(Warning: The following contains a small, subtle – but potentially meaningful – nugget of information regarding Marvel’s forthcoming Doctor Strange, and the film’s approach to magic. Proceed with whatever level of caution the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto suggests to you is wise…)
Now, there’s inevitably a whole host of reasons why millions of fans the world over have fallen in love with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. From the casting of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, all the way through to the return of a teenage Spider-Man, Marvel Studios has managed to keep the vast majority of its audience happy and engaged through even the most Thor: The Dark World-iest of tough times, and added millions of new, less comic-book-inclined fans with the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.
A major chunk of that success, however, can be attributed to the MCU’s ability to ground everything it does in a coherent, explicable reality: We’re willing to accept that Thunder Gods and Gamma-Monsters can exist because we’re given the sense that they all make some kind of coherent scientific sense within the movies’ internal logic. That, though, could all be set to change with this November’s Doctor Strange. Y’see…
It Sounds Like Doctor Strange Won’t Be Explaining Away Its Magic Scientifically
Indeed, if director Scott Derrickson is to be believed, Doctor Strange may well be the first movie in the MCU that jettisons scientific explanation entirely, instead being happy to accept that magic simply ‘is’. As he recently revealed in an interview with Games Radar:
“Magic is magic in this movie. It’s not something that’s explained away scientifically. It’s not something that’s easy to define. As magic should be. Magic should be mysterious. There’s mystery to magic and there’s mystery to the tone of the movie. Mystery is a good thing”
Which, while music to the ears of any old-school Doctor Strange fans who were dreading Tony Stark wandering in to explain away Strange’s mystical abilities in the final act…
…is also very much not what we’d previously been told to expect. After all:
MCU Head Honcho Kevin Feige Has Previously Told Us That Magic WILL Make Scientific Sense In The MCU
Heck, in an interview with Badass Digest back in 2014, Feige even argued that the magic in the Harry Potter universe was far more scientifically grounded than you’d think:
“Are you watching the Cosmos series? That’s magic, [the quantum physics]. It’s unbelievable. If somebody knew how to tap into that stuff, what’s the difference between that and magic? You don’t get into it in Harry Potter, but if a scientist went to Hogwarts he’d find out how some of that stuff is happening! We’re not going to spend a lot of time on that, but there will be some of that. And particularly for a character like Strange, who goes from a man of science to a man of faith and who traverses both worlds.”
Now, true, Feige also noted that…
“And sometimes there won’t be an answer! Sometimes he’ll want an answer – “How is this happening?!” – and nothing.”
…but in the wake of Derrickson’s recent comments, it seems increasingly likely that the creative minds behind the film – surely with the blessing of Feige – have opted to allow magic to be as inexplicable through scientific means as it is in the Marvel Comic-Book Universe.
For more on what to expect from Doctor Strange, check out:
Here’s the thing, though:
That Change Is Way More Important Than It Initially Seems
Y’see, by allowing magic to exist in the MCU, Feige and Derrickson are opening up a whole lot of possibilities down the line that simply weren’t there before. Much of the comic-book Infinity War, for instance, requires the use of insanely powerful, apparently science-defying weapons and cosmic abilities – the Infinity Gauntlet, for instance, can reshape not only matter, but time, space, and reality itself too. Similarly, while much of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 may stay relatively grounded, we already know that .
In other words? Things in the MCU are about to get super weird – and may well not fit into the MCU’s current internal logic. Which could make Doctor Strange‘s introduction of science-confounding magic incredibly useful when it comes to providing a plausible, audience-satisfying explanation for why, for instance, Thanos is able to change time and space with a shiny golden glove. Which means that…
Doctor Strange’s Use Of Magic Could Change The MCU Forever
After all, if it’s possible for us to explain away Strange’s mystical abilities by simply nodding wisely and saying “magic is just this, uh, ineffable thing, y’know”, then there’s every possibility that the MCU will be more open to such explanations going forward. Which could in turn have some pretty major consequences for some leading heroes.
Scarlet Witch, for instance, could actually find herself in possession of some genuine chaos magic, as in the comic-books – a magic so powerful, even the comic-book Doctor Strange believed it to be a myth. Struggling to imagine a way for the Avengers to take down Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War? How about a newly Doctor Strange-tutored Scarlet Witch discovering that she’s infinitely more powerful than she previously thought?
Throw in the fact that fan-favorite magic-wielders like Billy ‘Wiccan’ Kaplan of the Young Avengers…
…and Nico Minoru of The Runaways…
…could now perhaps more easily find a home in the MCU, then, and it’s entirely possible that the introduction of ‘inexplicable’ magic may well change the MCU for the better.
Or, at least, here’s hoping…
After all, Doctor Strange has been all over the place for years now:
What do YOU reckon, though?
Do you think there’s a place for ‘inexplicable’ magic in the MCU? 0 Votes
Staff Writer, Superheroes, Star Wars and such. Bad jokes aplenty. Follow at @kitsb1