When H. Michael Brewer watches Mr. Fantastic, The Thing, the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch battle Dr. Doom in "Fantastic Four," which opened July 8, he'll be seeing something much larger - a metaphor for the church.
Brewer, a Presbyterian pastor and professor of religious studies at Northern Kentucky University, has just published
a religious-themed book Who Needs a Superhero? Finding Virtue, Vice and What's Holy in the Comics
...the comparisons Brewer can draw between the Man of Steel and the Son of Man are seemingly endless.
_Superman's father, who lived in the heavens, sends his son to Earth.
_He grows up in a small town but moves to the big city when he reaches manhood.
_He takes a commonplace job.
_He has amazing powers, but rather than using them to take control of Earth, he uses them for good.
_His mission is to save the world.
_He dies to save Metropolis but later returns to life.
"That's a pretty powerful role model," Brewer said of Superman.
But (as usual) wasn't The Simpsons
Rev. Lovejoy: I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens. Who came to earth... and then died... only to be brought back to life again. And his name was E.T., the extra-terrestrial. I love that little guy.