Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will continue the MCU’s Phase 4 plans for expanding the Marvel universe. In the movie, we will see various versions of Stephen Strange.
The first Doctor Strange 2 trailer showed one such variant, and merch for the upcoming movie has revealed another one. These two variants are known as Defender Strange and Strange Supreme, and they will be in the movie.
Along with this, there’s a possibility of more versions of Doctor Strange showing up to either help or hinder Marvel’s mystical defender. The Loki Disney+ series introduced the entire concept of doppelgangers or variants in the MCU and several versions of Loki showed up all throughout the series.
Some were similar to the Loki we knew regarding personality, but others were drastically different. These variants were explored further on in Marvel’s animated What If…? series as well as in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will continue No Way Home’s story and explore the effects of those spells he did in No Way Home on the entire multiverse.
After Peter Parker (and Loki obviously), it’s Stephen Strange’s turn to face other versions of himself in his movie. Fans are waiting to see how the Sorcerer Supreme handles the entire thing, since one of the variants (or maybe even more) will probably be a villain in the sequel.
So here we will talk about the versions of the Sorcerer Supreme who are confirmed to be in the movie. Also, we will discuss the other possible variants that might show up.
In the months leading up to the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, several people were speculating about Doctor Strange and if he would go evil in the movie. That didn’t happen. But fans thought that maybe it would happen in Doctor Strange 2.
Well, they were kinda right. Stephen Strange looks like he will be fine, and at least in the trailer, he was acting like himself. The magician was even supporting Wong’s efforts to become the Sorcerer Supreme next.
After the events of No Way Home, Doctor Strange might have forgotten about Peter Parker and he could be trying to get a handle on the after-effects of the catastrophe that almost destroyed the planet.
After all, even though Peter Parker sacrificed his identity to keep everyone safe, we don’t know if the multiverse is still stable right now.
In the trailer, he says that we know very little about the multiverse, so it’s very possible that even he has no idea about the potential effects of messing with it.
Now, Doctor Strange will have to work with the Scarlet Witch, Wong, and other variants of himself to fix whatever problems were caused just because he wanted to help Peter.
The first Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer reveals a Doctor Strange who has gone evil. Upon seeing evil Strange, many viewers of Marvel’s What If…? The series immediately pointed out that he looks like the Doctor Strange version shown in the animated show.
In the animated Disney+ show, there is a Doctor Strange-focused episode where Stephen becomes a sorcerer, not because he injured his hands in the car accident, but because he lost Dr. Christine Palmer in it.
Strange becomes consumed by grief, and so he studies dark magic to bring her back to life. In the quest to gain the power needed to do this, he absorbs several mythical beings.
This power changes him and makes him darker. He does all this even though several people tell him that Christine’s death can’t be undone. His actions split him from the good version of Doctor Strange, but in the ensuing fight, the dark Strange can absorb the good part as well.
In the end, his actions caused the whole fabric of reality to collapse. His surroundings, including buildings, etc… melt into black goo. And we see this in the Doctor Strange 2 trailer as well.
But ultimately, all the sacrifices that Evil Doctor Strange made were all for nothing in the animated show. This is because even though he could bring Christine back for a moment after literally sacrificing the world, she too was horrified by what he had become.
This jogs his senses and he finally understands what he has done. However, it is all too late by then. The whole universe collapses around him as he tries to hold it together. But he ultimately fails.
At the end of the first season of What If…? we find that Strange Supreme (what that dark Stephen Strange was called) had to live the rest of his life in a prison of his own making.
It’s possible that in the Doctor Strange sequel we will see this variant going through his fate when he finds a way to head to another universe because of the spells in No Way Home.
After all, Dark Strange was an extremely powerful sorcerer. So, if there’s even a sliver of a way out, he will be able to take it.
Also, at the end of What If…? he made a promise to the Watcher that he would help defend the multiverse from any imminent danger. And it’s possible that due to the actions of our Doctor Strange (because of doing the spells in No Way Home), he considers him to be a threat.
As said before, in the What If…? episode, we saw him fight and even defeat another version of himself, but this time Doctor Strange isn’t alone. He has Scarlet Witch with him, and there will be other allies as well.
Fans have started finding ads for merchandise for the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. One of them shows a crystal-clear look at a new Doctor Strange variant called Defender Strange.
Packaging for Defender Strange’s Marvel Legends action figure has something interesting written on it. The description reads as follows:
‘”Doctor Strange is earth’s foremost magical defender, safeguarding our dimension against supernatural threats from across the multiverse.”
So this Defender Strange is likely a variant of Doctor Strange who worked with the original Defenders from Marvel comics. We don’t know what role he will play in Doctor Strange 2, but he could affect Doctor Strange’s MCU future.
Most Marvel fans will know about the Defenders team from the Marvel Netflix show where Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage team-up. But the Marvel comics team from the 70s and 80s had a team with Doctor Strange as one of its members.
Joining him were Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Silver Surfer, and Hulk. Other heroes who were part of the Defenders in its original comic run were Nighthawk, Gargoyle, Valkyrie, and Hellcat.
Several of these characters will surely soon be joining the MCU. And as such, this means that we can see this team on the big screen soon. Unlike the Avengers, the Defenders only teamed up when it was just necessary.
So MCU Strange could get the idea of starting such a group after meeting Defender Strange.
The Disney+ Loki series incorporated several versions of Loki; like Boastful Loki, President Loki, Alligator Loki, Kid Loki, and Classic Loki. The Doctor Strange sequel could also introduce countless other Doctor Strange versions.
Some of them don’t need to be Strange at all. In fact, there could be another character who takes up his place.
For example, other Doctor Strange versions who have shown up in comics briefly include, a female Strange who shared her body with a demon; Sir Stephen Strange, who was Queen Elizabeth I’s court magician; and there was also Stephen Strange, … Doctor Strange’s son.
Overall, the possibilities regarding this are truly endless and Sam Raimi (the director) could have had tons of fun, including as many variants as possible.
In fact, he could include another character who was mentioned in a separate Raimi project almost 2 decades earlier- Spider-Man. In the sequel, Spider-Man 2, J. Jonah Jameson can be seen thinking about possible names for Dr. Octavius, and Ted Hoffman suggests Doctor Strange.
Jameson thinks that it was a pretty good idea. However, then, he said: “but it’s taken.” This little throwaway line was never addressed again in the Raimi Spidey movies, but that does confirm that there is a Doctor Strange in that universe.
And with Tobey’s Spider-Man showing up in No Way Home, maybe Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will finally reveal who was Doctor Strange in the Raimi Spider-Man universe.