Superman Returns

DCDid you see Superman Returns? I saw it twice; I had read little snippets that there was significant Christian symbology in it, but it was much more obvious to me when I saw the movie. Warning, spoilers below, so don’t click if you don’t want to know:

  • Jur-El telling his son Kal-El that he’s sending him to earth because humans “lack the light to show the way. For this reason I have sent them you, my only son.”. Some have pointed out that “El” is the Hebrew word for God.
  • When Superman says something like, “You say that people don’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying out for one.” That was beautiful.
  • When Lex Luther stabs Superman in the side, did it remind you that Christ was pierced in the side by the Roman guard?
  • When Superman “dies”, he falls to earth with arms outstretched like a cross.
  • Is he in the hospital 3 days before he lives again? When the nurse checks his room and finds it empty, I thought, “Mary Magdelene!”

What do you think? Am I reading too much into it? Did you notice other Christ-like symbolism?

8 thoughts on “Superman Returns

  1. Well, the iconography was pretty obvious if you were looking for it, however I was a little miffed that he was sent to earth, not for our sins, but because we are basically good, and just need direction. I saw it as typical Hollywood drivel that we are all good on the inside.

    Call me a pessimist, but there’s this little thing called original sin….and it tends to mess up that internal goodness. Perhaps that is what is meant by Jar-El’s comment on we haven’t yet learned to do good.

    I dunno. I guess I prefer that the subject be treated head-on, as it has been by art for 1,900 years without the interpretations through a sieve of a comic book.

    However, I did go into the theater a little biased since I head that Truth, Justice and the American Way was not used in the film.

    Later that night, we rented “Therese” which was about St. Therese of Liseux (sp?). It was much more about the conflict of the human soul and sin. Good meat for Christian thinking. Of course no capes were involved in that one.



  2. Despite what some erroneously call a war on Christianity, Christian iconography is ripe through much of Hollywood.

    Personally, I don’t need someone to beat me over the head with the New Testament to see my Judeo/Christian beliefs in everyday ordinary pop culture.


  3. 😛 Christians should not be suprised when hollywood uses christian themes. Christianity is really a hodge podge of the cult of Mithras and several other pagan religions. Birth, death and resurection of a savior figure was part of the human mythology for thousands of years before christianity rolled into town.

    Mythology is mythology, even when it is christian mythology, beleif is not always truth…


  4. Liz, I empathize. However, given the rampant attacks on Christianity (e.g. The Da Vinci Code”), it’s refreshing to see Christian symbology in a positive light.

    Chris, that was just a load of nonsense. Jesus was a real person, documented even by anti-Christian Jewish and Romans. While some holidays incoporate old pagan practices, the belief in Christ is unique and life-changing.


  5. I saw the movie and was very pleased with it overall. My husband and almost 15 year old son saw it as well. I appreciate whenever Hollywood uses Christian symbols and Christianily is a positive light.

    I agree also that what Chris shared is “a load of nonsense”. 🙄

    I have recommended the movie to all my friends. Blessings!


  6. There is also some classic iconology in it, like the Atlas position while holding the sphere, a James Dean standing position while talking to Lois in the terrace and the Christ position when recharging power from the sun.


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