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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Suzanna "Suzy" Lauren Sherman / Tsu-Zana
of the New Warriors and the Initiative
Suzanna Lauren Sherman (who goes by "Suzy") is better known as the super-heroine "Ultra Girl." She was introduced in Ultra Girl #1 (November 1996), written by Barbara Kesel and illustrated by Leonard Kirk.
Suzy Sherman was raised in southern California by her parents (Toby Sherman and her mother). As a teenager struggling to start a modelling career, she was attacked by a Sentinel (a robot created by the Kree, a major alien race in the Marvel Universe). The Sentinel implied that Suzy was a mutant Kree warrior. Suzy Sherman eventually learned that she was a half-human, half-Kree mutant and that her Kree name was Tsu-Zana.
Above: Panel from Ultra Girl comic in which Zenna (one of Ultra Girl's Kree handlers) talking about the Kree prophesy that centers on Ultra Girl.
This panel was copied from the "Kree Encyclopedia" webpage on the "MarVell Memorial Site," created in 2001 by David Medinnus (http://www.medinnus.com/kree/kree_watch.html; viewed 4 August 2007).
That webpage describes Zenna thus: "Zenna. Kree (Pink)... Elder of the Kree group which is supposed to be keeping tabs on Ultragirl as the prophecied 'Ultimate Unifier'."
Suzy Sherman was raised entirely in human culture without any awareness of her alien heritage until she was in her late teens. Although religion plays a major role in the lives of many Kree, there is no indication that Suzy herself was exposed to Kree religion during her upbringing. During the brief self-titled series that introduced Ultra Girl, she was portrayed as having no feeling of loyalty to the Kree Empire. What religious upbringing she did receive has yet to be revealed. Suzy Sherman has never been shown to have strong ties to or beliefs in any Earth-based religion.
Ultra Girl eventually learned that she is regarded as an important religious figure in Kree religious belief. The Kree regard Suzy Sherman as the "Ultimate Unifier," a Kree savior who has been prophesied about in Kree scripture. Little is known about how Ultra Girl herself feels about these prophesies and Kree religious beliefs. Initially, she largely disregarded everything she was told about her Kree heritage and the religious phrophecies that she was central to.
Zenna, the leader of the Earth-based Kree who watched over Suzy Sherman, told her (In an issue of the Ultra Girl series):
You are the Ultimate Unifier who will one day return the glory of Hala to all Kree. You are the symbol of our hopes, prayers, and years of nurture.
When we return, you will lead our people out of subjugation by the Shi'ar and our own blue brethren. Then will the Golden Age of the Kree begin.
It is worth noting that "Zenna" may have been named after influential Mormon science fiction writer Zenna Anderson, author of the "People" stories. Henderson's stories about "The People" depict young people on Earth who discover they have fantastic powers and eventually discover that they are actually the children of human-like aliens from another planet. There are significant parallels between the story of Ultra Girl and many of the "People" stories.
Ultra Girl eventually joined the super-hero team the New Warriors briefly and later fought alongside Captain America as part of his anti-registration "Secret Avengers" during the so-called "Civil War" (2006-2007). After the anti-registration heroes lost the war, Ultra Girl decided to comply with the Super-Human Registration Act. She registered and went to Camp Hammond to train formally as a super-hero as part of the federally-sponsored Initiative.
From: "Ultra Girl" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_Girl; viewed 4 August 2007):
Little is known of the childhood of Suzy Sherman apart from that she was raised in California but her father Toby Sherman, and her mother.
In her teen years, Suzy was struggling model in Southern California. Since she was rapidly developing muscles and the agencies thought she was too "buff" to be a model. On an audition, Suzy was suddenly attacked by a Sentinel, a left-over minion from Onslaught.
The Sentinel implied that she was actually a mutant Kree-Warrior, though her exact origins are still unclear today. Reporters who saw the fight between Suzy and the Sentinel ran to interview her. During the interview she kept using the term "Ultra", which led to the press dubbing her "Ultra Girl". Suzy began to receive endorsements, and thought that being Ultra Girl was her ticket to stardom, so she and her friends designed a costume from sports apparel she had received from past modelling jobs. One of Suzy's friends, Amber, tried to convince her to abandon the superhero idea, but Ultra Girl was set on it, even fighting against the villain, Effex, alongside the New Warriors. Together the Warriors and Ultra Girl defeated Effex.
After a mission with the Warriors, Ultra Girl learned that Amber was in fact "Ambra", a Kree agent sent to Earth to watch Suzy, whose real name was Tsu-Zana, discovered her friend Amber and other locals were secretly Kree and that they expected her to serve as Kree messiah. Ambra also informed Suzy that many of her friends (even her childhood doctor) were Kree. It was said in the Kree writings that Tsu-Zana was to be the Ultimate Unifier, so she could eventually restore glory to the Kree Empire. They asked her to abandon her superhero career, as to not draw attention to the Kree.
From: "Kree" page on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kree; viewed 4 August 2007):
The Kree are a nationalistic society, with the only widespread religion being worship of the Supreme Intelligence. A small minority practice Cotati religion, but this is forbidden (very early Captain Marvel stories mentioned an 'idol' called Tam-Borr and a 'fabricated' god named Zo, whom Marvel served between issues 11 and 15). Some are members of the Universal Church of Truth...
Fantastic Four's unwary awakening of the long-dormant Sentry, alerted the Kree to Earth's advanced state of evolution. The Sentry's destruction brought the Kree official Ronan the Accuser the following issue, with the intent of passing judgment on those who "murdered" the outpost guard; his own defeat increased Kree scrutiny of Earth, setting off a chain of events that continues to reverberate.
Over time, and as the war with the Skrull dragged on, the Supreme Intelligence gradually accrued more and more political power and responsibility until finally it was elected as absolute ruler of the Kree. Eventually, the Supreme Intelligence came to be worshipped and an organized religion built up around it...
...Ultra Girl - an Earth superheroine who is a Kree savior, she is a Kree/Human mutant
From: William Uchtman, "Ultragirl" page on "The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe" website (http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/ultgrl.htm; viewed 4 August 2007):
History: The source of her abilities is unknown. She was described by a Sentinel as having mutated Kree characteristics. She is apparently a Kree (white, or impure variant) mutated by genetic manipulation of some type. She was designed to be the Ultimate Unifier, able to bring together the Blue and White Kree and return the glory to the Kree Empire. For uncertain reasons, she was brought to Earth as an infant or a small child, and raised by human parents who apparently believed her to be their own. She had no knowledge of her abilities, and thought herself to be a normal human girl. All the while, a small delegation of Kree posing as humans and living in her hometown monitored and watched over her.
(Ultragirl#1) - Suzy Sherman was a struggling model in Southern California when her mutant abilities emerged. Unaware of their existence, she was attacked by a Sentinel left over from Magneto's Onslaught and surprised herself and the general public by defeating it herself. An instant media sensation since the West Coast Avengers had left the area, the Hollywood industry hyped her appearance and began endorsing her media-created name, Ultragirl, without her knowledge. Meanwhile, to make the most of her new potential, Suzy called in all of her best friends to help her design a costume. Later, seeking the remains of the Sentinel she had destroyed, she learned she might be part extraterrestrial. She removed all parts of the Sentinel non-vital to its thinking and speech, in order that it could continue to tell her information about her make-up, without posing any sort of threat.
(Ultragirl#2-3) - Ultragirl unsuccessfully tried to stop a fire, which (unbeknownst to her) had been set by the criminal Effex. While she saved some firemen, she was unable to put out the fire, and ended up getting badly burnt. Fortunately, she soon learned that she was possessed of a superhuman healing power, which quickly returned her normal appearance. She returned to the fire and joined forces with the New Warriors, who had come out to investigate. Effex revealed his involvement and toyed with the young heroes, who were unable to determine which of his threats were real and which were illusion.
During a break in the battle, Suzy received an urgent call to meet with her friend Amber. Upon arriving, she was met by a group of Kree (Amber was actually one of them, as well) who had been watching over her. They told her of her true mission, and attempted to convince her to abandon her identity and go into hiding before the Shi'ar learned of her. Suzy was annoyed and astounded by their demands, and since she felt no loyalty to the Kree Empire and considered herself human, she completely ignored their requests. She returned to the struggle, and found that she also possessed an energy tracing ability, which enabled her to identify the true Effex. She took him out, although he blew up his own armor and killed himself in an attempt to go out in a blaze of glory.
From: Russ Anderson, "New Warriors #2" page (fan fiction), written 27 September 2001, on "Marvel 2000" website (http://m2k.omegacen.com/newwarriors/NW2.html; viewed 4 August 2007):
[New Warriors] Issue #2
by Mike Exner III (script) and Russ Anderson (plot)
In Case You're Just Joining Us: Suzy Sherman, aka Ultra Girl, was attacked on the set of the soap opera Secret Hospital by an enraged Super Skrull. Their battle attracted the attention of a bunch of other young NYC heroes, and just as this ragtag band was starting to come together in their efforts against the Skrull, the lot of them were teleported to a place called "The Databank", where a Skrull super-computer named Intelligentsia informed them that Ultra Girl, as a Kree/human hybrid, was the key to reclaiming the Skrull's rightful place in the cosmos.
"My dear, Captain Kl'rt. You have no idea what it was we held in our hands, do you?" said the Intelligensia and the Super Skrull seemed to calm, just a bit. Though his eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"What are you talking about?"
"Our little Kree-Terran hybrid was in actuality the Kree Tsu-Zana, the light-bringer, prophesized savior of the entire Kree race."
"A tale for children!" the Super Skrull spat in disgust. The Tsu-Zana was a myth, a story that the Kree told their young to soothe the pain of losing their empire. It was foolishness. How could one female child lead the Kree out from under the subjugation of the Shi'ar? There were even tales of the Tsu-Zana leading the Kree to rule over the entire Universe. It was absurd.
"Perhaps, Captain. But truly it matters not what you and I think, only what the Kree think. If the Kree were to welcome her with open arms and hearts, Kl'rt, tell me how much damage might such a children's tale do were it secretly in thrall to the Skrull?"
"You did not?" asked the Super Skrull, the hint of a smile breaching the confused pallor of his face.
"Only time will tell, Captain Kl'rt."
Webpage created 4 August 2007. Last modified 4 August 2007.
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