Thursday, June 08, 2006

It Had to Be Said #2

Superman's not Jesus.

For that to work, Jor-El would have to be God, sending his son to Earth to save us. That was NOT Jor-El's intention at all. His intention was to save HIS SON.

Pre-Crisis, he sent young Kal-El to Earth because he'd do well here and do great things.

That would make him Moses.

In Smallville, Jor-El wanted Kal-El to conquer the Earth and make it a new Krypton, and Clark had to reject that and fight his biological heritage.

And that would be Oedipus.

Or Romulus, or King Arthur, or any abandoned baby with a great destiny in any myth.

Really, the problem is that while both Superman and Jesus used supernatural powers to try to make the world a better place and inspired others to follow in their footsteps, that's about where the similarities end.

Jesus was a prince of peace, a pacifist who taught that we should turn the other cheek. His greatest act was suffering and dying, and taking it. Superman, on the other hand, FIGHTS a never-ending battle for truth and justice.

Jesus was concerned about the state of your soul and what the next life will be like. Clark is talking about objective truth and material justice in this world.

Jesus renders unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Superman punches Luthor in the face.

Jesus actively tried to be a leader of men and teach his new philosophy. Clark prefers to blend in with the crowd when possible, speak the truth, and let the world decide for itself.

Superman isn't Jesus.

There, it had to be said.

1 comment:

Dr. Flem said...

Yeah, but they're both sun gods, which is where the confusion occurs.

And Superman stories offer the opportunity to deal with a lot of the issues covered in the gospels. Simon's frustraton at Jesus' unwillingness to confront the Romans isn't that different than Mark Millar's frustration that Superman won't kill President Habibe.

That said, even I think the heavy handed "Jor-El sends his son to save us" from the Donner Superman is a little much.