Who’s the Ultimate Witch in Superhero Comics?

What is a witch?

It seems like an easy question. Pointy hat. Black cat. Casts spells. Might have warts. You know—a witch.

But is “witch” just a catch-all term for female magic users? What’s the difference between a witch and a sorceress or a mage? Is the flying broom absolutely necessary?

Lots of superheroes have magic-based powers. Many of them get called witches, but I’m going to nitpick that definition and argue that most of them actually aren’t. Let’s see who makes the cut.

Zatanna

Zatanna

I know she’s pretty much the top magic-user in the DC Universe, but I don’t think “witch” is the right word to describe her. “Magician” seems more accurate given the top hat and tuxedo, and I’d also accept “sorceress.” Though if you want to be technical about it, she’s a member of the magical species “Homo Magi.”

Continue reading Who’s the Ultimate Witch in Superhero Comics?

Vintage SciFi Month: Mysta of the Moon

It’s Vintage Sci-Fi Month again! For those of you not familiar with this not-a-challenge, it runs every January and is about reading vintage science fiction (or fantasy). “Vintage” is defined as being before 1979 or your birth year, whichever is easier.

I’ll be taking the chance to talk about one of my favorite vintage comic book heroines, Mysta of the Moon.

Mysta first appeared in 1945 in the pages of Planet Comics. I think Planet Comics is a super interesting piece of media and probably would have loved it if I’d been a kid in the 40s and 50s. Each issue contained new episodes of several serialized science fiction stories. There was The Lost World, a post-apocalyptic tale set on an Earth that’s been conquered by aliens, Gale Allen, who basically led an interstellar girl gang to beat up bad guys across space, several Flash Gordon-esque heroes, and that’s just scratching the surface.

I might talk about some of the others later, but I’ll start with Mysta because she’s my favorite and I have a soft spot for moon-based heroines.

Sailor Moon Gif
Continue reading Vintage SciFi Month: Mysta of the Moon

End of Autumn Recap Tag

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I’m officially transitioning from autumn to Christmas-mode. Goodbye pumpkins and autumn leaves, hello snowflakes and icicles.

At least in my head. I live in Florida, so it’s more like goodbye hot weather, hello slightly cooler weather, but I’ve got a snowy winter wonderland in my heart.

I found the End of Autumn Recap Tag at Fortunately, The Book. It’s originally from You Are What You Read and was made in 2019, but I’m usually late jumping on trends, so I’m not going to let that stop me.

Which book can you not stop thinking about?

Harrow the Ninth Cover

Harrow the Ninth turned my brain into mush. Who was the Body? What are all the side characters from the last book doing? What’s going to happen to Gideon? To Harrow? What is going on????

I have questions, and I really hope Alecto the Ninth gives me answers.

Continue reading End of Autumn Recap Tag

Turn Back the Pages: Bandette

Turn Back the Pages is a feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

I’ve been craving comfort reads lately, probably to offset the rush of anxiety and depression I feel whenever I look at the news. Bandette is everything I could ask for when it comes to making me feel better. It’s cute and charmingly campy, and I was all smiles the whole time I was reading it.

Bandette: Presto! CoverThis post contains affiliate links.

I mentioned Volume 1 of Bandette in my Netflix Book Tag post. Since then, I’ve finished Volume 2 and have Volume 3 on hold at my local library. It’s just that much fun.

So what’s the premise? Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Bandette

Why the Queen of Fables is the most Underrated DC Supervillain

Quick—what’s the best superpower for a villain? Energy blasts? Super-strength? Mind-control?

How about the power of fairytales?

It may sound weird, but fairytales are the power source of DC supervillain Queen of Fables, and they make her such a crazy strong threat that it usually takes the entire Justice League to stop her.

So how does that work, exactly? Continue reading Why the Queen of Fables is the most Underrated DC Supervillain

9 Superheroines who don’t have Superpowers (and don’t need them)

Wonder Woman has the power of the gods. Captain Marvel can punch a hole in a spaceship. The Scarlet Witch…can sometimes do magic, or probability manipulation, or telekinesis/telepathy. It’s confusing.

In my current novel, I’m writing a main character who takes on magic and monsters with no powers of her own, so today, I want to look at the heroines who face supervillain, aliens, and gods with nothing but their wits and years of training. Some of them are super popular, but I want to spotlight a few lesser-known characters, too, so let’s get started. Continue reading 9 Superheroines who don’t have Superpowers (and don’t need them)

Turn Back the Pages: Pretty Deadly

Turn Back the Pages is a feature where I spotlight a comic that is not fresh and new. It may have come out a few months ago or even a few years ago. Maybe it was hyped and popular, or maybe it was an underappreciated gem. Whatever the case, it’ll be a great comic that’s well worth a read.

I’ve yet to read a weird west story that I didn’t like. And I have to categorize Pretty Deadly as a “weird western,” because “fantasy western revenge horror neo-folktale” isn’t an accepted genre.

Pretty Deadly

So what is this comic about? Good question. There’s an old blind man named Fox and a young girl named Sissy who travel from town to town telling “The Ballad of Deathface Ginny.” Then Sissy gets a mysterious piece of paper that sends them running for their lives. Continue reading Turn Back the Pages: Pretty Deadly

5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes

Did you know January is Vintage Science Fiction month? I didn’t until I saw the hashtag on Twitter, which piqued my interest, because I love old sci-fi. You can feel the enthusiasm and energy in a lot of those old space travel stories, written in a time where mankind was just venturing beyond Earth’s atmosphere, and everyone was excited about the possibilities.

January is also great timing, because I’ve got a retro sci-fi short story coming out in Broadswords and Blasters Issue 12 later this month. You might find more than one of these tropes in it. Or not. Read it and see. 😉

Space Fashion

Are you venturing into the cold reaches of space and don’t know what to wear? No need to worry. Just pop a fishbowl over your head, and you’ll be fine.

Planet Comics Issue 36 Cover
The helmets won’t protect you from evil green space giants, obviously, but they will shield you from the void of space.

Continue reading 5 Favorite Vintage Sci-Fi Tropes

5 Supernatural Superheroes who Deserve more Spotlight

October is finally here, and that means a month filled with jack o’ lanterns, witches, and ghosts.

Although, to be honest, I don’t limit that spooky energy to October. I get my fix year-round by reading paranormal fiction. There’s something about things that go bump in the night that I just can’t get enough of in stories, especially when it comes to the heroes who fight them.

Comics has no shortage of the supernatural, and it’s one of favorite niches in both the Marvel and DC universes. Though I have my complaints about the Doctor Strange movie, I love that it introduced magic to the MCU, and Legends of Tomorrow got twice as awesome when they started fighting demons and introduced John Constantine.

Those two characters along with Blade, the Scarlet Witch, Zatanna, and a few others are what I consider the A-list of magical/supernatural superheroes. (Though I don’t think Zatanna has had a live-action appearance since Smallville. She really needs her own movie.) Today, I want to shine a spotlight on some paranormal superheroes who may be less popular but are all awesome characters who deserve more attention. Continue reading 5 Supernatural Superheroes who Deserve more Spotlight