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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of Alpha Flight
Infinity Crusade: Talisman 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.
As a shaman and spiritual leader of her tribe, Talisman is a very religious character. In Omega Flight #3 (August 2007), however, she did not agree with C.S.I.S. liason Agent Brown's statement that Michael Pointer's place on the Canadian-sponsored super-team was somehow a sign of divine Providence. Talisman also was not very forgiving toward Pointer, which is understandable given his role in the death of Talisman's father.
Below: Agent Brown, the C.S.I.S. agent who is the liason between the Canadian government and Omega Flight, believes that having Michael Pointer, the new "Guardian", available to serve as a super-hero for Canada is Divine Providence.
[Source: Omega Flight #3 (August 2007), published by Marvel Publishing, Inc., pages 5-7; written by Michael Avon Oeming, art by Scott Kolins, color by Brian Reber.]
Below: Dialogue from Omega Flight #3, pages 5-10:
[C.S.I.S. Canadian government building that is the headquarters of the fledgling Omega Flight team.]
Talisman: You destroyed Alpha Flight. You killed my father!!
U.S.Agent: Talisman, no!
Talisman: Do not make me hurt you, Walker!
Agent Brown: Elizabeth, please!
[Agent Brown and U.S.Agent try to restrain an angry Talisman by grabbing her shoulders. She zaps them away with a bolt of mystic energy.]
Arachne (Julia Carpenter): Watch it, baby.
Rachel (Julia's daughter): Cool. . .
Talisman: What have you done to my father's legacy, Agent Brown?
Agent Brown: You have to understand. Michael Pointer was used. He was a pawn of the Collective. He's as much a victim as anyone who died at his hands. And he still has to live with what he did.
Talisman: But the Guardian? Why the Guardian?
[Talisman here questions why Michael Pointer has been costumed as the new Guardian, using the superheroic identity and costume of the now-deceased James MacDonald Hudson, the former leader of Alpha Flight.]
Agent Brown: Because this is the only way to right the wrong done by the Collective. The power that's left in his body is out of control. He needs the Guardian suit to contain it. Without it, he could flare out like a sun. Don't you see? He needs the Guardian suit. And Omega Flight needs the Guardian. This is Providence. Your father would recognize that.
Talisman: If he were alive.
Michael Pointer ("Guardian"): I had no choice in any of this, Talisman. Not what I did . . . Not what I am.
[Michael Pointer is restrained in a metal harness that holds him immobile. He is clearly sincere in his remorse about what happened. Talisman holds her hand up to his head, and mystic energy surrounds her hand. Pointer's face is lit up in the glow of the magical energy from Talisman's hand. It looks as if an angry Talisman is about to zap Pointer, perhaps to kill him.]
Michael Pointer ("Guardian"): Do it. Please.
[Talisman stands down.]
Talisman: An American wearing the Guardian suit? Is that more Providence? Because it sounds like Manifest Destiny to me.
Agent Brown: Alhpa Flight was not about being Canadian. It was about serving Canada. The Guardian suit is a Canadian symbol. It's an icon. An icon we'll put to good use.
[Michael Pointer weeps openly.]
U.S.Agent: That's grrrrrrreat, let's call Doctor Phil or something. My mood ing is crying.
Arachne (Julia Carpenter): Your an @$$, Walker.
Rachel Carpenter: Yeah.
Talisman: As long as this man is on the team, I will not work with you. I'll find Walter [Sasquatch] on my own.
Agent Brown:Hold it! I've got visual on the Wrecking Crew . . . and they have Sasquatch! We've got to move fast.
Arachne: Don't look at the TV, Honey. [Hugging her daughter goodbye.]
U.S.Agent: Hannibal [Michael Pointer] stays here. I'm not bringing an untrained rookie to watch my back.
Agent Brown: He's the Guardian. He comes with us.
U.S.Agent: Maybe when he's through crying.
Talisman: I am not working with my father's killer.
[Everybody in the room has now left, leaving a captive, immobile Michael Pointer there alone.]
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.
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