroup (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.dc.universe/browse_thread/thread/f38288dc4e56542/8a873a0a53da3d0d; viewed 12 June 2006)
From: Tom Galloway
Date: Mon, Apr 5 1999 12:00 am

Well, one'd have to go with Spectre and Zauriel as religious heroes... And Supergirl is an "Earth-born angel" and has had someone with a fair claim to being God as part of her supporting cast.


From: Aaron S. Veenstra
Date: Mon, Apr 5 1999 12:00 am

re: "...why are most heroes not as religious as they could be? ...it seems that most of the religious people in comics are the VILLAINS..."

My theory on this follows along the lines of why Captain America never takes a political stand -- it's so the readers don't start seeing character traits they disagree with on a fundamental level. Some stories (e.g. SPECTRE) are designed to feature deeper subject matter than hit-beat-jail, so it works there. Some (e.g. WONDER WOMAN) feature religions that modern Western society passes off as almost non-religious myths, so that's OK. Frankly, I'm glad to see SUPERGIRL, a mainstream superhero title, involving some religious issues. I'm an atheist myself, but it's nice to see more intellect than, say, every other Superbook.


From: Kal-El
Date: Tues, Apr 6 1999 12:00 am

re: "I don't think we should count Spectre or Zauriel... Representatives of religion, not worshipers."

I agree. I think of them [Spectre and Zauriel], and Supergirl, as being part of a "mythology" of Christianity. Beside which, in most cases the visions of "Heaven" and "God" are so indeterminate that you can't take them as even trying to representational of Scripture (although, Supergirl is getting a tad preachy)...

[Religious affliations of] Others...

Supergirl. Definitely Christian, and getting more so by the minute.

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/4e5839f075fecf76/63136e85098493de; 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: Johnny Storm
Date: Sun, Apr 25 2004 6:36 pm

Does the earth angel version of Supergirl count as being religious, or is it like Zaurel, not really faith since he is, in fact, a fallen angel, and already knows about heaven, hell, and God?

From: "The religion of comic book characters" forum discussion, started 3 December 2006 on RPG.net website (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=299781&page=3; viewed 25 April 2007):

12-04-2006, 05:46 AM
suedenim

Somewhat more obscure, but explicit, stories about "Superman worship" appeared in the two-page "Sunday Comic Strip" style Superman feature in Action Comics Weekly, and a "Church of Supergirl" sprang up during Peter David's run on Supergirl.

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?


Nathan
08-22-2006, 02:24 PM

I thought Peter David did a nice job of portraying Christian characters in Supergirl, especially Linda's mother. She was shown as a woman of strong faith that also had an open mind. (They actually exist; believe it or not, Jack Palance!)

And iirc [if I recall correctly], David is Jewish, right? That's cool that he could develop such an interesting character with beliefs different from his own.:)

From: Jean-Claude Van Doom, "Which god's side are they on?", posted 20 August 2006 on "Legion of Doom" blog website (http://legionofdoom.cheeksofgod.com/?p=170; viewed 9 May 2007):

...Sadly, as a Presbyterian, my only protectors are Wolfsbane and Speedball, apparently...

However, I was raised Methodist, so if I fall back on that (and really, how much different are Methodists and Presbyterians?) I can claim Superman, Supergirl and Superboy (although he's dead now/for now)...

From: Kalinara, "There Are No Lions Here", posted 15 October 2006 on "Pretty, Fizzy Paradise" blog website (http://kalinara.blogspot.com/2006/10/there-are-no-lions-here.html; viewed 30 May 2007):

...Admittedly, the amount that they practice within the text can be debatable. But still the number of Christian heroes vastly outnumber those of any other religion.

Under-represented? Really?

Sure, we rarely see outward expressions of faith by these characters. Except for celebration of Christmas, naturally, or the giant church scene in Infinite Crisis. But we rarely see a Jewish person do anything more than wear a Star of David or light a menorah. Diana [Wonder Woman] gets a little more focus on her pagan religion, sure, but given that the gods created her... It's really not any more focus though, than is received by characters such as the Spectre, Zauriel or Peter David's Supergirl, all of whom became living representatives of a (usually) benevolent Judeo-Christian God...

From: "Religion in Comics" forum discussion, started 17 May 2007 on official DC Comics message board website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?messageID=2003785241; viewed 7 June 2007):

kingaliencracker
Posted: May 17, 2007 8:37 AM

Yesterday, I read Action Comics #849, and the issue had several religious references and implications. Because of this, I decided to discuss it with everyone else here. Does religion have a place in comic books?


angelgidget
Posted: May 17, 2007 4:10 PM

I think the modern religions should be kept to a minimum in mainstream comics since people acutually follow these faiths. Writers run the risk of alienating readers if they misrepresent someone's church or simply center plots around concepts that refuse to work within someone's religious faith. Personally, the whole Zauriel, Spectre, and Supergirl Earth-born angel bag of concepts was a major turn-off for me because it either felt too weird or just plain wrong.

Ancient religions and made-up ones, though? Fair game! I love mythology, and crazy-cult stories are always great for a laugh.

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]

kalinara said [5:26 a.m.]...

...Thus, when you assemble the correlation: Brahma is Allah is Chaos is Yahweh is Jehovah and so on and so forth, the Pantheons' Power will end up diminished, in some sense.

It's not fair really, and it's a gross oversimplification of people's actual belief systems, but when you've got the Earth Angel [i.e., Supergirl], Zauriel, Diana and Etrigan running around in the same universe, you need to construct a cosmology to make it all work.

Unfortunately, that means some religions unfairly get the shaft. :-(


[User Comments]

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...

The Spectre's God can correlate pretty easy with a wrathful Old Testament God, Wally in Supergirl could correlate pretty easy with the more forgiving New Testament analogy, but that works primarily because of their relative lack of prominence. We don't see the Spectre's God. Wally dances in and out to "work in mysterious ways".

From: "Superheroes/villains and their religions" forum discussion, started 16 March 2006 on "Animation Insider" website (http://www.animationinsider.net/forums/archive/index.php?t-17835.html; viewed 28 June 2008):

Daikun
03-16-2006, 05:16 AM

Someone pointed this out at another forum. I found it to be quite amusing that someone would actually have enough time on their hands to ponder about this.

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


Wolf Boy
09-19-2006, 09:25 AM

Does this include animated DC continuity or not? ...in animated Smallville, Supergirl mentions a Pastor Ross ("Unity"), and a church is shown a lot, indicating that he [Superman] does (or did) attend church in Smallville.

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.


Lightray
Sep 11th, '04, 09:49 AM

JLA had an angelic character for a time to replace the missing "winged guy" archetypes while the Hawks were in comic continuity limbo. Don't recall his name, but he was supposed to be from one of the Hosts of Heaven.

They also had that stupid Supergirl/Matrix merges with Linda Danvers and becomes a fiery angel plotline.

And the Spectre, as mentioned, has pretty much been defined as the Angel of Vengeance.

The Sandman and Vertigo runs aren't really mainstream comics, but God and the angelic Host played parts in many of those stories.

From: "Sacreligious amd anti-Christian Comic characters" forum discussion, started 28 February 2007 on official DC Comics website (http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000107545&start=0&tstart=15; viewed 19 July 2007):

mavericker
Posted: Feb 28, 2007 12:49 PM

Lets see:
Zauriel
The Spectre
Nightcrawler
Storm
Raven
Supergirl
Venom
Lobo
Zatanna
Scarlet Witch
Juggernaut
Dr. Strange
Dr. Fate
Any character that uses magic, sorcery


alexziq
Posted: Feb 28, 2007 12:58 PM

Is this crap serious? This all depends on what faith you practice. It's conservative braindead and downright dangerous thinking like this that makes more and more people turn on the church...

Good Lord, (sigh)


mrterrific
Posted: Feb 28, 2007 1:19 PM

Sure, I can possibly see why Zauriel, the Spectre, Raven, the magic users and even Storm (since she is sometimes refered to as a godess) could be called sacrilegious. Maybe even Lobo, partly because of his violent nature and partly becuse of his "re-birth" in "52". Supergirl if you mean the "earthborn angel"...


[http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000107545&start=30&tstart=15]

oldfangirl
Posted: Feb 28, 2007 11:20 PM

Comments on Mavericker's list:

...Supergirl ????????????

Venom - ???????? ...

The actual dictionary definition of sacreligious follows:
From the Oxford dictionary:
Adjective form of Sacrilege
Noun. Robbery or profanation of sacred building.
Outrage on consecrated person or thing.
Violation of what is sacred.

These are fictional characters!!!
Which of them have robbed or profaned a sacred building, committed an act of outrage on a consecrated person (well LOBO Probably) or violated what is sacred?

EVIDENCE PLEASE???

And if you think these characters are sacreligious, why don't you just avoid the books that use them?

Is Elfquest sacreligious because the elves have no organized religion?

From: "Possible writers' cliche/prejudice: No well-adjusted athiests/agnostics in the DCU?" forum discussion, started 26 May 2005 on "Comic Bloc" website (http://www.comicbloc.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-5064.html; viewed 20 July 2007):

Adam Jones
June 1st, 2005, 06:33 AM

...I'm an atheist myself, a well adjusted one with no emotionally crippling things in my past, so I can see some of the frustration here. It IS impossible to be an atheist in the DCU, thanks to Zauriel and the angels taking on Mageddon. Day of Judgement with the heroes going to Heaven. Peter David's Supergirl series. But you know what? It's fiction. I still enjoyed all thosed stories, I'm always saying that they need to bring back Zauriel (so much potential!), and I really didn't mind Mr. Terrific finding faith either...

Apparently an issue of Comic Book Marketplace inadvertently indicated that the Hulk had been revealed as Jewish when in fact the writer was trying to note that Ben Grimm ("The Thing") had been revealed as Jewish. This misprint prompted the following discussion. From: "What issue was the Hulk revealed as Jewish?" forum discussion, started 12 November 2004 on IMWAN website (http://www.imwan.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=999; viewed 31 July 2007):

[http://www.imwan.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=999&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=22]

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 4:55 am
Edward J. Cunningham

I think it was revealed during Peter David's run on the Hulk that Betty Ross was Catholic. She certainly did NOT belong to PAD's [Peter David's] faith [i.e., Judaism]. He also showed during his Supergirl run that the Danvers were Protestants (I'm not sure which branch... probably American (Northern) Baptist) and Linda's mother was very religious.

From: "Comics and Faith/Religion" forum discussion, started 12 August 2007 on Jinxworld website (http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=122876; viewed 18 August 2007):

08-12-2007, 08:30 PM
SethInAz

I am looking for some new comics, or old ones I've missed, dealing with faith and religion. So far I have... I am looking more for mini-series. It need not be pro- or anti- religion, I am open to both. Suggestions?


[http://www.606studios.com/bendisboard/showthread.php?t=122876&page=5]

08-13-2007, 04:04 AM
Sy-Klone

Peter David has written some books focusing largely on faith and religion as themes.

For instance, his run on Supergirl in the 90s dealt heavily with faith and religion. Supergirl came to realize that she was the Earthborn Angel of Fire and was tasked with taking down a demonic threat. Along the way, she frequently encountered a young boy named Wally who claimed to be God and was wise beyond his years. The first 50 issues or so featured this theme heavily...

See also:
http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.comics.dc.universe/browse_thread/thread/8b8c8c6ca5c7e92f/6740dc4bbcf08ef8

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