The Theology of Superman


For a long time now, I’ve wanted to do more writing about theological themes in comic books (which are, really, my first love). I finally got to do so in this piece for Living Lutheran.All Star Superman by Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Jamie Grant acts very much as a gospel message, telling the good news of Superman. As I explain in this piece, in trying to imagine Superman as a modern age mythical god, it inevitably points us to the God revealed through Christ.

When the heroes of the new Justice League movie opening this week gather against invading alien conquerors, they must go into battle without their most powerful member. Superman, who inaugurated the interconnected DC Extended Universe with Man of Steel (2013), died saving the world in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). But it’s not risky to predict that he’ll resurrect soon; just look at the prior movies’ scenes of worshipers surrounding Superman or our hero contemplating sacrifice in front of a stained-glass image of Jesus.Christ allusions are hardly unique to these recent cinematic portrayals of the character. But most tend to focus on Superman’s power, as if God was best manifested in feats of physical strength. While God’s power is unquestionably important, even the most awesome depictions in the prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah reveal God’s strength to be matched by his goodness.

Read the rest at Living Lutheran here

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