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.
DC has a diverse supernatural community, with Etrigan the Demon being one of the most versatile characters. Created by Jack Kirby in 1972, Etrigan has appeared in stories such as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Kevin Smith’s Batman: The Widening Gyre and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing.
Kirby created the Demon after his Fourth World titles were cancelled, and though he had no interest in horror comics, he created Etrigan because DC demanded a horror character. Kirby was said to be annoyed The Demon #1 sold so well, which meant DC required him to do sixteen issues. Although Kirby never intended for Etrigan to become popular, the character has been around for a long time and The Comic Vault is looking into his history as part of October’s supernatural theme.
During the 1960s and 1970s, comics were full of stereotypes, such as damsels in distress. When Jack Kirby created his Fourth World concept for DC, a character that went against stereotype was Big Barda. The wife of Mister Miracle, Barda was taller, stronger and more intimidating than her husband. The reversal of a traditional relationship was unheard of at the time, which made Barda stand out even more. The Comic Vault is taking a look into Barda’s history and what makes her such an awesome character.
Comic Cover Corner is a segment that looks at a specific comic cover and examines why it’s so memorable. Today, I’m focusing on the cover of Red Hood: The Lost Days #1, drawn by William Tucci. The comic itself tells the story of how Jason Todd came back to life and started his journey to becoming the Red Hood. There’s a lot to love about this cover, from the colours to the raw emotion displayed by the character.
It’s no secret that Darkseid is one of the most powerful characters in comics. The Ruler of Apokolips has conquered everything in his path, so it’s only natural that his blood would have the same kind of power. Orion, the son of Darkseid, inherited his father’s dark nature. But unlike his father, he uses his powers to defend the weak. Orion’s struggle to manage his violent impulses make him an interesting character, and here’s a look into his history.
It’s common for people to be inspired by superheroes, to be drawn to what they represent. Larger than life characters like Superman and Thor represents hope. They wield god-like powers and use it to benefit mankind. But they aren’t human or prone to the imperfections of mortality. Human superheroes like Batman fail on a frequent basis. They have personal lives that are fraught with tragedy. They fuck up and have to live with the consequences of their actions. The same can be said for many ‘street-level’ superheroes, and they are the most interesting to me. But what is the appeal of a street-level superhero and why do we tend to gravitate to them?
It could be argued that in modern society we’ve grown used to hiding our emotions. Whether it’s in the work place or in a social situation, we may not necessarily say what we feel. This could be because we want to appear strong in the eyes of another, or we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings. A comic character who’s never had trouble expressing herself is Starfire, and I believe there’s something to be learned from her approach to life. What would society be like if we could fully express ourselves?