Gandalf, Aragorn, Superman, Batman—there are Christ figures all over the place in literature and films of all sorts. But do you recall the most stupid Christ figure of all?
I’m talking about Homestar Runner. For those of you who know who know whom I’m talking about: Yes. I am serious.
This is Homestar Runner. Homestarrunner.com is a wonderful website, as I know several TTC co-writers will attest. (It’s still cool, guys. If Super Nintendo is still, so is Homestarrunner.com. Super Nintendo is still cool. So Homestarrunner.com is still cool. Quad erat demonstrandum.)
Homestarrunner.com’s creators used to make a big Halloween cartoon every year. One ‘Ween episode is particularly interesting. I’m talking about . . . (drumroll) . . . Jibblies 2!!!!
The story: A monster known as “The Rocoulm” inhabits a Horrible Painting. He holds a torch. (Strong Bad: “There’s usually this really horrible painting in there of some kind of demon holding a torch. Why is he holding that torch?”)
The Horrible Painting is on the loose on Halloween night! Its lone, creepy inhabitant tells everyone he sees to “Come on in here!”, at which point the person to whom he is speaking is cursed with the jibblies. All except Homestar Runner, who takes the monster at his word, steps on into the painting, and starts chatting with the Rocoulm. The Rocoulm explains that he just wanted someone to come on in so he could entertain them.
Homestar requests that the Rocoulm free his friends from the jibblies. The monster agrees, as long as Homestar stays in the painting “for all eternity.” Homestar agrees. The monster releases them, saying “Then it is done”—echoing John 19. Homestar is now stuck in the Horrible Painting, the eternal guest of the Rocoulm.
Like Christ, Homestar sacrifices himself for his friends. Like Christ, for the sake of his friends he experiences an equivalent of Hell (for Christ, separation from God on the Cross; for Homestar, eternity in the Rocoulm’s demonic lair). Like Christ in the Christus Victor theory of the Atonement, this sacrifice frees its beneficiaries from the power of the devil.
Ok, so he’s not a perfect Christ figure. But neither is Batman. Even the Christ figure in A Tale of Two Cities is not a perfect Christ figure. The only really perfect Christ figure is Jesus Christ. But this guy is still a Christ figure—just an unusually unintelligent one.
As I said before about some other pieces of horror fiction that have theological significance, I’m not saying that the creators of “Jibblies 2” meant to make Homestar into a Christ figure. I am only saying that they succeeded.