MAN OF STEEL: THE PALATABLE JESUS

When we think about Jesus Christ we often imagine a blonde-haired blue-eyed white man who spoke in parables and healed people with his supernatural powers. In reality Jesus probably looked more like Paul Mooney than Paul Walker, but I digress. The funny thing about Jesus is that he is such an enigmatic and polarizing figure. One cannot simply relate to his story and his awe-inspiring journey through immaculate birth, heinous death, and miraculous resurrection without being tied into religion. If you believe in the story of Jesus Christ than you believe he was the Son of God and you become Christian or at the very least Christian sympathizing. I believe in Jesus Christ, but I also believe in Buddha and many other prophets. I personally do not place any hierarchy religious wise on who is the penultimate savior because I believe there is something deeply profound and incredibly poignant that we can learn from all of these prophets and their teachings.

In order to get out of the religious confines of believing in Jesus and being associated with Christianity, but still being inspired by the man who walked on water, we have Clark Kent aka Superman aka The Man of Steel! To be fair I have no clue as to whether or not the creators of Superman modeled the character purposely after Jesus himself, but the parallels are striking enough to make reasonable comparisons between the two. First off we have Clark Kent being born to alien parents through a miraculously remarkable birth because all of the other children were born of artificial means, but Clark himself is born vaginally assuming they have penises and vaginas on Krypton. This is the Man of Steel movie version of his birth and I am not sure how that pairs with the comic cannon, but I’ll be using the Man of Steel movie as the reference point from here on out to compare Superman to Jesus.

Another striking similarity between Superman and Jesus is the ways in which they discover their powers. I believe Jesus was learning his powers and displayed them as early as 12 years old and in the Man of Steel movie they depict a young Clark Kent performing miraculous feats at an early age as well. According to the Bible, Jesus disappeared for a period of time and returned when he was 33 years old. The Clark Kent of the Man of Steel movie is shown to have disappeared from his home and returned around age 33 just like Jesus. The movie even goes as far as Superman telling his captors that he’s been on earth for “33 years.” If this is blatant enough, the movie has a scene where Clark goes to a church to talk to a priest about his feelings and there’s an iconic shot of Clark sitting in a pew with a stained-glass fresco of Jesus right above his right shoulder in the background. If there was a doubt about the similarities between the two men the movie at this point has clearly placed Clark in conversation with the Lord as being one in the same.

I think what is cool about Superman is that it is the story of Jesus Christ without the religious aspects. Anyone can like Superman without fear of religious persecution or having to question ones own faith or get sucked into heated debates about the validity of him being the one and only true lord and savior. With Superman you can just admire the story and appreciate the grandiosity of it all without getting caught up in scripture and souls going to heaven or hell. I think in a circuitous way Superman aka the Man of Steel is a more palatable form of the story of Jesus Christ and in a weird way makes those who appreciate and wonder about what it would be like if he actually existed and lived in our world, closer to Jesus Christ the Son of Man.

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