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Doctor Strange: 5 Impacts on the future of the MCU

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To start things off, this article contains SPOILERS for Doctor Strange. If you have not seen the film, bookmark this page and come back after viewing it. It will make your viewing experience much more enjoyable. But if you do not care about spoilers, feel free to continue.

Doctor Strange is very much a film that can stand on its own. If you have never seen a Marvel film prior to this one, you would not really feel lost. The film is a true standalone movie, as it tells the story of completely new characters, with no previous characters making an apprentice. But at the end of the day, the film does still take place in the MCU. And any film that takes place in the MCU, is going to have an impact on things moving forward.

That is exactly the case in Doctor Strange. While it may seem like a solo effort, there are some major impacts on the MCU in Marvel’s latest release. So enough of the chit-chat, let’s get right into it.

Mordo is going down a dark path

In the comics, Mordo is a villain. So when the promotional material for the film came out, many seemed confused as to why he appeared to be an ally to Strange. Well, it turns out he was a disciple of the Ancient One and looked up to her with great respect. But it was this blind devotion that is going to set him down a dark path moving forward. Stephen Strange was constantly questioning the Ancient One, and finally learned she got her ability to live so long by drawing power from the Dark Dimension, which she preached to never do. Upon learning of her hypocrisy of sorts, Mordo began to question everything he believed in.

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Then the end credit scene seemingly confirmed Mordo will be one of Strange’s adversaries down the road. Mordo is now on a mission to remove all other sorcerers from Earth, and we are going to assume Strange is high on his list. Now we do not know when he will appear again, but we do know next time we see him, he is not going to be a friendly face. Whether he shows up in one of the upcoming Avengers films or is held back until a Doctor Strange sequel, Mordo is set to face off with Strange in the future.

Welcome to the Multiverse

The MCU is now the home of some crazy magic. And a lot of that magic comes from the handful of dimensions that are out there, known as the Multiverse. The introduction of the Multiverse will certainly give the universe the ability to expand into more cosmic and hard to explain phenomena. The Dark Dimension is out there, and we know the Ancient One drew some great power from it.

Marvel can take this in a ton of directions. They can introduce whatever dimension they wish, and use it as an explanation of some new magic or powers that are displayed on screen. I would expect the Multiverse to have a pretty decent sized impact on 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

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Doctor Strange appears set to appear in Thor: Ragnarok

The mid-credit scene sees a familiar face on the scene. Thor has arrived in New York and is having a meeting with Doctor Strange. The scene sees Strange agree to help Thor find Odin, so they Thor can take him and Loki back to Asgard (As Strange is not fond of having Loki on Earth). This quick scene has a few impacts on things moving forward.

First off, it sets up Strange for an appearance in next November’s Marvel film, Thor: Ragnarok. Thor will be coming to New York in search of his father, and his path will obviously cross with Strange’s. Then Strange will be helping in the hunt for Odin, suggesting he will indeed be in the third installment of the Thor franchise, even if it is only for a scene or two.

This interaction of characters is also important as it marks Strange’s first interaction with an Avenger. So when the going gets tough in Avengers: Infinity War, you know Thor will have the Strange card in his back pocket. Thor will likely need to call upon the Doctor when the going gets rough, which will lead to him joining forces with the rest of the team as well.

The Eye of Agamotto is our fifth Infinity Stone

All throughout the film, it was pretty obvious that the green thing inside of the Eye of Agamotto was pretty powerful. It could turn back time and erase some seriously bad events from happening. But it was not until one of the very last scenes that Wong confirmed what many fans suspected: it was an Infinity Stone! The Time Stone to be more specific (Wong does not say this, but it’s pretty obvious).

That means we now know the whereabouts of five of the six Infinity Stones that Thanos will be on the hunt for. As a result, we only have one more stone to find. The leading theory is that the Soul Stone will be in the possession of Heimdall, meaning the stone will show up in Thor: Ragnarok. The introduction of an Infinity Stone is always important, and this is hands down the most obvious connection between the film and the MCU. We now have Infinity Stones in Asgard, Vision’s forehead, on Xandar, in the Collector’s possession, and in Nepal.

Dormammu is still lurking

This one may have snuck past some fans. But technically, Doctor Strange never defeats Dormammu. He simply bargains with him. After annoying the hell out of the big bad, Dormammu agrees to stop pestering Earth so Strange will end the infinite loop they are in. But that means he is still out there in the Dark Dimension and could come back looking to wreak some  serious havoc in the future.

Dormammu is a pretty major villain in the comics, and he could certainly be set up for a big future in the MCU. Doctor Strange was likely just the first chapter for Dormammu, and he will certainly pop up again down the road. Maybe he aligns himself with Thanos, or maybe he is saved for even further down the road. But at the end of the day, Kaecilius and Dormammu never actually die, and both could certainly come back in a future MCU film. Look for Dormammu to be a major player in the coming years.

Doctor Strange was certainly an important piece to the MCU puzzle. What other MCU impacts did you pick up on while watching the film? Tell us in the comments!

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com