Monday, November 07, 2011


It's Better Than That

Greg Garrett @ Thoughtful Christian writes of the recent glut of superhero movies and spirituality:
As in the life of Jesus, Thor must learn what it means to walk in both the world of gods and the world of men. While Jesus most certainly did not solve problems with his fists—or a big honking hammer—Christian belief in the Incarnation suggests we have to pay attention to the ways in which Jesus was fully God—and fully human. It’s a paradox that a fictional character like Thor can help us investigate, and that might prompt further insight for us.

The long-running X-Men comic and the more recent films, also force us to grapple with one of the biggest spiritual questions: How do we relate to those who are different? How do we tame our own impulses of prejudice and hatred toward those we don’t understand?

Superhero comics have always explored real questions in the guise of brightly-costumed characters, and once again we have the chance to be entertained—and maybe even enlightened—by another year of the superhero.

Number one, to simply enjoy something is a Christian impulse and I really hate that we feel like we have to graft something onto something enjoyable.

Secondly, in recent years comic characters have grown deeper and more textured, but they remains entirely too shallow to draw any serious and mature lessons from. Not to mention the fact that as they have grown more textured they have grown less purely good. Yes, the struggle with important questions, but they are too easily resolved, or often unresolved (The story must continue.) No longer can we consider our heroes exemplars - stand-ins perhaps - but they are too often wrong to be something to aspire towards, powers notwithstanding.

And finally, while I dearly love my comics, they simply cannot compare to the sublime beauty, the overwhelming peace that comes from Christ. A comparison can only serve to cheapen the holy.

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