Christopher J. Priest (the artist formerly known as Jim Owsley) is one of my favorite people and favorite writers, a friend since the late-1970s when I was a writing for Marvel’s Crazy Magazine and he was the assistant editor thereof. We worked together on staff at DC Comics for a couple of years, and we wrote for one another’s editorial offices. One of the projects I did for Jim was a sequel to my 1980s sword and sorcery series, Arion, Lord of Atlantis (November 1982 – September 1985), originally submitted to the powers-that-be as Arion, Lord of Order, with the second draft resubmitted under the title Arion: Darkworld (as explained in Owlsley’s cover letter below), and ultimately published as Arion The Immortal (July-December 1992).

My first pitch to Jim was a pretty conventional sword & sorcery jobby, but Jim didn’t (and still doesn’t) do “pretty conventional” comics. He did off-kilter, what-the-heck-is-going-on-here comics. In his own writing, he’s the master of the literary mindfuck and loves to keep his readers off-balance as they find out that what they thought they knew was going on actually wasn’t. (Later, when I was an editor in DC’s licensed publishing department, I hired Jim to plot, and write one of, a trilogy of Green Lantern novels; his prose in Sleepers: Book Three (iBooks, 2005) is even better than his comic book writing.)

Anyway, Jim waved off my conventional sword & sorcery jobby and repeated to me some sage old writing advice: “Write what you know.” For a guy who’d written Conan the Barbarian, he had no tolerance for the flowery language of sword & sorcery; instead, we worked out a series that took place in what was then the current New York City and featured a bunch of cranky old folks who complained about everything. Talk about writing what I knew…! I’d been born and raised in NYC and I had the perfect models for the cranky old gods: the cranky old Jewish relatives I’d grown up with around the kitchen table in Brooklyn.

The result–submitted on April 1, 1991–is below. A couple of observations: While for historic purposes, I present these proposals pretty much as originally written (I’ve corrected some spelling and a few of the more embarrassingly egregious grammatical errors), this one reads particularly clunky to me and could have used a good polish, but it seemed to have gotten the job done. Also, shout-outs to Ron Wilson, the DC and Marvel veteran who took on pencilling the wackiness, inker Jerry Acerno, and cover artist Randy DuBurke, an artist I always thought should have achieved far greater recognition than he did in comics.

Editor Owsley’s 4/1/91 cover letter to the editorial review team ( that would be passing judgement on the DARKWORLD proposal.


Proposal for a 6-issue miniseries by Paul Kupperberg & Ron Wilson

The King of the World lives on the 13th floor of the Carnegie Hall building, back in the twisted maze of cluttered, broom closet-sized offices inhabited by folks from all walks of life. An eccentric older gent, The King of the World is crammed into a 6′ x 9′ room jammed full of memorabilia and trivia from bygone times, totally at peace with himself and his world. The King of the World makes his living scamming the rubes at three-card monte and chess at the Port Authority bus station and in Washington Square Park. His friends are the street people and the homeless as well as the professionals and Yuppies occupying the catacombs above Carnegie Hall.

The King of the World’s best friend is a young girl, the daughter of one of the professionals renting office space in the building. Amanda has literally grown up around The King of the World, blossoming into a nubile, leggy blonde for whom The King of the World could really go…if only she wasn’t like a daughter to him. She has dinner with him often, makes sure he takes his vitamins and helps him with his chores.

The King of the World’s arch-nemesis is an ancient God of Chaos. He runs a deli down on West Houston. Just to tick him off, The King of the World goes down to The God of Chaos’ deli every day for lunch. And never leaves a tip.

The King of the World’s life was complete and pretty much the way he wanted it, until Darkworld began falling asleep again to dream the Dream that gave birth to all Atlantean magic, including the foul, evil supernatural creatures that once terrorized primitive mankind countless millenia past. Darkworld was the source of the great mystic energy, the mana, The King of the World once drew on to battle the scourge of evil. But that was more than forty thousand years ago.

When The King of the World was known as Arion, Lord of Atlantis.

With Darkworld once again dozing off, the Atlantean magic is reactivated and Arion, the immortal King of the World is able to again draw on its power, which instantly brings back his lost youth and vigor. And draws him into an intrigue of epic proportions, not to mention the attendant moral dilemma when the young girl he befriended in her youth falls for the dashing, heroic sorcerer Arion and turns to the “old” King of the World for advice and counsel. He’s pretty smart, what with possessing a wisdom born of the ages, Arion doesn’t have clue one how to deal with this particular romantic “triangle.”

Of course, if Arion can be restored, so can his two greatest nemeses, The God of Chaos and Arion’s likewise immortal evil brother Garn, eventually tap into the Darkworld magic and return to their former evils. Magical, mystical sword and sorcery in Times Square?

Sure, why not?

Well, for one thing, Arion doesn’t want a return to those thrilling days of yesteryear. He likes his life the way it is and, except for Amanda, he’s worked at avoiding involvement with individual humans. Why bother, when all they’re going to do is die on him after a few short decades?

Besides, in spite of their surface resemblance to the Atlanteans of old, the mankind of today were, in ancient days, primitives known as “sub-men,” just one evolutionary step up from apes. His people, Homo magicus , ruled the Earth a million years before Homo sapiens even learned to walk upright. Since then, the primitives have evolved into the mankind of today, while the majority of Homo magicus either died off or evolved into different races of beings, either here on Earth as the residents of modern-day Atlantean, or as the beings who inhabit the other-dimensional realm of Warlord’s Skartaris.

That’s not to say he’s got anything against mankind per se; he’s morally well above that sort of behavior. Sure, maybe in the olden days, when he’d been full of rage, fighting the forces out to destroy his world and railing against the deities using him as a pawn in their cosmic games, he might have harbored those prejudices. But after that world was lost by the destruction of Atlantis and the vanishing of its own particular brand of magic (which differs in origin and source from the magic utilized by DC’s other supernatural characters), he found himself in the position of having to accept his lot or go mad. Arion accepted and, through his wanderings, picked up bits and pieces of various religious and ethical philosophies as he went, often from the lips of the masters espousing them.

Immortality gives a man a long time to mull over life and, long before now, Arion became quite the together, unflappable Zen-master, banishing bitterness from his soul, accepting and at peace with himself and his situation. Cursing the fates that brought him here won’t change anything so why not just take things as they come, even when what comes is his building going condo and, unable to afford the purchase price, his eviction.

But he never expected to have to accept a crisis of world threatening proportion and the return of his long-lost Atlantean magical powers and youthful vitality.

And this when he’s thought he’d found his niche and a measure of peace.

Arion never knew what caused the collapse of Atlantis and the depletion of its special brand of magic and 40,000 years of wondering hasn’t brought any answers, so why continue to sweat it now? But he’s learned that with patience comes resolutions. That’s the way karma works. In the case of this particular mystery, however, karma has a slew of surprises up its twisted sleeve, including the aforementioned return of Arion’s vitality and his magic. What happens is this:

Darkworld, the other-dimensional source of the Atlantean magic, had been, in fact, the dream-state of a vast Cosmic Consciousness, a being of such universal proportions and power that its dreams were able to construct the entire reality of Arion’s Atlantis. Due to its sheer magnitude,

the Being existed outside of time and space as we know it, and for it the million-year snooze that “created” Atlantis was a mere catnap, the 45,000 year stretch between the end of the Empire and today a “momentary” disruption of its rest.

But now the Being is settling back to sleep, starting to dream anew the Dream of magical Atlantis. This has all sorts of severe, chaotic ramifications in the world, including the disruption of things scientific, the gradual reintroduction of Atlantean magic as the dominant natural force, and the beginning, in some small, isolated areas of New York, of humanity’s reversion back to sub-man status… although the latter’s barely noticeable in this city.

That’s bad news for humanity and for Arion. He went through a lot of grief to accept what he’s become and likes the life of no hassles, no worries and no dangerous heroics threatening his health. Besides, this is no longer “his” world; it belongs to mankind, let them deal with their own problems. And if they or their super-heroes can’t handle this crisis, it’s no skin off his nose. As an immortal, he’d just keep right on going no matter what state the world is in.

But that’s all just philosophical abstraction and try as he might, he can’t manage to plug Amanda Crowley into the abstract. For all that he feels about humanity in general, he can’t leave Amanda to the wolves. So even though he’s no longer a hero, well past a time he might even consider playing that game again, he has the power to help her and that means he can’t turn his back on this. He’s a man caught in an extreme situation granted the power to take action by shedding the facade of an old man and resuming, for a time, the life he had long ago left behind as The King of the World.

But once this thing is over and done with, it’s back to the wrinkles, white hair and Salvation Army clothes.

Except it doesn’t work out that way. Arion’s goal (and the story of the first six issues) is to keep the Atlantean magic from taking over the universe again. Sure, it’s tempting for him to contemplate what could be if the Atlantean era were to return, but in the end he decides he’s lived that life already and prefers the quiet of this one. But in order to keep his status quo’ed, he’s got to take up the old ways again, discover what the problem is and, with that knowledge, take action against the Being responsible for this hassle.

So that’s what he does, entering the Darkworld dimension for the first time in more than 40,000 years to find the Being and attempt to wake it from its sleep. But for all his renewed magical power, Arion isn’t a match for the Being. especially with Garn playing the other side to keep Arion from succeeding so that the old days can return and is only partially successful. The Being winds up in a catatonic state, preventing the Dream from being fully realized but still letting some Atlantean magic back into the world.

After that’s done, Arion finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place: the magic is there to use even though he prefers being the old man in his Carnegie Hall apartment, but the reintroduction of the mana has unleashed enough weirdness into the world that he feels obligated to act as a “magic cop” to protect what he’s invested so much energy in preserving from the likes of Garn, Chaon, and other such demons and deities now back in full sorcerous fettle.

But while he has to play the hero, Arion’s not giving up his “old man” life, friends, or alter ego’s Carnegie Hall apartment. On the plus side, his magic gives him the wherewithal to come up with the purchase price of the condo-ized apartment, as well as the ability to magically “customize” it, turning the single tiny room into a zone of inter-dimensional space which makes it, in effect, as large as he wants it to be and enables him to “change” its location at will without affecting the real space surrounding it.

Chaon doesn’t turn out to be quite the worry Arion thought he would. In fact, The Atlantean God of Chaos feels no need to return to his old tricks. Even as the god of Chaos, Chaon figures he couldn’t do a more effective job of instilling chaos in the world than mankind is doing all by itself. He’d just as soon sit back and watch them screw things up on their own.

Garn and some of the others, on the other hand, are different stories, but that’s why The King of the World is staying on the job.

Or, at least, that’s what he’ll tell himself.

The truth is, power is seductive. Arion’s main goal is to, basically, render himself obsolete. Awakening Darkworld will rob him of his power and return him to his long-endured state of “normalcy.” Rusty and out of practice as he begins his battle, Arion eventually regains confidence and skill as he breathes in his restored power. And, the closer he comes to achieving the goal, the less he truly wants to go through with it.

Amanda plays a major role in this: if Arion succeeds in ridding the world of magic, he’ll lose his youthful facade and Amanda in the bargain. If he allows magical hosts to run amok unchecked, he risks her life.

Torn by conflict as his Zen sensibilities crack and splinter, we’ll see a new Arion emerging as a metaphor for our troubled times. Beset by human concerns and reeling from the passions unleashed by the return of his powers, we’ll see The King of the World’s friendly eccentric become the alter ego of a brooding, obsessed sorcerer. The haunted immortal touched by the love he can never have. Ain’t life funny that way?

Another Ron Wilson Arion character sketch included in the proposal.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Arion’s not the only immortal in this strange new world. A few others, those not trapped in the other-dimensional realm of Darkworld when everything collapsed, also managed to survive the decline and fall of the Atlantean empire. Like Arion, they also lost their magical powers but not their immortality. Unlike Arion, they all had their own way of dealing with that:

CHAON Once the most powerful force for evil and chaos in the magical universe, Chaon, The God of Chaos, wasn’t accepting of his fate like Arion. He spent a few thousand years trying to establish himself as a god over humanity, but the nasty, mad little ex-deity never did catch on, leaving him embittered and disappointed. Chaon and Arion’s paths crossed frequently over the ages, usually leading to Chaon trying to kill Arion. Chaon finally calmed down (somewhat) and, out of a melancholy nostalgia, settled near Arion in New York, where he owns the aforementioned deli on West Houston. Sure, he’s still insane, but he serves the best corned beef and kosher dill below 57th Street.

GARN DAANUTH Arion’s evil brother, Garn Daanuth never lost his thirst for power and world domination. Throughout human history, Garn has popped up in one guise or another seeking the power he’d lost, but such power was always transitory as Garn outlived the political climate that gave rise to it. Arion has avoided conflict with Garn, feeling that it’s mankind’s business, not his. And Garn, ever the pragmatist, has no desire to seek out Arion for the settling of Atlantean-era grudges as long as Arion keeps his nose out of his business. Today, Garn is a penny ante dictator holding sway over a small Middle Eastern nation. Garn’s more powerful than that position warrants thanks to that country’s large oil fields. Once the Atlantean magic’s back, however, it’s a different story as the brothers realize that they’ve been re-established as potential targets for the other’s newly regained powers.

MARA Once part of Arion’s band of adventurers, Mara was a fast talking, streetwise kid out of the Atlantean slums who possessed shape-changing powers. When the magic went away, she was in the shape of a dragon and didn’t have time to resume her natural form. She was just barely able to make it from dragon to a canine form before her powers gave out entirely and she’s been stuck that way ever since, at Arion’s side as his companion. Though Mara can’t speak, she and Arion have a mutual understanding that passes for communication.

CHIAN Captain of the Royal Atlantean Guard and Arion’s lover, the Lady Chian was one of the many non-magical Homo magicus who didn’t survive the destruction of the magical era. But, sooner or later, she’s bound to be reincarnated into Arion’s life as a mortal human.

THE ATLANTEAN PANTHEON Most of the Atlantean gods, goddesses, and demons of old were destroyed but a few survived along with Arion, Chaon, and Garn Daanuth. Some of them have chosen to withdraw to mountaintops or caverns. A few have taken the same path as Arion or are still wandering the globe and fewer still have also settled in New York, forming a (very) small community of ex-deities who gather every now and then in Washington Square Park and, over a bottle or three of cheap wine, reminisce about the old days. These are THE WEAVER, the god-like resident of Darkworld responsible for weaving the strands of magical energies that transmitted the mana to the Atlantean-era Earth; DEEDRA, the goddess who held the Golden Chain which bound sorcery to Atlantean society; and GEMIMN, Chaon’s opposite number, a force for order and sanity in the universe.

AMANDA CROWLEY Arion has never allowed himself to form many attachments to humans, but Amanda Crowley has somehow managed to slip past that resolve. She’s the daughter of a neighbor (a single mother renting one of the neighboring offices for her phone answering service) who, from the age of five on, decided Arion needed her to keep an eye on him, to see that he eats proper meals, takes his medicine when he’s ill, that his heat is on and to fight with the landlord when it isn’t. Now 19 years old, Amanda is a definite part of Arion’s life, and though he won’t admit it even to himself, he’s in love with her for her loyalty and tenacious spirit. It’s too bizarre for even him to contemplate, in his current circumstance, a relationship between the two of them.

Character studies of old Arion by Ron Wilson, included in the proposal.


Arion the Immortal #1, page 1 by Wilson/Acerno/Costanza/Kachelhofer.

Issue #1 Welcome to the world of The King of the World. It’s enough off the beaten path of normalcy to begin with, but add in a few parts of guys like Chaon and Garn and a dash of transgenerational love interest like Amanda and you’ve got yourself something wickedly bizarre.

This is a day-in-the-life of the world’s oldest man, but this peek at the status quo is a veneer that’s about to crack wide open: Garn, as our Saddam Hussein heavy, is massing troops on the border of a neighboring country, increasing world tensions… but Arion’s got his own headaches. He’s come home to find a notice of eviction on his door, his apartment going condo… maybe he should have paid attention to those letters from the management company…?

Amanda tries to comfort the soon-to-be evicted old man, but he’s just depressed enough by the turn of events to throw caution to the wind and declare his undying and eternal (which from him actually means something) love for her. But to Amanda he’s the grandpa she never knew. To Arion, she’s the girl he’s not going to get. Besides, she’s got a date with her Yuppie wannabe boyfriend Keith, who comes by to take her off for the evening.

Arion the Immortal #1, page 2 by Wilson/Acerno/Costanza/Kachelhofer.

Needless to say, by now Arion is infinitely more depressed with the realization that he’s got neither the guts or the right to inflict his feelings on Amanda. And now, with his impending eviction, he’s not even going to have the pleasure of her company. All in all, the worst day he’s had in a couple of thousand years, and then it gets worse as he’s suddenly faced with a group of stockbrokers in the West Village turning into skeletal vulture-demons that begin feeding on the flesh of folks in the street. Appropriate but nonetheless weird, as are the buildings that come to life and start tap dancing all over some homeless people, in addition to several other gonzo occurrences… all of which has Arion thinking he’s caught in some sort of wicked magical flashback. Well, forget that noise! That was then, this is now and all he wants is to be away from here. Arion starts running away from the strangeness, but no matter which way he flees and how much he protests, it stays right with him.

But Arion’s the only one who sees any of this, presenting the image of a mad old coot racing through the streets screaming at the top of his lungs…you know, a typical sight for just about any New York street. But in trying to sidestep monstrous pigeons feeding breadcrumbs to old ladies, Arion finds himself falling… through the sidewalk! He lands on the subway tracks below where the F train runs right through him. There’s only one explanation for all this. It’s back. His magic, the magic of ancient Atlantis, is back!

Arion wishes like the devil that he was home, safe and sound and the next thing he knows he is. But that’s no help, because the magical beasties are there as well, all hungry for a share of his hide. A quick battle ends with the rusty old King of the World being dragged down into some other-dimensional Darkworld, suffering defeat at the hands of his attackers. Then he hears Amanada’s voice.

Out in the hallway, Amanda’s boyfriend has tried to get way too frisky, drunkenly pawing at the protesting girl. When he won’t let up, she screams…and those screams reach Arion in faraway Darkworld and gives him the wherewithal to muster his resolve, cut through his confusion, find and focus on the magic and generally beat the poo out of his demonic attackers and force his way back to the Earthly plane in time to repeat his performance on Keith.

When he then turns to Amanda, he sees massive confusion on her face. She doesn’t recognize him and for good reason. In the heat of magical combat, Arion’s newly returned powers had changed him from the aged King of the World…

… To the youthful ARION, LORD OF ATLANTIS!

Arion the Immortal #2, page 1 by Wilson/Acerno/Costanza/Kachelhofer.

Issue #2 It’s all hit the fan, and everything’s been liberally splattered all over Arion’s life. The world’s not in much better shape, especially down Middle East way as Garn sends his troops into the neighboring country in a bloody invasion that’s the first topplrf domino in Garn’s eventual dominance over the entire region. The U.N. hollers, the US. postures, the U.S.S.R. is too busy trying to fill the shelves of their grocery stores to care, and Garn is properly unimpressed. Because, like Arion, he’s felt the magics return and knows that means he’s got nothing to fear from any world power.

Arion, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with the magic, no way, no how. But everywhere he turns he’s menaced by something magical and nasty…of course, on the (sort of) plus side, Amanda has taken quite a shine to the dashing young sorcerer who saved her from the nasty Keith. Not that that helps him as the old King of the World, since she turns to the old him for advice on the young him. With nowhere else to turn, Arion turns to Chaon for consultation, figuring that if things are crazy, he might as well turn to the source of madness for answers. Chaon’s got a theory about the magic (which he’s been using in order to insure leaner corned beef for the deli), which involves Darkworld. Arion is skeptical, but when Amanda starts asking him for, you know, like, maybe coffee or something while demons and assorted nasties bang at his door demanding the back rent, he realizes he’s not going to get any peace until he follows up on Chaon’s theory and puts in a wake-up call for Darkworld.

Issue #3 Arion turns to the rest of the surviving gods of the Atlantean pantheon for their help in turning back the tide that could turn back the tide even farther, but they’re no help. They like that the Atlantean magic, the only kind of magic they can access, is back. In fact, Deedra’s already been signed by the manager of a Village comedy/ magic club for Saturday night’s show after he saw her reveling in the return of her power in Washington Square. So, if he can’t be happy for them, the least he can do is keep his nose out of it! Arion leaves them in disgust. He’ll need to find an ally elsewhere. The last elsewhere he’d ever expect to go and, just between us, if he weren’t so desperate and could think straight about his dilemma, he would’ve gone anywhere else…

But to his brother Garn. True to form, Garn hasn’t been wasting any time in his march towards domination over the world’s oil deposits. He’s sent his troops on into yet another country in a bizarre night blitz that eyewitness accounts say included airborne divisions of harpies and battalions of dragons, causing more global uproar and outrage and forcing an outraged U.S. President to start shipping his own troops over to intimidate Garn into backing off.

It is to laugh.

After creating a dimensional warp that links his apartment to a magnificent villa in Nice to escape Amanda’s persistent wooing and the landlord’s attempts to evict him, Arion heads to the Middle East to consult with his brother. It’s just his dumb luck that Arion hasn’t read a newspaper or heard a news report for the past few days (not that the affairs of mankind ever made much of an impact on him anyway). While he’s gone, Amanda forces her way into The King of the World’s apartment in Manhattan and ends up in France. She’s confused. She’s awestruck. She’s amazed. She’s gonna get herself a tan!

Issue #4 While things roll bumpily along on Earth, with the magic causing all sorts of upheavals, from undersea disturbances that scientists don’t know are ancient Atlantean cities (DQ_t those of Aquamants world; those are “modern” cities, built after the ancient Atlantean era–those rising are among the twelve ancient cities of Arion’s time) starting to work their way back up to the surface, to small pockets of humans reverting to sub-men in Brooklyn (although the latter passes almost unnoticed in the borough of the barbarous), the sleepy Being of Darkworld has taken notice of Arion. It senses that Arion might prove a hinderance to its sleep and reaches into this world to stop him, tapping his long-ago minion The Weaver to help it. Garn, in a resurgence of sibling rivalry, simultaneously volunteers his services to The Being to help trash Arion, an offer that’s readily accepted just as Arion drops in to consult with his wicked brother on this nasty magic business. Garn immediately sees that the intervening 45,000 years have made Arion even more of a goody-goody dullard than ever and, in between military maneuvers to conquer the world, nods and agrees with everything Arion says, including that they put aside their differences and work together. Oh yeah, sure, you bet…now, excuse me just a moment

while I topple yet another government with horrific, sorcerous heralds. The Weaver is close on Arion’s heels in showing up at Garn’s bunker. Garn uses this incident to cement his “deal” with Arion by teaming up with him to defeat Arion’s long-time drinking buddy. Garn is kayoed early on, leaving Arion in a mano-a-mano with The Weaver… except Garn’s not really hurt. All he wanted was an excuse to duck out and plan something nasty for his all too trusting idiot brother. He figures maybe he can find some clue to a weakness in the place where Arion lives and transports himself to The King of the World’s apartment… which is now that nice Nice villa. Where Amanda lies on the veranda, working on that tan of hers while she waits for Arion to return.

How’s that for a plan falling right into your lap, huh?

Issue #5 Well, by golly, the U.S. President has had just about enough of Garn’s aggression and launches an Air Force attack on Garn’s forces…for all the good missiles and bullets do against magical Atlantean harpies and dragons. Arion and The Weaver, engaged in mortal combat of their own, are caught in the middle of this havoc and Arion’s not the least bit pleased with the distraction. It’s tough enough dusting off and using magical muscles he hasn’t flexed in 45,000 years without all this stuff happening around him. Because not so deep down he hasn’t got much in the way of confidence in his abilities. Garn’s got to be rusty as well, he believes, but he knows his brother probably kept his hand in other, non-Atlantean sorceries throughout the ages and, between the two of them, they stand at least a snowball’s chance in hell of pulling off a victory over Darkworld. Now, where the dickens is that brother of his…?

In Nice, thanks for asking. Magically altering his appearance to assume Arion’s youthful guise so he can woo the unsuspecting (but magnificently tanned!) Amanda. He reveals he’s a sorcerer from an age before mankind walked the Earth (which is true) and that he wants her as much as she wants him (which is not). He steals her heart, promising to show her wonders beyond comprehension if she’ll come with him. Hey, what girl wouldn’t be swept off her feet by a line like that? He takes her by the hand, into Darkworld, then pops his head out in the Middle East to tell Arion what he’s done.

Arion, ever the chivalrous dupe, falls for the bait like a trout for a hand tied fly and heads into the Darkworld hell to wade through a wide assortment of sorcerous beasties to get Amanda back. Not an easy task on the best of days. Darn near impossible with The Weaver dogging his heels every step of the way. But he’s doing it for Amanda, so he perseveres…and winds up face-to-face with the (drowsy) Being of Darkworld.

Issue #6 Arion faces off against The Being, Garn, and The Weaver, in the process of which he learns what caused the downfall of his Atlantean world and the impending reintroduction of the Atlantean way. In order to keep Earth the way it is, The Being has to be kept awake but Arion doesn’t have the power to do that, especially as he’s fighting The Being, Garn, and The Weaver simultaneously. The best he can accomplish is to place The Being in a magical stasis, “freezing” it in that moment of time, leaving Earth with whatever magic is already there but preventing the total reimplementation of the Atlantean way.

This also leaves Arion with his powers intact and the unwanted aggravation of being Earth’s guardian against the evil of Garn and others in the surviving Atlantean pantheon who are sure as the sky is blue to take advantage of the magic. And, of course, his heroic rescue of Amanda only increases her adulation of him and ardor for him, placing him smackdab in the middle of a moral quandary.

And then there’s the nagging temptation to use the magic to cheat at three card monte and chess…!

* * *

After this first six issue continuity, DARKWORLD will start to bring The King of the World into the mainstream of its other magical characters and Atlantis-linked heroes. While Arion isn’t going to be joining the Justice League, we would like to have them seek him out, if only to find out what this magical-type being making headlines in New York is all about; Power Girl (who’s been established as not only being linked to ancient Atlantis, but is Arion’s grand-daughter to boot) and Aquaman are naturals to interact with Arion, provided the right story and editorial clearances can be worked out. Another angle we would like to investigate is the difference between Arion’s Atlantean brand of magic and that of DC’s other mystical heroes and the reactions of characters such as Dr. Fate to this weird variety of sorcery, the likes of which they’ve never seen before.

Co-creator Jan Duursema’s original 1981 character sketch for Arion, Lord of Atlantis, included in the original proposal.

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2 Comments on ARION THE IMMORTAL, The Proposal

  1. Andrew says:

    This is especially fun to see now, because the first issue is now available digitally on Comixology and on the DC Universe app. Presumably, the rest of the series will come out weekly. It’ll be fun comparing that to this proposal.


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