Super Heroes and the Truths of Life

What's the most popular fantasy/sci-fi medium? Comic books. To some, they are merely silly books. But according to pastor and author H. Michael Brewer, they are far more. Across the pages of Superman, Batman, the Amazing-Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, and more, you can find universal truths.

In his book, "Who Needs a Superhero?" Brewer brought many great and obscure heroes to life and then showed the truth that lies beneath the surface. The strange visitor from another planet who comes to Earth points us to Christ.

Batman and Iron Man show the futility of goodness and success to save ourselves. The Incredible Hulk (the original one) serves as a powerful illustration of our sin nature. In exquisite detail, Brewer fleshes out truth from the stories of these great heroes in a read that's enjoyable as it is edifying.

I was pleased recently to have Mike Brewer as my guest on the Truth and Hope Report podcast recently. It was nice to take a night off from politics, and have a fun and intriguing guest to talk to.

Brewer is an expert on comic books, having followed the medium since the Silver Age. He said he remembered seeing X-Men #1 and the Avengers #1 out on news stands. When asked about research for his rich and detailed chapters, he admitted to doing practically none except when he needed a quote.

Brewer ran into some challenges in the writing process, particularly when it came to finding pictures for the chapters. Marvel Comics was happy to license a few pictures, but DC refused. However, the person who did the illustrations was very clever in using images that inferred the Superhero without using the hero themselves.

When I asked him why he wrote the book, he said that while there was a market for it (what pastors aren't looking for new illustrations?) , perhaps the most persuasive reason to write it was that it was a book he was "born to write." No other book has garnered so much reaction for the thrice published author, and based on my interview, I'd agree he was born to write it.

Click here to download the podcast. Click here to learn more about "Who Needs a Super Hero?"


chrisd said...

This is a great idea. I love seeing new people highlighted here. I'm not into comics myself but I will check this out!

Nice job on this review!

Andrea Graham said...

We thank you, Chris

Daniel I Weaver said...

I grew up on comics. There is a freedom in comic book writing that mirrors the work we do in speculative fiction and lets the imagination go wild. I hadn't heard of this book before, Adam, but it definately sounds like something I would read. I remember hearing a lot of critics pointing out heavy Christ comparisons/allegory in the new Superman movie last year and that sort of things makes me want to read this even more. The fundamental truths really do come through in comics in many ways. There is a lot of garbage out there too, but there has been a lot of good.

Thanks for sharing this.

God Bless,
Daniel I Weaver