It ought to be official by now, Doctor Strange is Marvel’s best movie yet — a surefire combination of dazzling visuals, wit, philosophic cool and Benedict Cumberbatch… How could it be otherwise? In anticipation of what we’re sure will be a successful franchise (or at the very least another decent Doctor Strange film, before the whole series predictably goes to hell), we’ve decided to compile a few pointers on what to expect next.
Forget Rachel McAdams: in the comics, Doctor Strange’s love interest is a cosmic hero in her own right. Niece to Dormammu (you know, the movie’s gigantic head plotting to destroy the earth) and at one time or another the Sorceress Supreme of the land of the purple balls, the Dark Dimension, Clea nonetheless appears to all as a 20-something, platinum-haired young woman. Although inexperienced, she is potentially more powerful than our own titular magician, and comes with the kind of family dynamics that made television what it is now (read: spite, love, and dynastic feuds).
Karl Amadeus Mordo (yes, you read that middle name correctly) may already be present in the film as a committed goodie, but Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character is about to get a whole lot darker, as revealed by the movie’s last post-credit sting. In the comics, Baron Mordo is a bearded Transylvanian nobleman with a particular liking for the dark arts, especially those that involve hypnosis and the invocation of demons. As an aside, it is interesting to note that the villain actually ends up succumbing to cancer (because, as we all know, black magic is carcinogenic). We’re not saying this should be included in the next movies, just that, you know, if the producers are looking to make a radical departure towards more serious stuff…
Far from being inhabited solely by misguided magicians or godlike beings, Doctor Strange’s multiverse is one filled mostly with what he calls ‘interdimensional bacteria’ — mystical parasites attracted to human souls, and connected to one’s spiritual health (or something). Most are harmless, and tend to look somewhat like formless, floating invertebrates. To those familiar with atmospheric Japanese anime, their concept is similar to what’s found in Mushishi; needless to say, implementing them would definitely add even more color to Strange’s cinematic world.
Uglier, nastier, and altogether more menacing than Dormammu, Shuma-Gorath is a monster adapted from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, one of four multi-dimensional entities known as the ‘Many-Angled Ones’ (which could be taken as an insult in itself). Created to be the most powerful evil god in the Marvel universe, Shumie is omnipotent and rules over hundreds of dimensions, although he is noticeably less powerful when traveling in others (which explains why the good doctor ever managed to defeat him). Nightmare, meanwhile, rules the Dream Dimension, and torments humans in their sleep… which is nice, too.
It’s of course what everyone’s waiting for — Doctor Strange teaming up with other less colorful heroes in order to vanquish enormous beings with childish egos. But did you know Doctor Strange had his own team of super people? The Defenders were made up of the less polished earth-defenders, the loners and the misfits who went to great pains to make sure no one mistook them for a ‘team’. These included Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and Namor. They also tended to fight more ‘mystical’ threats, and we like to think they made a difference.
Could Doctor Strange’s Defenders include the characters of the upcoming Netflix series?