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Promethea Main Character List

2  Character who’s who

 Who, what where why

Sophie Bangs

Stacia Vanderveer

Barbara Shelley


Promethea was a young girl whose father was killed by a Christian mob in Alexandria in AD 411. After escaping the mob, alone in the desert she is taken in hand by the God, Thoth-Hermes, who tells her that if she goes with him/them into the Immateria, a plane of existence home to the imagination, she will no longer be just a little girl but a story living eternally. "Promethea" thereafter manifests through a series of individuals or vessels who through the power or imagination have channeled her energy.

Since the incident with the little girl in Alexandria, there have been eight known Promethea vessels. Six are characters in the story, the other two are told as two individuals, one Christian and one Muslim, who lived during the Crusades and fought each other. As there should only ever be one active Promethea at any one moment in history, the fight caused Promethea great pain, something that was repeated when Stacia/Grace fought Sophie/Promethea. It could be argued that there is a ninth Promethea vessel; Stacia Vanderveer. However, Stacia was only a vessel for Grace Brannagh, a dead woman who once herself was Promethea and not the original little girl.


Roughly chronological:

Promethea- Anna (poet Charlton Sennet, in the 1770s, projected Promethea's likeness onto his housemaid Anna)

Promethea- Margaret Taylor Case (cartoonist) WW1

Promethea- Grace Brannagh (illustrator) 1920s-30s

Promethea- William 'Bill' Woolcott (comic artist), gay comic artist who became Promethea by drawing her, from 1939–1969, and acted as a "science-hero" in the ABC universe with Tom Strong during that period. Promethea-Bill most resembles a 1960s version of Wonder Woman.

Promethea- Barbara Shelley/Boo-Boo Ramirez (wife of writer Steve Shelley)

Promethea- Sophie Bangs/Joey Estrada

Promethea- Stacia Vanderveer (best friend of Sophie, lover of Grace Brannagh in Immateria)

Sophie Bangs/Joey Estrada

The protagonist of the series, Sophie becomes Promethea after tracing the character's history in literature for a college paper. Her personality as Sophie is initially somewhat timid, however, by the end of the book she becomes a adept magician and confident young woman. She is the most powerful Promethea to date, and the only one not to have been killed during her time as Promethea. She changes her name to Joey after running away to Millennium city to escape the FBI and her duties as Promethea.

Barbara Shelley/Boo-Boo Ramirez

The wife of comic book writer Steven Shelley, Barbara became Promethea when her husband began projecting Barbara's characteristics onto the Promethea character in his comics. During her passage in the afterlife, Barbara meets her guardian angel Boo-Boo (Barbara's old nickname) who is in fact the younger, beautiful and independent young woman she used to be. By the time she finds her husband, she and Boo-Boo become one person.

Stacia Vanderveer

Sophie's best friend, Stacia is an extremely cynical and sarcastic college student. During an attack at the hospital she was visiting Sophie in, Sophie uses Stacia as a vessel for Grace Brannagh to help the fight. While Sophie journeyed to find Barbara in the afterlife, Stacia/Grace were re-instated to temporarily serve as acting Promethea, leading Stacia and Grace to fall in love. After Sophie's return, Stacia and Grace refused to relinquish the Promethea title, but were forced to by a court hearing in the Immateria. After the Apocalypse, Stacia and former FBI Agent Ball become lovers, while Stacia still has sexual liaisons with Grace in the Immateria.

Grace Brannagh

An illustrator who created a series of covers for pulp magazine fantasy stories about Promethea, which were written by several writers under the pseudonym "Marto Neptura". Brannagh was the most proficient fighter of all the Prometheas. She held the Promethea mantle from 1920–1939. In a text article in Promethea #1, Brannagh's style is compared to that of Weird Tales illustrator Margaret Brundage.

William 'Bill' Woolcott

The only man to assume the role of Promethea, Bill Woolcott was a gay comic artist who became Promethea by drawing her. He was the longest-lasting Promethea, from 1939–1969, and acted as a "science-hero" in the ABC universe with Tom Strong during that period. Bill/Promethea most resembles a 1960s version of Wonder Woman. Bill was shot in the head by Promethea's lover, FBI Agent Dennis Drucker, who reacted violently when he discovered that his lover was (in a manner of speaking) transgendered. Drucker spent several decades in an insane asylum tortured by guilt for having killed Promethea, while Bill/Promethea spent similar time in the Immateria blaming herself for not having told him the truth. The two are reunited during the Apocalypse.


The poet Charlton Sennet, in the 1770s, projected Promethea's likeness onto his housemaid Anna, transforming her into his dream lover. This Promethea bore him a child, but the baby evaporated on birth, since in a sense it was only "half-real," an amalgamation of the physical nature of Charlton Sennet and the metaphysical nature of Promethea. Anna died in childbirth, leaving Charlton alone (his wife deserted him after finding him in bed with Anna/Promethea).

Margaret Taylor Case

The writer of a William Randolph Hearst-syndicated comic strip titled Little Margie in Misty Magic Land, Case wrote Promethea into her comic book as a helpful spirit to the titular young adventurer, and ended up personifying Promethea to help soldiers on the battlefield from 1900–1920, in a manner similar to the legendary Angels of Mons. Little Margie also dwells in the Immateria alongside Case and the other past Prometheas, where she is regarded as little more than a pest who interrupts "serious" conversation with her childlike observations, styled after the remarks of the character Nemo in the early 20th-century newspaper strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. Margaret committed suicide during her tenure as Promethea.

Jack Faust

Jack Faust is a magician who first approaches Sophie in order to confuse her during her first days as Promethea. Jack is first seen as a handsome young man, however, this was a glamour. He is actually older, balding and overweight. Jack promises to teach Sophie magic if she (in her Promethea form) agrees to have sex with him. At first Sophie declines, but later agrees knowing this knowledge will help her travel in the afterlife and help Barbara. Jack is also the one who informed Dennis Drucker that the Bill Woolcott Promethea was male, an act which lead to Bill's death and Dennis' mental illness.


Five Swell Guys

Main article: Five Swell Guys

The Five Swell Guys are a team of "science-heroes," and the only such team in New York City. There is similarity between them and The Fantastic Four, with their floating platform and their specialised members. The team meet Sophie Bangs in the first issue, and then meet Promethea in the third issue, after one is badly hurt.

The Five Swell Guys are a fictional 'science heroes' team from the New York City in Alan Moore's America's Best Comics series Promethea. The team meet Sophie Bangs in the first issue as she is being tracked by the Smee and later Promethea in the third issue.

The team bear a resemblance to the Fantastic Four in their use of the '5' logo on their clothing and their floating platform, similar to the Fantastic Four's Fantasticar.

The names of four of the Five Swell Guys appear to be homages to Fantastic Four writers Bob Harras, Roger Stern, Marv Wolfman and Stan Lee. The fifth name may be an homage to Kenneth Robeson, the house name used for the authors of the Doc Savage pulp magazine.

Members of Five Swell Guys

Bob:  Leader of the Team, Bob has leadership skills rather than super-powers. The character fell victim to the 9/11 attack at the World Trade Center, and for this reason does not appear at the end of the Promethea series.

Roger: Roger possesses super strength and is hence the team's muscle. Although Roger appears female, she is transgender due to an incident during an adventure in 'Suffragette City'. This causes complications for Roger, especially when Bob admits an attraction towards her new, female form. Roger's original form is never seen within the comics. The general public seems unaware of the transformation, referring to the female Roger as "the new Roger."

Kenneth:  A psychic who first notices Sophie/Promethea. His abilities are criticised, especially when team mate Marv is injured. In all cases however, his psychic abilities are correct, only that the truth about the particular incident is not known at the time.

Marv:  Described as the genius of the team, Marv is constantly specifically targeted by the Painted Doll. The Black guy.

Stan:  Holding mechanical aptitude Stan built the Five Swell Guys' orbital base 'The High Five' (which is in its turn a homage to the Justice League of America's satellite) as well as all of the teams technical gadgets and tools. Although Marv claims the title of team genius, this is the source of the hidden jealousy and animosity between Stan and Marv. This jealousy leads Stan to create the Painted Doll hoping it may kill Marv.

Painted Doll

The Painted Doll is a sentient android, originally programmed by Stan to kill Marv and act as the Five Swell Guy's arch villain. Despite an apparent death or defeat it would always re-appear and attack again, although it is revealed later that there were many identical Painted Dolls hidden with a lake (who all kill each other, leaving only one alive). After it learns the truth of its creation the remaining Painted Doll kills Stan and joins the Five Swell Guys.

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Swell_Guys"


 Weeping Gorilla Comix

The Weeping Gorilla from Promethea #1

Probably the most exemplary of Moore's concept of modern disillusionment is "Weeping Gorilla Comix", a neverending series of one-panel comics featuring a weeping gorilla, with a thought bubble pronouncing some thoughtful phrase, usually cynical and self-pitying in nature: "Why do good things happen to bad people?", "Who remaindered the book of Love?", "She gets the kids and the house. I get the car.", etc. It is also a reference to the anomalous tendency for comics to get increased sales from a picture of a gorilla, a weeping character, or the color purple on the cover. Occasionally Moore shows snippets of the gorilla's foil, the Chucklin' Duck, who is happy-go-lucky and naively optimistic, with smug saying such as "Heh heh! I got out of internet trading just in time!". Both the Weeping Gorilla and Chucklin' Duck motifs were used in the Greyshirt: Indigo Sunset series by Rick Veitch, and a Weeping Gorilla Comix panel makes a cameo appearance in the story "King Solomon Pines" in Tom Strong's Terrific Tales #5 (scripted by Leah Moore and illustrated by Sergio Aragones). The Tesla Strong miniseries included, amongst various versions of Solomon, one who resembled the Weeping Gorilla. 

3  Chronology

When where why

4 Features list

What, why (special items, ideas by chapter

5 Record to oracle questions and cards drawn and interpretations offered.

By chapter

By recurring questions




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