Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark (Iron Man) in a scene from the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron. CNS photo/Marvel

The will to power won’t solve our difficulties

By 
  • May 14, 2015

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and their colleagues wanted to write fiction that would effectively “evangelize the imagination,” accustoming minds, especially of young people, to the Gospel. Accordingly, Tolkien’s Gandalf is a figure of Jesus the prophet and Lewis’ Aslan is a representation of Christ as both sacrificial victim and victorious king. Happily, the film versions of both The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia have been wildly popular all over the world.

Not so happily, Joss Whedon’s Avenger films, the second of which has just appeared, work as a sort of antidote to Tolkien and Lewis, shaping the imaginations of young people with a distinctly different message. Whedon, the auteur behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and many other well-received films and television programs, is a self-avowed atheist who has, on many occasions, signalled his particular dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church.

In the plot of Avengers: Age of Ultron the world is threatened by an artificial intelligence named Ultron who has run amok and incarnated himself in a particularly nasty robotic body. Ultron wants to destroy the human race and has produced an army of robots as his posse.

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