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Ranking Every Wong Appearance In The MCU

Originally conceived in Marvel Comics as a manservant to Doctor Strange (complete with some unfortunate racial stereotypes), it's easy to see why director Scott Derrickson was initially hesitant to include the character of Wong in 2016's "Doctor Strange." However, after the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One (traditionally an Asian male character), he and co-writers C. Robert Cargill and Jon Spaihts decided to think outside the box on other characters as well, leading to a re-interpretation of Wong. 

"Once the decision was made to cast Tilda, we brought Wong back," Derrickson said in 2016. "Because, unlike the Ancient One, he could be completely subverted as a character and reworked into something that didn't fall into any of the stereotypes of the comics."

This choice has paid dividends in the years since, as actor Benedict Wong's take on the character has become one of the standouts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's entered into the same realm as Clark Gregg, Hayley Atwell, Kat Dennings or Randall Park — crossing franchises, mixing with various heroes, always a welcome face to matter how short the screentime. 

But Wong has gone from being a humble Target Sales Associate to the Librarian of Kamar-Taj to the Sorcerer Supreme. He has appeared in more Phase 4 projects than any other character (by quite a lot). There have even been talks about a potential spin-off series on Disney+, which seems to have Wong (the actor) quite enthused. Here is a ranking of all eight appearances the endearingly quirky magic user has made in the MCU.

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Stuffed to the brim with cameos and multiversal shenanigans, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" brought the (first?) Tom Holland-starring trilogy to a satisfying close thanks to a savvy combination of fan service and emotional sincerity. The story of Peter Parker (Holland) struggling to deal with the fallout of his revealed identity and attempting to defeat/cure five of his biggest nemeses from alternate realities was so popular that it was even re-released in theaters with additional scenes (dubbed The More Fun Stuff Version). Despite releasing in late 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic was keeping theater attendance at an all-time low, "No Way Home" proved to be an exception; it is currently one of the most successful films of all-time at the box office (via BoxOfficeMojo).

Considering all the incredible moments and characters included in the film, it is a shame there wasn't more to do with Wong. Appearing for only a few short minutes, viewers learned how the former librarian got promoted to the rank of Sorcerer Supreme: he apparently got it on a technicality after the previous title holder, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), got turned to dust for five years along with half the universe, courtesy of Thanos. Aside from warning Strange not to perform the intricate memory-wiping spell that sets the rest of the film in motion, Wong's presence is little more than a cameo, as he promptly portals away to Kamar-Taj with his packed bags.

7. What If...?

In 2021, following the conclusion of The Infinity Saga, the MCU took a bold new step forward in their elaborate web of storytelling by adding a number of Disney+ series to their roster, which served to give greater depth to existing characters while also making time to introduce new ones. One of the less conventional series in their slate was an animated anthology called "What If...?," which served as a loose adaptation of the one-off comic series of the same name. The conceit was that each episode would showcase an alternate universe where a single moment in MCU history was altered, resulting in wildly different scenarios with which Earth's mightiest heroes must contend (or in some cases, the identities of the heroes themselves would also be wildly different).

Many of the actors from the films reprised their roles for this series, even if their characters only had a line or two. One such actor was Benedict Wong, who lent his voice for the episode "What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?," which saw the title character go to increasingly dangerous lengths in order to bring the love of his life back from the dead. Wong appears only for a fleeting moment, keeping continuity with his role in the first "Doctor Strange." The character does, however, appear in the "What If... Zombies?!" episode as an undead version of himself, who briefly terrorizes a bewildered Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) before getting decapitated by a portal.

6. Avengers: Endgame

For a while there, "Avengers: Endgame" was the most successful movie of all-time at the box office, before a re-release or two put James Cameron's "Avatar" back on top. It's easy to see why. 

It serves as the culmination of a 22-film saga, providing significant emotional send-offs to some of its biggest characters (even retiring a few of them, at least for now), wrapping up numerous story beats across multiple interconnected franchises, and even paying off a number of seemingly innocuous Easter eggs along the way (Captain America lifting Thor's hammer, for example). Though it manages to provide individual journeys for many of its core characters, the film also feels like a proper event, warranting an all-hands-on-deck approach when it comes to its mammoth ensemble.

This is best exemplified in the film's conclusion, which sees the Avengers who survived the Thanos snap in "Avengers: Infinity War" laboring to reverse this catastrophic moment and bring half the universe back to life. Though they are initially successful, Thanos follows them through time, preparing to lay waste to the planet. Fortunately, reinforcements arrive thanks to Doctor Strange, who foresaw that this was the only path to victory, and is able to gather a multitude of armies and fellow heroes, all with the help of Wong. Though only on screen for a few moments (first at the battle, then later at Tony's funeral), he does contribute to the film's most cheer-worthy moment.

5. Avengers: Infinity War

Setting the stage for the epic showdown against the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin), "Avengers: Infinity War" brought together heroes from all corners of the MCU, many of whom had only recently been introduced and had never met (including the original Avengers lineup, Black Panther, and the Guardians of the Galaxy). Though spread out across various locales, including Wakanda and Titan — the home turf of Thanos —  the warriors all stand united in a common effort to stop the power-hungry conqueror from acquiring the six Infinity Stones, which will grant him the power to wipe out half of all life in the universe with a mere snap of his fingers.

An early skirmish in the titular war takes place on the streets of New York, which happens to be the stomping grounds of a number of super-folk, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), and of course Wong. Strange holds the Time Stone within his Eye of Agamotto, and Thanos has sent two of his more powerful underlings to claim it. The result is an explosive brawl through the city streets, where technology and magic join forces against the interstellar invaders, Wong and Strange tag-teaming on a handful of mystical attacks. The former even gets a moment where he defeats the bigger of their opponents by severing his arm and using a portal to send him to an icy tundra — thus saving Iron Man's life and earning himself an invitation to Tony Stark's wedding.

4. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

The first standalone movie for a new MCU hero after the conclusion of The Infinity Saga, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" introduces the titular character (Simu Liu) as the son of Tony Leung's international terrorist Wenwu (aka the Mandarin). Though he tries to reject his father's murderous teachings and lay low as a valet in San Francisco, the skilled martial artist finds himself drawn into a plot that takes him across the world to Hong Kong, where he finds that his long-lost sister (Meng'er Zhang) is running an underground fighting ring. This is the first time viewers see Wong in the film, as he is shown doing battle with none other than Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky (aka the Abomination), not seen since 2008's "The Incredible Hulk."

Wong wins the fight handily, then disappears for most of the movie. After the heroes have saved the day and returned to their normal lives, Wong interrupts them at dinner, requesting that they both join him for an urgent meeting. In a mid-credits scene that ranks among the MCU's best, Shang-Chi and his friend Katy (Awkwafina) examine a signal that emanates from the ten rings, alongside veterans Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Not only does this effectively bring the new characters into the larger universe, but the scene is punctuated by Wong joining them for a hilarious karaoke session where they all belt out the lyrics to The Eagles' "Hotel California."

3. Doctor Strange

By the time 2016's "Doctor Strange" rolled around, the MCU had already experienced a billionaire with advanced mech suits, an invincible super soldier decorated with the stars and stripes, an intergalactic band of misfits that included a talking tree and racoon, and the literal god of thunder. At that point, it seemed only natural to introduce magic into the mix, which came in the form of Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon whose career is destroyed when his hands are broken in a terrible car accident. 

When his attempts at medical recovery fail, Strange pursues spiritual recovery, which leads him to Kamar-Taj, home of the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), who tutors him in the mystic arts. Though Strange proves to have a natural affinity for such spells, he soon finds himself in the middle of a scheme by a former disciple (Mads Mikkelsen), who hopes to merge our world with the Dark Dimension.

His allies against this threat include the Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor's Baron Mordo, and in his very first MCU appearance, Wong — introduced as Kamar-Taj's librarian, yet feeling more like a drill sergeant. Though seemingly stone-faced and humorless, Wong is not above listening to Beyoncé in his free time, or cackling like a madman when he hears a funny joke. Though he initially dies leading the defense of Hong Kong's Sanctum Sanctorum against the invading zealots, Strange's manipulation of the Time Stone is able to bring him back to life.

2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Taking place at least five years after the events of the first film (enough time to account for the time-traveling events of the last two "Avengers" movies), "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" sees the title character facing off against former Avenger Wanda Maximoff, now known as the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). Wanda is hunting for a teenager named America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who has the power to travel between multiverses. In order to protect her and everyone else from the damage of which the Scarlet Witch is capable, Strange will have to jump through a number of realities with her and find the Book of Vishanti, while contending with multiversal variants of both himself and other familiar MCU characters.

This film showcases Wong as the full-on Sorcerer Supreme, joining Strange in defeating a one-eyed tentacle monster that Wanda has sent after America in the film's opening act. He then marshals the forces of Kamar-Taj, as well as the Masters of the London and Hong Kong Sanctums, in order to defend their temple from Wanda's wrath. Though he finds himself captured and forced to give up the location of Mount Wundagore, which Wanda uses to channel her witchcraft and possess versions of herself from other universes, Wong still survives multiple attempted deaths and proves essential to the final battle against Wanda. In all of his fight scenes, Wong proves himself here as a mystical force to be reckoned with.

1. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

This Disney+ series follows the legal escapades of Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), Bruce Banner's lawyer cousin who accidentally gets infected with his blood and turns into the She-Hulk. Thankfully, her ability to control her emotions far more effectively than her cousin allows her to mostly continue her career, albeit with a detour into cases of the more superhuman variety. 

Two of these cases are punctuated by Wong, who arrives first as a witness (thanks to a certain thirst-trap), then as a client. One of Jennifer's first cases for GLK&H revolves around the parole hearing for reformed supervillain Emil Blonsky, whose hopes of freedom are complicated after footage of his participation in the fight tournament from "Shang-Chi" is leaked online. As his opponent and the man who snuck him in and out of jail, Wong is able to clarify the issue, stating that the whole thing was his idea and that Blonsky even insisted on returning to prison afterwards.

The next case is brought by Wong himself, who sues the magician Donny Blaze (Rhys Coiro) for improper use of magic after his conjuring of a portal sends ditzy party girl Madisynn King (Patty Guggenheim) into Wong's living room, just in time for her to ruin an episode of "The Sopranos" for him. Wong eventually wins his case after Blaze's cocky conjuring results in a swarm of demons being let loose, but the real treat of the episode is in watching the unexpected friendship that blossoms between him and Madisynn, who affectionately nicknames him "Wongers."