We are counting down the days until the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Marvel Studios has made it a point to lowkey assign homework before each movie. At this point, if you haven’t engaged with the majority of Marvel content, future Marvel projects will render themselves entirely useless, and you’ll find yourself completely lost.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. We can start small and get your prepped for the Doctor Strange sequel coming out in May. As always, these are in order of importance and sequence of events (just to make things a little easier).
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron
This is the film where we are first introduced to Wanda and Pietro Maximoff. As far as we know, Phase Four largely has connections to Wanda’s trauma. The genesis of Wanda’s trauma can be found in Avengers: Age of Ultron and sets in motion the chain of events that leads her to becoming her final form—the Scarlet Witch.
2. Doctor Strange
Alright, I feel embarrassed that I even need to mention this. Doctor Strange is, by far, one of my least favorite Marvel films, but in order to understand Doctor Strange’s origins, and recognize returning characters in the Multiverse of Madness, you need to watch this. Doctor Strange’s abilities alone are extremely volatile and the rules are hard to follow, so just save yourself the mental strain and at least become familiarized with the characters’ faces and names.
3. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame
Lumped these two Avenger films together because they are essentially two halves of a whole. This is absolutely a must-watch. You can’t skip these two films under any circumstances. Is it over five hours of Marvel? Yes, and I get that it’s a lot, but what happens after the events of these films jumpstarts the entirety of Phase Four. What happens in these films are consistently referenced in the Disney+ spin-off series and Phase Four films. Get comfy on your couch, have your snacks within arms reach, and enjoy.
Time to explore more of Wanda’s pain. Again, with the appearance of the Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it is imperative that we understand how she got to the point of becoming the Scarlet Witch. This series explores the brink of Wanda’s trauma and pain in a way that no television show has ever done before. Apart from this being a good primer before the upcoming film, it is easily one of the most unique shows I’ve personally watched in a while. Think Twilight Zone meets every popular sitcom throughout the decades.
Apart from enjoying the mischief and chaos that usually follows Loki Laufeyson, the series introduces us to the multiverse and its rules. A lot of terms that are used in regards to the multiverse are probably going to reappear and be mentioned in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel. While Loki explores the multiverse through a transcendent and bureaucratic lens, it helps us better understand how the multiverse functions, how it stays organized, and how it breaks.
6. What If…?
While it has yet to be confirmed, it seems likely that What If…? could be involved in the next film. The series takes place across a bunch of different universes with very different outcomes for our heroes, so it would make sense if it somehow intersected with a film that explores the multiverse and the unpredictable nature that it presents once shattered. There have been speculations that there could be an appearance by Captain Carter, a prominent character in the Disney+ series.
Honorary Mention—20th Century Fox films
Fox films such as the X-Men series, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four are films to watch for good measure in case we get a pleasant surprise appearance from any of the characters. There is a good chance that we could get an introduction to the X-Men and Mr. Fantastic, so if you’re interested in knowing their general backstories and have some extra time to kill before the next Doctor Strange film, might as well give these a watch.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to release on May 6 in theaters.
Photos via Marvel