Warning: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The new Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness contains many characters, both new and returning. The Sam Raimi-directed film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character Doctor Stephen Strange, Benedict Wong as Wong, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, and newcomer Xochitl Gomez as multiversal traveler America Chavez.
But surely not everyone survives, right?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness begins with America Chavez arriving in the main universe of the MCU, dubbed in this film 616. Doctor Strange and Wong, who is now the Sorcerer Supreme, encounter a creature that is hunting America and they work together to defeat it. Chavez explained that forces were after her powers, so determined to help the teen and protect the multiverse, Doctor Strange and Wong bring Chavez to Kamar-Taj.
Noticing magical runes that are unfamiliar to the two sorcerers, they turn to the only witch who is also an Avenger, Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. Doctor Strange arrives at the cabin where Wanda was studying the Darkhold at the end of Wandavision and after a quick conversation, realizes that Wanda is the one after America’s power. This is when Wanda is revealed to be the villain of the film, as she wants the power to travel to a universe where she can be a mother to the children she had in Wandavision, Billy and Tommy. As villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe die more often than not, does Wanda Maximoff survive the film?
Does Wanda Maximoff die in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness?
Throughout the film, Wanda pursues Doctor Strange and America Chavez throughout the multiverse by dreamwalking into a different version of herself in the universe that the pair is stuck on. But while she is dreamwalking a sorcerer named Sara destroys the Darkhold which is what Wanda was using to dreamwalk.
After intimidating Wong and threatening other sorcerers in front of him, Wong reveals to Wanda that the Darkhold that was destroyed was a copy. Wong explained that the true Darkhold was inscribed into an evil temple by the demon who conjured it. Wanda and Wong traveled to the mountain where the temple was located and Wanda gained a new evil lair, inscribed with the Darkhold itself.
It was there that the final battle of the film took place. The final battle saw Scarlet Witch and her minions fight Wong, America Chavez, and a zombified version of Defender Strange who Doctor Strange was dreamwalking through. The battle finished when Wanda was shown the error of her ways by seeing how her sons reacted to her when America opened a portal to another universe. Realizing how dangerous the Darkhold really is, Wanda decides to destroy the temple, ensuring nobody would be able to use it again. To destroy the temple she does so from inside and the resulting collapse and magical explosion seemingly buries her under the rubble.
Fortunately for fans of the Scarlet Witch, it is pretty safe to say that we haven’t seen the last of Wanda Maximoff. First of all, if the character — who has been in five films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, six if you count her cameo at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as well as Wandavision — were to die, the moment of her death would be akin to Iron Man or Black Widow’s deaths in Avengers: Endgame. The fact that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did not make a big deal of her apparent death is essentially a guarantee that the character is not really dead.
On top of that Marvel has already announced that a film for the Fantastic Four is in the works, even though the director’s departure might mean the film is still a while away. Marvel also confirmed that mutants will be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some way. Unless both of these will be introduced as part of a separate universe, there needs to be some way they make their introduction and with the power shown by Wanda in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, there is a good chance that it will be her that introduces them.
Wanda Maximoff is shown to have the power to alter reality. If the events of the film affected her enough, which, based on the events of Wandavision, it probably will, there is a chance she breaks down and creates something akin to the Hex from Wandavision. Only this time, it might be large enough to envelop and alter the entire universe permanently.
This scenario would be similar to her actions in the comic book House of M which was written by Brian Michael Bendis and penciled by Olivier Coipel. But in this suggested scenario, instead of wiping out a large percentage of all mutants, Wanda would introduce mutants and the Fantastic Four to the world. This would actually make more sense after watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness because Wanda interacted with both Professor Xavier and Reed Richards, who is Mister Fantastic in another universe.
Interestingly, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did not refer to Wanda’s survival after she apparently died, meaning that seemingly, the film does want audiences to believe that she is and will stay dead. This might be because the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently not plotted out too far in advance as Marvel’s head, Kevin Feige has recently gone on a retreat to plot out the next ten years of the MCU.
Of course, there is always the chance that events with Kang the Conqueror tear open and unite a multiverse, bringing the Fantastic Four and mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that Wanda is really dead. But that does seem quite unlikely.
Wanda Maximoff should be returning in another film or television series, set after the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but seeing as they did not tease any project with her in any post-credit scenes in the film, it might be a while until she returns. Let’s hope it won’t be too long for her return, as fans of the Scarlet Witch will surely miss the character.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters now.