SUPERMAN
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SUPERMAN
(1978)

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This page was created in 1998
This page was last updated on May 17, 2005


Page 1
Oct 1998 to Summer 2000

Superman Review
Comments page 2 Aug 2000 to present
Comments page 1 Oct 1998 to Summer 2000

THANKS...
Subject: superman
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2001
From: es

it appears you discuss some of the things i've suggested to friends for years only to have them balk at my "paranoia" and "crack-smoking insanity"

... you ever watch ultraman, much the same as the superman situation, in many ways especially more blatant and obvious, but nothing could be too obvious for my sci-fi geek anti-christian pals... but then i fully understand the want to keep ones head in the sand too, we're all guilty, but then some are just having more fun with it than others, perhaps more than one should... thanks...

SUPERMAN/MESSIAH
Subject: Superman
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001
From: Jonathan

I found the article on Superman being the Messiah, very interesting and compelling. Anyone who reads the comics, or has read them in the past has seen similar parallels, especially with Superman's death. I have noticed in Superman's death, in the comics, that there is much religious symbolism. Note the similarities below:

1. Superman dies in a sacrificial way, just like Christ

2. Following Superman's death many people take up the mantle and replace superman. These new "supermen" parallel the disciples and false christs mention by Jesus in the gospels. The man who becomes "Steel" in the comics, does not pass himself off as the real superman, rather he is seen more as a disciple of the original, who takes up the mantle to do battle with the evil. The other supermen resemble more of the false christs as they claim to be the original.

3. Superman experiences a resurrection that is witnesed by many, just like Christ's was.

4. Superman's resurrection occurs with him being "born" out of an egg/womb like kryptonian ship. This egg/womb symbolism parallels the "new birth" motif of the gospels. Also it parallels the tomb in which Jesus rose from. It is also interesting to note that the kryptonian machine that finally gives birth to the alive superman, first travels through water. The symbolism of baptism can be scene here, especially when Paul says that we experience the death and resurrection of Christ in the waters of baptism. Also the superman tomb/statue where the body of superman lay is later on found empty, although it is not until later on in the series that the true superman comes back. Following the empty tomb we find the discovery of the false supermen as well as the superman disciple.

5. Superman's resurrection experience is really combines the resurrection/return motifs of Jesus. At Christ's second coming the powers of evil are destroyed. It is said that following Jesus' resurrection there would be false christs who would seek to deceive those who know the truth. So the superman story seeks to telescope the resurrection and second coming of Christ into one story. It is after Superman comes back from the dead that he goes out to do battle with the evil half/cybernetic superman, who really symbolizes the beast or antichrist of Revelation. Superman does battle with the evil superman with the help of some friends, which symbolizes Revelation 12 and the heavenly battle in heaven between good and evil. The story really makes you think!
Jonathan

Response: Excellent comments. Thank you -David

SHOWED SUPERMAN EVIL INTENT
Subject: Very interesting page....but!!!
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000
From:Travis S. Tarrant

Hi, I am 32 years old and to this day like a child I will watch Superman the movie over and over again because of how, like the Bible, the message of hope is so uplifiting. But there is a comparison between Lex Luthor and Satan that I disagree with. Though, in the Bible, Lucifer did temp Yashuah the messiah with worldy goods, Lex Luthor never tempted Superman. All he did was use a visual aid to show Superman what his evil intentions were. Thank you, Travis S. Tarrant

SUPERMAN AND SEXUALITY
Subject: SEXUALITY
Date: Sun, 28 May 2000
From: FAULL

YOUR SITE IS GREAT!! IN REGARDS TO THE SEXUALITY ISSUE OF SUPERMAN AND JESUS... WELL ALL I CAN SAY IS SUPERMAN IS NOT JESUS ...BUT WE ARE JESUS' BRIDE...GOD OUR MAKER IS OUR HUSBAND...JESUS IS INTIMATE IN A SPIRITUAL /RELATIONAL WAY. I THINK YOU CAN THINK OF LOIS AS THE BODY/BRIDE OF CHRIST...AND THAT HE DESIRES A INTIMATE LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH US. PLEASE DON'T POST MY EMAIL...THANKS

SUPERMAN, JESUS AND EL TOPO
Subject: congratulaitons
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2000
From: Matt Burgener

i really liked this site. Your analysis is through and thought provoking. Your conclusions are not that suprising, as due to the extreme popularity of the bible, it is understandable if its story serves as the basis for many others. My faveorite hollywood Jesus would be the mexican film "el topo" written directed stared in and scored by a man whose name I'm not sure of, gadaroscy? (a russian-mexican.) Anyways checkit out if you can I have the feeling it would be enjoyed. Keep up the good
work. Matt Burgener

PEOPLE CAN CONFUSE SUPERMAN FOR JESUS
Subject: Please explain...
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000
From: kit

Dear Dave,

Please explain how you think non-believers will see the true character of Christ though "Superman". Contrary to your explanation of the relation between the two, I think it paints a unacurate account of how Christ was and is, or his teachings and miracles. I don't mean to sound contradicting but I've looked at your site and I'm concerned people who may be looking for the Christ of the bible on your site, will find a counterfeit representation of who he really is. The culture is not wisley looking for spiritual conformation, by showing movies that have hints of God in them, as you seem to portray in your "There is something Going on in our Culture" statement. This world is searching for the true nature of Christ to fill the void in there lives whether they know it or not. We should show them who Christ really is. I hope I havn't affended you, it was not my intent.
God Bless

My response: What? How small do you think God is? Do you think that if someone was seeking for bread that God would give them a stone? God honors honest seeking hearts and God will use the culture (and a host of other things) to help such a person on their spiritual quest. May God open your eyes to God's ever present nature, profound love and power. Read Acts 17:16-34 and Philip 4:8.

JESUS WAS SEXUAL
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000

(This is part of a private note, so I will post only this important portion)
About the person who commented on the Sexuality of Jesus. My belief that Jesus was fully human / fully divine, and consequently fully sexual. Sex is more than an act, it is an integral part of identity, human identity. Conversely who could deny that God is PRO-Creative?

MODERN VERSION OF SON OF GOD
October 30, 1999.

I have loved Superman from the beginning. I came to believe in this theory as well after I had watch the classic Sci-Fi film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, which is very heavy with biblical meaning. Once I drew the connection between Superman and Jesus I realized that was why I like him so much: he was a modern version of the Son of God. One point that you did not mention: Superman's adoptive parent's names are Martha and Jonathan Kent. Their first initials are the same as Mary and Joseph.
-Kris-

SUPERMAN ISN'T BLASPHEMOUS
September 13, 1999.

I think that some of the responses have been a little uptight here; ) As you mentioned, this story was originally written many years ago. I don't think it is blasphemous to say that a couple of writers decided to write a story about a character that displayed many "Christ-Like" qualities, and decided to infuse many parallels to the story of Christ himself. I believe that the similarities were quite intentional and striking(particularly the names)...and the probable intention was to keep it vague enough for public consumption. I bet they would have smiled about the film being accepted as mainstream with most(including myself) not consciously picking up on their wonderful nod to the saviour. even on it's surface, Superman is the story of a good man. I don't know if it was mentioned, but it could also be noted that Superman was essentially without sin. Now this is arguable, of course, but he was not of our world so he was not built with the sin nature that plagues us.I guess I just wanted to express that I thought it was silly to criticize something with such an obvious good-hearted intention. It should be stressed to those that criticize that the creators NEVER stated that this was the story of Jesus to be taken literally. Just a wonderful modern story with some symbolism and direct references to Jesus and hi greatness. When we pick out stuff like sexuality etc. we are forgetting that this was made into a modern story for entertainment as well. Anyway, thanks again for your site and great observations.
Jason
My response: I totally agree with you.

COMPARISONS AND PAUL VEROEVEN
July 30, 1999

hello, hi discovered your site while doing some late-night web surfing.  i found the "comparisons" interesting between Superman and Jesus. having recently listened to Paul Verhoeven's commentary and viewed the film countless times, i saw the connection between Robo and Christ. it's amazing how one story can inspire dozens of films and series.  isn't it odd, that once the sequels began for these two films, the qualiy went downhill (with the exception of Superman II- which is on par with the original in my view).
     i look forward to reading more of your page's content. i have no affiliation with any religious group or denomination, but i find the subject very interesting. especially when the art of filmmaking is involved.
-jh

PROVOKES THOUGHT ABOUT CHRIST
June 9, 1999.

Allows young people to think more realistically about Christ.

SUPERMAN IN INDIA
May 20, 1999.

This is an amazing article. Great eye-openar

OTHER SIMILARITIES
April 20, 1999.

In doing research on sci-fi films (and being a devoted Superman comics collector) I could not help but include one of the greatest movies in my opinion, Superman. I was very surprised to find this site. My first reaction was that, 'oh man, someone actually likes Kal-El more than I do'. There are many similarities I think, but then again there are many similarities between 'the Wizard of Oz' and Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon'. I think, maybe, that if one looks hard enough one might find that this story was just a formula used by its creators. The decent into Hades, for example, this aspect (and many others mentioned) go along the lines of the epic poems from Greek literature. Check it out!
My response. You are so right. Dying-rising god myths predate Jesus by 1000s of years. As does the descent of the gods to the nether world. The Sun sets (dies) travels through the under world (hades) and rises again. Cycles of nature do same thing: Fall = death, Spring = resurrection. Also, sleep cycles, falling asleep = death, dreams = nether world, waking = resurrection. All of it points to the ultimate truth of Jesus. You are right in noting this formula in many other places.

FILMMAKER COMMENTS
April 20, 1999.

Howdy. I was just sent this page today, and I'm thrilled. I'm a HUGE Superman fan, and I'm also a Christian filmmaker- strike that. I'm a a filmmaker who is a Christian. I've always enjoyed looking deeper into the Superman story, and I found even more that I had not thought about before on your page. There's a little something in Superman 2 as well, where he gives up his Superpowers (Deity- Phil.2) for the love of a human (us). After his death (he gets beat up real bad), he calls on his father, who had turned away from his son, and is restored to super-status (resurrection). Interesting stuff. I will always be cautious to not put more into the story than is there, but at the same time, if a movie gives me a better understanding of Jesus' sacrifice through a picture or a symbol, then praise God. I would caution others not to limit God in His reach. God has used movies made by nonbelievers in my life in a mighty way (Amistad, Dead Man Walking), and Superman is one of them. It's also my favorite movie. Thanks so much for the site. I hope to be reviewed on it someday. Jeremy Lott. Tednelson@mail.utexas.edu

COOL REVIEW
April 19, 1999.

IT'S GREAT. THAT WOULD BE SO COOL IF YOU COULD DO THAT WITH ALL THE MOVIES SO THEN WE WILL KNOW WHAT WE WACHT.

I NOTICED ANOTHER PARELLEL
Feb 23 1999,

One Superman/Christ parallel I noticed that was striking: Just before Superman leaves the fortress of solitude, Jor-El tells him this: "They're a good people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show them the way. That is why I have sent them you, my only son." What do you make of that? You could extract a whole semester of theology courses from those sentences! -- Keith Kraska Philagape@aol.com

YES, THERE ARE PARALLELS, BUT:
Feb 6 1999,

I, like a previous emailer, fear that too much is being read into these movies. Yes there ARE some similarities between the story of Superman and our Savior Christ Jesus; however, the Antichrist will likewise have some similarities, as so to decieve many (which the False Prophet will focus on). Superman NEVER refocuses glory to the Creator. Jesus said that he came in his father's name and was not accepted, yet that others would come in their OWN NAME and would be accepted (as a messiah/savior). Don't get me wrong, I love the Superman story (as science fiction);- But, as a born-again Christian with Jewish ancestry, and as a 20-year student of Eschatology, I have to put in another vote for concern of making mountains out of mole-hills, and re-writing the origins of good movies via speculation. If the writers' had intended the parallel, then it would be common knowledge (such as George Lucas' source of "The Force"; in the Star Wars storyline). There are many things in this world would could be paralleled to God / Jesus / the Creator (such as Alcoholic's Anonymous' "higher being", for example), which are actually substitutes for the Truth that they just can't accept. Jesus is the (ONLY) Way, and the (ONLY) Truth, and the (ONLY) Life. --Pete Souza [psouza3@pacbell.net

My response: Pete, here are some quotes as food for thought:
     "Christ-figures, men and women (and perhaps even creatures of fiction like Hobbits) are 'analogies' of Jesus, images of Jesus, who can assist us in our attempts to give depth to some understanding of him... However, many storytellers (especially in cinema) are not believers or committed to Jesus. And yet, many of them use Christ-figures, consciously or unconsciously, in their work."
-Peter Malone, Christology in Edward Scissorhands.
     "As expressed in his human existence, the Word has a history. Jesus is born, lives, suffers, dies rises. As he enters the heart and mind of people, the Word becomes story. As projected into the history of all people, in all times, in all cultures, the Word becomes a story told and re-told. The occasions for such retellings are as frequent as the number of the life-stories of men and women who hope that their story is a good story, The Word becomes the way of telling our story, the way of accounting for how we all belong together, from the beginning unto the end."
-A Kelly, The Word in Story, 1974:27)
     "(Screen writers)
have drawn on the universal fund of archetypal stories, be they fairy-tales, legends or myths, that fascinate story tellers and story-hearers alike. These stories include the Gospel stories. Joseph Campbell, following Carl Jung in his exploration of meanings of these stories, uses the phrase, "the hero with a thousand faces." Jesus is one of these heroes, He has become the universal figure and his life, death and resurrection have become symbols of human experience"
Peter Malone, Explorations in Theology and Film, 1997:84
     "Pagan resurrection myths, for those who are able to discern, foreshadow the central event of God's dialogue with his creatures, the resurrection of Jesus. This is to say that pagan resurrection myths, in their own limited way, were vehicles of God's revelation. What is pagan, then, is not to be disparaged as if there was nothing worthy in paganism. There is in paganism and in pagan resurrection myths a bestowal of insight by the God who created pagans as well as Christians." -Leon McKenzie, Pagan Resurrection Myth and the Resurrection of Jesus, 1997:145

ICON OF AMERICA
Jan 23 1999,

I grew up on Superman and have many fond memories of Superman the Movie. As a Christian, I am slightly disturbed by this comparison, however I note that you are very clear that Superman does not = Jesus. I have been saddened that Superman never rose above a secular icon of America. He becomes to the younger fans, unfortunately, an idol of sorts in a medium more acceptable than the message Jesus taught us. Nevertheless, I remain a Superman fan although careful never to place the values he espouses as a contemporary version of the Greatest Story Ever Told. Blessings.s -- Ken

BE CAREFUL
Jan 15, 1999.

Hello. Great page. I am scared, however. I do not understand whether or not we as Christians should be doing what was done on this site. I think that there was great resemblance to the Superman we know from TV and SUPERMAN, Jesus Christ. I don't know however, if there was just a little too much read into the movie. I am sure that with a little time, and effort, we could make any movie "Biblically matching" Let's be careful about what we try and share as positive truth when we aren't sure! (Hope I didn't come across too negative!) -Stevan Sheets s3sheets@barnabas.indwes.edu
MY RESPONSE: Don't be scared. Jesus is Lord not Superman!

SYMBOLIC ICON
Interesting symbolic figure Superman and Jesus. This is a perfect example of how there is more than meets the eye. The hero of the world and icon of America Superman and his story has many similarities between his life and Jesus'. kjorgensen21@hotmail.com

SUPERMAN
Oct. 12, 1998.

David, I was both fascinated and pleased to find your web site. It is certainly worthy of the name "Jesus," and it is by far the most creative, original, and graphically pleasing site that I have ever been able to enjoy, anywhere on the net. Your site has been added to my browser's personal toolbar and I intend to be a regular visitor.
     I was especially pleased to jump off to the "Superman 60/20 Celebration Site." There, I contributed my 2 cents' worth, and took some of your observations with me. Without being preachy, I tried to introduce Superman fans to a comparison/contrast exercise between Superman and Jesus Christ, the God/man. I've attached the piece as a Corel Envoy file for your perusal. If you are so inclined, get back to me and tell me what you think Thanks again for the Super site!
Keep the faith, brother! In Jesus' name, a Superman fan forever,
-Paul

HERE IS WHAT PAUL WROTE: Superman represents, to me, the power of the ultimate mythic hero, the all-conquering Jewish Messiah, who comes to Earth from the starry heavens to right all wrongs and put to right all injustices. In my understanding of the biblical New Testament scriptures, Jesus Christ is seen as coming again to Earth one day -- this time, in power and majesty, as benificent dictator and supreme judge of the nations and peoples of the world. I see this very strongly portrayed by Superman, who, although lacking governmental authority himself [unlike the Messiah, who sets up his kingdom on the earth and actually becomes the primary world governmental authority], Superman, being sent by his heavenly father to earth, goes about his divinely-appointed tasks, combatting evil in all forms and doing good everywhere, from saving kittens in trees to saving humankind itself from evil villains and cosmic disasters. He is larger than life, bigger than the world, and portrays an impeccable example of Godly righteousness living among sinful man. He has no knows weaknesses except for kryptonite, which is his Achilles' heel. Jesus Christ, however, the soon-coming king, has no known weaknesses. Period. The cloak of Humanity which he wore his first time here as the Suffering Savior is weakness-turned-to-strength. If anything, it indeed provides unquestionable credibility for his savior role, as he had to "walk more than a mile in someone else's shoes," and yet not succumb in any respect to the evil which surrounded him. Like Jesus, Superman believes in the potential goodness found in every person, and directly appeals to that goodness when dialoging with people from all walks of life. And, of course, like Jesus, Superman had to die in order to save the world from total destruction from Doomsday itself. And, again like Jesus, Superman resurrected from the dead to continue his campaign against evil. The mythic messiah hero has been a part of mankind's history from the Garden of Eden, to Gilgamesh, to Isis, to Prometheus, to Quetzalcoatl. In Superman, we can find a contemporary messiah figure, an all-cultural avatar, and one which resonates deeply in the souls of the downtrodden everywhere. Anyone who has ever been mistreated by bullies, or ripped off by crooks, or taken advantage of by the\ unfairness of societies, governments, and individuals is subconciously looking for such a champion. Who among us cannot love Superman? He is Goodness incarnate, ultimately winning over Evil. He represents all that is potentially noble and good in each one of us. And each one of us, as much as we are able, to one degree or another, aspire to be just like him. Happy Anniversary, Superman! May you live forever!

ABOUT SUPERMAN'S SEXUALITY

You have much biblical support for your theories and you draw many many parallels between Christ and Superman. However, you don't address Superman's sexuality. Throughout the first 2 Superman movies, there is a definate sexual attraction between the Man of Steel and Lois Lane. How does this fit in? From what I can remember from elementary school, Jesus had no sexuality or sex drive. Lois Lane is obviously a love interest. How do you account for this attraction between the two of them? choochers@aol.com

My Response: Sexually, there is no connection! Superman is a savior/hero with some connections to the life of Christ. Superman does not = Jesus.

Superman Review

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