Marvel films are often known for their easter eggs and post-credits which fans pretty much look forward to witnessing with the release of each film. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is no exception to this as the film is filled with comic book references and characters that at times may cause viewers to scratch their heads —especially those who don’t religiously follow the comic books. Don’t fret, as This Is Hype Ph dives deep into some of these characters and events that appear in the film for our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explained article.
Our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Explained article will dive deep into some of the cameos and concepts that Doctor strange in the Multiverse of Madness tackles. Therefore we must warn you that there will be spoilers up ahead so if you haven’t seen the film just yet, proceed reading with caution. You have been warned. We will however steer away from the ending of the film and any huge plot points but expect that some of the characters that make a pivotal impact in the MCU will be covered in this article.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Explained
The Darkhold and The Book of Vishanti
One of the concepts that the film centers on is the Darkhold, a mystical book of dark spells, which was first introduced in WandaVision. The Darkhold or also known as the Book of Sins, the Book of Spells, or the Book of the Damned, was a book of spells created by Chthon, a demonic entity referred to as the First Demon, who created these ruins and spells atop the Wundagore Mountain. The Darkhold has had its long history in Marvel comics as a malevolent and powerful force that corrupts the innocent and vulnerable and was even searched for by a variety of people such as the Red Skull and Nick Fury. The most recent appearance came in Disney+’s WandaVision when Agatha Harkness brought the book inside Westview in order to manipulate Wanda Maximoff and her reality. Eventually, Wanda would get a hold of the Darkhold unleashing the evil inside of it subsequently turning herself into the even more powerful Scarlett Witch. These events would propel her into a blinded mission to retrieve her made-up children from an alternate universe which is the very premise of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
In the film, the Darkhold has a direct connection with the Dark Dimension as seen in the first film. This points to the tight hold that the book has on its users which was often said and shown in the Multiverse of Madness. One of the biggest implications that this has on the future of the MCU however isn’t just in terms of the multiverse opening its door but also the emergence of a variety of cosmic powers that are set to unleash their wrath and destruction on the various timelines and universes.
The very antithesis to the Darkhold as seen and discussed in the film is referred to as the Book of Vishanti. The Book of the Vishanti contains the most powerful white magic spells, many of which are counterspells to other magic disciplines such as those in the Darkhold. The book itself can be used to deflect magic as its spells are mostly used for defensive countermeasures rather than offense. We sadly don’t see much of the book’s powers in the film but its presence does depict the continuous battle between good and evil.
One of the key players in the movie comes in the form of teenager America Chavez. I urge you to remove any connection of the character from Captain America or any other variant of the said hero. She is a totally different character and beyond being pretty young in the film she is also one of the more recent creations in the Marvel comics universe appearing in Vengeance #1 back in September 2011. She goes by the moniker of Miss America in the comic books and has the ability to traverse through the multiverse which manifests through the ability to create star-shaped portals into other worlds and dimensions. She also possesses superhuman strength and durability, and the power of flight. In the film, America still has no complete control of her powers which are portrayed to be connected with the manifestation of strong emotions. Her story also represents the LGBTQ+ community as she comes from a world and family that consists of two mothers.
Contrary to the events in the film, the comic book mythos portrays America Chavez who believes that she was raised by her mothers in the Utopian Parallel, a reality that is out of time. In her memory, when Chavez was approximately six years old, the Utopian Parallel was threatened by destruction causing her mothers to sacrifice themselves to seal the black holes. Unlike the film, America willingly becomes a hero in response to these events compared to the distraught and broken state that we see Chavez in Doctor Strange the Multiverse of Madness. America has been part of numerous superhero teams such as the Teen Brigade, the Young Avengers, and the all-female team of Avengers called A-Force, just to name a few.
One of the superhero teams that were rumored to make its way into the MCU as teased by the trailer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the group of intellectual heroes referred to as The Illuminati. The members of the said group originally included: Supreme Doctor Strange; Black Bolt, King of the Inhumans; Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men and mutant rights activist; Reed Richards, founding member of the Fantastic Four; Namor the Sub-Mariner, King of Atlantis; and Iron Man (Anthony Stark), founding member of the Avengers. These six men worked together for an unspecified amount of time to mold and shape the status of the superhuman world and the world around it.
In the comics, shortly after a war with the Kree-Skrull, Tony Stark united these men along with the Black Panther to form a mega group that would be prepared to face similar threats by uniting all of the existing super teams and groups. Eventually, the Illuminati became limited to a secret cabal that would share information and decide secretly how all of the individual groups would correspond, with T’challa choosing not to join the group. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange finds himself in Earth-838 where the Illuminati has already been formed but with several key changes to its members. In the film the Illuminati is composed of: Captain Carter, who we first see in Marvel’s What If… series; Blackagar Boltagon aka Black Bolt with Anson Mount reprising his role from the abruptly cut series Inhumans; Maria Rambeau who takes on the mantle of Captain Marvel in this universe; Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four; and Professor Charles Xavier from the X-Men.
You may be wondering what the post-credits scene was all about but more importantly who the woman was that literally appeared out of nowhere. In the last portion of our Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Explained article, we dive deep into the said mystery woman. I myself found myself initially scratching my head as to who this character was that was portrayed by the amazing Charlize Theron (Fast and Furious Franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road). Upon doing a little research on my own, I discovered that this woman was none other than Clea who would later on become Doctor Clea Strange. She is actually in fact the main love interest of Stephen Strange who would eventually become his wife in the comics.
She is a sorceress who will ultimately become the successor as Sorcerer Supreme. Clea first appeared in the Doctor Strange feature, Strange Tales #126 back in November 1964. Clea is a human-appearing being and maternally related to the other-dimensional Faltine race of energy beings. She is the daughter of Umar and the niece of the demonic tyrant Dormammu, whom again we first saw in the MCU through the first Doctor Strange film. In the comics, she would at times become the Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension, the mystical realm to which Dormammu had been banished and which he subsequently conquered. in the Dark Dimension, she holds vast powers involving the manipulation of the forces of magic. She has exhibited numerous abilities such as teleportation, telekinesis, and many more magical powers that have made her into one of the most powerful forces in the Marvel mythos.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is just the beginning of even more and greater storylines for the MCU. We are excited for the characters introduced in this film and even those that made an appearance from previous film and other Marvel properties from various companies. The possibilities are just simply limitless and only time will tell how they will all eventually unfold.
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