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The Real Superman

I've found but a single Superman story to approach the true gospel message. It's in a 2000 graphic novel, Mann and Superman.

The plot is simple: Small-time crook Marty Mann heists a priceless gem with the power to grant a man's fondest wish. Marty wishes to be Superman. One body-switch later, Superman finds he has become a loser with unpaid bills and a contemptuous son. He first struggles with his predicament, then decides to turn Marty's life around from within his own body.

Meanwhile, with the Man of Steel's muscles, Marty has the power and exaltation he's always wanted—but remains a failure. Superman, however, has made Marty a man worthy of his son's respect. The tale ends with a chastened Marty renouncing power in favor of a new life, a life made possible only by Superman's efforts in Marty's own weak flesh.

Sound familiar? It's reminiscent of the "emptying" of the God persona and the eternal Son's assumption of ordinary manhood. The personal redemption that follows is as gospel a message as any tract. Like Marty Mann, we who follow Christ experience new life—and more: eternal life, sharing our Savior's glory. There will come a morning when we wake to discover we really can leap tall buildings in a single bound, when the glasses are off, and the glory is on us.

That glory is ultimately what Superman represents. It's why we can hardly wait for his return to the big screen, and it's why, as believers, we anticipate a much greater Return. For what a fictional savior can never give us, Jesus will bring when He comes again. I can't wait.

—Gary Robinson

"Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" —Philippians 2:5-7

via Glad Tidings of Good Things
Volume 11 (June 11, 2006), page 3