I bet you didn’t expect to see this topic on a Lutheran pastor’s blog. However, I was trying to explain to my wife the other night why Batman is the best superhero. I mean, I like Superman, Spiderman, and the others, but Batman is the best. In order to be Superman, you have to have been born on the planet Krypton. In order to be Spiderman, you have to have been bitten by a radioactive spider. But, anyone can be Batman.
That’s what makes Batman the best; you could actually be Batman. You just need some sewing and gluing skills to make the suit (or contract that out to a good alterations shop). A few skills with electronics and mechanics wouldn’t hurt either so that you could build some cool gadgets (although you could also probably hire someone to build these for you too; that’s what Batman did). Then, you need to be in the right place at the right time in order to fight crime. In Atlanta, that’d be near Atlantic Avenue, near Peachtree Street, near Techwood, or really anywhere downtown. I went to Georgia Tech for my undergrad and often felt the need to have a protective bat suit. Had I been an engineering major rather than an international affairs major, I might have been able to build myself one.
So, to be Batman you just have to be clothed with the right suit and given the drive to do the right thing.
It fact, it kinda sounds like being a Christian in a way. To be a Christian means to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ, armed with the faith, and made a new creation through Christ (see Ephesians 6:10 and following). Our good works then flow from our faith and our identity as Christians, just as Batman’s works flow from his identity as Batman. We’re still flawed, like Batman, but we’re no longer who we used to be – we’re new creations.
So, we’re not Superman or Spiderman, because we don’t have super-human powers. We’re Batman, flawed and yet redeemed and clothed with Christ through Baptism and doing works that flow not from our own nature, but rather from our identity as God’s child. We wear the suit put on us by Christ in Baptism and therefore do things that befit the suit.
And that’s why Batman is the best superhero.