Doctor Strange’s next film is shaping up to be a massive multiversal adventure, but the perfect threat to him has already appeared in Marvel’s What If …?
While he technically only has one movie in his series, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Doctor Strange has endured some heartbreaking situations. Whether it’s facing destruction at the hands of Thanos or opening up the multiverse to infinite realities, Stephen Strange may not be prepared for the threats that will emerge. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seeks to capitalize on the idea of endless realities and rather than focus on adventure, all signs point to the film being more akin to a horror movie. While And if Doctor Strange Supreme seems like the perfect antagonist to unleash the horrors of the multiverse, the Marvel Zombies may be an even better choice.
Zombies were introduced to the MCU in What if…? Season 1, Episode 5, and were born from a virus Janet van Dyne contracted while trapped in the Quantum Realm. Once on Earth, the virus almost destroyed the entire population within two weeks. Sadly, they were still spreading the infection by the end of the episode, and the ending was left ambiguous. While not a smart threat, they still pose a physical danger that could make even Doctor Strange struggle.
The zombies of this reality roam for the sole purpose of eating flesh and spreading infection. However, they have also been shown using their superheroic abilities. In fact, Doctor Strange of this reality was still able to use magic after getting infected. As a result, the fact that Strange from the main timeline is stuck there could cause him to have to deal with equally powerful and much more persistent versions of his friends. It would be even worse if he found himself stranded in this universe without his allies or Levitation Cloak. Almost immediately the Doctor strange the sequel should shift from action-horror to something even more terrifying.
The addition of director Sam Raimi to the roster also fits in with the idea of Marvel’s zombies reappearing. Although he is best known for his work on the Spider Man trilogy, Raimi began in horror. His first film was Devilish death, who saw a group of teenagers survive in a cabin in the woods against an evil that possessed them and turned them into zombies. Raimi is no stranger to leaving the heroes of the film with nothing but their wits and survival skills. However, he is also adept at framing a scene to overwhelm and terrify audiences. In that case, Strange being left alone in a zombie reality for a brief period could be more nightmarish than the episode that introduced them.
While Doctor Strange has a reasonably substantial enemy roster, he hasn’t fully explored them in the MCU. As a result, fans have speculated who might be next to receive the live treatment in Doctor Strange 2. There will likely be at least one, but with Doctor Strange Supreme introduced in What if…?, all roads seem to lead there. But even though he represents the perfect antithesis enemy, the zombies represent a whole new host of issues that could challenge Strange.
Bring zombies into Doctor Strange 2 could force the wizard to think outside the box and fight like he’s never done before. Instead of fighting magic with science, he could fight off a dimensional virus, potentially ushering in a whole new list of problems. Not to mention a rumor Marvel zombies film in the works, their inclusion could also help give fans who don’t watch the series an intro they won’t soon forget. It’s been a while since Doctor Strange faced a child’s nightmares, and introducing him to zombies may be the best way to familiarize him again with his surroundings.
To find out who the real villain will be, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on March 25, 2022.
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