Christian Superheroes

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rich.be...@amail.amdahl.com

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Aug 30, 1992, 8:14:13 PM8/30/92
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Apparently my company's server does not yet recognise r.a.c.misc as a mailing
address so if someone would be so kind as to forward this to r.a.c.misc I
would appreciate it. In the meantime I don't know what to do to mail direct.

Anyhow, before the mailer-daemon got it this was the purpose of my post:

To: rec.arts.comics.misc

Christian Superheroes!

Recently there was an inquirey on r.a.c. about Jewish Superheroes. I
responded to that one, but here is another query.

I have been following many different Marvel titles for a long long time. In
this time I have really only encountered two genuine examples of Christian
Superheroes, though one may be more technically termed a vigilante.

I submit that there are characters who hold to certain Christian faiths, but
none but two who stand out as having their faith as the source of their power.

For example, Kurt Wagner (a.k.a. Nightcrawler) is a good example of a
superhero who just happens to be a Christian, but his powers of teleportation
are derived from his mutant genes.

The two specific examples I am referring to are La Espirita (a.k.a.
Firebird/Bonita Juarez) and The Crusader II (Arthur Blackwood).

La Espirita (or Firebird) is a member of the Rangers (along with Night Rider,
Texas Twister, Shooting Star, and Red Wolf) who banded together after
intercepting a distress call for the Avengers by Rick Jones. I forget the
actual book this occurred in (maybe The Incredible Hulk?), but the Rangers and
especially Bonita have since appeared in the Avengers West Coast. Bonita is a
Mexican-American who is a social worker on an Indian Reservation (I think) and
after helping the Avengers on a mission against Master Pandemonium she was
granted provisionary membership in the Avengers. She talked Henry Pym out of
committing suicide, she changed back and forth from her Firebird pseudonym,
she was the only Avenger to survive the Collector's poisonous elixor, and she
(wrongly I must say) once asked the Silver Surfer if he was one of the
Prophets from the Bible who was to herald the return of the Messiah. Bonita
seems to be a very gentle soul. In the original series of OHOTHM she was
listed as having recieved her powers from a meteorite afterwhich a flaming
bird encompassed her and bestowed her powers. It was also stated that this
occurred just after Jean Grey was killed on the Moon before the Marvel
Gorl/Phoenix retcon. In other words it was insinuated that Firebird inherited
the Phoenix powers upon Jean's death, but since Jean never died and the
Phoenix powers were actually transferred to Rachel Summers, the whole concept
of the flaming bird apparition is now a mystery concerning Bonita's powers.
I have my own ideas, based on the Bible, of what Bonita's powers really are,
and there seemed to be some clues in her few appearnces.

1) Flaming Bird? The Holy Spirit & Fire -like a dove? (Matt. 3:11 & 3:16)
2) Poison does not harm her? (Mark 16:18)

Apparently her faith is on the par of a Charismatic Catholic?

The Crusdaer II (Crusader I was the Original Marvel Boy's second when he went
on a murderous rampage in the pages of FF) originally appeared in an issue of
The Mighty Thor. What was so unique about him was the idea that he was a
direct descendant of one of the original Crusaders who tried to take back the
Holy Land from the Cossacks. From the time of the Crusade to the present each
descendant was in the Christian ministry until Arthur was flunked out of
seminary for his radical beliefs. He apparently had a vision and when he
awoke he found his ancestor's sword and shield. He fashioned himself a
costume and called himself the Crusader with a determination to rid the world
of paganism and idolatry. His first attempt was to destroy the pagan god
Thor. Which he actually succeded doing. He stood his ground and actually
inflicted a mortal wound. Fortuantely for Thor, Odin interceded and revived
Thor. This shook Arthur's faith and his doubt caused his sword to shatter
upon rematch with Thor after which he fled.

Apparently his faith seems to be on the par with a Fundamentalist Zealot.

In my opinion Bonita is what I might consider the graceful and loving side of
Christianity, whereas Arthur seems to represent the arrogant and
self-righteous side of Christianity. I think a team up between these two
characters would be great. They would definitely compliment one another and
make up for the other's deficiencies (Arthur could learn alot from Bonita).
With the hordes of demons that inhabit the Marvel Universe there would
certainly be no end to their work. Another cool idea would be a team-up with
Hellstorm (Damian Hellstrom) and Hellcat (Patsy Walker-Hellstrom) the
self-styled Exorcist/Paranormal Experts. Perhaps their first mission could be
to finally tie-up that case of the missing Shooting Star (Texas Twister's
rodeo sideshow girlfriend who's place in the Rangers was usurped by one of
Master Pandemonium's demons). This plot was never solved.

So given the above examples of La Espirita & The Crusader, are there any other
Christian superheroes who actual powers are based on their religious beliefs
in any other superhero books (even those outside of Marvel)?.

P.S. Does anyone know the current whereabouts of La Espirita/Firebird or The
Crusader. The last thing I remember is that Bonita took a leave of absence
from the Avengers just after being granted her provisionary membership, and
Arthur ran off to lick his wounds and re-evealuate his shaken faith.

Thanx

-Rich

John Bickers

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Aug 31, 1992, 11:01:13 PM8/31/92
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Quoted from <m0mOzPA...@juts.ccc.amdahl.com> by rich.be...@amail.amdahl.com:

> Christian superheroes who actual powers are based on their religious beliefs
> in any other superhero books (even those outside of Marvel)?.

One of the "alternative" Batman books took this view of Batman,
where he was in fact a priest, if I remember rightly. He's not a
"powered" superhero, of course.

The recently introduced character Azrael has strong Church
associations, coming from an Order that was supposed to be an
offshoot of the Templars.

There are also quite a few characters who get their powers from
Hell, like the Demon Etrigan, and a few who get their inspiration
from christianity, like the Atilla character who recently featured
in the Hawkman comic.

> -Rich
--
*** John Bickers, TAP, NZAmigaUG. jbic...@templar.actrix.gen.nz ***
*** "Radioactivity - It's in the air, for you and me" - Kraftwerk ***

David VanDomelen

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Aug 31, 1992, 4:32:53 PM8/31/92
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Avengers Spotlight kinda wrapped up some of the questions on Espiritu and
closed the book on Crusader II.
Firebird meets some aliens who turn out to be part of a big university
thing (I can't remember if it was Rus or not). Apparently, one of the junior
members of the group had been improperly disposing of hazardous waste, and some
landed on Earth...the flaming meteorite. At first, Bonita has a little crisis
of faith, as the powers she thought were granted by God turn out to be just a
"lab accident". I don't recall exactly what happens next, but at the end of
the issue she decides that God was still the source of her powers, and simply
worked through "chance" as He is wont to. "The Lord works in mysterious ways."
Crusader clashes with Black Knight in one of the last few Spotlights (#38
or #39, I think). At the end, Crusader realizes what he's been doing, how he's
been doing evil in the name of God, and so forth, and hurls his sword at his
shield, destroying both. Cured of his insane zeal, he allows himself to be
taken to jail, but promises his family that when he gets out he'll try to be a
good husband and father, no longer obsessed with his crusade.
I think a big reason why comics avoid Xian superheroes (ones who get their
power from God) is that it strikes too close to home, and too close to risking
blasphemy. It's okay to invoke pagan gods, or Jewish cabbalism, but you're
treading on thin ice when you say that God gave your hero power. Also, a
truly Christian hero would try to avoid conflict, turn the other cheek, etc.
While this can be astoundingly effective as a tactic in the real world (MLKing
Jr, for example), it is too passive for an action-oriented medium like comics.
Jewish mysticism has things like Golems that can form the basis of an action
story, and most pagan religions have alot of warrior aspects. Eastern
mysticism allows for heroes in the Shang Chi and Iron Fist mold, since no
matter how reluctant they may be to fight, the martial training of many Eastern
sects is there to be used. Christian practice doesn't include even pacifistic
martial arts (sounds like an oxymoron, but really isn't). Eastern pacifists
learn to dodge if conflict is necessary...Western pacifists learn to take
damage if conflict is unavoidable.
Dave Van Domelen, thinks Northern Wisconsin pacifists are simply too damn
cold to fight in any case.... }->

Mang Shing Chin

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Sep 1, 1992, 1:05:30 PM9/1/92
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In article <m0mOzPA...@juts.ccc.amdahl.com> rich.be...@amail.amdahl.com writes:
>
[stuff deleted]

>In my opinion Bonita is what I might consider the graceful and loving side of
>Christianity, whereas Arthur seems to represent the arrogant and
>self-righteous side of Christianity. I think a team up between these two
>characters would be great. They would definitely compliment one another and
>make up for the other's deficiencies (Arthur could learn alot from Bonita).
>With the hordes of demons that inhabit the Marvel Universe there would
>certainly be no end to their work. Another cool idea would be a team-up with
>Hellstorm (Damian Hellstrom) and Hellcat (Patsy Walker-Hellstrom) the
>self-styled Exorcist/Paranormal Experts. Perhaps their first mission could be
>to finally tie-up that case of the missing Shooting Star (Texas Twister's
>rodeo sideshow girlfriend who's place in the Rangers was usurped by one of
>Master Pandemonium's demons). This plot was never solved.
>
> -Rich

Actually, this plot was solved in an issue of Solo Avengers. The Texas
Twister figured out how to exorcise the demon from Star's body and forced
it out, but the demon entered the Twister's body. Apparently, the demon
had always wanted to take over the Twister, so at one point in time, created
the illusion that he was losing his powers. The Twister made a deal of sorts
but the demon ended up in Star's body. A spell of silence was put on the
Twister so he couldn't say anything even though he knew all along. At any
rate, Shooting Star and Hawkeye forced the demon to leave the Twister's
body and into a statue on the West Coast Avengers' compound.

MSC

--
"When I need a little free advice about Saddam Hussein,
I turn to country music." -- President George Bush"
-------...@aix.rpi.edu-----------------------------------------------------

James A. Perreault

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Sep 3, 1992, 1:49:08 PM9/3/92
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Here are a couple of Christian superheroes that haven't been mentioned
yet:

Jaguar:

She is a christian exchange student from Brazil. There was a few
moments when she compared American to Brazilian catholizism. And the
"confession" issue with the Black Hood is a must have.


Captain Manhatten:

from D.P.7. Most notable was the Quasar issue where he prayed
before intercepting a large falling object ( which turned out to be
Quasar ).


Jim

--
Comics are like current physics...we haven't had a major shakeup in decades,
so even the most brilliant participant today is nowhere near as famous as
the guys who were doing it when all new stuff was being discovered.
--- Dave Van Domelen

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