I could comment further on the prayer debate in this one, but I think I’ll let that aspect rest.
But the superhero as an alternative to religion as the fantasy-of-choice for the powerless? Now that’s more than a commentary. That’s more than a term paper. That’s a graduate thesis, right there.
Most forms of popular entertainment run afoul of the Church at some point in their lifespan, but the superhero comics have had it a bit worse than average over the decades, and I think this is part of the reason.
Imagine a train heading for a broken bridge, the people aboard unaware of their impending doom. That could really happen. It’s something you might think about while you were riding on a train. So the concept of a superhuman figure who could identify this problem in time, then personally fly in and save you…that’s an appealing idea.
The Church is not prepared to offer Jesus for this role. Not even the same congregations that’ll tell you the Virgin Mary appeared as a yam. So for people imagining a way out of a helpless situation, I am afraid the proactive, personally-present Superman will always have a little more spark than Christ. So…all you activist preachers out there who read this comic strip (yeah, right) admit it: it’s the rival trademark Good Guy with the snazzier outfit that you really can’t stand.