BELOW: Elise Erickson writes to Thor: "Every night I say a prayer to you...": As demonstrated by her prayers to him, Elise Erickson's relationship to Thor at this point must certainly be characterized as sincere worship. Elise is an unusual character because she was definitely not raised to worship Thor or have Norse/Teutonic pagan beliefs. (In fact, her father actively discouraged this.) Elise appears to have become a Thor worshiper completely on her own, acting counter to cultural and family expectations. In her letter, the now-adult Elise alludes to a tormented childhood, but she tells Thor: "You gave me hope." Elise later states that finding some of the letters she wrote as a child "give [her] hope for a brighter future. Elise promises Thor that she will raise her own son "believing in" him.
Source: Marvel Double-Shot #1 (Jan. 2003): "Dear Thor...", pg. 4. Written by Marlan Harris. Art by Kia Asamiya. See also: prayer; superhero worship; belief; hope; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Thor (Donald Blake); Elise Erickson
BELOW: Thor ponders Captain America's belief system:
What would he have told Rogers? That Loki had taken a special interest in him? Rogers believed in flag and country, nothing else. His was a pure belief, not ignorant of nuance but dismissive of it, deeply invested in a black-and-white view of the world. There was an innocence about it that gave Rogers much of his strength, but that innocence was also part of what made him a useful tool for those who operated by deceit. Strength of belief, Thor thought, was admirable, but it was a lever that when used against you always tipped you long before you knew it was being used.
And so, Thor thought. I have come looking for him to call him a naif and tell him that my half brother, another god he doesn't believe in, has a plan for him. Hardly an errand with good prospects of success.
To know, and not be believed. This was the lot of the gods. All the same, Thor was glad he wasn't a mortal. Fate would do what Fate did, to Steve Rogers and to them all.
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 45. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: belief; gods; knowledge; fate; disbelief; patriotism; Norse/Teutonic paganism; Captain America (Steve Rogers); Thor (Donald Blake); Loki
BELOW: Monsters regarded Mole Man as their god: The Mole Man tells the Fantastic Four that he was once a respected scientist, but everybody ridiculed him for his belief in the existence of Monster Island. Once he actually found the island, he discovered numerous strange and largely mindless creatures. He explained that they came to regard him as their god.
Source: The Fantastic Four - Season 1, Episode 6 (23 Sep. 1978): "The Mole Man". Written by Stan Lee. See also: belief; gods; Mole Man (Harvey Elder)
BELOW: Captain America believes in the American people; he accuses Tony Stark of believing only in his "bank balance":
"...Who are 'the people,' anyway?"
"They're the ones I rode a Nazi rocket for," Steve said, moving even closer to Tony [Stark]. "They're the ones I got shot up with experimental chemicals for. They're the ones I pledge my life to, and if you're about to say that they don't know who I am and don't care what I've done, I'm here to tell you that doesn't matter. I believe in them. You don't believe in a damn thing except your bank balance."
"The people, huh?" Tony said. "Shouldn't you say der Volk?"
Faster than Fury could see, Steve leveled Tony with a pile-driver right hand...
BELOW: In a bit of self-effacing reflection, Tony Stark thinks about his own lack of "moral fiber or ethical beliefs":
He pivoted in midair, reaching down. Thor would save himself, and Clint was a soldier . . . but he had to save Steve [Captain America]. Too many people needed Steve, and Tony Stark might have been a vain, alcoholic, dying playboy with no evident moral fiber or ethical beliefs, but he would have given his life in that moment to save Steve Rogers.
Source: The Ultimates: Against All Enemies (2007), pg. 331. Written by Alex Irvine. See also: belief; alcoholism; sacrifice; amoral; ethical; Non-Religious; Captain America (Steve Rogers); Iron Man (Tony Stark)