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Worshiping Superheroes

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Warner Brothers studio has proudly announced that for the first time, Batman (to be played by Ben Affleck) would be teamed with his fellow comic book icon, Superman (played by Englishman Henry Cavill). The last Superman movie, Man of Steel, struck many critics—including me—as a misguided dud, but still made $650 million worldwide.

In fact, comic book superheroes from Thor to Spider-Man dominate the movie industry and popular culture more than ever. For millions of fans, superhero worship may serve as replacement for traditional religious worship? Each of these comic book figures comes equipped with supernatural origin stories, godlike powers, plus frequent themes of sacrificial suffering and redemption.

That might also explain why these American superheroes generally draw even more enthusiastic responses from Europe, where religion has experienced more serious declines.

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