'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' could set up Secret Wars as MCU's next colossal crossover event
The movie could feature the Incursions, cataclysmic events where one universe bleeds into another, destroying both. In the comics, the Incursions were caused by one universe dying prematurely but the MCU could introduce the phenomenon as a consequence of 'Avengers: Endgame'.
Marvel is set to take things to a whole new level with ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’. The movie, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme, is expected to explore at least a few of the infinite alternate worlds that make up the Marvel multiverse and change things permanently for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) moving forward.
Just by including the word “multiverse” in the title, Marvel has made the second ‘Doctor Strange’ movie the most anticipated movie of Phase 4. Though ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ teased parallel Earths, ‘Doctor Strange 2’ will be the MCU’s first real step into the multiverse and the movie could potentially set up one of the biggest events in Marvel Comics history: Secret Wars.
The original ‘Secret Wars’ storyline was explored in a twelve-issue comic book crossover limited series published from May 1984 to April 1985 by Marvel Comics. In the story, the mysterious being known as the Beyonder brought heroes and villains from Earth to a planet called Battleworld and pitted them against each other.
More recently, all the universes that make up the Marvel Comics multiverse were destroyed by a phenomenon called the Incursions and their surviving fragments were used to create a brand-new Battleworld, ruled by God Emperor Doom.
‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ could feature the Incursions, cataclysmic events where one universe bleeds into another, destroying both. In the comics, the Incursions were caused by one universe dying prematurely but the MCU could introduce the phenomenon as a consequence of either Thanos’ snap or the Avengers’ adventures with time travel in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, something the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) warned could have dire consequences.
The second ‘Doctor Strange’ movie would be a great way to bring in the Beyonder as the major villain of Marvel’s next great saga. The screenwriters of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ have already expressed interest in adapting ‘Secret Wars’ for the big screen. "I have to read ‘Secret Wars’ again. It’s literally been ten thousand years", ‘Endgame’ screenwriter Stephen McFeely told Screenrant.
The Russo brothers have also previously mentioned that they would be interested in seeing ‘Secret Wars’ on the silver screen, "If Disney's takeover of Fox goes through, there's a lot more characters to work with all of a sudden," Joe Russo said back in 2018. "It might be interesting to do something like Secret Wars."
Now that the Fox-Disney merger has become a reality, the MCU will probably look to revisit the idea of doing a ‘Secret Wars’ crossover, bringing together all the new and old characters they now have access to. If the storyline does make it to theaters, we could be looking at a crossover that would put the final battle scene in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to shame.
Ten years ago, if someone had said we would see Captain America wielding Mjolnir on the silver screen, they would have been laughed at but the MCU has already made that a reality. Seeing the Fantastic Four and the X-Men fighting alongside the Avengers is every comic book geek’s greatest dream, one many saw as a false hope until the Fox-Disney merger. Here’s hoping the MCU can find a way to make that dream a reality sooner rather than later.
'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' will arrive in theaters May 7, 2021.