While seemingly well-established in the MCU as a hero, Doctor Strange could actually be something else entirely. According to a new theory shared over on Reddit, Benedict Cumberbatch’s character may be heading down a darker path to being a villain. And based on Strange’s storyline to date, and some of the information we’ve heard about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the theory does raise some intriguing ideas.
We already know that Marvel are going to be investing heavily in the sequel, which will feature the villainous Nightmare, while Blade‘s Dracula could also make an appearance. At the very least, the Doctor Strange follow-up will be the most straightforwardly horrific of the MCU movies to date, and will also likely tie into the upcoming Disney Plus shows WandaVision and Loki via the multiverse concept.
This latest theory says that Stephen Strange has long been egotistical and indeed may have been tempted by a desire for more power after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, wherein his predictions contributed to the deaths of Thanos and Tony Stark. The theory goes that Strange’s motivation was to take these two characters out of the picture, leaving him with less-powerful competitors. Furthermore, Cumberbatch played both Strange and Dormammu in Doctor Strange, implying some connection that hasn’t been revealed yet.
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Here’s how the Reddit post reads:
Most people think Dr. Strange is a good guy. I’m going to show he’s not. It’s well known Canon, he’s an egotistical asshole who only sought after the ancient one out of pure vanity because he had lost use of his hands. When he finally finds the ancient one, the ancient one even rejects him for this exact reason.
Dr. Strange only wins over the ancient one when mordo the ancient ones disciple betrays him on behalf of dormamu. This was all part of Dormamu’s plan, as the ancient one had already realized mordo was compromised. So in order to subvert the ancient ones role he had to trick the ancient one into naming a successor who’s will would be weak enough to manipulate into to doing his bidding. This is why mordo even goes as far as to help Dr. Strange in his development. Dr. Strange is simply a useful idiot who’s ego will be manipulated into bringing about the destruction of reality.
Enter iron man, with the ancient one out of the way Iron man is the foremost threat to Dormamu. But besides that his technological prowess makes him the antithesis to everything Dr. Strange especially with his frail ego stands for. They even fight the first time they meet. They only stop when distracted by thanos.
To speed this up when strange looks into the future to create the plan that culminates in the failed destruction of the infinity gauntlet. This was a patently absurd plan. There would’ve been several different ways to carry out that plan successfully without relying on starlord. Dr. Strange did this on purpose because while Thanos is a threat, strange through jealously sees iron man as just as big of a threat so he picks the one plan that takes out iron man and Thanos. I’m keeping this short but there’s a lot of evidence to support this.
Not only is Dr. Strange’s plan bad on the level it needlessly kills iron man, it’s bad in this sense it doesn’t actually change anything. Time travel is hypothetically possible into the future but it is unfortunately impossible into the past. While one may find a way to travel into what seems to be the past, they’re actually traveling into a parallel universe in which conditions are seemingly the past. By introducing stimuli that wouldn’t have existed, they’re actually creating an altogether new universe in the multiverse. See Stephen Hawking’s paper “a clean exit from eternal inflation.” The snap has already happened. This can’t be changed and while the universe has been seemingly saved. All threats to Dormamu have seemingly been eliminated as well. Including the time stone.
Dormamu exists in a higher dimension so he’s seemingly unaffected by these changes as well and is probably quite enjoying the subversive spectacle he has carried out. This is why he doesn’t immediately reveal himself. I also suspect now that iron man and frankly Thanos have been removed as threats that Dormamu will either full on indoctrinate strange into one of his soldiers or maybe Dormamu has already done what he wished in the first place.
Create a new reality where he is god and creator. The malevolent being that pulls strings behind the curtain. I’ve often wondered if Captain America hadn’t realized this after iron Man gets killed and feeling utterly defeated opts to stay in the past and enjoy the life he never got to live. I don’t think the new reality is beyond saving but I think like in the amazing spiderman cartoon it’s entirely on spiderman to save the world from dormamu’s subversive tactics.
Personally, I’m not particularly convinced by this argument, especially given that Marvel have so many potential villains to choose from, including Loki and maybe even Galactus or Kang the Conqueror. In addition, Strange going dark doesn’t tie in with recent plot leaks from the new Doctor Strange outing, although who knows what the reality-fracturing events of this arc and others in Loki and WandaVision will do to existing characters.
In any case, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently due out on May 7th, 2021, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest on Strange’s role as more surfaces.