Superheroes have taken over the cinema. In recent months we’ve been bombarded with an endless assault of larger than life comic book action heros.
These world rescuers run the gamut from a metallurgically altered weapons specialist (Iron Man) to a rage induced girth and pigmentation vacillator (The Incredible Hulk).
This summer, Batman has once again saved the day and George Lucas has once again destroyed a pleasant childhood memory (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Who Really Cares You’re Going to See it Anyway).
Rumor has it that in the seventh and final Star Wars installment, Han Solo and Indiana Jones are teaming up to go back and forth in time to prevent Lucas from ruining the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. The movie is tentatively titled Star Wars: The Latest Last Crusade. Unfortunately, Lucas already has cast a bowl of bran flakes to play the title character. The bowl of bran flakes already is stirring up Oscar buzz.
As with all financially lucrative media trends, Hollywood will try its best to run this superhero fad into the ground. Mark my word, the production of superhero blockbusters will increase exponentially until every last drop of revenue is squeezed from the udder of this highly productive cash cow genre. Someday we will be lamenting the good old days before the X Men teamed up with Spiderman to defeat the Jar Jar/Jabba the Hut Borg.
To feed our need for computer generated, action figure driven movies, producers soon will be forced to conscript lesser known mythical protagonists into the role of action hero movie star. Once the A-list superhero talent pool has been tapped out, more mediocre legends will rise to big screen prominence.
With this in mind, I am offering the big studios a few superhero suggestions of my own.
• Super Mariner Pitcher. He has the magical ability to pitch more than seven innings while maintaining an ERA of 4.0 or lower. His arch nemesis is any person who has ever considered swinging a bat.
• Super Sonic. I have no idea what his super powers might be, but the movie will definitely be a tragedy. His arch nemesis … Well, you can fill in the blank.
• Mr. Incredibly Content with Northwest Weather. He has the uncanny ability to see something positive in all manifestations of Northwest weather. Able to endure 40 days of perpetual rain without a single complaint. Strong enough to stay positive during a Seattle heat wave, even when temperatures reach a near sweltering 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Unfortunately, he lives a life of solitude, unable to join in on almost all casual conversations.
• The Comet Commenter. This Internet legend posts anonymous, provocative, pithy comments concerning every single entry on the World Wide Web. From You Tube to iTunes, not a single item is safe from the Comet Commenter’s assessment. As I write this column, he already is posting his response.
• Hybrid Man. Gains his superpowers from alternative energy sources such as the sun, the wind and hyperactive toddlers. Even so, he is unable to lower his carbon footprint without purchasing carbon credits to offset his greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to his refusal to sell his surprisingly inefficient, gas guzzling Hybrid Man Mobile.
• Captain Starbucks. Saves the world with a shaky hand (at least the world within 60 feet of a Starbucks). His arch nemesis is a close friend who perpetually tries to convince him that his calling is a ruse to justify his caffeine addiction.
Regardless of the superhero, it is interesting to note that humankind is drawn to stories revolving around individuals with super human assignments. We love to cheer people who have purposes bigger than their own survival.
One of the benefits of being a Christian is I get the privilege of living for purposes far bigger than my own. I could think of nothing worse than wasting my best energy, time and money on myself. Instead, I get to advance God’s loving mission on a daily basis. I literally become an ambassador of God’s love. I don’t wear a cape and my identity is far from secret, but I do get to engage problems and answers bigger than myself.
It is a real joy to live a life of meaning, even if I’ll never get my own movie out of the deal. Super Fairly Spiritual Guy is a hero I don’t ever want to see on the silver screen.
Doug Bursch is the pastor of Evergreen Foursquare Church. Evergreen meets Sundays at 10 a.m. at the Riverside High School Theater. He can be reached at www.yesevergreen.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.