For a character created by two Jewish kids as a “Moses from outer space,” Superman certainly seems to inspire Christian allegories. I just spotted the brand new book “The Gospel According To The World’s Greatest Superhero” and it points out that the Kents were originally named Joseph and Mary, so at least some of this was intentional as well.
You can also find “The Gospel According to Superheroes: Religion And Popular Culture.”
I believe this was started by 1965′s “The Gospel According To Peanuts.” My dad had that book, as well as the now out-of-print “The Gospel According To Superman.” Dad also had a cartoon on his church office door that showed a dramatic picture of Superman, with the text (I’m paraphrasing), “A man was sent to Earth by his father to be raised by mortals. Gifted with extraordinary abilities, he performed miracles, helping the weak, sick and helpless. His many enemies tried to kill him, but he was willing to sacrifice himself to save mankind.” At Superman’s feet, there is a final line of text: “THIS is not him.”
And all these Christ comparisons remind me of this:
Saint Peter is watching the gates of Heaven, but he really has to go the bathroom. He asks Jesus to watch the gates for a few minutes, and Jesus agrees.
As Jesus is standing there, he sees an old man leading a donkey up from Earth to Heaven. He notices the old man has carpenter’s tools with him. When the old man gets to the gates, Jesus asks him to describe his life and explain why he feels he should be admitted into heaven.
The man explains, “In English, my name would be Joseph, though I’m not from England. I lived a modest life near the Mediterranean Sea, making things out of wood. I’m not remembered very well by most people, but almost everyone has heard of my son. I call him my son, but I was more of a Dad to him, he didn’t really come into this world in the usual way.
I sent my son out to be among the people of the World. He was ridiculed by many, and was even known to associate himself with some pretty unsavory characters, although he himself tried to be honest and perfect. My single biggest reason for trying to get into Heaven is to be reunited with my son. I’ll recognize him by the nails in his hands and feet from when he was on a cross.”
Jesus is awe-struck by the man’s story. He looks into the old man’s eyes and asks, “Father?”
The old man’s face brightens; he looks at Jesus, and asks, “Pinocchio?”