Monday, January 31, 2011

5 Ways Superman is Nothing like Jesus

If there is any super hero made by Jewish hands that represents the Messianic hero of Christianity it is...The Ultra Yamaca.  But if there is a second hero it is Superman.  The Man of Steel has gotten so many references to Jesus Christ that you half expect Superman to wear manger nativity pajamas.  But the almighty son of the universe has some key differences over the alien who is allergic to a special rock.

5.  Superman Worry Warrior

Superman must drink 12 bottles of liquid Tums a day to deal with all the worry he gets.  The world relies on his bullet proof skin and flying powers to save them from humanity going straight to Hell.  He's spent countless hours listening to the millions of helpless citizens as they cry out to him, keeping him awake and dependent on strong coffee.  Superman spends most of his tour of America wringing his hands over missing the 1 out of a billion people in this planet who needs to be saved.  Even when Superman started aging radically because of Magog, he freaked out for most of the issue.  And don't forget, every time Darkseid tries to hurt Lois Lane?  Superman has to drop everything to save her, leaving that African child to get eaten by a lion.

Every second I sit here the world dies a little more

But Jesus was smart in his earthly ministry.  He knew his father, God, would be giving him his daily agenda to help people.  He didn't worry about the people he couldn't save because his dad would take care of them.  With his priorities fully invested in God, the master of all matter, it was okay to spend a few hours in rest and meditation.  Jesus didn't go crazy when some town person had advanced leprosy.  It was all about trust and faith in his ministry.  Of course, he was stressed by the long haul to work and the cross wasn't something to look forward to, but unlike Superman, Jesus could get free counseling from God.  And Jesus didn't stay in his earthly presence for long.  After the Ressurection, Jesus became glorified and upgraded to supervisor of Heaven, being able to take care of every aspect of humanity without getting tired at all.  No hand wringing for Jesus.

4.  Superman Uses Force

Brutal beatdowns are today's language of resolution. If comics have taught me anything its that if something has a face, it can be punched. Superman is a large Swiss Army Knife for killing. His fists are made for punching holes in the moon, his eyes shoot out cutting lasers and his breath can freeze the heart of an elephant. He basically has two career options, working in a steel mill or punching the junk out of everything that looks at him funny. His career has shown that battles have been generally won through bashing something's head in until it can no longer make cognitive decisions. It seems to be a formidable way of getting things done. But...

Jesus does not need to use his fists. In his career, the demonic threats, endless diseases and snarky religious remarks have been silenced with mere words. In some cases, just looking at Jesus makes the demons crap themselves. Not to mention that Jesus could tell your cancer to go to Hell and it would do it. If Darkseid tried to mess with Jesus' turf, he would not even need to leave his house to confront him. A simple cell phone call would send Darkseid packing. It's no wonder that Jesus tags himself on Satan's photos in Facebook to scare the bejeezus out of him.

3. Superman Doesn't Build Up People*

When you are the full package hero of Metropolis, you really can't teach anyone about having your powers. Pretty much, after you save the world, you land in front of the news cameras and say, "everything is going to be fine." Those words of false security last about an hour before Lex Luthor creates an electron cannon that uses the blood of orphans to destroy buildings. Superman does not have the ability to build up citizens and teach them to be self reliant. He is a metahuman, which puts him in a lonely category. If ever he did die the world would go belly up the next time a volcano decides to give birth to a Hell demon. His job security is through the roof.
They never got along

But, Jesus had a ministry that was about empowering people. Even though he was all about healing impossible sicknesses, he also brought along a powerful message on faith that could have ended in "And now you know and knowing is half the battle." He taught his disciples to multiply bread and fish or try to remove demons from celebrities as part of his ministry. His second plan was building up a church that could act as the hands and powers of Christs' ministry. By the time Jesus had ascended into Heaven, his disciples were doing twice as many miracles as he was. Jesus wanted a legacy of his people worshiping the one God and living out the one mission, so he could see his influence spread. When was the last time you saw an army of little Supermans following in his footsteps?

2.   Superman Can Die
I will probably get more fanboy hate mail on this, but Superman has the ability to die.  It goes without saying that he is extremely allergic to a rock, making an evil mineralogist his worst enemy.  In his battle with Doomsday, Superman takes an uppercut so hard to the face that he dies from the impact.  He is later brought back from the dead (because DC won't kill this Golden Goose ) but it will always be a sober reminder that a few punches to the face by a mega beast could take him out.  If the fans can't stand him and Superman dies, the world goes kaputz.  His life depends on marketing.

"Fine, no more Olive Garden!"

...But Jesus welcomes death like a red piece of meat in a tiger's cage.  When death came knocking on his door, Jesus was all like, "Go ahead, take me.  The man can't hold me down."  He turned out to be right because his body rose from the grave and he supersized into Jesus of the heavenly realms.  Similar to Gandolf evolving into Gandalf the White, Jesus totally became indestructible.  His new slogan became, "Nail me to a cross once, shame on you.  Nail me to a cross again...I don't think so, jabronies!"

1.   Superman's Alter Ego is a Lie

Clark Kent is the alter ego of the man in red tights. He's a bumbling, ill confident and mostly soft spoken Nerf ball.  You would not trust this guy to even water your plants.  Only when he turns to Superman does he get to act like the man he was truly raised to be.  But mostly Superman is living a lie as Clark Kent, leading people off the trail that he is a super hero.  I wonder if Superman feels like an empty shell of a man when he pretends to be an underpaid reporter.  But the moment he reveals his identity to the world his loved ones would be shanked to death by the homicidal maniacs.  Thus, he is forced to lead people astray and wear glasses.

Fashion sense is also held back

But, Jesus is a "what you see is what you get" model of humanity.  He was humble in spirit, confident in his teachings and he was not afraid to tell priests where to shove their religion.  It was only when he rose from the grave did we see the Jesus that was outside of the human shell.  In sci-fi geek terms he gained 8000 + power, strength and royalty points.  You could argue that Jesus had to hold back his powers while on Earth, but it was never to trick his enemies and keep his family safe.  He was basically giving us the privilege of seeing his softer, caring and gentle side.  If he had gone all gung-ho on the people they probably would have had their heads explode from the intense glory.

Sorta like this.

* I know that some myth stories have superman with a fan club of heroes from the year 3000.  I am talking about the classic Superman where he is the most powerful being on Earth.

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