Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.
Note: Yes I know this is as old as hell (from 2011), but it relates to tomorrow’s blog, so it makes sense to pair a really old blog (i.e. my second) with my second latest blog (according to my own site’s tally anyway). Anyway, enjoy.
Just a warning: I do not mean to offend anyone with the following essay. This is discussing the idea of Christianity within the fictional comic book universes. I am not saying that Jesus was or was not real. No offence intended.
Let me tell you the story of a man. A man that came from a strange foreign land, arriving as a baby to parents that didn’t conceive him. This man grew up to be the saviour of mankind, with all sorts of superpowers and people believing him to be awesome. No it’s not Superman. It’s Jesus.
But that’s just it, isn’t it. Jesus really did have superpowers. Of course they were called miracles, but the point still stands. And his various ‘superpowers’ that he showed in his life can all be found within the day to day life of superheroes.
Let us start with his walking on water. Now this is probably the easiest one to explain away. It’ll come to no shock to you that Superman possessed the power of flight. In fact there are numerous heroes I could name that can fly without the need of any external help. Superheroes like Superman, Kitty Pryde and Thor. So perhaps Jesus wasn’t walking on water, but was rather simply levitating above it.
Okay then, lets look at his ability to heal the sick. Well this and one of his other miracles (being able to pass around enough bread and fish to feed everyone) can be explained by a simple manipulation of matter. DC hero Firestorm can tap into the Firestorm Matrix (long story, don’t ask); and in turn to anything into any element or material that he wishes (from turning air into hydrogen to turning a metal crane into bubblegum).
Now lets imagine that Jesus had a similar sort of power. What stops him from changing the diseased parts of a leprosy body into healthy cells? After all, the body is made up of chemicals. Surely it wouldn’t be too hard to change one to another. The same idea applies with the bread. Surely it wouldn’t be impossible to change, say, rocks into bread. So that’s two superpowers we can give Jesus.
Well what about a third, and probably the most important one at his disposal. His ability to be resurrected from the dead.
â€¦ Name me at least 1 superhero that hasn’t died and come back to life at some point in their career (by the way, this is a rhetorical statement, I know there are examples of dead superheroes staying dead).
So there we are then. Jesus ‘superpower’s have been shown to exist within the realms of comic book science. So the question then is: do the citizens of the DC and Marvel Universes think of him as anything but some ancient superhero.
The idea of Jesus being the son of God is thrown into doubt when Superman entered the lives of the Metropolis citizens. Both Jesus and Superman are beings of supreme power; and both try their best to help people. However the crucial difference is that Jesus asked for worship and faith. Superman doesn’t.
(And to clarify, I’m not saying that loving God or Jesus is a bad thing. I’m just saying that Superman doesn’t like it when people praise him or worship him).
Also Superman, along with many other heroes, routinely battles against creatures that you call Gods in their own right. Beings like Darkseid, Doomsday, General Zod and Mister Mxyzptlk. Thus why would people believe in Jesus as anything more than just a superhero, since they have a guy flying around in tights and (sadly now gone) red undies that fulfils the role of messiah.
Of course it gets even more sketchy within the Marvel universe. You have Thor, God of Thunder, ancient Norse God. He routinely flies around saving the day. Opposing him you had Ares, who oft clashed with Hercules. Here we have these ancient and supposed myths flying around doing battle above your heads. If seeing is believing, how could you not believe in the Greek Pantheon.
Furthermore they don’t even believe that these Gods are anything special. When Asgard landed on Earth in Siege, the citizens of â€¦ didn’t treat this with wonder, or proof that the Norse religion was the right one. No they just demanded they get off their planet. If these people could be so hostile to the equivalent of Gods, how would Christianity fare up.
So there we have it. Jesus was, for all intent and purposes, a superhero. Which in the comic book universes makes him little more than just an everyday saviour or pest. But perhaps it’s because Jesus is the true, caring superhero like the ones we care about that makes him so popular. Perhaps that’s why people worship him today. Jesus can be compared to great superheroes like Superman and Spider-man. Does that make it a bad thing? Or does it just make it that little bit better?