The multiverse has proven itself to be completely unknown and full of surprises. We have gotten a preview of what the multiverse can offer in Loki, What If…?, and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The multiverse has many different uses to the MCU—especially when it comes to retconning, introducing new characters into the MCU from recently acquired rights, and fan service.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is about to be the apex of Phase Four, potentially introducing long-awaited characters and connecting the dots with what we have gathered from Marvel Studios television series and movies that we’ve seen within the past year.
When it comes to surprise appearances in the upcoming sequel, it’s truly anyone’s guess. Anything and everything has the potential to make sense, but let’s go over who’s most likely to appear.
1. Superior Iron Man
News of Tom Cruise’s involvement with the project is considered old news at this point, but his appearance as a Tony Stark variant could be a very interesting one. While many people are not too excited about Cruise joining on for this epic sequel, the fact that we could be seeing Superior Iron Man might make it worth our while.
Superior Iron Man is essentially a worse Tony Stark (if you can imagine it). In short, he creates a “free” supplement that can heal you of all ailments—effectively making you a near superhuman—and immediately exploits people and their addiction to near-perfection by charging them $100 a day to use it. If you thought arms dealing billionaire playboy Tony Stark was a jerk, wait until you meet Superior Iron Man.
2. Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic
Another rumor that’s been flying around for a while now. Unlike the distain for Tom Cruise, people were actually extremely pleased to hear that John Krasinski would assume the role of Mr. Fantastic. While people believed that he would take on the role as the MCU’s Mr. Fantastic, it’s more plausible that he will be playing a variant, and will be used as an introduction to the character, so that the official introduction of the Fantastic Four is slightly more seamless.
3. Professor Charles Xavier
This one feels a little less far-fetched. In the most recent trailer, we hear Sir Patrick Stewart’s voice addressing Doctor Strange. Although there has yet to be any confirmation of his involvement, his voice is iconically recognizable.
This could be the introduction to the X-Men that we have been waiting for, with Professor X being a part of the Illuminati alongside Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, and Reed Richards in the comics. The puzzle pieces are almost obviously clear, but Sir Patrick Stewart has taken notes from Andrew Garfield and has continued to deny reprising his X-Men role. “You know, people have been imitating my voice ever since I came on the stage 60 years ago,” Stewart said of the trailer. “So, I can’t be held responsible for that.”
4. Jean Grey
The Scarlet Witch is set to be the villain in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. and there’s only a handful of Marvel heroes that could take on someone who wields chaos magic. When Professor X senses a large threat, he brings the big guns —Jean Grey (played by Sophie Turner).
An Omega-level mutant, Jean Grey has been the host of the Phoenix Force, making her easily one of the most powerful Marvel characters. Similar to Wanda, she is incredibly unstable and her instability and wrath is triggered when she suffers from emotional distress.
Ryan Reynolds initially had put Deadpool appearances—in any capacity (including the third installment of his film series)—to rest by saying that he wanted to slow down and spend more time with his family. We are learning that Marvel has gotten the “deny, deny, deny” strategy down to a science.
The sharp eyes of Marvel fans claimed to have seen Deadpool’s reflection in one of the shards on the Doctor Strange promo poster. With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, the X-Men and Deadpool are free to stroll right into the MCU and Deadpool’s breaking of the fourth wall could serve extremely useless as we navigate the craziness of the multiverse.
I don’t want to say anything is for sure, but it would be a considerable waste of time to make an entire series about the rules and regulations of the multiverse and not include the main characters, right? Loki’s experience with He Who Remains could prove useful to Doctor Strange and American Chavez as they travel across the multiverse.
7. Captain Carter
We’re going off the shards again. There is a relatively clear reflection of Captain Carter’s shield in one of the many shards on the Doctor Strange 2 promo poster. This would open up a lot of possibilities if they decided to include What If…? in the upcoming sequel. It seems like Captain Carter’s involvement with the Guardians of the Multiverse and Uatu the Watcher could be something that intersects and greatly affects our Doctor Strange’s experience with the multiverse.
Whether it’s joining forces or taking heed from Captain Carter, there’s a very good chance we could see Hayley Atwell debut as the live-action Captain Carter.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will arrive in theaters on May 6, 2022.
But before we get there, fans can expect to see Moon Knight enter into the fray. And in case you’re wondering, here’s how to become the next Kevin Feige (aka Marvel BOSS).
Photos via Marvel Studios, The Scotsman, ScreenRant