Doctor Strange isn’t the first Sorcerer Supreme in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it’s likely he won’t be the last. Although he’s had some students over the years, one of them — Illyana Rasputin, aka Magik — is also making her cinematic debut in an upcoming Marvel movie. This could open up the possibility of the pair meeting at some point in the future.
In some timelines, the X-Men‘s Magik actually succeeds Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme. Although this would fundamentally change her relationship with mutantkind, it could make sense for the MCU.
Illyana Rasputin is the younger sister of long-time X-Man, Colossus. Only a young girl when she was introduced, Illyana was with the team when they went through Limbo and fought the demonic Belasco. Although most of the team escaped, Illyana was trapped in the hellish realm for years. During that time, she learned magic and had part of her soul transformed into a Bloodstone and her Soulsword.
She also developed her mutant ability, giving her the power to create “stepping discs” that can teleport through space and time. Eventually returning to the real world, Illyana was among Professor Xavier’s New Mutants, where she had to contend with her burgeoning demonic side, known as Darkchylde. She ended up restored to her original age in the “Inferno” crossover and died shortly after as a result of the Legacy Virus.
Illyana eventually returned thanks to the machinations of Belasco, who used Illyana’s Bloodstone to resurrect her as Darkchylde. When a new class of young mutants ended up in Limbo, Illyana took the opportunity to return to the real world alongside them. Despite her misgivings, Illyana was accepted by the X-Men and became a dedicated member of the team — even reuniting with the original New Mutants. When her powers were amplified after her exposure to the Phoenix Force during Avengers vs. X-Men, she ended up going to Doctor Strange for help. The pair have since become allies: Doctor Strange called upon her to help him defeat the magic-hunting cult the Empirikul and he assisted Magik during Extraordinary X-Men.
Although Magik has never fully replaced Doctor Strange in the core Marvel Universe, there are instances from across the Marvel multiverse where Illyana does end up being the one who inherits the role of Sorcerer Supreme after him. In one reality visited by Excalibur, a cruel and bitter Illyana has become the Sorceress Supreme, using her demonic powers of crime-boss Kit Pryde. In others, she becomes a dedicated student of Doctor Strange — leaving the X-Men behind to reach a higher purpose, such as in What If? Magik.
In the recent Doctor Strange: The End, which is a direct sequel to What If? Magik, one of Doctor Strange’s greatest regrets is losing Illyana. Using the last of his life energy to restore magic to the world, Strange is even able to restore Illyana to life in the far future. He leaves behind a school for her to teach magics at — as well as the title and tools of Sorcerer Supreme — to lead an entirely new generation of magic users.
A time-displaced version of Tempus even encounters a potential future version of Marvel 2099, where Magik has become the Sorcerer Supreme — although she’s later killed during an attack.
A version of the character is set to be a major part of the long-delayed The New Mutants, which could potentially introduce the idea of mutants to the MCU. If Illyana does in fact gain some of her magical aspects — such as the Soul Sword or her armor, as implied by a trailer for the film released earlier this year — then it could make it easy to tie the young and powerful sorceress to Doctor Strange. Avengers: Endgame solidified the concept of legacy being a core component of the MCU, with many heroes either dying or finally giving up their roles.
Many of these heroes have even chosen successors, like Falcon and Valkyrie, so it would make sense for Doctor Strange to be on the lookout for any powerful figures who could in turn help protect the world even when he’s gone. She could also be a fun counterpoint to the seasoned Doctor Strange, a magical prodigy with enough attitude to keep up with Strange’s snark.
Magik learning from Strange would be an easy way to tie the X-Men to the greater MCU. Making the X-Men a central part of the established universe will help strengthen this version of the team’s overall connection to the previous films and could help bridge the gap to more mutant-centric stories. Seeing the X-Men interact with all corners of the Marvel Universe could easily give the MCU plenty of material going forward.
When the X-Men join the MCU, a magical mutant could succeed Doctor Strange's role as Sorcerer Supreme, according to the Marvel multiverse.