The Evolution of a Superhero
by Liam Scheff
God-heroes are born out of standard myth. They have:
• A Secret Identity
• Special Powers
• An Important Lineage
• Heightened Ethics
• The Magic (technology) of the era that imaged them.
As the era changes, the hero changes.
Spider-man was born as a skinny teen, but over the years and decades, as the science (magic) of the era changed, so did his “origin” story and “magic.”
Early Spider-man (comics, cartoons)
Normal Teen born to bad luck. Powers from magic (tech) of the age: Nuclear radiation from spider bite.
Newer Spider-man (Sam Raimi movies):
Normal teen born to bad luck. Powers from magic (tech) of the age: Genetic Engineering from spider bite.
Newest Spider-man (Most recent Andrew Garfield movies):
Genetically engineered teen born to bad luck. Powers from magic (tech): Genetic Engineering, both internal and from spider bite.
Jesus was born a normal man who had to be granted powers through a ceremonial “reawakening” through a local cult’s baptism ritual. His magic was often weak and wanting, he complained, refused to help or was unable to do magic if people didn’t believe in him. He died, moaning and wailing at the unfairness of it all – and he did not come back to say hello after death. But that wasn’t good enough, so the story was improved, and improved again…
Jesus (v.1 “Mark”):
Normal man, normal birth. Magic powers received upon baptism by magic man (John, who was river-dunking according to Gnostic Jewish cult belief). Dies, does not return. Cries and moans at execution.
Jesus (v.2 “Matthew, Luke”):
Magic man, born to virgin. Magic powers are better, faster than v.1. Cries at execution, but less whiney. Comes back after death and hangs out.
Jesus (v. 3 “John”):
God. Always was, always will be. The “Alpha and Omega.” Miracles fast and furious. Signs and wonders. Dies without a whimper, because it was his own will to do so. Comes back and will do so again, someday “soon.”
Stories change as the culture telling the story changes…
More on religion, science and myth in Official Stories 2: Spring/Summer 2016.