hit theaters Friday, and sent the ‘s grumpy sorcerer on a reality hopping adventure. It brings director back to Marvel for the first time since , leans hard into his signature horror style and one of the two post-credits scenes riffs on an iconic image from early in his career.
The movie takes place after the events of, which saw Strange offering Peter Parker in dealing with the entire world knowing his secret identity.
Let’s step into a portal and explore a universe full of SPOILERS. We also have a separate ending explainer and a list of WTF questions the movie left us with.
In a mid-credits scene, Strange is happily strolling through Manhattan’s streets, having seemingly accepted the corruption caused by his use of the Darkhold. He’s intercepted by a blonde sorcerer in a purple and pink costume (Charlize Theron). She opens a portal to the Dark Dimension, the hellish reality ruled by 2016 Doctor Strange big bad Dormammu.
“You created an incursion and we’re gonna fix it… unless you’re afraid?” she says.
“Not in the least,” he responds, his Darkhold-induced third eye opening.
What does it mean?
She isn’t named until the credits start rolling after this scene, but Theron’s character is Clea — a Dark Dimension magic wielder who’s been in the comics.
She’s the daughter of Dormammu’s sister Umar and Dark Dimension Prince Orini, and became fascinated by Strange during one of his early adventures in that reality. Their paths have crossed many times in the years since, with Clea becoming Strange’s student and later his wife.
Following the events of 2021’s(you can imagine the premise), Clea replaced Strange as . Stephen will undoubtedly be resurrected and return to the role soon though, since status quo shifts like this seldom last long in the comics.
You might have been too busy reeling or screaming with joy when(John Krasinski) explained what incursions were earlier in the movie, but they’re catastrophic events that occur when a multiversal reality crashes into another. (In the comics, this happened in .)
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It’s unclear how Strange caused an incursion — he jumped through a whole bunch of realities in Multiverse of Madness — or what this means for the MCU, but it could see elements from a different cinematic universe crossing into this one.
Such a crossover already created a dangerous scenario (filled with delightful cameos) in No Way Home, so it’s possible we’ll see characters fromreality next. The presence of Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) may have been foreshadowing this.
Or maybe that’s just.
Poppa Pizza returns
In an alternate reality’s Manhattan, rude street vendor Pizza Poppa (Bruce Campbell) earlier accused America Chavez of stealing his precious dough balls. Strange hit the poor guy with a spell to get him off their backs, and they left him to be attacked by his own hand.
The post-credits scene brings us back to Pizza Poppa just as his meat hook’s campaign of violence ends.
“It’s over!” he says joyously.
What does it mean?
This scene is unlikely to have any MCU-scattering implications, since it’s more of an homage to Campbell and Raimi’s relationship. The pair have been friends since high school, and the actor played hero Ash Williams in Raimi’s 1981 breakout feature The Evil Dead. In that movie’s 1987 sequel, Ash’s hand is bitten by one of the undead, becomes possessed and tries to kill him.
Unlike Pizza Poppa, he tries to solve the problem by severing his hand and replacing it with a chainsaw (which is extremely metal). His former hand stalks him for the rest of the movie.
Campbell also shows up in Raimi’s non-MCU Spider-Man trilogy, seemingly playing three different characters. He was a wrestling announcer in the first movie, a snooty usher in the sequel and a French maître d’ in the third. If the scrapped Spider-Man 4 had come to fruition, the actor could have played Mysterio, Raimi confirmed to Rolling Stone.