Iron Man Movies and the Gospel
Iron Man is an immensely popular superhero franchise that enabled the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Its hard science fiction focus connected the comic book source material with the real world, and having fun characters didn’t hurt.
Iron Man 3 in particular was full of gospel parallels. The villains in this movie were injected with nanotechnology that hacked their DNA and allowed them to heal themselves, glowing with energy in the process. Many people blew up when injected, but others survived as nearly immortal beings. Twisted resurrection? Twisted take on the elect? You bet!
The big bad guy’s plan is murky. Is it to inject every human? Is it to topple the government? Kill Tony Stark? Who knows? All that is clear is he is wicked, and his technology is dangerous and unethical. Not only does it make some people blow up, it skirts trans-humanism.
By contrast, Tony is a mere man who uses armored suits. Following the theme of the movie, Tony Stark has become so obsessed with his suits that he has become nothing without them. Throughout the course of the story, he learns to become human again. After curing Pepper of the virus, he even removes the reactor and the shrapnel from his body. Iron Man isn’t the suit of armor—he is Tony. Humanity triumphs over the inhuman.
Humans are not meant to be anything other than human. We are not destined for a “higher destiny.” The incarnation and resurrection of Jesus prove that. Our human bodies will be raised from death and made immortal not by the power of DNA altering nano-machines but by the Spirit of God.
Tony and his issues aside, the really interesting science fiction concepts in the Iron Man movies often get overshadowed with comic book obligations. What if people could inject themselves with nanites and live forever? Would people try, even at the risk of exploding? How would the world religions respond to such knowledge? It is unknown, since the technology is used only by villains and then discarded.
Iron Man 2 faced a similar problem. Tony created an energy source that could power a flying suit of armor, and, one would think, a whole lot of other things. The government wanted it, and he was refusing to give it up. Meanwhile, a villain in Russia succeeded in creating one.
But the government, once they did lay hands on a suit, never put it into mass production. Instead, they threw some extra guns on and called it a day. The Avengers features Tony still pursuing the unlimited energy dream, but then the aliens show up and that all disappears, along with the hard science fiction aspect of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Let us know what you think about the Iron Man movies in the comments!