Comics: Supergirl and The Fall
Supergirl #25 (1996)
God is a ten year old boy wearing a bow tie and calls himself Wally. You didn’t know that? You have obviously never read Peter David’s run on Supergirl from the 90s. Oh, and Supergirl is an angel. What has all this got to do with Genesis 2-3? Good question.
Superhero comics and religion have had a long (yet uneasy) relationship. One of the “heroes” of the Golden Age of comics in the 1940s was the Spectre – God’s Wrath personified as a white skinned guy in a green cloak with matching speedos and booties. He’d go around dishing out the ironic punishments and generally being all other-wordly. More on him another time.
Many comics have dealt with the topic of religion ever since. One of them is Peter David’s run on Supergirl in the 90s. David used the Supergirl title to explore issues of religion and morality. At one point, I think Supergirl became some kind of ancient Fire Angel. I’m not too sure. Supergirl sure got confusing at that point. In Supergirl #25. Wally (who may or may not be God) is talking with Sylvia (Supergirl’s mum. Sort of. Kinda. Why don’t we just move along…) Sylvia is having a moment of doubt. She’s asking the question “If God exists, why do bad things happen?” That question sound familiar? It should, as it’s one that people everywhere have asked for what feels like forever.
Wally makes this statement – “Omniscient means that God knows all there is right now… But not all there is to know.” The argument is that God didn’t know that Adam and Eve would eat the fruit in the Garden of Eden. That he was ignorant of what would happen and that it was all a big experiment. He can’t see into the future and is ultimately as clueless as the rest of us what would happen next. Mankind acts as some big experiment where man and God learn from each other and become better beings because of it.
It’s nice in theory, however I believe this is inconsistent with the Bible. In Genesis chapter 3, the same chapter where Adam and Eve eat the fruit, God punishes the two first humans and the snake. As he punishes them he says to the snake “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) From the very start, God is showing that he knows how all this will end. From day one, he knew that he would be sending Jesus.
In 2 Samuel 7, God promises King David that one of his decendants would reign forever. Again, promising the coming of Jesus. God has a plan. He is not ignorant of events. He is not taking things one day at a time and seeing how he goes. He is acting deliberately and purposefully. In the Gospels, we see the arival of Jesus into this world. This arrival is part of the plan. And it is only the first stages of the plan – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
Jesus is the rescue plan. Jesus is the answer to the problem of evil in this world. God is aware that there is a problem. God is aware that bad things happen in this world. And God is aware that the reason for this evil, the cause of all these bad things, is sin. It is our rebellion that is the cause of all that is wrong. And through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God puts it right.
We have to wait until Jesus returns before we will see the full plan in action. When that day comes, evil will be wiped out for good. This is the promise God makes to us. This is what we see in the Book of Revelation. God is not ignorant of the future. He’s got it all mapped out. God is in complete control. Nothing can force him to deviate from his plan. There can be no spanners in the works, or last minute hiccups. God knows what he is doing, God loves us, and God has a plan to save us.
In Supergirl’s world, God may be a 10 year old boy with some clever sayings and mysterious nature. In my world, the world of the Bible, God is a real and powerful force who knows what he is doing and is doing it out of love for us.