Although the titles of Infinity War and Endgame may well have lulled you into a false sense of security, Benedict Cumberbatch has done the unthinkable by claiming that Doctor Strange isn’t really an Avenger at all.
In the actor’s defense, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of vetting process when it comes to joining Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, nor does there appear to be any kind of announcement ceremony or tangible proof that a certain superhero has been welcomed into the club.
However, if you were present during the final battle against Thanos in Endgame‘s third act, and you didn’t run away from the fight when Captain America finally yelled “Assemble!” after almost a decade, then it’d be safe to assume that temporary and/or honorary membership was granted.
Nonetheless, the star of upcoming sequel Multiverse of Madness outlined his point of view on the matter during an interview with KCRW, and he does make a lot of sense.
“People say that you were in the Avengers, but you’re not an Avenger, right? No, I’m not. I’m not at Stark Tower with Nick Fury. No, he’s sort of outside of that realm, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a character trait. I think that is just a job title. He’s there to protect the reality of the Avengers in a different way to what they have been fighting up until the point that everything collides in the last two Avengers movies, so he holds his position as an adult on the periphery of that, but I think only for so long. There’s always a moment where he has to work with people and team up. And you know, we might see that in the next film; you have to wait and see.”
There you have it, folks, Doctor Strange himself sounds pretty confident that he isn’t actually an Avenger after all. Of course, we can expect this can of worms to be opened all over again whenever the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s inevitable fifth all-star epic comes to fruition, but for now we’ll take the man at his word.