I am a comic book geek. I might not be as geeky say as guys/girls who blog about comic books (I thought about doing that by the way, it would be called Catholic Comicie, no?), but I’m still pretty geeky. I was very much looking forward to watching the film version of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers. Marvel had hyped this film up over years of prequels that were created prior to the film itself, a brilliant advertising move. Get’em hooked and then create a super-team. Anyway, Joss Whedon, the idol of many comic fanboys, directed the film so it promised to be done well, achieving where other comic book films fell, mainly in being worth watching.
Anyway, so when it came out I was on my retreat in preparation for Holy Orders, and although I am a geek, I am also a follower of Christ Jesus. Jesus came before Tony Stark, Thor, and Samuel L. Jackson’s eyepatch. In case you were wondering, I had a great retreat the Lord worked a lot in my heart and thought the great wisdom of Archbishop Alfred Hughes better prepared me for the sacrament I will soon receive. Much of the retreat got me naturally thinking about Jesus, His person and His redemptive act.
Today, I finally got to see the movie, in 3D even. It was very enjoyable and exactly what I imagined it would be. There was a great plot line and fantastic actions scenes. The interaction between the characters was classic Marvel, Stan Lee style with 21st century language.
About half way through the movie, you realize that the Avengers have to save the world from Loki and his army, which is many movies and comic book plots. What was different though was my reaction. I began to reflect, in an action movie that doesn’t evoke reflection (it wasn’t directed by Christopher Nolan). The plot is set for the Avengers to be the only hope for the world. Well, I realized, we’ve already been saved, once and for all, but the death and Resurrection of the Son of God who became man for our sake, Jesus Christ.
After the movie, I began to reflect on that passage from Hebrews that talks about the once for all sacrifice of Christ. It starts by talking about the priests in the temple. They offer sacrifice daily and yearly for their own sins and for the sins of the people. Their sacrifice needs to be repeated whereas Christ’s was once for all. It dawned on me. We treat superheroes like priests. They are there to save us, but their offering needs to be repeated (in trilogy form). They will never fight a fight to end all fights and defeat the archnemesis of all, namely death and sin.
Our desire for heroes is rooted in our desire for saving, which has been fulfilled offered in the eternal salvation offered by Jesus Christ.