Christianity And Superheroes.

  What would happen if Christians created superheroes? Or if superheroes were Christians?

  Questions like these have been ricocheting in my mind, and I wanted to share them with you. You can use them as discussion points, or to spur you to create.

  Here’s my list of questions; I’ll elaborate on each one in a second:

  1) How would Christianity change or enhance the superhero genre?

  2) What would be the benefits of Christians creating superheroes?

  3) How would you create a “Christian superhero”?

  4) What defines a “Christian” Superhero?

  5) What would a Christian superhero be like?

  6) How would a Christian superhero differ from an unbelieving (secular) one?

  I don’t have any definite answers, only thoughts.

Create Her Story.

   

  1) How would Christianity change or enhance the superhero genre?

  Christianity should, ideally, change everything. We know that God became human, lived a perfect life for us, died, and was raised to life to save us. … How could that not change everything?

But how? Such things are easier said than done. How would living faith, not bare morality or watered down gospel (God wants you to be happy), change the genre?

  On the other hand, superheroes have already borrowed a lot from Christianity. Selfless love, for example.

  The superhero genre has also drawn largely from mythology (gods and demigods are our first superheroes) , which have strong parallels to scripture, however twisted.

Thus the genre already echoes Christianity.

  2) What would be the benefits of Christians creating superheroes?

  I think that there is crazy potential for us to share the love of Christ through superheroes. Thanks to Marvel, superheroes, especially in movies, are popular.

  The trick is to weave Christianity and superheroes in a natural and legit way.  

  We shouldn’t get so caught up in the message that we create lame but uber-religious heroes. The gospel doesn’t have to piggyback on superheroes!

  But we also shouldn’t sacrifice or cheapen the gospel to become “cool” or popular. Love both the story you have to tell and The Story.

  We need cool heroes who’s faith is a clear part of them, not added as an afterthought or literally the only thing about them (and not in a good way). But like real people.

  3) How would you create a Christian superhero?

  Would the hero be a symbol of Christ or a believer? This is parallels and symbols v.s. believers with superpowers. We have both (take Superman and Nightcrawler) and both are needed. The choice is yours. Create whichever you like… create both. 

  4) What defines a Christian superhero?

  Would it be Christianity in the ideal? Superheroes often show the ideal in humanity. They’re brave, strong, honest, and good when we might not be. 

  Would the same be true with their faith? Would they be brave and trust in God when it felt like the world was falling apart? Would they be strong in the face of temptation when we would crumble? (Like Christ…) 

  I guess what defines a Christian superhero is the same thing that defines a Christian anything. It boils down to ‘what does it mean to be a Christian?’ – A tough question.

  And the superheroes would live it. They would not tell, but show what it means to be a believer.

  5) What would a Christian superhero be like?

  It depends on whether the hero is a symbol of Christ or a believer. If he/she is a symbol of Christ, then the hero would be like Christ. On the other hand, if he/ she is a believer, they’d be doing their best to live as a Christian and fight crime.

  To go deeper, consider questions like: what struggles would the hero have? how would they balance justice and mercy? cape or no cape? etc.

  6) How would a Christian superhero differ from an unbelieving (secular) one?

  So, you have two ways to read this. First, would a superhero created by a Christian be different than one created by an unbeliever? Second, would a superhero with faith be different than one without faith?

  Let’s tackle the first one. How would the worldview of the creator affect the hero? This ties into the first question (how Christianity would change the genre).

  Christians believe in the core sinfulness of mankind, a great, loving God, and absolute right and wrong; while unbelievers believe in the total opposite (see The Deadlist Monster by J.F. Baldwin for a deeper look at the differences in worldview). How would this be reflected in the superhero?

  Now for the second. How would a superhero with faith (in God) differ from one without faith?

One difference would be source of powers. For the Christian, their powers would be a gift from God – either directly or indirectly, rather than a leap in evolution or the like. Even if he/she is one of those heroes without superpowers (like Black Widow) they would see their tech/skills as a gift from God.

How they use their powers would also be different. Too often, secular heroes use their powers to reap vengeance. Christians, ideally, would leave vengeance to the Lord, turn the other cheek and pursue justice.

They would also rely on God as their strength, not their powers or themselves.

So, Christian superheroes would differ from secular ones in the same ways that everyday Christians differ from unbelievers.

Christians have played with every genre out there (or at least most), and we haven’t left superheroes alone. Here’s a list of some Christian (believing) superheroes:

Superman (D.C)

Nightcrawler (Marvel/X-MEN)

The Faith Walker (?)

The Illuminator (Marvel)

Daredevil (Marvel)

Biblegirl (?)

Larry-Boy (Veggie Tales)

Captain America (Marvel)

Some aren’t super famous (pun possibly intended) but who doesn’t know Captain America? And a Google search will find even more.

We haven’t left the genre alone, but think about how much more we can do. (For example, I can’t find much for female Christian superheroes). We can create cool heroes with faith, heroes who live out what it means to be Christian.

Get out your pencils, markers, cameras, paint, pens; whatever your preferred media is, and create. The job, should you choose, is yours.

Four Articles To Inspire You:

1+2) A Christian Look at “The Avengers” by J.W. Wartick: https://jwwartick.com/2012/05/06/christian-avengers/ I don’t know about the book suggestion, but aside from that, it points out the Christian undertones in the movie, and how awesome our God is. I also enjoyed the article “The Avengers: Sin, Salvation, and Jonah”, which should be linked below the previous article. But, should you need it, here’s the link: https://jwwartick.com/2012/09/28/avengers-closer-look/

3) The Surprising Connection Between Jesus and Superman by John Mendis: https://fervr.net/teen-life/the-suprising-connection-between-jesus-and-superman/

Superman is one of those heroes who are a symbol of Christ, as well as a believer, and this article showed the similarities between him and Christ; while warning us against being distracted from God by superheroes.

4) Superheroes, Space Outlaws, and the Church by Chris Yokel: https://rabbitroom.com/2015/01/superheroes-space-outlaws-and-the-church/

An awesome article about Guardians of the Galaxy. Scroll down (it takes a minute) and read the comments, because those are great too. And if you search ‘superhero’ on the Rabbit Room website, you’ll find more articles connecting Marvel movies with faith, all of which are awesome.

Sources:

The Definitive Ranking of Christian Superheroes by Jesse Carey: https://relevantmagazine.com/culture/definitive-ranking-christian-superheroes.

Seven Most Religious Superheroes of the Marvel Universe by Howard Kramer: https://thecompletepilgrim.com/seven-religious-superheroes-marvel-universe/

I’d love to hear (read?) your thoughts and opinions, so comment below! And let us know if you create a Christian superhero!

Please keep all comments respectful, any that aren’t will not be posted. It may take about a week for your comment to be approved and appear publicly.

With love, Blue Pail Bloggers.

 

 

  • bluepail

    So, some of the links aren't working, but we're trying to figure it out. Thanks for your patience.

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