Picking up where “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “WandaVision” left off, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” weaves a cautionary tale of horror and heartbreak. The price we pay for our dreams and the desires. The danger of obsession and the dark depths we’ll plunge to achieve our ends. If you’re reading this, then it probably means you’ve journeyed through this wild adventure. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is about to get a whole lot bigger from here on out. If “No Way Home” opened the door to new possibilities, then “Multiverse of Madness” blew the hinges right off! It can honestly get pretty overwhelming.
Have no fear fellow sojourner, we’re here to give you the breakdown on the ending and post-credits scene of “Multiverse of Madness”. The story of Stephen Strange is far from over. A new adventure awaits him and he’s not alone. Oh and it goes with saying: massive spoilers alert.
An Eye for an Eye
After a terrifying universe-hopping battle against Wanda Maximoff, Doctor Strange and his new friend (maybe adopted daughter) America Chavez have saved the day. The Scarlett Witch is defeated and has seemingly killed herself while destroying the Darkhold. A source of dark magical power that corrupts the user as seen in “WandaVision”. Now, the multiverse is free from its evil influence and no one can ever wield it again. Chavez will be staying on Earth-616, learning magic in Kamar-Taj before trying to find her mother whom she accidentally sent away through her multiversal powers.
Doctor Strange starts a new day and is feeling great. Through the whole ordeal, he’s learned to accept that there are just certain things he can’t control, and that’s okay. Just as he’s walking down the street though, he falls to the ground in pain and it is revealed that a third eye has formed. Yes, the same third eye we saw on Strange’s corrupted variant, Sinister Strange, as he laid there impaled on a spike. It was mentioned that the longer one uses the Darkhold, the more corrupted and changed one becomes. And while Scarlett Witch has destroyed the Darkhold’s link to the multiverse…perhaps something came through before the door was closed.
After a copy of the Darkhold is destroyed in the film, Wong is forced to explain to Wanda about how the secrets of the Darkhold was created by a creature named Chthon and that it can be found on Mount Wundagore. Wanda shows up there and she finds four scaly monsters, who look an awful lot like Marvel’s Chthon in the comics, waiting for her. Do they serve Wanda, or is Chthon using them to protect Wanda? Perhaps he’s using her to enter into the Earth-616 universe. Alas, he failed to do so with Wanda nobly sacrificing herself. That being said, Strange did dabble in a lot of dark magic by possessing a dead corpse from a different universe. It’s possible that his prolonged exposure to the Darkhold allowed Chthon to enter into our Doctor Strange. The same way it did in Sinister Strange.
Out of the Multiverse and into the Darkness
In a mid-credits scene, we see Stephen Strange encountering a woman dressed in purple, played by Charlize Theron. She tells him that he’s caused an incursion and she requires his help. He agrees to go with her as they enter into the Dark Dimension. Based on her fashion choice and affiliation with the Dark Dimension, we can safely say that Charlize Theron’s character is Clea. For fans of the Doctor Strange comics, this moment is pretty huge! So for those not in the know, Doctor Strange is actually the husband of Clea, who herself is the niece of none other than Dormammu! In 2016’s “Doctor Strange”, Dormammu invaded Earth-616, trying to merge his dimension with the universe. Thankfully, Strange managed to bargain him out of his invasion by trapping him in an infinite loop with the Time Stone.
Here’s another interesting fact, the Darkhold has its origins in the Dark Dimension, which is sometimes referred to as hell or the hell dimension. What could be causing these incursions on the Dark Dimension? Is Chthon trying to take over the Dark Dimension? If so, then the sequel to “Multiverse of Madness” could see Doctor Strange teaming up with Clea and his old nemesis, Dormammu to face against a greater threat. Right now on in the comics, Clea has taken the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, after grieving the death of her husband. The third film in the “Doctor Strange” saga could spell the end of the magical defender, with Clea taking a lead role. Wong’s still the Sorcerer Supreme so we’ll see if she gets to claim the title.
Oh and don’t worry, the post-credits scene at the very end isn’t essential.
The Fate of Earth-838 and the X-Men
With the inclusion of Professor X in “Multiverse of Madness”, Disney has all but confirmed that mutants, maybe even’s Fox’s version of them, are indeed floating around somewhere out there in the multiverse. The Illuminati is meant to be see as an alternate version of the MCU’s Earth-616 Avengers, with Fantastic Four’s Reed Richards played by John Krasinski, the X-Men’s Charles Xavier, Captain Carter, Rambeau’s Captain Marvel and Baron Mordo. Now that the Illuminati are killed off, the fate of Earth-838 seems uncertain, and yet intriguing. With Charles Xavier and the Illuminati gone, could we possibly be getting a live-action film or series about the X-Men of Earth-838 stepping up to take their place?
Perhaps the X-Men of that universe could cross over into Earth-616 in a future film. Doctor Strange’s travels across the multiverse have caused incursions. These incursion, as seen in Jonathan Hickman’s “The New Avengers” comics, sees two universes colliding against one another, destroying both realities. That is unless one of them is destroyed first. Now put on your thin-foil hat for this next prediction because we believe that “WandaVision”, “Loki”, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Multiverse of Madness” could all be leading up to one giant inter-universal battle. One involving the remaining Avengers of Earth-616 and the mutants of Earth-838. That’s right, the seeds have been sowed for a future “Avengers v. X-Men” film!
So what do you think of “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”? How do you think the film will affect the future of the MCU? Be sure to let us know in with a comment and to catch the film in theatres today.