Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features several cameos that are causing Marvel fans to cheer at the screen.
As has become the norm with Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies, the latest release features several shocks in the form of surprise characters throughout.
Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen lead the film and are backed by co-stars Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong and Xochitl Gomez. The film follows Cumberbatch’s sorcerer as he goes on an adventure across the multiverse, a series of alternate worlds filled with different versions of recognisable Marvel characters.
Of course, Marvel viewed this as a chance to bring in new characters to the MCU – as well as to reintroduce recognisable faces.
*Spoilers follow – you have been warned*
At one stage of the film, as teased in the trailer, Doctor Strange comes across a secret society known as the Illuminati.
In the comic book series, this group is made up of a host of different characters who join forces to work together behind the scenes.
The scene is particularly exciting for Marvel fans as it contains a number of surprise introductions.
Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way: the X-men finally make their MCU debut with Patrick Stewart’s Charles “Professor X” Xavier. This version of the character (not the one previously seen in the X-Men franchise) uses the character’s iconic yellow hoverboard.
Chiwetel Ejiofor also shows up as a variant of Karl Mordo, and is the one who introduces Cumberbatch’s Strange to the Illuminati members.
As was spoiled in a TV spot released a week before the film’s release, Hayley Atwell shows up in the film as Peggy Carter. Kitted out in a Union Jack costume, this version of the character is Captain Carter – who was first seen in the animated series What If...?, released in 2021. This is her live-action debut.
Another character who shows up Black Bolt, here played by Anson Mount.
Mount previously played this character in Inhumans, which was cancelled after just eight episodes in May 2018. Black Bolt is one of the strongest Marvel characters, with a voice that can cause mass destruction – even when he’s whispering.
Lashana Lynch also appears in the film and, in this universe, is Captain Marvel instead of Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers. Lynch appeared in the character’s standalone film in 2019 as Maria Rambeau, the mother of WandaVision character Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris).
Despite being reported for the past year, it’s still a surprise to see John Krasinski show up as Mr Fantastic himself, Reed Richards. It’s unsure whether Krasinski is now playing the MCU’s official version of the character, or whether Krasinski is simply playing a different iteration from another world.
In a flashback featuring these characters, based on Titan, viewers can also get a glimpse of Thanos (Josh Brolin), however this version of the character is deveased.
*More spoilers follow – you’ve been warned again*
Clea is a character who is romantically linked with Doctor Strange in the comics. The words “Doctor Strange will return” seems to confirm that Theron will be the lead in a potential third outing for the character.
Interestingly, she is a sorceress supreme and the niece of Dormammu, who featured in the first Doctor Strange, and was once the ruler of the mystical realm he was banished to.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now. Read The Independent’s review here.