Since I’m back at school, I thought I’d write about something school-related. Guess this Fandom: young people learn that they have incredible power within them and attend a special school to hone their abilities, but they are threatened by an old member of the community who has returned to finish a generations-old grudge match.
No, it’s not Harry Potter. I’m not using my first post after my hiatus to walk through the minefield that is witchcraft. I’ll get to that later. I was referring to X-Men.
I love a good origin story, but in the Marvel universe, there are some who are simply born with super powers. Since then – really, since Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart helped popularize superheroes in general – stories like Heroes, Alphas, and Powers have used the concept of genetic mutation to populate their worlds with powerful people.
The Christian connection is pretty easy. Many people within these stories consider mutants or Evos or Alphas or Powers to be the next step in human evolution. Evolution suggests that people started simpler and stupider and we’re getting better. We supposedly don’t need God because we could eventually become god-like ourselves. The latest X-Men movie centered on that very concept – a mutant thought he was a god and had the power to give a convincing performance.
In reality, though, people used to be a lot better and we’re getting worse. There are skeletons of giants from early human history literally hidden in museum basements because they don’t fit the message those museums want to convey. This truth is a big reason why we do, in fact, need God. None of us will develop super powers to fight our ever-increasing problems.
The other connection involves human nature. There are mutants and Evos and Alphas who consider themselves superior to humans and assert that superiority through violence and property damage. And there are others who use their abilities to help and protect humans who don’t have them. The first group is actually more realistic than the second. Because of humanity’s fallen nature, if we had super powers, we would be very, very likely to use them for “evil,” either in the supervillain context or the everyday sin context.
With that in mind, why do you need super powers to be heroic? Why not just do what you can to help those who can’t?