Avalon (DC Comics)
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|Type||(original Avalon) Island/Dimension; (second Avalon) Planet|
As in the legend, Avalon is a mystical island paradise. In the Vertigo Comics series Madame Xanadu, it is shown to exist in (or to be accessible from) 6th century Britain. It is ruled by the immortal sorceress Vivienne, the Lady of the Lake, a sister of Nimue and Morgaine le Fey.
When Morgaine is exiled from their people, the Elder Folk, for meddling with mortals (specifically the High King Uther Pendragon and his family), Vivienne gives her sanctuary on Avalon. As such, Morgaine is often tied to the island in legend.
After the climactic Battle of Camlann that ends his reign, King Arthur is taken to Avalon to be healed by a group of queens and sorceresses, including Nimue. However, in the Demon Knights series, she abandons ship to retrieve the sword Excalibur before it can be lost to the world. Arthur remains on Avalon under an enchanted sleep, destined to one day return.
In Demon Knights #14, Avalon is described as a "Land of the Glorious Dead," equating it with the Fortunate Isles of Celtic mythology. It is shown to be protected by an order of Silent Knights. Following his apparent death, Merlin's spirit is taken to Avalon. His body maintains a mystical link to the island that allows the Demon Knights team to enter it. However, this portal also allows an invasion by two rival armies -- Lucifer and the forces of Hell, and the Horde, commanded by Mordru and the Questing Queen. Both armies seek to conquer Avalon, a land of the dead that possesses many secrets.
In The Books of Magic, "Avalon" is one of the names given to the realm of Faerie, indicating that the island may exist within it or that the two may be synonymous. During his visit to Faerie, Timothy Hunter encounters a sleeping Arthur in a cave guarded by a giant and Thomas the Rhymer. Thomas claims that Arthur "sleeps on Avalon and he sleeps here." He explains that, the mystical nature of Faerie being what it is, this sleeping king figure represents both Arthur and other legendary heroes destined to return, such as Brian Boru.
Avalon is also the name of a fictional planet in the 30th century of the DC Universe, named after the legendary island. Ruled by a king and served by knights bearing weapons shaped like oak branches, the planet exists in a medieval stage of technology.
The King's rule is challenged by a wizard calling himself "Lord Romdur", who turns out to be Mordru in disguise. The Legion of Super-Heroes visits the planet, where Star Boy uses his mass-inducing powers to collapse Mordru's castle, burying him alive. He remains there until freed by Darkseid.
In the miniseries Camelot 3000, King Arthur is explicitly shown to be asleep below Glastonbury Tor, following the tradition that this location is Avalon. However, this series does not appear to be part of official DC Comics continuity.