Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finds Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts shortly after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and the opening scene dropped a nod to the Spidey sequel.
Spider-Man: No Way Home brought Marvel’s multiverse to the big screen for the first time, as villains and Spider-Men from past franchises broke through the walls of reality to enter the MCU. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the countless realities of the multiverse are further explored as Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange encounters Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez – a girl with the power to travel through the multiverse. The film’s opening moments see America accompanying Defender Strange, a Doctor Strange variant from elsewhere in the multiverse. As he is forced to make a terrible choice, Strange quotes a line from his Earth-616 counterpart.
Defender Strange and America are seen fleeing a demon sent by Wanda in an attempt to harvest America’s powers. Strange realizes he can’t let the creature take America’s incredible abilities, but she is unable to control them and so he attempts to take them from her himself, knowing he can keep her multiverse-crossing abilities out of the demon’s hands. However, as America tells Strange, taking her powers will kill her. The sorcerer responds with a rehash of a line his 616 counterpart first spoke in Spider-Man: No Way Home, telling America: “I know. But in the grand calculus of the multiverse, your sacrifice is worth more than your life.”
In No Way Home, when Strange attempts to return Peter Parker’s multiversal foes to their proper dimensions, Peter intervenes. Having learnt that almost all the visitors from other realities die fighting Spider-Man, he tells Strange that they can’t send them all back to die. Strange sympathizes, but tells Peter: “In the grand calculus of the multiverse, their sacrifice means infinitely more than their lives.”
This small nod to Earth-616’s Strange, who was forced to make a similarly fatal decision in Spider-Man: No Way Home, from Defender Strange in the opening moments of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness serves as a subtle reminder that, at their core, these characters are just different iterations of the same man. It’s an Easter egg that helps reinforce the workings of Marvel’s multiverse.
Here is the synopsis for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness:
The MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending and dangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysterious new adversary.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a script written by Michael Waldron, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Rachel McAdams, and Patrick Stewart.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters now. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.