For decades, Marvel Comics followed classic genre conventions for heroes’ solo series. Magical heroes like Doctor Strange typically fought magical enemies, while sci-fi heroes like the Hulk and the X-Men frequently battled sci-fi villains. Energies like the power cosmic and chaos magic eventually paved the way for the more fluid view of magic and science in the multiverse today.

According to Marvel’s lore, some mutant powers derive from hell, the Fantastic Four may or may not be avatars of base elemental states, and gamma radiation is directly tied to an even worse and deeper hell. Then there are characters whose relationships with magic are fleeting and maybe a little goofy. They are undeniably non-magical, but that hasn’t stopped them from wielding magic at one point or another.

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10 The Worthy and The Mighty

Fear Itself, created by Matt Fraction

The Fear Itself event spanned many titles and impacted most major Marvel heroes. When apocalyptic Asgardian forces arrived on earth, two groups of heroes received magical powers. These included The Worthy — a mix of typically non-magical heroes, antiheroes, and villains — followed by The Mighty.

Absorbing Man and Titania, who have served as heroes on several occasions, were among The Worthy and got magical boosts to their usual powers. The Mighty, on the other hand, used magical weapons. She-Hulk got an awesome sword, Iron Fist received gauntlets, and Hawkeye wielded an Asgardian bow.

9 Blade

While Eric Brooks is a vampire and technically magical, pretty much everything about him is more akin to a standard action hero than a mystical vampire. Normally, Blade uses an Arsenal of very physical melee weapons to take on his foes and rarely relies on magical means. That changed when he became Switchblade.

Blade’s occult form was a force to be reckoned with. He hated anything magical, but when he tried to use the Darkhold to act on that hatred, he opened a door for eldritch forces to consume and manipulate him into killing mystic practitioners indiscriminately.

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8 Thing

Ben Grimm is a man of simple pleasures. He wants an uncomplicated life, and magic does not fit into that ideal. Nevertheless, several misadventures across the multiverse led to the Thing wielding magical forces beyond his comprehension.

One magic power the Thing’s had for a long time is the ability to revert to human form once per year. It’s had several explanations, and the Ultimate Thing appears to pull it off with a sort of cosmic magical power. In Fear Itself, Ben became Angrir, and on Earth 818 Ben Grimm is entirely made of infinity stones, making him the omnipotent wielder of all power in that universe.

7 Captain America

The Mighty Thor #390, written by Tom Defalco with pencils by Ron Frenz and inks by Brett Breeding

Steve Rogers is an everyman with heightened physical abilities, and magic isn’t part of that equation. He’s fought his share of foes claiming to wield mystic powers, but he’s usually able to talk, punch, or sprint his way out of trouble. As is to be expected, there’s at least one earth where he’s both Captain America and the Sorcerer Supreme.

Captain America’s more impressive foray into magic came in The Mighty Thor #390 when he briefly lifted Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer. It’s a huge landmark in the ongoing quest to determine who is and isn’t worthy, but magical forces beyond his reach have approved of Steve since 1988.

6 Wolverine

Wolverine is nearly impossible to kill and incredibly lethal without any magical assistance. That hasn’t stopped Logan’s magic-powered allies from boosting his natural skills. During his time with the Midnight Suns, Wolverine’s claws gained the ability to cut demon flesh.

Logan is no stranger to magic samurai swords, having a long history with Muramasa blades. Perhaps the most interesting magical upgrade in Logan’s career came when Doctor Strange unleashed his “primal nature,” before a trip to hell. Wolverine grew extra claws and snarled more than usual, but went back to normal almost immediately after and tried not to mention it again.

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5 Colossus

Better known as Colossus, the longstanding X-Men member Piotr Rasputin enjoyed a significant stint as the Juggernaut. After Cain Marko was deemed worthy of Nul’s power, Cyttorak disowned Cain and stripped his juggernaut powers. Colossus then picked up the crimson bands and became an unstoppable chromium force.

Maybe it should come as no surprise that Piotr made a perfect magical minion, given his sister Illyana is Magik, but this violent and angry version of Colossus was a big departure from the character’s core. Piotr eventually went back to regular old Colossus, but with a new and refined edge.

4 Punisher

As if Frank Castle hasn’t been through enough, he’s often drafted for unexpected and whacky adventures. Across various universes, Castle has become the sorcerer supreme, has turned into a vampire, and has read from the Darkhold. For a guy whose main thing is shooting stuff, the Punisher gets around.

The Punisher’s longest and most canonical adventures in magic technically involve his death. He was killed and reassembled into Frankencastle thanks to the power of the Bloodgem. This Lobo-inspired Cosmic Ghost Rider became a space-faring emissary of Thanos. Castle later starred in several series and punished most of the intergalactic villains in his universe.

3 Spider-Man

Marvel Team-Up #21, written by Len Wein, Sal Buscema, Dave Hunt, and Frank Giacoia

Peter Parker is many things, but he’s typically not a sorcerer. Spider-Man hails from the science fiction genre, given the radioactive nature of the inciting spider bite, and Marvel used to distinguish heavily between magic and science. On one occasion, Spidey gained Doctor Strange’s powers in a whacky team-up switcheroo, which isn’t wildly out of the ordinary.

Most of Spider-Man’s dabblings in the occult involve Strange, probably because they share a creator in Steve Ditko, who also gave them both the same classic hand pose. Of course, there’s also the whole spider totem retcon that affected Peter’s origins — implying his abilities came from mystic forces. Where Spidey’s concerned, the magical and non-magical origin stories aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

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2 Iron Man

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom, written by David Michelinie and Bob Layton, with pencils by Ron Lim, and inks by Bob Layton

Tony Stark has a brilliant analytical mind and usually relies on his technical savvy to solve problems. He’s typically one to play the snarky skeptic in magical team-ups, but he’s not above trying new things. In alternate worlds and possible futures, Tony’s the sorcerer supreme.

In Iron Man: Legacy of Doom, Stark faces off against the villainous Doctor Doom in a quest of mythic proportion. Eventually gaining a fragment of Excalibur and its magical benefits, it was actually his second time wielding the magical blade. The first came in 1989, when the same writers sent Tony Stark and Doom back in time to Camelot to help Merlin.

1 Mr. Fantastic

Fantastic Four #500, written by Mark Waid with art by Mike Wieringo, ink by Karl Kesel, colors by Paul Mounts, and letters by Rus Wooton

While many of Marvel’s scientific minds want nothing to do with magic, Reed Richards openly loathes it. He’s stated on many occasions that magic just doesn’t make sense to him, which is probably why Doctor Doom gives the smartest man on Earth such a hard time whenever they face off.

In Fantastic Four #500, Reed just can’t crack the spells contained in tomes upon times in the magical library before him. Then, as per usual, Doctor Strange shows up and gives Richards a crash course for dummies. Reed reluctantly wielded the power he barely understood to accomplish his task, but he hasn’t made a habit of it since.

 Despite coming from sci-fi or more grounded backgrounds, Marvel characters like Iron Man and Captain America are no strangers to using magic.  Read More