Thursday, March 20, 2014



With comic book movies being the big thing right now, everybody is talking about it. Last summer just before "Man of Steel" came out - I found a piece that made me cry, "ENOUGH!" Tim Fall @ Think Christian:
I could never be from Superman's planet, I could never muster all the personal and family resources Batman had, but I could always hope someone would come from far away and give me super powers of my own. Does that sound so unlikely? I don't think so.

One of the big things I like about Green Lantern is his oath and its focus on light - especially the unreserved assurance that no evil can escape that light. It's almost Biblical.

How can a superhero comic book be like the Bible? Well, Superman is often pointed to as a Christ figure, and those comparisons will certainly be revived when Man of Steel opens on Friday. Yet Green Lantern is an equally compelling reflection of Christianity.
I read this, and I especially read the preamble that lead up to it and I find a guy who, in light of all the articles that were being written about Supes as Messiah just had to come up with an excuse to talk about his favorite superhero in some sort of Christian context.

Two things are pertinent here. One, everybody knows something about superheros. Everybody has read some superhero comics. Just because your favorite is not the current fad does not mean much. I came into comics as a child through the awful Batman TV show. When I discovered the rest of the world of comics, both the DC and especially the Marvel world, I spent enormous amounts of time deciding who was "best," who was most good, who had the coolest powers, who was most like me, etc. etc. etc.

But a funny thing happens when you read enough comics over enough time. You discover that these characters are not static. Recurring character morph to meet the times or they die. Superheros morph, Jack Ryan has faded into the background. Of necessity, you cannot drive a stake in the ground and draw deep and lasting lessons from comics.

Secondly, these are just stories. Sometimes very good stories, but they are just stories. Every story, whether it be the story of the latest incarnation of The Atom or the story of Hamlet contains within its confines "lessons." Some lessons the author intended and some are imposed on the story by the reader. Comics, due to the rapidity with which they must be produced, tend to be archetypal. That is to say, they tell a story that follows a very set pattern. The authors do not have time to carefully craft a worldview and lessons into the story. Most lessons from comics are imposed by the reader.

So let's just knock off all the moralizing and lesson drawing from the genre, shall we? Just enjoy the stories.


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