< Return to Religious Affiliation of Comics Book Characters Quasar: Wendell Vaughn

The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Wendell Vaughn
of the Avengers

Wendell Elvis Vaughn, better known as Quasar, was apparently raised in an atheist family and remained an atheist as an adult.

As Quasar, Wendell Vaughn was for a long time the appointed protect of the universe and personally met and interacted with many cosmic-level beings. Quasar did not regard this beings as manifestations of a divine realm or spiritual realities, but viewed them all from a purely materialistic viewpoint.


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: 22 Oct 2004 14:06:41
From: Del

Out of interest, are there any comic characters, mainstream or otherwise, that are unbelievers? And if so, how do they tend to be depicted?

Date: 23 Oct 2004 10:39:43
From: Jack Bohn

Quasar is a pretty thoroughgoing rationalist (as much as anyone can be in the Marvel Universe). He's a very polite fellow, so he usually just avoids the subject.

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/e46638dbdaa8a219; viewed 22 June 2006):

From: Andrew Furdell
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

Atheist superheroes?

Hey, how come there aren't any? ...atheists really could have used a comic book role model then. All we had was Quasar, and he was a really wimpy atheist, with his whole "Maybe I haven't found the right religion for me" thing. Hey, Kurt Busiek or Christopher Priest or Erik Larsen... why not write an atheist hero? Even better, how about if you make an already established character atheist?

Also something there's not enough of: gay heroes. The only one I can think of (outside of Watchmen and, er, hehehe, Batman [the writer here jokingly implies that Batman is a gay pedophile]) is Pied Piper, and he's really only a helpful friend...

But there are so many atheist comic fans... Why not make the characters reflect that? At least one or two?

From: Hosun Specious Lee
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

Quasar's an atheist. It factors into a couple stories.

From: Andrew Furdell
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

Sure, but like I said: too wimpy. He was all, "Oooh, maybe I just haven't found the religion that's right for me yet." That's not what I want! I want someone who's willing to say, "No, I don't believe there is a god," and leave it at that.

From: Hosun Specious Lee
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

No, he very clearly said I don't believe in God, and he disavowed religion based entirely on logic. In fact, he thought it was a waste of time to have a priest at his father's funeral. His father was also an atheist as well.

From: Tim Frankovich
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

Well, heck, where's the blatantly Christian superheroes, then?

Sure, there's the occasional cameo by Firebird, a Roman Catholic.

But where's the devoted Protestant Christian heroes? There's a vast number of Protestants around, far more than there are gays or... atheists (that's not intended as a slam of either), so why not? Huh? Huh?

Give me a break.

From: Dwiff
Date: Tues, Sep 21 1999 12:00 am

Which is sort of what I was trying to get at. In the few cases where we are told of a character's religious leanings it usually stems from an "ethnic" background (Catholic, Hebrew) but the mainstream whitebread characters are complete ciphers in this regard. We can just as easily assume they're ...all Scientologists (or would that be Triune Understanding?). Anyone care to post a list of those characters whose spiritual beliefs are on record? Of the top of my head:
Firebird: Roman Catholic
Daredevil: Roman Catholic
Nightcrawler: Roman Catholic ( I think...)
Sabra: Hebrew (d'uh)
Quasar: atheist
Storm: murky ill-defined African pagan
Shadowcat: Hebrew

From: Hosun Specious Lee
Date: Wed, Sep 22 1999 12:00 am

That was pretty much what happened. Quasar and his father were atheists, so he thought it was useless to have a priest. The priest was the idea of his mother I believe. Your friend is correct in that Quasar's atheism was never really a big point. It only came to the forefront when his father died.

It's hard for a guy like Quasar to believe in a God because he casually interacts with almost-divine beings on a daily basis. And because all of these entities operate on some logical level for him, he doesn't see the need for a leap of faith.

From: DOOM0880
Date: Wed, Sep 22 1999 12:00 am

Quasar is more of unsure, not set as an atheist. Luminator is a Catholic, Shamrock is [also Catholic]...

From: Kevin J. Maroney
Date: Wed, Sep 22 1999 12:00 am

It's been several years since I read Quasar, but: I seem to recall that Quaze himself was what I would call an "agnostic atheist", believing that the question of the existence of a true God was probably undecidable and thus not relevant, while his father was more of a "true believer atheist" who was certain that there is no God.

One of the most amusing scenes in the series was when the ghost of Quasar's father shows up and discusses the fact that his existence as a ghost in no way shakes his faith in the non-existence of God...

From: "The Church of Superman" forum discussion started 19 June 2006 on the "James Randi Educational Foundation" website (http://www.randi.org/forumlive/showthread.php?t=58627; viewed 15 May 2007):

19th June 2006, 06:03 AM

The Church of Superman

Hmmmm... the "religious" affiliations of comic book characters. Huh?

19th June 2006, 09:56 PM
Scott Haley

Marvel Comics' Quasar, as written by the late great Mark Gruenwald, is an atheist. Even though he met supernatural creatures and godlike beings, he didn't feel the need to worship any of them.

From: "Atheist representation on the Avengers" forum discussion started 20 June 2001 on "Comic Boards" website (http://www.comicboards.com/avengers/view.php?trd=010620110715; viewed 24 May 2007):

Posted by Jae on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 11:07:15 GMT

Atheist representation on the Avengers

The teams pretty well rounded now, but are there any atheistic members?...


Posted by D-Man on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 20:10:53 GMT

...Probably the best comic you could find to figure out who believes in a god or a god, or have deep faith in God or a god would be:

Infinity Crusade
The Goddess uses the heroes' faith and belief in gods and such to recruit heroes.

Here are a list of Avengers who are "believers" so are recruited by the Goddess:
Living Lightning
Black Knight
Invisible Woman
Wonder Man
Captain America
Scarlet Witch
Moon Knight

The so-called "non-believers" that the Goddess didn't choose:
Mr. Fantastic
Iron Man
Spider-Woman II
Beast (although Beast claims to believe in a god, but Vision counters with "Obviously because your belief in a supreme being is not as deeply felt nor well known as the others.")
Quasar (which was stated in his own book)


Posted by Taxman on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 14:17:36 GMT

I just dug up some back issues of "Infinity Crusade"...

Quasar was mentioned as being off-planet at the time...


Posted by Ian Watson on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 13:20:26 GMT]

...Quasar is also an explicit atheist, and Hank Pym has admitted his lack of faith to Firebird...


Posted by Zevad on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 12:50:16 GMT

Quasar is an atheist, he believes once your dead your gone...

Throughout his series despite the wonders and other dimensions he's seen he still is an atheist. He doesn't beliver there is one great GOD or heaven. He believes when you die that's it. That this life is all that matters and all that was you vanishes into oblivion. I miss that series.


Posted by Jae [a self-described atheist] on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 13:42:41 GMT

I knew there was a reason He spoke to me in A-Inf and Max Sec.

Despite the fruity costume!!! I might have to track down his old series now.


Posted by Prime Eternal on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 15:51:26 GMT

My personal favorite Quasar-as-atheist moment...

From Quasar #22, in which Wendell is visited by an image of his dead father, Gilbert Vaughn:

Gilbert: "Wendell, do you have a moment...?"
Quasar: "Nnh...? DAD?!?"
Gilbert: "Yes, son..."
Quasar: "But--!"
Gilbert: "I know. I shouldn't be here since I'm DEAD. Remember that discussion we once had about death...when I told you that I don't BELIEVE in any sort of AFTERLIFE...?"
Quasar: "Yeah?"
Gilbert: "Well, I STILL don't. My presence here doesn't prove a THING except that Eon is capable of creating a lifelike ENERGY-SIMULACRUM of me and imbue it with what he remembers to my CONSCIOUSNESS to be."

[Mark] Gruenwald [i.e., the writer of Quasar] also had an atheist character -- Dave Landers-- in his DP7 series. Probably the best issue of DP7 was #5, when the characters went to an exorcist to see if he could remove their powers. Throughout the series, Dave's frienship with Randy O'Brien (a Catholic) was the most compelling feature of the book.


Posted by Omar Karindu on Wednesday, June 20 2001 at 11:27:02 GMT

...Quasar may have been stated to be an atheist in his series, though I can't recall for sure...

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):

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...

09-16-2006, 06:00 PM

Wolverine and Quasar are Atheists.

09-16-2006, 06:18 PM

I could never understand how any Earthbound super-hero or villian would be an atheist and/or agnostic.

They've seen gods up close!

09-16-2006, 06:30 PM

Yeah but not "God," at least the Jew/Christian/Catholic/Muslim/any other religion god.

Despite the name of the page in the following source, it is not clear how "authoritative" this source is. This appears to be simply the viewpoint of one dedicated comic book fan. From: Jim Trabold, "Ultimate Marvel Handbook #19: (174)", posted 21 July 2006 in "Comics Nexus" section of "Inside Pulse" website (http://www.insidepulse.com/article_v3.php?contentid=49881; viewed 17 July 2007):

Hello everyone I'm Jim Trabold welcome to the Ultimate Marvel Handbook.

Hey Daron how are you today bud?

I'm pretty good. I'm curious though if anyone reading this column doesn't know who you are? I just find it interesting that you introduce yourself every week. I wonder if you're trying to reach the same mythic "new" readers that the comic industry is always preaching about.

I'm good. I'm missing out on SDCC but I'll make up for it next year. I still plan on reading the news and all coming from the con though. Can't wait for WW Chicago now.

Oh sure, you're gonna go to Chicago this year, and I can't make it.

Yeah that's enough con talk for now lol. Let's start.

[Question] 18 - I know that in DC, Batman (rumored), Atom, Starman, Booster Gold and Mr. Terrific are atheists, besides Wolverine and Hulk who else in Marvel is also confirmed or considered as the same?

[Answer:] Wolverine and Hulk actually do have faith in religion in their own manors. Hulk would be Bruce's religion Catholic and Wolverine was for a while but now is Buddhist.

As for confirmed atheists:
Iron Man
Ms. Marvel
Pete Wisdom

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