Friday, March 04, 2005

Comics and Faith

No, I am not referring to comics of the stand-up variety. That was yesterday's blog.

No, today I am thinking of the superhero comics that I read in my teen years that kept me thinking about spiritual things. Mind you, at the time I would not have thought consciously along those lines. I recall thinking that these were cool ideas or characters or something. At any rate some comics that got me thinking:

X-Men Graphic Novel- God Loves, Man Kills
This is an amazing story. It really gets you thinking about how religion, specifically the Bible, can be twisted in order to accomplish ends that are astonishingly anti-biblical. I remember thinking, when I first bought it, that the problem was not the Bible though, but how it is used. Nowadays I see a parallel between that thought and the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument. I don't buy the parallel completely since guns are not made for any purpose other than destruction (whether that destruction brings about a greater good being a related but different topic) while the Bible has a wholely good purpose in bringing people to God. Still it is worth considering how even a love letter can be used to bring, and justify, harm to many.

Wolverine, 1st Mini-series
This is the story that sees Wolverine transformed from a one-dimensional killing machine to a character who struggles with inner-demons to be more than just a one-dimensional killing machine. In the end Wolvie finds peace in the effort, rather than the success. A kind of "the journey is the destination" thing. Nowadays I see echoes of Paul's thinking in Romans 7, but there is a distinct difference in that Paul's conclusion does not simply concede that successfully becoming more than we are is impossible,we had best make the most of the effort. He concludes instead: "Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Ro. 7:24,25 (NLT)

Ghost Rider
The first series featured Johnny Blaze being possessed by the Spirit of Vengeance, Zarathos. The conclusion to the series is what got me. Dying, Zarathos is consumed with a single mission, to destroy his enemy Centurius. Zarathos frees Johnny Blaze from the curse of being possessed by leaving Johnny to inhabit a soul crystal in which centurius has been imprisoned. It is not enough for Zarathos to know that Centurius is imprisoned, he has to get vengeance beyond that, and destroy his enemy utterly. In the process he imprisons himself along with Centurius, but that does not seem to matter. I gathered from that the thought that vengeance, if it is allowed to really control our thinking, will ultimately lead to self-destruction. "Christian brothers, never pay back someone for the bad he has done to you. Let the anger of God take care of the other person. The Holy Writings say, 'I will pay back to them what they should get, says the Lord.'" (Romans 12:19 NLV)


DanofGod said...

BC is a far better comic, but I know what you mean. you seem to be in the comics of violence which helps explain some of your current quirks and characteristics.

Jordan said...

I totally agree with the fact that comics are often good illustrations. I have actually had many discussions with friends out here at Bible school about the impression comics have left on me as a Christian. I recommend a graphic novel called "kingdom come." It features a retired justice league reforming to prevent the apocolypse, it has some bad theology but it also contains some very thought prevoking and encouraging ideas. A burnt out evangelist recieves new hope in it as well.

Also, Superman and Wonderwoman have a kid and Batman is the godparent, how sweet is that.

Last but not least it has a whitty submessage about Christian marketing, Superman ends up eating in a Superman themed Mc Donalds... sorry Brent, no Wendy's