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Why These Deaths In Doctor Strange 2 Will Likely Not Be Reversed

Contains spoilers for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness"

The cracks within the Marvel multiverse have been a long time coming. From the death of He Who Remains (Jonathan Majors) to Spider-Man (Tom Holland) tampering with Doctor Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) spell, a lot has transpired over the last couple of years in the MCU that has nothing to do with Thanos (Josh Brolin). All of those actions have seemingly created a ripple effect, allowing the multiverse itself to go ... mad. 

That leads us to "Doctor Strange 2," where the titular sorcerer meets a youngster by the name of America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). She has the ability to travel across the multiverse, usually accidentally. This has attracted the attention of a certain demon who wants that ability for itself. Naturally, it falls on Strange and Wong's (Benedict Wong) shoulders to protect the girl and the very fabric of the multiverse. 

It's not just our Strange's reality he has to protect, but the fate of every reality. As such, it should come as no surprise that a lot hangs in the balance, including the lives of our heroes. And sadly, a few of Earth's mightiest do, indeed, bite the dust, and while death is rarely permanent in the comics, there's a good chance these deaths are going to stick.

The Illuminati are dead and gone

When Doctor Strange and America Chavez travel across the multiverse, they land in a reality where their version of Doctor Strange died. Fortunately, he helped establish a coalition of heroes known as the Illuminati to protect this universe from all kinds of threats, including their version of Thanos. This iteration of the Illuminati consists of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Professor X (Patrick Stewart), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Captain Marvel (Lashana Lynch), Blackagar Boltagon (Anson Mount), and Reed Richards (John Krasinski). 

It's a ton of fun to see all these different variants occupy the same space together, but viewers don't get a lot of time to spend with them. Nearly as quickly as they were introduced, they're dispatched courtesy of Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who's dream walked into that universe's version of herself. One by one, she kills each member of the Illuminati except Mordo, making Black Bolt's voice implode in on himself while Reed Richards turns into spaghetti. It's one of the most brutal sequences ever depicted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and fans shouldn't expect these heroes to return ... at least in any way we know them. 

All of these heroes exist in an alternate universe. They're not part of the proper MCU continuity, which is stated to take place in Universe-616. There's a good chance we'll never go to this universe again in any Marvel property, so it wouldn't really make much sense to bring the heroes back. And besides, even if these specific heroes remain dead, that doesn't mean they're destined to stay that way across every universe.

Their variants could still be out there

"Loki" on Disney+ introduced the idea of variants. Basically, since there are an infinite number of possibilities out there in the multiverse, there's an endless number of different types of characters for fans to meet. We had the chance to see a few of these variants in action with "What If...?" And one of the most intriguing characters to come out of that series is Captain Carter. 

Not only is she a hero in her own right, but she goes on to join the multiversal Avengers. While there isn't confirmation yet, it's safe to surmise that the Captain Carter we see in "What If...?" is different from the live-action one we see in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." After all, one of the universes Doctor Strange and America Chavez travel through is animated, so there are certainly animated universes out there. It's safe to say Captain Carter from "What If...?" is in one of these. 

All of this is to say that this may not be the last time we see some version of Captain Carter and the other members of the Illuminati in the MCU in some capacity. What's all the more intriguing is John Krasinski's casting as Reed Richards. Does this mean Reed exists in Earth-616? Would this version of Reed look like Krasinski, or could it be completely different, much like the various Spider-Men who populated "No Way Home?" 

As "Doctor Strange 2" has proven, anything is possible, so fans will just have to wait and see what the future of the MCU holds.