Warning: Major spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
There are no Spider-men in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but there are four Doctor Stranges, two Christine Palmers, and one Scarlet Witch. When Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) accidentally opened the multiverse in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, all hell broke loose. The madness continues in the Doctor Strange sequel.
In the Sam Raimi-directed film, which marks his return to Marvel 20 years after the Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man trilogy premiered, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) is no longer one of the most powerful Avengers. She’s the villainous Scarlet Witch, who is on an any means necessary mission to reunite with Billy and Tommy, the twin boys she created with her magic in the Disney+ TV series WandaVision. To stop her from destroying the multiverse, which is made up of at least 73 different parallel universes, Doctor Strange must dabble in the dark arts himself.
In his darkest timeline travels, Strange crosses paths with familiar faces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as the comics. Below, is a list of the notable characters that show up in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Who is America Chavez?
She’s a teen with the ability to hop the multiverse, which is the exact power the Scarlet Witch needs to reconnect with her sons. America (played by Xochitl Gomez) is still learning to hone her powers, which is why she comes looking for help from Doctor Strange. Specifically the one living in the 616, known as the “prime universe” to comic fans, which is the most similar to our reality. He encourages her to trust her own abilities and it’s America who ends up defeating the Scarlet Witch and saving the day.
At the end of the film, America is seen training with the Masters of the Mystic Arts in Kamar-Taj, just as Doctor Strange did. In the comics, she’s the first openly queer Latinx character to headline her own comic book series.
Who are the Illuminati?
A powerful group of superheroes who band together to help secretly protect Earth. This United Nations of superbeings shows up in the parallel universe known as the 838, which, in the comics, is the reality in which Loki steals the powers of Santa Claus. In this movie, Doctor Strange created the group. (It’s Iron Man who does so in the comics.) But after being corrupted by the Darkhold, Strange willingly gives up his leadership and his life, knowing it’s the only way to stop him from destroying the multiverse. The residents of Earth-838 don’t know about Strange’s heel turn, they believe he gave his life fighting Thanos.
Who are the Marvel characters that make up the Illuminati?
Baron Karl Mordo
Strange’s nemesis and former ally of the Ancient One, who is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor becomes the Sorcerer Supreme after Strange’s execution, which earns him admission into the Illuminati. In this universe, he’s no longer interested in wiping out the Masters of the Mystical Arts, but he still holds a grudge against Stephen Strange. That parallel universe pettiness leads to Scarlet Witch’s decimation of the Illuminati.
Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is the first Avenger in this alternate universe, not Captain America. This was also the case in the Disney+ TV series What If…?. (Atwell’s Peggy has appeared in a number of Marvel movies and on two ABC shows, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.) Captain Carter may wear a Union Jack supersuit, but she still carries the shield, which helps her defend herself against the Scarlet Witch. Unfortunately, Captain Carter isn’t strong enough to kill the magical villain, who ends up slicing her in half with her own signature weapon.
Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau, not Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers, is the intergalactic superhero in this universe, which earns her a seat on the Illuminati board. The former Air Force pilot and mom to Monica (played by Teyonah Parris in WandaVision) comes closest to physically besting the Scarlet Witch, but is crushed to death before she can hit her enemy with a fatal blow.
This Marvel character, played by Anson Mount, may not be as well known to the casual MCU fan, but he’s the King of the Inhumans. (Mount previously portrayed the character on ABC’s short-lived Marvel’s Inhumans.) His power lies in his voice, which can release a shockwave that can destroy cities. It’s why he mostly uses sign language to communicate to keep from triggering a catastrophic event. The Scarlet Witch ends up using his powers against him, forcefully shutting his mouth, causing his head to explode.
John Krasinski makes his debut as Mr. Fantastic, the leader of the Fantastic Four known for his smarts. Mr. Fantastic tries to reason with the Scarlet Witch who shreds him to death. Despite his brutal demise, it’s hard to believe this is the last time fans will see Krasinski in the role. Especially with the MCU’s upcoming plans for a Fantastic Four movie.
Patrick Stewart’s X-Men character Charles Xavier returns, looking like he does in the ’90s cartoon with his signature yellow hoverchair. Professor X is leader of the Illuminati and the only one who believes this Doctor Strange has the ability to change. He also believes the Scarlet Witch can change too, inhabiting her mind in hopes of saving Wanda from being overtaken by the witchy version of herself. Unfortunately, the Scarlet Witch one-ups him in the telekinesis department and breaks his neck mid-mind meld. The Professor may not make it out of this film alive, but his appearance does confirm that the X-Men exist in the MCU.
Which Doctor Strange variants show up in the film?
There are three other Doctor Stranges that pop up in the movie. All of which are deemed evil for their inability to resist the powers of the Darkhold. The 838 Strange is executed by Black Bolt for causing an “incursion” or the collapse of a whole reality while Dreamwalking, the forbidden practice of possessing the body of an alternate version of one’s self. Sinister Strange developed a third eye while guarding the Darkhold and warns 616 Stephen that the book takes a serious toll on its user. Zombie Strange lost his life earlier in the film when he attempted to kill America for her powers. He’s not all bad though; the undead Strange teams up with America to defeat the Scarlet Witch.
Who from Doctor Strange returns for the sequel?
Doctor Nic West
Dr. West (played by Michael Stuhlbarg) makes a brief appearance at Christine’s wedding to ask Doctor Strange whether he made the right choice in the battle against Thanos. West lost his two cats and his brother during the blip. He mourns them in that order.
Strange’s magical partner in multiversal crime, who is played by Benedict Wong, is now the Sorcerer Supreme and deserves his damn respect, which Stephen finally gives him in the final moments of the film.
Rachel McAdams plays two versions of the character who Stephen pines away for in every universe. She is a newlywed in the 616 who questions whether Strange is really happy. In the 838 universe, she’s a research fellow for the Baxter Foundation, an institute for science prodigies that appears in Fantastic Four, opening up the possibility that Christine could one day team up with Mr. Fantastic and his crew.
Who is the three-eyed Doctor Strange who appears at the end of the film?
Unlike Sinister Strange, this Doctor Strange with a third eye appears to still be a good guy. At least, for now. The former surgeon’s extra eye could mean that he has found a way to possess the Eye of Agamotto, a powerful relic he is seen wearing in the film that helps its wearer see through disguises or illusions and create portals to other dimensions. But the mystical item can be a dangerous weapon if it ever lands in the wrong hands. Let’s hope those hands aren’t the three-eyed Doctor Strange’s. His multiversal self did warn him of the dangerous effects the Darkhold could have on him.
Who is Clea?
She’s the mysterious woman played by Charlize Theron who shows up in the mid-credits scene. The sorceress from the Dark Dimension has played a significant role in the Doctor Strange comics since her debut in 1964. She’s been Strange’s ally, mentee, and an unconventional love interest. In this short scene, she’s his traveling companion, who has come looking for him to help her fix the incursion he caused.
Does Bruce Campbell appear in the movie?
Raimi’s go-to actor since 1981’s Evil Dead was a delightful staple in the director’s Spider-Man trilogy, popping up as three different minor characters: a wrestling announcer, waiter, and Broadway usher. Here, he makes a noteworthy cameo as Pizza Poppa, a street vendor who Stephen puts a rather immature spell on. Stick around to the very end to see if this daddy ever stops hitting himself.
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