The new Doctor Strange Phase 4 variant can set the Defenders up as the next MCU team. This, of course, will be after Multiverse of Madness. Marvel Studios has no qualms about using multiple versions of the same character. This is because of the infinite possibilities of the multiverse. There have already been variants used in the plots of Loki and NWH. However, one of the variants in Doctor Strange 2 could introduce a hero team.
In the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange will appear in multiple guises. After the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the MCU’s main Doctor Strange returns to star and deals with the unraveling of the multiverse. Dr. Strange 2’s first trailer confirmed that not only is there a Scarlet Witch villain, but there is an evil Dr. Strange variant as well.
It’s possible that this is Strange Supreme from Marvel’s What If…?, or it could be another corrupted Strange from somewhere else in the multiverse. Defender Strange, a new character in the MCU, will make his debut. For some reason, it’s possible he’ll be part of the next team.
Few glimpses have been released of Doctor Strange 2’s version of Defenders variant. He has primarily been seen in merchandise, which revealed his name and showed a red and black suit similar to the one Strange wore in the comics. In the Doctor Strange 2 trailer, he can be seen falling through the multiverse.
It’s clear from his name and costume that he’s meant to represent Doctor Strange’s time as a member of the superhero team known as the Defenders, despite this lack of information. Dr. Strange could join the MCU after Multiverse of Madness, while Netflix’s Marvel team consisted of Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones.
In 1971, while working with Hulk and Namor to fight demonic beings known as the Undying Ones, Doctor Strange formed the first Marvel Defenders team. Silver Surfer, Valkyrie, and Clea were among the team’s later additions.
Using a Strange variant to reference his comic connection to The Defenders, it’s possible that the movie will even put together a version of the group. Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk and Tenoch Huerta’s Namor could both make a surprise appearance in Phase 4 of the MCU. You never know who might show up in this multiverse, like Valkyrie or Silver Surfer being introduced.
Dr. Strange 2’s introduction of the MCU’s sorcerer and his interactions with Dr. Strange can pave the way for a Sacred Timeline Defenders team. His Defender Strange variant could inspire him to create his own version of the team. Cumberbatch could then play a major role in the Defenders instead of the Avengers or the Midnight Sons in the future. Now that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has arrived, anything is possible.