Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh and lots of super pals

Oh, yes, True Believers, it is time for Matt's Nativity.

A little background: When I lived in North Carolina, Mom sent me some Christmas stuff for my first Christmas away from home, It had decorations and a box that said "Gram thinks you should have one of these." In it was a real simple nativity, wood carvings of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I am not sure I started that year, but I realized I had plenty of action figures to fill out the nativity. The first time, I think my various toys were assigned parts, like my Borg foot soldier was one of the three kings. Now, though, the toys themselves are the visitors to the manger, and one of my favorite parts of Christmas is setting up the nativity and telling everyone why.

Here are the ones from 2007 and 2008.

This is a unique edition in several ways. First, Jesus. Mary and Joseph are portrayed by Woodstock, Lucy and Charlie Brown instead of an actual creche representation. Charlie Brown and pals were my Christmas present from my little sister. They are pretty awesome, though, Lucy's headdress is a little wacky. The Peanuts folks are about the only action figures I got this year. I got a DC Crisis three-pack for my birthday, but it isn't opened. Not that I want to keep it well-preserved; I just do not have anywhere to put the figures. All the visitors to the manger are from my niece and nephew. This is another reason moving in with them will be awesome when the house is done next year: They have great toys!

But enough above that; let's see who went to Bethlehem this year and why:

From left to right, after Charlie Brown, Woodstock and Lucy comes X-Man Jean Grey, who is actually my sister's. I know this because I gave it to her for her wedding. It was part of a Marvel Famous Couples two-pack with Cyclops. With that lustrous red hair, Jean Grey is clearly a modern-day representation of Mary Magdalene, who normally does not appear in the birth narratives. Jean Grey has also died and returned from the dead more than I remember so clearly she will be good for Jesus to hang around with.

Animated series Batman represents Job, a man who suffered mightily but didn't curse God. Batman's parents are killed in front of him, he dedicates his life to fighting crime and what does he get? That goofy '60s TV show. Incidentally, I have written about it before but I have always disliked the end of the Job story; God asks Job things like this: "Have you an arm like that of God, or can you thunder with a voice like his?" And Job backs down. I believe Job is right. Question away!

Sampson was strong because he always had hair. He was also a real dope about women. Delilah kept asking him how he could be bound. He'd tell her some lie. She'd do it and call the Philistines to get Sampson. Then after he kicked some Philistine tail, Delialah'd cal him a jerk and ask again. Three times, this happened. Then he told her it was the hair. Yeesh! She better have been hot. Hopefully, Juggernaut, the next figure, is not as dopey. With his helmet, which is missing, he is almost invulnerable. But without it, half-brother Charles Xavier an zap him with a little mind slap and put him down.

Hulk is just there to smash, let's be honest. Herod's soldiers are in deep.

Hulk's cute cousin She-Hulk is sitting next to him. (C'mon, there is nothing wrong with being green!) She-Hulk is also a lawyer. That would make like a scribe or something back then, but we know she was not a jerk like most of them. She is there to provide the required birth certificate so if people question whether Jesus was real, or whether he was born in Bethlehem or a terrorist training camp in Kenya, She-Hulk's paperwork will settle the issue.

Finally, looming over everyone is Iron Man. The button on his breastplate causes him to speak and his hand to light up as he shoots off repulsor blasts. Unfortunately, I could not get this in the photo. Iron Man's alter ego is a womanizing drinker, and at first blush he does not seem like a good fit for the Nativity. But he clearly recalls Biff, Christ's childhood pal, who Christopher Moore wrote about so well. I was sure I had written about my love of this book but I guess not. Suffice it to say, I think Heaven will be much better a place with people like Chris Moore and Biff, and I would not want to deny Jesus a good pal so Iron Man (I-run Man, according to my niece) is there.

That's it. A small crew this year. Next year, I'll be in a new house with all my figure back and they are all coming!


Anonymous said...

Inspiring as ever. I added a terra cotta warrior to my nativity this year.

Matt Trott said...

Nice. Is it an original?

Jim Guy said...

Just so I'm clear on this, most scribes are jerks or most lawyers are jerks?

Matt Trott said...

Scribes totally. I got no beef with lawyers -- love 'em.

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