I’ve been putting off watching Aquaman. Actually, that’s not quite true – I’ve been avoiding it. I don’t watch that many movies, I only binge on television every so often, and I usually decide that superhero films are bullshit before I give them a chance (save Batman, obviously). Also, after watching every single episode of Entourage, in which the fictional lead lands the role of the aquatic hero, it was really hard for me to accept that the film had actually been made for real.
Aquaman was one of only two choices available on the flight my son and I just took to Majorca, though (the other being A Star Is Born – lovely but not the most upbeat start to a holiday). Jackson watched it on his screen but his was running a few minutes behind mine.
‘Dad, is he going to die?’
‘Daddy, is she going to die?’
‘Dad, is he going to kill himself?’
He, like most children (and my mum), failed to focus his own attention on the storyline and instead chose to expect me to explain everything for him – well perhaps not everything but all the morbid stuff for sure.
‘Daddy, is that little boy the baby they had?’ he asked about the scene in the aquarium where it becomes evident that ‘Aquaboy’ can communicate with sea creatures, as they swim to his defence when faced with bullying schoolchildren.
‘It is, love,’ I said with a smile. ‘And he,’ the offspring of a land dwelling lighthouse owner and a queen of the sea, ‘is going to become Aquaman,’ I continued. ‘And that, Jackson, is one of the reasons why being mixed is so great.’
He looked back at the boy on the screen and gave him a proud smile. Maybe he sensed his own superpower, I thought. A child that moves happily between two cultures with increasing pride and humour, even speaking in a northern accent about one side of the family and in patois about the other.
He’s a wonder to me. My little superhero. Half amazing, half brilliant. One hundred percent himself.