Life’s unpredictability isn’t something we can plan for. It takes us by surprise. It blindsides us. It throws up everything we thought we understood about ourselves and smashes it to pieces, and it’s often in those moments where we come to see our true measure and develop the ability to endure.
Endurance is at the heart of Stoicism, the philosophy popularised by men like Zeno and Seneca, a philosophy with many practical applications in the modern day, a concept channeled through superheroes who’ve inspired generations of comic fans and readers.
With that said, here are four superheroes that embody the Stoic principles of justice, courage, wisdom and temperance.
Continue reading “4 Superheroes Who Embody Stoicism”
Batman’s rogue gallery has long been revered for featuring some of the most complex, nuanced villains in the history of pop culture. Characters like Two-Face and The Riddler have displayed mental health conditions that skew their perspectives of the world and another character who belongs in that category is Poison Ivy.
Poison Ivy is traditionally portrayed as a seductress who uses her powers to make others do her bidding. But to only see this side of her does a disservice to the character. Ivy is motivated to protect nature against humanity, a crusade that’s exacerbated by her suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Continue reading “Changing With The Seasons: Poison Ivy And The Experience Of Seasonal Affective Disorder”
Trauma is a feeling that every member of the Batman Family has experienced. It’s one of many reasons why each of them has chosen to fight crime, perhaps none more so than Jason Todd and Barbara Gordon.
Jason and Barbara’s experiences are similar, despite them coming from different backgrounds. Their trauma was caused at the hands of The Joker, giving them unique perspectives on what it’s like to survive a harrowing event.
Whether as colleagues, friends, adoptive siblings or romantic partners, there’s a whole range of roles that Jason and Barbara could fill for one another and it’s worth investigating the bond that’s unique among the Batman Family.
Continue reading “Bonded By Trauma: An Exploration Of The Relationship Between Jason Todd And Barbara Gordon”
DC Black Label, known for publishing mature titles, has provided some refreshing new takes on the Batman mythos, with stories such as Batman: White Knight and Batman: Damned. Characters like The Joker have been reimagined in new ways and that trend has continued with Batman: Three Jokers, which presents three different versions of The Clown Prince of Crime for the Batman family to overcome.
Produced by the superstar trio of Geoff Johns, Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson, Three Jokers brings together the three members of the Batman family who’ve been most effected by Joker’s actions: Batman, Red Hood and Batgirl.
Continue reading “Batman: Three Jokers Review: Trauma Comes In Threes”
As a classic member of Batman’s rogue gallery, Mr Freeze is one of the Dark Knight’s most prolific enemies. Starting off as a throw-away character called Mr Zero in the 1960s, Freeze was transformed into a more complex character in Batman: The Animated Series.
Victor Fries became a scientist who was fascinated with cryogenics. He fell in love with a woman called Nora, but after learning that she’d contracted a fatal illness, Victor was determined to find he cure.
He froze Nora in suspended animation, only to have his experiments ruined by his boss, Ferris Boyle. The interference caused an explosion, which lowered Victor’s body temperature to the point he could only survive with a special suit. Vowing revenge on Boyle, Mr Freeze turned to a life of crime.
Freeze’s tragic origin story ties into his desire to bring his wife back to life. In his quest to cure Nora’s disease, Freeze has done terrible things in the name of love. Other times, Freeze has been so focused on his cryogenic research that he’s killed anyone who stood in his way, but sometimes his cold-hearted nature can take things to the extreme, to the point where he’s cemented himself as not just one of Batman’s greatest adversaries, but also his most ruthless.
Continue reading “The 10 Most Ruthless Acts Of Mister Freeze”
Batman’s rogues gallery is an essential component of The Dark Knight’s mythos, pushing him to evolve into a more sophisticated crime-fighter. In a similar vein, other members of the Batman Family have developed relationships with villains that are unique to their story, clashing against their ideals and forcing them to adapt.
Over the years, Barbara Gordon has earned her fair share of enemies as Batgirl and Oracle. One of the most compelling villains to challenge Barbara in recent history is Knightfall, with the character serving as a dark mirror to what the original Batgirl stands for.
Continue reading “Why Knightfall Is The Perfect Nemesis For Barbara Gordon”
Batman’s Rogue Gallery features an eclectic mix of supervillains who constantly push The Dark Knight to his limits, and while Big Bads like Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul have shaped Batmans’ evolution as a crime fighter, there are many other characters who’ve shaped the creation of his family and his crusade to protecting Gotham.
An underrated character who fits into this category is Natalia Knight/Nocturna. Not only has Nocturna affected the life of Bruce Wayne, she’s also played a key role in the lives of characters like Jason Todd and Stephanie Brown.
Continue reading “Exploring The Complexity Of Nocturna’s Relationship With The Batman Family”
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”
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)”
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.”