As if the return of Superman wasn't enough to draw theater goers, there's talk the latest film version of the DC Comics hero is filled with certain Jesus or Christian-like themes.
Man of Steel soared to a $125 million opening weekend.
Eric Berding from Houston's Bedrock City Comic Company, a local Superman expert, says he caught the film's Jesus reference right away.
“There's a scene in the movie where he goes into a church, and there's a stained-glass window behind him of a depiction of Jesus in white, wrapped in a Superman-colored red, I think it's more of a shroud but it comes off looking like a cape,” Berding tells KTRH News.
Others point out how Superman is born rather than genetically engineered like other children from Krypton. There's also a scene where he flies straight up with his arms spread out in a cross pattern.
Berding says the Superman-Jesus debate actually goes way back, likening it to a hero descending on Earth to save it's people.
“Just the fact that he's God-like, and there's a couple of storylines where he's worshiped as a god,” he says. “Its not something he wants people to do, but its something people do because of who he is.”
Bishop Michael Rinehart from the Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America says he too is not surprised by the recent comparisons between Superman and Jesus.
“I think it was Robert Farrar Capon who first talked about Superman who is filled with super human powers but walking around as mild-mannered Jesus of Nazareth,” Rinehart tells KTRH News. “He's destroyed on the cross but then steps out of the phone booth of the empty tomb and presto chango is the risen son of God.”
Rinehart adds this isn't the first time a film has followed a Jesus-like storyline.
“Think about E.T., this strange visitor from another planet comes down, has healing powers, is persecuted, and eventually ascends back up in a spaceship,” he says.
Rinehart says Christians should be proud to think of a hero like Superman possessing the same qualities of Jesus.