I got an email from the friend I co-conspire with on the Witchfire stories. Apparently DC Comics had a plan to start a new comic book called “Second Coming”. The premise was that Jesus returned to Earth and shares an apartment with a superhero. DC cancelled the project after some major blow back. The writer, Mark Russell, says he’s got another company lined up to do the project though. part of the premise also apparently is that Jesus is keeping a low profile and won’t use his spiritual powers because people got too hung up on the loaves and fishes thing and ignore the message he had the first time around.
OK, I’m hardly the perfect Christian. FAR from it to be honest, but I have major issues with this. Many of them based on what comics have become the last decade. Here is the email reply I sent to “Deanna Troi”:
I could definitely see where the concept could be interesting, if done right. Overall, I’d have to lean towards the “don’t do it” side on this one however. This based on your report that he really is the second coming.
First, DC is messing with peoples’ religion. There’s a very specific set of prophecies around the second coming, and I really doubt DC or this other company would give them the consideration they’re due, until they need a big epic event to boost sales and then suddenly the superhero He’s rooming with is fighting the apocalypse in Jesus’s place. Oh and it’ll get repeated as often as Ragnarok does in Thor comics despite each one being the “final” one. I think peoples’ religious beliefs deserve a little more respect than all of that.
Granted, we could get into a separate conversation about characters like Thor and if they’re respectful of Wiccan and pagan beliefs, but up till about the time Jane Foster became Thor, I think Marvel mostly did a reasonable job there. WAY off the rails after that, except for the movies, but that’s another conversation.
Getting back on topic, there’s the whole way that comics distort everything also. Jesus only has “super powers” in the very broadest definition, being the literal son of God. “He doesn’t want to use them as he figures that’s where things went wrong the first time”, is a textbook example. Again, that’s assuming you relayed what was said 100% accurate. First, it implies Jesus was running around making mistakes. If so, he wasn’t perfect and His sacrifice for our sins would be meaningless and ineffective. He did what was necessary to demonstrate faith in God and prepare Himself for the cross.
Now, Mark Russell had a partial point there though. In my opinion, people are WAY too wrapped up in the victim game nowadays and delight in blaming God for not making their life a cakewalk. Reality is, 90% of the suffering in the world is man’s inhumanity to man. We’re here to be tested and grow as beings. It’s ironic, really. The rebellion in Heaven lead by Lucifer was supposedly over whether or not people would be puppets down here, OR be allowed to have free will and make their own mistakes and thus grow more. Putting it in more “worldly” terms, look at the way helicopter kids turn out vs kids that are raised to be responsible and self-reliant.
As far as not listening to His words, that’s a LONG talk I’ll spare you, LOL. Suffice it to say that the vast majority of folks are guilty of picking and choosing what they take from the Bible and Jesus’s teachings, and putting their own sometimes twisted spin on it all as well. “Judge not” being the most famous example with many folks. The proper interpretation is “Judge not unrighteous judgments lest you be judged”. Point being, it’s perfectly right to say some things (rape, child abuse, murder, etc…) are wrong.
Remember some of the conversations we’ve had in the recent past about how far off the rails comics have gotten the last decade also. The Muslim Green Lantern being the perfect example. He was a terrorist before he got a power ring. He never took responsibility for his actions though, and claimed it wasn’t his fault because he was just the driver and didn’t know the whole plan. THEN he doubled down on it by being mad at the government for treating him like a criminal WHEN HE WAS! Instead, in an effort to show how enlightened they are DC Comics played up the whole persecuted Muslim angle. OH, and then they have him carry a gun on top of his power ring “just in case”. He has no faith in the ring or himself, which makes for a crappy lantern, and DC actually made him look like the stereotypical evil violent Muslim by having to carry a gun also. The entire story could have played out COMPLETELY different and helped the cause of decent Muslims by having him an innocent bystander who helped victims and having that courage earn him a power ring.
THESE are the same people that wanted to portray Jesus walking the Earth again. Yeah, I’d be wary also, and am.
Personally, IF I were going to tackle the topic, I would have left it VERY much up in the air if the guy really was Jesus. Make the audience wonder and make up their own minds. He talks the talk, can do miracles, maybe keeps a low profile, won’t outright say he’s Jesus, but makes remarks that imply he might be, etc…
Awesome piece Silk!😊
When I read that “breaking news” the other day, I was like here goes this b.s.🙄Yesss to Everything you said!
To use Jesus as a side kick along some wack creation they call Sun Man (horrible name) is just dumb, period. If you’re not a believer, then fine but like you said don’t poke fun at people’s religion. Because people are falling away from the cross more now because they demand instant gratification, it’s easy for them to think there was no one to get gratification when it doesn’t happen. He’s God not a Jinn.
It’s the same thing with the show Supernatural (hubbs and I lived for this show until it got stupid). It was supposed to end at the Apocalypse but then a world was created where God is an absentee father and chaos rules in Heaven but then all the back and forth alliances with Hell…its too much and creates this false narrative that evil is so much better and resides also in God.
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I hear yah 🙂
Personally, the CW Network is getting hard to watch at all. It’s always been angst ridden to the edge of stupidity. Now they’re banging the social justice drum so hard it’s destroying their storylines and characters.
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As I told Silkcords, I thought the idea was ‘interesting” and I would have been curious to see how it turned out. The religious right called it blasphemy and applied pressure to have it cancelled even before it was released. Hmmm, whatever happened to free speech? I am Canadian, but somehow I thought the USA had an ammendment about that. Did I mention that they thought it was blasphemy when they hadn’t even seen it yet? There is often a lot of criticism in the west when certain mainly Moslem countries ban something as blasphemy. I am sure everyone remembers Salman Rushdie? This is obviously not as extreme, but it is the same type of behaviour, but it is ok because christians are doing it? If the comic was bad and people didn’t buy it,then DC would cancel it. From what I heard, the creator, Mark Russell seemed very knowledgable on biblical texts, having read not just the bible but the many other early christian writings that got left out of the bible when early chuch leaders decided what was “official”. There were a number of other gospels than the “final four” who made the cut.
I am a lapsed Catholic with no faith left, but maybe just a faint hope I will be proven wrong. Lets assume I am wrong and there is this all loving, all knowing god out there who sent his son to save us. How would the Jesus in the bible react to this story? Would he say “damn right, cancel the thing since it is blasphemy against me” or would he say “hmm, cool idea, let’s sit down and discusss it shall we?”
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OK, gonna have to argue with you here, lol. 🙂
First, the Bill of Rights applies to government actions. “Government shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech”, etc… People are in their rights to peacefully protest something they feel is wrong.
Salman Rushdie… NO, it’s NOT the same thing. He pointed out that Mohammad himself said he made a mistake and was led astray by evil spirits when writing some of his material for the Quran. I don’t recall in those verses made it into the Quran, I don’t think so. Anyway, Rushdie pointed out a FACT that Mohammad admitted and has had people trying to MURDER him since his book came out. THIS on the other hand, is a PEACEFUL protest over somebody completely turning the New Testament upside down and redefining Jesus’s personality and divinity completely.
Those other books got left out by early leaders because they were completely out in left field also. The gospel of Thomas, which Gnosticism is based on, declared that God was an even bigger form of evil than the devil, and that Heaven would be eternal slavery. But there MIGHT be this being above and beyond God who offers true salvation.
Could the idea be done right? PROBABLY. I said as much in the original email reply. Liz has some good ideas below. I simply have no faith in DC or Mark Russell to do it right. All this is going to be is turning the Bible upside down and trying to preach to Christians that they’re all wrong about everything.
I think the idea has potential – and if done right might even increase readers’ interest in their faith, or in learning about the background thereof. I like the idea of Jesus trying to lay low, and not be a Super anything, but be on the lookout for the signs of the end times, at which point he would be ready to step in and do his job. But in the meantime… Is he a carpenter/construction worker? Does he run a church? Is he a policeman or some kind of detective? How much control does he have over his powers? Heck, does he run a homeless shelter, and work as a social worker? These kinds of details could make the story much more accessible than just rooming with some guy with Super Hero complex. Does Jesus say “Dude… don’t be late with the rent again?” In the right hands, with the right amount of respect, this could be epic.
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The idea has potential, Liz. I just have no faith in a company that portrays Muslim terrorists as superheroes and an author that apparently thinks Jesus is fallible to do it right.
I agree. Let’s keep Jesus out of the comic book industry. Thumbs down all the way!!
We might never know if Mark Russell does some of the interesting things that Liz suggested due to economic censorship. That is different than peaceful protest which would be a bunch of people marching around the DC building with signs. I actually thought freedom of speech went beyond your first amendment, but maybe I was wrong. Certainly in Canada, freedom of speech has a much wider interpretation than preventing the government from abridging it. Freedom of speech is not absolute. There is always the “Fire” in the theatre example, butJesus in a comic is nowhere close to that limitation. We are just talking about the religious right who got offended and are trying to tell the rest of the world how to think. Boo hoo. If the comic is crappy, it won’t last. Isn’t that your free enterprise at work? Anyway, what DC has done in the past or is doing now seems irrelevant. How many authors have turned out ten pieces of crap before coming up with a good story? It doesn’t matter now as apparently someone other than DC will be publishing it. By the way, one reason cited by the religious right for objecting to the comic was that it had nudity. Oh my god…blasphemy intended. The comic was going to show nudity in the garden of Eden where oh my god, there was nudity! LOL. Break out those fig leaves both for decorum and to hide the feeble justifications of censorship.
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Well, I found the post as you can see. It’s strange. Ecause one thing that you take up is the thing about Judge not. I was talking with my friend who lives in Wisconsin the other day, and I was saying EXACTLY what you have said about what it feally means. She argued and argued. She is a Christian. I said that it is not wrong to denounce terrible things such as you mention here. Some people get really hung up on this Judge not thing. It makes me mad actually. As do a lot of other things that people misinterpret about Christianity and Jesus. This is an interesting post Sill Cords. In lots of ways, but I just wanted to comment on that one point
I’ve no idea why this particular post of yours popped up in my feed today but it was interesting. Since I’m of the belief that it’s mythology, from Norse to Greeks to Romans to the post Roman Christians to Islam etc, I couldn’t care less what they did. I see no difference between making a comic about Thor and making one about Jesus. When Jesus Christ Superstar first came out in the 70s, people were all over themselves because it made such a mockery of Jesus. So what? It was a great musical. I suspect this would have been, could have been, an interesting premise for a “comic” series if you’re into that sort of thing. If you’re not, then don’t watch it.
A shame I didn’t get to this reply earlier myself. Life has been utter chaos lately though.
The difference between the musical and the comic book story is that the musical told Jesus’s story in an unconventional manner, but didn’t change everything. That’s why the flap died down on the musical. The comic book shreds the book of revelations and has Jesus saying most of what he did on Earth before was a mistake. It’s a complete mockery of peoples’ beliefs.
I personally am of the opinion that peoples’ beliefs should be respected regardless of what they are; Wiccan, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, whatever. So long as you respect others’ beliefs and rights, you should be free to believe what you want without it being mocked. Too many people are so threatened by anyone having a different opinion that they feel entitled to trash the others’ beliefs.
On the Thor comics note, I and alot of other fans objected strongly to the changes to the Thor comic a few years back also. Not because a woman got the hammer (wasn’t the first time), but because they took Thor from a brave and noble warrior who stood on principles the same way Captain America always did, down to a whiny, self absorbed crybaby who wasn’t even worthy of lift Mjolnir anymore. Completely the opposite of how a viking warrior would act. The character, from a mythological / religious and comics standpoint deserved more respect than that.
Hell, I even changed Witchfire in my stories from a true Wiccan to a Fae halfblood so as not to actively distort Wiccan beliefs.
Hope that makes sense. Christians are coming under attack from all sides anymore and they’re understandably upset over the attacks and the distortion of their beliefs and conduct. There was no real good way to word it without sounding like I was attacking you, but think of all the negative stereotypes that have been thrown about regarding Atheists over the years. Same idea, different target. Wrong either way.