By the end of Season 1 of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Arthur Darvill had successfully made me forget about Rory Williams as he portrayed Captain Rip Hunter fantastically. There was still a whiff of Doctor Who, of course, because Rip is a Time Master charged with fighting evil throughout history. In the Season 2 premiere, he truly channels the Doctor by *SPOILER ALERT* leaving a recorded goodbye hologram for his team before crashing into an atomic bomb.
One problem: we all know he’s not dead. There’s no evidence that he’s alive, but we didn’t see a body either. And thanks to almost everyone else on the Legends team, Rory Williams, Sherlock Holmes, Nick Fury, and so many other characters in nerd-geek fandom, we just know he’s not dead. Even if he is, he’s important enough to the story that someone will find a loophole – probably related to time travel – and bring him back.
Many nerds and geeks are understandably frustrated with the impermanence of death in our stories, especially because it makes us pretty ambivalent toward death.
Stories about zombies and vampires are interesting because death is both permanent and impermanent. People can come back, but they’ll be different. In the movie Life after Beth, Aubrey Plaza’s character dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Her parents and boyfriend feel the intense weight of the loss. It’s very sad. But then she comes back, and everyone is happy again…until she deteriorates into a zombie. Although it’s a comedy, the movie portrays the emotional roller-coaster that everyone goes through fairly well.
I’m blessed to have all my close friends and family alive and well. I haven’t felt that intense and depressing burden of loss. Perhaps that’s why it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I realized the significance of what Jesus did. He was dead. He stayed that way for three days. And then he wasn’t dead anymore. He did the same miracle for other humans.
That power over death is what gives our Christian faith meaning. It’s far more important than any fictional character doing it. It shows that Jesus can save us from anything. Although our physical bodies will expire, we can have more life in the time we have, and our afterlife will be awesome.
Don’t let fandoms ruin death for you.
Thoughts? Let’s Connect.
Coming Soon: a new series, and not even from Isaac. More on that on Monday (plus a bonus post).