Below are reviews and Christian reflection of comics that has the theme of Darwinism. I’ve organized it from the subtle to the more explicit.
Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 1
Mark Miller. Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 1. New York, NY: Marvel Publishing Incorporated, April 26th, 2006. 336 pp.
This year I started doing something new as an adult: read comics and graphic novels. I picked this up because the X-Men were characters that I enjoyed as a kid. I thought if I were to read about the X-Men, I pick up volume one to read as the starting point. Overall it was good to see the origin of the X-Men as retold in this series. In terms of storytelling it was okay—not too bad and not too corny.
Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 2
Mark Miller. Ultimate X-Men: Ultimate Collection Book 2. New York, NY: Marvel Publishing Incorporated, August 15th, 2007. 336 pp.
After reading through book one in one sitting, I thought I pick up volume two. After reading this volume however I felt I had enough of the X-Men—for now. I felt there was too much teenage talks of feelings and the characters were emotionally immature. There’s were some subtle theme that I didn’t appreciate concerning God and evolution. After reading book two I decided against picking up book three.
Christian Reflection of Ultimate X-Men Ultimate Collection Book 1 & 2:
While it is not a full blown comic that pushes radically an agenda one does see how comics tells us of the time of what is and isn’t politically correct. The hint at Darwinism is a case in point. It assumes that as a given. Mutants themselves are the next stage of humanity.
H.G. Wells’ The Chronic Argonauts
Jason Quinn. H.G. Well’s The Chronic Argonauts. Bloomfield, MI: New Baby Productions, July 10th, 2013. 112 pp.
This graphic novel is based upon H.G. Well’s 1888 book titled “The Chronic Argonauts.” H.G. Wells is the author who is most famous for The Time Machine. This work has the same dark and enigmatic feel as The Time Machine. The drawing definitely has a steampunk, late 1800s feel to it, with the imagination of how technology would be like in the future according to Victorian sensibilities. The story is about an Englishman name Ulysses Nebogipfel who comes to a small town called Llyddwdd in Welsh and provoke the suspicions of the townsfolk for witchcraft because of his strange behavior and secrecy. The town pastor, a Reverend Elijah Cook is more sensible and tries to calm the people but when the people of the town started gathering to attack the stranger at his home the Reverend Cook proceeds ahead of the gang to warn him. As a result of a scuffle with the crowd Ulysses flee in his time machine with Reverend Cook as a reluctant guest 2125 years into the future. The time traveler looks forward to a golden age beyond his own time in which superstitions and religions are no more, where people are progressive but is shocked with what he finds. The intriguing thing about the time machine is that it can travel in time but not space and thus always lands at the same spot. The two men find a time that is frightening and deeply religious in their worship of a man. After some adventure they travel even deeper into time in the year 117902 where they meets creatures that are a newly evolved species that’s mix of men and Martians. Here too they face trials, misunderstanding and danger. Overall I found this to be an interesting story and its neat to see this story coming from the mind of a young H.G. Wells before his classic The Time Machine.
We live in a day of the “New Atheists” who call themselves “Bright” and is dogmatically optimistic that atheism and Neo-Darwinism will produce a better world. But this general outlook isn’t universally shared by Darwinists throughout history. H.G. Wells is an example of a Darwinist who understands that the mechanisms of Darwin’s evolution doesn’t necessarily promise us a better world. One sees that in his classic The Time Machine and also in The Chronic Argonauts. In talking about the future the time traveler thinks it will be a golden age but what makes the future a golden age? The time traveler describes the golden age to the Reverend as “A time when man has outgrown the need for the superstitious nonsense you preach in chapel…what need will man have for religion in an age where he has discovered the divinity within himself?” As soon as they get to the future the time traveler right away felt there was some kind of mistake which the Reverend asks, “”What was it you were saying about having no need for religion?” It turns out that man is still religious in the future, although the religion is different and tyrannical in form. Even as the time traveler undermine the religion of the future he discovers that he causes more harm than good, and that the religious structure and ways of the future was meant to protect humans from the outside invaders of Martians. Travelling yet deeper into the future we see this supposedly enlightened man who has no need for religion causing still further problems. Which leads the readers to ask, “Is man without religion any better?” No doubt among the charcters the time traveler is probably the one I least like and I’m sure that’s true with other readers. H.G. Wells’ work illustrate the truth that man is inherently religious. As Romans 1 teaches man, even in rejecting Christianity ends up still making some kind of idols of creatures and creation. Moreover, if the future is directed by the impersonal mechanism of evolution there is no promise of greater progress or rise of human dignity, etc. Wells gets that, and his works raises this dilemma if one reads it in the historical light of Wells and his contemporary early Darwinists. Unguided evolution not only does not ensure progress in the future but also destroys the foundation for human knowledge. Although it is beyond the scope of this review, those interested should read what Alvin Plantinga and Cornelius Van Til has to say.