Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

June 28, 2013

Not Comics: Some Pastors Reject Superman As Christ Hard Sell

imageThere's an article here about certain local and regional religious figures rejecting an attempt at marketing the new Superman movie to pastors and religious groups. The campaign apparently plays up the Superman-As-Jesus parallel of which some folks are very fond, and which is hammered home in the movie (the character is 33; he takes a cross-like pose at one point, etc.). I think it's healthy that a lot of those folks are rejecting the idea more generally and as exemplified in this film. I think it's also a good thing that some are taking umbrage over being marketed to that way in the first place. It's not that I have anything against Superman, or salesmanship, or even broad metaphors with characters standing in for Jesus, I just want people to be suspicious of being sold to as a general rule, and believe spiritual leaders of all kinds should be really, really wary of it.

There was a time when religious people in North America had the same relationship to Jesus and God in pop culture that comic book fans used to have to representations of comics and comics reading in pop culture. Ernie Hudson ripping through a few Bible verses in Ghostbusters was a sit-up-and-notice moment for born-again Christians the way that Radar O'Reilly having some comics to read caught the eye of comics nerds. That time is now mostly in the past. I imagine this particular story is primarily about the busloads of churchgoers that went to see that Mel Gibson movie The Passion Of The Christ and the chance of replicating those audiences even on a minor, minor scale being worth several billable hours of some PR person's time. I also bet that being able to write a story about Superman brings more hits than most of what appears on this page of the newspaper.
posted 1:32 am PST | Permalink

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