'Warrior Nun' Preview: 'Unbeliever' Ava joins demon-battling women of God in new Netflix series
We have had religion-entrenched heroes who have benefitted from the whole gothic Church aesthetic, from 'Constantine' to 'Supernatural', but not so many women so 'Warrior Nun' is a welcome addition
There is something about nuns that make stories flow -- maybe because of the strange position they hold within the Church. As the "brides of Christ", they will never wield any power unlike the men of the cloth and yet the Church could not function without them, especially when it comes to running their charitable and educational institutions.
To the world-at-large, they are enigmas, their bodies and minds concealed to an outsider's gaze. Their strange equation with power, religion, and sex makes for great fodder for fiction, which is probably why evil nuns are such a trope in the horror genre.
But of late, TV has also been going gaga over 'good' nuns. Be it Paolo Sorrentino's Vatican nuns gyrating to pop music over his opening credits in 'The New Pope' or Sister Agatha Van Helsing, the atheist nun who goes head-to-head with Dracula.
We have had religion-entrenched heroes who have benefitted from the whole gothic Church aesthetic and the musicality of the Latin language. And let's face it, the whole primal good vs. evil, God vs. the Devil, angels vs. demons wheelhouse is a good foundation to spin a supernatural, fantasy yarn. Starting from 'Constantine', and 'Supernatural' to 'Dogma' and 'Preacher' to even lighter fare like 'Good Omens', we have had many male heroes to root for. Not so many women in the picture though.
So Netflix's 'Warrior Nun' is a welcome addition. The series' story centers around a super-cool secret religious order of nuns dedicated to demon-fighting. Armed, with guns, swords, and knives, these nuns could give Sister Agatha a run for her money, if the trailer is anything to go by.
What is even more wonderful is that the manga comic on which the series is based on was inspired by real "warrior nuns". Ben Dunn, the comic creator, was inspired by Sister Marie Chantel, a black belt in Judo, who learned Taekwondo under a Hell's Kitchen martial arts master. Her fellow nuns, including the Mother Superior, in New York City's East Harlem chapter, also learned self-defense, since they frequented neighborhoods that were dangerous.
The comic series expanded on this idea of nuns fighting to make them demon-battling superheroes. However, the Netflix show doesn't feature the comic's heroine Shannon. Instead, its main protagonist is Ava, who isn't technically a nun. She is nothing but a dead corpse in a morgue at the start of the story.
But when a divine artifact, the 'Halo' is inserted in her back, she comes back to life with superpowers. Her first act after her "resurrection" is to kill a demon like a bada**. Ava, who describes herself as a "freak", is then introduced to the "Order of the Cruciform Sword" by Father Vincent, who tells her how the sect has battled demons for eons.
The other nuns of the order that Ava ends up working with are Sister Beatrice, the team's lead strategist, and Sister Lilith, an entitled legacy nun, Mother Superion, and Shotgun Mary, who handles the guns. Ava also crosses paths with JC -- nope not Jesus Christ. JC is the charismatic leader of a group of alluring petty criminals, who are running cons all over Europe and will be Ava's potential love interest in the series.
Another key character will be Jillian Salvius, the CEO of a tech startup, who challenges the Vatican's power by discovering a way to breach into heaven -- a discovery that could make religion obsolete. So we can expect the science vs. religion debate to heat up on the show. The question is that which side will "unbeliever" Ava side with?
'Warrior Nun' premieres on July 2 on Netflix.