Gentleman Ghost vs. Hawkman and Hawkgirl - DC Comics April 15

Fight Forever

When superheroes and supervillains clash, their contest is not merely a battle between individuals, it is a battle of philosophy, of action, and most importantly of morality. The characters represent something beyond themselves. Sometimes these representations are structural and fundamental to their characters; for example, Batman and the Joker will always represent order and chaos, […]

Lex Luthor fights Superman, as always - Action Comics #900, DC Comics April 09

The Easy Road

There was a time when the rivalry between Lex Luthor and Superman – arguably one of the greatest rivalries in the history of modern literature – boiled down to little more than a hairstyle. Or, more accurately, the lack of one. For a time during the Silver Age of Comics, it was revealed that Lex […]

Dinah Laurel Lance, aka Black Canary - DC Comics April 08

The Hard Road

For the large number of non-powered heroes in superhero comics, a very common narrative theme is what they could or would do if given superhuman abilities. In a variety of examples, the transformation either proves incredibly effective or incredibly damaging – sometimes even both. Invariably, the change is a temporary anomaly and the hero is […]

ambush bug banner1 April 01

Diametrically Opposed: Ambush Bug / Argh!Yle!

Diametrically Opposed is a series exploring the best hero-villain rivalries in the DC Universe. Superheroes take themselves rather seriously. This applies both in-universe and in the context of the medium of comic books. Even in the Golden Age – an era we now look back on with a sort of patronizing nostalgia – the adventures […]

Killer Frost vs Firestorm in the New 52 - DC Comics March 25

Diametrically Opposed: Firestorm / Killer Frost

Diametrically Opposed is a series exploring the best hero-villain rivalries in the DC Universe. Firestorm, the Nuclear Man debuted in the 1970’s just before the DC Implosion, a company-wide downsizing that cancelled the character’s first solo title a mere five issues in. But even in that title’s short lifespan, readers would be introduced to Killer […]

The H-Dial - Dial H #11, DC Comics March 18

Phoning It In

Identity is a common theme in superhero comics. In particular, the notion of the secret identity recurs across nearly all superhero mythologies. Traditional wisdom implies that the masks worn by superheroes not only conceal their true identity, but allow them to adopt the persona of the hero. But a closer examination of identity in comic […]

batman 1 joker March 14

Retro Review: Batman #1 (1940) – “The Joker” / “The Joker Returns”

Retro Review takes a look at influential issues of DC Comics and measures their artistic integrity against their cultural and symbolic importance to the DC Universe and comic books in general. While last year marked the 75th anniversary of the Batman, this year mark’s the 75th anniversary of the debut of the Dark Knight’s self-titled […]

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