The world’s getting to meet Stephen Strange in the flesh this Fall. And while he may be a new name to millions of moviegoers, the doctor has been adventuring for five solid decades already. So, you better believe there’s a real plethora of Dr. Strange stories that a whole series of films could draw from. While this first installment takes plenty of creative liberties with the source material, those who’ve read the comics can make plenty of educated guesses about what supernatural threats will arise to bedevil Benedict Cumberbatch in the future. Some may already be present in this first movie, in fact.
Suffice it to say, spoilers flow freely in the following speculations. Reader beware…
Obviously, it goes without saying that ol’ fame face, Dormammu, may return in a bigger, nastier capacity. Super villains have a tendency to do that. One connection worth pointing out, though, is that ol’ Dormy is actually the uncle of Strange’s on-again/off-again flame, Clea. Reportedly, the crew elected to use Rachel McAdams’ character (a version of Rosario Dawson’s Night Nurse in the Netflix shows, for those keeping track) because they wanted our hero’s love anchors him to the ordinary world. Clea becomes an apprentice of Strange, and even eventually rules the Dark Dimension, so there’s little that’s “normal” about her. And there are certainly a number of ways for her to show up later. Maybe Dormammu introduces her? Maybe she brings Dormammu back? It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture either.
However, despite the dread Dormy’s appearance, there’s actually been a bigger shoe Dr. Strange fans have been waiting to see drop since the movie’s cast was first announced. While both Wong and the Ancient One’s roles have changed a bit from the comics, Chiwetel Ejiofor playing Mordo as Strange’s ally might actually be the most significant divergence from the comics.
Why? Because Baron Mordo is one of three villains who jockey for the “arch nemesis” role in the Doctor’s rogues gallery. He’s a far more prominent adversary than Kaecilius, for sure, so this new conception of the character may now be comparable to Green Lantern’s arch nemesis, Sinestro. While he and Strange start off as fellow disciples, Mordo soon enough betrays their order and makes a failed attempt to kill the Ancient One. Could this “heel turn” be delayed until the sequel, now? Or could there be even more dire threats looming?
Does this tentacled eyeball look like some Great Old One from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos? Well, it basically is. Lovecraft’s colleague, Robert E. Howard, often peppered nods to that cosmology throughout his own pulp stories. When Marvel started publishing Conan comics in the 70s, the company’s writers opted to weave this incomprehensible fiend into their universe. Shuma-Gorath quickly became a key part of Strange’s story, possessing the Ancient One and forcing our Doctor to kill his own master. Just by the measure of attempts versus executions, S.G. here is already a deadlier threat than Mordo.
A dash of the Boogeyman. A pinch of Freddy Krueger. Strange’s first-ever villain, however, is the fear monger known as Nightmare. He has actually served Shuma-Gorath, at times. And like Dormamu, he’s a demon ruling another realm. His domain happens to be called the “Dream Dimension,” so as you might guess, all humans go to there while sleeping. True to his name, Nightmare feeds off their bad dreams, and if he shows up, Strange’s conception of the basic human experience will be challenged even further.
Do any of these names seem like reasonable suspects for future evil-doing? Which villains would you like to see on screen next? Sound off in the talkback!
Image Credits: Marvel