Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Super Symbol of Hope

The legendary comic book character known as Superman has been captivating readers and audiences for 75 years. Over the years, the character has appeared in countless comic books, cartoons, radio programs, TV shows and movies, as he fights his never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way. But what that means and what that looks like has evolved many times over the years, as various artists, writers, actors and others have put their spin on the world's ultimate superhero.

Of course, the basics of Superman's appearance haven't changed too much since the beginning. Show a picture of anyone in a "super suit", and kids and grown-ups alike will recognize him instantly. But that doesn't mean the suit hasn't been modified a few hundred times over the years! Designers have played with various shades of blue and red, and the new movie, Man of Steel, is the first depiction I'm aware of where the Big Blue Boy Scout doesn't wear his red underwear on the outside of his outfit!

Perhaps the one piece of Supes' costume that has gone through the most changes is the "S" shield/logo he wears on his chest. The colors, shapes and sizes of the logo have been reworked and revisited, and are often the subject of scrutiny and criticism from fans whenever a new version is revealed. Besides the appearance of the emblem, the significance has also evolved with time.

Monday, June 17, 2013

More Than Play-Acting

In 1986, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short teamed up as a band of heroes who rode from town to town, saving Mexican villages from bad guys right and left. Well... They weren't really heroes... They just played heroes in the movies!

Yes, as Lucky Day, Dusty Bottoms and Ned Nederlander (respectively), Martin, Chase and Short were the ¡Three Amigos! - stars of the silver screen - but they were destined to become real life heroes (in the movie) after a Mexican woman saw one of their films and apparently mistook it for a documentary!

It's a wild, crazy adventure comedy, but it makes several points I think are important for the modern Church.

As the story begins, revenue for their last few films have been low. After the studio fires the trio, the Amigos are elated to receive a somewhat confusing telegram inviting them to make a personal appearance in Mexico. They really have no idea what they're getting into when they decide to make the trip to face off against the village's enemy, a man known as "El Guapo". They think it's just a show... but nobody else knows that they're only actors!