Man of Steel marketing campaign seeks to align Superman with Jesus

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Wayne Wilson's picture

There is  no end to finding "Messiah" figures in the movies.  Connecting them to Christ is obviously unwise.

First, the analogies are very imperfect, so that what Christ really accomplished is lost.  In this case, Christ was really human, not Super-human.  He bore our sin, not save the planet.

Second, modern Hollywood can't be trusted. The last "messianic" Superman incarnation on film (Christopher Reeve) quickly ended up with a Super fornicator and then a child out of wedlock.  One can't even imagine the original comic books with such themes.  Most modern "Messiah" characters have similar sins.  Making much out of the latest Man of Steel for believers validates in advance whatever they choose to do with the sequels. 

At best, in drawing applications from artistic sources, one may speak of a "redemptive death" when a key character's virtuous acts have a redemptive effect on the character of others when death comes --- Melanie in Gone with the Wind, or Mr. Heston in El Cid come to mind.  But that in itself never amounts to more than a Moral Theory of the Atonement.  True, but most inadequate.

There's  a little book I picked up many years ago, called The Gospel According to Superman, which I believe followed a title about the Gospel According to Peanuts.   I was prepared to be horrified, but if I remember correctly, the Superman book actually contrasted Superman with Christ, rather than emphasize their similarities.  It wasn't deep, but I thought at the time it struck the right tone.