My jaw hit the floor when the recent teaser trailer for Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange dropped.
Not only does it look like a great film in its own right but it represents yet another expansion of the MCU that long time devotees like myself had been hoping for.
With Doctor Strange making his foray into the feature film world this year and introducing the idea of sorcery & the supernatural alongside the space opera of Guardians of the Galaxy and the street level adventures of Daredevil.
In light of this, I thought I’d take a dip into Marvel’s Multitude of Mystics & Mages with this list.
I’ve tried to stick to only including humans that are proficient in magic and not born magical beings i.e. Loki, Umar etc.
So, by the Demons Of Denak! let’s begin…
Dr. Stephen Strange
After an egotistical surgeon ruins his hands in a car accident, he searches the world for a cure and stumbles across The Ancient One; a sorcerer of incredible power who says that if he becomes his student that Strange could learn to cure himself.
Strange refuses and as he leaves, he notices The Ancient One’s prize pupil Baron Mordo trying to assassinate him… and the rest is history.
Strange goes on to become the Sorcerer Supreme for his dimension. Most of his adversaries tend to be gods of some kind e.g. Nightmare Dormammu, Living Tribunal etc. which is no mean feat by itself, if your rogues gallery consists of such celestial heavy-hitters.
Speaking of which, in a classic storyline an evil warlock named Sise-Neg started skipping back in time, collecting all the mystical energy for himself only to get to the beginning of the universe and realise he is God! He goes on to trigger The Big Bang with that same energy (What’s Sise-Neg backwards?) leaving Strange to witness the birth of creation itself. Whoa! Cosmic!
But his accomplishments just keep coming, including making Galactus collapse, performing surgery on the embodiment of life in the universe Eternity, holding his own against The Hulk…
Oh and get this, for a very long time he destroyed all vampires!
Now if that isn’t Supreme Sorcery I don’t know what is.
One of my favourite comics of all time is a little known book called “The Runaways” (Where is the movie Marvel?) Which features a group of teenage friends who find out not only that their parents are super villains, but that they are the kingpins of L.A…
Oh, and that they have inherited some of their abilities too.
So what do all teenagers do when they realise their parents are evil? They run away! (hence the title). Nico’s parents are powerful sorcerers and she inherits The Staff Of One which appears from within her own body; a powerful mystic artefact that is said to even make Dormmamu quiver in his flaming boots.
With the staff Nico can cast just about any spell but unfortunately she can’t cast the same spell twice. She grows more and more powerful all the time and even gave Ultron a run for his money.
Not bad for a teenage goth girl.
After becoming an accomplished Doctor, Jericho Drumm returned to his native Haiti to find his brother Daniel, who was a voodoo priest (no stereotyping here-honest!). Cursed by a rival as Daniel lay dying Jericho swore to get revenge on those responsible. He studied Voodoo practices and Daniel’s spirit became his guide, battling dark forces wherever they found them. Voodoo has a multitude of abilities from pyrokinesis to summoning magical creatures, and when Daniel possesses his brother it increases Jericho’s strength.
It is to be noted that Jericho became The Sorcerer Supreme after Doctor Strange had to relinquish the title, which goes to show that he is someone not to be underestimated and is the only person to do this in the modern era.
Selene is an immortal mutant known as an External and she has been around since before The Hyborian Age (When Conan was active). An equal of Kulan Gath, another very powerful sorcerer at that time more than 17000 years ago, she’s probably forgotten more about dark magic than anyone will ever know. Selene is insanely powerful even before you throw in her magical skills. Being a psychic vampire is her most unique power, literally draining life out of her opponents until they are a withered husk. She has clashed with every iteration of X-team and even managed to keep The Hulk at bay.
As beautiful as she is, I definitely would not want to be left alone in a room with her.
Similar in age to Selene, Agatha was around 500 years before Atlantis sank (unfortunately she didn’t age as well). A witch of the highest order she founded New Salem where Witches could live safe from the persecution of humans. Giving birth to her son Nicholas Scratch there, who in turn gave her her grandchildren The Salem Seven all very powerful witch folk that would cause her trouble in the future.
Her true power was put to the test when she became Franklin Richards’ babysitter who was and is a powerful, reality altering mutant. Speaking of witch (get it?) she soon also found herself tutoring The Scarlet Witch in the ways of Chaos Magic. She also defeated The Frightful Four single handed in her very first appearance. Witches be crazy.
That leads us on nicely to Wanda Maximoff a mutant with (originally) probability powers her hexes could make even the most impossible things happen, but she had very little control over what they would do. It was eventually discovered that she was in fact tapping into Chaos Magic brought on initially by her possession by The Elder God Of Evil Chthon but this grew as time went on and as her life became more chaotic.
When she discovered that her children were made up of Chaos Magic & parts of Mephisto’s soul she (quite understandably) lost her shit, and effectively destroyed The Avengers in “Disassembled” and then changed the entire world to her liking in the now legendary “House Of M”.
She’s much better now but she definitely learned that Magic always has its price.
Along with The Runaways another great teen / team book was Young Avengers, assembled by a young Kang The Conqueror to stop his future self the Young Avengers were a group of youngsters with extraordinary abilities and obscure links to the Avengers.
Wiccan was convinced that he was one of Wanda Maximoff’s children somehow along with fellow hero Speed, having similar abilities among other links to her. I also have to mention that the love story between Hulkling & Wiccan is beautiful and probably one of the most positive examples of same-sex relationships in comicdom.
His powers work very similar to The Scarlet Witch’s reality warping abilities. Initially he had very little control over them and sometimes the spells wouldn’t achieve the desired effect. However, over time he has become a dab hand at sorcery, perhaps even too good as there is a possibility that his magic may corrupt not unlike his ‘mother’.
Howard The Duck
Had a crash course in sorcery with Dr. Strange turns out he’s egg-ceptional…I’ll go shoot myself now.
Many people forget that Victor Von Doom is just as adept at sorcery as he is in science. Finding an old trunk full of his mother’s belongings as a young boy he found out that she was a mystic of immense power who eventually sold her soul to Mephisto.
For most of his life he tried to save his mothers soul once a year by battling the demon. With help of Dr. Strange he finally managed to do it, but in the process lost her love. Much like his mother he eventually sold his soul for more power, but the demons required a sacrifice so he offered up the only woman he ever loved, Valeria. They proceeded to fashion new mystical armour for him out of her skin. Ugh. No surprise, then, that he ended up going to hell but that didn’t stop him.
His lust for power knows no bounds and he even travelled in time to seduce Morgan Le Faye in order to obtain more mystical might.
Time travelling booty call?
He’s committed you’ve got to give him that.
A descendant of The Cult Of Zhered-Na, who protected an ancient source of white magic contained in The Tome Of Zhered-Na (another item that brings out Dormammu in a cold sweat) which she unearthed in her fathers belongings (I’m beginning to see a pattern here.)
She accidentally summoned Thog The Nether-Spawn, a powerful demon (as you do!) luckily The Macabre Man-Thing was near by and destroyed Thog.
In order to keep The Tome safe from others, Jennifer began mystic tutelage under wise old Dakimh The Enchanter and began wearing possibly the skimpiest outfit in comics history.
After becoming friends with Man-Thing she assisted on many adventures together. She would go on join Satanna and Topaz to form a team of Witches.
She’s a sorceress not to be trifled with.
Magick, Devil Slayer, Dakimh The Enchanter, Goblyn Queen, Sise-Neg, Master Pandemonium, Pixie, Shaman, Hood, Ancient One, Mordo
Hope you’ve enjoyed our romp into The Dark Dimension see you on the other side…By Vapors Of Valtorr!