Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fr. Joe Saw "MAN OF STEEL".

Superman from MAN OF STEEL. Cool "S" curl in his hair? No red undies
over his blue tights? Not the way I learned to draw him!

I went to see "MAN OF STEEL" last night. A friend of mine, a fellow comic book fan, told me that it was heavy on Christian symbolism. I thought the last Superman movie "Superman Returns" was pretty thick with it as well.
See what I mean? Not so subtle, right?

The "new" Superman movie seems to be basking in some of the Christian overtones. This is not unwelcome to the writers of the film, apparently:
Warner Bros. is happy for moviegoers to make that connection, so much so the studio is providing an online resource guide to pastors who want to teach the positive themes of the movie to their congregants. On the site, religious leaders can download clips and photos from the film, or print out entire sermons with topics such as "Jesus -- The Original Superhero" and "Jesus -- More Than Our Super Man."


Hooo boy...this won't happen here. Promise. Maybe in one of those hip, cool Catholic Churches. Not here.

 This article explains more and cites some examples. I've added my geeky two cents (bold).

While there isn’t a miraculous birth per se, Kal-El’s (Henry Cavill) father Jor-El (Russell Crowe) claims that his son is the first “natural” birth in centuries. All children on Krypton are genetically engineered to a pre-determined purpose and thus artificially inseminated. Not Kal-El. Jor-El and his wife Lara had some legitimate baby making going on.
Since I was a kid, the designation "El" in Superman's name has been sort of a clue to one of the Jewish words for God (Eloi). Of course, we Christians believe Jesus was Son of God, Son Of Mary and not the Son of a human father. Well, most of us Christians. Catholics, anyway believe this. Or should. Hopefully.

There is some Christ-like imagery planted throughout “Man of Steel.” One blaring symbol occurs during a climactic battle: Superman jumps from General Zod’s (Michael Shannon) ship and hovers in the sky with his arms out-stretched like the crucifix. Freeze-frame it and you can have your own Superman prayer card.
Yeah, this was an echo of the previous Superman film. Here it is, almost the same lighting too:

Kal-El says he is 33, a not-too-subtle reference to the same age as Jesus Christ when he was crucified.

The Passion of Superman. Kal-El is more than willing to sacrifice himself to save the people of Earth. Originally reluctant to reveal his identity and powers to the world, Supes decides to turn himself over to Zod to save humanity from annihilation.
Which is not uncommon for most heroic myths. Superman does this a lot in comics. Almost every superhero has done the "let her go, take me" or "this is between me and you, leave them alone" thing.

When things get tough, Clark Kent seeks advice from a priest. Visible in the background is a large painting of Jesus so you can see Supes and Christ side-by-side.
It's actually a stained glass of the Agony in the Garden. The scene has Clark Kent worrying over giving himself up to the enemy and the cost of his actions. Pretty freaky, eh? The same stained glass image appeared in DC's "KINGDOM COME" to highlight the same point. Like 15 years ago.
The Spectre (naked albino guy in green hoodie) is floating out of the Agony in the Garden.
Superman is a non-violent being. Even though people everywhere seem to want to beat up on Clark Kent, he never returns the favor, always opting to keep the peace.
Yeah, about that. SPOILER ALERT: Freakin' Superman KILLS ZOD. Twists his neck and kills him. Superman is a NO KILL hero. Or should have been. He's killing left and right now but he is traditionally a no killer. So, the Jesus comparison ends there.

Classic Superman philosophy:

New Gritty Badass Superman philosophy:

That sort of sucked the life out of everything.

Oh, Superman kisses Lois Lane. Jesus didn't do that either. When he saved you, he just walked on. Nothing for himself.
Jesus didn't kiss girls. Shut up, Dan Brown and Early Gnostics!
In essence, for those of us who are Christian, the parallels of "THE MAN OF STEEL" to Jesus are minimal and limited and flawed especially the whole SPOILER:KILL THING!SPOILER END.
And with that said, those of us who are Superman fans, the parallels of "THE MAN OF STEEL" to Superman are minimal and limited and flawed!

However, Diane Lane is always pretty and Kevin Costner as the dad sort of got me choked up. Because I'm a girl.

Pa Kent scenes in every "Superman" movie are moving to me. Old Midwestern
men charged with raising an alien boy with the ability to crush a grain silo always
make me sentimental.