Some people who read Roomies! and It’s Walky! wonder why Joyce is suddenly a fundamentalist Christian in Dumbing of Age. (There’s a thread on TVTropes about it, even.)
The simplest answer to this is that Joyce was always a fundamentalist Christian, but that’s not the best answer. Sure, Joyce was, but so was Danny. And Mary. Even Sal. (If you have a really good memory, recall that when Sal learned her parents were moving, shortly before the Head Alien killed them, Sal ran away to her church youth group.)
I didn’t address a lot of this head-on at the time because, well, *I* was a fundamentalist Christian. So being one was the default. It’s not like Danny and Joyce are going to argue the finer points of the Bible, since they totally agree. It was “normal.” Plus, at the time I didn’t really want to address religion. I thought of it as a boring distraction, not something I could use to make things more interesting. Sal’s abandoning of Mary’s youth group during her Superhero Origin Story flashback was the first time I ever lingered on the idea of religion for more than a panel or two to make a Shortpacked!-esque “Take That” at dirty Pinko Atheist Commie Horoscope Readers. Sal’s implied abandoning of Mary’s youth group, and thus also her God, was a knee-quakingly bold move for me at the time, emotionally. I was afraid I’d get in trouble, or that my pastors would come and break my knees.
So by the time I worked up the courage to address it more, Joyce had already been mind-wiped for a number of years. She didn’t even remember the details of her religious beliefs for a long, long time. She grew and changed emotionally outside of those beliefs, and it wasn’t until she regained her memories (and a trip to her parents’ house) that she tried to reclaim that part of herself. And that more balanced Joyce is the one folks remember, at least where it came to the topic of religion.
Thirteen years removed, I’m merely doing a thorough job in Dumbing of Age of detailing what Roomies! Joyce believed in, since I now have the balls and the panel space to devote to it.