Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Super-Hero Movie or Jesus Story?

It's never been a big secret that the two creators of the Man Of Steel, Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, based much of Superman's story on the story of Jesus. That is somewhat surprising as the two men were born into Jewish families, and the Jews don't have the best history with Jesus, nor do they traditionally view Jesus the same way that Christians do. But nonetheless, the similarities between Superman & Jesus have always been evident.

The easy comparison's can be drawn without much thought. From being sent "down" from Krypton to eventually "save" the world. To being raised by a purely good mother and father that did their best to prepare young Clark for a world that wouldn't understand him. The parallels are clear. You also never see Superman do wrong. Sound familiar?

It was however quite amazing to see just how much Zack Snyder clearly adhere's to this philosophy, and how many more parallels  he chose to draw in Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. 

***Spoilers Ahead***

The largest parallel that I could draw, would be almost the entire 3rd act of the film. There are several real differences between Jesus and Superman (obviously), mostly the fact that Jesus doesn't possess a Kryptonite-like weakness, nor did he make choices around the well being of a singular love interest (unless you count humankind as a whole as his love interest, then the parallel holds). But other than that, the 3rd act of BVS may as well have been a Jesus story. 

Let's start with the Zod/Doomsday allegory. General Zod/Doomsday IS Lucifer/Satan. Think about it. Zod was a highly respected general in Krypton, who was banished with his followers because he tried to take over. Sound familiar? To those of you not seminary trained.... that's essentially the exact same way "Lucifer" becomes "Satan." 

With that understood, you see the entire Man Of Steel & BVS films differently. In Man Of Steel, Zod tried to convince Superman to join him, to take over the world. There's a story in the Bible where Satan tempts Jesus in a similar way. Satan doesn't necessarily try to convince Jesus to take over the world, but he attempts to bring him over to his line of thinking.

Once you see Superman defeat Zod in the 3rd act of MOS, the second part of Zod's story is set to take shape. In BVS the transformation is made from Zod to Doomsday (Lucifer to "The Devil", pretty nice parallel there) and the stage is set for an epic 3rd act battle. 

Obviously in the Bible there was no "super-hero style" Jesus/Satan fight, although that would have been really cool! But we see something similar play out in BVS. To sum it up, Doomsday is wreaking havoc around Metropolis/Gotham, and nothing Batman or Wonder Woman do is enough to stop him. But Superman Sacrifices himself to defeat Doomsday. What did Jesus do again? Oh yeah, that's right. Sacrifice himself to "save" the world from "sin". One thing is obviously "physical" (Doomsday) whereas the other is a "spiritual" "fight", but the parallel is very clearly drawn in the movie.

Then, to take it a step further, after Superman defeats Doomsday, but is "killed" in the process, there is a scene where Batman lowers Superman down to Wonder Woman and Lois Lane from on top of a rock that he and Doomsday laid motionless on. This could have easily been an adaptation of a painting of Jesus' lifeless body being lowered down from the cross. That whole scene possessed nonstop incredible symbolism. Martha Kent wasn't in the scene to hover over Superman's body as Jesus' mother Mary would have been portrayed to have done after he was crucified, but Amy Adams does her best Mary Magdeline impression filling in.

Lastly, in case you STILL didn't believe this was a Jesus allegory, Snyder slams home the last nail in the coffin by letting you know (after about 3 days maybe???) that Superman is alive and well, and is back from the dead. CASE CLOSED.

I'm not interested in getting into a big theological debate about how different Superman And Jesus are, I get it, I'm just saying it's hard to ignore just how much the creators of BVS borrow from the Jesus story. And consequently how many direct parallels are drawn between the two.

Let me also take a moment to clarify, this isn't a speech from a pastor telling you what's right or wrong, just an observation from a comic book store owner, who watched a movie, and was taken aback at JUST HOW MUCH correlation the film-maker decided to make from Superman to Jesus. Honestly, I'm sure I missed even more of the parallels, but my plans to go back to watch the movie again with a notepad were interrupted last week by the birth of a new child. So I'll get around to it. But I challenge you to watch the movie again and see if you can disagree, that this may have been the greatest allegory we've ever seen on screen.