You can always find that some of comics best characters were created by or empowered by magic: Shazam, Zatanna, Scarlet Witch and Doctor Strange just to name a few. As a fantasy writer, these magical characters have inspired me in many ways. Many of them have their origins in the Arthurian legends, which is where I based the Forever Avalon series.
My favorite has to be Etrigan the Demon. First off, he was created by the legendary Jack Kirby. That is enough of a pedigree for me, but his origin is way cooler. Merlin bound the demon Etrigan to Jason Blood, a knight of King Arthur’s court. He’s immortal and works in Gotham City from time-to-time. Cool pedigree, wicked origins from the Arthurian legend and he speaks in rhyme. I mean, you can’t call yourself a comic book geek if you can’t recite the spell to release the demon.
“Gone, gone, the form of man; arise the demon Etrigan!”
Recently, the magical side of DC has come out through its TV franchises. Matt Ryan as John Constantine was the best casting decision ever made. He is all that is John Constantine, that Keanu Reeves wasn’t, and a bag of chips. He’s had a guest shot on Arrow and took the lead in the Justice League Dark animated movie. I can’t wait to see more of him, especially if Guillermo del Toro still moves ahead with a live action Justice League Dark movie.
Marvel’s also had its fair share of bringing magical heroes up with a touch of Arthurian legend. If you want to read a great Avengers series, The Morgan Conquest is a classic. Morgan (not Morganna) le Fay casts a spell that changes the entire planet into her own magical realm with the Avengers subjected as her own imperial guard. Even their names are more medieval (Captain America is now Yeoman America, She Hulk is the Jade Giantess, you get the idea).
They also have a cavalcade of superheroes tied to the magic of Avalon, Merlin, and more. Dane Whitman, The Black Knight, wields the Ebony Blade (forged in Camelot from a meteorite by Merlin). Captain Britain’s powers come from Merlyn (spelled different but supposedly the same man) as a protector of the multi-verse in the Captain Britain Corps. Union Jack was empowered by the Spirit of Pendragon, a magical energy in the form of Sir Lancelot, to defend the British Isles. You can’t shake a stick in the UK in the Marvel Universe without hitting a magic-related superhero or villain for that matter.
Though magic is the tie that binds all these great characters together, is the artists and writers that made them so memorable. Some of their origins are now part of history, of legend, and that makes them immortal. Like Avalon, they will live on FOREVER.
Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse. The Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.