Tuesday, 11 June 2013


Harry with John Florance at BBC Radio Leicester
A week ago, when I was at BBC Radio Leicester recording Thought for the Day with John Florance. I suggested that he get in my son Harry to fill one of this week's slots, for broadcast shortly before the release of Man of Steel on Friday. John is a fellow comic book fan, so I didn’t have much trouble persuading him, particularly after I referred him to Harry’s blog.

So here we are this afternoon at the station, where Harry is recording his piece, for Jonathan Lampon's breakfast show, Thursday 13 June - and here's how it sounded on the day:
JL: Time now for Thought for the Day; and with his thought for the day, we welcome 13-year old Harry Ballentyne, who blogs on comic books and super heroes.
HB: Good morning.
There’s a lot of excitement gathering about the upcoming Superman movie, Man of Steel., being released tomorrow, on June 14. This is going to be a major film and undoubtedly good for Superman, but what a lot of people don’t realise is: How relevant Superman’s core themes are in our current era.
Cover of Action Comics no. 1 "Superman, Champion of the Oppressed" 
When he first appeared, in 1938’s Action Comics number 1, Superman was quite different from the hero we know today. Before he was taking on powerful super-villains and alien species, Superman was dealing with more recognisably human issues. In fact, in the first issue, Superman deals with exploitative bosses, corrupt politicians and domestic violence, all topics that have returned to the news in big ways recently.
In the new movie, Superman’s father, Jor-El, says: “You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will stumble, they will fall; but in time they will join you in the sun.” What this shows is that Superman was sent to save us from all the evil that we create, to teach us to step above all of that, and become good.
That raises the question, do real heroes solve all our problems for us, or do they teach us how to solve them for ourselves? 
Man of Steel is released tomorrow, and with the issues that Superman first fought still with us, maybe it’s time for the last son of Krypton to truly shine again.
JL: And that was today's Thought for the Day with 13-year old Harry Ballentyne, who blogs on comic books and also super heroes.

Follow Harry on Twitter: @CrimsonSquire

Read Harry’s blog about the world of comics, with reviews, interviews and news:  Crimson Squire Comics

Harry's Thought for the Day is available on BBC Radio Leicester's iPlayer Radio (from 42 min 46 sec in), till 12 midnight (GMT+1), Wednesday 19 June.

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