That's Not Really Doctor Strange in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home,' Right
The trailer for the much-anticipated Spider-Man: No Way Home finally hit the internet last night, delighting fans of comic book movies and finished special effects. It seems like the basic plot involves Peter Parker enlisting Doctor Strange to help wipe the minds of everyone in the world, at least everyone who knows that he’s Spider-Man -- because the kids these days are so damn entitled, they can’t even be bothered to do their own meddling in the Dark Arts.
One of the oddest parts of the story is how Strange casually goes along with this cockamamie plan. He’s supposed to be the Sorcerer Supreme but really only acts “supreme” if we’re going by Taco Bell’s definition of the word. Stange’s mistakes seemingly threaten the fabric of reality itself, and it all began purely to satisfy the whims of a teenager. This has prompted a lot of fans to theorize that the character isn’t really Doctor Strange, but some other character who has magically disguised themselves as Strange (and also somehow mastered his “British guy faking an American accent” voice).
Some suspect that it might really be the MCU’s most famous trickster Loki -- or perhaps one of his many alternate reality variants? This line of thinking was given further credence by Michael Waldron, the showrunner of Loki, who cryptically Tweeted out a lone image of Strange winking.
Then again, he could be another Marvel villain who happens to be famous for winking; Agatha Harkness, who we last saw battling Scarlet Witch in Wandavision. There’s also the possibility that it’s Mephisto -- and sure, fans prophesizing that Marvel’s Devilish villain will show up in the MCU has almost reached the point of a running gag, but it still seems like a distinct possibility here. The film’s storyline, Peter making a deal to alter reality, recalls the 2007 comic arc “One More Day” in which he strikes a similar bargain with Mephisto. And an earlier shot in the trailer in which Peter wades through a crowd of angry protestors may slyly foreshadow that one of the characters is literally a “devil in disguise.”
It also could be that Doctor Strange is just himself, seeing as the Marvel franchise has a long history of heroes making dumbass decisions with horrible consequences. Or, since the movie is using the alternate timeline conceit to rope in characters from previously non-canonical Marvel adaptations, we’re going to go ahead and predict that he’s secretly Mystique.
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Top Image: Sony