Return of Super Jesus ?

Since I'm stuck in the office, waiting out a snow storm, I took another look at the new Superman trailer, and can't help but thinking that there's an awful lot of Jesus in Superman. (Wonder what Polly Toynbee would think about that--yikes.)

Check out this voice over (from Brando--I think) on the trailer:

"They can be a great people, Kal-El, if they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason, above all—their capacity for good--I have sent them you, my only son."

H. Michael Brewer compares Superman and Jesus in his book, "Who Needs a Superhero" (an excellent book), and made some intriguing points in an interview for a piece I did on comic and spirituality. (It's here and in a slightly different format here

Here's a few thoughts from Brewer:

  • Comics are about finding meaning in suffering: "Batman has a choice when his parents are killed. He can be crippled for life or deal with tragedy in a way that makes the world a better place. Superman loses everything - his world, his family, his home. Instead of remaining a stranger, he decides to adopt Earthlings as his own."

  • Comic showcase Christian virtues as humility and being a servant. In one of Brewer's favorite storylines, super villain Lex Luthor programs a computer to discover the connection between Superman and Clark Kent. When the computer concludes that Kent is Superman, Luther cannot believe it - how would a being with Superman's powers be content as a lowly newspaper reporter?

    According to Brewer, Superman is content as Clark Kent because he is genuinely good. He has superhuman power and he has chosen to use it responsibly and not for his own benefit. That's not a far cry from Jesus, who could have summoned legions of angels to save himself from the cross and didn't."

  • Comics follow the basic pattern of the Christian life--sin, salvation, service. "Christians are saved from sin and given the power of the Holy Spirit — not for their own benefit — but in order to serve humanity. A great many Christians remain stunted in their faith because they accept Jesus and then stop, as if that completed things. There is a world out there that needs saving, that needs Christians to act as God’s hands and feet.”

    In comic, heroes—unlike some Christians—find joy by embracing their calling. "Christians have a sense that God’s will is a grim and foreboding thing—that we are afraid of what God will do to us or where God will send us if we follow his call. But when when we follow God call, we discover that God’s will brings us joy."

Hopefully the snow will let up before the Superman flick comes out.


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