Sunday, March 22, 2009

Who Should The Next Sorcerer Supreme Be?

After the events of World War Hulk, Doctor Strange felt that he had failed in his role as the Sorcerer Supreme. The protector of this dimension against all threats from the Mystic Realm seemingly relinquished his post, with no successor left to follow in his steps. Fans have wondered what happened to him and who is going to succeed him and it appears that we will start getting some answers in the upcoming New Avengers #51.

To prepare for the release, Marvel put up an article detailing the odds of who is likely to become the next Sorcerer Supreme. However, one of my favorite characters did not even make the cut for the odds: Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler. "Why him?" you say? The answer to that question is after the jump.

The Possible Candidates

Of all the possible choices that Marvel listed, Doctor Doom would be the most logical and continuity correct one. He has long been known for his balancing act between magic and technology, as seen in the Books of Doom mini series. I don't know why Marvel is saying that he has concentrated on technology. Many characters point out his intelligence and knowledge of the mystic arts and it has been mentioned many times that he is only second to Strange when it comes to magical crafts.

Despite some varied characterizations by certain writers, he is not considered a complete and ruthless villain like others on the list, such as Baron Mordo and Dormammu, that would outright betray or conquer humanity at the drop of a hat. It would also certainly create some additional conflict between him and long time adversaries Reed Richards and Tony Stark. Doom is actually playing a big part of the Dark Reign quasi-event that Marvel has going on at the moment and choosing him to play such a big role would be a logical choice story-wise as well.

Furthermore, neither Clea nor Brother Voodoo have really played a major role recently in any story (to my knowledge), outside of Brother Voodoo's random guest appearance in New Avengers sometime last year. For them to come up to the role out of nothingness would probably not be a good choice story-wise.

The opposite is true for Ghost Rider and Magik, both who seem occupied in their particular corners of the shared universe. However, the Scarlet Witch would be an interesting choice because of how much her character has gone through and would provide some kind of redemption, while at the same time providing new conflicts as the other heroes have to trust someone that has a history of mental breakdowns to protect them against magical threats.

House of M helped establish Scarlet Witch as a magical powerhouse with probably unlimited untapped potential. She also has a long story and involvement with the Avengers. I could see this theoretically happening, but it seems, at the moment, that she is going to play a big role in the new team of Mighty Avengers by Dan Slott and we have yet to see how the rest of the Marvel Universe deals with her return.

If you are keeping count, that only leaves two choices: Druid and The Hood. Druid is an amateur with very little in terms of control, much like Sister Grimm from Runaways or Wiccan from Young Avengers, so I am a wondering why he made the list when they didn't. It probably has something to do with the fact that he is a Bendis-created character, the same writer from New Avengers. Other than that though, he is currently busy over in Secret Warriors, so I highly doubt that he is going to become the next Sorcerer Supreme.

The Hood
, while not created by Brian Michael Bendis, has become one of his pet characters. Appearing almost ad-naseum in the pages of Avengers related titles in the last year has certainly helped boost his profile, but he is most definitely not Sorcerer Supreme material (being possesed by a demon is probably not good for a job like this). Of course, Bendis is notoriously known for sometimes making leaps of logic in order to provide the most interesting story, so I think The Hood actually has the highest chance of getting the job. The fact that he was put so low on the list is probably just a bit of misdirection on Marvel's part.

In my humble opinion, in this search for the next Sorcerer Supreme, Nightcrawler is...

The Right Man for the Job

Nightcrawler is a long time member of the X-Men team, part of the second generation of mutants trained by Professor X, known for his demonic appearance and his teleporting powers and the corresponding sound effect, 'BAMF!'.

Kurt is a very empathic and caring person, always looking out for his teammates and friends, to the point where he constantly puts himself in danger in order to save others. The occasions where this happens are quite a lot, so I am not going to list them all, but I believe the most recent one happened during the trip to Russia where Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Colossus faced off against Omega Red. That particular time, the group was restrained with shackles that would transmit an extremely high electrical voltage shock through the prisoner, but they managed to escape thanks one of Nightcrawler's selfless (and resourceful) acts. Even if he has a tendency to get badly hurt during these stunts, he keeps sacrificing his well being for the greater good.

Selflessness and sacrifice of that kind is probably a very important for the job of Sorcerer Supreme. When facing demons and powerful magical entities that can grant people their uttermost desire (with a cost, as always), it would be very easy to be tempted. Something like this happened recently to Captain Britain and MI13, where the team was tricked and almost defeated by Plotka, a Lord of Hell, who was granting people's wishes, only to use their energy to create an army of Nameless Ones and overtake the world. But you know this, because you all are reading Captain Britain and MI13, right? RIGHT?

Nightcrawler is also familiar in dealing with these kind of Faustian temptations. Years ago, before he first joined the X-Men (actually, this happened JUST before he joined), Kurt accidentally killed his step-brother in a struggle with him. Although he initially thought his brother had gone crazy and had killed a group of children from the village they lived in, Nightcrawler later found out that his brother had been possessed by a demon. This is a very important part in Nightcrawler's history and he probably considers it one of his great failures as a person.

During his short lived ongoing series (it only lasted twelve issues), by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Darick Robertson, we saw how the devil-like creature Mephisto had offered Nightcrawler a deal that would revive his step-brother. Kurt not only rejected the deal, but he also punched/slapped Mephisto in the face in the process saying that he would rather burn in hell himself than make a deal with him, Nightcrawler declared war on Mephisto. Spider-Man could learn a thing or two from this...

Connections to the Magical World

Ever since the early days of the X-Men and throughout his stay with Excalibur, Nightcrawler has been involved countless times with the magical word of the Marvel Universe. The first Uncanny X-Men Annual, shortly after the revival of the X-franchise by Chris Claremont and company, featured the memorable story where the rest of the team (and the reader) learns about the death of Kurt's step-brother for the first time.

The story, titled "Nightcrawler's Inferno", involves an elaborate plot by Margali Szardos (Kurt's step-mother) to punish our protagonist for his sins. To do so, she re-creates a magical simulacrum of Dante's Inferno that the X-Men and a guest-starring Dr. Strange must go through.
There is also the fact that his father is some kind of demon, if we are to believe controversial writer Chuck Austen, but that storyline has been pretty much ignored ever since, much like everything else he has written for the X-Men.

The Right Tools for the Job

In that same story, we also found out that Nightcrawler's step-sister was also his lover (weird, I know), the sorceress Amanda Sefton. She was using a different identity at the time to stay close and protect Kurt.

After the demise of Illyana Rasputin, Amanda went on to become the ruler of Limbo as the second Magik. While this strained their romantic relationship, Amanda and Kurt stayed friends. Years later, she would use magic to hide the Soulsword she inherited inside Nightcrawler's body, whose soul is "unpolluted".

The Souldsword is an extremely powerful magical item that sorcerers use along the Winding Way, "the path towards magical enlightenment and empowerment". Among the sword's powers is the ability to severely harm magic users it slices and to protect the holder from and against most magical threats. It's no Eye of Agamotto, but it does sound like a useful item for a Sorcerer Supreme to have in his arsenal of mystical weapons.

A Quick Plug

Before I close this article, I wanted to say that if you enjoyed a lot of the things I mentioned in this entry (like Kurt punching Mephisto in the face), it is thanks to the aforementioned brief ongoing series Nightcrawler had. It was a wonderfully written series, moody and mysterious, and very Vertigo-ish.

If you enjoy books like Hellblazer, Sandman, or Swamp Thing, I think you will also like what this title did with a little corner of the Marvel universe.
The team of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Derick Robertson delivers a consistently good , albeit short, run on a title that was probably doomed to fail commercially from the beginning.


When I first thought about writing this article, it looked as if Nightcrawler was about to quit the X-Men, which would have left him free to take up on the position. I would have been extremely happy to see him play a bigger role in the Marvel Universe and in the eyes of the readership. Even though I think (and as far as I can tell, I am the only one) that he would be a great character to become the next Sorcerer Supreme, the odds of Nightcrawler getting the job are very low. That said, who do you think is actually going to become the next Sorcerer Supreme?

Interested in reading about Nightcrawler's solo adventures? Purchase Nightcrawler Vol 1: The Devil Inside or Nightcrawler Vol 2: The Winding Way from and help support The Weekly Crisis!

Related Posts


Andrenn said...

A great post and there's some good points as to why he should get the job. But for me, as a fan of the character I'd rather see Ghost Rider take the spot. Or maybe even a Midnight Son but I know that would never happen.

Randallw said...

I thought it was set in stone. It's not a matter of who is best suited to be the next Sorceror Supreme, but instead it's been the rule that Doctor Doom WILL suceed.

As for Scarlet Witch. Her powers isn't magic. Sure she can change reality but she wouldn't know what denizens lurk on the second level of hell. Before House of M they talk to Strange about her 'magic' and he says they're talking rubbish. What she does isn't magic. Chaos magic to be exact.

ShadowWing Tronix said...

My negative when it comes to Nightcrawler (as someone who has only seen Kurt on TV or in the theaters, mind you) comes from his religious beliefs, or perhaps mind--take it how you will. As a Christian, I couldn't see him using casting spells, since divination is considered a nono in the Bible. (It block us off from God, you see, on our end.)

Randallw said...

Good point. Besides, he couldn't make all the gestures what with only having 3 fingers on each hand.

I'm not really familiar with The Hood. When he appeared in the Cabal and put a gun in his mouth I thought he was mad, it totally going over my head that Emma Frost was messing with him. From what I do know he isn't a Sorceror. In D&D having a magic hood and boots doesn't make you an Epic Mage.

Eric Rupe said...

The Hood himself isn't a mage but his hood and boots do give him powers that are based on magic, of some kind. I've never read BKV's mini and Bendis never really explains it in NA from what I can remember.

Kirk Warren said...

The Hood made a dealw ith Dormammu and the previews for New Avengers 51 have him being told that to fulfill his bargain he has to become the next Sorc Supreme. I dont know if that makes him magic based or if the hood and boots actually give the powers now. Bendis hasb een very liberal with his magic items/powers for the Hood, so it's hard to even tell anymore.

Josh said...

Ugh. As much as I loved BKV's original Hood mini series (and encourage everybody to read it), the character hasn't really been written in as entertainingly or interestingly since it ended. Bendis is the main culprit, painting the Hood with exact same broad and boring brush that he does with all characters. See Marvel Boy for another perfect example of Bendis taking a promising, unique character and turning into the same bland thing.

Bendis has been shoving the character out there a lot so I'm guessing he'll be the 'surprise' reveal.

In the original story, Parker comes upon a demon and shoots it, stealing its cloak and boots. The powers initially seemed to come only from the clothing but Parker became increasingly tainted by the demon, gaining more abilities along the way. At first, it seems like Parker can only fly and become invisible, for only as long as he can hold his breath. Eventually he can shoot lightning-type energy from his hands and other things.

Of note, the demon that Parker got the hood from was a Nisanti demon. The only other place a demon of that type was mentioned was in Runaways, by the magical parents. There was apparently going to be some background tie between the books but was dropped by the time new creative teams came along.

Matt Ampersand said...

Andrenn: The Midnight Sons are going to be showing up in Marvel Zombies 4. Should be fun.

Randallw: True enough about Wanda's power being altering reality, but when you think what is magic but altering reality to your will? I know it's not exactly the same, but it's close enough for me.

Shadowwing: Kurt in the comics has gone through much, and has made him question his beliefs, but came out stronger and still believes in a god, despite what outlandish things he has seen. And he is pretty open minded, so I don't think he would consider magic to be a sin.

Eric: Yeah, they just gave him powers but never really explained it in the original mini, I think. Bendis was the one to expand on the possession aspect of it.

Kirk: Damnit, I guess it's pretty much set in stone now. Hood's going to be the next Sorcerer Supreme

Matt Ampersand said...

Josh: That's interesting about the Runaways/Hood connection, I didn't know about it. Hood made an appearance in Punisher recently and he was flying/hovering very easily while talking. Didn't he have to hold his breath for that, or was that for the invisibility?

Josh said...

If I remember correctly, it was only the invisibility that required Parker to hold his breath. Then again, who knows what sorts of sweeping changes have been made to him behind the scenes. There are lots of things left up in the air regarding the Hood, particularly what the status of his mean-as-nails pregnant girlfriend (who I guess should've had the the baby by now) and more.

Randallw said...

Matt: Sure she has power and stuff, but she hasn't studied magic things as far as I know. If she was to become Sorceror Supreme, and thus be responsible for defending the Earth from Supernatural threats it isn't going to be any good if she is warned the Dread Demon Rokar and his Immortal Legion from the plane of Gehesum are a threat only for her to ask who would they be then.

if she gets chosen I assume the writer would come up with something I suppose. She could start learning on the job maybe.

googum said...

It would be super fun to see Nightcrawler get the Sorceror Supreme spot, even though he doesn't want it, and isn't really qualified; because then it would be more interesting to see him try and get out of Dr. Strange-type problems. (Plus, big Nightcrawler fan!)

Matt Ampersand said...

Randallw: I agree, I just don't think it's that big of a stretch for Bendis to make. Sorcerer Supreme is probably not and good position for learning on the job though, haha.

googum: Yes, another 'crawler fan! Let us start writing letters and demand for this.

Anonymous said...

Um, shouldn't the next Sorcerer Supreme be a, you know, what's the word... sorcerer?

Steven R. Stahl said...

Bendis hasn’t actually provided a reason as to why Dr. Strange shouldn’t continue to be the Sorcerer Supreme.

The idea that Strange disgraced himself by invoking dark forces is wrong. Strange used to invoke Satannish back in the old days. Englehart had him stop, the reasoning being that invoking an evil entity is equivalent to worshipping him. If a sorcerer is granted energy via invocation, what matters is what he does with the energy, not who the source is. If a sorcerer invoked an evil entity routinely but used the energy for good, the entity might stop listening -- but good entities (Vishanti) are available.

Bendis’s Strange relied in intricate hand motions for spells, which was mischaracterization. Historically, Strange relied on spoken invocations and thoughts. The sequence in which the Hulk crushed Strange’s hands in WORLD WAR HULK #3 was a case of the writer, Pak, confusing telepathic combat with presences on the astral plane. Astral forms have no physical strength.

Bendis’s Wanda doesn’t do magic -- hasn’t been shown doing anything resembling magic. She’d be helpless against anyone with skills in sorcery, in stories written by skilled writers.

Basically, what’s happened since WWH #3 has been a string of mischaracterizations and plotting errors. Bendis, et al., haven’t done anything except provide reasons why they should be denounced for failing to do their jobs properly.


Steven R. Stahl said...

It’s hard to understate just how ridiculous/ludicrous the idea of the Hood being the next Sorcerer Supreme is, if his magical abilities, such as they are, stem entirely from Dormammu’s patronage. It’s no different than reasoning that Wanda could be the next S.S. solely on the basis of her connection to Chthon, without even considering skills and knowledge, or someone claiming that a familial connection to, e.g., Chester A. Arthur entitles him to be the next President of the U.S. Seeing Bendis write about “magics” has become like seeing a functional illiterate trying to write the Great American Novel.


Freddy said...

Wow... I have to say, out of all the potential candidates for Sorcerer Supreme, I think Nightcrawler would be the coolest. Thanks for bringing up such a cool idea. It's too bad he's being wasted over in the X-Men.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been keeping up with what Bendis is doing, but it sounds like he is ignoring older Dr. Strange tales. At the end of the Creator/In-Betweener arc, Clea is surprised that Strange is Sorcerer Supreme again after losing it. Strange informs her it is ONLY A TITLE, and claiming to be SS doesn't mean a lot.

Michael Edwards said...

Bendis hits more often than he misses, and I have faith this will turn out to be a good story. He's not the super fuck up that Morrison is. Morrison is so damn stupid he can't even keep his stories consistent, and his complete lack of understanding of every known character in the Big Two just makes me cringe when I read his horrible stories.

Allen Francis said...

I agree with your points on Dr. Druid Mr. Ampersand, and I think that
Is why he would make a suitable replacement.

Dr Druid is an amatuer who could learn more about control and
His potential. With th right supporting cast, lots of potential here to
Redefine and recreate a character most people don't care about or
Are not aware of.

Warren Ellis and Leonardo Manco created a short lived Dr. Druid series long ago with a eerie vertigo type dread and vibe permeating throughout it.

I don't know who the new creative team would be, but I think Druid
Would be the unothodox, unexpected choice that would garner interest because of the mystery would be different.

I think most of us would be able to guess the story beats and predict
What would happen in a scarlet witch, sorceror supreme comic.

At first I hated ur idea of Nightcrawler, but it is growing on me, makes sense, a lot of potential to develop NC in that way. I had to quell my Xmen bias to do so, but yeah, he has the look, his powers. But is it asking a lot to ask fans to disavow his x credentials? Would he be permannent replacement? Would fan groan as they predict the story beats as NC keeps the eye of agamotto warm until Doc Strange comes back.

Also, it seems like the legacy hero is the rage, hulk missing from hulk, batman, cap (most successful) and so on.

Replacing Doc Strange should stem from cogent, organic story writing.

So much potential here, because the world of Doc Strange is occult, magic, fantasy and horror. The new stories should not be event tied like brubakers cap, allow a new world of fantasy to develop with spider man or the thing or wolverine dropping by to stop a crisis of mysticism.

I think there is great potential here with a fresh start with Dr. Druid. You wouldn,t be able to guess what was coming and when DS comes back, druid could become a major supporting character or maybe even more.

A hated and despised or perenially unused character can always be reborn.

Allen Francis said...

Clarify, 3rd to last paragraph, I meant this comic should be a non event tied comic WITHOUT characters like spiderman or thing stopping by to stop a crisis born of mystic and supernatural origin.

Pardon the typos, typing on a G1 cell.

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed in the selection of the new Sorcerer Supreme, I had hoped that it would be a woman.

oakleyses said...

kate spade, gucci handbags, nike free, burberry outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet store, nike air max, coach outlet, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, true religion outlet, christian louboutin uk, longchamp outlet, coach outlet store online, nike outlet, jordan shoes, oakley sunglasses wholesale, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, tiffany jewelry, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin, kate spade outlet, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, prada handbags, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, polo outlet, nike air max, replica watches, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, prada outlet, coach outlet, tiffany and co, oakley sunglasses, coach purses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

michael kors pas cher, vans pas cher, sac longchamp pas cher, michael kors outlet, converse pas cher, ray ban uk, polo lacoste, jordan pas cher, sac hermes, guess pas cher, true religion outlet, nike air max uk, louboutin pas cher, nike air max, air max, nike free run, nike roshe, nike air max uk, ray ban pas cher, new balance, north face uk, true religion jeans, polo ralph lauren, hollister pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike free uk, nike blazer pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister uk, burberry pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, hogan outlet, michael kors, nike air force, true religion outlet, lululemon canada, ralph lauren uk, north face, nike tn, oakley pas cher, mulberry uk, timberland pas cher

oakleyses said...

chi flat iron, nike trainers uk, p90x workout, north face outlet, hollister clothing, instyler, nfl jerseys, mac cosmetics, bottega veneta, giuseppe zanotti outlet, abercrombie and fitch, vans outlet, iphone 6 cases, wedding dresses, soccer shoes, asics running shoes, new balance shoes, north face outlet, nike air max, celine handbags, mcm handbags, reebok outlet, nike roshe run uk, timberland boots, insanity workout, beats by dre, lululemon, oakley, hermes belt, baseball bats, herve leger, babyliss, nike huaraches, ghd hair, ferragamo shoes, hollister, nike roshe run, valentino shoes, soccer jerseys, longchamp uk, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc pens

oakleyses said...

thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, ralph lauren, uggs outlet, ugg boots, converse, replica watches, karen millen uk, pandora uk, supra shoes, hollister, nike air max, ugg uk, wedding dresses, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, ray ban, vans, marc jacobs, juicy couture outlet, louboutin, links of london, montre pas cher, pandora charms, lancel, coach outlet, ugg, hollister, ugg pas cher, toms shoes, converse outlet, gucci, swarovski crystal, uggs outlet, ugg boots, swarovski, uggs on sale, pandora jewelry, ugg,uggs,uggs canada

Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Crisis - Comic Book Review Blog. Comments are always appreciated. You can sign in and comment with any Google, Wordpress, Live Journal, AIM, OpenID or TypePad account.