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Shuma-Gorath license holder responds to confusion over ‘Doctor Strange 2’ character

'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse' of Madness is using ultra-obscure villain Gargantos, but why not the almost identical Shuma-Gorath?

Image via Marvel Studios

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness delivered a standout trailer at the Super Bowl, teasing fans with jaw-dropping visuals, hints at the future of the MCU multiverse, and the first tease of the X-Men via a brief vocal cameo from Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier. Along the way, we also got another peek at an action scene featuring a one-eyed, many-tentacled monster.

Any fans of the Marvel vs Capcom series will have pegged this as extradimensional octopus monster Shuma-Gorath. The creature has long been a Doctor Strange villain and it’d make perfect sense for a movie in which reality appears to be being torn apart.

And yet, this isn’t Shuma-Gorath, but rather Gargantos, a monster about as obscure as it gets. Gargantos is a sea monster connected with the undersea kingdom of Lemuria who has only ever made two appearances in Marvel Comics.

In order to try and clear up the confusion over Shuma-Gorath’s rights situation, ComicBook.com reached out to Heroic Signatures (the character’s current license holder), to which the company’s president, Fred Malmberg, responded:

“We have a great relationship with Marvel and have worked together to solve many snags over the years, but who can answer this hypothetical?”

Such a non-answer doesn’t really solve much, then, and my thinking is that Marvel flipped through its back catalog to find another tentacled one-eyed monster to use. And that’s why the ultra-obscure Gargantos is getting his moment in the spotlight. Either way, the visual design dictates that this character is Shuma-Gorath in all but name.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6.

David James
About the author

David James

London-based writer of anything and everything. Willing to crawl over rusty nails to write about 'Metal Gear Solid' or 'Resident Evil.'