Superman of Nazarath


I’ve really gotta wonder about this NYT review of the latest Superman movie:

‘Superman Returns’ to Save Mankind From Its Sins

Jesus of Nazareth spent 40 days in the desert. By comparison, Superman of Hollywood languished almost 20 years in development hell…

…what is essentially a new and considerably more sober sequel to the first two films, one that shakes the earthiness off Superman and returns him to the status of a savior. There’s always been a hint of Jesus (and Moses) to the character, from the omnipotence of his father to a costume that, with its swaths of red and blue, evokes the colors worn by the Virgin Mary in numerous Renaissance paintings. It’s a hint that proves impossible not to take.

OK, so I can see the omnipotence of Superman’s father angle, if by “omnipotence” you mean unable to even save himself, much less his planet, from complete destruction. As for the red and blue costume, doesn’t that mean Superman is actually the Virgin Mary rather than Jesus?

Of course there are a few similarities between Superman and Jesus. For example, Superman pretends to be a mild-mannered reporter while fighting crime in the big city. So does Jesus. And Jesus fights a never-ending battle for the salvation of our immortal souls, which is kinda like Truth, Justice and the American Way. Oh yeah, and they’re both American.

Not that the Times is entirely to blame here. This latest movie is pushing the whole Christ theme in their trailers, presumably hoping the crowd that made Passion of the Christ a box office success either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that they’re being exploited. But really, this is as dumb as those literary critics who claim Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar character is a Christ figure — you can tell, see, by the fact that both of them have the initials J.C.