We have all heard the phrase “nothing is new under the sun”. A common phrase, right? For those hearing it for the first time it simply means if you are seeing it or hearing it today and it’s new to you, its not. It was said or done before. For those of us who grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, music started to be “sampled” (a lot more) meaning the same beat, vamp, chorus, or the whole instrumental of the song, was used to make a new song but with a familiar beat.
I say all this to say that this was not limited to music. Our favorite stories today used examples from stories told ages ago. To prove it, I have a small list.
(The most obvious one) Superman and Moses
Superman and Moses should meet in a comic… nah, lol. Anyway The parallels between the two are no surprise to some. Superman was created by 2 men (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster). Now in recent years it has come to light that Superman was Siegel trying to cope with the death of his father being shot during a robbery. Loss is tragic and out of loss many songs and stories have been written. NOW, I’m not saying that had nothing to do with Superman’s creation, BUT, Moses and Superman have some pretty noticeable similarities.
Both of them are orphaned children, destined for greatness, sent away from their homes to survive. Moses is found by the Pharaoh’s family, Superman or Cal El, is found by the Kent’s in Kansas. Both men have powers and while Moses lead’s his people out of Egypt Superman leads the justice league (depending on the writer) in the battle against evil.
Wolverine and David
Ok, so for some of you, this is a stretch. After I give you the background of both these men you may see what I am talking about.
David is known for slaying Goliath. His story is so much more than that. David is the youngest of Jesse’s children. He is a Shepard and he plays the Lyre (a little harp). As he grows David played his lyre to soothe the king, slays Goliath, and is later anointed as king. Under his rule he sends a man (Uriah) to the front line to take his wife, his son tries to kill him and take over, he is denied (by God) the task of building a temple for God (remember he inadvertently killed a man to take his wife). In the end he passes on the mantle to Solomon and dies. Through all this he was favored by God. It is said by many bible scholars that he was one of Gods favorites, in spite of his mistakes.
James “Logan” Howlett, also known as Wolverine. He is a marvel character whose tragic back story and life is one of marvels best creations. Born in Canada in the 1800’s he was the sickly, younger half brother of Dog Logan. Years later James’s powers would manifest. He accidentally killed his father and ran off with Dog’s love interest (it was one sided, she did not love Dog). Over the years James would grow into a man (of course), and wander the wilderness. After a couple of attempts from strangers to sa (use that word loosely, you have to fully read his back story to get that reference), some wars, black ops missions, weapon X program, and a slew of tramatic events, logan finally found his place in the X-men. NOW, his story does not end there. He later finds out he has a slew of kids and clones (who also have clones), alternate realitity kids (it comics, dont try to rationalize it, just accept it), and issues with the X-men. He has a falling out with Cyclops (Scott Summers) and starts a school of his own. After he “dies” (remember its a comic. Shadowcat (Kitty Pride), takes over as head master of the school.
Ok now the comparison. Both David and Logan are favored by a higher power. David by God and Wolverine by various top level government officials, powerful mutants, and many other hero teams (like the avengers). Both men had a hard childhood. Both men find constant turmoil in their lives and in their families. David lusted after Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife). Logan lusted after Jean Grey (Scott Summers wife). Both men had one of their kids try and kill them. Both men had the mantle of a leader or king on their lives. Both men died at the end of their stories. Well I guess this is where they differ. Wolverine did eventually come back. (Know one dies in comics)
Jesus and Nate Grey and Cable (marvel X-Men)
Jesus, The Son of Man, Yaweh, The Son of God, Prophet, etc…. He goes by many and is well known by not just christians but even historians. His story helped birth modern day Christmas and the way we celebrate it. It’s a classic story. Mary is told by an angel she will give birth to Jesus. Joseph had not yet “laid” with her, so he had to be told by an angel that the child she is carrying is God’s son. He takes her on an extended vacation, cause how is he going to explain she pregnant and its Gods kid. Mary gives birth in a manger.
As Jesus grows so does his feats or works and miracles. He turned water into wine, fed 5000 with a basket of bread and fish, healed sicknesses, raised the dead, and guided the lost. He knew that eventually he would be betrayed and die for the sins of man. They crucified him, put him in a tomb, he rose from the dead, wrecked shop in hell (took the keys from satan), visited his disciples, and went home to heaven. Truly a bad dude ;-).
Nathaniel Grey, X-Man, was grown in a laboratory from the genetic material Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Scott (Like joseph) did not know about Nates existence till later. Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister) used their DNA to make him to be a Savior and overthrow Apocalypse. After an interesting publication history (His own solo comic, his time with the New mutants, and various other exploits) he now actually looks and dresses like Jesus (read age of X-man 2019, sssooooooooo good). He hand picked certain mutants as “disciples” and made a world (his version of utopia). Spoiler alert for Age of X-Man.
In the end he “dies”, rises again in a space of just, white, like an empty canvas. The only thing there is a, like, mini home and he sits and plans with ( a good) Magneto.
Nathan Christopher Charles Summers, or Cable, was considered the Messiah of the mutants in the future. In his future… oh… my bad…. Let me give you some background. I will try to make it less confusing for you. Here we go.
Cable was born in the future (3000’s or farther). His father is Scott Summers, his mother is a clone of Jean Grey ( Madelyne Pryor-Summers aka The Goblin Queen, yup, it gets crazier). She was a clone of Jean Grey after Jean was supposedly dead. Jean came back (as she always does), crazy good story, blah, blah, in the end Scott and OG Jean get back together. They are whisked away to the future by their super powerful daughter to raise Cable. OK, now in his dystopian future, Apocalypse rules with an iron hand, Cable fights him for freedom and liberty of human and mutant alike. He is literally called the Messiah of Clan Askani.
Well, that was a lot, I know, but I wanted you to have a clear background and see my points. All three of them are considered Messiahs to a group of people. All three of them wield so much power and use it for the good of humankind. They all fight against the highest of evil, Jesus (Devil) Nate and Cable (Apocalypse). They make miracles happen and eventually all three die for a purpose bigger than themselves and ascend to a higher plane. Minus Cable, he got shot, Looper style. (if you don’t know the reference see the movie, Bruce Willis is in it, reason enough)
If you like what you read let me know in the comments. I can definitely write about other heroes and the bible like Batman and David, Ozymandias (watchmen) and Lucifer, The Robins (Batman) and Joseph, that might be a stretch, LOL. I also have some ideas on some Myth Comparisons.
Thanks to the Bible, Marvel and DC Comics Fandom Wikia, and years of reading.