The Religious Affiliation of
unnamed suicidal gambler

Religion: compulsive gambler CBR Scale: M

Name: unnamed suicidal gambler

Classification: supporting character supporting character  

Publisher(s): DC

First Appearance: Action Comics (vol. 1) #16 (Sep. 1939): "Superman and the Numbers Racket"

Creators: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster

Number of Appearances: 1

Ally: Superman

Gender: male

Superman's encounter with an unnamed gambler inspired him to wage war on the city's gambling in the Superman story featured in Action Comics #16 (Sep. 1939).

While leaping over the city searching "for someone in need of assistance," Superman happened to see a despondent man carrying rope walking into the woods. Superman watched as the man climbed a tree, tied the rope around a branch and his own neck, and jumped in an attempt to commit suicide by hanging.

Superman saved the man. Startled, the would-be suicide asked his rescuer, "In Heaven's name who -- WHAT are you?"

Superman answered, "Someone who thinks life is too precious to be destroyed! What made you do it?"

The forlorn man explained, "You shouldn't have stopped me from destroying my worthless life. I'm a thief. I've stolen money from my trusting employer!"

Superman asked, "If you're so conscience-stricken over having stolen money from your boss, why don't you return the money to him?"

The man answered, "I can't! I-- I've lost every cent of it at gambling tables!"

Superman wisely lectured the man, "Has it occurred to you that in depriving yourself of your life, it would make things even more difficult for your wife and family? Why not confess everything and take your medicine?"

The man had a change of heart, saying, "I must have been mad to consider suicide. I'll do as you say!"

Superman leaped away, telling him, "Now you're talking more like a man!"

Later, in his own apartment, Superman pondered what he had witnessed: "I can't forget that fellow who attempted suicide. He looked like he might have been a likeable chap until he was snared by gambling."

Superman's assessment seems correct. The unnamed gambler seems like he was mostly a decent fellow who let a gambling addiction get the best of him. This is not to say that he wasn't responsible for his on actions, but he certainly did not set out to do evil. The gambler invoked Heaven when startled by Superman's rescue of him and he clearly felt great remorse about having stolen from his employer. He felt so guilty about his actions that he was willing to kill himself. While this, too, was an incorrect choice, as Superman pointed out, it was the opposite behavior from what might expect from a purely self-serving non-religious person only concerned with material comfort.

Given the severity of his problems and his suicide attempt, this unnamed gambler probably did not have a close regular association with a supportive religious congregation and spiritual leaders such as a priest, pastor, bishop or rabbi. But the man clearly had religious/ethical/moral values. Such values are necessary for people to feel guilt.

This character is in the following story which has been indexed by this website:
Action Comics (vol. 1) #16 (Sep. 1939): "Superman and the Numbers Racket"

Suggested links for further research about this character and the character's religious affiliation: