The Eternal Optimist: Nightwing And The Power Of A Positive Outlook

The life of a superhero is often dangerous and stressful. In addition to protecting innocents, superheroes have to balance a secret identity with their personal life, so it’s little wonder that the pressure can take a toll on mental health. But some comic characters are able to remain optimistic no matter how bad their circumstances become. Nightwing is a perfect example.

You’d think that partnering with Batman for so many years would have left a dark mark. But Richard Grayson has been able to take everything in his stride. From his earliest years, the original Robin has maintained a positive attitude that’s stayed with him throughout his life.

From a mental health perspective, that’s pretty powerful. So, let’s take a closer look at the life of the original Boy Wonder and see what makes him such a great role model for positive mental health. Continue reading “The Eternal Optimist: Nightwing And The Power Of A Positive Outlook”

Joker Review: The Comics Film Genre Has Been Redefined (Again)

As the superhero film genre has evolved, so to have the expectations of the audience. Whether it’s Marvel or DC, the stakes rise with every new movie. The subject matter becomes darker and edgier. Experimentation. Stepping outside the traditional narrative of a superhero film. This approach has created some of the most memorable comic stories told on the silver screen. And that’s exactly the kind of path Todd Phillips’ Joker follows.

Starring Joaquin Phoenix as the Clown Prince of Crime, Joker seeks to tell the origin story of arguably the most enigmatic comic character of all-time. Fanfare and controversy have surrounded the movie since day one. So, the question is does it live up to the hype? Continue reading “Joker Review: The Comics Film Genre Has Been Redefined (Again)”

The Batman Who Laughs Review: Nightmarish. Visceral. Unputdownable.

Facing up to nightmares is one of the hardest things that anyone can do. They force us to confront our deepest fears and see the worst parts of ourselves. Over the years, Batman has had to battle with many nightmares. But none have been more terrifying than the Batman Who Laughs, a twisted version of Bruce Wayne who became the new Joker.

In Scott Snyder’s The Batman Who Laughs, the character returns in a huge way to terrify Gotham. The graphic novel features Batman having to find the darkest parts of himself to fight against his doppelganger. But how far is he willing to go and is it true that a Batman who laughs is a Batman who always wins? Continue reading “The Batman Who Laughs Review: Nightmarish. Visceral. Unputdownable.”

Batman: White Knight Review: A Compelling New Take On The Joker

With there being so many classic Batman arcs, it can be tricky to tell original stories about the Dark Knight that don’t retread old ground. Sean Murphy had to overcome that challenge when he set out to write Batman: White Knight, and he succeeded in creating something that felt completely fresh.

Set in an alternative timeline, White Knight brings a new dimension to the relationship between The Joker and Batman. What would happen if the Clown Prince of Crime was cured of his madness and set out to atone for everything he’d done? The idea of a repentant Joker is an interesting take and is explored within a graphic novel that contains themes of police brutality, political infighting and corruption. Continue reading “Batman: White Knight Review: A Compelling New Take On The Joker”

From Red Hood To Red Ronin: Reimagining Jason Todd As A Japanese Warrior

Comics, like other creative mediums, offers writers and artists the chance to be experimental and provide different takes on established characters. Thinking outside of the box can help to keep characters relevant and inspire fans to see them in a different light. One of the most interesting reinterpretations I’ve come across recently is the presentation of Red Hood as a Japanese warrior. Continue reading “From Red Hood To Red Ronin: Reimagining Jason Todd As A Japanese Warrior”

Mister Freeze And The Debilitating Effects Of Complex Bereavement Disorder

When it comes to exploring supervillain motivations, mental illness is often flagged as a contributing factor. While there’s an argument to be made that some villains can genuinely suffer from a mental health disorder, others simply enjoy killing and being evil for the sake of it. Mister Freeze falls into the first category. A sufferer of complex bereavement disorder (CBD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and depression, Mister Freeze has one of the most realistic mental health trauma stories in popular culture. Continue reading “Mister Freeze And The Debilitating Effects Of Complex Bereavement Disorder”

Exploring The Mother-Daughter Relationship Between Lady Shiva And Cassandra Cain

A mother and daughter relationship is meant to be one of the strongest bonds in the world, especially when it’s built around unconditional love. But, often a connection between a mother and daughter is complex, swinging between devotion and frustration, the same as any familial bond. A compelling example of a mother and daughter relationship is the one shared by Cassandra Cain and Lady Shiva. Both women are connected by a desire to fight, yet their different methods stop them from having a traditional relationship. Read on to find out more about the connection between the world’s deadliest assassin and her heroic offspring. Continue reading “Exploring The Mother-Daughter Relationship Between Lady Shiva And Cassandra Cain”

5 Quotable Catchphrases From DC Comics

Having a catchphrase is a good way of being remembered, especially if you’re a superhero. A catchphrase can empower a reader and make them think of a specific situation. For some characters, their catchphrase has become as memorable as their costume. Here are five DC superheroes with catchphrases that are an integral part of their history. Continue reading “5 Quotable Catchphrases From DC Comics”

The Green Arrow Guide To Becoming A Social Justice Warrior

Comics, like other storytelling mediums, have often been used to address a range of political issues, such as immigration, gun control and climate change. Superheroes have been used as symbols for different movements, but few characters have stuck to their political principles quite like Green Arrow. Oliver Queen has emerged as a voice of liberal activism and social change. A self-proclaimed ‘defender of the little guy,’ Green Arrow is a superhero who wears his liberalism on his sleeve.

Ollie’s political views have become as integral to him as his bow and quiver. His transformation from spoiled rich kid into social justice warrior makes him unique among his peers. Understanding Green Arrow’s politics is essential to understanding who he is as a person. It’s why I’m taking a closer look at his world view. Continue reading “The Green Arrow Guide To Becoming A Social Justice Warrior”

Why The Batman Who Laughs Is Scarier Than The Joker

The Joker is considered to be one of the most horrifying villains in pop culture. The amount of pain and misery he’s caused Batman over the years is indescribable. Despite Joker being a terrifying villain, I would argue there’s one character who is even scarier: The Batman Who Laughs. A twisted combination of Bruce Wayne and Joker, The Batman Who Laughs is Batman’s greatest nightmare come to life. The Comic Vault is looking into the history of the character to see what makes him an even bigger threat than Joker. Continue reading “Why The Batman Who Laughs Is Scarier Than The Joker”