Series Disclaimer: The writers of this series do not endorse everything found in these movies. Please use discretion on what is beneficial for you or your family to watch. Our hope is to help us look at the movies (and all of life) through the eyes of faith!
(Also, Spoiler Alert: if you haven’t seen these movies, we will give away a lot of what happens!)
Over the course of my life I have not typically been a big superhero movie guy. Not only did they seem formulaic and cliché, but there usually wasn’t much of a human story involved. It was all about superpowers and special effects, which is like cotton candy—it tastes good for a brief time, but doesn’t satisfy. When my friends started telling me that I needed to check out the Marvel Avenger series, I was skeptical. However, my friends told me the story arc of the whole series was something bigger than your typical superhero movies, so I jumped in. They were right.
At the end of the day, the story of the Avengers is especially the story of Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man. Tony is the son of an ultra-wealthy inventor/entrepreneur/philanthropist who had a vision to change the world for good through technology. Tony, however, has issues because of the busyness of his father and because of his own pride. Pride may be an understatement. Tony has an ego the size of the Milky Way. He has some good in him, but largely lives for himself. He is a brilliant inventor, but puts his brains to use mostly for the creation and sales of weapons to pad his enormous bank account and to “keep the world safe.”
But Tony has a crisis of belief. Through a series of events, Tony realizes that his plan to keep the world safe is actually contributing to its violence. Tony’s heart for others starts to awaken, but he is still mistaken in his efforts to “fix” the world. He still thinks that the solution is to create better and better technology to protect everyone from evil.
Over the arc of the story, Tony’s ego, his selfishness, and his ideals are challenged and redirected again and again by his friends, his personal failures, and other life circumstances. He realizes the importance of working together. He sees the essential nature of the everyday person doing every day, average heroic deeds. By the end of the story arc, Tony has been broken and remade over and over until he finally lays down all he holds dear for the sake of love.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 10:39)
The Gospel is more than a mental assent to the forgiveness of sins offered to us in Christ. It is putting that faith into action by following the call of Christ to lay down our lives—completely—for love.
The gospel of the Avengers echoes that call.