|Ziggy the Dragon-Slayer|
I have had a super time staying with my fabulous family. We have played amazing card games, walked Ziggy the wonderful dog, eaten incredible food and drunk marvellous wine.
And together we have watched three superhero films: Iron Man 2, The Incredibles 2 and Spider-Man: Homecoming. They are all classic tales of good versus evil, of the fight for what is right.
But for all their heroism and special powers, the superheroes are portrayed as ordinary people with human failings. Iron Man is depressed, reckless and a drunkard; Mr Incredible struggles to cope with fatherhood; Spider-Man is naive and conceited.
The villains meanwhile have their good points. Vanko acts out of misguided loyalty to his late father; The Screenslayer was traumatised by her father’s murder; The Vulture is a man who took his responsibilities to provide for and to protect his family too far.
By coincidence, ‘Heroes and Villains’ is the theme for the current 1500 word short story competition being run by Jesmond Library, closing date 29 November 2018.
Time spent relaxing with family is an excellent thing - it needs no excuse and is never wasted. But with this coming competition in mind, I can also claim that a weekend immersed in superhero films is vital research.