Religious themes and motifs are evident in the new wave of superhero movies, “from last year’s Spider-Man to this year’s Daredevil and, most recently, X2, the sequel to the 2000 film X-Men,” reports the National Catholic Register (July 13-19).
The movie X2 features a super-strengthened “mutant” character who prays the rosary, views his suffering as a test from Jesus and refers to faith as an alternative to anger. The hero in Daredevil confides the truth about his double identity to a priest and goes to confession. In Spider-Man, the hero’s aunt is seen praying the Lord’s Prayer.Steven Greydanus writes that these “elements of real-world religion in this new wave of superhero films are in a way in keeping with the spirit of the heroes’ Marvel Comics origins.”
Unlike DC Comic superheroes, such as Batman and Superman, where Characters live in imaginary cities, such as Gotham, Marvel characters have traditionally been closer to our own world . . . and real religion has long been a part of their world.”
For instance, in the X-Men comic books, the popular character Nightcrawler was imagined from the outset as a believing Catholic. Gredanus adds that while cruelty and violence exists in the films, these movies represent a change from the way “religion in action movies has often been relegated to psycho killers.”
(National Catholic Register, 432 Washington Ave., North Haven, CT 06473)