Saturday, August 16, 2008
The Justice League of Arcana
We superhero fans love our supergroups. Our publishers know this and so they sometimes cobble together teams to satisfy our appetite that wind up being pretty unsatisfying. You ever go to one of those events where you think there's going to be a buffet, and what's actually offered is a variety of h'ordeurvres? That's how I feel reading the likes of Infinity Inc and Outsiders.
But that's not my point. I've always like the idea of a sort of "Mystic League of America", a supergroup of mystics formed along the lines of the JLA/JSA. I thought DC had this concept locked when they created the Sentinels of Magic, but they never ran with it. Even worse, they went instead with the Outsiders of Magic, the Shadowpact; on the whole, readers didn't go with them.
Why didn't/doesn't this idea fly? Is it because, unlike the spandex crowd, magician's powers are too vague and indistinguishable from one another? Too little interest in magic characters?
I picture a group very much like the Sentinels of Magic, but narrowed down a bit. More like the classic JLA rather than a JLU of magic (because perhaps early over-expansion of the Sentinels watered down the concept and hindered its popularity; a club to which everyone belongs doesn't have a lot of perceived value!). I'd even make sure there was a bit a parallelism going on, like so.
Dr. Fate, in for Superman
Phantom Stranger, in for Batman
Zatanna, in for Wonder Woman
Tempest, in for Aquaman
Blue Devil, in for Green Lantern
Deadman, in for Flash
Dr. Occult, in for Martian Manhunter