The MCU’s WandaVision dropped a huge reveal at the end of episode eight: Wanda is indeed the Scarlet Witch and uses chaos magic. Agatha Harkness, a powerful sorceress herself from Marvel Comics, seems shocked at this but comic book readers are likely familiar with the concept. Chaos magic is at the core of Wanda’s powers in modern Marvel comics.
But what is chaos magic? How does it differ from ordinary magic? And how does it affect what’s going to happen in the series finale of WandaVision and the Marvel Cinematic Universe beyond? Taking a look at the history of chaos magic in the comics may provide some clues.
The root concept of chaos magic is just that: chaos. It is a form of magic in the Marvel Universe that allows users to manipulate, warp, and reconstruct the very fabric of existence and reality. It is a highly powerful and very dangerous form of magic and considered by some to be mythical.
For a time in the comics, Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme and one of the most powerful magicians in the Marvel Universe, didn’t think it existed. Wanda Maximoff is one of the few practitioners of chaos magic and it’s primarily through her that the concept comes to the fore.
One of the reasons Stephen Strange doubted the existence of chaos magic is that it is utterly antithetical to traditional magic or order magic. Magical power in the Marvel Universe is divided into three different types: personal energies, universal energies, and dimensional energies.
Order magic generally relies on personal energy and is executed through specific spells and incantations on the part of an individual, a code that is difficult to parse for non-users. Chaos magic just happens, as was clear in Westview in WandaVision.
Chaos magic does have a img in the Marvel Universe. Chthon is an Elder God or an ancient deity who has existed for billions of years. Chthon eventually became the first user of dark magic on Earth and used his power to become the Lord Of Chaos.
He is a being of unimaginable power and truly destructive potential. His power has only been mitigated over time by being trapped in a dimension of his own making. Chthon is patterned off of the Cthulhu mythos of author H.P. Lovecraft.