Is Superman A Jesus Metaphor?

Discussion in 'Man of Steel' started by Spider-Ranger, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. StarvingArtist

    StarvingArtist Well-Known Member

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    If you want to draw parallels like Tom Mankawitz did in 1978 then fine, but virtually impossible to argue that the original inspiration for Superman was Jesus Christ. It wasn't. Shuster and Siegel were the sons of Jewish immigrants who left Europe likely because of antisemitism and pogroms. They themselves were a couple of Jewish pulp fiction fanboys who likely created Superman as a catharsis.
     
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  2. TheBat812

    TheBat812 Well-Known Member

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    Yes the character has religious parallels, but they should move away from that and treat him as a human being with character flaws. Treat him as a character, not an allegory.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  3. Transcended

    Transcended Gunning for Metal

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    I don't know why it has to be an either/or thing. Obviously Superman wouldn't be Superman if he wasn't good-natured at heart; he'd be a force of cosmic destruction. It's his choice what to do with his power. People telling him what to do, and telling him his destiny, is actually the kind of pressure that would cause lesser men to snap and go the opposite direction... but instead, Clark takes it all in stride and finds his place in the world. That's what I love about Superman - no matter what other people want from him or how others perceive him, he's his own man, following his own path.

    Just because Supes is naturally allegorical doesn't mean that defines or changes his character. It just means he can be analyzed in many different ways - like any good character.
     
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  4. StarvingArtist

    StarvingArtist Well-Known Member

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    Great post :up:
     
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  5. LordofhouseEl

    LordofhouseEl Well-Known Member

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    The whole concept of destiny usually leads to predetermined fate, I personally have never liked that. I view Superman as someone who would say we create our own paths and chose how we live our lives. I liked how MOS released two trailers with the concept of choice and destiny from Jorel and Jonathan. This way both groups of the fandom who favor both are pleased.
     
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  6. TheBat812

    TheBat812 Well-Known Member

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    I think it would be great to see this film establish his code in MOS and then have his code challenged, and ultimately modified throughout the course of a trilogy, much like what Nolan did with batman. Allow for realistic and natural change in a person. And he should certainly make mistakes along the way, and have to learn from them. Having Lois die would be a hugely interesting test for Superman, but it would be hard not to compare it to Nolan's trilogy. Still, it would allow for a lot of character exploration.
     
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  7. Blitzkrieg Bop

    Blitzkrieg Bop Fight Owens Fight

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    I'd say he's more of an allegory of Moses than Jesus.
     
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  8. nogap87

    nogap87 Well-Known Member

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    That is what I want from MOS.

    I don't even want Krypton to be mentioned much once it blows up. No more holograms or magic crystals. Let John be the only father figure in Clark's life and please let Superman build the Fortress of Solitude using his own power and imagination.
     
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  9. superhero#1

    superhero#1 Well-Known Member

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    This movie will be Krypton heavy.The main villain is from krypton.If you seen the comic con trailer , clark meet face to face with jor-el.The fortress will be created through kryptonian technology.You will be disappointed if you expect them to abandon his kryptonian heritage.
     
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  10. Smashlilman

    Smashlilman Ouch!!!!

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    Superman was actually a Mosses metaphor. His origin story mimics Mosses’ origin. Superman in a way was supposed to be a stand in for the Jewish messiah just not the Christian Jewish messiah aka (Jesus).
     
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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  11. Dr.

    Dr. Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think you have to be Christian to be influenced by the Jesus/messiah archetype (which arguably derives from even earlier mythologies). It obviously impressed/influenced Mankiewicz, Donner and Singer (all Jewish).
     
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  12. Mindreaper21

    Mindreaper21 It's Harvest Time

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    :applaud
     
    #37
  13. moviedoors

    moviedoors Well-Known Member

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    He can be, but he doesn't have to be and I would prefer him not to be, or at the least, a Jesus in the Last Temptation of Christ mode IE it's not easy being a savior.
     
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  14. babbage

    babbage Siiiiide-Kick?

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    Moses, Jesus, Heracles, the Nietzscheian Overman, the "epitome" of evolution, the pre-Nazi ideal of eugenic superscience, the two-fisted pulp hero; he's an amalgamation of all these archetypes, but with the moral values of a working class everyman. I don't want any one aspect of his to be overplayed. So, no, let's not go down the explicitly Jesus route with this reboot, please.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  15. Lead Cenobite

    Lead Cenobite Exquisitely Empty

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    I think Superman can be interpreted in different ways and I've never had any problem with the Jesus metaphor. In general, I prefer Superman being presented as a metaphor to a god or some sort of deity, but not literally, but he doesn't have to specifically parallel Jesus.
     
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  16. nogap87

    nogap87 Well-Known Member

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    Not gonna lie, I'm a little disappointed. :o
     
    #41
  17. LibidoLoca

    LibidoLoca Sensually Delicious

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  18. Rust

    Rust First Son Of Yesterday

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    If they wanna throw in the allegories for Jesus or touch upon the religious undertones, I'd rather they just come out in the open with it instead of seeding an entire movie with it.

    Just have Supes or Clark befriend a not-so fanatical priest and they could calmly discuss the (obvious) parallels with Supes as earth's savior. And Supes would respectfully shoot it down in his own grounded way. That way we'll get at least 2 sides to the character's motivations and symbolisms.

    Might as well get it out of the way and not be so ambiguous about it. Could be done with in a matter of minutes really.
     
    #43
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  19. Superfreak

    Superfreak Gramaton Cleric

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    wait... Jesus is an alien? no wonder we killed him
     
    #44
  20. SuperFerret

    SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    A mangod who originates from on high? Yeah, sounds pretty alien to me.
     
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  21. sethypants

    sethypants Well-Known Member

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    The answer is yes.
     
    #46
  22. sethypants

    sethypants Well-Known Member

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    Actually Lex Luthor has always shown devil like character, tempting Superman and being jealous of him.
    Also, Superman has lotsa devil like villains like Satanus and etc.
    There are also too many coincidences. Jor-el sending his son to earth and all. a young couple adopted superman. Johnathan and Martha. Joseph and Mary.
    He was born on earth and raised up by great parents. But at the same time Superman has always had a very close relationship to Jor El. Via a certain mean. Be it in the fortress of solitude or other means. Kinda like how Jesus always talked to god and had a close relationship with god.

    I mean the coincidences are just way too many. Both of them also died and came back to life in a few days. I'm sure the new film will draw influences also. I mean look at Jor El and Pa Kent's speech

    You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They'll race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall. In time, they join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders. -Jor El

    You're not just anyone. One day you're going to have to make a choice, you have to decide what kinda man you want to grow up to be. Whoever that man is, good character or bad, its going to change the world. - Pa Kent

    No other characters in DC or Marvel have their supporting characters say things like "you'll give the people an ideal to strive towards" no other character would be told by their father, they are going to change the world. Could you imagine someone telling Spiderman or Captain America that? I never saw Spiderman or Captain America as someone that is an ideal or that he will change the world. But I see Superman as someone with limitless power that can save the world.
    Over the years writers have plenty of times written Superman as someone who is a Jesus Metaphor. Even Grant Morrison.
     
    #47
  23. SuperFerret

    SuperFerret King of the Urban Jungle

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    Funny observation, but "live like Superman" is an easy (albeit a bit glossed over) way of explaining how to be Buddhist.
     
    #48
  24. StarvingArtist

    StarvingArtist Well-Known Member

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    True, but documentation on S&S inspirations for the character speak of pulp fiction and details from their lives. No trace of christian influence anywhere There's been speculation on whether or not they were inspired by their Jewish backgrounds as sons of Jewish immigrants either unconsciously or overtly, I think there was a book written about it. But given the era in which they grew up and their backgrounds, making a case for Jesus being the inspiration is flimsy at best. The Jesus metaphor came later.
     
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  25. manofsteel4life

    manofsteel4life Well-Known Member

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    I don't if I'm bugging but I could have sworn Clark acknowledged that there was a God? I don't remember where I read it but I think he had said thank God you are alright.......
     
    #50

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