Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a deacon dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: superheroes

‘Lego Batman’ and the Importance of Family

Lego Batman movie poster“You can’t be a hero if you’re only thinking about yourself.” -Barbara Gordon

The team behind the 2014 surprise box office hit, The Lego Movie, had produced a fun, kid-friendly comic book movie in The Lego Batman Movie.  Will Arnett, who returns as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne, is the perfect humorless, brooding Dark Knight.

The film is full of fast-moving bricks that successfully draws on decades of Batman lore. From the 1960’s television series to Batman v. Superman, references to the Dark Knight’s multifaceted phases are made . . . . and they are brilliant! The references include the “na-na-na-na” theme song and the classic “POWS.”

The pop references do not stop there. The Joker unleashes a myriad of Warner Bros. villains onto Gotham city, who have all been chilling out in the Phantom Zone. Villains such as Voldemort, King Kong, Gremlins, Eye of Sauron, the Wicked Witch and her flying monkeys, and Godzilla. These references are clearly placed for the benefit of the parents. And, so, on behalf of all parents, I say, “Thank you.”

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Book Review: Bedtime for Batman

Bedtime for Batman cover

Bedtime for Batman, Michael Dahl, Capstone Young Readers, 2016.

In our house, when the sky turns dark, there is a little super hero who needs to prepare for the greatest adventure of the day . . . . bedtime! We have an arsenal of books we read to Baby J at bedtime, many of which are bedtime themed books.

In this bedtime story book, the super hero too has to prepare for bedtime. The little boy gears up in his pajama uniform, hurries upstairs to clean up the nightly filth, and he keeps watch from his perch on his bunk bed. Each couple of pages mirrors what the boy is doing to prepare for bedtime and what Batman is doing to prepare for his nightly patrol of Gotham.

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Comic Review: Convergence

2976491Convergence collects issues #0-8 of Convergence and is written by Jeff King.

The Story (aka from the Publisher)

Once, there were Infinite Earths. Untold timelines. Innumerable Elseworlds. Then there came a Crisis…a Zero Hour…a Flashpoint. Worlds lived. Worlds died. Now they all must fight for their future! The evil alien intelligence known as Brainiac has stolen 50 doomed cities from throughout time and space and brought them to a place beyond the Multiverse—a sentient planet of his own design, a world with the power of a god. As heroes and villains from dozens of worlds battle each other for their very existence, it’s up to a ragtag band of warriors from a slain Earth to put an end to this threat that bends the Multiverse to its will. Reality itself hangs in the balance… This is it! The entire DC Universe from the dawn of time through the New 52 stars in CONVERGENCE — an unprecedented event that brings together your favorite characters from every era and series. Whether familiar or forgotten, none of them will ever be the same!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Indugle

The Challenge: Indulge. When we think of the word indulge, food often comes to mind, but indulging isn’t always about food. You can indulge in moments, feelings, emotions, places, and more! It can be a private moment rocking on a hammock, watching a movie on a work day, eating that second piece of chocolate cake, reliving a memory, fantasizing about the future, or treating or pampering yourself.

This photo was taken during a recent youth retreat, where our youth group took a field trip to Wal-Mart.  Decked out in their super-hero masks and capes, indulging in being themselves and having fun at it, while digging deep into the candy bin.  Life is good. Have fun!

photo by J. Leckzas

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

I went and saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) tonight.  The film makers promised that this film would be the best action film of the summer.  And they delivered one action packed film!  I saw one blog (and forgive me, I don’t remember which blog) that compared this action in this film to the action in Iron Man (2008).  The action is definitely comparable.  But I would have to say that the storyline in Iron Man was much better than the storyline in Wolverine.  As much as I enjoy the vast Canadian landscape, I could have done with less of Canada and more of Mutants.

Wolverine is such a complex character, always struggling between what he considers ethically right (he seeks murderous revenge against his half brother) and what is ethically wrong (he stops his half brother from killing someone).  He struggles from being controlled by his temper and controlled by his compassion.  He struggles with being influenced by those around him, and the spark within.  Aren’t we all, to some extent, like Wolverine?

There are multiple ways in which we struggle with who we are – who we are becoming.  Many out there will say that the media has waved its wicked wand to influence our children and teens into thinking they should be someone they are not.  While there is valid concern for that, a group of high school students this week told me that they felt friends, parents, and teachers  (not necessary in that order) were the places they felt they were being influenced to be someone they were not.

Genesis 1:27 reminds us that we are each created in the image of God.  An image of God dwells within us.   To know that we are created in the image of God means that we have worth just as we are.

From the book of 1 Samuel:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (16:7, NRSV).

This verse comes from the text where Samuel, a priest of God’s, goes to the house of Jesse to anoint the next king.  As Samuel approaches each of Jesse’s sons, oldest to youngest, the Lord rejects each of them.  Finally, an exhausted Samuel asked if Jesse has any other sons.  Jesse replies that he does, but he’s the youngest and out watching the sheep.  Samuel insists that Jesse send for him, and when the young boy approaches Samuel, Samuel knows that he is the next king of Israel.  The boy was David.

The point of the verse is that God does not look on the exterior, God looks on the interior.  If we are doing or acting a certain way as those around us think we should, we are reinforcing the idea that our exterior determines who we are.  We are reinforcing that the image of God within us does not matter.   If we do not recognize the image of God in us – if we do not look at our own interior, how can we see the image of God in others, much less expect others to see the image of God in us?

© 2017 Jason C. Stanley

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