The classic stage magician is a well-known image in pop culture, with the black coat, white shirt and rabbit coming out of a top hat. Few characters embody that image better than Zatanna Zatara. One of the most powerful magic users in the DC Universe, Zatanna has been a member of the Justice League and Justice League Dark. She’s also known for her connection with Batman, which actually happened through a retcon. The Comic Vault is examining her history and what makes her such a memorable character.
Small towns and mythology go hand in hand, whether it’s local legend or a reputation built up over time. It sets them apart from big cities because a lot of small towns have a strong sense of community. Mythology plays a big role in White Ash #1 created by Charlie Stickney and Conor Hughes. The comic focuses on the mining town of White Ash and the people living within it. The town has been hiding a secret and a young man named Aleck has his world turned upside down. Stickney sent a copy to The Comic Vault in exchange for a spoiler free review.
The American South has often been associated with intolerance, rednecks and violence. While stereotyping isn’t something to be proud of, it can be interesting to explore in literature. Jason Aaron’s and Jason Latour’s Southern Bastards: Here Was A Man takes a look at a small town in Alabama and explores themes of racism, loneliness and family legacy. The creative team’s American South is a place you can love, hate, miss and fear all at once. Nothing is held back in this graphic novel, with Aaron and Latour going full country.
Since discovering Garth Ennis’ Preacher series, I’ve been entertained by the themes of religion and violence. A stand out character is the Saint of Killers, a supernatural cowboy who doubles as the Angel of Death. Introduced as a villain, the Saint was dispatched by Heaven to track down Jesse Custer and kill him. But as the series progressed, he was revealed to be much more than just a one-note gunslinger.
Supernatural characters are prevalent throughout comics, with Ghost Rider being one of the most badass. Many people will recognise the Spirit of Vengeance by the fiery motorbike and steel chain, but there’s more than one Ghost Rider in the world. Johnny Blaze might be the original, but others have followed in his path. Here are all the Ghost Riders that have torn up the streets in their quest to punish the guilty.
Retroactive continuity, retcon for short, is a literary device used to contradict or change an established story. It’s very common in comics and a convenient way for new writers to leave their mark on an established story. Retconning is often seen as a controversial decision because it alters what fans have come to love about a character. When it comes to the parentage of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, retconning has become the norm. Up until a few years ago, it was established they were the children of Magneto, but their parentage was altered and The Comic Vault is going to examine the history behind the twins.
Short story collections and novels have the ability to make us feel, yet poetry collections seem to exist in another world. They’re a lot shorter, which means the writer has to do a lot more to make each section resonate. There’s also the chance to be creative because a poetry collection doesn’t have to follow the structure of a traditional novel. As far as poetry collections go I find Factory of Tears by Valzhyna Mort unique, most notably for the Belarusian dialect accompanying the poems.