The insatiable appetite for superheroes continues.
The Avengers stormed the box office this weekend, obliterating all domestic opening weekends with a $200 million kickoff.
The plot line is nothing new: a big threat to human life is looming, and a superhero or team of superheroes rises to meet the challenge and save the day. To say it another way, a proverbial hell is looming and people cannot save themselves from this terrible fate. So, a humble savior comes to make a great sacrifice so that evil can be defeated, people can be liberated, and a new kingdom can dawn in which people can live peaceably.
What is curious is that the superhero is usually part human and part something otherworldly. In that way, the hero is like us but simultaneously unlike us. Or, the hero is like us, but better. They have emotional frailty, moments of grief and sadness. But, they somehow overcome all odds to do good and vanquish evil selflessly and tirelessly for the good of others. They also have superhuman powers, insights, and abilities. Sometimes they even die, or seemingly die, only to return to life as if they were invincible.
Some superheroes can walk on water. Some can read people's thoughts. Some can walk through walls. Some can bring the dead to life. Some live lonely lives without a spouse or children. Some are poor and misunderstood. Some are lonely and not really known by even those closest to them. Some have a secret identity. Some have an archenemy.
No matter how many times this same, tired story is told with some new crisis or savior to meet it, people still line up and pay good money to escape reality for a while. With a bucket of popcorn in one hand and an Icee in the other, I guess it’s our way of not losing all hope and dreaming of a world where a half-man, half-something else superhero was coming to defeat evil liberate the oppressed and usher in a new kingdom of peace and life.
Too bad we then have to leave the theater and enter reality again. If only there were a real Superhero.
Maybe everyone who bought a ticket to The Avengers deep down really wants to meet Jesus?