Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Gospel According to Iron Man

I've always been a fan of Iron Man. I mean can you really get better? I mean his powers are almost on par with Superman and he made it himself. I've been reading the comic books for a while. I got thinking about what kind of spiritual messages the character brings. I got to thinking about it because of a tweet from the director of the Iron Man movies, Jon Favreau.

The first 21st century superhero is a hedonistic, narcissistic, even nihilistic, adrenaline junkie, billionaire entrepreneur do-gooder. If Peter Parker's life lesson is that "with great power comes great responsibility," Tony Stark's is that with great power comes a shit-ton of fun.
You can't get any more Gen Y than that.

I got to thinking: How close is it to the character that Jesus wants us to have? I mean I've got to admit that the movies do a great job of portraying Iron Man as this way. From the first movie, the way Tony Stark decides to use his powers to help others if guilt over how his technology has been used. He feels responsible. He stops building weapons. You might argue that Iron Man may be more about ego. Being responsible for the harm because of his technologies forces Tony to choose to be a hero. This is explored in the comics. It was well done in the the Extermis storyline, now being told as a Motion Comic. Tony actually says that being Iron Man means he can pretend to be more than a man who makes land mines. It freed him of his past as a weapons dealer so he can be more. As far as responsibility, Spider-man does what he does because He feels like he must not ignore the needs of the others. It's also out of guilt but not the same of Iron Man. I think that there is more about fun in Iron Man than Spider-man. I mean being Spider-man is more of a burden for Peter Parker than being Iron Man is for Tony Stark.

I think that Jesus expects us to look at our gifts and resources as being in His service to help others not feed our own ego.

As for the Theology by which Tony lives his life, despite the info at the link at the end of the post, I do remember a point in which Iron Man and Spider-man had a conversation about the things that science cannot answer. When I find that story I'll probably will post on it. 

I think that neither character expresses a Biblical worldview but  Spider-man's is closest to God's. We can't just ignore the miracles and other spiritual matters.

As for the burden of responsibility, in my opinion, the burden comes from accountability. Being held to a standard is where it gets difficult.

The religion of Iron Man (Tony Stark)
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