I was a bit late to the game, but I finally watched Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. I agree with Jon’s review; the movie is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish with a lot to unpack. For a more beat-by-beat breakdown explaining what happened in the movie, you can head on over here. In this article, I’ll be speculating on what will happen in Doctor Strange 3 or a sequel to Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.
Beware of spoilers ahead:
An Incursion Will Happen Between Earth 616 And Another Earth
This is practically confirmed at this point, as Clea (played by Charlize Theron) appeared in the Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness post-credits scene and warns Doctor Strange that his actions (by using the Dream-Walking spell from the Darkhold) have triggered an Incursion, before both of them enters a portal into what seems to be the Dark Dimension (Dormammu’s realm).
What is an Incursion? As explained by the Illuminati, an Incursion is when two worlds from two different universe collide, destroying both universes in the process. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it seems that an Incursion is triggered when someone uses spells from the Darkhold. However, not much is explained about the Incursions.
In the comics, the concept of Incursions began in Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers and Avengers runs (the Time Runs Out story arc), which led to the 2015 crossover event, Secret Wars. In the comics, there’s a way to stop Incursions, if one of the earths is destroyed, then its universe also dies, but the other earth and its universe survives. If not, then both earths and their respective universes will die. Ultimately, the heroes failed to stop the incursions. Even the Infinity Gauntlet powered by the Infinity Gems/Stones could only stop one Incursion before getting destroyed.
It turns out that the reason for the Incursions were that it was all part of a grand experiment of a race of super power aliens called the Beyonders. They were detonating the Molecule Man of each universe to spark Incursions, because they wanted to bear witness to the death of the Multiverse. Doctor Doom intercepted the Beyonders’ plans and used it to steal their powers. He became God Emperor Doom and took all the surviving worlds, combining them into one earth, Battleworld (this starting the Secret Wars story arc).
Secret Wars Might BE The Next Major Event In The MCU
I explained above what happened in Secret Wars, but why would Marvel Studios adapt Secret Wars into the MCU? Well, in the comics, when Secret Wars ended, multiple earths, including the main 616 earth and the Ultimate universe earth, combined into one single prime earth. This allowed the comic book Marvel Universe to bring the Ultimate universe characters like Miles Morales Spider-Man into the main 616 universe.
That same idea could apply to the MCU. If Secret Wars does happen in the MCU, it could allow the Fantastic Four and X-Men (along with the concept of mutants) to be added into the MCU 616 earth with disturbing the established continuity or making this confusing.
So, yeah, moving forward, keep an eye on the concept of Incursions. It will likely be important as we continue Phase 4 of the MCU and beyond.
Doctor Strange’s Third Eye
During the events of the Incursions (in Time Runs Out) leading to Secret Wars, one of the ways Doctor Strange tried to prevent Incursions was to use dark magic, including using the Blu’dakorr or the Blood Bible (an evil book similar to the Darkhold). This gave him great power but also caused a third eye to manifest itself on his forehead.
In the MCU, Doctor Strange gets his third eye as a result of him using the Darkhold. It’s probably a sign of corruption just like in the comics, but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s true.
Clea Is Related To Dormmamu
You might have read somewhere that Clea is the wife of Doctor Strange in the comics, and that she’s the Sorcerer Supreme in the Dark Dimension.
However, you might not know that she’s actually a niece to Dormammu, which means that the might dread Dormammu is her uncle. They’re both from a race of powerful magical beings called the Faltine.
We Might Still Get A 616 Illuminati
the members of the Illuminati who died in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness were all from earth 838. This means that we could still potentially get a 616 MCU version of them. With the threat of the Incursions coming, earth 616 might need their own Illuminati soon.
The 616 Mordo Is Still Out There
The Mordo featured in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is from earth 838. This means that the 616 MCU version is still running around somewhere and probably up trying to find ways to kill Doctor Strange. In Doctor Strange 3, Mordo might turn out to be one of the main villains. He was mad when Doctor Strange used the Time Stone and the Ancient One used dark magic. What would he feel like when he finds out Doctor Strange used the Darkhold and tampered with the Multiverse? Even more pissed, I would say, so keep on the lookout for this guy.
A Bunch Of Other Doctor Strange Villains Haven’t Been Featured In The MCU
It was a bit disappointing for me that Wanda AKA the Scarlet Witch turned out to be the main antagonist of Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Why? Because Doctor Strange has a bunch of his own iconic villains that could potentially appear in the MCU. These include:
With Clea now confirmed, surely Umar is close by. Why?
Umar is the sister of Dormammu, which means that yes, she’s the mother of Clea.
Imagine a family of Faltines like them. Doctor Strange and Clea versus Umar and Dormammu. That could potentially happen in Doctor Strange 3.
But we probably won’t see this dynamic between Umar and Dormammu:
A fairly recent addition even in the comics, the Empirikul are a race of interdimensional aliens on a crusade to purify all of reality from magic. They wish to vanquish every trace of magic and make a universe free of the unholy energy.
The Empirikul is an interesting candidate for becoming Doctor Strange villains. They want a world free of magic, more or less. In the comics, the Empirikul proceeded to wipe out magic by killing sorcerers and destroying magical artifacts, which is basically what Mordo is already doing.
It will be something unique to see Doctor Strange up against technology where magic won’t do much good.
Yeah, yeah, I know Marvel bamboozled us with Gargantos in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. However, the real Shuma-Gorath could do more than just wreak havoc on a New York street. Inspired by the Lovecraftian Old Ones like Cthulhu, Shuma-Gorath is an interdimensional entity of untold power.
As the living embodiment of chaos itself, its power is beyond even that of Dormammu, Mephisto, or other demons. In terms of appearance, Shuma-Gorath basically looks like an eyeball with tentacles, but with the right design and CGI wizardry, it could be a sight to behold on screen.
Most people probably already know about Mephisto, thanks to the 2007 Ghost Rider movie starring Nicholas Cage. However, we never saw his true form or what he was really capable of in that movie.
In the comics, Mephisto is sometimes referred to as the Devil or Satan himself, and other times as a tempter and trickster. He first debuted in a Silver Surfer comic but has also been foes for Thor, Spider-Man and of course, Ghost Rider.
It will interesting to see Mephisto’s debut in the MCU, and whether they will make him an actual demon or just an ‘interdimensional alien’ of some sort. Now that Marvel has the rights to Ghost Rider, this won’t be a problem.
Nightmare is another iconic foe of Doctor Strange’s. Just like Dormammu’s Dark Dimension, he has his own called the Dream Dimension, where he torments people in their dreams. That may just sound like Freddy Kreuger from Nightmare on Elm Street but trust me, Nightmare is a powerful magical being in his own right.