OUTCASTER (aka Harry Potter meets SHAZAM!)
14 year old Manuel Arjuna has lived in paradise all his life. A few older people remember "hard times," but Manuel has only know world peace, global prosperity, universal health care and freedom from disease. This is all thanks to the TABERNACLE, five families of magical superheroes who appeared 30 years ago and set about solving the world's problems. Now, the only threat people face is boredom from lives that are too easy.
Manuel has solved his boredom by being obsessed with the Neolympics. With no villains left to fight or crises to face, Tabernacle's younger generation have no outlet for their inherited powers. Therefore, they now compete in year-round athletic events designed to push their abilities to the limit. Manuel idolizes the Neolympians and, being an orphan, secretly fantasizes that one of the Tabernacle heroes is actually his father. Due to his obsession with the sport, he wins coveted passes for his class to attend this year's Neolympics opening competition in Beruit.
That's when everything changes. During the opening ceremony, the sky turns red and the sun goes black. The Tabernacle heroes officiating vanish into thin air as the entire world suffers a total power outage. Meanwhile, in Gehenna, the Siberian super-prison, the same malevolent force releases Pinnacle's most dangerous and powerful prisoners - the Master Men - from their subterranean cells. Within the week, the world is devastated by a magical world war and, without Tabernacle to stop them, the Masters, bloodthirsty and vengeful, easily defeat the remaining inexperienced and disorganized Neolympians. Supported by "Outcasters," a secret society of magic-users who went into hiding when their leaders were defeated, the Masters overturn the old order and now rule completely.
Once they have consolidated power, the Masters put on their own sporting event. They force the surviving heroes to fight each other in death matches. If a hero refuses to fight, the Masters will kill one thousand of their "fans." If they refuse to kill, the same penalty applies. Manuel and his friends watch as his favorite hero, Sparkle, youngest daughter of Tabernacle's first hero, The Lightning, must face off against her older brother, Thunderbolt. Reluctantly, the heroes fight, but Sparkle is no match for her much more powerful brother.
Swelling with emotion, Manuel can't sit still and watch his hero die. He leaps into the arena and stands between Sparkle and her brother before Thunderbolt can deliver his killing blow. The blast strikes Manuel full force, but, astonishingly, he survives. Somehow, he managed to catch the blast. Manuel then discovers that not only can he control the energy, but he can magnify and direct it. He launches the multiplied force directly at the Masters sitting in the boxes formerly reserved for Tabernacle and it blows a massive hole in the side of the stadium.
In the ensuing chaos, the captured Neolympians fight a doomed battle against the Outcasters to give the innocent spectators enough time to escape. Manuel and his friends grab Sparkle and manage to escape with her before the Masters recover and regain control. They manage to hide in the city's ancient sewer system and find an entrance way to an ancient underground city dating back to Roman times where ancient Christians hid to escape the emperor's persecution. There, they manage to tend to Sparkle's injuries and rest while they plan what to do next. There, Sparkle and Manuel try to figure out how he managed to catch Thurderbolt's blast. Using her own powers, they quickly discover that even though Manuel cannot generate any magic himself, he can take hold of any mystical power directed at him and control it.
She tells him that this is "dark magic." Manuel is not descended from the light magic users of the Tabernacle. Instead, he's an Outcaster. Nevertheless, he tells her no matter where he got his powers, it doesn't change the difference between right and wrong. He'll use his powers to fight the Masters.
Soon, Manuel and his friends need food and water. Sparkle is still too injured to leave, and only Manuel and his two best friends are willing to go outside to find food, and possibly assistance from any people still loyal to the Tabernacle. Unfortunately, they are betrayed by a population that's never had to stand up for itself. Reported to the Masters, Manuel and his friends are set upon by Outcasters and their servants. Using his powers, Manuel is able to use the Outcasters magic against them as his friends escape, but soon a Master appears. She quickly realizes Manuel's abilities and simply walks up to the boy and knocks him unconscious with her staff.
Manuel is taken to the Master's stronghold, where he will be subject to examination to determine the source and secret of his unique ability. His friends and Sparkle are left hiding, friendless, hurt and starving, with no idea how to help him or themselves.
To be continued...?