Marvel’s latest superhero extravaganza Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently running in theatres. The Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen-starrer has opened strongly and earned good reviews from critics too. Like all other Marvel films in the last decade-and-a-half, this one is also part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. And like all others, it, too, uses end-credit scenes to propel the franchise forward. Also read: Benedict Cumberbatch, Marvel’s Doctor Strange, talks about his love for lassi: ‘Love how it cools the palate’
Big spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ahead!
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) joining hands with America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), a teenager with the ability to travel between different universes. Together, they try to evade the big bad, who wants to take America’s power for themselves, while also trying to make sure the multiverse stays unharmed. In the process, Strange comes across a few variants of himself in other universes. The film ends with Strange on the street, doubling down in pain as a third eye opens on his forehead, a feature one of his other versions had displayed earlier.
This is followed by a mid-credits scene, which is apparently set some time after this incident. In the scene, Strange is once again walking on a sidewalk in New York in regular clothes when a voice calls him from behind. As he turns, he finds a blonde-haired woman in a superhero costume (Charlize Theron), who tells him that he meddled with the multiverse and must now fix it. Strange then magically changes into his sorcerer attire and his third eye reappears. The woman then rips open a tear in mid-air that leads to what appears to be the dark dimension. She and Strange then jump into that.
For the unversed, the woman Charlize plays is Clea. In the comics, she is Strange’s apprentice and eventual love interest. A sorcerer herself, Clea is powerful but not as strong as Strange. Her appearance in the MCU could signal Strange getting a new romantic interest, particularly now that his old flame Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) is married. Clea is also from the Dark Dimension, the place where Strange defeated Dormammu in the first film. It could imply the next adventure for the sorcerer is set there. Getting an Oscar winning actor like Charlize for the role seems to signify that Clea will play an important role in Strange’s story going forward.
The mid-credits scene is followed by an end-credits scene but one that left many fans a little underwhelmed. After this strong character introduction in the mid-credits scene, many were hoping for more multiversal secrets to be revealed in the next scene. However, it wasn’t to be. The end-credits scene of the film features a street food vendor that Strange and America encountered earlier in the film. During the film, the man (Bruce Campbell in a cameo) angers Strange, who magically forces him to punch himself. As Strange and America walk away, the sorcerer says the effect of the spell should wear off in three weeks. In the end-credits scene, we see the hapless vendor punching himself when he suddenly stops. He then looks at the camera, smiles and exclaims, “It’s over!” in a sort of a meta joke with the audience. Also read: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: Here’s a list of all surprise Marvel cameos in the film
Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is part of Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 4 and released in theatres on May 6, 2022.