More than a decade ago, Daimon Hellstrom predicted a magical apocalypse, and Doctor Strange just confirmed it’s almost here – and he has a plan.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Strange Academy #5!
In the latest issue of Strange Academy, it’s revealed that Doctor Strange has a deeper reason for training and teaching the next generation of magic wielders, and it’s not just to help them grow. There are many dark and mystical forces at work in the Marvel Universe that the Sorcerer Supreme is called upon to repel and fight against, and he has done this for years. However, those forces and threats are getting bigger and more dangerous, and the Master of the Mystic Arts shares as much in this issue, confirming a long held belief among the magical community that the end times are near for Marvel Comics (and they may even be living in them right now).
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Marvel’s mystical end-times have been bubbling for a long time. In 2009’s New Avengers #54, by Brian Michael Bendis and Billy Tan, Daimon Hellstrom, aka the Son of Satan, explained “Man, look around you… This is the end of days. All that madness you guys are involved in every single second of every single day. It weakens the barriers between this dimension and the ones that would keep an a-hole like Dormammu away from us… Look at your calendars, look at the world. There is a reckoning coming…” It’s a sentiment that’s been echoed since, and yet despite some major magical upheaval, Marvel haven’t quite delivered a reckoning on the level Hellstrom predicted. But in Strange Academy #5, Doctor Strange confirms this magical apocalypse is still on its way.
The Strange Academy is based in New Orleans, a hub of magical power, serving as the perfect place for Strange, Brother Voodoo, Zelma Stanton and more guest teachers to train the young magicians of Marvel Comics’ future. However, it seems as though Voodoo and Strange have some differing opinions on the reason as to why they’re teaching these children, as well as the eventual goals for them in said future. As they discuss a recently revealed prophecy that may very well be about one of their students, Strange is wishing to exhibit caution, expressing wariness when it comes to things such as prophecies. Voodoo doesn’t see it the same way, wanting to foster the unique abilities within their students, especially if they’re fated to do something incredible or devastating in the days ahead.
This is where Doctor Strange confirms what’s long been a suspicion for Marvel fans, in Strange Academy #5 from writer Skottie Young and artist Humberto Ramos. Strange is no longer dealing with threats of the average, day-to-day variety. Threats from other realities and realms are increasing both in size and frequency, which could culminate in a cataclysmic event that may prove to be too formidable for Strange alone to conquer. In his mind, they’re training these students not to thrive in the status quo, but to help combat the growing forces of darkness. Marvel’s mystic end times are still coming, and the Strange Academy is intended as a weapon against them.
Especially after this issue, it appears more than likely that a magical reckoning is coming for the Marvel Universe. It certainly seems to support the feelings held by Daimon Hellstrom back in Bendis’ New Avengers. These are the end of days, and the barriers that protect the Earth are breaking down, which will no doubt result in a massive conflict the likes of which Marvel’s magicians have never encountered before. Here’s hoping Doctor Strange, Voodoo, and their students are ready for what may soon be coming as Strange Academy continues.
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