June 27, 2013

Superman: Jesus figure or ‘anti-Christ’?

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Henry Cavill as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “MAN OF STEEL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Clay Enos/courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Henry Cavill as Superman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “MAN OF STEEL,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Clay Enos/courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

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(RNS) Superman has always been identified with Jesus, which is why Warner Bros. Pictures made a big pitch to churches and pastors to get the flock to see the new “Man of Steel” movie. But many Christians are leaving the theater saying this Superman isn’t Jesus; he’s "the anti-Christ."

  • David Thompson

    It sure seems that Superman Jesus is an appropriate metaphor for the Jesus of Revelation. He’s not a very nice guy in that book. He’s the one all the evangelical fundamentalists are hoping for in Meggido. Both Superman and Jesus are too hokey for my taste.

  • Douglas J. Bender

    “Rather, Superman’s real sin, for some Christians, is that he resorts to violence to accomplish his goals — namely, killing his enemy, the evil General Zod.”

    Thanks for the spoiler, dude. Nice going.

  • Nicole

    Aye, aye, eyebrows! Really? I believe “Duh” would be an understatement here.

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  • Jason

    This Superman tale, more than any other I can recall (and I’m a life-long Superman fan), focuses on Clark Kent’s struggle to be human. In 2006, “Superman Returns” went, I think, over the line in trying to make Superman into Jesus. What I like about “Man of Stee” is that it parallels the story of Jesus a great deal, but then shows us that even Superman is human, makes mistakes, and doesn’t measure up to Jesus’ standard. We all need forgiveness. We all fall short of the glory of God. Even Superman.
    As for the “disaster porn,” watch it again, more closely. Superman tries repeatedly to take the fight away from people. Is he perfect in this? No? Does he fail? Yes. He is outnumbered by people with the same power set and has never been in this kind of situation before. He’s a rookie Superman who messes up. But he tries.
    When he goes to the church, he’s admitting he’s not all powerful or all knowing. And he’s looking to someone who is. Much like the hologram version of Jor-El is “a shadow, an echo” of Kal-El’s real father, Kal is an echo of Jesus. I don’t think anyone is saying he’s the same.
    I’ve heard lots of comic-book fans whining that “Superman is supposed to be the standard we look up to.” I love the fact that this movie shows Superman knows that’s not true. He knows the One who really should be looked up to.

  • ‘Man of Steel’ Is Not About Jesus

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  • Thomas Brante

    Honestly, this is ridiculous (not the Jesus/Superman thing, that has a lot of obvious parallels). All of these ‘issues’ of Superman being an imperfect person and therefore the Anti-Christ are just creative and logical decisions to make an imperfect but emotionally accurate movie. (SPOILERS) The scene in which Superman kills Zod is tense and provoking and makes complete sense in my mind. It wasn’t to represent satanism or anything, it was to make a good movie. So just calm to hell down.

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  • Caleb

    This movie presented a new realm of ethos, concerning the grey decisions we have to make on a daily basis. Superman had to choose the evil guys life or several innocent human lives. There was no alternative. He made the sucky, but right call. It was not Superman’s fault, but Zod’s. There is judgement for evil-doers.

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  • tom

    I think Superman is fallible, mortal in some sense, although his lifespan extends beyond the human, but he has emotions of depth and great empathy. He makes mistakes, sins, and goes to church look for Christ’s guidance. I think he is a good hero, imperfect like the rest of us and looks to a real hero, Jesus, for guidance on how to apply his power for good. Hid judgement will mature through his life