Who Needs a Superhero?: Finding Virtue, Vice, and What's Holy in the Comics

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Overview

Got superpowers? Daredevil's discernment? Wonder Woman's wisdom? Batman's sense of justice?

Mild-mannered minister by day, H. Michael Brewer transforms nightly into Comic Book Man. Bolstered by bulletproof biblical backup, Brewer delves into myths about man and Maker. Is God more like Green Arrow or the Punisher? How can you model your church after the Fantastic Four? What can the X-Men teach about unity? Comic Book Man reveals all this, tests your superpowers, and leads you in ...

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Overview

Got superpowers? Daredevil's discernment? Wonder Woman's wisdom? Batman's sense of justice?

Mild-mannered minister by day, H. Michael Brewer transforms nightly into Comic Book Man. Bolstered by bulletproof biblical backup, Brewer delves into myths about man and Maker. Is God more like Green Arrow or the Punisher? How can you model your church after the Fantastic Four? What can the X-Men teach about unity? Comic Book Man reveals all this, tests your superpowers, and leads you in an unforgettable study for small groups.

(No capes required.)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brewer, a pastoral theologian who has been collecting comics for more than four decades, expresses an unpretentious love and understanding of comics as a window into spiritual reality. As a devoted fan, Brewer embraces the unambiguous heroism of the comics: Wonder Woman's passion for truth, Superman's Christ-like ethic of servanthood. He also appreciates the cautionary tales of flawed heroes: Batman's obsessive pursuit of revenge as justice, or Iron Man's isolating addictions to technology and alcohol. But Brewer can also go beyond the obvious by making unexpected connections. Thor's evolving understanding of his "secret identity" becomes a surprising parable for Christian identity, while Captain America and Wolverine represent alternative pictures of divine protection-the protective shield versus inner strength and healing. And in perhaps the book's most original intuition, Green Arrow combines the biblical metaphor of God as divine archer with quirky humor and an ironic preference for using weakness to overcome strength. Brewer's style has a distinctively pulpit flavor-several chapters evolved from sermons-and sometimes he stretches to connect superhero and biblical universes. Fans of the Hulk will feel he deserves a more sympathetic portrayal than as a stand-in for the essence of sin. But overall, Christian comic fans should appreciate Brewer as a genuine comics lover who communicates the gospel with a spirit of fun and adventure. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801065101
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2004
  • Pages: 222
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Nostalgia Put to Good Use

    © 2004 Baker Books, Grand Rapids

    Free books are cool . . . sometimes. For a person like me, it’s always neat to get a book for free—and if I get to read it, even better. I find free books several ways. Some of them get read right away (because of the nature of getting the free book) and others sit on the shelf for awhile waiting their moment of perusal. One way I get free books is from publishers/authors who want me to review them for this site—those I try to get to in a more timely manner than others. Sometimes I get a book as a gift. I usually get to these rather quickly, too because they come from someone who thought well enough of me to buy me just the right gift. Then there are books like this one that show up on the “free” table at a preachers’ conference. I sift through and get titles that I’ve wanted but was unwilling to shell out the dollars for and books that look interesting. This book looked really interesting.

    Preachers are on the constant lookout for excellent illustrations that speak to their audience. Long-time pastor Michael Brewer has latched onto an extended comparison that suits him well as he turns to his lifelong love for the Bible message and his boyhood comic book friends. Sometimes an obsession with comic books can pay off. In an effort to bring the message of the Bible into understandable language he compares life and reality to the unreal world of comic heroes.

    He compares Jesus to Superman—the savior from above. Sin is likened to the beast within known as the Incredible Hulk. Brewer draws connections to other comic book greats as well. Our attempts as mankind to earn or work our way into heaven are represented by Batman and Iron Man. Wonder Woman, Spider-man, and Daredevil put in appearances as well the explanation for our meager attempts at describing God by focusing on one aspect of His nature or another (“Punisher vs. Green Arrow” is the name of the chapter).

    As with all attempts at explaining the unexplainables of the Bible, the analogy falls short, but provides a good handle to grasp. The biggest difficulty for me as a reader was that I was more interested in going back and finding copies of old comic books so I could catch up on Batman, Thor, and the X-men than I was about the comparisons drawn. The book was fun and well-written. It is worth a moment of your time especially if you need an explanation of what this Christian faith is all about or you have a friend who is having difficulty with what you believe. Probably the most helpful chapter is dedicated to the Fantastic Four – “The Ties that Bind” – and deals with what the church is and how it functions in a fallen world.

    Three and one-half reading glasses for shear effort go to Brewer and his love of the Comic Book Hero.

    —Benjamin Potter, March 1, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2006

    Cool Book

    This book features DC Universe and Marvel heores and shows us how your favorite heroes can represent Christ.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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