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Who Is Gargantos In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

On April 28, IMDb premiered an exclusive clip of the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" to its YouTube channel. In it, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) battles an invisible enemy he magically reveals to be a large, tentacled beast. While its strength is imposing, Strange's cosmic superpowers allow him to hold his own in combat against the otherworldly monster.

The title of this "Multiverse of Madness" clip refers to the beast as Gargantos. Fans first learned of Gargantos' involvement back in July of 2021, when a description for a cast member revealed the character to be a part of the film. Then, a trailer from December of that same year included some footage of Gargantos in action.

However, while Gargantos is a character previously established in Marvel comics lore, its role in the MCU doesn't appear to be a direct translation of its comic book source material. In fact, this new version of Gargantos may be another comic book character entirely.

Gargantos may be the MCU's Shuma-Gorath

According to the Marvel fan wiki, Gargantos has only ever appeared in two Marvel comic book issues, released in 1969 and 1989 respectively. In them, the creature is a sea monster commanded by the aquatic villain Naga. At no point in either of these comics does Gargantos fight Doctor Strange.

Nerdist writer Rosie Knight recently theorized that this isn't necessarily due to a significant change to Gargantos in the MCU, but the fact that the monster Doctor Strange fights in the film is inspired by another Marvel comics character to which Marvel Studios doesn't own the rights.

This theory hinges on the fact that the MCU's Gargantos — which technically first appeared in noncanonical MCU spinoff series "What If...?" — is essentially identical to another one-eyed, tentacled monster named Shuma-Gorath. In its comic book source material, Shuma-Gorath is a godlike deity, explaining the superpowers Gargantos exhibits in the recent "Multiverse of Madness" clip. Presumably, Marvel Studios was unable to acquire the rights to adapt Shuma-Gorath in time for the upcoming "Doctor Strange" film, so rather than write the character out, they renamed it instead.

Unless any forthcoming information suggests otherwise, Gargantos' role in "Multiverse of Madness" can be presumed to be that of longtime Marvel comic book deity Shuma-Gorath, and not the relatively unimportant aquatic minion with which it shares a name.