True believers who stayed till the end of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” were treated to a teaser to Marvel Studio’s next big film: “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”. The film seems to be picking up right after the end of “No Way Home” with the not-Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange dealing with the ramifications of his spell.
One that exposed their universe to the wider threats of the multiverse. Now that the teaser has gone public, let’s break down all the exciting and insane details we found in Strange’s horrifying trek through the multiverse. Also, spoilers for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” ahead. You have been warned.
1. Doctor Strange’s Evil Doppleganger
That’s right, Doctor Strange will indeed be contending with a darker and more sinister version of himself. While some fans will be quick to point to this version to be the same demonic variant found in Disney’s “What If…?” series, we’d beg to differ on this matter. At the end of the first season, we saw him fight alongside the Guardians of the Multiverse against Ultron before agreeing to help the Watcher look after a pocket universe. Safe to say, he’s on the side of good. This is most likely another evil variant of Doctor Strange or…someone pretending to be one (*cough* Mephisto). Either way, it looks like we’ll be seeing double of the doctor in “Multiverse of Madness”.
2. Could this be the Greatest Threat to the MCU?
In spite of its lacklustre appearance, this giant squid could very well be the one creature that destroys the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as we know and love. It looks an awful lot like Shuma-Gorath, who is part of a race of disgusting, all-powerful gods known as the Great Old Ones. Fans of Lovecraftian horror will no doubt recognize this reference to the cosmic horror writer’s own version of the gods. These are beings capable of corrupting entire universes and killing the very concept of death. YES, they can literally trap people in an endless cycle of agonizing life as they enslave them to conquer other universes. These guys make Thanos look cute in comparison. There’s a strong chance that the evil Strange we see in the teaser is a servant of Shuma-Gorath and the Great Old Ones. A version of the Sorcerer Supreme driven mad by them.
3. The Rise of the Scarlet Witch
At the end of the first season of “WandaVision”, we saw that the Scarlet Witch’s full magical abilities had been unlocked with her possessing the Darkhold, an ancient book of spells that could be used to access different dimensions. Some of them include the Dark Dimension. The last time we saw her, she had isolated herself in a cabin in the middle of the Sokovian wilderness, learning the secrets of the Darkhold. In the teaser, we see Doctor Strange recruiting Wanda to help him on his quest in the multiverse. Her mastery of the Darkhold would be a valuable asset to Strange as he traverses between dimensions and different universes.
The question is: Will she lose her mind and attempt to recreate reality again? Only time will tell.
4. A New Age of Heroes
We also get out first look at America Chavez played by Xochitl Gomez in the teaser. Fans of Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitters Club” will no doubt recognize Gomez as the actress who plays Dawn in the series. For MCU fans, though, she could very well be the face of a new Avengers team! American Chavez in the comics is also known as Miss America and she leads a sub-faction of the Avengers known as the Young Avengers. Her presence in the teaser with her sporting her signature star symbol at the back of her coat could be a signal that we could be seeing a new generation of heroes taking up the Avengers mantle.
Fun fact, Kate Bishop is also part of the Young Avengers team in the comics. With Stark and Rogers gone, it’s time for the Young Avengers to assemble!
5. Mordo in the Multiverse
In a post-credits scene at the end of 2016’s “Doctor Strange”, we see the former pupil of the Ancient One, Karl Mordo, hunting sorcerers. He has rejected the chaos of magic and now seeks to bring those who abuse its power to justice. In the film, we saw him lose his faith in the Ancient One due to the part she played in Dormammu’s invasion of his world. We imagine he has similar qualms with Doctor Strange, now that he’s trying to travel across the multiverse. In the teaser, we hear Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo tell Strange “I’m sorry, Stephen. I hope you understand. The greatest threat to our universe is you.” Mordo is most likely going to be a secondary antagonist in “Multiverse of Madness”, trying to stop Strange from further tampering with the multiverse. Whether he’ll remain an enemy or turn ally by the end is still up for debate.
6. Doctor Strange’s Ex-Girlfriend is Joining in the Madness
In a shot of the teaser, we see America Chavez and a red-haired Christine Palmer accompaying Doctor Strange as he peers through a doorway to another world. Palmer and Strange have history seeing that the both of them used to be lovers in the past. In 2016’s “Doctor Strange”, we did see some sparks fly between them. Could they be getting back together?
Well, in the teaser, we see Palmer waking down the aisle with Strange looking at her from the side. So yeah, she’s probably not marrying him anytime soon. That being said, perhaps a little multiversal adventure could rekindle some magic between the two of them. Then again, the Palmer we see here could be a different version of the character. Regardless, we’re rooting for Strange to find love at the end of this whole mess.
7. The Nexus of All Realities Could Appear
In Disney’s “What If…?” series, there is a realm between worlds that allows the Watcher to observe and enter every reality. An inter-dimensional space known as the Nexus of All Realities. In the teaser, we see Strange, America Chavez and Christine Palmer open a door to a realm full of floating ruins and at the centre is a glowing light source amidst stain glass windows. The aesthetics of the glassed panels could be hinting at the possibility of Doctor Strange entering into the Nexus. We saw in “What If…?” that the Nexus had an interior surrounded by glass-like cosmic material. Fingers crossed, we might get a chance to see our Doctor Strange interact with a live-action version of the Watcher.
8. Is The MCU Dying?
In an episode of Disney’s “What If…?” entitled “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?”, we see a version of Doctor Strange bring about the collapse of his universe. All of reality around him begins melting away into black ink. This seems to look an awful lot like what’s happening in the teaser for “Multiverse of Madness”. Doctor Strange might have returned all the villains back to their original universes and erased everyone’s memory but was it enough to stop the cosmic damage caused to his universe? We also hear Mordo’s voice-over telling Strange that his “desecration of reality will not go unpunished”. Mordo is most likely talking about Strange’s spell from “No Way Home” which began altering the reality of the main MCU.
Could this be the death and rebirth of the MCU as we know it? What other hidden horrors are waiting for Doctor Strange out there? We’ll just have to wait till May 2022 to find out!