Batman and Superman are initially divided by the schemes of Lex Luthor, Jr. but are ultimately united under the love and care of Martha. In this episode of the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast, we discuss this and more Christian themes in Zack Snyder’s latest film BATMAN v SUPERMAN ULTIMATE EDITION.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:03:08 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:23:56 – Christian Themes in Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition
  • 01:12:29 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:18:50 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:53:18 – Lightning Round 
  • 02:07:36 – Upcoming

And Martha is Now Our Mother, Batman!

Bruce Wayne is a family man. Whenever he sees anyone messing with his loved ones – whether it’s his Gotham family, his Wayne Enterprise family, etc. –  he dons the cape and stops the atrocity to the best of his ability. Such urgency and power usually pay off, but when he and the rest of the world meet the Superman, he and everyone else is immediately stymied on how to cope with such an entity. Some in the world want to deliberate with Superman, others want to capture him, but Batman think the only option is to kill him. And after the epic fight sequence finally ensues, Batman has Superman pinned against the floor with a Kryptonite spear.

But as Batman is about to make the killing strike, Superman manages to gasp out a name that has been etched into Batman’s – I mean Bruce’s – heart since childhood: “Martha.” Superman says it because his worldly mother Martha Kent is in trouble, but it makes Bruce flashback to the night his parents Thomas and Martha Wayne were murdered. Thomas Wayne, his father, was shot first, but Martha Wayne, his mother, was the first to die, and as she falls, Thomas whispers with his last breath her name: “Martha.” At that precise moment, Bruce – I mean Batman – no longer feels the desire to kill Superman but to help him. Help him save his mother Martha, help him save the people of Metropolis and Gotham City, help save them all from the clutches of Lex Luthor, Jr – and it’s all because he remembered the love of his mother Martha and the unity under her name.

This image from BATMAN V SUPERMAN ULTIMATE EDITION shows Ben Affleck as Batman.

Like Batman initially being a hero, the communities of believers that heard and were saved by the Good News of Jesus that Paul brought to them were initially on fire for God and his Spirit dwelling within them. But, just as Batman soon started slipping back into his prideful and vengeful ways, so did those Christian communities started slipping back into the ways of the world. Paul’s letters remind them – and us – that we are to remember the unity that is brought on by God’s grace and then act accordingly. Then and only then will we be fulfilling the law of Christ.

To Die on a Hill Called Superman

Rumors of Superman’s loving-kindness have been greatly exaggerated…at least, that’s what a woman named Kahina would have us believe. After all, she was there when Superman made his “frightful” appearance in the desert. And she tearfully pleads with the senatorial committee before whom she is testifying to take an official stance against Superman. She gets her way for a time, but then she starts feeling a little guilty. We see glimpses of her watching the TV and seeing the media persecution through her testimony has propelled Superman.

Then one day, as Kahina’s about to get off the bus at her apartment complex, she sees Luthor’s henchman waiting on her doorstep. Luthor apparently wants to tie up any loose ends. She knows death is just around the corner, and she thankfully refuses to continue without letting Senator Finch know the truth: that she was given a script to read as her testimony, and that she was threatened to lay her lie and her tears at the feet of the committee in the first place. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to live much longer after she confesses her truth because the henchman finally completes his mission by throwing Kahina down in front a full-speed subway train.

This image from BATMAN V SUPERMAN ULTIMATE EDITION shows Henry Cavill as Superman.

It points to an uncomfortable but powerful theme in the Bible: being willing to die for the truth. Because truth be told, God loved us. Because truth be told, we reject that love whenever we chase after our of selfishness. And because truth be told, God still loves us and perpetually calls us back home to him. But truth be told, we can’t be apart of that Kingdom if we think we can overcome Evil by using Evil’s own techniques against it. That’s why Jesus was so adamant about loving God and loving others similarly, even on the way to the cross. And that is why Paul was so adamant about getting this lifesaving truth – the Good News – out to the world, even on the way to his fulfilling his own death sentence.

Key Texts

Phillippians 1:27 NLT

Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.

2 Timothy 2:8-10 NLT

Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

Use the audio player at the top of this article to listen to the podcast, or use the links below for other convenient ways to hear FCC.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a good way to use stories to soften peoples' hearts. Find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever.
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