Comics are filled with rare and unusual materials that can grant superhuman abilities or be used against a hero. One of the most interesting materials is Nth metal, also known as Ninth metal. Often linked to Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Nth metal has a number of magical properties that makes it a potent weapon. The Comic Vault is looking into the history of Nth metal to see where it comes from and how it’s been used.
In recent years, comics have become one of the most popular mediums in the world. What started out as niche interest has exploded into a widely accepted phenomenon that connects people across generations. But comics can be used for more than entertainment purposes. Graphic novels can be used as therapy aids, helping those who have physical and mental disorders. As a therapeutic tool, comics have a range of benefits, which is why the The Comic Vault is looking into how they can be used for therapy.
Comics are some of the best places to find diverse characters and Marvel have done a lot to push ethnic superheroes and villains in recent years. Mister Negative is one of best examples, as his background is interesting and his personality makes him an intriguing villain. Taking inspiration from Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the character has a split personality in the form of the benevolent Martin Li and nefarious Mister Negative. As a villain of Spider-Man, Mister Negative has become one of the web-slinger’s most formidable foes, and The Comic Vault is taking a close look at his history.
Daredevil is one of the most relatable heroes in comics because of his background and believable powers. There have been a number of memorable stories about The Man Without Fear, though perhaps the greatest is Born Again, written by Frank Miller. Born Again involves the complete destruction of Matt Murdock’s life at the hands of The Kingpin. Not only is Daredevil pushed to the brink of sanity, but his mental health issues are exposed in a respectful, tragic manner. With themes of religion, family and overcoming adversity, Born Again is a graphic novel that needs to be read by all comic fans.
Green Arrow is one of those superheroes that people find it easy to connect with because of his beliefs. As someone who stands up for the little guy, Oliver Queen has dedicated his resources to making the world a better place with a bow and arrow. But it took him a long time to become the man he is, as Queen had to learn how to survive on his own two feet before becoming Green Arrow. Ollie’s transformation from frivolous playboy to hardened hunter is chronicled in Andy Diggle’s Green Arrow: Year One. The graphic novel contains themes of isolation, manhood, slavery and the power of nature against urbanisation.
Names are a powerful symbol that provide a sense of identity, whether it’s to our purpose in life, or to how we connect with a loved one. But names can also be twisted into a way that forces identification through the eyes of another. The idea of being told who you are by someone else is a scary thought because it can be psychologically damaging. A sense of belonging, identity and the power of names are all major themes of Chosen. Written and directed by Christine Walsh, the play took place at The Brickworks in Manchester. The dark tale offered an insight into the mentality of cults and how people can be stripped of who they are piece by piece. I saw the show on the 5th May and here are my thoughts on an enjoyable performance.
With technology advancing on a regular basis it’s easy to feel overloaded with the latest trends and sensations. No one would blame you for feeling nostalgic about simpler times when Instagram didn’t exist and Game Boys were the best thing ever. Nostalgia is a powerful force that can bring back good memories. If you’ll allow me to wax lyrical about my childhood for a moment, I remember swapping Yu-Gi-Oh cards with my mates in the playground, coming home from school to watch shows like Hey Arnold! and Recess, or gaming on the PS One.
Research has shown that nostalgia has a positive effect, with Tim Wildschut and Constantine Sedikides of the Centre for Research on Self and Identity at the University of Southampton describing the phenomenon as “far from being a feeble escape from the present” it’s “a source of strength, enabling the individual to face the future.”