Superman, Spiderman, Batman and a plethora of other human like characters, such as Tarzan and Teenage Ninja Turtles, are reflective of man’s quest for a hero who can overcome the evil that is in the world. It seems to me that some of our most famous myths and legends have arisen out of an innate desire for a leader. We glory in figures like the Lone Ranger and Robin Hood. We want the stories to be true. We want to believe. Therefore the legend becomes virtual fact. With the advent of Hollywood and the movie genre the most famous actors become superheroes in the imagination. While we knew Rooster Cogburn was a legend John Wayne was real and therefore he became the swashbuckling adventurer of his movies. Society craves for heroes; longs for heroes.
At the heart of the superhero .mentality is the concept that evil exists and that good must triumph. In a broken world there is something positive and uplifting in this idea. Yet the invention of imaginary figures to lead us out of the abyss is trite and foolish. It is a little like admitting a problem with debt and going to the Casino to sort the problem out.
It is true that there is a problem with evil in the world. The excessive greed and waste in the materialistic west and the bombed out shells in Syria scream out that mankind is filled with his own corruption. Frederick Nietzsche, the German Philospher, wrote that an ‘Overman’ or ‘Superman’ would arise who would influence humanity by his own value system and change the course of history.
The Christian Gospel, however, presents a figure who is more satisfying. Jesus Christ is neither a card board cut out, nor is he the creation of a philisiphical intellect. He was the Son of God who became man, a perfect man, who died in the place of men. He not only risked all for humanity. He died for humanity. He not only died but he rose again, a fact attested by witness statements. He faced the greatest foe, death, and won the battle through Resurrection. Nothing was ever more superhuman or heroic. The Saviour of the World.