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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse


December 8th, 2008

Marvel Tarot @ 10:39 am

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So on Friday, I had this awesome thought: I need to draw myself a Marvel Tarot deck. (Yeah, in my COPIOUS spare time.) I guess Vertigo has a whole 78-card set (with an intro by Rachel Pollack, no less!) It surprises me, however, they have John Constantine as the Fool. I'd be tempted to make him the Magician. (Because he understands magic, even if he has not yet integrated it into his emotional/heart.)

Anyway, Shawn and I were thinking about who we'd have in each of the Major Arcana spots, and so far it would go like this:





0 - Spider-Man. He's such an everyman with a light heart and sense of adventure I think he'd be perfect as the Fool. I started sketching this one and I've drawn him ready to leap from his Manhattan apartment building window. One foot is still inside the saftey of home. On the ledge is a potted plant (a white rose, 'natch) and Mary Jane (taking the place of the dog... hmmm, that could be taken the wrong way,) but waving him off to his grand adventure becoming a hero. With that image in mind, he's dressed in costume, except he's in the act of pulling on his mask (as the Fool has not yet become a true HERO.) My plan for the city scape was to make a bit of Hudson bay visible through the buildings (the waters of the unconscious) and the sun rising over the city.

1 - Mr. Fantastic. Why him and not Dr. Strange? Well, because my reading of the Magician is that he has before him the tools of magic, but he's is fully mental and not yet integrated with his feminine/inutitive side. Mr. Fantastic would be holding a gizmo (instead of a wand, upraised in one hand) and pointing to the earth with the other. He'd be in his lab, but I thought I'd come up with some more traditonal arcana images to be laid before him/

2 - Storm. She's an elemental Goddess, after all, and not a bad choice for the High Priestess. It would be tempting to go with the mohawk Storm from the 80s, because at that point in her career she was very emotion/intuition centered.


3 - Not sure about the Empress. It's tempting to go with the Invisible Woman if only because she *is* a mother and could easily stand in for the Mother archtype.

4 - Iron Man as Tony Stark. He is a man of action, but also great wealth. He has also set himself up as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. which is very much the enforcer of right and wrong and societies rules. His whole role in the Civil War is very much in the feel of the Emperor's card, IMHO.

5 - Professor X as the Heirophant. Why him? Because he's the one who teaches and inducts so many of the young heros. I think an image of two new mutants kneeling before him, requesting entrance to the School of Gifted Students would do nicely the image of the Heirophant judging his applicants.

6 - Scott and Jean (?) as the Lovers, they are the quintessential pair, though I was considering Jean in her Pheonix form for that of Judgement.

7 - Not sure. The Chariot, I saw on another blog, could also fit for Iron Man/Tony Stark, but he's not self-assured or in control enough (thanks to his battle with alcohol.) Anyone out there have any ideas? Someone successful, proud, confident, so in control he doesn't even need to put his hands on the reins of the Chariot.

8 - Due to Strength's nature of taming the beast, I'm considering Wolverine in this spot. Traditionally, however, the Strength card is a woman who holds the beast at bay with kindess. Jean with Wolverine? Kitty Pryde with Wolverine? That last one might make the right archtypical image.

9 - Here's where I might put Dr. Strange, if only because he's very much (usually) a loner, and clearly is adept enough in magic to represent the Hermit.

10 - Wheel of Fortune? Not sure here.

11 - Captain America as Justice (of course!) I thought, too, he might not wear his mask, as the Tarot Justice is not blind.

12 - The Hanged Man... not sure here, either. I'm tempted by Daredevil, but I can't say WHY.

13 - Death... well, those are somewhat difficult shoes to fill, I'd need someone who doesn't just cause death but who comes through to the otherside -- someone with the power to transform.

14 - Temperance is a card I understand the least, so I'd need help here too.

15 - Magneto as the Devil, believe it or not. Because he represents the ease and seduction of evil. One of my favorite issues is one in which Magneto decides he's had enough of this being good bull and, in the Savage Land, decides to forge his costume from the blood of the mutates.

16 - Dr. Doom as one of the figures falling from the Tower, because his extreme pride continually leads to his ruin.

17 - The Dazzler as the Star? Hmmmm, maybe not.

18- Spider-Woman as the Moon because she's kept a LOT of secrets over the years.

19 - Johnny Storm as the Sun -- well, he CAN go supernova, after all, and he has a lot of joi d'vivre. You could even say his spirit is very child-like

20 - The Pheonix as Judgement, since she's literally been raised from the dead more than once.

21 - I don't know who is self-actualized enough in the Marvel Universe to be the World card.

Anyway, when I finish the first image I'll post it somewhere (probably over at Tate's site since blogspot is nicer to uploaded images, IMHO.)
 
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From:maggiedr
Date:December 8th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
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What a cool idea. I would think this would be a viable product to comic fans.

I dreamed about class last night. Somehow I missed the last class without realizing it. It turned out you'd brought in a caterer and it was this big deal party. Everyone was pissed at me for not showing up.
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From:lyda222
Date:December 8th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
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I promise we did not party without you!
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From:swords_and_pens
Date:December 8th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
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Wasn't Galacticus (not sure if I have the name right) a recurring external force? He could maybe do the World, or, in a pinch, Death. Or are you looking more for "marquee" heroes who have had their own titles or been up-front with a team? It's been ages since I read comics regularly, so please forgive me any obiviousness here. :)

I like Kitty Pride with Wolverine, btw. Great image.

Hey, what about Kurt? You can't tell me Night Crawler wouldn't fit in a Major Arcana somewhere. :)
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From:lyda222
Date:December 8th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
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Galacticus might make a good Death card. He is the Eater of Worlds, after all, and technically when you eat something you transform it into energy... I'd go with Death, because he doesn't fit my personal vision for the World. He's too selfish, honestly. The World needs to be the culmination of the spiritual and divine and all that, you know?
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From:dracadancer
Date:December 8th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
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I must admit I know very little about the tarot and the extent of my Marvel knowledge is more or less limited to X-Men, but if I may be so bold as to make a suggestion I would say that Nightcrawler would work well for the hanged man card due to his more faith based nature, self-sacrificing personality, and his friendliness could easily be seen as an ease of acceptance for people. Plus he would make an excellent upside down character to have on the card hanging from his tail.
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From:lyda222
Date:December 8th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I think that's perfect. Kurt/NightCrawler as the Hanged Man. Yes!! Thank you so much!
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From:ladylahatiel
Date:December 8th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
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This is a BADASS idea. I will tell all my geeky comics friends and link them to this entry to help cast all the cards. Haven't had time yet to think about them myself, but will do so and report back.
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From:lyda222
Date:December 8th, 2008 08:33 pm (UTC)
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I'm surprised from my limited Googling that no one seems to have done this yet. There seems to be a tarot graphic novel, but no actual deck that I could find.
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From:darkchallenger
Date:December 8th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
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I know jack about Tarot, so I'm not any help here. Glad to see Spider-Woman, but no Ms Marvel? Help a boy out here!
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From:pantryslut
Date:December 10th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
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I like Ms. Marvel as the Empress, actually. Gut feeling, hard to explain, but there you go.
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From:winterophelia
Date:December 8th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
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I've been racking my brain over the Chariot one for a while now. Problem with Marvel is so few people are in control of themselves. I was thinking maybe Nick Fury? I really can't think of too many options. Regardless, this is awesome and a great distraction from the paper I should be writing!
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From:msimon777
Date:December 9th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
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This is a great idea!

To me, the Silver Surfer would be the obvious choice for the Chariot. The surfboard can even be the mode of transportation.

The Scarlet Witch for Wheel of Fortune? Her hex power would fit.

Bruce Banner as Temperance perhaps. With the Hulk overshadowing him in the background? You could also put a picture of Banner and the Hulk in as Strength.

Mephisto would be better as the devil character for somewhat obvious reasons.

Oh well, back to taking care of my 5 year old...
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From:lyda222
Date:December 9th, 2008 04:39 pm (UTC)
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You know, I thought about the Hulk as Strength, but I think I like the Kitty Pryde/Wolverine image a bit better, if only because of the sense of her frail kindness "taming" his wild beastiness.

Hulk/Banner as Temperance, yes. When I get up to that card, I'll do a bit more research as I've confessed this has always been a difficult card for me to grok in general. (Maybe having a Marvel archtype will help!)

Mephisto... yeah, I forgot about him. Could work.
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From:seawasp
Date:December 9th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
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Well, first let me preface my comments with the fact that I pretty much stopped reading Marvel in the mid-80s (Inferno was the straw that broke this camel's back, although there were a lot of precursors).

For the Chariot you want someone strong and in control? I SAY THEE THOR! The Marvel God of Thunder (especially from the Simonson era) was entirely in control even when it SEEMED others were in control of his life.

Alternatively, you could place Captain America in the Chariot, for he has always been unassumingly in control of himself. Though I think Justice is indeed the best choice for him, because of my Marvel Universe mantra (most screamingly illustrated in the hideous "Civil War" sequence I saw pieces of: "If you find yourself arguing AGAINST Captain America in any moral debate, stop. You are WRONG. The fact that Captain America is on the OPPOSITE side TELLS you this. Think about those words: YOU ARE ARGUING WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA ABOUT MORAL CHOICES. You are filled with Fail."

Doom is the Devil. Great power, great passion, great potential for good or evil, all in the choices he makes.

I must confess that the Fool made me think of the hapless yet eternally surviving joke of the Marvelverse, Howard the Duck. WAAAUUGH!

Death is indeed GALACTUS. He was born in another universe and emerged transformed into this.

The World? Well, the TRIVIAL choice for that is Eternity. Other than that, I would say Phoenix, who repaired the Great Crystal, and saved the universe (and, in the end, died for the universe's sake). Pay no attention to subsequent imitation Phoenixes.

Judgment would almost have to be the Living Tribunal, or else Exitar of the Celestials.
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From:lyda222
Date:December 9th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
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I never read anything with the Living Tribunal in it, I don't think... or is that the "Watcher" type organization? 'Cuz, you know, that would totally work.

Yeah, I'm pretty married to Captain America a Justice for the very reasons you detail. I mean, dude knows morality and yet, if the card were reversed, it could easily call to mind how stubborn (and blind to the consequences) about his moral choices Cap can be.

I like Thor as the Chariot, honestly. He doesn't really represent "worldly" success, being all Asgardian and such, but he could certainly work. I may continue to ponder this one, however. I feel like there's someone out there I haven't remembered yet who would be even more perfect.

Deos Marvel have anyone who's gender is not one or the other? The World is sometimes shown as transgendered or hermaphedidic.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions! They're awesome.
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From:seawasp
Date:December 10th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC)
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The Living Tribunal is one of the Cosmic Forces characters, shows up to basically make judgments on things at the ultra-power level. (check the Wiki entry).

Thor -- at his best, not in some of the apparent later stuff I've heard and LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU -- was also about worldly success, just not necessarily in THIS world. And "success" is a fairly broad topic. Material wealth? If he WANTED it, he could have it. In any number of ways. Effect and influence on the world? Yeah, he had that, and could have had more if he wanted it.

I'm not sure on the nongendered one.

OH! OH! You know who might work for the World, if you can't use Phoenix or Eternity? The High Evolutionary.
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From:lyda222
Date:December 10th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I was just studying up for my on-line Tarot 101 class, and guess what? The Celtic rune, Thurisaz (the thorn) -- also known as THOR'S HAMMER -- is associated with none other than the Chariot.

Folks, I think we have a winner!
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From:seawasp
Date:December 11th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC)
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SO BE IT!

***THRADAKRAKADABADABADOOOOOOM!!!****


Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse