Fanatic/References

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Artwork

  • Apostate is seen blocking a strike on "Smite the Transgressor", and is also being stabbed by Fanatic on "Zealous Offense".
  • The demon that Fanatic is fighting on "Sacrosanct Martyr" is the Illusory Demon, one of The Dreamer's projections. Curiously, it is much smaller in comparison to Fanatic than it is to Chrono-Ranger on the card "Sudden Contract."
  • "Brutal Censure" shows Fanatic blasting the face of The Idolater.
  • "Chastise" reveals Fanatic using her powers to neutralize the "Fiendish Pugilist" demon from Apostate's deck.
  • "Divine Focus" portrays Fanatic hovering over and blasting Grand Warlord Voss.

Confirmed

  • To add to the conversation on Fanatic's personality, she doesn't call herself "Fanatic". That's her hero name, sure, and it's definitely the name of her comic book, but she never refers to herself as that. Imagine the sort of person it would take to call themselves "Fanatic". She isn't that person. She calls herself "Angel of the Lord", "The Lord's Agent", and even "Judgement", but not Fanatic. That is what other people call her.[1]
  • Fanatics's Aegis and Sword have power because Fanatic believes they should have power. We did not learn the source of Fanatic's power and whether or not she is "divine".[2]
  • Fanatic's Letters Page errata her First appearance from Mystery Comics #368 to Mystery Comics #338

To Other Works

  • The flavor text of the card "Holy Nova" is the lyrics to Dio's song Holy Diver - Similarly Apostate's Fallen Angel is from Fallen Angels
  • The flavor text on "Undaunted" is a reference to the famous Black Knight scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail".
  • Though the images aren't complete matches, the art on Fanatic's incapacitated side may be an homage to this image of Angel from the X-Men pinned to the wall by the Morlock Harpoon's energy weapons in X-Factor #10 ("Falling Angel").
  • As a winged female superhero armed with superpowered melee weapons, Fanatic bears a notable resemblance to Hawkgirl, a DC comics superhero. This comparison is somewhat ironic though, as Hawkgirl and her species, the Thanagarians, are devoutly atheist.
  • XTREME Prime Wardens Fanatic's outfit is very similar to the one worn by Psylocke of the X-Men, though the way she wears her sash is more similar to Phoenix (Jean Grey) or Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers). The flare of light coming from her left eye resembles the flares depicted when the X-Men Cable and Longshot use their powers.

Questions Answered on The Letters Page

  • She was interesting to design given that she was so different from all of the other heroes in the core set. They knew they wanted somebody with wings who could fly and had a sword and so they just dropped an angel in there. She kind of worked out as an anti-hero given that she had no problems killing people - Ra might wind up burning people too, but nobody was carrying around a sword that they'd use to just straight up kill an opponent.
  • Questions: Questions Answered on Podcast Episode 37
    • When Apostate claimed to have created her, did she believe him or did it not matter where her powers came from as long as she used them for good? How long was she off thinking about what he'd said before she returned? While she and Apostate really are the "same" in that their origins are the same and neither is really an "angel", she didn't believe him and kept her faith. Her outlook and goals are different from his, and that makes a difference. As mentioned, she was off in seclusion for three days.
    • Who were her parents? Literally doesn't matter since the history of that little girl became unimportant once she died. This question is kind of abrogated by the reveal on Fanatics origins given above.
    • Did she really die when she was six? The body did, what came back as Helena/Fantic is a different "person".
    • Why did she recover so quickly/grow wings? Already covered.
    • What words did she hear in her vision? Not really words, just the concepts/visions of the spirits.
    • Did she really spend a year in the catacombs without food? How did she survive? Yes and because she's not a person.
    • How does Absolution manifest flames? Because she wills it to be so. This can take a variety of forms from the blade itself being engulfed in flames, to shooting flames from it, to using it to set other things on fire.
    • What did Apostate do/say to make her question her faith? Already covered.
    • What's the deal with Fanatic carving runes into things as she sleeps? That's a feature of how she's exerting changes on the world - the sword should have "angelic" runes, so she does so in a "miraculous" way.
    • Is Absolution breaking while she fights Citizen Truth related to her fight with Baron Blade (and his Negation Bands) during Vengeance? No, they're unrelated events and the bands didn't weaken the structure of the sword itself.
    • How did she handle the breaking of her sword? Shaken at first, but then her obstinate personality takes over and justifies it as "of course it breaks, it's just an earthly sword" and it's obviously just as good as ever in its current form anyway, right?
    • Some Vengeance art has her in non-Redeemer outfit, does this mean that the Apostate event was prior to Vengeance? No, Apostate was first. As was mentioned in the very first Interlude, the costume doesn't necessarily tell you what time it is. A lot of the costume choices can vary depending on the comic creators at the time, but other than major physical changes the appearance isn't a good indication of timeline (for example, the state of Baron Blade's scar is a better indication of when we are than what outfit he's wearing). A new outfit is typically a response to some kind of character change/event, but after that it's fair game. Even within the Prime Wardens book, while she's more likely to be in the "team costume", she still shows up in her original and Redeemer outfits occasionally.
    • What's the explanation for her first appearance being listed as Mystery Comics #368, while "Holy Nova" lists MC #367 with text from Apostate who's listed as first appearing in Fanatic #25? Another mistake on their end, Fanatic's first appearance should be listed as Mystery Comics #338. This leads us into a nice aside about the publishing history that they didn't go into in the overview:
      • She first appears in Mystery Comics and was a runaway hit right away. This resulted in her getting her solo series, Fanatic, within about six months of her introduction. That title ran for quite a while, including the Apostate story (which was always presented as "this is what Apostate is claiming is the truth" rather than "this is actually the truth"), only ending not so much because the book was unpopular but because it was kind of getting overwrought and needed a "soft reboot" to get back to basics. The new book is Absolution, which is back to her doing incredibly metal things like fighting magical baddies with a huge sword, but also deals with defining stuff like her sword and armor and more backstory stuff as her origin hadn't been clearly laid out rather than in bits and pieces.
    • Within the imaginary world where Sentinel Comics are published, how did readers respond to her character? Did people who went through incredible healing identify with her? Did people shun or embrace her based on the faith/judgement aspects or ignore her because she's just a comics character? Did people have things like necklaces with her iconic cross emblem? This world is pretty identical to our own, only with the existence of Sentinel Comics as the biggest publisher. The world reacted to the existence of a angelic/crusader/warrior lady in comics about how you would expect. Some Christian groups were scandalized that there was a "Christian" character killing people with a sword, while others appreciated that there was a Christian hero at all, and yet others were like "look guys, it's just a comic character". Her introduction was also around the dawn of heavy metal and the whole satanic panic thing and there were people coming down on either side of that with regards to her. Opinions were decidedly mixed. Sure, people wore the cross necklace, but it's not like Sentinel Comics invented that symbol.
    • Is Fanatic the kind of Angel who would destroy the Cult of Gloom or would she try to save them? She's definitely more on the smite end of things. She's a spirit of judgement, but also an entity of faith - by her nature she's pure judgement, but this is tempered by the belief system she's imprinted on to give her the concept of mercy. She judges on the basis of action - and she judges faultlessly - but if the Cult is just kind of moping around as they've realized the pointless nature of reality, she's got no reason to smite them as they're not doing anything wrong. If they've, instead, settled on doing rituals to bring more darkness into the world of course she's going to go with the smiting option. This makes her interesting in that her approach to people isn't based on their lifestyle (which she may or may not actually agree with), but on their actions.
    • She does Radiant damage and her power source is listed as Divine, so is she really an angel? Was she always an angel, even before the accident? A lot of this is already answered. Radiant isn't unique to her (Citizen Dawn for example [this is likely a misstatement as Dawn's *SotM* deck has no radiant damage, even if it might be logical for her to deal it - however, Zhu Long's True Form, Progeny, the vampire-hunter Fulepet, Scholar, and anybody with an ability to choose from any damage type like Mr. Fixer or Chrono-Ranger also deal it]), but by "Divine" it's meant that it's power from an unknown force out of our understanding in some other realm and in her case (being a spirit of the Host) it's "divine" in nature, but without defining which specific divinity is actually involved.
    • Does she do downtime? No, she does not. Unlike most characters who are fully fleshed out people, she's not people. She has some people-like characteristics (and angelic ones - "she's as much a person as she is an angel") - she looks/functions/acts like both of those things, but she's not really either. A lot of her "humanity" is what's imprinted on her by being around people. People are important to to her because of her belief system, but that's all stuff she's picked up from the world, what she brings is justice.
    • If she thinks that she's an angel, why not give herself an angelic name (going back to Hebrew, for example, to give a name that exemplifies who she is)? She was given the name Helena by people who are doing the work of the Lord (and it's a strong name, and the name of a saint), so who is she to change that? Later on, when she takes up the name "Fanatic", that's kind of the moment when she is choosing the name that's emblematic of who she is.
    • Her deck has self-damage only outclassed by Absolute Zero (whom the very air burns) and Nightmist (who's dealing with forces that man was not meant to know), so what does this model in-setting for her? Her power is taxing to her human form (which she has a reckless disregard for); the way that she fights involves throwing herself into danger and pushing her own limits - she fights beyond what she should be able to do as the spirit sustains her. She also has a serious martyr complex going on.
    • What is happening in "Wrathful Retribution"? That's a crossover between her book, the Prime Wardens book, and some of the other members' solo series. This is a fight (but not the first fight) with Akash'Bhuta and the landscape itself is the target for the damage here.
    • How frequently does she overreact/use overkill? Does this effect how she works with other heroes? She definitely often argues with other heroes and they in turn have hold her back in some way. You definitely wouldn't want her involved in foiling a simple bank robbery as she'd probably immediately just go into "kick down the door and smite the evildoers" mode, possibly destroying the bank in the process. This is a good example of comics slotting heroes into the appropriate threat levels - you just don't see her operating at "street level" as she's always going to be overkill for such threats. But if you need to kill a thousand aliens, she's your girl. It's also why Prime Wardens is a good fit for her - you need grand mythic threats if you want her to be around. Then you get the occasional issue where she is on hand for these low-level things to remind you of just why you don't want Fanatic to be around all the time.
    • What's happening on "End of Days"? Does she always have access to such face-melting power or was it a one-off? Those are Gloomweaver zombies, and lots of them. She can do that level of things pretty routinely, but she cares a lot about collateral damage to other people (herself or buildings are fair game). She might not necessarily be aware that she can just do this whenever, but when the chips are down she might stop to say a quick prayer and then come back with the strength that the Lord has given her to then nuke the site from orbit. She thinks that those steps are necessary, and therefore they are.
    • The Gen Con episode mentioned a terrible storyline where Fanatic took a tour through all religions, was this in-continuity or in titles like Disparation that have less impact on the ongoing character? That did happen in the canon timeline, but was a gross misappropriation by some writer who was trying to make some kind of statement (but it wasn't even clear what that statement was) and in doing so wrote something that completely betrayed who the character is. There's probably a story you could do about her changing her mind over time, but that's not what happened here. The story was quickly forgotten and never brought up again in the comics.
    • Why is the art of her having defeated Idolator (on her foil character card) on her incapacitated side - is it supposed to represent some emotional defeat? Definitely an emotional thing - she's just burned down a church and burned a cross into the face of a man who she'd trusted and she's sad that her judgement was as off as it was in this case. This is "incapacitating" because this is "a thing that shakes her faith" and that's really the only thing that can really "take her apart".
    • What's the character on the Seer's belt buckle? It's just a design - it's not a character from a writing system.
    • If Fanatic has met the Judeo-Christian God, how does that jibe with the tangible existence of other belief systems (like Ra, Calypso, or Quetzalcoatl)? She easily explains it away ("They're not really Quetzalcoatl, but just somebody with power claiming to be"). Even the Egyptian deities aren't really deities as they're just myths built up around people with powers who, nowadays, are just called superheroes. The question has a flawed premise, however, as Fanatic never met (nor claimed to have met) God. She's a character of faith, and if she had met and been given a mission by God, she would not be a character of faith at that point. Her faith is in that she "has a holy mission that she is sent on to make the world a better place by defeating evil" and the parameters of that are wide open and require her to make judgement calls. That faith is shaken frequently, but that's a key component: that it withstands testing and "meeting God" kind of negates testing. The guys are of the opinion that none of the facts of her origin (being a spirit of the Host inhabiting a formerly deceased body) prevent there being a God out there who is giving her power and rewarding her faith - and that's kind of the point, they're not making the statement that God does or doesn't exist in Sentinel-verse; it's a matter of faith (and regardless of everything else about her, you can't say that her faith doesn't give Fanatic power).

Sources