I will get back to the Cross of Atonement Series soon. My only excuse for so few posts lately is School-At-Home. I'm basically home schooling three of four kids now, and it's surprisingly difficult. Blessings to all other parents out there working as hard or harder to serve the educational needs of their children. God's work, for sure.
It's funny. I pretty much taught myself to read when I was young. From as early as I can remember, I had a Richard Scary or Dr. Suess book in my lap. It didn't take long for those to transform into comic books. I always loved superheroes, and I'd read anything I could about them.
In the late 70's and maybe into 1980, I grew up in NW Ohio and watched TV most afternoons. You might not know this, but Ohio was a hot bed of original cable television innovation back then. Nickelodeon was founded in Columbus OH, and it was broadcasting original programming years before MTV, VH1, and so many others. As a result, content creators in the Ohio area took advantage of Nickelodeon's success and started publishing their unique programming on what we would call today - public access channels. Back then, it was simply the air time Nickelodeon couldn't fill with more unique shows.
One of those was a show back in 1979 called Video Comics. One of my absolute favorites. I was 6 or 7 years old when I first watched that show, and I was hooked. Adam Strange and Green Lantern were my favorites. Swamp Thing was on more they I liked, but I would watch, listen, and read along to those episodes, too.
Later, as I grew more confident riding my bike to the local drug store, I'd take every quarter I could find and buy up all the comic books I could. I'd read them over and over until they began to resemble worn out old security blankets, and I would drag them everywhere with me.
As compelling as super powered people were, even back then I understood the more subtle lessons the stories were telling. The real powers these heroes had were not things like shooting lasers from rings, unearthly strength, or the ability to run faster than lightning. These heroes had powers and abilities that anyone could manifest, if only they had enough belief in themselves.
Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth, was titled the Bravest Man on Earth. Daredevil was called The Man Without Fear. Both of those heroes pursued justice, almost to a fault. Batman was The World’s Greatest Detective. Adam Strange was a self-sacrificing and very clever archeologist. The Flash, as lighting fast as he was, was the hero who would never quit. Sure, he had the Speed Force, but HOPE is what drove him to keep running.
Spiderman? Long before Toby McGuire’s debut in tights, comic book enthusiasts like myself knew about “With great power comes great responsibility.” Heck, it’s straight out of the bible!
Superman? Please…Truth, Justice, and the American Way is what he was always pursuing.
And Captain America’s real super-power? He was always the last man standing, no matter how difficult things would get. Cap was an endless source of true fortitude and perseverance.
I have always taught about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in this context – the context of Superheroes, their powers and abilities, and what actually makes them super. It’s about the only reason I might watch CW Arrowverse shows these days. Oliver Queen – the Green Arrow, brings out the best in everyone around him. Grant Gustin’s The Flash is the quintessential optimist, spreading hope to everyone. Even though Superman is more powerful than Supergirl on the CW, her love for others is said to have at times made her stronger than her cousin could ever be. (I hate that show, btw…LOL).
So, in the next post I will start to dive directly into The Gifts. In meantime, I want my Confirmation students, or anyone for that matter, to use the comment section below and complete the following. Find a superhero you like (the more obscure the better, I love learning new things about superheroes.) Tell me why you like them, give a brief run-down of their powers and abilities, BUT explain what it is that makes them truly super, just like I did above.
Blessings and good health,
DJ | AMDG