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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Rahne Sinclair
Wolfsbane
of the New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur


Wolfsbane is a devout Scots Presbyterian. This aspect of her character is so prominent and well known that we have done very little in the way of collecting references and source material for this subject.

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 8 characters under the "Christian" subheading, including:]
Wolfsbane, Rahne Sinclair, a New Mutant, is Scottish Presbyterian.


Infinity Crusade

Wolfsbane was identified as among Marvel's most religious in Infinity Crusade Wolfsbane 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.

Discussion

From: Jan Edmiston (a self-identified Presbyterian), "Where Would Mutator Worship?", postd 14 June 2006 on "A Church for Starving Artists" blog website, part of the "Presbyterian Bloggers" webring (http://churchforstarvingartists.blogspot.com/2006/06/where-would-mutator-worship.html; viewed 14 June 2006):
Newsweek reported this week that Superman is Methodist... You, too, can find the affiliation of your favorite Super Hero at: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html#Pr

...I anxiously looked for my Presbyterian brothers and sisters in the Religious Affiliations chart, and was disappointed to find extremely lame Super Heroes in the denomination of John Knox and Francis Makemie. Who the heck is Mutator?

...We Presbyterians can also claim Wolfsbane, a mutant raised by a strict fundamentalist preacher in Scotland. She can turn into a wolf (not be to confused with a werewolf) and she once ripped out Wolverine's throat in some kind of wolf-on-wolf action...

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?


weezer_10
05/04/2003, 01:12

...Wolsfbane, Rahne Sinclair is another. She was orphaned and raised by strict Catholic preacher named, Reverend Craig...


Gargantua
05/04/2003, 18:38

Nightcrawler, Daredevil, Aurora and Huntress definitely [are Catholic]... Spider-Man I don't think there's enough evidence really. The Our Father is pretty well universal among all Christian faiths - it's taken straight out of the Bible. I'm not too sure about Wolfesbane either. She's from Scotland, which is heavily Presbyterian/Calvinist - not to pigeon hole an entire nation, certainly there are members of all religions in just about every country these days.


hulkamania85
08/17/2003, 12:33

There was an article in the San Diego Union Tribune a while back that was titled "Superheroes reveal secret IDs-faiths". It was mostly about Thing revealing that he was Jewish. At the end of the article it lists religious comic book characters. According to the list, Wolfsbane is a Scottish Presbyterian, Nightcrawler is Catholic (he was trying to become a priest), Daredevil is Catholic, and The Punisher is a former Catholic seminary student.

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):

Dana Smith
13 May 2004
Others: U.S.Agent (Southern Baptist?), Windshear (Protestant Christian?), Human Torch and Invisible Woman (Protestant)... Wolfsbane (Presbyterian), Jean Grey (?... shown attending church at some point), Storm (worships a goddess of some sort), Cannonball (? ...some branch of Christianity)

Mostly Marvel, I know... BTW... some of these were revealed during the Infinity Crusade.

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):
P_Mac
Feb 5, 2004, 01:54 pm
Let me ask a dumb question that may raise much ire but has there been any good, by good I mean quality, comics with anything at all Christian in them? Or maybe even a character in a book... I have seen a few but the art was rough and the plot little more than okay. If so just let me know.
Eric Travis
Feb 5, 2004, 02:49 pm
Mutants and religion can go hand in hand... Nightcrawler is an excellent example (or used to be... that's another rant altogether). 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, raised under the thumb of an extreme Presbyterian fundamentalist preacher. Then she discovers she's a mutant... Rahne grows and matures, mentally and spiritually, through the course of the series, yet never loses sight of what made her special in the first place.
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.
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: 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.


Date: 20 Oct 2004 21:33:58
From: Richard

Nightcrawler is the only major Marvel character who I have ever seen professing his faith during the course of an actual story.


Date: 20 Oct 2004 23:55:52
From: Mathew Krull

As Sammy pointed out, Daredevil's and Wolfsbane's religions were fairly important parts of the respective characters...

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: Tues, May 5 1998 12:00 am

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


[Samy Merchi disagrees with previous poster Leor Blumenthal's contention that most religious characters written by Chris Claremont are "backwards, primitive and naive", or, on other words, negatively portrayed. Merchi counters Blumenthal's contention by categorizing all the religious Claremont characters he can think of. Most do not display the negative characteristics Blumenthal is complaining about.]

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.

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... Wolfsbane's Scottish Presbyterianism...

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

...Rahne is Presbyterian...


Jesse Newcomb
05-15-2005, 06:53 PM

You are right about Rahne...


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

...As for [other] characters...
Jean Grey - some branch of Christianity...
Wolfsbane - Scots Presbyterian...

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]


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

Well, there's the whole relationship between Rahne and her adoptive father, who is a priest and believed she was possessed by evil.


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

Actually, he's a reverend. [Reverend Craig] Presbyterian?

Priests are either pagan, Catholic, or Orthodox. Ministers/Reverends are usually Protestant, though many Jesuits have 'Rev.' as a title...


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

re: "Actually, he's a reverend. Presbyterian?"

Yes.

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... Anyone know any issues where a X-Member professed his/her religion?


From: Blase Martin Louis
Date: Thurs, Apr 11 1996 12:00 am

...Rahne's Christianity is well known...


From: Sarah Anne Yost
Date: Fri, Apr 12 1996 12:00 am

I remember an old NM [New Mutants volume 1] when they used to have halfway decent lettercols [letter columns] where they gave all of the current members' religions:

Amara - Roman beliefs
Rahne - something like "Scots Presbyterian"
Roberto and Xi'an were both Catholic
Cannonball was some sort of Christian
Dani naturally had Cheyenne beliefs

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

Posted by Katie Q at 1:53 pm on June 14, 2006:

...Yeah, I get your point, and like I said above, I agree; comics do, at times, Get Religion. But whenever it is present, it's in metaphor or part of some cosmic scheme. The original post was about the denominational beliefs of heroes, and that's more my issue. Few heroes have them, or at least have them as a notable aspect of their character, and that's just darn unlikely and (to me) unrelatable.

Nightcrawler (and, to use a far less popular character in the same family, Wolfsbane of the New Mutants) is an exception. The X-Men books in general are the series that have characters with prominent religion, due to the practical nature of the series (team books need characters with a variety of backgrounds) and the themes of the series (prejudice, the preeminence of ideology above the self, etc.)...


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

...I really just appreciate it when writers treat religious characters as religious people; they don't even have to be overwhelmingly devout, just real. And super hero comics by and large aren't about religion; like c.tower noted, they work best in dealing with metaphor. It's just very few heroes have a functional religious life during their off-time, and that's rather unrealistic and alienating. Off hand, I can only think of relasped Catholic Huntress (from Birds of Prey) and Presbyterian Wolfsbane (currently appearing in X-Factor) as super heroes who actually go to church once and a while.

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 for a story I'm submitting to Marvel. The only one I know for sure is Nightcrawler (Catholic). I get the impression that Wolverine is an atheist or agnostic, but I have no in-comic evidence to support this. Any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated. Also, in your responses, could you provide titles and issue numbers of the comics in which the information is stated? Thanks.


From: HBWolf21
Date: Sat, Jun 1 2002 9:52 pm

Let's see... I think Sam Guthrie is Baptist (I think) and Rahne Sinclair is supposed to be Protestant. Those are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head.


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

...Wolfsbane - A rather strict form of Protestant, not Wee Free, but heading that way...


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

Nope... Rahne Sinclair is a Catholic, with a capital C. She's alway been.

I can only think of one reference, but there're plenty:

X-Men 108: Rogue says something like "Since you're the Catholic in this group, why don't you take care of the prayers?" and Rahne replies "I've been doing so since we took off"

The dialogue is translated from my book, which is in Spanish, so maybe those were not the exact words, but it's there.

...That's it. Again, sorry about my poor English.

Jaime Alvarez
Madrid, Spain


From: Christian Henriksson
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 12:06 pm

What Rogue says in English is: "Bein' our resident church-girl, why don't you handle prayers?"


From: Kenneth
Date: Sun, Jun 2 2002 12:23 pm

Well, you guys seem to be pretty sure about Rahne Sinclair being Protestant, so I guess it's been a misunderstanding in the Spanish translations.

If she's Protestant, and you're sure, with references, please post it, and I will re-route it to the translator here in Spain. Sorry if my post was inaccurate.

Jaime
Spain


From: Brian Doyle
Date: Sun, Jun 2 2002 12:53 pm

She [Wolfsbane] makes references to the "Reverend Craig" being her guardian. The Catholic church does not refer to a priest as Reverend, the Protestant church does.

She has also referred to Craig as being a "Minister", which, again, a Protestant term, not Catholic.

See the issue of Excalibur that Warren Ellis wrote where Rahne confronts Craig.


From: BlakGard
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 1:53 am

True enough, although just because Craig was a Protestant does not mean Rahne is. I believe she was shown praying at a Catholic church in one of the early New Mutants issues.


From: Dan
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 10:48 am

re: "I believe she [Rahne] was shown praying at a Catholic church in one of the early New Mutants issues"

Probably just because it was available. Since Craig raised Rahne from birth it seems unlikely that she has a different religion.


From: Sequoia Swennes
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 9:40 am

New Mutants #12, page 11:

{Caption} Nearby, Rahne Sinclair steps hesitantly - almost fearfully - into a church...

{Rahne's thought bubbles} "If Reverend Craig saw me now, he'd have a fit. To him, Catholics are agents of the devil. But we all believe in God, an' read the same bible - an' I can find no Scots Presbyterian cairk in the city - an' I so need to pray. Surely, the Lord won't mind which house I pray in, so long as it's to him."


From: Kenneth
Date: Mon, Jun 3 2002 10:53 am

The missundestood came up because in the spanish translation, she says something like "Since you're the Catholic in this group..." and I'd like to know if it's a translation mistake, or it was just like that in the original. I know... you probably don't care about that, after all, you read your comic-books in english, but some of us don't have that chance, and have to put up with poor translations. I just want to know who is to blame ;-)

Thanks for your patience.
Jaime


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

...Rahne's Presbyterian...

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: CleV
Date: Thurs, Apr 22 2004 1:18 pm

Marvel has plenty of (real-world) religious characters: Wolfsbane, Firebird...

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/e8d686f0b20944a6/4d0bf3df5f0c4e8d; viewed 23 June 2006):

From: Carmen Williams
Date: Thurs, Sep 23 1999 12:00 am

Others on the list [of Marvel superheroes with known religious affiliations]:
Wolfsbane - Scots Presbyterian
[8 other characters listed]

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?


JMarsh642
08-22-2006, 01:53 PM

Mainly it's probably a matter of what somebody has mentioned earlier - they're trying to avoid offending potential readers by steering mostly clear of the topic.

And there's something inherently wrong with that.

Voodoo, witchcraft, paganism, etc are all common fare in comics.

Many prominent Jewish characters (which there should be more of, given modern comics as we know them were invented by Jewish creators.)

I applaud the efforts of Virgin Comics [which is creating comics featuring Hindu characters].

But make characters overtly Christian? That's offensive!

Ridiculous.

In an age where there are active agendas to create characters with more diversity in ethnicity and sexual orientation, there's nothing wrong with having a few Christian characters here and there. (Yes, I'm very aware of Matt Murdock and Kurt Wagner.)

It's a sad state of affairs.

For what it's worth, I really enjoyed Rahne Sinclair's early days in New Mutants and how vital her Catholic [webmaster: actually, she was Presbyterian] upbringing was as a part of her character. I remember vividly one issue where they were going to a dance and Magik gave her a beautiful dress to wear. Upon realizing that it had been conjured via occult forces, Rahne wanted to turn it down, but upon realizing that Illyana was her friend and that she meant no harm, she gracefully accepted.

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):

...I wrote a piece for another outlet about all the wiki projects involving comic books, and one of the most interesting links I found catalogued a ton of Marvel, DC and smaller press characters by their religion (or lack thereof). Here's the link to the page with photos [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_collage.html] and here's the link to the main page [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html].

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

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. It's a major part of his personality and often occurs in storylines.

I also believe Firebird from the West Coast Avengers... After that, I'm pretty much stumped.

Anyone have any others?

Marvel Catholics:
Daredevil
Firebird


UberDT
02/05/2005, 21:15

Pretty sure Wolfsbane is Catholic. And I'd have to think that many of the South Amercian heroes would be Catholic as well.

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?


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: "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...


Syzygy
09-15-2006, 09:15 PM

No thank you.

Religion doesn't really seem to work in Marvel anyway...

Look at, for example, how silly Rahne Sinclair (Wolvesbane) seemed, going on about how her powers were "tainted gifts of Satan". This was the correct conclusion for her to draw from her Christian background, and yet in Marvel, it was totally wrong and inappropriate.

So, religion in comics? No thanks.

From: "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):

[Reader comments:]

At 7:48 PM, david brothers said:

...My problem with the treatment of Christianity in comics is that, like another commenter said, the heroes who are Christians, with the exceptions like Daredevil, Huntress, etc, are rarely shown having anything to do with Christianity beyond saying "Oh my God."

...I liked the church scene in Infinite Crisis in part because it was a change from the norm. It wasn't handled as "HEY LOOK GUYS A CHURCH CHECK IT OUT RELIGION HEY HEY." It was more real than that. While Nightcrawler's time as a priest always felt gimmicky, I always liked that he was a Catholic. Wolfsbane was another good one...

I've seen the Adherents site, and I think it's a great thing. A lot of it, though, is conjecture, and a lot of that conjecture is telling. Most of the usenet posts tend to start "What religion is X" or "I never really thought that X character had religion..." Most people don't realize that these characters have fleshed out backstories that include religion because it's never mentioned. If you were to suggest that Superman were Methodist or Batman anything but atheist/agnostic (I lean toward the latter more than the former) to the average comics fan, they'd laugh at you. But, for every Wolfsbane or Ben Grimm we have that does show their religion, we've got a Stryker, a crazy Austen nun, or whatever...

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):

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

...Actually, overt religious belief and practice among Marvel characters is pretty sparse. Firebird is a religious Catholic, but we don't see much of her (and really never did). Rahne Sinclair was a devout Protestant, though you wouldn't know it since her latest remake. Daredevil is Catholic, but I'm not sure how devout. And Cloak and Dagger hang out in a Catholic church, but I'm not sure of their personal religious beliefs.

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

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):

...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! ...

From: Kevin C. Murphy, "Can I get a (super)-witness?", posted 3 April 2006 by (kevincmurphy) on Triptych Cryptic/Ghost in the Machine blog website (http://www.ghostinthemachine.net/003749.html#003749; viewed 21 June 2007):

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Characters [link to: http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html], with a handy graphic of who's a member of what "legion." The site also includes impressively detailed individual entries on each character -- not only the big guns like Methodist Superman, Episcopal Batman, Catholic Daredevil, and Buddhist Wolverine, but also everyone from Presbyterian Wolfsbane to the Mormon Power Pack.

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...


11-05-2006, 10:21 PM
BrianWilly

...Xi'an "Shan" Coy Mahn aka Karma is Vietnamese. She is also Catholic.

...Rahne Sinclair aka Wolfsbane is a devout Scots Presbyterian.

Sooraya Qadir aka Dust from the New X-Men is a Sunni Muslim...

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 but I think is a backslider...

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):

[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 about Wolfsbane! Isn't she Catholic? ...


Daniela de DPX Comics / dpxcomics


Jul 21, 2007 2:40 pm

Wolfsbane is Presbyterian. http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/Wolfsbane.html


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