In Honor of Black Knife, Here Are Our Top 10 Vigilantes (The Mirror King Blog Tour + Giveaway)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

**Giveaway is over.**
Paper Bindings - The Mirror King Blog Tour - Top 10 Vigilantes In Honor of Black Knife

When it came to my creative post for The Mirror King, I knew I wanted to do something fun.

But the question was 'What?'

So I looked back on my notes from the book. As it turns out, I spent a lot of time while reading The Mirror King thinking about vigilantes. There was even a moment where I imagined all the baby vigilantes my ship would have. (You can find all the spoiler free details and my daydream inspiring quotation on my review.)

Vigilantes tend to be snarky, have complex backstories, and are quite often considered antiheroes as well. (My favorite kind. Truly, who wants someone who plays by the rules?)

According to Google, the definition of vigilante is:
A member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate."

Now I know you can get technical when it comes to powers/no powers, human/not human, etc. but for the purpose of this list, we are sticking with the broader definition of the term.

Here are our top ten vigilantes.

Stephanie knows of two basic flavors of Green Arrow: CW Green Arrow, and comic/cartoon Green Arrow. CW Arrow is like if Batman and the Green Arrow had a broody baby that fought Batman's villains. Recent cartoon/comic Oliver Queen is a bit friendlier and more easy going. He's not exactly of a sunny disposition, but he's not quite as... dark. Anyway, both Olivers have a certain charm that can't be denied.

Carrie has only met the CW version of Green Arrow, but she absolutely loves him.

Matt Murdock is one of Marvel's street level heroes. He does a lot of violent hand to hand crime fighting to keep the streets of Hell's Kitchen safe. He's got the requisite tragic past, but as a twist his powers come from being blinded by toxic waste as a child while saving an old man from being run over by a truck. The blindless (in conjunction with the chemicals and some child-abuse-y training) gave Matt enhanced senses and a level in badass.

He mostly fights the mob and evil magic ninjas (as most lawyers do) but he does tackle crime in the courtroom too. Another vigilante twist is that Daredevil is a practicing Catholic, something that often features in his comic books and the Netflix series, so there's tons of Catholic guilt mixed in with everything else.

Stephanie has to admit that she's going almost solely off of the CW show and certain cartoons, but she adores Barry Allen. He's another vigilante with a heart of gold. He's also smart and funny. And who doesn't love a dorky sense of humor?

You can't make a list of vigilantes without including Batman.

Why? Because he's Batman.

Batman also happens to be Carrie's favorite character from any DC comic series.

Also one of the fictional loves of Stephanie's life, Peter Parker is all around awesome. He has the same pedigree of heroic acts that most of the Marvel heroes have, and he's considerably less violent than some of them, but that doesn't stop the Daily Bugle from calling him a "webbed menace". That's the Parker luck for you. Anyway he's smart, sassy, and kind. What's not to like?

As a funny side note: The Spider-man animated series from the 90's went it's entire run without Spider-man ever punching anyone. Which, is kind of crazy.

Carrie always imagined Zorro to be a historical Batman, which is probably why she liked the Zorro movies with Antonio Banderas so much.

If you've read some of Stephanie's previous posts, then you already know that she loves Dick Grayson. He's charming and funny and just an all around good guy. He was the light in the Bat Cave and kept Bruce from going truly dark. It's actually been acknowledged in the comics that Dick is Bruce's favorite member of the Bat Family (except of course for his real son... probably) so that has to mean something. Despite being so lighthearted, Dick is still a rough and tumble vigilante roaming the dangerous and seedy streets of cities like Gotham.

Carrie grew up on a steady diet of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While she has never seen the new movies, and is not sure she wants to, she would be remiss if she did not included them here.

Carrie debated about whether or not to include him with the Turtles, but as he is human, she decided to add him separately. (Don't dis my childhood buddies now, that'd be cruel.) Aside from her Mighty Duck days, the only reason she wanted to play hockey was so she could walk around hitting people with hockey sticks. But you didn't hear that from us.

Because ten is an infinitely harder number to reach when you put on the spot and suddenly cannot think of any vigilantes at all. (Thank you Wikipedia and your magical list.) We'll admit this is the one we know the least about, and while a certain writer of this list strongly dislikes Nicholas Cage, the other writer was entertained enough by the movies to add him on this list.

But what about Jodi? Does she have any favorite vigilantes?

Carrie thought it would be cool to get her perspective, so she asked if she could pick 1-3 of her favorite masked vigilantes, and tell us why she chose them.

Here's what Jodi had to say:

It's so hard to narrow down my favorite masked vigilantes! But if you really need me to name just a few . . .

We should start here, I suppose. I grew up watching Batman: the Animated Series, and even when I went back to watch it as an adult, it held up. It was still a darn good TV show. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Christopher Nolan movies; they were so, so good!

As for why Batman? I like that no one would ever think Bruce Wayne would become a vigilante. He's a rich playboy who doesn't seem to care about anything -- but that is the mask.

I'm really (really) into Daredevil right now. My husband and I watched the first season of the Netflix series not long after it came out, and as I'm writing this (a month or so before you're reading it), we're rewatching the first season so that I can emotionally prepare for season two.

There are a lot of things I love about this particular vigilante. Who would expect a blind lawyer to fight crime? But I also love that he's religious, and that his faith informs his actions -- and also makes him question his actions.

I've seen Flash in a lot of shows before (Justice League! Smallville! I think I was too young for the 1990 show, but I knew it existed), but I never really felt like I got him until this latest incarnation with Grant Gustin playing Barry. This series has definitely skyrocketed Flash to one of my favorite vigilantes.

And, I mean, for a vigilante, he's pretty upbeat. He's very positive, full of heart, and has a strong moral code that keeps him on the straight and narrow. And he's a bit of an anomaly in that neither day-job Barry nor Flash-Barry is much of a mask; the only reason he wears one is common sense. (Don't want the bad guys to find his friends!)

And you said up to three (meanie!), so I guess I'm done here -- but shout outs to Black Canary, Green Arrow, Spider-Man, and Huntress! And all the others I'll think of five seconds after I hit send.


TITLE: The Mirror King
AUTHOR: Jodi Meadows
SERIES: The Orphan Queen #2
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books

Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies.

HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right.

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.

In this stunning conclusion to THE ORPHAN QUEEN, Jodi Meadows follows Wilhelmina’s breathtaking and brave journey from orphaned criminal on the streets to magic-wielding queen.


BIO: Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen).

*A Kippy is a cat.



There will be a tour-wide giveaway for one (1) copy of The Orphan Queen + one (1) copy of The Mirror King for one lucky winner! The giveaway will be open internationally, as long as Book Depository ships to them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Stops

MARCH 28 : Lady Knight Reads
MARCH 29 : Lectora Deliberada
MARCH 30 : Carina’s Books
MARCH 31 : The Eater of Books
APRIL 01 : Aphonic Sarah
APRIL 04 : Read Write Love 28
APRIL 05 : Hello Chelly / Belle of the Literati
APRIL 06 : Love is Not a Triangle
APRIL 07 : Once Upon a Dream Books
APRIL 08 : Being Perry
APRIL 11 : Andi’s ABCs
APRIL 12 : The YA Book Traveler
APRIL 13 : The Whimsical Mama
APRIL 14 : A Backwards Story
APRIL 15 : Mary Had a Little Book Blog

RELATED : The Hidden Prince (The Orphan Queen #0.1) | The Glowing Knight (The Orphan Queen #0.2) | The Burning Hand (The Orphan Queen #0.3) | The Black Knife (The Orphan Queen #0.4) | The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) | The Mirror King (The Orphan Queen #2) | The Orphan Queen Launch Party | [With Brodi Ashton and Cynthia Hand: My Lady Jane]


  1. I love vigilantes and I also love that someone agrees with our choices!

    I wish I'd put Black Canary on this list, if only because I now realize we didn't list any female characters. And because of what happened on the Arrow, which was terrible and unfair to the BC character. Other females we maybe should have included are Zatanna and Oracle. Oops XP

    1. Oh, and I just realized that I forgot to ask if there was another reason you might have listed Casey Jones... such as the fact that Stephen Amell is playing him in the new movie ;)

    2. HE IS? I am pleased by this choice.


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