Growing up in a religious environment leaves a lasting impression, with people using religion as comfort or as justification. Believing in a higher power can provide a positive experience, but it can also become a prison. There are a variety of religious superheroes and Wolfsbane is a character that’s struggled with her faith. As a member of the X-Men, Rahne Sinclair’s mutant powers have conflicted with her religious beliefs. But over time she was able to reconcile who she was with what she believed in.
The brilliant thing about comics is the amount of representation that goes on among characters. The plights of different groups are shown through various superheroes. One of the most diverse comic characters is Monet St Croix, as she has an Algerian, Bosnian and French background. In addition, she is one of the few Muslim superheroes. M’s heritage has been used as a way to explore anti-Muslim hate in America. When combined with her identity as a mutant, M’s journey is relatable to a lot of people. Here’s why she’s worth knowing about.
Judaism is one of the world’s oldest religions, with many people practicing it in the modern day. Recently, I visited the Jewish Uprising and POLIN museums in Warsaw, which exposed me to the complex history of Jewish people. It made me think of how Jews are represented in comics, and it turns out there are many examples of the religion being treated with respect. There are characters that represent the traditions and resiliency of the Jewish faith. The Comic Vault is featuring four important Jewish characters to see how they are portrayed.
Money is one of the most powerful forces in the world because it gives people the chance to live the life they want to lead. In certain situations it can be treated like a religion, with people doing whatever they can to earn more. Johnathan Hickman focuses on the cult-like effect money has with The Black Monday Murders: Vol 2. The graphic novel is set in a world where different banking firms control the world through magic, blood sacrifice and ruthlessness. A member of the wealthy Rothschild family has been murdered, leading to a brutal war between the firms.
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.
Musicals have the power to connect with people, whether it be through song or the subject matter of the performance. Some musicals shine a light on the darker side of humanity, which is the case with Corrido de la Sangre, performed by the Tiger Lillies. The band, considered to be the innovators of Brechtian punk cabaret, are known for their macabre lyrics and content. The musical took place at HOME in Manchester, and here are my thoughts on what was a haunting performance.
Have you ever read a graphic novel that’s stuck with you because of its graphic content? That was the case for me with Preacher: Book One. Written by Garth Ennis, Preacher tells the story of a Texas Reverend called Jesse Custer, who acquires a divine power called ‘The Word of God’ that allows him to command people to do anything he wants. The series has been adapted for TV, and after watching the show it inspired me to read the comic. As good as the show is, the comic is so much better.