Marvel Made A.I The New Ancient One of Magic:
Marvel has a very vast lore when it comes to magic. Magic is such a vital part of the Marvel comic book universe that all major storylines include it in the plot in one way or another. When we mention magic, the Sorcerer Supreme aka Doctor Strange surely comes to mind. There is one more entity of magic that is also a foundation, a stalwart of mysticism if you may, that everyone must know about. We are talking about the mantle of the Ancient One – a position given to the greatest sorcerer to ever exist in the universe. Throughout history, Marvel has showcased the Ancient One in a very positive light and has done incredible work when it comes to its character development. But looks like, Marvel has finally screwed up. They have screwed up big time indeed.
SPOILER ALERT: Major Spoilers for Doctor Strange #20. Enter at your own risk….
Science and magic seldom mix in real life. They have also sworn enemies in fiction. No matter how hard you try to mix them together, they are like oil and water. One way or another, they will always end up going their separate paths. But Marvel loves to experiment. Sometimes their experiments do end up giving wonderful results. But most of the time, these experiments create outright abominations that must never be spoken of. One such abomination came in the form of an Artificial Intelligence which Marvel just made the new Ancient One. No matter how seriously you try to take this in, even for a hardcore Marvel fan, it sounds a bit too ridiculous.
Artificial Intelligence constructs are always portrayed in a negative light in Marvel. The greatest example is the A.I villain Ultron, a construct born out of the mind of Hank Pym in the comic books and the Mind Stone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But to make an A.I the master of magic!!! Well, we have to draw a line here.
The issue reveals that Doctor Strange intends to get more powerful as a sorcerer and to do so he has decided to take the help of technology. While in his endeavor, Strange is forced to summon Kanna. A while later, both are sucked into Dakkar-7 which is ground zero for an interstellar war happening in the far reaches of the Cosmos!
On Dakkar-7, the Talugarians, a race of beings with superior technology than anything seen on Earth, are under attack by a powerful demonic being called Chondar-2. The entity is after a vital piece of technology created by the fore-runners of the Talugarian civilization. It is essentially a robot that was designed to be a repository of all magical knowledge to ever exist in the universe. Eventually, the robotic A.I gained so much knowledge that it achieved sentience and became a teacher for people who came to learn the deepest secrets of magic. Strange realizes the true worth of this A.I being as a weapon of magic and decides to help the Talugarians in defending it from getting into the wrong hands of Chondar-2, who will only use it for chaos and destruction.
But to Strange’s regret, the A.I ends up being controlled by Chondar-2 and Strange is forced to fight it to the death. The battle with this new digital Ancient One is tough but Strange manages to use his resourcefulness and creativity to defeat the now possessed being. In the funeral held by the Talugarians for the Ancient One, Strange is seen visibly distressed because he had discovered that what a waste of knowledge and skill it was to destroy that being, who could have become a powerful friend and ally to Strange in his mission to learn more about magic and become even stronger.
Overall, the story sounds good but it is full of stupid clichés and plot elements that do not make sense. Javier Pina and Brian Reber have done a good job in the artwork but that is all the complements it shall get form us.
The very basic gist of the plot, of an A.I assuming the role of the Ancient One, to put it bluntly – Sucks!!! To Marvel Comics, we will say this – try to keep it together next time.
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just… do things
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