When it comes to comics, certain identities like Superman are set in stone, as there is only one character associated with the name. Other identities are fluid, with different people taking on a superhero role. Two identities that have always fascinated me are Hawk and Dove, as they represent a divide between peace and war. Over the years, the identities have been used by a few characters, with the common theme being clashing ideologies that balance each other out. The Comic Vault is looking into the history of the identities to see if they still have any relevance in the modern day.
Street level heroes are some of the most interesting comic characters because of their lack of powers. Many of them fight crime by using their intellect and equipment to make a difference, but they’re still as vulnerable as any of us. Silver Sable is an underrated example of a street level hero who is most often associated with Spider-Man. As a mercenary and business woman, Silver Sable is a capable fighter who uses her natural skills to hunt down criminals. The Comic Vault is taking a look into her history to understand her motivations.
Some of the most interesting stories feature strong POC protagonists, which is why I’ve enjoyed reading Saladin Ahmed’s Abbott series, which features tough as nails reporter Elena Abbott. Set in 1970s Detroit, Ahmed’s comic weaves together occult and noir themes to create a political thriller with memorable characters. Abbott #2 picks up from where the first issue started and it’s safe to say there’s a mystery that needs to be solved.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going for a good ten years now and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Over the years, it’s produced some great films, with many coming with certain expectations. But I’d argue that none of them have come with the amount of expectation Black Panther has in terms of representation. After all, it’s the first time a black superhero has been presented on such a grand stage. Black Panther is an important cultural character to many comic fans, and I’m happy to say the film delivers in every way possible. There’s a great story, complex characters, awesome action scenes and plenty of word building that sets Black Panther apart from other superhero films.
As a superhero of colour, Black Panther is one of the most significant characters in the Marvel Universe. In anticipation for the film, I decided to learn more about T’Challa and his world by buying Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book One. Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and illustrated by Brian Stelfreeze, the graphic novel features T’Challa trying to keep his kingdom from falling apart. Wakanda has lost faith in its king and rebel factions are looking to take control of the people and usurp Black Panther’s position. The graphic novel features themes of political anger, race and identity, which makes it a relevant story for today’s political climate.
The 1970s were a time of great cultural upheaval, from the Vietnam war, to the rise of disco. The decade provides fertile storytelling ground for Abbott #1, written by Saladin Ahmed. The comic features strong-willed reporter Elena Abbott investigating a case that forces her to confront her past. As a black woman in 1970s Detroit, Abbott faces a hotbed of racism and political change that tests her resolve and Ahmed makes sure she’s up for the challenge.
Sometimes, the most poignant graphic novels aren’t the ones that have people in tights punching each other. Sometimes, they take the form of down to earth stories like Luke Henderson’s OUR WAR: The Truth Untold. America is on the brink of complete social collapse, and a political radical called Nestor is joined by an economic refugee called Emma on a journey to get to Canada for the hope of a better life. Henderson sent a copy to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.