Toast, Marmalade and Superheroes

Friday mornings are the toughest ones to drag myself out of bed. I don’t know if that’s how everyone is but being so close to the weekend yet still having the full day of work ahead is tough. Perhaps it’s by the time Friday comes around I have had a week of terrible sleep and I am ready for my Saturday morning lay in. 

I remember back when I was a young warthog and I would get up as soon as my eyes opened on a weekend so I could watch the Saturday morning cartoons at my Nan’s. She would be making breakfast and my Grandad would be reading through the two papers he bought. They’re great memories but getting up that early on a Saturday is ludicrous to me now. I still watch cartoons, except now they’re Archer, Bobs Burgers and Rick and Morty. Not quite as innocent, or frankly as good, as The Batman Animated series from the 90s.

Yesterday I was wandering around London and ducked into a comic bookstore to look for something that had been in my head all week since game developer WB Montreal teased a Batman: Court of Owls game. I have heard of the story line, but I’d never read it, so I wanted to dig it out. There is something about Comic Book stores, the huge range of front covers all with their own intriguing stories takes me back to be a kid picking out which action figure I wanted. I assumed back then I would grow out of the superhero genre, that was just how it was. It never happened. As I grew up the X-men franchise launched and took the colourful 90’s series and transformed it into a leather clad group of serious adults, or at least that how it felt to a 7-year-old.

Then came Spiderman, again showing me a “serious” and grown up take on the TV show I watched. Neither movie holds up now as well as the animated TV shows do, and neither of them has an amazing theme tune like the shows, but they both cemented superheroes in my head as a legit genre. I got into my early teens right around the time that Batman Begins was out and we were in the build up to the Dark Knight.

I feel like superhero movies grew up with me and my generation. Sure, we had Superman in the 70’s, and some meh batman films in the 90’s but they came of age in the 2000’s and matures in the late 00’s. By the time my school year was 18, going out into the working world, Superhero films were the biggest franchise going. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was building up to its first crossover with The Avengers and the world is now obsessed with stories based on Comic Books, regardless of it being a well-known character. As an example, in my opinion the best TV show so far this year is The Boys on Amazon, and that’s based on a graphic novel.

There are people out there that still think Superhero films are for kids. It’s all explosions and frantic action that you can’t keep track of is an argument I have heard. Too unrealistic and far-fetched is another. Now I would never argue Thor swinging him hammer around and flying about is realistic. But a man who has lost his mother, father, brother and still is there trying to do his best and not let it affect him is something a lot of people can relate to.

The colours and the costumes and the action is all escapism. It’s mostly window dressing for the actual story. People enjoy watching Captain America throw his shield around. There is something awesome about Superman punching his way through a building. It’s things you would never see in real life, around a story you can relate to. Superman seems like the hardest one to relate to but to me he is someone who feels alone regardless of how many people are around him. A feeling I have had myself before.

To be honest I woke up this morning with every intention of writing about the new Netflix show Criminal. I just started typing and this is where we got to. I will write about that show another time because it’s worth watching. This post, as much as I ever have a purpose to write, is just me trying to explain why I am still as excited to read The Court of Owls now, at 26-years-old, as I was when I was 6 waking up at my Nan’s and charging downstairs to watch X-men with my two slices of toast, one with Marmalade, one with Dairylea cheese.

Have a great weekend!



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