Went to see The Avengers when it opened on Friday for a couple reasons. My friend Patrice Rittenhouse was an extra in the film and it was a rush to get to see it with her and some other friends. Very exciting! And I’m a die hard Silver Age comics geek who was dying to see my favorite super-team on the big screen. Just a couple of quibble points too insignificant to mention compared to everything done right with this movie! Totally enjoyable.
And then in the afterglow, I get to thinking (as I sometimes do), comics geeks are a rare breed when it comes to appreciating the incomprehensible. We want to believe in people who can fly, men who can cling to walls and women who can deflect projectiles with magic wristbands. We willingly suspend disbelief when it comes to a universe of mutants and androids and vigilantes. We understand the immeasurable power of Galactus, Darkseid, and the Beyonder. We will find ways to explain that a man could exist frozen in a chunk of ice at the bottom of the ocean, that other worlds can be accessed with the energy of a tesseract, that millions of years of creation can be accelerated into seven days.
Oops. Wait a minute. What was that last one?
My grandmother used to say that children of darkness were smarter than the children of light. See, those in the dark will struggle to find a means of illumination, whereas those already in the light will just cling to the light and get pretty pissed about being challenged as to its nature.
I don’t believe there are irreconcilable differences between those who are science-minded and those who are magic-minded, because time has proven that magic really is only science that hasn’t been explained yet. Lightning was magic, electricity is science; a rainbow was magic, a prism is science; flight was magic, flight is science. Isn’t it possible that miracles unexplained are science we don’t yet have explanations for? Science theorizes the world took millions of years to be created, how hard is it for someone who acknowledges the supremacy of God to accept that one with ultimate know-how and engineering could condense the process into six days and then take a breather? Once it took two professors 2 years to build a computer that weighed 30 tons, and look at the cell phone in your hand today.
Can a human ever achieve the comprehension and mastery of science that God commands? Doubtful. From my perspective I acknowledge a couple things: primarily that there is a God, because I find it completely arrogant in a system where complexity of life forms exist in a pyramid to think that humans are the culmination; and secondly, that humans lack the capacity to function at a high enough level in their current state.
So it’s the comics geeks, even more so than the scifi or fantasy geeks, who can see the possibilities of Biblical truth. We know worlds where Thor and Hercules exist with Spider-Man and Ultron. Elijah taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot? We know teleportation and tractor beams. Samson, pillars of fire, the witch of Endor, it all happened. We just don’t know how, exactly. Not yet. And for those fixated on the religion of religion screaming, “It’s not science, God is supernatural!” let me say, yes, God is above nature. So far above he commands it. In ways we can’t begin to understand. But he does.
©2012 Doug Tennant, all rights reserved