Movie Reviews

In Doctor Strange's Magic School, The Teachers Are The Real Monsters

Warning: SPOILERS for Strange Academy: Finals #1At Doctor Strange’s school for magic users, students face a terrifying threat unlike any other monster or otherworldly being: the teachers themselves. Strange Academy, a franchise that began as a fairly light-hearted tale about magic users learning to control their power, took a turn for the dramatic when Doctor Strange died and the school became a dangerous place to study. Now Strange Academy: Finals #1 reveals that the biggest danger to the students are the teachers, who routinely put their charges in mortal danger.

Founded by Doctor Strange, Strange Academy revolves around the protagonist Emily Bright, a student with powerful magic abilities. At the school, she meets multiple students throughout the Marvel Universe, including a zombie who conceals her undead appearance via a magic necklace, a Frost Giant from Jotunheim, and the son of the Dark Lord Dormammu, Doyle. Emily and Doyle fall in love, but Doyle fears his Dark Dimension powers will endanger Emily (and a prophecy surrounding him does nothing to dispel his fears).

Related: Marvel Reveals Not Even Doctor Strange Knows All Of His Own Secrets

In Strange Academy: Finals #1, written by Skottie Young with art by Humberto Ramos, the Scarlet Witch teaches a lesson concerning advanced magic: Perception Reality. The spell involves changing the perspectives of others around the user by forcing others to see what the user imagines. Wanda decides Doyle should demonstrate proper use of the spell – but since Doyle fears so much (including Emily), his fears manifest as destructive entities who promptly attack the students. With no other option, Wanda enlists the help of the students in fighting Doyle’s fears.

This is far worse than a teacher forgetting to protect their students – this is a teacher actively encouraging students to fight and risk their lives against multiple monsters. Wanda’s choice to use the unstable Doyle of all people may be portrayed as an inspirational moment, but in retrospect, it is the wrong choice to make in this situation. The Scarlet Witch, of all people, should know the dangers of one’s powers getting out of control, and she should know better than to use the son of Dormammu as an example for her class.

At the end of the issue, Emily asserts that the faculty of Strange Academy either uses students for their magical power or has no idea about the true danger of showing a neophyte the door into the realm of deadly magical creatures. Emily may be the antagonist of the book after a shocking swerve, but she’s also right: the faculty doesn’t appear to protect the students at all. When Doctor Strange returns from the dead, he’ll certainly have words with the faculty of his academy…if his ex-wife Clea can resurrect him in the first place.

Next: Charlize Theron Still Hasn’t Figured Out Who MCU’s Clea Is

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