1. Wow, I love this, Jason! I love how superheroes can point us toward Jesus, and you expressed that so well. 🙂

    • Jason Joyner says:

      Thanks Bethany! It was fun to wrestle with the ideas, and I really believe in the deep meaning behind John 15:13 and laying down one’s life as the greatest love.

    • Travis Perry says:

      I also appreciate Jason pointing out that superheroes can point towards Jesus. But I think “can” is an important word–I think superheroes also can and do function in our culture at times as a substitute for belief in the actual God. The desire for transcendence being satisfied by means of a substitution of the fictional for the real. Unfortunately.

      • Jason Joyner says:

        I missed this comment or I would have answered back. Certainly many things can take the place of God in our world. That’s why we need to be aware of things and speak to the truth.

  2. Very cool insights, Jason! I love your reference to Spider-Man 2 with the train – the imagery seemed familiar to me as Christ-images, but I didn’t recognize them specifically.
    I feel we also need heroes as examples, just as Moses and King David and others were, not replacing Christ but demonstrating how we can live our lives better, as those godly people did. I think modern superhero films have touched on the noble aspects of self-sacrifice that are required to become a hero and servant to the community, that being a hero starts in the mind & heart, and I believe that is what makes these new superhero films so compelling as teaching models for life. Whether we see those same ideals of courage, humility, hope, compassion represented in biblical heroes, sports heroes, political heroes, or fictional heroes, what matters is that we see the character traits we admire so we can strive to live them out in real life.

    • Jason Joyner says:

      Exactly. We are encouraged by true heroism through many examples. I’m a believer that all truth is God’s truth. If a Buddhist story speaks of God’s truth, it’s true despite the vehicle.

  3. Ryan Ouellette says:

    This is a great article! You made some really good points here. Jesus is my hero too!

  4. Love this article, Jason.

    I’m fond of saying that superheroes can serve as Christ-figures. But mainly they can serve as Christ-figure-figures or Christian-figures—images of Christ’s people as they themselves image Christ. Thus, the struggles of Kal-El versus the cynicism and politicization of his surrounding world in Man of Steel and especially Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Thus, Spider-Man’s struggles to take responsibility for his great power, versus care for the ones he loves. And so on.

    • Jason Joyner says:

      Yes. There’s a lot that can be drawn out from this subject. I just finished Iron Man 3, and the message that he realizes his identity isn’t in the shell he puts on, but who he is created to be, resonated out with me more than ever before.

      I need to watch Infinity War several more times soon to fully dig into that. 😉

  5. Robert says:

    Thanks for creating this post. I have always been a big comic book fan since I was young. I have often noticed the rich symbolism and deeper theological truths that can be drawn out. I’ve used the analogy of specific superheroes and comic books in a number of talks and have made reference to them a number of times in my own posts.

    It’s a great comparison of Spider-Man 2 and the imagery taken from classical paintings. I hadn’t noticed that before. I’m sure there are many other homages.

    • Jason Joyner says:

      Thanks for your thoughts. In my talk I went deeper into how we can be like Paul on Mars Hill and use facets of a culture to explain the gospel. There is a lot of symbolism and truths you can find and use as a bridge with others.

What do you think?