Top Secret ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ Cameos Explained (Spoilers!)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.  (Photo: Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. (Photo: Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection)

Warning: this message contains major spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Move over, Superman: Charlize Theron jumped from the fast furious-verse to the Marvel Multiverse in a single leap. The Oscar-winning actress surprises her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in a brief scene that appears in the middle of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnesscredit scroll. Keeping Theron’s appearance top secret was a magic trick that would impress even Benedict Cumberbatch’s perpetually sarcastic wizard. But the rushed nature of the scene also leaves a bit of a blur as to which MCU Citizen the Mad Max: Fury Road star plays…or what she means for Stephen Strange’s future.

Here’s how his looks go downhill: After saving the multiverse from an angry Scarlet Witch aka Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Doctor Strange is back on his own turf in New York when his afternoon walk is cut short. by Theron’s costumed magician. The newcomer tells Stephen that he inadvertently caused a “incursion– the collision of two or more other universes. “We have to fix it – unless you’re scared,” Theron says, as she opens a portal to another dimension. After a moment, Strange replies, ” Not at all,” and the pair leap together into the void.

With a serious incursion to repair, it’s perhaps no surprise that Theron’s witch didn’t have time to show up. But the end credits of the film reveal that she plays Clea, which has been a staple of Marvel Comics almost as long as Strange himself. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Clea made her first appearance in a 1964 issue of strange talesa year after Doctor Strange debuted in that same comic.

Clea in her Marvel Comics debut in a 1964 issue of Strange Tales.  (Picture: Marvel Comics)

Clea in her Marvel Comics debut in a 1964 issue of strange tales. (Picture: Marvel Comics)

Born to a prince from the Dark Dimension and the sister of Strange’s frequent enemy, Dormammu, Clea becomes the Sorceress Supreme of her dark realm and fights off these magical obligations with her growing feelings for Stephen. The two even get married at one point and stay connected thanks to the recent death of Strangehow Clea took over the sanctum sanctorum.

Not for nothing, but Cumberbatch’s Strange is currently single and ready to mingle, after seeing his former girlfriend, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), walk down the aisle with another man. Nor could he tempt an alternate version of Christine from Earth-838 to abandon his universe for good old Earth-616 where he and the rest of the MCU’s earthly heroes dwell. This means romance could blossom between Stephen and Clea as they deal with this pesky incursion.

Although Theron is currently busy filming x fast, it will be a minute before we see Cumberbatch again in Doctor Strange’s cape. Marvel’s next slate is dominated by Thor, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, which means Stephen and Clea likely won’t return until 2025 at the earliest. And Marvel fans are already looking forward to this possible romantic connection.

But Theron’s cameo isn’t the only surprise Marvel’s crazy multiverse has in store – here are more Easter eggs from Sam Raimi’s hit sequel.

Professor X marks the spot

We had the feeling that Sir Patrick Stewart was playing mind games with us when he professed not to know who Doctor Strange was a few months ago. And, as teased, the x-men star returned as the version of Professor Charles Xavier who lives on Earth-838, the universe where much of the action in Multiverse of Madness plays.

It should be noted that Xavier does not appear at his school for mutants in this corner of the multiverse. Instead, it is part of the Illuminati, an underground group of heroes who keep a close eye on their brethren and act when they swing in the direction of the dark side. Joining this council’s good teacher are a few other familiar Marvel faces in slightly different guises. Hayley Atwell’s super spy Peggy Carter is back in the superpowered form of Captain Carter, a character who made her debut appearance in the Disney+ animated series, What if?.

Also present is Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau – friend of Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel – who in this reality became Captain Marvel herself. And then there’s Anson Mount’s Black Bolt, emerging from the obscurity of the little-watched TV series (for good reason) Inhumans and gifted with what can only be described as a death scene lung.

But there’s a face you’ve never seen before… and it’s the film’s second-biggest casting stunt after Charlize Theron.

Fantastic Threat Level

Somewhere in the multiverse there is an Earth where John Krasinski was Marvel’s Captain America instead of Chris Evans. Office the star has often spoken of his failed audition to play the Star Avenger, who happened around the same time as his real wife, Emily Blunt, missed playing black widow. During the last years, MCU stans have started fancasting the couple as Reed Richards and Sue Storm, the leaders of Marvel’s original super-team, the Fantastic Four.

Multiverse of Madness delivers on half of that promise as Krasinski appears alongside the rest of the Illuminati as Earth-838’s Reed Richards. And, unsurprisingly, people are already hoping that means he’s confirmed for future adventures.

If Krasinki returns, it won’t be like 838 Richards. It’s because he and the rest of the Illuminati don’t survive their encounter with the Scarlet Witch, who dispatches them each in joyously gruesome ways. (For the record, this is Stewart’s third Marvel Death Scene After Professor X Is Killed In X-Men: The Last Stand and again in Logan.) In the case of Mr. Fantastic, he literally passed his breaking point and turned into fantastical ribbons. Where is Agent Michael Scarn when you need him?

blind third eye

Doctor Strange's third eye opens (Photo: Marvel Comics)

Doctor Strange’s third eye opens. (Picture: Marvel Comics)

In the wizard’s game, three eyes are better than two. The comic book version of Doctor Strange has long had a third pupil thanks to the Eye of Agamotto, a mystical relic with the power to shatter illusions. (The MCU version has already been seen in the original strange doctor as a home for the Time Stone, the Infinity Stone that allows users to manipulate the time stream.) Now its cinematic counterpart – two of them, in fact – are opening their own third eyes during Multiverse of Madness.

However, only one of these Stranges uses this power for good, and it is not the 616 version. On the way to his final confrontation with Wanda, our Stephen crosses paths with a sinister counterpart from a world destroyed by the forays. Powered by the Darkholda book brimming with evil spells, this Strange is on a rampage and is on a rampage with all the powers at his disposal, including a third eye.

Fortunately, the 616 Strange prevails in the ensuing battle and then uses the Darkhold to defeat the Scarlet Witch with no apparent consequences. But in the last shot of the film, his own third eye opens as he walks down the street and he understandably freaks out…with the audience.

Don’t worry, though: Strange didn’t go away and broke badly. By the time Clea appears in the mid-credits scene, he is able to open that eye on command, suggesting he has control over it. For now, at least.

Hail to Pizza Poppa, baby

It’s not a Sam Raimi comic book movie without Bruce Campbell making life difficult for its central superhero. After repeatedly playing with Tobey Maguire’s wall-crawler in Raimi’s Spider Man trilogythe directors evil Dead leading man now sets his sights on Doctor Strange. Campbell appears in Multiverse of Madness as Pizza Poppa, a street corner pizza ball vendor on Earth-838. While most street food is free in this universe, you have to pay the Poppa to sample his wares, which Strange’s fellow traveler America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) learns the hard way when she and the wizard attempt to walk away without handing over any money. .

Understandably annoyed by the lack of compensation, the salesman begins to berate the duo, causing Strange to cast a spell that turns Pizza Poppa into Punchdrunk Poppa as he is repeatedly punched in the face by his own fist. It’s a homage to a classic gag from 1987 evil death 2, and provides the film with a killer post-credits joke where the hex finally dissipates. “It’s over,” Campbell says, referring to both the movie and a 35-year encore in the making.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness now playing in theaters.

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