Strange Company: The Marvel Mystical Fantasy Draft, Part Three [Fantasy Week]
For our latest fantasy draft, in honor of Doctor Strange, our writers must compete to put together the best superhero teams made up entirely of Marvel magical characters, featuring one occultist, one demon, one vampire, one undead character, and one were-monster.
In day two of the draft, Tara Marie added Pixie and Carnage to the team of Sera, Jubilee, and FrankenCastle; Steve added Dead Girl and Mephisto to the team of Spitfire, Nico Minoru, and Robbie Reyes; Kieran added Doctor Doom and Throg to the team of Dracula, Elsa Bloodstone, and Captain Britain; Andrew added Satana Hellstrom and Jericho Drumm to the team of Agatha Harkness, Billy Kaplan, and Cullen Bloodstone; and Elle added Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch to the team of Magik, Blade, and Zombie. With two picks left apiece, it's time to round out the teams and see which one comes out on top.
Tara Marie: For my sixth pick, I’m going with the most popular trickster in the Marvel Universe, the Agent of Asgard, Loki. I’m specifically mentioning Agent of Asgard as I think that’s when Loki has been the most heroic, and you know, not jerk-y. I think Loki being the de facto leader of this team of miscreants makes a whole lot of weird sense. Since Loki helped out Ms Marvel, we know they can have a good rapport with supers, and they are genuinely interested in helping, no matter how backwards, sinister, and devious their help may actually be.
Steve: I’ve been struggling to find a favorite monster for my team, but a search through Marvel’s long list of werewolves finally brought up the answer: Man-Wolf! Because what’s better than a mystically-created werewolf? A mystically-created werewolf who moonlights as a flippin’ astronaut! Also, his dad is J. Jonah Jameson, so my superhero team would have the best PR of any team on this draft. Try saving the world with impunity whilst Triple J is calling you a menace!
Kieran: For my demonic character, I’m going to pick another obscure one in Jaine Cutter. She first showed up as a love interested for Daimon Hellstrom, but she reappeared a few years ago in Ghost Rider: Heaven’s On Fire in kind of a paranormal PI role, like Jessica Jones if Jessica Jones had a demonic gun that cursed her out for being rubbish all the time. There’s a lot of potential there, but she’s only been in like twenty five comics in twenty years, so maybe it’s time to bring her back.
Andrew: It's always tough when we get to the last couple of picks and my wishlist still has three or four good names on it. Sometimes it’s actually easier when someone else picks your picks!
But I guess it’s time for me to pick a vampire, and I’d narrowed it down to a choice of two. I’ve always had a fondness for Morbius, who is technically a fake vampire, but my actual pick is a for-real vampire; Hannibal King. A 1940s private eye that got bit, died, and came back as a vamp, King has some untapped potential as a character who stalks the night in two different modes! And I’ll admit, I had a bit of a crush on this brooding cursed detective even before he was played onscreen by a particularly ripped Ryan Reynolds.
Elle: My “monstrous” pick is something of a were-creature, but she doesn’t change back into a human. Tigra was mystically transformed by a lost tribe of cat people into one of their own, because it was the only way to save her from an injury she’d suffered in her previous human superhero identity as the Cat. It turned out she quite liked her feline form, with the reflexes and abilities that came with it, not to mention the fur and the tail. Of course sometimes over the years her animal instincts have taken over and caused her to go feral, but for the most part she’s remained a hero, just one who’s not afraid to show her claws.
Andrew: I’m glad Tigra made the cut. If no-one else had picked her, she was going to be my final pick.
Tara Marie: For my last pick of the draft, I’m going with my favorite type of monster --- a werewolf. It’s the only movie monster that actually scares me. There’s a surprising number of were-creatures in the Marvel Universe, but I think mine’s the best. And that is Werewolf by Night.
While I’m not going to disparage any of my former picks by saying Werewolf is the best, I will say he has the coolest name. Plus, he’s got a connection to the Darkhold, the same book of dark magic that gave Carnage his demonic powers, so it’d be interesting to have them on the same team. With him as another muscle, my team is pretty well balanced, if I do say so myself!
Kieran: I think we should have it on record somewhere here, just in case people don’t know, that Werewolf by Night’s real name is Jack Russell. That’s important information.
Speaking of best werewolves, I wanted to pick Marcus The Centaur Werewolf Symbiote Warrior, but I already chose Dracula as my villain, and alas.
Tara Marie: May I just say, though, Kieran, that I will forever be grateful to you, because I had never heard of that most awesome and ridiculous of Marvel characters before now.
Elle: I like Jack Russell. He’s an excellent werewolf, and he was great in Frasier.
Steve: Every team needs a leader. Somebody to rev up the troops with vim and gusto; who can subdue an opponent just as handily with his acidic dry wit as with an uppercut. And when the empire calls out for just such a hero to lead all that is good and just into the heart of darkness, there's just one man who can answer that call --- and his name is Alistaire Stuart.
The supernatural advisor to MI:13, Alistaire has decades of experience dealing with magic --- and after an ‘unknown interaction’ with Morgan LeFay, he’s been left somewhat magical himself! He’s a sardonic suit, a government employee who has been through the wars but continually strives to keep a stiff upper lip in the face of mystical mayhem. Pip pip, old bean, he’s leader of my team.
Kieran: For my final pick, I’m obligated to choose an undead character but it’s someone I was looking to have on my list anyway, it’s N’Kantu, The Living Mummy. I first encountered N’Kantu when I started reading comics month to month in the pages of Civil War, and the idea of a mummy superhero made me realise the true potential of a shared universe. N’Kantu is a super underrated member of the Legion of Monsters, and he’ll thrive on my team.
Elle: I was starting to think nobody was going to show any love for ol’ N’Kantu, but I’m glad I was wrong.
Andrew: I have a very sorcerous team, so I’m going to round it out with one more mystic, but one that really stands apart from the crowd, and brings a bit of muscle to the team.
I am talking, of course, about Doctor Strange’s extradimensional green minotaur buddy (and sometime apprentice) Rintrah, who inexplicably does not appear to be in the Doctor Strange movie. The great thing about Rintrah is that he’s only incidentally a huge green minotaur; that’s what people look like where he comes from. If Rintrah wasn’t a student of the arcane arts, he would still be a huge green minotaur. He’s the Beta Ray Bill of the occult.
Tara Marie: Question --- has there ever been a Rintrah/Beta Ray Bill roadtrip mini? And if not, can there be?
Steve: One thing that’s becoming very apparent is that Marvel has a vast number of amazing-sounding mystical characters who aren’t appearing as often as they should be! Marvel, cancel all your current plans for 2017 and write "Rintrah Returns" at the top of your to-do list.
Elle: I’m going to add a fourth spellcaster to my team, and she’s one of the most powerful in the Marvel Universe. I’m talking about Amora, the Enchantress of Asgard. She’s a villain as a rule, but her strongest instinct is self-preservation, so if there was a mystical menace powerful enough to threaten Asgard as well as Earth, you can bet she’d show up to help fight it. She also has a rather subtext-laden history with Magik, which will definitely add an interesting dynamic to my team.
Andrew: And that’s our teams! Some pretty eclectic assemblies from the rich and weird world of Marvel magic. But which team has popular appeal? It’s over to the readers to cast their votes.