Scarlet Witch’s MCU Survival Is Settled by Marvel’s Magneto Rule

In the concluding moments of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda Maximoff – aka the Scarlet Witch – appears to be killed in an act of sacrifice to seal away the mystical Darkhold. However, since the movie isn’t as explicit as it could be about her fate, fans continue to debate whether or not she was truly killed off, especially given her epic villain turn in the preceding hours.

However, Marvel Comics may already have offered fans an authoritative reason to think that Wanda’s still alive, all thanks to a rule the X-Men invented for her adopted father Magneto, and which they continue to apply in their epic clashes against any number of foes. Specifically, the alien warlord known a Khan, who was seemingly killed when the X-Men downed his floating palace.

In X-Treme X-Men #19 – from Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca – fans learn that the X-Men have a secret rule for occasions like Scarlet Witch’s death where an imposing foe suffers a huge, operatic demise but their body isn’t recovered. After an alien dictator is seemingly killed in his own exploding spaceship, Beast confirms the heroes should expect to see him again, revealing this is something the mutant heroes refer to as a ‘Magneto Moment.’ Beast explains, “The more certain the death, the more certain the guaranteed resurrection.” The rule comes from the fact that Magneto has been seemingly killed in many inescapable and dramatic moments, only to return after his body is assumed vaporized or declared impossible to recover.

Of course, while this rule is derived from the X-Men’s personal experiences, it’s also a genre-savvy observation. In a medium where death and resurrection are commonplace, fans are unlikely to consider a villain’s journey resolved until they’re convincingly killed off. In a comic universe many decades in the making, anyone who can be brought back likely will be, especially if it can be explained they simply escaped their seeming death. Add in magic, alien technology, and superhuman powers, and as the Magneto Moment rule dictates, it’s actually more guaranteed a character will return if they get a huge, showy, but inconclusive death.

That’s Wanda’s current state in the MCU – potentially crushed under the weight of a toppled mountain, and yet incredibly easy to bring back later for maximum shock value. Were the Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness fan debate put to any of the classic X-Men, they’d happily conclude that Scarlet Witch will return soon – not least because the recent X-Men: Trial of Magneto saw Scarlet Witch miraculously return to life even with a dead body and a murderer caught all but red-handed.

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