What You Need to Know Before Watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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Zombie Doctor Strange

The Marvel Cinematic Universe can get pretty confusing even for die-hard fans. With the release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Marvel Studios is returning to the parallel world which was teased by last year’s popular film Spider-Man: No Way Home. The universe can get overwhelming, so much so that, a lot of the studio’s films, following and including, Avengers: Endgame have been based on the Multiverse and how it works.

Doctor Strange will be the latest Marvel movie following countless of successes, including the latest Spider-Man: No Way Home. Marvel and its characters have seeped into various industries including the movie world and the game world with various video games involving a number of characters and slot games from Playtech offering some of the best online slots to casinos all over the world.

So, before jumping into the latest Multiverse of Madness, here’s all you need to know about Marvel’s current state of reality.

The Multiverse is best explained by the animated series What If…? It is ‘Space. Reality. It’s a prism of endless possibility, where a single choice can branch out into infinite realities, creating alternate worlds from the ones you know.’

This is evident in the approach that Marvel takes with time travel. As Hulk in Avengers: Endgame put it: ‘Changing the past doesn’t change the future. … Think about it. If you travel to the past, that past becomes your future and your former present becomes the past, which can’t now be changed by your new future.’

Endgame argues that going back in time will create a parallel timeline. This has been Marvel’s mantra even in the comics when you go back as far as 1979’s Marvel Two-in-One No. 50. Reed Richard in the Fantastic Four makes it clear that, ‘any change you make in the past results in another reality — a new one caused by your presence.’

This outcome is also emphasised in Loki when he changes his own timeline by disappearing with the Space Stone as soon as he has a chance. This leads into 2021’s Disney+ spinoff series Loki, reducing the Multiverse into what they described as the ‘Sacred Timeline’.

By the end of Loki’s season one, the parallel timeline version of Loki uncovers that the Time Keepers were a lie and that the true story behind the Sacred Timeline is that it is not just the sole remaining timeline but made from reconstructed elements of the Multiverse-as-was after a Multiversal War between realities – it was one timeline sealed off from the rest of the Multiverse.

In the finale of the What If…? first season, the creation of a group of superheroes is necessary to stop Ultron from invading different realities throughout the Multiverse. Doctor Strange is one of these superheroes. He had attempted to resurrect his dead girlfriend and, in turn, became corrupted by dark magic. If the version of Doctor Strange that appears in the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is the same version as the one from the What If…? series, then this will be an unexpected connection between a series and the timeline that features the Avengers that audiences know and love.

At the end of Loki, he is exiled to a version of the TVA before killing He Who Remains and allows the timeline to branch again. This removal of the maintenance of the once-sacred timeline changes everything for the MCU going forward. Without the TVA and He Who Remains to isolate the timeline, multiple Spider-Men were able to show up in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It is also easier for Venom and Vulture to jump between their realities in the Disney and Sony controlled versions of their superhero universes. This Multiverse-hopping was why Doctor Strange’s spell was interrupted to make everyone forget that Peter Parker was Spider-Man.

Many questions still remain about Marvel’s Multiverse including the over-riding question of what did Doctor Strange do that messed things up so badly? One thing’s for sure – the Multiverse is not going away. Marvel has already promised a second season for Loki and there is also an upcoming Ant-Man: Quantumania planned

The story of the Multiverse of Madness is simply just beginning!