Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is set to incorporate a brand new mystical realm into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And it is called the Otherworld. We have devised a lot of theories to explain the many details in the recent trailer. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange warned Holland’s Peter Parker about the Multiverse by saying this. “The multiverse is a concept about which we know frighteningly little”.
Stephen Strange’s character is that of an arrogant sorcerer driven by power. But even he falls short on his knowledge regarding certain concepts. And this is exactly what Doctor Strange 2 will focus on exploring in depth. The sequel will move in from the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. As Strange accidentally opens up the Multiverse gates, allowing greater chaos to unfold. Not only that, the film will probably take Strange into a mystical realm called Otherworld.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ recent trailer revealed the true extent of dangers that lie ahead in Strange’s path. The trailer saw various planes of reality falling apart, including something that looked exactly like the Mirror Dimension. Also, the clip suggested Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch were trying to access interdimensional magic sometime in the movie. This was proved by a shot of Strange reading the Darkhold.
As seen in the comics, Darkhold is a book of forbidden spells that can warp reality. However, the trailer gives fans an intriguing glimpse at what can be roughly charted as the “geography” of the Multiverse. This is seen when Strange walks into a door that leads to a mysterious realm. Of course, comic book readers identify the visual and theorize the realm to be the Nexus of All Realities. And it has fallen into pieces.
While the introduction of the Nexus of All Realities would fit perfectly well into the setting of the Doctor Strange sequel, there is one problem. In the comics, the Nexus of All Realities refers to multiple locations and phenomena. While readers are led to believe that they are witnessing a certain version of reality, it is in fact a different one. There are chances that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will introduce a realm called Otherworld. And if the movie manages to do so with grace, it would create more opportunities for the future of the MCU.
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In the original Marvel comics, there is more than one place that represents the “Nexus of All Realities”. There is one particular place that is opened through a portal in the Florida Everglades. It is a place where the fabric of spacetime has been described as “exceedingly threadbare”. When a person steps into the Nexus of All Realities, they are transported into a plane of existence outside reality. One that acts as a buffer between multiple dimensions and stops them from clashing into one another. In fact, this fabric of existence has doorways that connect it to every other universe out there.
However, there are other places that are described as the Nexus of All Realities too. This includes the Panoptichron. Which is a crystal palace that lies at the heart of the multiverse. Marvel’s What If…? revealed a tiny glimpse of this plane once. Although, the interesting plane and the so-called “Nexus” that gets us curious is a place usually known as Otherworld.
According to the comics, Otherworld is a mystical plane of reality that acts as a conventional representation of the collective unconsciousness of the British Isles. Which are the home of myth and legend, the seat of King Arthur’s throne. The more recent issues of the comics have been refurbished by Otherworld. They display the plane to be more grand than anyone ever thought it to be. Also, it is divided into the Fair and Foul Courts. In the middle of the Otherworld is the Starlight Citadel. The Starlight Citadel is located in the very center of the entire Multiverse. And it contains a doorway leading to every other dimension. X of Swords: Creation has given the perfect illustration to describe Otherworld’s Starlight Citadel:
Floating high above the central diplomatic zone in Otherworld is the Starlight Citadel, physical manifestation of the epicenter of the Otherworld, where all realities intersect. If Otherworld were said to be a wheel, the Citadel would be its spoke – though it is unmoving, without it, the wheel cannot turn.
The Citadel is more than simply a beautiful monument; it is a fortress serving as the defense of the infinite doors within. Each doorway serves as passage to another reality – making the Citadel the most literal representation of the conjunction of all realities that Otherworld represents.
In the recently released Doctor Strange 2 trailer, Strange and company enter an unusual doorway. And viewers believe that this could be the MCU’s first introduction of the Nexus to All Realities. However, the Nexus represented by the Florida Everglades, usually has a Man-Thing guarding its doorway. Also, it does not have any buildings or constructions.
Whereas the Panoptichron is famous for its beautifully made crystalline architecture. When you look at the structures in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness teaser, they resemble the ones at the Starlight Citadel. Particularly because the structure is levitating among the clouds of a mystical realm, defying physicals. Not to forget the many portals that enable passing to other dimensions. The stained glass windows are comparable to the architecture of the Middle Ages. And this depiction would align with the customary image of the Otherworld regarding Arthurian lore.
Assuming the realm is the Starlight Citadel, then looking at the devastation, it is apparent that the Multiverse is truly on the verge of collapsing.
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Considering the Otherworld theory to be true would also point towards yet another intriguing shot in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer. A sinister footage of a crow. It is a well-known belief that crows are an omen of death. This is because they feed on carrion, and are usually seen in flocks on battlefields, tucking in at the dead and decaying. In Celtic mythology, the warrior goddess Morrighan often takes on the form of a crow. So the brief shot of the three crows points towards the fact that Morrighan is aware of whatever is unfolding.
Also, there is a potential connection between Morrighan and the Arthurian witch Morgan Le Fay. The latter’s knowledge of magic is what enabled her to turn into the formidable bird. Morgan is an established Marvel villain, and is the student of Merlin. In fact, in the comics, she has won over the Otherworld in many instances. Not only that, Morgan has a longstanding past with the Scarlet Witch. This is because she is constantly trying to tap into Scarlet Witch’s power for her own gains. Which is why it would make sense if she appeared as an antagonist in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
To support the idea, there have been rumors previously that hint at Morgan Le Fay making her debut with Doctor Strange 2. Maybe there are chances of that happening. But the question that poses itself is this. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is Morgan Le Fay someone who ends up conquering Otherworld? Or does she only escape its downfall by using Multiversal collapse to her advantage?
Of course, there are patterns in comic books that pick on both of the possibilities. So Marvel is at liberty to choose either of the two. The approach will be influenced by what Marvel intends for the character. Is she a main villain or simply a one-time presence in the movie?
However delicate, Marvel has been leaving clues for the future incorporation of Otherworld for quite some time now. Eternals introduced Dane Whitman into the MCU, played by Kit Harrington. Whitman is a character with a peculiar past with Otherworld. In the original comics, Whitman carries on the role of the Black Knight, a name that has been standing since the days of Camelot and King Arthur.
The first Black Knight, Sir Percy of Scandia, was granted the enchanted Ebony Blade to defend Camelot. From then on, the Ebony Blade has stayed with generations that follow his bloodline. As for Eternals, the narrative is slowly advancing towards the same concept. The film ascertains the existence of Camelot in the MCU for very long. Also, the film ends with Harrington’s Whitman preparing to don the Ebony Blade. As the character wishes for the arsenal to aid him in freeing Gemma Chan’s Sersi.
It is important to point out that this is not the first reference made to Otherworld in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During Avengers: Endgame’s time travel mission, Steve Rogers happened to overhear his beloved Peggy Carter. This is back when Carter acted as the director of SHIELD in the 1970s. From the conversation, Rogers learned that someone named “Braddock” had failed to check in. And according to the comics, there is only one Braddock family.
The Braddocks have close links with the Multiverse. Several members of the Braddock family ended up serving as Captain Britain’s Corps. Which is a group of sworn defenders of Otherworld, champions of the Starlight Citadel. So if the mysterious structure seen in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ trailer is the Starlight Citadel, then the Captain Britain Corps no longer exists.
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Writer Jonathan Hickman created one of the most epic Avengers stories for the comics. One depicting a Multiversal collapse leading to several universes clashing with one another. The Avengers tried everything in their power to contain the chaos unfolding in the Multiverse. But they were thwarted. And for the short period, there was a single world portraying an exceptional event miniseries called Secret Wars. Marvel Studios heavily relies on several of Hickman’s spectacular creations.
The writer penned the Black Order, Thanos’ servants in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. And there are logical rumors that hint towards the Multiversal narrative eventually leading to the MCU’s Secret Wars. Another topic to ponder on is the fall of the Captain Britain Corps as well as the destruction of the Starlight Citadel. The two events are pretty important for Secret Wars to come to fruition. This is because the characters involved in causing the apocalypse were aware of the capacities falling ahead in line. And they predicted the Avengers’ attempts at trying to prevent Multiversal chaos.
The theories introduce Nexusthat introduceealities in Doctor Strange 2 look believable. In fact, the particular Nexus is the Starlight Citadel, which is the center of Otherworld. And according to the trailer, it is already in ruins. The scenario would be perfect to portray the extent of danger occurring across space-time. Also, it would lay the groundwork for Secret Wars.
Ultimately, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will prove to be a pivotal point for Marvel’s future outings surrounding the Multiverse. Needless to say, upcoming trailers and clips will give fans more hints. Thus making it easier for them to figure out the MCU’s many Nexuses coming to the big screens in the future.
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