The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s use of the multiverse concept in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has brought it closer to how things work in the comics. The movie sees the protagonist and America Chavez hop into different realities like Earth-838, coming across beings and characters like Gargantos, the Illuminati, and variants of Doctor Strange.
There are references and adaptations of elements straight from the comics in Doc Strange 2 that many fans might have picked up on. These wouldn’t have been understood by casual viewers unaware of the comics, so it’s worth taking a look at the things that the MCU derived from the source material.
Professor X’s Ability To Walk Inside Someone’s Mind
Professor X has traditionally been depicted as wheelchair-bound and this aspect has been carried forward into the movies. The comics also emphasize the powerful mind he has and he can enter others’ minds where Professor X can project himself as if he’s walking.
Doc Strange 2 adapted this element when Professor X entered Scarlet Witch’s mind to search for her Earth-838 variant. He was notably on her feet as opposed to a wheelchair, which was a sight that comic book fans will have understood to be a reference to the source material.
Evil Variants Of Heroic Characters
There have been many alternate Doctor Strange variants in the comics, with quite a few of the evil variety like The Necromancer. Similarly, variants for other characters also tend to be shown in an antagonistic way to establish the goodness in the protagonist.
Doc Strange 2 had an outright Sinister Strange variant and even Defender Strange turned on America Chavez to try and take her life force. The Illuminati can also be considered as antagonists for their part in killing the Doctor Strange of their universe and their intentions to slay the MCU Doctor Strange.
The Illuminati’s Formation After A Major War
There are some different members of the Illuminati in Marvel Comics compared to the MCU, with the addition of Captain Marvel and Captain Carter into the mix. The reason for their formation remained along the same lines, as a big-time conflict was responsible for its formation.
In the comics, the Illuminati formed after the Kree-Skrull when Iron Man proposed making up the group because its members all came from different backgrounds. Doc Strange 2 showed that the Earth-838 Illuminati came into being due to Thanos’ bid for the Infinity Stones, with the group battling the Ma Titan in their version of the Infinity War.
The Book Of Vishanti And The Darkhold As Each Other’s Counterparts
The MCU had earlier introduced the Darkhold in WandaVision and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Book of Vishanti was brought into the picture in Doc Strange 2. Just like in the comics, their purposes were to contrast with one another to be dark magic and white magic alternatives.
Another detail adapted was Doctor Strange’s pursuit of the Book of Vishanti, as the character has been associated with the white magic it provides while rejecting the Darkhold. The comics have the Book of Vishanti in close tandem with the superhero, who keeps it hidden just as the Earth-838 version had.
The Living Tribunal’s Appearance
Among the unexpected developments in Doc Strange 2 was the appearance of the Living Tribunal. The entity does out judgments on matters concerning the multiverse and has a three-headed design. Doc Strange 2 adapted the Living Tribunal’s connection to the multiverse as it was seen when the protagonist and America Chavez were falling through different realities.
Comic book fans wouldn’t have taken more than a second to realize who this character was since the Living Tribunal has such a distinct look. As in the comics, the entity also had three heads in the MCU, although one change was that the comic book Living Tribunal’s heads were attached while the movie version’s were independent.
Death Of Doctor Strange’s Sister
Doctor Strange’s past was referenced in the movie when he mournfully revealed that his sister had passed away when they were young and he carried that trauma with him. This is lifted straight from the comics where the event was shown in a flashback.
His sister was named Donna Strange and perished when she went for a swim but ended up drawing. It was Stephen’s inability for her to save her that led her to his guilt. The movie played true to this point, as the memory of his deceased sibling him was particularly painful for Doctor Strange to bear.
Clea Hailing From The Dark Dimension
The sorcerer Clea showed up at the end of Doc Strange 2 asking for the protagonist’s assistance in the Dark Dimension. Clea might be an unknown character to mainstream viewers, but comic book fans will be aware that the Dark Dimension is her place of origin.
Moreover, Clea is the niece of Dormammu, whom Doctor Strange encountered in the Dark Dimension during the first movie. This was a way for the MCU to connect back to the source material and it wo n’t be a surprise if Clea turns out to be a love interest for Doctor Strange since that’s her role in the comics.
The Appearance Of Throats
Gargantos was responsible for delivering a brutal death to Defender Strange before getting one of his own when his eye was impaled. The creature’s name might have been surprising to comic book fans because its name in that medium is Shuma-Gorath.
Doc Strange 2 incorporated the same design and abilities of Shuma-Gorath into Gargantos, only without its traditional title. The reason was due to Marvel not having the rights to the name, but Gargantos’ appearance is a throwback to the classic antagonist in the comics.
The Unique Designations Of Multiverses
Perhaps the biggest detail to be used from the comics is the practice of designating names to the multiverses. Spider-Man: Far From Home had Mysterio pretend he was from another reality and name the MCU as Earth-616, only for Doc Strange 2 to confirm that this designation is what universes like Earth-838 call the MCU as well.
The practice of assigning numbers has been going on for decades in the source material, where Earth-616 is actually supposed to be the designation of the prime universe of the comics. The MCU was assigned as Earth-199999 prior to this movie, which should open up discussions as to whether the designation has now been retconned.
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