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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of Young Justice and the Teen Titans
Cassie Sandsmark, who is best known as the young super-hero "Wonder Girl," is a member of the Teen Titans. Cassie is the daughter of Dr. Helena Sandsmark and the Greco-Roman god Zeus.
Wonder Girl's powers are explicitly derived from powers and artifacts she obtained from the Greco-Roman gods. Ethnically, Cassie Sandsmark is half Greco-Roman god.
But unlike Wonder Woman and, to a lesser extent, her predecessor Donna Troy (the first "Wonder Girl"), Cassie was not raised as a Greco-Roman classical religionist. Cassie's archaeologist mother instilled in her a passion for Greco-Roman mythology, but it was not, for her, a living religion. When she was a middle school student who had not yet become Wonder Girl, Cassie was a member of the History Society and the Archaeology Club. [Source: Teen Titans #24, DC Comics: New York, 2005; story titled "The Insiders: Part One"; written by Geoff Johns; page 3; reprinted in Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Insiders (DC Comics: New York City, 2006).]
While Wonder Woman and Donna Troy have nearly always been fairly devout in their worship of the Greco-Roman pantheon. Cassie Sandsmark seems to lack the same sense of sacred awe for the Greco-Roman gods exhibited by Wonder Woman and Donna Troy.
Since becoming associated with Wonder Woman (who she looks to as a mentor) and actually meeting Greco-Roman gods, Cassie's respect for Greco-Roman classical religion as grown. Clearly Cassie Sandsmark believes in the Greco-Roman gods and owes considerable allegiance to them. Even after receiving powers from Zeus, Cassie was originally unaware that Zeus is her biological father. She has subsequently learned the truth about this.
Although not raised as an adherent of the religion, Cassie is now best classified as a Greco-Roman classical religionist.
From: Teen Titans #16 (DC Comics: New York City, 2004); written by Geoff Johns and Mark Waid, pencilled by Mike McKone, inked by Marlo Alquiza; pages 3-4; reprinted in Teen Titans: The Future is Now trade paperback, DC Comics: New York City (2005):
Above: Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) and Superboy talk about their parents. Cassie was not raised in Greco-Roman classical religion, but from a young age her archaeologist mother infused in her a passionate interest in Greco-Roman mythology. [Source: Teen Titans #16 (DC Comics: New York City, 2004); written by Geoff Johns and Mark Waid, pencilled by Mike McKone, inked by Marlo Alquiza; page 4.]
Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark): How is life on the farm?
Superboy (Kon-El/Conner Kent): It's nice to have somebody there. The people I live with, they're not my real mother and father . . . I don't have any parents . . . really. But they're cool. And the last kid they raised [Superman] turned out okay. . . . What's it like anyway?
Wonder Girl: To have parents?
Wonder Girl: My mom's cool. She got me into archaeology, she introduced me to the world of Greek myth. If it wasn' for her, I never would've met Wonder Woman. I never would have been blessed by Zeus. I can give my mom major grief sometimes-- but she deals. I never really mised having a dad around. [Quietly:] Not that I know who he is . . .
From: Robert Greenberger (editor), "Who's Who" in Teen Titans: The Future is Now trade paperback (DC Comics: New York City, 2005), page 5:
From: Robert Greenberger (editor), "Teen Titans" (capsule biography page) in Teen Titans/Outsiders: Insiders trade paperback (DC Comics, New York City, 2006), page 4:
Cassie Sandsmark was thrilled to befriend Diana, the Themysciran princess known as Wonder Woman -- so much so that during a crisis, she borrowed the Sandals of Hermes and the Gauntlet of Atlas to aid Diana. She then boldly asked Zeus for additional powers. Amused, he granted her strength and flight and she adventured as Wonder Girl. She began training under Artemis until the death of Donna Troy, the first Wonder Girl. When her secret identity was exposed, Cassie enrolled in a private school. Cassie continues to grow into her heroic role, discovering new limits to her powers and finding new allies and enemies lurking among Ancient Myth, such as the war god Ares who recently gave her a golden lasso.
Cassie Sandsmark... has also faced an astonishing revelatikon - that Zeus was her true father.
From "Wonder Girl" page on Wikipedia website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wonder_Girl; viewed 1 May 2006):
Cassie Sandsmark is the third character to be called Wonder Girl. She is the daughter of Dr. Helena Sandsmark, an archaeologist, and Zeus. She has been a member of both Young Justice and the most recent Teen Titans. She first derived powers from stealing ancient Greek artifacts. Zeus then granted her a boon and gave her actual powers. Her powers are mostly the same as Wonder Woman's, though instead of a lasso of truth she carries a lasso that can expel Zeus's lightning, given to her by Ares, the Greek god of war. When the Greek gods left the mortal plane during Infinite Crisis, Zeus also stripped Cassie of her powers, though she was granted more power by Ares in exchange for becoming his champion. Since Superboy's death she has quit the Titans and apparently taken to crime-fighting on her own.
Above: Wonder Girl and Ares: When the Teen Titans returned from the far future they accidentally ended up ten years into their future, where they encountered future versions of themselves, many of whom had become decidedly darker and amoral, at best. In the "Hall of Mentors" at their headquarters, they see a statue dedicated to Ares, the Greco-Roman god of War, who has apparently been embraced by Cassie Sandsmark as a mentor at some point in the future. [Source: Teen Titans #17 (DC Comics: New York City, 2004); written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Mike McKone, inked by Marlo Alquiza; page 10; reprinted in Teen Titans: The Future is Now trade paperback, DC Comics: New York City (2005).]
Above: During a battle with Superboy (who is being mind-controlled), Wonder Girl received not entirely inspiration from Ares, the Greco-Roman god of war who is her self-appointed mentor and patron. [Source: Teen Titans #25, DC Comics: New York, 2005; story titled "The Insiders: Part III"; written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Matthew Clark, inked by Art Thibert; page 18; reprinted in Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Insiders (DC Comics: New York City, 2006)]
Left: During her battle with the mind-controlled Superboy, Wonder Girl appears to receives a little "divine intervention": assistance from Greco-Roman war god Ares when she uses the magic lasso he gave her. [Source: Teen Titans #25, DC Comics: New York, 2005; story titled "The Insiders: Part III"; written by Geoff Johns, pencilled by Matthew Clark, inked by Art Thibert; page 9; reprinted in Teen Titans/Outsiders: The Insiders (DC Comics: New York City, 2006)]
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/4e5839f075fecf76/394c4ad930a0e68c; 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...
Date: Fri, Apr 23 2004 2:12 am
Don't the Atlanteans still venerate the Greek gods in DC? I've gotten that impression anyway. (Aquaman didn't seem to have any problem interacting with the Greek gods). Namor of the Marvel Atlantis seems to venerate the Greek gods anyway. Wonder Girl has apparantly taken up the worship of the Greek gods, or pretty close to it anyway.
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):
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.
03-17-2006, 06:22 AM
...The only TT [Teen Titans] member the mentioned that I saw was Aqualad. And of course he's Atlantean.
03-17-2006, 03:03 PM
Well, as far as the Titans go, Raven is obvious. Superboy is the same as Superman. Wonder Girl is the same as Wonder Woman. Kid Flash is the same as Barry Allen... Starfire follows the Tamaranian religion.
From: "Religious Beliefs of DC Heroes" forum discussion, started 4 July 2006 on ComixFan website (http://x-mencomics.com/xfan/forums/showthread.php?p=1357699; viewed 6 July 2007):
Jul 4, 2006
I am a Christian (Baptist) in real life and I was wondering if anyone knows any DC characters that have been labled to a certain religion. I think DC has tried to stay away from religion, but... I thought this would cool topic. So please list anything you might know on this subject.
Jul 5, 2006
Well I don't think DC characters are very relgious because DC comics in general seem to have a very general liberal feel to it. That's not to say only conservatives are religious, but that's my opionion. Ok lets see... well Wonder Woman is polytheist since she believes in the Greek Gods. And I know Green Arrow II (Connor Hawke) is a Buddhist. But that's all that comes to mind. And since Donna Troy, Wonder Girl, Hercules, Fury (Golden Age), Fury II, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and Mary Marvel are all heroes who got there powers from the Greek Gods I say they're polytheists as well.
From: "Superhero Religious Views?" forum discussion, started 9 June 2007 on Newsarama website (http://forum.newsarama.com/archive/index.php/t-116001.html; viewed 13 July 2007):
06-10-2007, 08:42 PM
Let's see this from the hero's point of view. Superman is always saying "Rao", so he might well be a worshipper of the Kryptonian gods. Supergirl and Power Girl were raised in a Kryptonian lifestyle, so they would certainly be worshippers of the Kryptonian gods. Wonder Woman would obviously worship the Greek gods, as would Donna, Wonder Girl and all the other Amazons...
06-13-2007, 01:43 AM
...Wonder Woman, Troia, and Wonder Girl obviously worship the Greek gods. So does Aquaman (primarily Poseidon)...
From: "Question for other atheists" forum discussion, started 6 March 2006 on "Comic Boards" website (http://www.comicboards.com/dcb/view.php?trd=060306051129; viewed 23 July 2007):
Posted by Hellstone on Monday, March 06 2006 at 14:20:26 GMT
re: "As noted in other discussions over the years they seem to bend over backwards to NOT assign denominations or faith statements to characters..."
Well, I think that goes for the "big 3" [Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman], for example. But many denizens of the DCU have expressed their religion explicitly, and I'm not just talking Wonder Woman and Kobra and Zauriel here... many more, have all stated their explicit beliefs...
Posted by Icon on Monday, March 06 2006 at 15:08:25 GMT
Many of those have their beliefs tied up in their powers or character. I'd have a much harder time saying what denomination (or absence of same) some of the more generically-themed characters are, like: Robin, Argent, Impulse..., Steel, Wonder Girl (given her parentage, that would be interesting), Joto, Hawkman..., Metamorpho, Captain Boomerang (Senior and Junior), and the like...
Webpage created 30 April 2006. Last modified 23 July 2007.
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