Superheroes have abilities children only dream of — they are strong, fast, courageous and can overcome obstacles… sometimes in a single bound. They also do many good deeds. After all, that is an important goal we hope children will internalize — learning about doing good for others.
Young children face many challenges and have to learn many new skills. They often feel small, helpless, fearful, unable to accomplish what they desire, or are troubled–in other words, they can feel just the opposite of superheroes.
This echoing of current concerns continues to be seen in the new “Batman v Superman” trailer. “Civil liberties are being trampled on in your city,” Clark tells Bruce when discussing Batman. “People living in fear. He thinks he’s above the law.”
Reviewed by Stephen Humphries, – South Africa(currently living in the U.S.)
From the January 1, 2000 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel
The story is about people born with a different set of genes, giving them superpowers—such as the ability to walk through walls, read people’s minds, conjure up storms, and or shoot lasers from their eyes. One of them even has the power to heal himself almost instantly of wounds and injuries. You might say that they’re a little different from the people you bump into in your neighborhood.
The heroes of the movie are the X-Men, a group of good mutants led by Dr. Xavier (played with great presence by Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart). They band together to fight the rebel mutants. Their goal is to get the rest of humanity to understand and ultimately accept them.
This is a metaphor for racism, prejudice, and discrimination in society. The movie asks audiences to reassess people who are different from them. After seeing X-Men, I thought about how easy it is to form quick, snapshot judgements without even realizing it. In school it is all too easy to classify people who dress differently as belonging in different groups such as the cool people, the rebels, and the nerds.
Labeling people may seem an innocent, harmless thing to do, but it isn’t. The Bible tells us to “judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matt. 7:1).
When we’re judging others, we aren’t loving our neighbor as Jesus asked his followers to do. Instead, we’re too busy focusing on people’s “packaging” and thinking of others as a mixture of good and bad traits. We are able to love them when we realize that we are all His children. Our understanding of God helps us to stop judging others. “One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself…” (Science and Health, p. 340).
Wolverine, the most dynamic character in the film, has a change of attitude that brings an element of hope. Initially, he exhibits little more than snarling feral rage. Eventually he learns to express fatherly care and tender affection for Rogue, a teenager who feels deeply unloved.