Movie Reviews

Doctor Strange: The 10 Best Examples Of Magic In The MCU

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness put great focus on some of the most inventive magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. There are countless sorcerers, witches, and other spell casters across comic book history, and on-screen they have been portrayed with just as much fantasy and strangeness!

There are numerous examples of magic in the MCU, whether it’s through defensive and offensive measures, or perhaps through simple tricks. All kinds of characters are able to wield such power, from gods to the Sorcerer Supreme himself, but these instances of mysticism are visually striking, imaginative in their design, and demonstrate there are no limits in this multiverse!

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness clearly wanted to display just how bizarre it could be for two Variants of the Master of the Mystic Arts to face off against one another. The combat sequence between the Earth-616 sorcerer and his dark equivalent was nothing short of extraordinary.

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Using the instruments scattered across the backdrop, the two Stranges do battle via musical notes. As their spells take advantage of the strings and keys, the melody itself gets weaponized, transforming based on the wizard composing the piece. The singular note that tears the two apart is a fantastic final note to conclude the sequence.

The true might of Doctor Strange hadn’t been unleashed until he faced Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. At this stage of the sorcerer’s career, he had learned a great deal more than when audiences had last seen him and he wasn’t about to hold back on the Mad Titan.

From the duplications of Strange himself to the huge range of traditional spells that the Doctor utilized, the battle was an intense one that pitched two mighty warriors against each other. Strange ultimately made a mistake and was defeated, but it’s a brilliant look at how the powerful wielder reacts in a high-stakes situation and the depth of the magic available.

One of the best characters in The Runaways is Nico Minoru, who slowly steps up to be team leader. As Sister Grimm, she begins to hone her magic, gifted to her by the Staff Of One, a family heirloom that’s incredibly complex to control. In one alternative future, Nico is strong enough to study under Doctor Strange himself.

As Nico learns to use the Staff to its full potential, she demonstrates moments of incredible darkness. With imagery of the corruption of that kind of magic taken from Doctor Strange, there are plenty of scenes towards the finale of the show that see Sister Grimm unleash her gifts through unexpected magic. The cost of that is a major theme of the series.

WandaVision demonstrates a different kind of magic, as witchcraft replaces the sorcery MCU fans might be familiar with. Agatha Harkness is the antagonist responsible for the manipulation of The Scarlet Witch and the reveal of this is a brilliant example of everything magic can achieve.

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The meta-musical sequence, accompanied by a fantastic tune and scenarios where Agatha conjured the unfolding scene before Wanda, is a brilliant single display of witchcraft in Marvel. The gorgeous purple hues invade every moment, as Harkness directs her own sitcom!

Loki’s magic is usually defined by trickery and illusion. It’s a sorcery known to the gods and passed down from Frigga. The Classic Loki that was portrayed in the titular series, was an iteration of the character at the end of his lifespan and at his most powerful.

Using his boastful abilities, Loki crafted his own illusion of Asgard, for an immense creature to latch on to, creating a distraction. Loki bested the beast known as Alioth using his immense gifts, although died in the struggle. It was a lesson for the traditional God of Mischief about what he’s capable of.

Wanda Maximoff has demonstrated that she can get inside the minds of even the most notable Avengers. Age Of Ultron was the first scenario where this particular gift was portrayed, but it has come into play even as recently as Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. 

Wanda can allow her victims’ worst fears to come to reality before their eyes, as she creates a false reality inside their minds. It’s difficult to counter and can leave a lasting psychological impact on anyone unlucky enough to be targeted. There are dark paths to take in the realms of magic and this type of trick is among the most corrupt.

Bending reality is just a part of becoming a magician in the MCU. Whether it’s stepping into the mirror realms or perhaps being thrown through the range of dimensions, as the Ancient One once sent Strange on a journey through, there are so many more scapes to explore!

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Those who have the privilege of being able to change reality at will, have to take great caution with how they use it. It’s of course that display of the Mirror Dimension that’s usually the most visually intriguing, with New York breaking and maneuvering around the caster.

Astral Projection is always impressive. Being able to take the soul out of a body and float above reality is truly astonishing and has plenty of uses. Characters like the Ancient One and Wong have been able to fashion this skill to their advantage, and even remove the soul from those around them.

Even Wanda has been Astral Projecting so that she can continue to read the Darkhold while getting on with everyday tasks. It’s perfect for those who want to be able to achieve multiple goals at once, and the Ancient One once used it to delay death for as long as possible.

The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. iteration of Ghost Rider has taken the magic crafted from Sling Rings and used it to his advantage. While Robbie Reyes might be popular because of his great quotes, blazing car, and unchangeable moral compass, his Spirit Of Vengence abilities are amongst his greatest traits.

Using his chain, Ghost Rider can create portals of his own, just like a Sling Ring. It’s a moment of visual continuity from a project that’s often underrepresented as part of the MCU and is incredibly useful for a character who could be traveling across the Multiverse right now.

For those exploring the Multiverse, it can be quite useful to step into another body in a different reality. It’s the kind of magic that only the Darkhold can teach, but Stephen Strange had a complication when he wanted to perform the spell. The body of a Strange on Earth-616 was already dead.

That meant he had to resurrect the body of the Defender Strange, essentially controlling a zombie iteration of the character. It’s an example of how multiple spells can be combined and a demonstration of how much Strange has matured in regards to his knowledge and range of his craft.

NEXT: Every Alternate Universe Shown In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

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