Doctor Strange is one of the most recent additions to Marvel’s superhero lineup. So far he has only crossed over with Thor, but as we have seen from our first looks at Avengers: Infinity War, he has a significant role to play in the MCU’s biggest team-up yet.
But how will Benedict Cumberbatch’s sorcerer be involved in the war with Thanos?
Doctor Strange’s 2016 solo movie left him as Earth’s first line of defence against any magical and interdimensional threats. We learned recently that, thanks to the time loop that he trapped himself in with Dormammu in the Dark Dimension, he had the chance to experiment with his powers and emerged with greater mastery over them than he had when the battle began.
He is also the guardian of the Eye of Agamotto – aka the Infinity Stone known as the Time Stone. More on that in a moment.
As for other dangling threads from Doctor Strange, there’s his ally-turned-enemy Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and his unresolved relationship with fellow surgeon Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). There is no evidence that either will appear in Infinity War, though, so we can forget about them for now.
Stephen Strange’s possession of the Time Stone is going to have a huge bearing on his role in the movie. Thanos is heading to Earth to retrieve the Infinity Stones that are located there – which also includes Vision’s Mind Stone (and perhaps the missing Soul Stone). The good doctor is targeted for that very reason, and, to be honest, we find it hard to believe that Thanos won’t end up in possession of all six stones sooner or later.
Initially, it looks like Strange will be a big part of the team of heroes that assembles in New York. We’ve seen him and his fellow sorcerer Wong (Benedict Wong) encounter Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) in his non-Hulk form after crashing through the room of their Sanctum Sanctorum base. Trailers and images have also shown him with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
New York is invaded in Infinity War by Thanos’s giant floating spaceship ring – what are you willing to bet it’s there to target Strange?
The trailers have also revealed that Strange will be going up against Ebony Maw (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor) – a member of Thanos’s servants/children, the Black Order. In the comics, Ebony Maw actually controls the doctor’s mind and tricks him into unknowingly betraying his allies.
We’re not sure that the same thing will happen in the MCU, but by the looks of things he does at least capture him and torture him with giant translucent spikes. Grim.
Considering his relative newness to the MCU and the cliffhanger ending of Doctor Strange that showed Mordo turning evil, we expected that Cumberbatch would be sticking around for a while. But with no plans set for his solo movie sequel, we can’t be sure at this point that he will necessarily survive the battle with Thanos. But whatever happens, his importance to Infinity War is assured.
Avengers: Infinity War will be released on April 26 in the UK and April 27 in the US. Book tickets now.
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