Danny Anderson welcomes back Matthew Brake from Pop Culture and Theology for another discussion. This time, we explore the ways in which comics offer occasions to theologize, or think about God. The conversation breaks down into three basic parts. First, what are some ways in which religion has been represented in popular comics? Second, how do comics address religious concepts or motifs through metaphor (i.e. Superman as Christ-figure). Finally, what are some primary theological concepts that are explored through comics? Along the way, look for discussions about Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Batman, the X-Men, eschatology and much much more.
Pop Culture and Theology
G. Willow Wilson
Frank Miller’s Holy Terror
Peter Enns’ Inspiration and Incarnation
X-Men God Loves Man Kills
A. David Lewis’s Graven Images: Religion in Comic Books and Graphic Novels
Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing
Grant Morrison’s Animal Man
Neil Gaiman’s View from the Cheap Seats
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman
Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come
Carl Schmitt Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty
Excelsior! In this mighty episode, Danny is joined by the Christian Humanist Podcast’s own Nathan Gilmour to talk about the cultural impact of the late Stan Lee. Lee, who died a few weeks ago, was a staggering figure in American culture, helping to create many of the icons that have captured the imaginations of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Dr. Strange all trace part of their roots back to Lee. In this episode, learn about: the social media response to Lee’s passing, Lee’s controversial history of collaborative artistry, Lee’s place in Jewish art, the political subtext of the Marvel universe, and much much more. Stan Lee helped provide a “superhero mythology in a religiously pluralistic world.”
“Stan Lee Built the World I Live In,” by Wayne Wise: http://www.legacy.com/news/celebrity-deaths/notable-deaths/article/stan-lee-built-the-world-i-live-in
“Marvel Icon Stan Lee Leaves a Legacy as Complicated As His Heroes,” by Spencer Ackerman: https://www.thedailybeast.com/rip-stan-lee-the-man-who-sold-the-world
Alan Moore’s Watchmen forever changed the way we view superheroes. Ultimately, the argument of that graphic novel is that the superhero is an inherently fascist figure. Thinking about this got Danny to wondering what on Earth a socialist superhero might even look like. Well, to answer that question, Danny called on Wayne Wise and Chris Maverick from the Vox Popcast. Wayne and Mav both recommended that Danny read Alan Moore’s earlier exploration of this subject, Miracleman. In this podcast, we explore the really complicated publishing history of the most important comic you’ve never read, and then we dive into the book to find out what it is about superheroes that makes socialism a seeming impossibility. Plus, a discussion about postmodernism and Moore’s aesthetic, and the profound religious implications of Miracleman. Plus a major dose of comic book recommendations!
Finally, if you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, please do so and also leave us a positive review. Subscription info is available at www.sectarianreviewpodcast.com
An article on Coates’s Black Panther
The October Faction
The Vision: Little Worse Than a Man
Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain
East of West
The Wicked + The Divine
One more dive into the philosophical and moral depths of Marvel’s Infinity War. For this episode Kristen Filipic and Kim Anderson join the show to discuss Thanos’s utilitarianism against the ethical and theological backdrop of Pope Francis’s encyclical about consumerism and the environment, “Laudato Si.” Tune in to hear: highlights from the first Infinity War episode, some context about “Laudato Si” and how it relates to consumption and Christian ethics, an exploration of the motif of self-sacrifice in the Avengers: Infinity War, the role of Wakanda in this moral play, the difficult realities of a truly “pro-life” politics, and some thoughts about Distributism. As always, please take the time to respond to what you hear!
Kristen Filipic’s “Perfect Balance”
William Cavanaugh on Pope Francis and Economics at Saint Mary’s College
Pope John Paul II “Centesimus Annus”
Recently the United States Congress has passed a law that mandates all podcasts to do an episode on Infinity War (Disney’s pernicious influence, no doubt).
So for this episode, good patriot Danny Anderson is joined by Nathan Gilmour and Kristen Filipic to discuss the biggest superhero movie of them all. Why is it that this movie has struck such a powerful chord with moviegoers? What are the theological questions it asks? What does death really mean in this universe? Plus, Pope Francis makes his way into this one!
Marvel Studios’ latest film, Black Panther, has been a blockbuster of the highest order. A primarily black film, it has torched the box office and has started a great conversation about race, politics, and representation in cinema. Joining Danny to discuss this film is Chris Maverick, a comics scholar who works with such questions. Hailed as a revolutionary film, just how radical are the film’s politics? Does this film, like other Marvel ventures, simply argue for a more pleasant status quo? How important is the representation of black people in this movie? Danny and Chris discuss all this and much more. How did Iron Man set the tone for the typical Marvel cinematic plot? Has Iron Man’s political stance basically set the political agenda for all the films that follow it? Does Black Panther subvert historical colonial narratives? This is a big, fun-filled episode. Join in on the conversation!
Washington Post Video about Representation and Black Panther
Invite to the Mount Aloysius Conference on College Teaching
Quasi Duo Fantasias: A Straussian Reading of Black Panther - by Zizek
Kaila Philo: Fear of a Black Universe
Christopher Lebron: Black Panther is not the Movie We Deserve
Adam Serwer: The Tragedy of Erik Killmonger
Chris Maverick’s Blog
When Marvel Studios pulled the coup that belatedly brought everyone’s favorite web-slinger into its Avengers-heavy universe, fans cheered. Danny, a life-long Spider-man fan was elated and couldn’t wait to talk about the movie for the Sectarian Review Podcast. Nathan Gilmour of the Christian Humanist Podcast rallied to join in for this podcast, which for various logistical reasons is finally being released about 6 months after it was recorded. So our show may not be timely, but have a listen anyway!
And as always subscribe to the Sectarian Review Podcast via iTunes or your favorite podcatcher. Also find us on Facebook and Twitter.
Big Reveal! Why is the Christian Humanist Podcast called “the Flagship?”
Leaving the origin story behind. Nod to Ultimate and a recruitment story. Reworking mythologies.
Spoiler Alert!!! Sorry it’s late.
Donald Glover is also Childish Gambino, Anderson.
Salon.com goes behind a paywall (You pay with your soul)
Spider-man as a local rather than a global hero
Damage Control (an Easter egg for Gilmour)
The philosophical ramifications of withholding the “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” origin story.
Aristotle on greatness
Tony Stark as neoliberalism with arms and legs
Michael Keaton. Stunt casting at its finest.
The Vulture gets an origin
Vulture as a parallel to Tony Stark
Tony Stark as techno wizard with no production-line
Vulture in a gritty warehouse as a quasi-revolutionary
DC as myth/Marvel as material
What motivates the Vulture?
The suburbs implicated in the Vulture’s crimes
Solving problems in the city WITHOUT DESTROYING THE CITY
Where does Homecoming rank in Spider-man films?
Oikos and Idolatry in Spider-Man: Homecoming - Christ and Pop Culture
The Christian Humanist Podcast's Nathan Gilmour joins Danny Anderson for discussion about the Theological and Philosophical underpinnings of Marvel's Netflix series' Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Listen for the following and more:
Why are the villains so important to these heroes? Why is Daredevil a Catholic? How is Jessica Jones able to offer a rich and complex matrix of feminisms? Why are minor characters so important to the philosophical questions the shows ask? How do Daredevil's action sequences demonstrate the philosophical arguments the show makes? This was a fun talk and we hope you enjoy listening as much as we did talking.
This episode also has some important announcements, along with listener responses and this week's new Facebook Page followers!