Once again, great column Forbes. (I'm awake this time.)
Magic as a power will never make a truly compelling character. It will come off as cheap parlor tricks to circumvent the norm restrictions in place for other characters.
For magic to be compelling it needs to have balance. There needs to be a cost to it, it must infuse the story with drama. Magic is twisting of things beyond mortal compreshension, that should reflect in the story. The more you break that veil, that threshold, the more it should bring some sort of balancing effect.
To me magic is like physics in all its forms without the science talk behind it. In theory, almost anything is possible. Still there are laws, checks and balances as they taught us over and over in civics class. These checks and balances play through nature without need of some law we write. Several science theories are based upon these checks. There is no reason it should not apply in some form to magic use.
I think in most comics it is not kept in check, because the other heroes themselves for the most part are not kept in check. Only when it is some large event do we see a check put in place for our heroes. On average though, most heroes can just go on and on without worry when using their "powers".
So if you wanted to mingle "Powers" and "Magic", you would need to put checks in place. I find these days that the heroes I write all have a balance, a check. There is no true Superman here.
Perhaps that is because of all the fables, fairy tales, legends, and myths I have read. Most people I have known base their perceptions of these fantasies off of things like Tolkien and DnD. For me I realize it came from folklore, myths, and legends. One thing that always rang true in all these was the balance. There was a price for every action.
Anyways, I also wanted to touch on the word pagan. Not a huge fan of it, but be what it is. That word is a church word used to describe the uneducated, heathens, country dwellers who fell outside the teachings of the church. It is amazing to me how many "pagans" don't know that.
Then again, it is amazing to me how many "pagans" are practicing thing invented in the 60's and 70's but taught as ageless.
I've researched a lot about magic, from druidism to early christianity to neo paganism.
I'm at home with the Fae/Fairy/Sidhe/Fair Folk and giant robots bend on destorying the world.
Hmm, maybe that is why I liked starwars so much as a kid.
See now your column is making me want to unshelf an idea of mine. An entire world without technology based on magic. Our star? A network administrator, oh you know the type. Gripes about all the morons below him, how he always has to fix their problems. LOL
Anyways, I look forward to reading next weeks column. I think I have babbled on long enough.