Yesterday we discussed the first half of the January 2, 1988 issue of Solo Avengers number 02651, which illuminated Hawkeye’s sticky backstory. Today we are going to look at the second half of this issue, Captain Marvel: Out of Control and its biblical parallels and messages.
Before she was a superhero, Captain Marvel was part of the New Orleans Harbor Patrol. During that time, she set out to help Professor LeClare investigate Dr. Picaro, who was thought to be developing energy weapons. She accidentally made contact with Picaro’s energy grid and, what should have killed her, turned her into Captain Marvel. (Captain Marvel has the power to transform into any kind of energy.)
I’m going to pause here to note the symbolism between Marvel’s energy baptism and Christian baptism. When we first believe, we are baptized in Spirit—Christ’s power and Spirit coming to reside within us, transforming us into a new creation. But we are also called into water baptism which is symbolic of our uniting with Christ in his death and resurrection. We bury our old self in the water, and raise to new life in Him. Captain Marvel has an energy baptism. She is filled with power; her old life is gone and she steps into her new life.
Back to the story and to the present, Captain Marvel rushes to Switzerland to answer a call by LeClare. However, it is a trick. Picaro is trying to get her there to drain her powers so that he can absorb them and use those powers for his will. When she shoots all her power at him, she nearly kills both herself and Picaro—but she is ready to die to save the world from a power-filled Picaro.
Here again is a pointer toward Christ who chose to die in order to conquer the power of Satan, which is death. Now, while we die physically, spiritually Satan can’t hold us if we choose to invite the power that conquers death into our hearts—Christ’s Spirit.
Captain Marvel chooses not to kill her enemy, but to spare him. She reabsorbs all the energy so that Picaro doesn’t end up vaporized like the mountain they were on. Though he attacked her, endangered her friends, and was clearly driven by evil, she looked on him with mercy.
Christ on the cross had grace and mercy for those who lied, tortured, and nailed him to it. He asked God to forgive them because they didn’t understand what they were doing. Many, including myself at one time, look at God and think of being judged. But, if God is a judgmental deity on a power trip, why send Christ? Why say, “I know you’ve turned your back on my ways; I know you may not love me; but I’m going to make a way for you”? Why would God pay the consequences for our sin, forgive us while we are nailing him to a cross, and continue to love us if he is that harsh, judgmental, deity? My point is, he’s not. God is love. He is grace, mercy, forgiveness. He taught us to love our enemies. To pray for those who persecute us. To give endless chances to those who offend us.
Captain Marvel has gone off to help a resort she smashed into when hit with Picaro’s beam, leaving the doctors behind. They get to talking about it being better if she didn’t have that power. LaClare stands up for her telling them it is no use to wish away what cannot be undone. Rather they should be thankful it is her with the power and not someone else. And,
If humanity could but learn to use its power as well as she has hers… Ah, my friends, there is a wish worth wishing!
Christ had/has great power. He didn’t use it to puff himself up and make his life easy, rather he used his power to serve others; even sacrificing himself in his quest to save all who will let him save them. If only we all would use the power within us to live as Christ lived. Ah, that is a wish worth wishing! And it’s fulfillment starts inside you and me; it starts by making a personal choice to live like Christ in hopes that others will be inspired to do the same.