Is Doctor Strange a villain in Spider-Man No Way Home? That’s the widespread speculation running through the MCU fandom.
Ever since the first trailer for No Way Home was released with Spider-Man and Doctor Strange engaged in so of the fight, fans speculated that the sorcerer supreme might not have entirely heroic objectives. Those theories found new ground after the release of Marvel Studios’ animated series What If…? Episode 4, “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?”
This episode introduced an evil Doctor Strange from another universe. Episode 4 of What If…? retold the story of the 2016 Doctor Strange movie. However, there was one key difference. In this version, Steven Strange suffered the loss of Christine Palmer instead of the loss of his hands. This changed Strange’s entire motivation behind learning the magical arts.
He went down a dangerous and mindless path of grief because he couldn’t accept her death. So he tried to gain enough power ly resurrect Christine again. He couldn’t go back in time and change his actions that fateful nigDrDr. Palmer died because the results would be the same no matter what. Christine would die because her death was an unchangeable absolute point in time.
However, Strange was resolute in his decision. He wanted her back no matter the cost. This animated episode showed a rarely seen side of the sorcerer. He didn’t stop at anything to bring her back. This led to the destruction of his universe. Now that No Way Home is bringing back villains from other universes, it might be possible to see the evil Doctor Strange among them.
However, we don’t think that the Strange we see in No Way Home will be bad. This is because supporters of the theory overlook one key fact- the motivation of the alternate universe Doctor Strange.
The alternate universe Doctor Strange couldn’t accept Christine’s death led him astray from the heroic path he was supposed to walk. Now, this event didn’t take place in the main MCU timeline. As such, the main timeline’s Doctor Strange wouldn’t have the motivation to continue on that path. After all, Christine is still very much alive.
As for why he disregarded Wong’s warning or was fighting Peter Parker- it could be due to him being mind-controlled by Wanda Maximoff. After all, it has been confirmed that the Scarlet Witch will be showing up in the Doctor Strange sequel Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.
Now, if the Strange we see in No Way Home is indeed the same one as in What If…?, then it just wouldn’t make any canonical sense for him to continue being bad. After all, for one, Christine is still alive in this timeline, and two, he has redeemed himself by guarding the multiverse against Ultron in the first season’s finale.
At the end of the finale, we get to know that the evil Doctor Strange will stay in the pocket dimension he was trapped in by the Watcher. There he will oversee Killmonger and Ultron’s pretty much infinite fights over the stones. Therefore, having the What If…? Doctor Strange show up in No Way Home would take away from the character arc he completed in the first season of the show. And thus, it wouldn’t with the ending given to the character.
Now, if Doctor Strange somehow was under the influence of Wanda’s magic, then that would make all the sense in the world. It would fit in with the past projects as well as future installments of the MCU.
WandaVision kicked off phase 4 of the MCU. It followed Wanda Maximoff’s journey as she came to terms with being the Scarlet Witch. During the finale, viewers came to know that the Scarlet Witch is more powerful than Doctor Strange. Thus, this could lead to Wanda overpowering Strange and mind-controlling him. Apart from this, the Sorcerer Supreme could be under the mind control of a being we are yet to meet like Mephisto, Shuma-Gorath, and Nightmare.
No Way Home is surely going to be the biggest movie of the year. It is going to expand the concept of the multiverse by bringing in villains from other spidey franchises. Right after this movie comes the Doctor Strange sequel that will definitely be more multiverse-focused. So we will perhaps get hints of what the Sorcerer Supreme will face in his film. As such, Vitalant that we keep an eye on No Way Home.
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