I’ve loved superheroes since before I could read, but I really got into comics in the early 90s, when I learned that the heroes have aged and some have passed on their identities. Former Kid Flash Wally West became the Flash, and the first Robin Dick Grayson became Nightwing and Tim Drake was now the Boy Wonder. Also, Green Lantern Hal Jordan had grey hair. I don’t know… that was really cool to me back then.
I’ve always loved the idea of heroes passing on identities, of people trying to live up to the super iconography. So it may be no surprise that I liked best the end of Avengers: Endgame.
For Living Lutheran, I wrote about the hand-offs in that film. For Christians, there’s something familiar about the way the Avengers raise up a next generation to continue their good work.
We find the same lesson in the gospel story. As we reach the end of each Gospel, we may find ourselves wondering why Jesus ascended to heaven after the resurrection instead of continuing his ministry on earth.
But attentive readers already know the answer: The kingdom of heaven isn’t like an empire that expands by conquering followers; like a slow-growing seed taking root in good soil, the kingdom spreads only when Christians go into all the world and make disciples of all people. The task of doing God’s good work never falls on a single person, not even Jesus. It’s always a group effort, the work handed off from one person to others.
You can read the whole thing here, and let me know below your favorite superhero handoff and why it isn’t Bucky as Captain America!