I started reading comics about a year ago. Mutants are cool, time traveling is awesome.

But how about "magic"? I'm talking about Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Pixie, Magik, and the like. Strange and Scarlet are even tier-one powerful characters.

Where is the source of their power? Is there a in-universe scientific explanation for them?

  • 3
    And by "scientific" do you mean an in-world explanation?
    – Dijkgraaf
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:24
  • 1
    the Ancient One in the Dr. Strange movie had a decent in-universe pseudo-scientific explanation
    – NKCampbell
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:27
  • 1
    You unfortunately cannot ask for real-world explanations as that's off-topic here, however, you can ask about in-world scientific explanations.
    – Möoz
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:40
  • 1
    I did not ask for real-world explaination. I think there is a misunderstanding of "in-world" from me. I assume in-world = real-world. It seems that in-world means fiction-world. Right?
    – hucancode
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:45
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    In the case of Dr. Strange (movie version), it is somehow because we live in an era of technology and science that gives us an illusion of fully understanding the reality that makes him a top Tier 1 character: he knows secret truths that are hidden to most of us. Strange first meeting with the Ancient is something like "you believe you know the truth, dumbass? Here is the red pill, Alice".
    – Taladris
    Apr 20, 2017 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


In the Marvel comics mainstream universe, magic is a real thing. People use it because it's there and because they can, just like any other ability or source of power.

The source of magic user's power depends on the magic user. Typically, there is no non-magical explanation for their powers. Magic, as a force, exists in the Marvel universe, and different characters have access to it in different ways. Certain scientifically-minded characters consider magic to be a science, just a kind of science we don't otherwise understand, but they never claim to have a "mundane" explanation for it using known science. (Reed Richards and Doctor Doom are two scientists who have studied magic; Doom is himself a sorcerer.)

In most cases, magic used by humans is actually drawn from other, extra-dimensional beings. Doctor Strange, for example, draws his magic primarily from the Vishanti, who are three elder god-like beings that grant him power in exchange for service. He has also, on occasion, drawn power from Dormammu (essentially a "demon") and other supernatural beings. Similarly, Scarlet Witch's Chaos Magic comes from the elder god Chthon.

There is also a level of ambient magical energy in each person, and in the universe as a whole. Certain characters can manipulate that energy. Scarlet Witch's mutation, for example, would allow her to manipulate the ambient magical energy even without her Chaos Magic, though she would be very significantly weaker. Adam Warlock and probably Ororo Munroe (Storm) can also use magic this way. (Adam Warlock's magic is amplified quite a bit by the Infinity Gem he possesses.)

  • now that Disney owns it all....kinda sounds like the Force ;)
    – NKCampbell
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:40
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    So... magic kinda sounds like magic? Not really a surprise there =P
    – Steve-O
    Apr 20, 2017 at 2:43
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    I had thought I read somewhere in a comic that Reed Richards believed that at least the "ambient" magic found in the comic universe emanated from Hyperspace. This would at least be another "source" of magic.
    – MrInfinity
    Apr 20, 2017 at 11:13
  • 1
    @Steve-O: the Force isn’t magic! You just count the midichlorians. Apr 20, 2017 at 11:41

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