DC is hot on the heels of Marvel in the magic department. Anticipation continues to build up for Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange film which will usher in an era of mysticism for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But to rev up Marvel fans, ABC’s Agents of SHIELD is going to feature Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes, putting Marvel’s tech-oriented spy team in unfamiliar territory. But DC isn’t taking Marvel’s mystical developments sitting down. They’re fighting back with Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark.
The upcoming Suicide Squad will give the DCEU a glimpse into magic by including Enchantress into the Suicide Squad to be played by Cara Delavingne. At the recent San Diego Comic-Con, fans were treated to a great preview of what else DC’s mystical world has in store in the form of a promising trailer for Wonder Woman. Most of us know Wonder Woman’s divine heritage as the creation of the Greek God Zeus from a clay mold (re-written as his direct offspring with Hippolyta in DC’s New 52). The clay origin was mentioned in the trailer. Now that I think about it, Wonder Woman is basically a beautiful and powerful golem.
Now DC is further pushing the magic with the production of another animated feature called Justice League Dark, which is based on a comic book series of the same name. Many fans consider DC’s animated films as superior over Marvel’s and Justice League Dark promises to be another great addition.
Warner Brothers recently released a teaser trailer for the film with several parallels to the upcoming Doctor Strange such as the use of rune manifestations while casting spells as well as the involvement of a mystical nexus in the form of a house. There will also be appearances of the New 52 Justice League (still can’t get over blue-collar Superman), though they won’t be the main focus much like the previous animated film Justice League versus The Teen Titans.
The team’s roster includes magical beings and users such as:
- Zatanna Zatara – she’s the beautiful magic wielding member of the Justice League often dressed in fishnets, top hat and magician’s suit. She looks a bit like a Las Vegas showgirl but exudes an elegance and beauty that commands respect. Speaking of commands, she’s a powerful magic user who wields her magic by reciting what she wants backward. Was first introduced to her in the Justice League Unlimited animated series and has been interested in her ever since. She also made appearances in Young Justice and Smallville.
- John Constantine – most of us know him from the film Hellblazer which starred Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. More recently, the character also has his own TV series, Constantine and has made appearances in Arrow. One could say he’s a combination of Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Doctor Strange. He works as an occult detective striving to help people deal with occult problems. His snark and cynicism rivals that of marvel’s Tony Stark. Unlike other heroes, he’s dressed as a stereotypical gumshoe with a trench coat, shirt and fedora complete with cynical behaviors such as cussing, smoking and drinking but his sincerity in helping others as well as his wits drive his effectiveness.
- The Demon Etrigan – Jason Blood was a knight in King Arthur’s court was bound to a powerful demon named Etrigan by Merlin the Magician. This rendered Jason Blood immortal while he’s bound to the demon. He becomes a demonologist based in Gotham City. Jason Blood becomes the demon Etrigan by reciting an ancient poem. Etrigan is a muscular demon with orange skin, horns, red eyes and webbed ears. He has a great command of magic, has superhuman strength, telepathy and can breathe fire.
- Deadman – was formerly a trapeze artist named Boston Brand. He was murdered during a performance, but his spirit was given the power to possess any living being to control them in order to help him obtain justice.
- Swamp Thing – is an elemental creature made up of vegetable matter He has the memories and personality of a murdered botanist named Alec Holland who invented a bio-restorative formula for plants. He fights evil while protecting the earth as part of the elemental community known as “The Green.” He has the power to inhabit, animate and control plant matter, fast regeneration, superhuman strength and elemental control. The character was used in two theatrical films and one live-action TV series in the 90s.
As shown in the Justice League vs. Teen Titans animated film, the Justice League’s main roster of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and The Flash are ill-equipped to deal with magic or magical threats especially Superman whose weaknesses include magic and Kryptonite. While they serve as heavy hitters, they still need special people to watch their backs. The film is currently under development, but the trailer promises a welcome addition to your DC Animated Universe film collection.