Of the Marvel films slated to come out in the next few years, the one I am most curious about is Dr. Strange. For the uninitiated, Dr. Stephen Strange is the Marvel Universe’s resident super wizard. He holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme, and is responsible for protecting the Earth, and the rest of the dimension from all manner of supernatural threats, whether they be eldritch gods, Lovecraftian Horrors, satanic demons, or corrupt wizards.Dr. Strange brings with him a colorful universe of mystery intrigue and wonder, what would no doubt be dazzling and thrilling to see on the screen. The question is how will this overlap with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
In a comic book, science fiction and fantasy can overlap without an issue. The bar for suspension of disbelief is considerably lower. For the most part every Marvel film has firmly routed in science with only Thor skirting the edge of the grey zone between the two. How should Marvel tackle the idea of a magical wizard and make it so that it is palpable to the larger audience? The most obvious would be to simply make magic hidden. Personally, I don’t see a problem, but I love genre mashing ridiculousness. I was sold on Cowboys and Aliens by just the name. To make magic always there but hidden would raise too many questions. Another option would be to link Dr Strange to Asgard. In Thor, the titular thunder god says that magic is just another name for science. Perhaps the Ancient One, the wizard that taught Dr Strange, is an Asgardian. While not a bad idea this devalues the Ancient One as an exceptional human, and only making him a skilled Asgardian. Additionally it roots Dr Strange in a Norse Mythology, when he had always drawn inspiration from wider array of mythological inspirations.
My thought would be to link Dr. Strange to the larger story line about the Infinity Gems the MCU is building. So far we’ve seen the gems reinterpreted so that the Cosmic Cube (aka the tesseract) is a gem, as is the Aether from Thor: The Dark World. Amongst Dr. Strange’s many artifacts is the very powerful Eye of Agamotto. In addition to enhancing the good doctor’s magic, it allowed a host of reality altering powers. What if the Gem was left on Earth to be passed down from generation to generation only ever used by the Sorcerer Supreme to protect the universe. I would explain the source of magic in the MCU is connected to a previously established force. Additionally it would provide solid motivation for Dr Strange to become involved with the inevitable conflict with Thanos.
For a little fun check out this fan edited trailer:
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