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Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Characters With More Meaning Than We Realized

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" featured our hero trying to keep a young multiverse-hopper named America Chavez out of the hands of a corrupted, grief-stricken Scarlet Witch. As we learned from "Spider-Man: No Way Home," whenever the newly-explored concept of the multiverse appears, weird variants of familiar characters are sure to follow. On top of that, a number of characters either straight from the comics or from properties that hadn't yet been in the MCU also tended to appear. 

In terms of the plot of the film, those characters all made sense. The Illuminati of Earth-838 were familiar super-heroes to comics readers as well as viewers of non-MCU superhero films, but all the viewer had to know is that they were heroes from another dimension. However, the reveal of each character meant so much more than the actual scene showed us. Characters mentioned in passing wound up having a huge impact on the film and their influence could resonate for years. Seemingly minor characters could become major characters in upcoming films. Let's take a look at characters with more meaning than we realized in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."


Rintrah certainly stuck out in his appearance in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," even if he do didn't much other than act in the defense of Kamar-Taj. Why did he stick out? Because he's a seven-foot green minotaur! This is also a classic example of an Easter egg in a film that has so much more meaning than was shown on film. 

Rintrah was a friend and later disciple of Doctor Strange. Coming from the extraplanar planet of R'Vaal, his training started with a wizard name Enitharmon the Weaver, an ally of Doctor Strange. Rintrah was pressed into service, helping Strange against an alien wizard and later returned to Earth with Strange. In the comics, Rintrah was big, goofy, and awkward. He was constantly making mistakes with regard to magic and other aspects of living on Earth. However, he was good-natured and pure of heart, and he eventually became a sorcerer in his own right. He's too distinctive a character to not follow up in the future. Considering that America Chavez is being trained in magic, perhaps RIntrah will accompany her in future films. 


At the end of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," a mysterious woman in purple (played by Charlize Theron) challenges Doctor Strange to help her fix an incursion he caused, and she followed that up by opening up a hole in reality. This is Clea, one of the central supporting characters in the comics, and obviously one who will figure prominently in the next Doctor Strange film. Clea being a tough-as-nails interdimensional traveler barking orders at Doctor Strange already makes her different from how the character was originally presented.

While it was obvious from that appearance that this was going to be an important character, there was no way for a viewer new to the character to know just how important she was. Clea was the daughter of Umar the Unspeakable and niece of the Dread Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension. She was impressed by Doctor Strange's courage in challenging Dormammu and his pawn, Baron Mordo. Clea wound up helping him in his struggle and she came to Earth with him when he triumphed, becoming his disciple and lover. She returned to the Dark Dimension to help lead a rebellion and eventually became its ruler. Clea's history is long and rich, and hopefully the MCU will tap into it as they make her Doctor Strange's partner and potential new love interest. 

Dr. Nicodemus West

Dr. Nicodemus West was a colleague of Doctor Strange, and he sat next to Stephen at Christine Palmer's wedding. A bitter West berated Stephen for taking the actions that led to the Blip. When Strange told him that this was the only course of action that would have defeated Thanos, West noted that he lost his two cats and his brother during the period when he was dead during the Blip. West also taunted Strange about not getting the girl as his ex-lover came up the aisle to get married. 

In the comics, West has a much more significant role than in the MCU. He is the surgeon who operated on Strange after his car accident, saving Stephen's life but damaging the nerves in his hands. Feeling guilty, he followed a despondent Strange to Kamar-Taj. Unbeknownst to Strange, the Ancient One trained West in the mystic arts when Strange left, in case Stephen wasn't up to the task. West didn't finish his training and hurt someone he tried to heal. He later stole a potion from Strange that would cure any disease. The movie left it open as to whether West was going to pursue magic as a way of getting revenge against his old rival.

Reed Richards

Even though the concept of the Illuminati had been revealed in trailers, no one knew the precise configuration of this shadowy group of heroes who manipulated events behind the scenes. It was quite a surprise to see John Krasinski (of "The Office" fame) in the familiar blue suit of Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic. The leader of the Fantastic Four (as Doctor Strange sardonically asked, "Didn't they chart in the '60s?") was well-represented by Krasinski, who displayed the warmth, the intelligence, and the know-it-all arrogance of the character. What was so astounding about seeing him hear was that this appeared to be an astounding bit of fan service, as there were petitions for him to get this role. From a casting perspective, Krasinski's appearance meant a lot more than it seemed.

However, the meaning of his appearance goes far beyond that. Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, announced an MCU version of the Fantastic Four.  The Fantastic Four have had three different movies since 2005, none of which were big hits. All of them greatly strayed from the original conception of the characters. Krasinski's version of Reed Richards was far closer to the original character than the other adaptations, meaning the upcoming "Fantastic Four" film could similarly be closer to the spirit of the original. Whether the new Reed Richards is native to the MCU Earth-616 or comes to from elsewhere remains to be seen. 

Maria Rambeau

Maria Rambeau on Earth-616 was the mother of Monica Rambeau and the best friend of Carol Danvers, who eventually became Captain Marvel after being exposed to technology powered by the Tesseract. When Carol disappeared, Maria founded SWORD, a government agency devoted to protecting Earth from alien threats. Monica eventually gained powers of her own when she penetrated the hex field surrounding Westview, New Jersey, the town that Wanda Maximoff bent to her will. 

In "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," Maria Rambeau was the Captain Marvel of Earth-838. The greater meaning here is that every multiverse has subtle differences, but certain sets of people tend to appear in each other's lives. Stephen Strange and Christine Palmer in every multiverse never wound up together, and that's the way it was meant to be. Maria and Monica Rambeau build familial connections with Carol Danvers in most of the multiverses as well, and it seems like one of them is always destined to become Captain Marvel. There could be other versions of the character that appear in future multiversal crossovers. One thing that's clear is they are all remarkably powerful — Maria Rambeau was the only member of the Illuminati that could go toe-to-toe with the Scarlet Witch, and she nearly wound up beating her. 

Professor Charles Xavier

Professor Charles Xavier was revealed to appear in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" in previews, so it wasn't a huge shock to see him as part of the Illuminati of Earth-838. It was still a powerful and meaningful moment for a mutant to finally appear in the MCU after so many years. Just as seeing various Spider-Men appear in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" created a bridge to those franchises that existed prior to the MCU, so too did Professor X's appearance create a bridge to a franchise with nearly a dozen films, if you include "Deadpool." 

However, what wasn't immediately obvious and creates an even deeper connection is that the Professor X seen interacting with Doctor Strange wasn't the Charles Xavier of the X-Men films. Instead, the theme music and his huge, gliding yellow wheelchair indicated that this was Professor X from the '90s "X-Men: The Animated Series." Considering that Marvel is planning a reboot/sequel to that classic unconnected to the greater MCU, it makes sense. Much like the Inhumans, it remains to be seen if mutants will debut in the MCU on Earth-616, or if there will be more multiverse shenanigans that introduce mutants that way. Regardless, Patrick Stewart playing that role, even in a cameo, opens up many possibilities for the future.

Black Bolt

Introduced as "Blackagar Boltagon," ruler of the Inhumans, the presence of Black Bolt on the Illuminati is both a comics reference and a potentially important piece of information for the future. The Inhumans were introduced in the pages of "The Fantastic Four" as a hidden race of superpowered beings, trying to avoid interacting with humanity. It was later revealed that they were products of experiments by the Kree on humans millennia ago. The Inhumans were a means of exploring their own evolutionary potential as well as providing potential new troops for their war on the Skrulls. When Inhumans reach a certain age, they are exposed to the Terrigen Mist in order to unlock their genetic potential. 

In the MCU, Inhumans were important characters in the "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." show on ABC, both as heroes and villains.  In 2017, there was an "Inhumans" television show. The show featured the Inhumans' familiar Royal Family, including Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Crystal, and their ruler, Black Bolt. The show was quickly cancelled and the Inhumans weren't mentioned again. Black Bolt's appearance in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," even as a denizen of Earth-838, indicates that the Inhumans haven't been forgotten and that there's potential for them to be rebooted within the MCU. Anson Mount, who played Black Bolt on the show, returned to his role as Black Bolt. Whether there are actually Inhumans on Earth-616 or whether they come from other multiverses remains to be seen. 


Chthon was not physically introduced in "Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness," but he was mentioned by Wong and his presence was all over the events of the movie. Chthon was referred to by Wong as "the first demon," and he was the author of the forbidden and horrible spells in the Darkhold. In the context of the film, the Darkhold was a book that gave its user incredible power, but as the multiverse variant Sinister Strange said, "It enacts a terrible toll on its user." Using the demon's magic inevitably corrupts its user, as well as physically and psychologically changing them forever. 

That was true even of the Scarlet Witch, the heir of Chthon. After the only copy of the Darkhold was destroyed, Wong told her that the book simply copied down spells written in the walls of a cave in forbidden Mount Wundagore. Wanda saw her image as the Scarlet Witch and realized that the prophecy in the Darkhold was true: She had the power to rule or destroy the cosmos. When she destroyed the cave after having a change of heart, she destroyed every copy of the Darkhold in every multiverse. 

The question remains, however: What happened to the elder demon-god Chthon? Is he still alive? In the comics, he directly tried to manipulate Wanda and possessed her several times. Will Chthon appear in the MCU, angry at Wanda's actions?

America Chavez

America Chavez was the catalyst of the film's plot, as the Scarlet Witch wanted to kidnap her and take her powers. This would give the Scarlet Witch the unlimited power to travel to other multiverses on a whim. If her children got sick, she would simply travel to a multiverse that had a cure. It was implied that if they died, she'd simply find another multiverse where they were alive. Of course, she'd also wreak unimaginable havoc on the multiverse and probably (and inadvertently) destroy it. 

Very little about America was revealed in the movie. She said that there were no other versions of her in the multiverse, because she came from outside the multiverse, raised by her two mothers. However, in the comics, much has been revealed about her, and this has a great deal of meaning beyond what has been shown so far. She's from a pocket dimension called the Utopian Parallel, a peaceful place outside of reality created by the most powerful magical being in the universe, a man calling himself the Demiurge. The Demiurge was Billy Kaplan, whose soul is actually that of Billy Maximoff. He became Wiccan, a founding member of the Young Avengers. Introducing America Chavez not only introduces yet another possible member of the Young Avengers, it also creates yet another connection to Wanda and her boys. 

Captain Carter

Peggy Carter debuted in "Captain America: The First Avenger" and later starred in two seasons of "Agent Carter." When that show was canceled, actress Hayley Atwell no longer had a role in the MCU. Of course, with the multiverse in effect, never say never! In the Disney+ series "What If...?," the Watcher introduced us to a reality where instead of Steve Rogers getting the Super-Soldier serum, Peggy Carter got it instead. While some authorities objected to the idea of a woman as a superhero, she was brought into combat as Captain Carter, leading Sergeant Fury and the Howling Commandos along with Steve Rogers, who had created battle armor.

Captain Carter wound up in the future thanks to the Tesseract, teaming up with that version of the Avengers. She was plucked by the Watcher (in an outrageous act defying his non-interference oath) to help save the multiverse from an Ultron who had obtained the Vision's body in his dimension. When Captain Carter was introduced to Doctor Strange as "the First Avenger" and a member of the Illuminati, it meant that everything in "What If...?" was not only canon, but that it could have ramifications for the MCU's Earth-616. What this means is that this may not be the last appearance of Captain Carter, both in the MCU proper and in "What If...?," since the Watcher admired her enough to make her one of his "Guardians of the Multiverse."

Tommy and Billy Maximoff

Tommy and Billy Maximoff were in many ways the most important characters in the film. Introduced as her own creations in the Disney+ series "WandaVision," the twin boys were a manifestation of Wanda's terrible power as the Scarlet Witch. Agatha Harkness told her it was the power of creation: The ability to create life where there was none before. At the end of the series, Wanda made things right and uncreated both her sons and her husband, the Vision. At the very end, while studying the Darkhold, she heard them crying out. 

What made their appearance in this film more meaningful is that it revealed Wanda's secret: she modeled her version of the boys after those that existed in virtually every other multiverse except hers. The multiverse manifesting itself in the dreams of people in other dimensions is one of the things that drove the Scarlet Witch to grief-stricken insanity, along with the inevitably corrupting influence of the Darkhold. She dreams about the boys every night, knowing they were real, and the Darkhold gave her a map on how to steal them from another multiverse. 

Beyond that, there's another level of meaning. Knowing that Billy and Tommy are real and not just beings that Wanda created means that they are very much in play for the slow-boil reveal of the potential Young Avengers. By the time the actors playing Billy and Tommy will be needed for those roles, they'll be old enough to step into superheroing. 

Wanda Maximoff of Earth-838

Wanda Maximoff of Earth-838 was simply going about her life as a single mother of Tommy and Billy, unaware that her life was filtering into the dreams of the Scarlet Witch of our Earth-616. The Scarlet Witch used the cursed Dreamwalking technique from the Darkhold to send her soul through the multiverse and possess the other Wanda's body. She used it to do terrible things, murdering dozens of innocents on Earth-838 in order to get what she wanted: America Chavez. 

When the Scarlet Witch finally crossed over to Earth-838, terrorized the boys and attacked Wanda, she realized what she had become. Wanda instinctively knew what was going and told the Scarlet Witch, before she left, "They will be loved." It was a heart-breaking scene. 

However, this Wanda's appearance could have a greater meaning. It's clear that she had the same powers as the Scarlet Witch did prior to learning about her magical legacy and consulting the Darkhold. Given that the Scarlet Witch destroyed the Darkhold-cursed Mount Wundagore and presumably killed herself in the process, she's now gone from the MCU. However, the presence of Wanda from Earth-838 and many other multiverses means that just because the Scarlet Witch is no longer in the MCU, it doesn't mean that Wanda Maximoff has to be. Given all of the timeline shenanigans with Loki and Kang the Conqueror, it's easy to imagine a scenario where this Wanda crosses over into Earth-616 with her boys.