Monday, January 27, 2020

Heroes and Villains: The Timeless Appeal of Marvel and Myth

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Bishop James S. Wall
Bishop James Wall is the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gallup.

Question: do you think you could take on Bishop Wall in a nerdy trivia challenge? Well don’t place your bets just yet, because as it turns out, he’s been a huge fan of the Marvel Universe ever since the time he used a childhood paper route to pay for comic books. 

But the appeal of heroes and villains reaches back to when the first humans told stories around the nightly fire. The blind poet Homer composed stories of Odysseus and his 20 year journey back home. Aesop the slave entertained children with fables. The Scandinavian hero Beowulf influenced Tolkien, whose stories of Middle Earth are still familiar titles on the best seller lists today.

In this episode, Bishop Wall takes a look at his favorite Marvel superheroes and the timeless lessons and truths that we can take away from their arcs. From The Avengers to the X-Men, the big screen to Netflix, the Marvel Universe often reminds us why the struggle of heroes is so important.

(Warning: some minor spoilers are discussed in this episode)


Discussion points: 

0:55 – Bishop Wall’s personal journey as a Marvel fan, from childhood to now
02:30 – How the explosion of superhero movies and tv shows rekindled his interest
06:55 – Myths and superheroes
08:38 – Bishop Wall’s favorite superhero(es)
11:15 – Why are superhero teams (Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy) so popular?
13:00 – Saints are not superheroes
17:50 – Catholic superheroes, and Catholicism in Hollywood
20:30 – Every good superhero needs a good adversary: memorable villains
25:40 – Sure, it’s a story based on a comic book, but there are often heavy themes
27:05 – If he had to narrow it down, what are Bishop Wall’s top three Marvel adaptations?

Useful Links:


Send us your questions!

Do you have a question for Bishop Wall? Leave it in the comments below, send us a message on Facebook, or email us at [email protected].

You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes right here.

Thanks for listening!

Featured image credit:

Featured outro music:  Sergey Cheremisinov




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