Are any mainstream comic heroes religious?

I was just wondering if. for example, the comics have ever shown Clark Kent going to church with his parents. Or Bruce Wayne praying before going off into the night (I’m betting he’s an athiest.) Have any comic heroes (besides Daredevil and Jesse Custer) been shown to be genuinely devout, and if so, how did they reconcile that with their abilities? Who does Superman pray to?

buy it.

buy it twice. :smiley:

Kurt Wagner (Marvel’s Nightcrawler) is a deviot Catholic and was studying to be a priest at one stage.

IIRC, the Huntress is Catholic, and The Thing is Jewish. Sue and Reed Richards were married in a church, which implies some sort of religious affiliation although I don’t know what denomination.

I’m assuming Vertigo Comics “The Preacher” doesn’t count as mainstream? He’s religious…kind of strange, but religious.

The X-Men’s Nightcrawler is a devout Catholic. Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat) is Jewish, as is Magneto, probably (although there’s no evidence he’s practicing). David Haller (Legion), Charles Xavier’s illegitimate son, is Jewish, as is his mother, Gabrielle Haller (not a mutant). Professor X might himself be Jewish, having lived in Israel for a while after WWII.

Wonder Woman and Thor are both technically pagan deities; while that doesn’t make them faithful I suppose it technically qualifies them as “religious”

Likewise, the Martian Manhunter follows some arcane Martian religion though we don’t see many details.

I think Captain Marvel (DC) is a Christian of some kind although that could just be my faulty brain.

Hmm, I’m reading Sandman, and he’s visited Hell. Wonder if he’s religious. And the Sandman himself was apparently a god of some kind on Mars.

Astro City’s The Confessor is a Catholic priest who’s also a vampire.

Not really mainstream, though.

Daredevil (Matt Murdock) is probably the most devout of the mainstream DC/Marvel superheroes, as his Catholicism featured prominently in two epic story arcs (Frank Miller’s “Born Again” and Kevin’s Smith’s “Guardian Devil”), as well as the recent mainstream movie. Plus… his Mom’s a nun.

Superman’s Kryptonian god was called Rao, a name he used to evoke (or maybe blaspheme) quite often before his 80’s retconn.

In the 40s, Batman was once devout enough to have Dick Grayson swear an oath before God by candlelight before he assumed his duties as Robin.

Wonder Woman is no longer a deity. She and her sister Amazons worship the Greek pantheon.

Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) died, then posthumunously became a demigod – the Spectre, Jim Corrigan’s successor and the Embodiment of The Wrath of God.

Black Panther (T’Challa) is the spiritual leader of a Wakandan religion known as the Panther Cult, and they worship the Panther God.

Top Ten’s King Peacock is a devil worshipper! To quote another source: “Peacock is an adherent to a Gnostic faith, branding him a Yezidi. He worships Melek Taus, an angel put in charge of heaven after God left for a time. Melek Taus, the Peacock Angel, is also effectively the Devil.”

I leave it to those more informed than I to discern the faiths of such icionic characters as Archie Andrews, Hellboy, Jonny Quest and Vampirella.

Um… not anymore?

FilmGeek. Unless something’s happened fairly recently – yes, indeedy do.

DC had an Israeli character named “The Seraph” who was big on the Jewish thing and had two-way conversations with God and all. Marvel had a character of the same nationality called “Sabra”.

Jesse Custer-
Definitely not religious. His incredibly abusive Granma forced him into the priesthood. Jesse expressed his own feelings on the matter by hurling a bottle of booze at his church’s crucifix then yelling “F*ck you and the cross you rode in on!”
If Jesse truly worshipped anybody, it would be Bill Hicks and John Wayne.

Kurt Wagner AKA Nightcrawler-
A devout Catholic. Back in the eighties, the X Men fought Dracula. Due to the strength of his faith, Nightcrawler was able to drive off the Prince Of The Undead with just a pair of crossed twigs. A recent four issue mini series explore Kurt’s quest to do good. Non Spoiler excerpts(from memory. Bound to be errors)-

  "But the church is like the X men. We strive to do what is right. We wear special uniforms. And we follow a specially gifted leader"
    The elder priest who is teaching Kurt objects.

“I’m not especially gifted. I-”
“Not you, Father.” Kurt points at a crucifix “Him.”

After being shot Kurt wonders if he'll live. Proffessor X appears to him.
  "Pardon the interruption sir, but are we communicating telepathically?"
 "No, Kurt. You've lost a lot of blood and are hallucinating."
 "Ah. Damke for your honesty herr proffessor."
  "You seem disappointed."
  "I'm glad to see you and all my other friends. It's just that, if I'm dying I expected to be here."
   "Don't you see Kurt? He is here. He answered your prayer. You're going to live."

For a very long time, Marvel avoided the issue. Then, they claimed Magneto was Romani. Finally, it was made clear that he was Jewish. However, AFAIK he’s lost any faith in God. He survived the camps for so long because he was sonderkommando. These were the Jews responsible for removing fillings and gold teeth from corpses, taking bodies from the gas chambers to the ovens etc.
Considering how much he takes after Trevor Bruttenheim, the man who raised him, I assume HellBoy is whatever religion Bruttenheim was. HellBoy must have some religious convictions. Not only has he fought demons, he is one. HellBoy’s mother is also a nun. Though she recanted her Christianity on her deathbed(see The Chained Coffin)

Originally she was an alien from the planet Drakulon. In the nineties, some moron retconned her into being a demon and the daughter of Lilith.

Archie Andrews-
If Archie isn’t a goy, I’m the Pope.

Johnny Quest-
Hmmm. The evidence is not as strong, but I’ll go with Christian here too. Look at the hair, eyes and nose.

Archie’s Christian, as is Betty, and most of the rest of the supporting cast (except for Reggie, of course, who is a devotee of Mithras). They’ve appeared in several prosteylizing comics. Hell, Archie was created when his creator had concerns over “unnatural” characters like Superman and Batman appearing in comics.

The first Spectre, Jim Corrigan, was nominally Protestant (abusive preacher father), but lost his faith along the way. After being murdered, he accepted the mantle of Wrath of God since “I’ve seen damn little of God’s justice! Mine I know exists!”

The Martian Manhunter subscribes to the Martian religion which is a mix of polytheism and ancestor worship, but he only really believed in H’ronmeer, the god of Fire, Death, and Creativity.

Hmm, since Buffy has seen up front proof of teh efficiacy of Magic, you think she counts as a Wiccan? Then again, she also knows that Christian artifacts work against vamps.

This is actually quite debatable. Jesse Custer quite obviously believes in God, he just thinks that God is a fucknugget. Within Preacher continuity, both things are quite justifiable. Note that, prior to Genesis, he had lost his faith as a direct result of of his priesthood, but he changed his mind.
Batman has been portrayed both as a believer in a vaguely Christian concept of eternal reward, and as a pure rationalist who rejects spiritual questions entirely, depending on who’s writing him, and when.

Manitou Raven (from the current run of JLA) is portrayed as a devout follower of Apache theology.

The Infinity Crusade pitted the devoutly religious Marvel superheroes against the secular ones. And the devout ones were more numerous than had been previously shown.

Well, most of the world’s spiritual traditions and mytholgies have been stripmined by Marvel and DC over the years. Leaving aside actual deities like Thor and Hercules, we’ver had worshippers of Olympian dieties (Wonder Woman), voodoo practitioners (Brother Voodoo), Jewish Kabala mystics (Rambam), Hindus (Maya, Agni) and lots of Native American shamans and (presumably) Taoist or Buddhist kung-fu fighters.

Also, both Marvel and DC have bunches of rarely-seen international heroes, some of whom wear their religious beliefs on their sleeve. Thus we have the Irish Shamrock, the Israeli Seraph, the Saudi Arabian Knight, the Australian (Aboriginal) Bullroarer, and so on.


*Catholicism seems to be well-represented, with the most visible examples being Daredevil, Huntress, and Nightcrawler. Others include Nightshade and Karma of the New Mutants (and presumably all the Latin American characters that utter “Madre de Dios!”)

*Jewish characters include the Thing, Kitty Pryde, Magneto, Ragman, Justice, and Colossol Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes, although quite a few of them weren’t depicted as members of the tribe years until years after their first appearances

*Steve Ditko’s the Question was the first (and only, unless you count Ditko’s Mr. A) objectivist super-hero, although later versions of the character moved away from this.

*Astro City, in addition to the Confessor (Catholic priest turned vampire turned super-hero), also contains the Crossbreed, a biblically-inspired team of evangelicals that hand out tracts on street corners when not fighting crime.

*Archie may be wholesome enough to license out for overtly Christian comics (in contrast to those pagans at Harvey, who gave us Hot Stuff, the Li’l Devil and Wendy the Good Little Witch), but before the company became Archie Comics, they were called MLJ Comics. Their line was built around a stable of super-heroes like the Shield, the Fly, the Black Hood, and the Comet (and for some reason, a bunch of different publishers have tried reviving these guys over the years). One of the more interesting back-up features in those days was Madam Satan, a seductive emissary from hell who would tempt men to their ruin to gain their souls for the devil.

*Most superheroes, if not specificially religious, are at least vaguely spiritual (and almost all super-weddings appear to be religious). The only overtly atheist character I can think of is the Ted Knight Starman.

She probably joined the convent after being married. That is quite acceptable.

Of course, in the Preacher continuity, God is apparently out of his gourd, and exists to move the plot along.

A widow or divorcee may enter a convent.

Check out Ruben Bolling’s “God-Man” - the superhero with omnipotent powers!