WARNING: Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness below.
After seemingly saving the very fabric of reality, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange is ready to enjoy some downtime in the Big Apple, which is quickly cut short in the end credits scene for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While briefly enjoying an afternoon stroll, Strange is approached by Charlize Theron in a wild sorceress outfit, who immediately confronts the good doctor. She tells him that he’s caused an incursion then opens a portal and asks Strange if he’s ready to fix it. Naturally, Strange is up to the task as he transforms into his mystical robes and departs with Theron’s character into the portal, but not before revealing the third eye in his head from using the Darkhold in the film’s climax.
But what does it all mean?
Who Is Charlize Theron’s Character?
As revealed in the Multiverse of Madness credits, Theron is playing Clea, who is a well-known recurring character in the Doctor Strange comics. In fact, she’s currently the Sorceror Supreme in the Marvel books. Like Strange, Clea is a powerful wielder of the mystic arts, and the two have been on and off romantically over the years. Considering the Multiverse of Madness wrestles with Strange missing out on a chance at love with Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer, Clea’s presence is an interesting choice.
What Is An Incursion?
In the film, an incursion is described as the collision of two realities, which does not end well for both worlds’ inhabitants. The Stephen Strange of Earth 838 accidentally causes one while attempting to use the Darkhold to defeat his reality’s Thanos, and it appears the Earth 616 Strange that we know has caused a new incursion by his use of the Darkhold. It’s a fascinating development considering incursions were a major plot point during Marvel’s Secret Wars event in the mid-2010s. In those books, the Illuminati learn that reality is collapsing on itself as worlds begin to collide at an accelerating rate. The end-result is a new reality forged by Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange where Doom rules as a God Emperor. Considering Multiverse of Madness marks the first official introduction of the Fantastic Four in the MCU, that means Doom is out there waiting to reveal himself. Granted, Marvel has taken extreme liberties with translating comic stories to the screen by picking and choosing plot elements as it pleases, both the Fantastic Four and incursions showing up in the same film seem like too much of a coincidence.
What About Strange’s Third Eye?
This one is going to remain a mystery. Obviously, Strange has been affected by his use of the Darkhold’s magic, but whether the third eye represents an evolution in his mastery of the mystic arts or a curse will presumably be addressed when he returns for his next adventure.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in theaters on May 6.