There are books written about the similarities between the Star Wars movies and the Bible. The Gospel According to the World’s Greatest Superhero even explored the parallels between Jesus Christ and Superman. Books exist talking about how J.R.R. Tolkien used the Bible to fuel his imagination while writing his Lord of the Rings novels.
The world of Batman is one I never thought to seek Biblical comparisons to. When a friend of mine told me about a book entitled God on the Streets of Gotham coming out on the eve of the release of The Dark Knight Rises, I knew I had to read it. Batman is such a dark character and his universe is rooted in despair and vengeance on the surface. I was beyond intrigued and wanted to know how author Paul Asay would tie the iconic super hero to the Bible.
First off, Asay is a self-professed Batman fan. He spent his childhood watching Super Friends. The first coloring book he can remember is a Batman one. He’s also the associate editor at Plugged In, which is a website that explores how pop culture traverses Spiritual issues through movie reviews and the likes.
Asay digs deep into the mythology and characters in Batman’s universe. He doesn’t skim across the surface cherry picking little nuggets to fit his Christian agenda while justifying his obvious obsession with the Dark Knight. His writing is well researched and cross-referenced. It’s not perfect by any means and certain hardcore Batman fanatics might find some errors in his work. I found his viewpoints fascinating. He mainly concentrates on the Christopher Nolan films as source material.
The author delves into subjects such as what each super villain the Caped Crusader goes up against stands for. Good and timely examples of these are Bane and Catwoman from The Dark Knight Rises. Asay compares Bane to addiction and Catwoman to amorality. He also delves into the parallels between the “weapons of spiritual warfare” and Batman’s tools and costume.
As a Christian, I found God on the Streets of Gotham to be an entertaining and educational read. You do need a basic knowledge of the Bible or an interest in it to fully comprehend what author Asay is trying to communicate to readers. If you are a youth director or Sunday School teacher for a church this would be perfect to use as study material.