Monday, September 14, 2015

The Official Handbook of the [Marvel] Universe

Fundy Legalist Preacher:
"It began with an Abomination,
brethern! An Abomination!!"
Me: "Like yo' mama, right?"
It was a geek's dream in 1982. It was a thing of beauty and order. Outside of a live action film, this was the best thing any Marvelite had ever hoped for. We poured for hours and hours over every single issue.

It was sacred text to us. It was The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

The brainchild of "Big Jim" Shooter, it was chock full of dense text, engineering specs and layouts [the Avenger's Quinjet, Avengers Mansion and Iron Man's armor were my personal favorites], origins and bios, legal status and know relatives. It settled many long-standing arguments between Marvel's "True Believers" about who was stronger or how powers worked.

O.K. - honestly, it caused some too, but I digress. ;)

This series may - just may - have been the seed that allowed the many superhers role-playing games and movies to be made. I know, strange idea, but this series sealed in our minds the idea that Marvel operated in a cohesive, "real" universe.

In our role-playing games we used these as our reference to check abilities and how to properly model characters. This added more and more product and documentation for geeks and so... over time... when someone just thought about a film or what should character "X" be able to do, the answer was already given.

Now I am going to go out on a real stretch here. Ready?

We, in the Real World, also have an Official Handbook to Our Universe.

It is full of bios, detailed layout via description, powers, abilities and known relatives. It has over 40 authors, was written and compiled over a thousand years, covers history on three continents in three languages and deals with superhuman men, a demi-god and God Himself.

It is the Holy Bible, of course.

You weren't that surprised, were you?

What may surprise you is how many times men have tried to wipe it out. How many prideicted the end of it as a foolish collection of fairy tales.

Yet every single year, it is the best-selling "book" in the world - though more accurately is a volume of 66 books.

Jesus said something peculiar, something rather bold. Like a guarantee for our universe.

He said it in Matthew 24:35 and it's also recorded in Luke 21:33. He said:

"Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will never pass away."

After twenty centuries, it is still holding true, so his track record is spotless. How could he know this?

Well, you see Jesus was not just an entry in our universe.

He's the author and editor and publisher.

And with those three titles, he knew when it was coming out, what it would say and how long it would be in print.

That verse alone, coupled with the fact it was written nearly twenty centuries ago, causes my credence in the Bible as the Word of God to go up several notches.

I hope you think so too, and ask Him to make you an entry in his book.

Amen.

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