Who’s Who In The DCU 11.12.03

Hey. I’m doing a lot of writing right now so I don’t have much time so let’s jump into the column shall we? Unless, you want to say anything Ben? (Only what an honor it is to work with you…and by that I mean what an honor it is for you to work with me. –Ben)

Surprise, surprise. Mike Z got the column lyric, again. What’s your question Mike?

Would the Oan power batteries be considered magic?

Nope they aren’t Y’see the Guardians of the Universe have been around for over ten billion years. So they have some pretty nifty mental abilities and energies. Plus they reside on Oa which being the center of the universe and all, makes it an attraction for all sorts of energy from all over the universes. These guys aren’t magic, just highly evolved and super scientific. Much like our very own Ben Morse. (Although the deal I made with the dark gods to gain those skills could be considered magic. And by dark gods, I mean what Daron and his roleplaying buddies demand to be called…-Ben)

Shivkala, do you have a related question?

What’s the full story on the Starheart?

Well one day 4 billion years ago the Guardians of the Universe decided that there was too much magic energy about. So they gathered up all the random magic in the universe and put it in an orb called the Starheart. The sent it out adrift in the galaxy. Somehow the Starheart not only grew in power, but also became sentient. It split a portion of itself off to travel the universe.

That fragment landed on Earth a couple of thousand years ago and eventually ended up in Alan Scott’s hands. Zalaz, who was stopped by Alan, Hal Jordan and Ollie Queen, abducted the Starheart. Still later, the Starheart made Alan young and tried to make him it’s servant. But with the help of Torquemada the threat was avoided.

The Startheart was responsible for Obsidian’s first trip to the dark side, as seen in the Hearts of Darkness miniseries. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the Starheart regains intelligence and plagues Alan Scott again. It was actually last seen in the “Princes of Darkness” storyline in JSA. (In which Alan used it in part to create his new ring, the new focus for his once again amped up powers. –Ben)

Katie asks

What can you tell me about Amethyst & Gemworld? I had an issue from the original maxi-series, plus a few issues when they tried to make it a regular series. I know she was blinded during Crisis. Likewise, I think there was a brief mention of Gemworld as a whole during the original Books of Magic miniseries? Was anything more ever worked with Amethyst? I must admit I liked her and her concept (and sharing the same birthstone didn’t hurt either).

Y’know I like her. She’s my birthstone too. But she’s kind of complex. Let’s begin with some back-story.

Gemworld is a place that is made up of twelve houses of sorcerers, and surprise they are all named after a different gemstone. Well Amethyst’s have been the traditional rules of the realm. So this one guy Lord Amethyst the ruler, had this stone filled with power, mystical power (the best kind of power.) It turns out that the stone was actually a Lord of Order, Pantagones. Well one day as Lords of Order are wont to do, Pantagones took possession of Lord Amethyst’s body and made sweet love to Lady Amethyst, resulting in a baby Amethyst called “Amethyst.” Amethyst was a Lord of Order.

Later on some Lord of Chaos who went by the name Vandaemeon, using Dark Opal, the lord of Opal House as his pawn, decided to take over Gemworld. Of course Lord and Lady Amethyst were killed, as was Pantagones. Fortunately Citrina a sorceress loyal to the Amethyst clan transported Amethyst through a dimensional portal to Earth. Dark Opal, as expected took over Gemworld.

Amethyst grew up on Earth as Amy Winston, a regular adopted kid. But as usually happens the night before her thirteenth birthday she was taken back to Gemworld, where she found herself a twenty year old woman full of magic powers. She was older because of one of those wacky dimensional time flow things. She took up the mantle of Amethyst and helped oust Dark Opal from power. For a while she did the whole dimensional commuter hero thing.

But during the Crisis she was blinded in a battle with the shadow demons. Dr. Fate returned he to Gemworld. She battled Mordu and Child. She has completely abandoned her life on Earth, and was last seen as being kind of corrupted and evil. She can still “see” mystically. Since she’s a Lord of Order and the ruler of Gemworld, you know she is nice with the magic. And that is the story of why I hate my birthstone, or at least why I hate typing its name. Ben, are you good at any magic tricks? (I can turn crappy columns into gold. A bit more on Amethyst that I’ve picked up: the “evil, corrupt” Amethyst made her appearance in the Book of Fate series, which featured the Jared Stevens version of Fate who was not a Dr. Also, pre-Zero Hour, Amethyst played a role in the Legion of Super-Heroes mythos. Gemworld became Xerox, home of the Sorceror’s World where Mysa Nal, the White Witch of the LSH, was trained. The disembodied spirit of Amethyst, bonded to Xerox, spoke to Mysa and Blok and instructed them that they must destroy Xerox to defeat the Archimage and win the Magic Wars. Later, the spirit of Amethyst bonded with Mysa, altering her personality, and together they would ultimately defeat Mordru. –Ben)

Deacon, right now I’m going to answer two for the price of one, but just for you.

I was curious as to the complete back stories on Dr. Occult and Zantana

Well let’s start with the good Doctor.

So on New Year’s Eve 1899, some Satanists were throwing a shindig, and planning to sacrifice a couple of infants to their dark lord (not Daron.) But imagine their surprise when before the boy and girl were sacrificed a demon popped up on our plane of existence. But it wasn’t Satan it was Koth. Since these infants were untainted he had no use for their souls, but he did kill the members of the cult. He was about to kill the babies, but they had disappeared, so he went back to his realm and went about his business.

“Where did those kids go” you ask? Zator who was down with the Seven abducted them. He whisked them away to the citadel of the Seven, in another country. Now at first the Seven were not too keen on the idea of the kids (I think they viewed it as kind of the “jumping the shark” for their mystical organization.) But they had a quick looksie and found that both infants were mystically inclined.

So Zator looked after the kids. He named them Doc and Rose. The learned the mystic arts. Doc took frequent trips to the Faerie domain. And there was that one time that Rose and Doc started looking at each other in that “special” way. But the mystic order kind of nipped that idea in the butt. Once they were old enough they were kicked out the Citadel. The only things they were given were their names Doctor Occult and Rose Spiritus, and Doc got the Symbol of the Seven.

Eventually they made their way back to America. Doc actually got a PHD, and Rose was his sidekick. Then they decided to open up a detective agency specializing in the paranormal. Like the X Files crossed with Moonlighting.

Then in 1936 it was the Wrath of Koth. He almost took out the Seven. In order to defeat Koth and take his nifty Egyptian belt (Egyptian belts were all the rage in 1936) Dr. Occult changed from his normal trench coat ensemble and wore a costume, equipped with a mighty sword. Since this costume had a chest emblem and cape, he became…the first costumed hero of the Golden Age. As a result he defeated Koth.

Dr. Occult sacrificed his soul to stop the Stalker in 1945. But then Rose came and gave her soul to him. Now they share the same physical being. Sometimes he’s a he, sometimes she’s a she. It’s wacky and I doubt that even Dr. Phil could get to the bottom of it.

Rose and Dr. Occult split into two beings briefly, because of the meddling of Koth, but they found it confusing and became one again. They are both pretty adept at magical matters. And they do have distinct abilities as well as mutual ones. And you thought a joint bank account was bad. Ben do you think these two can just be “soulmates?”

Now on to Zatanna.

John Zatara hooked up with Sindella (she’s Homo Magi, just like Homo Sapiens only they have a sensitivity to sorcery.) They had a daughter Zantanna. Sindella faked her death so she could return to her hidden city of the Homo Magi (and party every night. Damn those Homo Magi women and their responsibility shirking!) To make matters worse the evil Allura cast a spell so that if either Zatara or Zatanna saw each other they would both die. Rather than rolling up his sleeves and gouging out two pair of eyes (which is what I would have done) Zatara fled the dimension with is tux tails between his legs in search of a “cure.”

Zatanna grew up without her parents (in case you skipped the previous paragraph) but once she was old enough she became a crime-fighting magician, just like her pops. She enlisted the help of some super hero friends to aid her in her search for his pop. With the help of the Justice League of America Zatanna found her dad, broke the curse, and faced Allura. Later Zatanna lost both parents (again) and joined the JLA. Dr. Mist had a crush on her, but she and John Constantine were an actual item.

Zatanna has given up on dong the whole professional crime-fighting thing, to lead a normal life. But when the need arises she step up to the plate with her backward spell weaving abilities. Ben, what are you thoughts on Zatanna? (You covered it pretty well, but I’ll note that I think she’d be a really good choice for a JLA member as they have no magic users and not enough women. –Ben)

Nalydpsycho, you have a Vertigo-esque question?

Could you give a brief bio on John Constantine?

Jonny was born in Liverpool in 1953. Since the family was barely scraping by as it was John’s father Thomas tried to induce abortion in Mary Anne, John’s mother. John survived, his mom didn’t. As a result John had a pretty bad childhood, what with his father (who never wanted him in the first place) blaming him for his mother’s death. John withdrew and embraced magic.

John ran away to London when he was 17 and joined the punk scene. He also became deeper involved in magic. He even dabbled in the dark arts. One time in Newcastle, he was in over his head and got a young girl Astra Logue sentenced to Hell. That even has weighed heavy on his mind, but hasn’t stopped from meddling with demons.

John is a crafty guy who’s sold his soul and gotten it back. He had a twin that he strangled in utero. He may seem selfish, but he has done some pretty selfless things. He was even possessed by the Swamp Thing in order for Swampy to impregnate Abby Holland, resulting in Tefe. Constantine may not be the most likeable character but he is an intriguing one. Ben, you have any thoughts on John Boy? (None outside the fact that I should be playing him, not Keanu. –Ben)

Deacon, do you have a question about a little know super team in the DCU?

Who were all the members of the Sentinels of Magic that formed during Day of Judgement and what have they done in the DCU since that mini-series.

Dr. Occult is a member.

Faust is the son of Felix Faust. Felix made a deal, his son’s soul for great powers. The deal was accepted, but the son got the powers. Faust tries to be a hero, but is his father’s legacy too strong?

Madame Xanadu is just a normal fortuneteller. Or is she? She’s really accurate at giving advice. Almost like she has a knack for it. She’s a psychic, but not terribly pro active.

The former Sentinel, Green Lantern is the embodiment of the Starheart. Since he is a bundle of magic from across the universe, he knows a thing or two about magical energies.

Ragman wears a suit that is composed of the souls of evildoers. He is a golem of sorts. His rags are drawn to evil. But when the souls are redeemed themselves they are free.

Blue Devil was killed by the Mist, but resurrected by Faust. He can now pull a neat trident tattoo off of his arm and make it a real trident. Cool!

And this rag tag bunch of mystics is called the Sentinels of Magic. The membership is rotating. Bloodwynd might be down one day, Dr. Fate the next. Sometimes Tempest shows up. But one thing is certain, when the Sentinels of Magic are around, a crappy story is being told. Such as Black Baptism. Ben, are you going to defend the Sentinels of Craptitude? (Wouldn’t dare. I’m still trying to justify owning all 50 issues of Titans, I’ve gotta choose my battles. –Ben)

Ben if I ever decide to do a “theme” column again, please edit that out of the column when you get it. I’m begging you. (Roger that…unless it’s disco-themed. –Ben)

Thankfully this column is through. Here is your question; out of every hero, who has the best looking costume?

“And I can’t remember life before her name.”

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