The multiversal adventures of the titular protagonist in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness have completely changed the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Doctor Strange and America Chavez hopped into different universes like Earth-838, with their travels bringing big-time revelations that MCU fans wouldn’t have been prepared for.
Some of these points were earlier hinted at in What If…? which had also looked into the multiverse. However, Doctor Strange 2 has taken it a step further by centering around points of interest like Thanos variants’ actions and contextualizing the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Since these details are now considered part of the MCU canon, fans need to know what they are and the impact they have.
Up until this movie, it was believed that the MCU was a reality the other universes hadn’t found, with Spider-Man: No Way Home pulling in characters from the multiverse who were surprised to learn of its existence. Doctor Strange 2 revealed that it was far from the case and the MCU was on the radar for a long time.
Earth-838’s Christine claimed that their universe was actively researched into the multiverse, with the MCU designated as Earth-616. Characters from other realities such as Sinister Strange were unsurprised to see the MCU protagonists, meaning the Sacred Timeline universe’s existence has been known in the multiverse for some time.
Scarlet Witch was responsible for a lot of brutal deaths in Doctor Strange 2, although she was rarely actually present in the flesh for them. The villain possessed the body of her variant in Earth-838 to do so, which established that people can be controlled from across the universe and a person doesn’t even have to be in that reality.
Moreover, Scarlet Witch had seized control of Gargantos to let it loose across the multiverse on Defender Strange and America Chavez, cementing that multiversal manipulation is a thing. What If…? had earlier made it seem that only beings like The Watcher were capable of doing so, but humans like Scarlet Witch can as well.
Agatha Harkness provided exposition on the myth of the Scarlet Witch in WandaVision, where fans got to know for the first time that Wanda had that persona inside of her. Doctor Strange 2 has retconned this point to show that witchcraft isn’t the same as sorcery and the Masters of the Mystic Arts don’t see wizards and witches the same as them.
However, Wong relayed information to the Kamar-Taj forces about what the Scarlet Witch was supposed to be, describing her as a massive threat. It turns out that the legend of the Scarlet Witch has been known to those outside of witchcraft and that she was always going to bring a big-time conflict.
The events of What If…? had fans think that Thanos was mainly powerful in the MCU reality, seeing as he was thwarted in his goals in every other universe. However, the Illuminati revealed that Thanos had become a massive threat to their reality, to the point where their Doctor Strange had to use the Darkhold to find a way to defeat the Mad Titan.
The Illuminati ultimately turned to the Book of Vishanti to kill Thanos but Strange’s actions destroyed another universe altogether. It means that Thanos’ bid for the Infinity Stones supersedes the MCU, with the Mad Titan’s variants also causing a universal level threat that got many superheroes to team up and take drastic measures.
There’s little doubt that Doctor Strange 2 will go down as one of the most significant multiversal movies, with various versions of the titular character providing different sides to his personality. While it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, the film revealed the likelihood of someone falling in love with one person across the multiverse is high.
Doctor Strange learned that every variant of his had been in love with Christine, with all of them also having lost her one way or another. This aspect was hinted at in What If…? where the variants of Thor, Jane, Steve, Peggy, Vision, and Scarlet Witch, among others, had fallen in love with the same person as they had in the MCU. Doctor Strange 2 has now confirmed that this is very much the case.
The climax of Spider-Man: No Way Home nearly saw the sky collapse when thousands of variants nearly arrived in the MCU. While that disaster was averted, Clea revealed at the end of Doctor Strange 2 that his actions had caused an incursion somewhere else before inviting him to the Dark Dimension.
In retrospect, it turns out that the event in Spider-Man: No Way Home was going to be another incursion that could have destroyed the MCU. The Illuminati told Doctor Strange that their variant had destroyed a universe with a botched spell of his own, meaning the Spider-Man incursion was very close to dooming the MCU.
Scarlet Witch was easily the top character in Doctor Strange 2 in magical ability, having made short work of every single person who dared step up to her. Her powers were enhanced through the corruption from the Darkhold, which was said to be a malevolent book that made any reader into a sinister person.
While the Darkhold had first shown up in WandaVision, a major revelation in Doctor Strange 2 was that it had an antithesis. The Book of Vishanti served the same purpose of empowering its reader but was benevolent in nature, as proven when the Illuminati defeated Thanos through it. With the Book of Vishanti and Darkhold both destroyed across the universe, both good and evil variants are now gone.
MCU characters have been shown dreaming or having nightmares, all of which now carry a different context. Doctor Strange 2 revealed that any dream a person has is something their variant is experiencing at that moment. It means that dreams act like a window through which characters can peek into different realities.
America came to this conclusion because she had no dreams, which appeared to indicate that she was a unique person who had no variant in the multiverse. An impact of this reveal is that dreams just don’t exist in the MCU at all, as whatever a person thinks they’ve imagined is actually a factual reality.
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