Lights in the Dark

Take a look at this reflection on I Am Legend from Voyage Comics, readers:

Light up the darkness: Christian lessons from ‘I am Legend’

Sci-Fi / By Andrew Garofalo / 15 minutes of reading

I Am Legend is a post-apocalyptic action sci-fi thriller based on a novel written in 1954 by Richard Matheson. Matheson’s story first came to the big screen in 1964’s The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price and then again in 1971’s The Omega Man starring Charlton Heston before Will Smith played the role of the protagonist, Robert Neville, in 2007.

I Am Legend has withstood the test of time. It has been around for over 60 years and it earned $585 million at the box office in 2007, but why? What makes this story so appealing to audiences? To find the answer, we explore what the world was like each time the story has been told and retold over the years.

In 1954, when Matheson’s book was published, the first two parts of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy epic, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers were released, the Supreme Court held in Brown v. Board of Education that laws segregating blacks from whites in schools violated the Fourteenth Amendment, and the American Communist party was outlawed in the United States.

In 1964, when The Last Man on Earth was released, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize, a race riot broke out in Philadelphia after allegations of police brutality surfaced, the Warren Commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in John F. Kennedy’s assassination, and Ronald Reagan delivered a historical speech for the Barry Goldwater campaign which became the cornerstone of his own political career and launched modern political conservatism.

In 1971, when The Omega Man was released, NASA launched Apollo 14 and 15, the eighth and ninth manned missions to the Moon, Joe Frazier fought Muhammad Ali for the first time, the Supreme Court decided Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education which dealt with the issue of integrating blacks and whites in schools, and the Twenty-sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 at a time when young men were being drafted to fight the war in Vietnam.

In 2007, when Will Smith’s I Am Legend was released, the iPhone was unveiled by Apple, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, multiple suicide bombs were detonated by insurgents in Iraq during the Second Gulf War, and the subprime mortgage and financial crisis of 2008, which resulted at least partly because banks made loans to unqualified borrowers to avoid allegations of racism in their lending practices, loomed on the horizon.

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