With mutants coming to the MCU, Marvel has the chance to introduce Magik in Doctor Strange 2. Marvel Studios will turn 10 years old this summer, with Avengers: Infinity War marking their 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Across various mediums, the world has expanded in ways few could have predicted. Most remarkable of all, characters like Groot, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man have become household names. But when Spider-Man joined the universe, a new set of possibilities emerged.
The wall-crawler joining the MCU was a big enough story, dominating both 2016 and 2017 thanks to Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. But before the end of last year, something even more outlandish occurred: Marvel got within shouting distance of bringing the First Family and mutants into their shared universe. Granted, the Disney/Fox deal could still fail to go through, but it seems that one way or another Marvel Studios will regain the X-Men and Fantastic Four. And with Phase 4 of the MCU set to begin in 2019, now may be the perfect time for the characters to return home.
There’s no telling when the X-Men themselves will show up in the MCU or what will happen to the existing Fox films. For now, the latter studio is continuing on, with Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix coming this year. And alongside some other projects in development, The New Mutants will hit theaters in 2019 after it lost its release date this April. The push could be a blessing in disguise, however, as one member of the young team (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) fits perfectly into the world of the MCU. So, if Marvel wants to slowly start seeding mutants, then Doctor Strange 2 could be the perfect film for Magik to make her MCU debut.
Doctor Strange & Magik’s Comic Book Connections
Magik has had a complicated run in the comics, first appearing in 1975’s Giant-Size X-Men #1 without even a first name. Eventually, 1981’s Uncanny X-Men #145 revealed she was Illyana Rasputin, but she remained a minor character for the next year until issue #160 introduced some key elements of her story. A mutant with the power to create teleportation discs, Magik can hop through space by first stopping over in the Limbo dimension. In fact, she spent seven years of her life there (as chronicled in the 1983 mini-series Magik (Illyana and Storm).
That story is a twisting one, but it gave Magik her connection to the mysterious world and its score of demons. It also firmly established her mystical abilities, which include sensing magic, scrying, and astral projection. Over the years, she’s even developed the uses of various other magical skills. Illyana would most famously work with the New Mutants, which she joined in 1984’s New Mutants #14 and saw her take the name Magik. Since that time, she’s fought alongside various mutants, including her brother Colossus. She even absorbed all of Limbo, gained new levels of teleportation and magical abilities, and then recreated Limbo as a dominion of her own.
There’s no telling how much of Magik’s long and complex backstory will factor into next year’s The New Mutants, but it’s a safe bet she’ll at least have the power to teleport and possess some limited mystical powers. Her more recent stories in the comics, however, provide a blueprint for how the character could grow.
Magik was one of the 5 mutants to gain the Phoenix Force during the Avengers vs X-Men event. Afterwards, she and the others had a number of issues with their abilities. In order to get a handle on her powers, Magik teleported back before the confrontation in an attempt to train under Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme. Eventually, she was able to greatly expand her magical abilities and use them in new ways. Even Magik’s Soulsword, once able to only interact with magic, has been shown to have a physical presence.
Around this same time, we see Tempest—one of the newly awakened mutants in Uncanny X-Men— travel to a future where Magik is the Sorcerer Supreme thanks to her training with Doctor Strange. With time travel increasingly factoring into the MCU and the XCU, Magik as a fully-fledge adult sorcerer could be teased even while the younger version of the character is still utilized.
Despite their shared magical abilities, Magik and Doctor Strange haven’t shared much time together outside of this storyline. The Avengers and X-Men are often kept separated, which has meant their cinematic distance hasn’t been all that unprecedented. But the arrival of mutants in the MCU gives Marvel and interesting opportunity to change that.
How Marvel Could Introduce Mutants—Without The X-Men
Though the connections Magik and the Sorcerer Supreme share in the comics are certainly interesting, they alone aren’t enough reason for the mutant to join Doctor Strange 2. Marvel, however, seems to be increasingly developing a model that favors superhero team-ups in sequels. As of right now, the only other real cameo Doctor Strange 2 could feature is Scarlet Witch. And while more screen time for Wanda is warranted, the inevitable Doctor Strange sequel should do something more than just pair together two Avengers.
Doctor Strange ended with the hero unlocking his true powers and taking a leadership position in the magic community. Thor: Ragnarok, however, proved that Stephen Strange has come a long way in both his training and his duties as a superhero. With Avengers 3 and 4 arriving before a sequel to Doctor Strange, we’ll soon see the character emerge as an immensely powerful magic-user. As such, the sequel needs a fresh perspective to both ground the character and take his story in an interesting direction.
By introducing Magik as a young mystic trying to gain control of her powers, Doctor Strange could step into the role of a mentor. The plot would benefit both characters and could even feature shades of Logan in an attempt to humanize the fantastical elements. What’s more, but Illyana’s connection to magic means her mutant status could remain an unspoken secret until Marvel is ready to unveil the mutants.
Along with our belief that the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel could include Firestar, Marvel could also have Black Panther 2 introduce Storm, or even see Kitty Pryde join Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But out of all of these options for seeding mutants in the MCU before revealing who they truly are, Magik in Doctor Strange 2 would easily be able to avoid the m-word until Marvel enacts some master plan for the return of the characters. Whether we see a reboot of the MCU or a continuation of the relatively stand-alone The New Mutants, Magik could serve as a great foil for the Sorcerer Supreme and allow Doctor Strange 2 to slowly tease the idea of mutants in the MCU.
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