In the Golden Age of Comics, the majority of powers were magically derived, from rings, relics, helmets and strange wizards hiding in subways.  (Strange women lying ponds distributing swords were either later or MUCH earlier, depending on how you count.). These days, even powers that are literally impossible, like Cyclops eye-blasts, are given pseudo-scientific explanations, and the shining city of Asgard is (in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) explained as merely advanced aliens.  With Doctor Strange on the movie horizon, many are wondering how his mystical gimmick might work, leading to today’s ‘Hoary Hosts Of Hoggoth’ query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) defies anyone to call Iron Man’s armor or Superman’s ostensibly “solar” powers as anything but magic, asking: Do magical powers and stories still work in a modern context?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. To me, magic in fiction is not too far removed from most science fiction. You can dress it up with pseudo-science and try to make things rational, but in the end it is still a fantasy that requires a little suspension of disbelief. I know that the mechanics of Star Wars space travel, lightsabers or The Force is highly unscientific, but I don’t care. It is fun. Same with magic in a modern setting, I know going in that it is going to be somewhat ridiculous, but I’m not reading or watching the story for scientific accuracy, I’m reading or watching the story for a fun story. It doesn’t matter if the setting is a medieval world, an alternate magical world or modern day Earth, as long as the story is written well I’m not too concerned with knowing every single detail of how this or that is or isn’t possible in reality or not.

  2. I wish they had been more purist with Asgard, personally. That said, “sci-fi” these days is thinly disguised fantasy anyway.

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