Blogger Recognition Award For The Comic Vault

Since starting The Comic Vault in 2017, writing about comics and pop culture has given me a sense of purpose. I’m able to write about topics that I’m passionate about, so it’s always good to receive acknowledgement that my writing is connecting with people on a personal level. The Comic Vault has been tagged with The Blogger Recognition Award by In Asian Spaces and I’m grateful for the nomination! Continue reading “Blogger Recognition Award For The Comic Vault”

Black Knight: The Fall of Dane Whitman Review: A Hero’s Guide To Coping With Addiction

Addiction takes many forms. Some people chase the rush of drugs, while others numb themselves with alcohol. Traditionally, addiction is seen as an internal battle, but what happens when the source of someone’s fixation becomes a burden that they need to take on for the greater good? That is the case with Dane Whitman. In Frank Tieri’s Black Knight: The Fall of Dane Whitman, the titular character needs to confront his addiction in the shape of a mystical sword called The Ebony Blade. Continue reading “Black Knight: The Fall of Dane Whitman Review: A Hero’s Guide To Coping With Addiction”

What Makes Devil May Cry’s Vergil A Modern-Day Samurai?

Samurai and the code of Bushido are entwined with the soul of Japan. The image of a stoic, katana wielding warrior is famous throughout pop culture, highlighting the timelessness of figures from feudal Japan like Minamoto no Yoshitsune and Tomoe Gozen, fighters who embodied all the virtues of Bushido.

Many fictional characters have been modelled on the image of the samurai, with one of the most interesting being Vergil from the Devil May Cry franchise. Stoic, powerful and complex, Vergil is a modern-day samurai that has redefined the term for a new generation. Continue reading “What Makes Devil May Cry’s Vergil A Modern-Day Samurai?”

Investigating The Rise Of The Ronin Identity

Within the superhero community it’s common for identities to be passed on or for characters to share the same code name. This might happen because a superhero has outgrown their previous moniker or because they’ve undergone an attitude change. A recent example can be seen from Clint Barton in Avengers: Endgame. Barton gave up the Hawkeye name in favour of a darker persona called Ronin.

Throughout the history of comics, the Ronin costume has been worn by several characters. I’m looking into how the identity has evolved over time and what it has come to represent to the people who’ve used it. Continue reading “Investigating The Rise Of The Ronin Identity”

An Introduction To Yamato Magazine

Japan has earned a reputation for being one of the most unique countries in the world. Countless tourists flock to discover its wonders, while citizens carry out traditions that have been in place for thousands of years. My personal interest in Japan stems from pop culture, anime, samurai and food. The culture has inspired me enough that I’ve decided to start a Japan-centric publication called Yamato Magazine. Read on to discover the kind of content that will be featured! Continue reading “An Introduction To Yamato Magazine”

More Than A Supporting Character: The Evolution Of Amiko Kobayashi

Within the world of comics, it’s common for well-known superheroes to have a supporting cast. They are the characters who provide insight into the personal life of a superhero and what drives them on a human level. Wolverine’s supporting cast is made up of many intriguing characters and one of the few who’ve received genuine development is Amiko Kobayashi. The adoptive daughter of Wolverine, Amiko has evolved from a background figure into a multifaceted badass with her own unique path. Continue reading “More Than A Supporting Character: The Evolution Of Amiko Kobayashi”

Guest Blog: Top Cow: Illuminating One Of The Best Dark Fantasy Universes In Comics

While comics are best known for stories where brightly costumed superheroes triumph over evil, some of the best stories deal with the subtler darker elements of the supernatural hiding in the shadows of the modern world. Such is the case with the classic stories in the Top Cow Universe. Back in the 90s when superhero comics had stagnated and the Big Two were struggling to come up with new ideas, Top Cow produced two visually stunning dark fantasy titles that tapped into the zeitgeist of the period. I’m talking (of course) about Witchblade and The Darkness. Continue reading “Guest Blog: Top Cow: Illuminating One Of The Best Dark Fantasy Universes In Comics”

How Pokémon Reinvented Yokai For A New Generation

Japanese mythology is filled with all kinds of supernatural creatures and monsters, ranging from mischievous kitsune, which take the appearance of foxes, to demonic oni, that live in the mountains and look like trolls. In anime, it’s common for characters to be inspired by fantastical Japanese creatures, and a franchise that does it so well is Pokémon. A lot of Pokémon are based on mythical monsters and some of my favourites have been influenced by yokai, Japanese ghosts and phantoms.

Yokai are among the most common entities in Japanese folklore, capable of doing good and bad. Through Pokémon, yokai have been reinvented for a new generation. In this article, I’ll be examining what yokai are, their relevance to modern day culture and the types of spirits that have been featured in Pokémon. Continue reading “How Pokémon Reinvented Yokai For A New Generation”

The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson: Here Be Monsters

What would you define as weird fiction? Supernatural creatures? Occult happenings in the dead of night? In the realm of weird fiction nothing is off limits. The genre has been popularised by writing greats such as H.P Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood and Arthur Machen. A name that deserves to be mentioned alongside them is William Hope Hodgson, an author who blended the bizarre with the banal.

The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson feature ten short stories that delve into the horror of the unknown. I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Readers with weak constitutions take heed. Here be monsters. Continue reading “The Weird Tales of William Hope Hodgson: Here Be Monsters”

The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories Review: Classic And Modern Japan Come Together

When I think of Japanese authors, the first name that comes to mind is Haruki Murakami. His surreal fiction is a big hit with western audiences and reading his stories opened a gateway for me to other Japanese writers. So, it’s appropriate that Murakami introduces The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories. The collection covers traditional Japanese themes like bushido and bizarre situations like UFOS, sugar-filled vaginas and nightmarish paintings. But what unites all the stories is a genuine love of writing from each author. Continue reading “The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories Review: Classic And Modern Japan Come Together”