By Bob Black


DC Comics made a big deal (and perhaps made a great deal) out of the death and resurrection of Superman, the original superhero. There were those who posited Christian parallels. And remember all those pseudo-Supermen? Well, what about longtime Marvel Comics superhero Pope John Paul II, whose Christian credentials are explicit and impeccable? He will of course be canonized (consider the miracle of ridding Poland of Communism) but that will take years—the Vatican is the world's oldest bureaucracy—although it will fast-track him as he fast-tracked Mother [sic] Theresa. Publication deadlines impend. And comic book readers have limited attention spans.

While the Catholic Church slowly and laboriously fakes miracles for attribution to the Polack Pontiff, I suggest that Marvel Comics, which already has some Papal market share, become proactively Popish. Following the Superman scenario, as set forth more fully in the Book of Revelations, a plethora of sin-fighting antipopes will arise, each claiming to be the real J2P2. The first one has already appeared, predicting "a short reign," and by the look of him he too is already dead. This will make for a few issues of theologically suspenseful action.

And then the Polish Pope will rise from his tomb, like Jesus, only better dressed. The Shoes of the Fisherman are nowadays from Gucci. He had a wardrobe a diva would die for. Invigorated by his otherworldly rest—which likewise did wonders for the man who worked wonders, Jesus H. Christ—the Pope Who Won't Stay Dead will resume his crusade against women (other than nuns), gays (unless they are pedophile priests), humanists, scientists, radicals, atheists, Freemasons (unless they belong to Propaganda Due), etc.

A superhero needs supervillains just as the state needs criminals. The Caped (well, actually it's more like a frock) Crusader will never lack for them. The Polish Prelate is uniquely authorized (for he walks in the sandals of Saint Peter, fisher of men) to manufacture fresh categories of sinners as older ones get used up. If the supply of witches has dried up, demonize Planned Parenthood. Stem cell research: nano-genocide. No Child Left Behind, and no child's behind left without Fatherly attention.

Superman has been around—except for his short, refreshing nap in the grave—for sixty-seven years. Why should not the Polish Pope—soon to be certified as possessing saintly, supernatural powers—likewise, after a short, refreshing nap in the grave, walk the Earth again, chastising the ungodly, still the champion of the weak and the oppressed, as well as of pedophile priests, anti-abortion terrorists, tax exemptions, and church bingo?


Bob Black
P.O. Box 3142
Albany, New York 12203
April 2005