A Latter-day Saint detective from Salt Lake City, Utah, Spider-Man character Jacob Raven knows his fair share of tragedy. Having a prominent Mormon character in a major Marvel comic book is interesting in and of itself, but a fascinating aspect of Jacob Raven is how he becomes a Job-like character in Spider-Man and how he relies on his faith to keep him going.
After taking down Salt Lake City mobster Vincent Tannen nearly single-handedly, Raven can't escape this vicious mobster as Tannen's men abduct him at gunpoint and blow up his house, killing his wife and putting his son, Matthew, in the hospital.
During this time, Raven is caught up in a whirlwind of hidden identities, dirty cops, and clones of Spider-Man that ultimately lead him to arrest Peter Parker for murder. Little did he know it was his partner, Louise Kennedy, who was working for the mobster Tannen and who framed Ben Reilly, a clone of Peter Parker.
A good-hearted and idealistic detective, Raven loses everything and begins cursing God after his son, Matthew, is kidnapped by Tannen. Though his faith is shaken, Raven can't seem to totally turn his back on his God or his religion. Later, his faith becomes renewed as Spider-Man clone Ben Reilly rescues Matthew, restoring the son to Raven.
Raven continues to relentlessly hunt down evil, making appearances in the Spider-Man series The Lost Years, Web of Spider-Man, Amazing Spider-Man, and Spectacular Spider-Man.
But Jacob Raven isn't the only Mormon to appear in major comic books. Take, for instance, Mallory Book, an attorney who earned the title of Miss Utah while graduating at the top of her class from BYU and whose path continually crosses with that of Jennifer Walters (a.k.a. She-Hulk). And let’s not forget about Dr. Denholm (a.k.a. Dr. Deseret) from Marvel’s Captain Confederacy, the LDS “special agent of God” who originates from the independent nation Deseret, formed out West after the South won the Civil War. Or the time when Joseph Smith Sr., Brigham Young, Donny and Marie Osmond, and Lavell Edwards all appear as villains in major comic books.
No doubt, Mormon mentions in comic books are too many to count, providing hidden gems readers can discover while exploring the world of superheroes and the supernatural.