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Doctor Strange vs. Kang could change the MCU as we know it

Published Mar 2nd, 2023 3:03PM EST
Image: Marvel Studios

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Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is one of the leading Avengers, even though he’s not technically the Earth-616’s Sorcerer Supreme. Due to a technicality (vanishing for five years), Wong (Benedict Wong) took over the role. But, as we saw in Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange is growing incredibly powerful, and his skills will certainly come in handy when facing Kang (Jonathan Majors).

The Doctor Strange vs. Kang battle is one we haven’t witnessed yet, but it’s surely coming in Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars. A Marvel insider claims a mind-bending plot twist in this face-off will directly impact the course of the upcoming Avengers movies. That’s if Marvel chooses to go forward with this story option. Before we explain, know that massive spoilers might follow.

The big Multiverse of Madness cliffhanger begs for Doctor Strange 3

Multiverse of Madness is one of the ambitious MCU movies of Phase 4 that under-delivered. Still, the sequel made nearly $1 billion at the box office, which is a good reason to make Doctor Strange 3.

Doctor Strange 2 also introduced various new concepts that are critical for the MCU and the upcoming Avengers vs. Kang fight. And that’s another reason to do a sequel before Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars hit theaters.

As a reminder, Earth-616’s Doctor Strange caused an incursion after meddling with the Darkhold across the multiverse. And Clea (Charlize Theron) popped up to ask this variant of Doctor Strange to help.

Now Kang (Jonathan Majors) did warn in Quantumania about the multiverse dangers that follow, including incursions.

Furthermore, rumors say we’ll see the first incursion in action in the MCU in The Marvels. This sequel has been delayed to mid-November, unfortunately.

Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer 1.
Kang (Jonathan Majors) in Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania trailer 1. Image source: Marvel Studios

What if the Doctor Strange vs. Kang fight isn’t what you think?

With all that short recap in mind, we can get into The Cosmic Circus’s report about Doctor Strange facing off against Kang. It delivers a mind-bending twist that I’d love to see Marvel tackle, even if it leaked already.

Apparently, Marvel wants to turn the Doctor Strange vs. Kang fight in the upcoming Avengers movies into a matchup similar to what we saw between Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Thanos (Josh Brolin) in Infinity War and Endgame.

There will be a big difference, however, that will make the fight more similar to the Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) vs. Tony Stark conflict in Civil War. That is why you won’t know who to root for:

However, the distinct detail that separates this story from the one told before with Tony and Thanos is the role that Kang will take in this matchup. Kang’s perspective (and the angle Marvel Studios will want to pitch to audiences) is that he’s the hero trying to save the Multiverse from its greatest threat yet… Doctor Stephen Strange.

Evil Doctor Strange has three eyes in new clip.
Sinister Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has three eyes in new clip. Image source: Marvel Studios

Why Doctor Strange would make a great villain

We already saw the notion of Strange being an incredibly dangerous bad guy in What If…? and Multiverse of Madness. Sinister Strange is one of those villainous versions, and he appeared late in Doctor Strange 2. That’s where we learned he’d been dream-walking into other Strange variants and killing them across the multiverse.

The good Doctor Strange fights him for the Darkhold and eventually kills him. But there might be a good reason for Sinister Strange killing his variants. Here’s what Cosmic Circus’s Alex Perez has learned:

According to our sources, Sinister Strange has been terminating his variants to avoid the inevitable future of an incursion between two universes. This is in order to avoid leading to Sinister Strange and his current circumstances in the future.

Think of him as the anti-Immortus. Immortus wants to find Kang Prime so Kang can become Immortus. Sinister Strange is trying to avoid his future from ever happening to other universes. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, it’s inevitable. 616 Strange has already begun an incursion on his own universe, and the consequences will surely be catastrophic moving forward.

Should Marvel embrace this route, we might have a tough choice ahead. Either side with Doctor Strange for doing whatever it takes to prevent a Kang-ruled multiverse. Or agree with Kang’s take and root for the apparent villain of the Multiverse Saga to become He Who Remains.

I’ve already speculated that Kang the Conqueror might not be the villain of Quantumania before the movie came out. He might eventually become He Who Remains, beating the other Kangs with the help of the Avengers. Even if it’s not, there will be a Kang variant on the Avengers team in Secret Wars and Kang Dynasty. And given this new Doctor Strange vs. Kang report, it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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