Our obsession with caped crusaders
We live in an era where people are obsessed with caped crusaders. Between Marvel™ and DC Comics™, we have a plethora of superheroes to choose from. I am certain that even just by reading this now you may already have been thinking about your favourite superhero. If you are like me, you would have seen quite a few of these comical remakes and can maybe even tell which hero belongs to which universe (Detective Comics – DC or Marvel Cinematic Universe – MCU). I would say I am more of a DC Comics ™ girl, because I love Wonder Woman a little more than the others.
According to my research, Batman of DC comics™ is the most famous Superhero of all time, but Avengers: Endgame of Marvel Comics™ was the highest ever grossing superhero movie of all time coping US$2.798 billion worldwide at the box office. We certainly love these superheroes with the first ever superhero dating back to 1934 (Mandrake) and has since then seen studios continue to make billions with remake to remake. “These movies are arguably the most consumed stories in human history” (Bowden, 2018).
But the question has always remained - why are we so obsessed with caped crusaders/superheroes? Why do we get that amazing feeling when we watch them in action? Some say it’s because they make us feel safe and give us someone to look up to?
Stan Lee (2013) explained that a “superhero is a person who does heroic deeds and has the ability to do them in a way that a normal person couldn’t. So in order to be a superhero, you need a power that is more exceptional than any power a normal human being could possess, and you need to use that power to accomplish good deeds.” He also explained that “Otherwise, a policeman or a fireman could be considered a superhero. For instance, a good guy fighting a bad guy could be just a regular police story or detective story or human-interest story. But if it’s a good guy with a superpower who is fighting a bad guy, it becomes a superhero story. If the good guy is doing something that a normal human being couldn’t do, couldn’t accomplish, then I assume he becomes a superhero.” The eight traits of a superhero were listed as “Extraordinary abilities & powers; courageous; strong moral codes; tolerant of pain; a great sense of responsibility; fighting spirit; mental stability and knowledge.”
The greatest superhero of all time
I have come to reason that that inherent need to be saved by a superhero is linked to Christianity. More than two thousand years ago, a being who was fully God and fully man came to us through humble means to save the earth. Based on the eight traits of a superhero I am sure you would more than agree that Jesus Christ, our superstar, qualifies for the position of superhero:
1. Extraordinary abilities and powers – Jesus has healed the sick on numerous occasions and his first miracle was turning water into wine.
2. Courageous – Jesus stood up to the religious leaders many times and at the end of his sojourn went to the cross for us.
3. Strong moral code – He always went by his Father’s word and being the only one to fulfil the law.
4. Tolerant of pain – Jesus cried in gethsemane, on to the point of perspiring blood, and even still he went on to carry the cross where he died a sinner’s death. I can’t imagine anyone enduring that death but him.
5. A great sense of responsibility – that sense came from the Father and down to us. He came to die for the world and that was heavy on his shoulders.
6. Fighting spirit – even when he did feel like he couldn’t take that ‘cup’, he asked God for help. He stayed the course even when mankind was unforgiving and cruel because of his LOVE.
7. Mental stability – Jesus went through a lot. He would leave his earthly family and disciples and make this great sacrifice for all humanity. The fate of humanity was on him. He had to be focused on his task at hand and not be distracted like he could have been by some of the disciples’ utterances at times.
8. Knowledge – He was all knowing, and knowledge is always power. He understood how things were to work and be, and because of this he was most suitable for this assignment.
As a Christian, I love watching superhero movies because I love to see the good guy overcome that bad ones. I admire the eight traits of a superhero and even secretly wished at times I was one. Though I don’t believe there is anything wrong with cheering on these caped crusaders, as Christians we must always understand and remember that we know and serve the greatest superhero of all times – JESUS.
What’s even more amazing is that we get to have a personal relationship with him. One in which he knows everything about us and yet loves us still. So, the next time we go to see one of these top grossing superhero flicks, we can be assured knowing that we are a part of the grandest superhero story ever, and it’s still evolving.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians chapter 2, verse 6-8, NIV).
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” ( 1 John chapter 2, verse 2, NIV).
Kimberley Salmon is a praise and worship leader who remains passionate about touching hearts through singing and writing as she thrives to become a published author of Christian women’s fiction. She loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is grateful for God’s saving grace which continues to transform her life. As a senior Press Service International Columnist, she is elated that she can now share her journey with God with the world.