WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD...
Last night we saw the release of Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange, the fourteenth film in the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is based on the popular characters that comprise the pages of Marvel Comics.
Much like 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, writers Jon Spihts, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill had to fight the fact that other than the comic book enthusiast, very few know the back story of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Sorcerer Supreme.
As with every Marvel film, there were a pair of bumpers at the conclusion of Doctor Strange, each of which provided some clues to Stephen Strange’s placement within the ever growing MCU.
Let us dissect:
The first bumper, which plays just after the animated closing credits features Ben Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, focusing on the later asking for help with his help with Loki. It confirms that this film takes place during Iron Man 2 and before/during Thor Ragnarok.
The second bumper, which plays at the very end of the scrolling credits, provides a bit more information leading into a possible sequel. It is no surprise that most Marvel characters are treated to at least a trilogy (yes, we are ignoring the injustice served to Hulk), and Doctor Strange appears to be no different.
While the character himself has several enemies within the comic book world, those who follow the books were quick to pick up that the film adaptation throws a bit of a curve ball at the faithful fans, transferring Chiwetel Ejifor’s Mordo from a villain to a friend/mentor of our main protagonist.
Why is this importanat?
The second bumper shows Mordo visiting Benjamin Bratt’s Jonathan Pangborn and yanking the magic away with his bare hands, proclaiming that there are too many sorcerers in the world. The screen then goes black with a promise that Doctor Strange will return.
But we already knew that, and now we know what to expect in regard to the titular character’s future villain. And nothing stings harder than being betrayed by a friend, especially one who will stop at nothing to destroy you and everything you’ve worked to accomplish.
Hopefully the sequel won’t be the final appearance from Ejifor. His Mordo is a fantastic addition to the Universe; but then again, is anyone ever truly dead when it comes to the MCU? I’m looking at you Agent Phil Coulson…and Nick Fury…and Pepper Potts…and Ben Burns.