Thursday, August 11, 2016

Potential New Magic Users in the MCU

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With Doctor Strange ushering a New Magical Age into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, suddenly a whole world of new possibilities opens up for our favorite movies and TV shows.  Now, it’s not as though we haven’t seen magic before in the MCU; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has introduced (and promptly killed off) two separate Darkforce users (manipulators of extra-dimensional energy), and Agent Carter season 2 was all about the MCU’s first encounter with the Darkforce Dimension.  Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, is (properly speaking) a magic user, though her powers have thus far been limited (for the most part) to mental manipulation and telekinesis.  However, all of these examples have been given scientific explanations (less so in the case of Scarlet Witch):  extra-dimensional energy and Mind Stone experimentation, respectively.

What Doctor Strange brings to the table is a form of magic we have not seen before, which will defy most scientific explanation.  I expect that characters will attempt to give it a scientific explanation (Strange is a doctor, after all!), but at some point they will just have to acknowledge that there are some things they will never fully comprehend.

Once Doctor Strange introduces magic in a big way, I expect that we will start to see a lot of magic users appear in various MCU offerings, a theory to which I alluded last week while talking about Tie-In possibilities between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Doctor Strange.  This week I will expand on that by talking about magical characters who could appear in as many upcoming announced MCU offerings as I can.

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Druid, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Sebastian Druid is the Secret Warriors’ resident magic user in the comics.  He starts out rather out of shape and even “washes out” of the Secret Warriors before Fury sends him to “Deathlok’s Boot Camp” to get in shape and learn to better control his abilities.

Personally, I think Druid is the most logical magic user to serve as a follow-up to Doctor Strange’s entrance into the MCU.  As a Tie-In to Doctor Strange, I expect S.H.I.E.L.D. to learn about the movie’s climactic battle and discover from this the existence of magic which they had only ever imagined.  Coulson resolves that they need to try to track down a magic user of their own so they can learn how it works and find ways to prevent magic from getting out of hand.  At the same time, thanks to the battle, Sebastian Druid unlocks his own magical potential, which brings him to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attention.  S.H.I.E.L.D. takes him in, and he gets training and learns to use his magical abilities as a member of the Secret Warriors (possibly the first non-Inhuman member).

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Daimon Hellstrom/Son of Satan, The Defenders and Jessica Jones

I’ve talked about Daimon Hellstrom, a.k.a. the Son of Satan, multiple times in the past.  He is the son of one of the MCU’s versions of Satan, though his mother is human.  He and his sister Satanna are both half-demon.  Though Satanna follows in their father’s footsteps, Daimon opposes their father and fights with the heroes.  He also becomes romantically involved with Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat, and the two of them get married.

If Marvel and Netflix decide to add a traditional magic user to the Defenders (not taking into account supernatural heroes like Ghost Rider—a version of whom may still appear on Netflix, even though the Robbie Reyes version is appearing in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4), in my opinion Daimon Hellstrom would be the logical choice.  His relationship with Trish Walker would be an interesting one to explore, particularly after Jessica Jones season 1 focused so heavily on the concept of male/female relationships and abuse.  This would be all the more appropriate if the rumor from a while back about Mephisto being the villain for The Defenders turns out to be true.  Daimon and Satanna could both fit in The Defenders if that were the case.

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Nico Minoru, Cloak and Dagger

Nico Minoru is a member of the Runaways whose parents are dark magicians.  Along with the other Runaways, Nico flees from her super-villain parents and fights to stop their plans for world domination.  Nico wields the Staff of One, a powerful magical artifact.  However, she can only access the staff when she gets cut.

If the Runaways appear on Cloak and Dagger (a possibility I will talk about in a few weeks), it is a virtual certainty that Nico Minoru will appear with them.  Actually, considering that Nico’s mother (Tina Minoru) appeared in the Doctor Strange prequel comic, I’d say it’s a good bet that Nico herself will appear in something eventually!

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Adam Warlock, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and/or Avengers: Infinity War

Adam Warlock is a powerful cosmic being who was specifically created to be the perfect man.  Similar to Vision in the MCU, Warlock has an Infinity Stone in his forehead, in his case the Soul Stone.

There has been a lot of speculation that Adam Warlock will appear in Avengers: Infinity War, especially with his female counterpart, Ayesha, already confirmed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  This would be a good way to bring the Soul Stone into the picture, but I don’t know if they will go this route when they already have one artificially-created perfect being walking around with an Infinity Stone in his forehead!  However, even if Warlock wields the Soul Stone in a more traditional fashion (like as an amulet or something), I would not be surprised if he appears in the MCU sooner than later, particularly in Infinity War.  He would bring a completely new skill set to the Guardians of the Galaxy, something that would be extremely useful when they face Thanos.

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Doctor Druid and/or Brother Voodoo, Doctor Strange

Doctor Druid is a secondary magical character and one-time Avenger.  When Stephen Strange was in training to become the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Druid was considered to be his back-up, in case Strange didn’t pan out.  Brother Voodoo is another secondary magic user, though unlike Doctor Druid he actually served as Sorcerer Supreme for a time when Strange was thought dead.

Either of these guys could potentially appear in a future Doctor Strange movie, either as a supporting character and fellow magic user or as an antagonist who eventually becomes an ally.  The Avengers may not need another magic user on their team in addition to Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch, but at some point they may decide to switch the teams up and bring in new characters.

Mystical Elements of Black Panther

Black Panther is another character whose back story includes mystical elements.  Wakanda is extremely technologically advanced, but they also employ shamans who are attuned to the mystical/supernatural world.  The biggest example of this is probably Bast, the Panther God who gives the Black Panther his powers, and whom he connects to by eating the mystical “Heart-Shaped Herb.”

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The (Real) Mandarin, (Unannounced) Iron Man 4 or other future project

You can’t really talk about magic without talking about one of the biggest magical villains in Marvel Comics.  The Mandarin is not exclusively a magical villain; his power actually comes from ten rings which he stole from an alien spaceship.  So his power is based on alien technology.  Which controls magic.  So is it technology or magic?  Huh.

The Mandarin actually appeared in Iron Man 3 as a false flag operation masterminded by Aldrich Killian and the A.I.M. think tank in order to create a need for super-soldiers (which they would then fill with their Extremis soldiers).  However, the One-Shot Hail to the King revealed that there is an actual Mandarin out there (whose name Killian “borrowed”), and who is unhappy with Trevor Slattery’s portrayal of him.  At some point in the future—perhaps an Iron Man 4—this “real Mandarin” should come into the picture.  And hopefully he will be every bit as menacing as he is in the comics.  In order to really do him justice, he will need to have some form of magical abilities.


These are just some of the ways that I hope and expect to see the concept of magic expand throughout the MCU following Doctor Strange.  One example of this has already been confirmed in the form of Ghost Rider’s appearance on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I am certain that will not be the only example of magic we see in the MCU beyond Strange himself.  Of all the ideas mentioned, I think the ones that interest me the most are the TV-centric ones, particularly Nico Minoru and Daimon Hellstrom.

What other magic users would you like to see in the MCU once they really start exploring the idea of magic?  Did I miss someone you think needs to be mentioned?  Let me know in the comments!

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