13

During the first season of Agents of SHIELD, the main antagonist was someone calling themselves "The Clairvoyant", who claimed to have psychic powers. This claim was being constantly questioned by SHIELD agents like Coulson and Fitz/Simmons since, as they repeatedly asserted, "there's no such thing as psychic powers."

It turns out in this case, they were correct, because "The Clairvoyant" had no actual super powers, merely high-level clearance.

Clearly, within the Marvel comics universe, there are psychic powers, but the only names I can come up with off the top of my head are all from the X-Men franchise (Xavier, Phoenix, Emma Frost, etc). For well-known legal reasons, none of those will be appearing in the MCU movies or TV shows any time soon.

Are there any psychic characters that are available to appear in the MCU, and have any of the existing movies/TV shows name-dropped those characters?

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    As scientists, Fitz/Simmons would always dismiss psychic powers as ridiculous and non-existent. That's a standard scientist stereotype, because it's something they can't measure or see. They're just playing to that stereotype. – BBlake May 14 '14 at 18:40
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    As scientists of SHIELD, who see people and aliens with radical powers all the time, I would expect Fitz/Simmons to be far more open minded than that. – KutuluMike May 14 '14 at 20:31
  • Yeah, they've gotten super-excited about other "supernatural" abilities in their travels. Their utter dismissal of this one would seem to indicate that it's never happened before (to their knowledge), and I think Coulson confirms that no one on the Index has ever been confirmed to have psychic abilities. – Nerrolken Oct 13 '14 at 19:37
  • What’s particularly sad is that scientists frequently measure the effects of something not directly observable, often at a smaller scale than the human brain. Their skepticism is truly arbitrary - particularly given their truly hilarious technobabble justifications for magical events in later seasons: “It’s out of phase! From another dimension! Alien!” – Adamant May 8 '18 at 2:26
  • "none of those will be appearing in the MCU movies or TV shows any time soon" .... not for long anymore... – ThePopMachine Jul 13 '18 at 15:24
13

In Captain America 2, Agent Sitwell specifically namedrops Dr Stephen Strange.

One could argue that he is not actually a psychic, per se - but that he has psychic abilities via his control of the mystic forces.

Marvel's own page lists his powers:

Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful sorcerers in existence. Like most sorcerers, he draws his power from three primary sources: the invocation of powerful mystic entities or objects, the manipulation of the universe's ambient magical energy, and his own psychic resources. Strange's magical repertoire includes energy projection and manipulation, matter transformation, animation of inanimate objects, teleportation, illusion-casting, mesmerism, thought projection, astral projection, dimensional travel, time travel and mental possession, to name a few. The full range of his abilities is unknown. Doctor Strange's powers are sometimes less effective against strictly science-based opponents, although he can overcome this limitation with effort.

ComicVine has a great writeup about him and explains further:

Dr. Strange uses mystical energy invoked upon by spells/incantations or by the power of divine beings to manipulate forces of the universe including projection of mystic energy as bolts, slashes, binds, shields, or a scattered array of energy appearing like electricity, manipulating matter and various energies (physical or spiritual) even transmutation of matter, controlling the elements, opening or sealing mystical portals to other realms, teleportation or dimensional travel, reality warping and control over dimension, seeing through or casting illusions, invisibility and intangibility through astral projection, vast mental powers such as telepathy and telekinesis, communication with the dead and spiritual entities, seeing the future or past, manipulating dreams, removing spirits or placing them back into bodies, summoning supernatural beings, or using the powers of supernatural items.

The last highlighted portion fits quite well with the typical definition of a "clairvoyant", particularly with the powers that The Clarivoyant reportedly had.

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    I knew Strange was a sorcerer, i just never associated that with being psychic. Though, given the hints about the source of Scarlet Witch's power in MCU I wonder if Strange will be similarly rewritten... – KutuluMike May 14 '14 at 13:59
  • @MichaelEdenfield, Yeah, that's why I wanted to make a point that he's not what most would consider a "psychic", but his available powers effectively make him one. My guess is that he wouldn't be able to hold up against someone like Xavier, but he could pass for "clairvoyant" or even "psychic" to the general public. – phantom42 May 14 '14 at 14:05
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    It's also worth noting that Zola's algorithm predicted people's futures, specifically their tendencies toward anti-HYDRA sentiments. Stephen Strange could easily have popped a red flag just for being an arrogant jerk with a God complex and a problem with authority. He's certainly going to have psychic abilities eventually, but we don't know if he does "yet" by that point in the narrative. – Nerrolken Oct 13 '14 at 19:28
  • In addition to Strange, we now have Inhumans in the mix, so anything's possible. From the comics, Medusa & Black Bolt's son is a powerful psychic. With the MCU Inhumans, though, they can make up whatever they want - I mean, Gordon is essentially The Reader with Lockjaw's power. – Omegacron Apr 17 '15 at 18:18
  • @Omegacron There's also Raina who is now demonstrating powers similar to those that the original "Clairvoyant" supposedly had. – phantom42 Apr 17 '15 at 18:20
14

At this point, there are plenty of psychic characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

But first, we need to deal with a vexing question.

What is a “psychic” power?

  1. Sometimes psychic powers refer only to powers that affect the mind and require mental effort (i.e., they both come from the mind and affect the mind). By this standard, we have:

    • Mantis. She uses powers that can affect the minds of others, such as making them sleep, as well as sensing emotions. These abilities seem to require effort, as seen when

      she had difficulty restraining Thanos because of his mental strength.

    • Stephen Strange and the other masters of the mystic arts. Among their powers are abilities that affect the mind or perhaps soul, as when

      the Ancient One punched Stephen Strange out of his body.

    • Thanos, if he possesses the Mind or Soul Stone. This is speculative, but either of these stones could affect the mind, and use of the stones seems to require effort.

    • Vision. The Mind Stone seemingly allowed him to

      access the mind of Ultron, and we saw that it required mental effort on his part.

    • Wanda the Scarlet Witch, who is able to read and control minds, as well as creating mental illusions, with her powers, which again seem to require mental exertion on her part.

  2. If we relax the constraint that the powers must come from the mind, we also have:

    • Kilgrave, who was able to control minds through a virus.

    • Lorelei, who could control the minds of male Asgardians and humans (or only female-attracted individuals thereof?) through her voice and contact.

    • Ben, an Inhuman from the future who heard thoughts, but whose mechanism was not explained. It’s not clear whether he needed to exert mental effort to do so.

    • Hive, who could control the minds of Inhumans.

    • Loki, whose illusions often seem to affect the minds of his targets, rather than manipulating light. Or Loki while using the Mind Stone to control people.

  3. If we consider powers that are frequently called psychic, such as precognition and telekinesis, we can add:

    • Reina, an Inhuman who was able to see the future in dreams.

    • Robin, an Inhuman who saw the future all the time.

    • And Charles, her father, who could cause others to see the future when he touched them.

    • Ebony Maw, a sorcerer under Thanos’s command who could employ telekinesis.

    • Giyera, an Inhuman with the power of telekinesis.

    And many others, depending on what one considers a stereotypically “psychic” power.

  4. If we take psychic powers to be any powers called psychic, very few of the previous qualify. Mantis, for example, is usually described as an “empath,” and Robin is usually called a “seer.”

These lists are not exhaustive: there are likely many other characters in the MCU who would qualify as psychic by these definitions.

As always, the term “psychic” is rather vague. Like most terms in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“science,” “quantum,” “alien”), it seems to be used as a substitute for what we would simply call “magic.” If we take psychic powers to be any powers that come from the mind (the broadest definition), virtually any power in the MCU that isn’t directly beating people up, technological, or a passive defensive ability counts, such as Thor’s lightning, Daisy’s earthquake powers, etc.

  • Are some of the examples under 3. in the wrong order? Right now it reads as though Ebony Maw is female and has a father called Charles, which I don't think is correct. – Anthony Grist Jul 13 '18 at 13:45
  • Interestingly though, clairvoyance, i.e. seeing the future, seems to remain a rare power. – J Doe Aug 13 at 20:32
3

There are not only psychic characters available, they could easily have been included in a forthcoming Marvel movie. Vance Astro and Mantis of the Guardians of the Galaxy are both psychic, but don't appear to actually be in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

  • Don't forget Kosmo and Moondragon. (That book is dripping with psychics.) – Bill the Lizard May 14 '14 at 20:23
1

Loki appears to be using a form of astral/psychic projection when he visits his imprisoned brother in the first Thor movie, and also when he speaks to the space-bound Chitauri in The Avengers. These may or may not be based in Asgardian technology -- certainly the tesseract-spear Loki was wielding in The Avengers would have either empowered or boosted his ability to speak to the Chitauri.

It could also be argued that Lorelei, who appeared in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., uses a form of psychic control when she touches men to bend their loyalties to her.

1

S.H.I.E.L.D. is described as having a psychic division that's not necessarily mutant (though X-Foe Mentallo is ex-S.H.I.E.L.D). Long-time Spider-Man character Madame Web is a non-mutant psychic. Moondragon, Mantis and the Uranian are non-mutant psychics and Vance Astro is a mutant but never an X-Men so he might be fair game (I wonder if the X-ban is solely on X-Men characters or if it's for all of Marvel's mutants. If the latter, it'd extend to Franklin Richards, another total non-X-Men mutant and son of two of the Fantastic Four. The implications are literally nerd-staggering). Purple Man and his zillions of purple rape-product offspring are non-mutant psychics (Purp will show up in Jessica Jones or Luke Cage on Netflix, bet). Most of the Eternals are psychics and none are mutants. There are many others I can think of, mostly aliens.

  • I would remove Franklin Richards from this answer; he's almost certainly owned by Fox. Not sure about Madame Web; she's probably Sony-owned, but I doubt it's been confirmed – Jason Baker Apr 18 '15 at 2:02
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    purple man has been confirmed (and seen on set) for jessica jones. – phantom42 Apr 18 '15 at 2:19
  • To the best of my recollection, Mentallo, while I believe he is a mutant, has rarely appeared in the X-books. You may be thinking of Mesmero, who has primarily appeared in the X-Books. Mesmero is green, and usually wears a green costume that matches his skin tone (with purple trim, as I recall); Mentallo is Caucasian, and normally wears a red costume with purple trim. Mentallo was originally partnered with the Fixer (aka Techno of the Thunderbolts), and first appeared in S.H.I.E.L.D. (when it was still published in Strange Tales, in the mid 1960s). – RDFozz Jul 13 '18 at 15:48
1

Adding to the list in the MCU there was an Inhuman called Charles Hinton in Season 3 Episode 15, "SpaceTime", of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who could see the future of someone dying when he touched someone.

Charles Hinton was an Inhuman who was able to give people a glimpse of the death of a single individual upon physical contact;

[...]

Powers

"It would happen whenever Charles touched someone; he and that person would both see someone's death." ―Polly Hinton

Charles Hinton was an Inhuman who achieved his genetic potential after undergoing Terrigenesis, gaining superhuman powers.

  • Death Prediction: Hinton was able to give other people glimpses of the future death of an individual upon physical contact. Those visions often caused anguish on the people who received them, and despite trying very hard, neither Hinton nor the people who received the visions could do anything to change their outcome.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki[a], Charles Hinton

  • Added a wikia link with some more information inside of it. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 13 '18 at 12:53

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