The Sentinels of Magic

FIRST APPEARANCE:  Day of Judgment #1 (November 1999)

+ History

The Sentinels of Magic, per se

The group of mystics who began calling themselves the Sentinels first came together over the Spectre's search for a new host. It began when the Demon, Etrigan, tricked the Spectre into merging with the angel, Asmodel. Together, they subdued Neron and unleashed hell on Earth. It was Dr. Occult who began gathering an army of mystics to stop him as the Sentinels of Magic. (Day of Judgment #1) In search of a weapon to defeat Asmodel, Captain Marvel went into space to retrieve the Spear of Destiny. Hal Jordan agreed to try and become the new Spectre, but was struck down. The JSA then arrived on the scene, with the new Dr. Fate (Hector Hall) in tow. (#3) The Sentinels channeled their mystical powers into Hal to defeat Asmodel. In Hell, Blue Devil was resurrected by Faust (son of Felix Faust ), who also re-ignited the fires of Hell by murdering the Enchantress. On Earth, Neron took over Superman's body and seized control of the Spectre. (#4) Hal Jordan ultimately defeated Neron and Asmodel and assumed the Spectre's mantle. (#5) He then entrusted the Spear of Destiny to the Sentinels, who sent it into the sun after dispatching the Wizard and casting a spell to ensure that only they can retrieve it. (Day of Judgment Secret Files)

Their next appearance was aside the Martian Manhunter, whom they helped fight Etrigan, the Demon, who had been separated from Jason Blood by Morgaine LeFay. (Martian Manhunter #28)

The Sentinels can frequently be found by the side of the JLA in times of great Crisis. They opened a doorway to an alien dimension to defeat the leader of the Appellaxian race. (JLA: Incarnations #7) They were also soon attacked by Hermes Trismegestus, who sought to again unleash Hell on Earth. Hermes was residing in the body of Felix Faust and he resurrected the Enchantress as his agent to steal the souls of the Sentinels. The JLA recruited Faust and Blue Devil to help them, and Tempest was infused with the spirits of old B'Mirian (Atlantean) mages. Ultimately, the Enchantress was united with June Moon, temporarily creating a new entity: the Soulsinger. The Soulsinger used the stolen heroes' souls to banish Trismegestus. Blue Devil sacrificed himself to stop the demons and both Fausts emerged unharmed. Afterwards, Zatanna was named liaison between the JLA and the Sentinels of Magic. (JLA: Black Baptism #1-4)

They helped the JLA purge Earth of the White Martians by nullifying the gravity of the moon. Thus, the moon was brought burning into Earth's atmosphere. (JLA #58) With help from Tempest, the JLA squashed an attempt by Ocean Master and Black Manta to take over Atlantis. Zatanna and the Sentinels of Magic then discovered that ancient Atlantis had in fact been cloaked for 3,000 years. They cast a spell to send the JLA back in time to find Aquaman. (JLA #68)

Pre-Sentinels Magical Gatherings

One of the earliest meetings between 20th century magicians was in 1939, when Dr. Occult confronted Zatara and attempted to persuade him to join a new alliance of magical heroes. (Golden Age Secret Files #1) Apparently some alliance was formed, for in February 1945, the evil Stalker appeared on Earth and Dr. Fate, Dr. Occult, the Spectre, Zatara, Merlin II and Tor were ready for the battle. Unfortunately, Merlin and Tor perished in the fight. (All Star Comics v.2 #1)

The Swamp Thing also had frequent interactions with the world's magicians. When a primordial shadow-creature was unleashed by the Brujeria, John Constantine recruited the Swamp Thing and an army of mystics to join the battle, including Dr. Fate, Sargon, the Spectre, Zatanna and Zatara. This time, Sargon and Zatara perished, but the shadow-creature is eventually persuaded to change its course by the Swamp Thing. (Swamp Thing #49-50)

The DCU's mystics assemble to discuss plans for the upcoming millennium. (Baron Winter, Bronze Tiger, Deadman, Dr. Fate (Eric and Linda), Enchantress, Gentleman Ghost, Madame Xanadu, Phantom Stranger, Spectre, Zatanna.) (Spectre, v.2 #11)

Dr. Occult, Phantom Stranger, John Constantine, Dr. Fate, the Spectre, Zatanna and many other magicians (living and dead) give young Timothy Hunter a guided tour of the vast world of magic. (Books of Magic #1-4)

With the help of Dr. Fate (Inza Nelson), the Demon, the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna, the Spectre destroys Eclipso. (Spectre #16-18)

Book of Fate #??

Other Significant Magical Subjects

+ The American Talisman (Uncle Sam)

In 1776, shortly after signing the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers (led by Benjamin Franklin) conducted a ritual to create a talisman that represented the spirit of the new nation. The talisman in turn created a mystical avatar that embodied that spirit. It first manifested during the Revolutionary War as the Minuteman, and faded away in 1781 after the Battle of Yorktown. He then manifested as Brother Jonathan during the war of 1812. (Spectre v.3 #38)

The sprit first manifested in the 20th Century during the early days of World War II, as Uncle Sam. (National Comics #1, Secret Origins v.2 #19) Once this crisis was quelled, the American Talisman was shattered and Uncle Sam disappeared. (Spectre v.3 #38) Note: In post-Crisis continuity all postwar appearances of Uncle Sam should be considered apocryphal.

Decades later, a conspiratorial organization called the National Interest retrieves the Spear of Destiny from space. They sought to prevent the Spectre from interfering with their quest to reclaim the broken pieces of the American Talisman. (Spectre #47) After narrowly escaping destruction, the Spectre defeated the National Interest and the supernatural power behind it, the American Scream. The American Talisman was reassembled, resulting in the creation of a new incarnation of Uncle Sam called Patriot. (Spectre #50) Patriot only had a couple of outings (JSA: Our Worlds at War) before reclaiming the name Uncle Sam. (Superman v.2 #178)

+ Atlantis

» SEE: Atlantis is thoroughly covered in the Atlantis Profile

+ John Constantine

John Constantine had a romantic relationship with Zatanna, which began when they first studied magic together. Constantine has lurked among the DC Universe for decades but did not reveal himse met the Swamp Thing. (Swamp Thing #37) As Zatanna was still a teenager, Zatara always disapproved of this union; he felt his daughter deserved a better, smarter, more heroic man than Constantine. They broke up following an incident in Newcastle, where he destroyed the demon, Nergal with the help of three Angels. After this, Constantine was committed to a mental asylum. He resurfaced years later to contact the Swamp Thing (shortly after the start of the Crisis). The couple met again during a battle which ultimately claimed Zatara's life. Zatanna blamed Constantine for Zatara's death and the two parted bitterly. (Swamp Thing #49-50) Their friendship was later revived when they met again. (Books of Magic) The relationship remains platonic.

Constantine possesses a magical match which, when struck, can grant the wish of the user. He uses it to light his cigarettes. Perhaps he uses this match for his frequent teleportation. Constantine has used magic and spent a lifetime seducing influential women. Recently, however, he has fallen into disgrace yet again; his life a collection of nasty habits and dangerous attitudes. Today, he avoids (or cannot attain) high class women, but still sleeps around. Regardless! His committment to confront evil remains the same despite the downturn in his personal life. (Hellblazer Secret Files #1)

+ Ragman

Using the same spell that created the legendary Golem and substituting rags for clay, a council of Rabbis created a mystical Jewish guardian, one which required a human host to bring it to life. One such Ragman was Jerzy Reganiewicz, who rallied Jews in Poland during World War Two (Ragman v.2 #3), and another was his son, Rory Regan, who serves as the current incarnation of Ragman (Ragman v.2 # 1-6). The patches of the costume, actually living souls of evil beings, endow Ragman with great strength and flight and supernaturally vanish and reappear as situations deem necessary. Most recently, Ragman has been affiliated with the group of mystics known as the Sentinels of Magic. (Day of Judgment #1-5)

Written by John Wells

+ The Starheart

3.5 billion years ago, after defeating the demons of the Empire of Tears on the planet Ysmault, the Guardians of the Universe attempt to banish sorcery from the cosmos by gathering together the universe's magical energies into a single mass called the Starheart. The Starheart is launched into deep space and eventually arrives on Earth. (Green Lantern v.2 #111-112)

Then circa 1 B.C., the consciousness of dying Green Lantern Yalan Gur was absorbed, along with the his shattered power battery, into the Starheart. It crashed in China as a green, glowing meteorite and was found by a blacksmith named Chang, who fashioned it into a lantern. The lantern issued a cryptic prophecy: "Three times shall I flame green: first, to bring death; second, to bring life; third, to bring power." When Chang is killed by superstitious neighbors, the lantern fulfills the first part of the prophecy by slaying his attackers with a burst of energy.

The Chinese lantern then found its way to Arkham Asylum, outside Gotham City, where an inmate named Billings fashioned it into a modern railway lantern. The lantern flamed a second time, fulfilling the second part of its mysterious prophecy by restoring the man's sanity and allowing him to return to normal life.

Finally, Alan Scott was saved from a train wreck by the same railway lantern. At the lantern's mental direction, Scott fashioned a ring from it that allowed him to tap the Starheart's power. He adopted the identity of Green Lantern. (Secret Origins v.2 #18) Scott eventually internalized the power of the Starheart and took the name Sentinel. (Showcase '95 #1) The Starheart became corrupted and Sentinel was forced to divest himself of it's evil properties; this slightly reduced his powers. He retains his youthfulness. (Green Lantern: Hearts of Darkness #1-3)

List of Members

Member (Aliases) 1st Affiliation 1st Appearance Status
Bloodwynd (unrevealed) JLA: Incarnations #7 Justice League America #61 Active in adventuring
Blue Devil (Daniel Patrick Cassidy) Day of Judgment #4 Fury of Firestorm #24 Deceased, Starman #38; resurrected, Day of Judgment #4; deceased JLA: Black Baptism #4; resurrected before JSA #33
Deadman (Boston Brand) Day of Judgment #1 Strange Adventures #205 Active in adventuring
Doctor Fate IV (Hector Hall, Silver Scarab, Sandman III) Day of Judgment #4 All-Star Squadron #25 (Fate in JSA #3) Deceased JSA #80
Doctor Occult (Richard Occult and Rose Psychic) Day of Judgment #1 New Fun Comics #6 Active in adventuring
The Enchantress (June Moon, the Soulsinger) Day of Judgment #1 Strange Adventrues #187 (Soulsinger in JLA: Black Baptism #4) Active in adventuring. Enchantress deceased, Day of Judgment #4. Resurrected as Soulsinger, JLA: Black Baptism #4
Faust (Sebastian Faust) Day of Judgment #1 Outsiders, v.2 #1 Active in adventuring
Madame Xanadu (unrevealed) Day of Judgment #1 Doorway to Nightmare #1 Active in adventuring
Phantom Stranger (unrevealed) Day of Judgment #1 Phantom Stranger #1 Active in adventuring
Raven (none) Day of Judgment #1 DC Comics Presents #26 Active in adventuring
Ragman II (Rory Regan) Day of Judgment #1 Ragman #1 Active in adventuring
Sentinel (Alan Scott, Green Lantern I) Day of Judgment #1 All-American Comics # (Sentinel in Showcase '95 #1) Active in the JSA
Tempest II (Garth, Aqualad) JLA: Black Baptism #1 Adventure #269 (Tempest in Tempest #1) Active in the adventuring
Zatanna (Zatanna Zatara) Day of Judgment #1 Hawkman #4 Active in adventuring; serves as liaison with the JLA
OTHER MAGICAL HEROES
Member (Aliases) 1st Appearance Status
Amethyst (Amy Winston) Legion of Super-Heroes v. 3 #?? Status unknown
Arion (none) Warlord #?? spirit passed to afterlife, JSA #50; his body was inhabited by Mordru, which was imprisoned in the Rock of Eternity JSA #51; that was freed Infinite Crisis #1 and an impostor appeared Day of Vengeance Special #1. His past self reappeared in modern day in Superman #655
Jason Blood (host for Etrigan the Demon) The Demon #1 Active in adventuring
John Constantine, Hellblazer Swamp Thing #37 Active in adventuring
Manitou Raven JLA #66 Active in adventuring
Nabu (none) More Fun #67 Active in adventuring
Sargon (John Sargent) All-American #26 Powerful enough to escape death; died Swamp Thing #50, resurrected #143; killed again #150; returned Swamp Thing v.4 #1; deceased sometime before Helmet of Fate: Sargon the Sorceror
Shazam (unrevealed) Power of Shazam Graphic Novel Active in adventuring
Spectre (Jim Corrigan)   Deceased Spectre v.3 #62
Spectre II (Hal Jordan, Green Lantern II, Parallax) Brave & Bold # ; as Spectre, Day of Judgment # Active in adventuring
Witchfire (Rebecca Carstairs) JLA #61 Active in adventuring
MAGICAL VILLAINS
Felix Faust (none) Justice League of America #10 Active in adventuring
Mordru the Dark Lord (Wrynn) Amethyst v.?? #1?? Active in adventuring
The Wizard (William Asmodeus Zard) All-Star Comics #34 Presumed dead, Infinity, Inc. #36; reappeared Infinity, Inc. #50
Wotan (none) More Fun #55 Status unknown

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • Day of Judgment #1-5 & Secret Files #1
  • JLA #58, 68
  • JLA: Incarnations #7
  • JLA: Black Baptism #1-4
  • Martian Manhunter #28

Pre-Sentinels groupings:

    • Book of Fate #??
    • Books of Magic v.1 #1-4
    • Spectre v.2 #11
    •  Swamp Thing #50

» SERIES:

  • Ragman v. 2, 8 issues (1991)
  • Conjurors, 3-issue limited series (Elseworlds, 1999)
  • Day of Judgment, 5-issue limited series (1999)
  • Trenchcoat Brigade 4-issue limited series (1999)
  • JLA: Black Baptism, 4-issue mini-series (2000)
  • Day of Vengeance, 6-issue limited series (2005)
  • Shadowpact, 25 issues (2006-2008)