Jonah Puskar ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Comic Books Editor
With Halloween right here we’re taking a look at the top ten supernatural, mystical, and all around spooky DC Comics characters!
10. Resurrection Man
Mitch Shelley (aka Resurrection Man) was an unwilling test subject for a nanotechnology experiment which cost him his memory but also rendered him immortal. His powers operate in such a way that he could still be killed, but the death would last only a matter of seconds and he would be resurrected with a superpower influenced by the way that he was last killed. Resurrection Man has always been an interesting character who has received much attention. His last shot at public recognition was a short lived series during the New 52 relaunch.
9. Madame Xanada
Madame Xanadu was a mystic from Camelot who gained immortality. Her full name was once Nimue Inwudu and she is the youngest sister of Morgaine Le Fay and Vivienne, the Lady of the Lake. The sisters are early members of the subspecies of humans known as Homo magi, a lineage that bore many of the current DC mystics and sorcerers. She lived to the modern DC age and operates a fortune-telling parlor out of NYC. She frequently manipulates other mystics for power, which eventually lead to the formation of the Justice League Dark.
DC’s Frankenstein has an origin which is based off of his literary roots. However, when he was assumed dead in Europe after he sank beneath ice, he actually survived and swam to America. This Frankenstein fought supernatural foes throughout the late 1800s but eventually went into hibernation. He was woken up in the 21st century, where he joined the government agency S.H.A.D.E. (Super Human Advanced Defense Executive). He fought threats across time and space. After Frankenstein’s solo New 52 series was cancelled he then became a member of the Justice League Dark.
7. Etrigan the Demon
Etrigan was a demon summoned from Hell by the wizard Merlin. When Merlin was unable to gain the Etrigan’s secrets, he bonded the demon with Jason Blood, a knight in Camelot. This rendered Jason immortal, something he often regards as a curse. Blood can summon Etrigan to take control through spoken rhyme, during which time Etrigan can use his powers of super strength, telepathy, and projection of hellfire. Etrigan/Blood starred in a title called Demon Knights during the early part of the New 52 line, though after that was cancelled they haven’t appeared much since.
6. Doctor Fate
Doctor Fate is a powerful sorcerer and agent for the Lords of Order, who fight the evil Lords of Chaos. His amulet, cloak, and helmet are creations of the ancient spirit Nabu who acts as Fate’s mentor. He is a founding member of the Justice Society of America and has also been a member of the Justice League. Doctor Fate has typically been a consistent presence in DC Comics history, most recently appearing in the current DC event Dark Knights: Metal.
Raven is the daughter of the demon Trigon, which grants her powers as an empath who can teleport and control her astral projection. Raven struggles with her quite literal inner demons but fights for the forces of good alongside her young allies. Raven is well-known for being a part of numerous incarnations of the Teen Titans throughout the years. She was a part of the line-up of the beloved animated Teen Titans show on Cartoon Network from 2003 – 2007. She can currently be found in the most recent Teen Titans lineup alongside Robin (Damian Wayne), Starfire, Beast Boy, and Aqualad.
Zatanna Zatara is both a stage magician and an actual magician. As a mystic, her powers are typically controlled by speaking the words of her incantations spelled backwards. Zatanna has been involved with the Justice League over the years, typically being their go-to magic expert. Zatanna is also a frequent ally of Batman due to her long history in Gotham City. She is also well-known for her on-off relationship with fellow mystic John Constantine, leading to her joining, and eventually leading, the Justice League Dark.
3. Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing is the transformed identity of Alec Holland, a scientist working in the Louisiana swamps on a bio-restorative formula. Holland was killed by a bomb planted by terrorists who wanted the formula. After being splashed with burning chemicals and falling into the swamp, Holland became a creature resembling a humanoid plant. His new form granted him superhuman strength and durability, plant manipulation, and a healing factor. Swamp Thing is the most recent avatar of The Green, an elemental force which connects all forms of plant life on Earth. Swamp Thing is a frequent ally of John Constantine, albeit uneasily. This connection lead to Constantine tricking Swamp Thing into joining the Justice League Dark.
Deadman is the alias of Boston Brand, the ghost of a former circus trapeze artist. When Brand was murdered during a trapeze performance, his spirit is given the power to possess any living being by a higher spirit in order to search for his murderer and obtain justice. Deadman has allied with the Justice League throughout the years, helping them with more mystical threats. During the New 52 line Deadman was a member of the Justice League Dark. More recently as part of the DC Rebirth continuity Deadman can be found in just-released three-part miniseries, Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love.
1. John Constantine
John Constantine is a an occult detective and conman from in London. Constantine’s most well known attributes are his constant cynicism, snarky attitude, and his ever-present smoking habit. However he is secretly a passionate man with a desire to do something good in his short life. Constantine is known as a major manipulator, with has brought him into conflict with frequent allies Zatanna, Swamp Thing, and Papa Midnite. Constantine was also the original leader of the Justice League Dark, but his selfish nature lead to him being ousted. In current DC Rebirth continuity, Constantine stars in the series The Hellblazer. Constantine was also played by Matt Ryan on the show Constantine, with Ryan reprising his role on a recent episode of Arrow and upcoming episodes of Legends of Tomorrow, as well as the new animated CW Seed show Constantine.