Jesus vs. Superman

Jesus vs SupermanI have often thought, however unintentional and coincidental, that the image of the super hero caught between daily and heroic garb, such as Klark Kent revealing Superman, has striking similarities to the image of Jesus exposing His Sacred Heart. In both images we see the true passion of the man beneath a veiled exterior. Both images use color, light and symbols to express the depth of their subjects inner passion.

Superman-Origin-BannerFor Klark the true man is a pairing of journalist and other-world-ness. He is one person with two identities. The mild mannered Klark, often overlooked, must be pulled aside to show us the secret truth, seldom seen, of the bold impervious man from another planet in the heavens. Even the colors of his super uniform reveal something of his identity. He bears a blood red S on his chest superimposing a background as golden as the fiery sun that gives him strength, and enveloped in cool sky blue much like his new home planet Earth. The S we have taken to mean Super but are told in the versions of the story that it means peace.

the-sacred-heart-french-school (1)For Jesus the true man is a union of human and divine. He is one person with two natures. The humble and meek carpenter, teacher, healer and prophet must not be pulled aside but rather remains in full view while His Heart is revealed to show us the secret truth, seldom appreciated, of His burning divine passion for us. The colors in this image of Christ are the primary colors of the painting palette, perhaps intentionally to show the primacy of the Word made flesh who was in the beginning before all things; prime.

Sacred Heart of JesusIn some images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus His blood red heart is illuminated with divine light that is more radiant than the pure white of his tunic, and rages with the fire of an eternal lamp that, like the bush through which God called to Moses, burns but is not consumed. His Heart is crowned with the thorns of mockery reminding us of the wounds He endured for love of us.

The image of Jesus’ Sacred Heart has been recreated many, many times as devotion matures from age to age. Sometimes the colors used are remarkably similar to the pop icons of Superman from comics and movies. Take for instance the image two paragraphs above where Jesus’ tunic is blue.

Google search results of Sacred Heart

Google search results of Sacred Heart

These similarities are an unintentional result of artists working at similar themes of revealing identity, nature and secret passion yet comic and film artists have, on other occasions, intentionally drawn upon preceding Christian masterworks… but that is a topic for another blog.

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