Friday, February 21, 2014


A Limited Understanding of Superheroes

Lane Severson @ Out of Ur tells us that "Jesus Is The Worst Superhero Ever":
If you woke up and the world had been transformed into a super-nerd dystopia where a demigod-Patton Oswalt forced you to choose only the best superhero to preserve from 100 years of American comics, you would choose Superman.

Sure, the more educated nerd-palate prefers a hero who is less of a boy-scout. (Batman is my pick.) After all, Superman is a little goody-goody. He ALWAYS does the right thing. He has the most complete set of powers: flight, x-ray vision, super strength, etc. He’s invincible, except for the whole kryptonite thing.

You would not tell demigod-Patton Oswalt that the ideal superhero for cultural preservation was Jesus Christ. Being honest, Jesus is actually a terrible superhero.
Not sure Severson gets it. He claims "nerd=palate," but Batman is still pretty pedestrian. Now I don't want to say he does not have a point in this piece, he has several very good ones. What I want to say is I do not think he did enough research into the whole superhero thing.

Pretty much ever superhero if consequence has died and been resurrected in the last couple of decades. I will agree with Severson that they rarely do so as meekly as Jesus did, they all do it. In the end the sacrifice is what makes them heroic, not the power. There is something deeply ingrained in us that knows that sacrifice is necessary for true heroism. The rest of it is, if you think about it, just a matter of style.

The difference is that the comic book heroes never resurrect to glory - they come back to a world where the battle may have been won, but the war still continues - they pick up more or less where they left off. Jesus came back glorified and He had changed everything - because if we let Him, He has changed us.

Jesus did not win the battle, He won the war and that makes Him far more the hero than any comic icon.


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