MCU Retrospective: Doctor Strange
The time has come to conclude our MCU Retrospective Series with an analysis of Doctor Strange. Over last few months we have been looking back at films like Iron Man, The Avengers, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy — films that have consistently laid the ground work for Thanos’ Infinity War.
How does Doctor Strange factor into all of this? Why was his character introduced to the MCU so late in the game? What role will he play in the Avengers’ cosmic defense of the Earth (and the galaxy) against Thanos? Doctor Strange will have a massive role, as his history in the comic shows a long-standing service of protection against mystical forces like Infinity Gems. So let’s take a brief look back at the film (which was released only last month) and see what Easter Eggs and Infinity Gems Doctor Strange may have introduced to the MCU and how he might be exactly what the Avengers will need in their upcoming fight.
Alternate Dimensions & the Multiverse
When Stephen Strange first met the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, she began to teach him about the various realms that exist beyond our normal plane of existence. She called these “alternate dimensions” and the “multiverse.” Both of these concepts have been explored in science fiction before — like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and The CW’s The Flash. While Thor and the Guardians have visited other planets, they have never visited other dimensions, but Stephen Strange did. He was shot through a million multiverses, then sharply pulled back to Earth. He also spent time in the “dark dimension,” to challenge Dormammu.
According to the Ancient One, each dimension gives off energy, which can fuel dimensional weapons like shields, spears, and the creation of the mirror world. Throughout the film, Strange began to master the use of this energy by conjuring massive shields and weapons in his fight against Kaecilius. This energy will no doubt help fortify Strange in the fight against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. I would love to see him teach these skills to other Avengers, like Wanda/Scarlet Witch.
The Time Gem
Not only did Doctor Strange feature interdimensional travel and multiversal energy, it introduced the time gem! The time gem is incredibly powerful — as we saw in the film — Strange was able to rewind and stop time altogether. He even trapped Dormammu by creating a time loop with the gem.
So far five of the six gems have been revealed: Space Gem (Tesseract), Mind Gem (Loki’s staff/Vision), Power Gem (Orb), Reality Gem (Aether), and Time Gem (Strange). That only leaves the Soul Gem to be found in an upcoming MCU film. With 5/6 gems safely in the hands of The Avengers, the Asgardians, the Xandarians, and Doctor Strange, Thanos is going to have one hell of a time trying to assemble them all.
In the comics, the Time Gem was used to travel backward and forwards in time. It could also accelerate or reverse the aging process in a human being, thus making them elderly or returning them to their infant state. In one comic book storyline, Gamora used the gem to foresee the fate of Adam Warlock. While Adam hasn’t been introduced into the MCU yet, Gamora could still glimpse someone’s future using the gem. Tony Stark actually glimpsed the future when Wanda enchanted him in Age of Ultron. Her powers are derived from the Mind Gem, which may also have prophetic powers.
The Quest of Thanos
It’ll be exciting to see all these characters come together, using different powers to change the fate of the universe. With the combination of the Guardians’ experience wielding the Power Gem, Vision being powered by the Mind Gem, and Stephen Strange controlling the Time Gem, these “Guardian Avengers” are all getting the experience they will need to go up against Thanos. We know that Thanos is coming for the gems (by the Age of Ultron mid-credit scene) and now we know that this super team can beat him. The fear then, is if he does get his hands on the gems, will Earth’s Mightiest Heroes be able to stop him? Perhaps Strange could trap Thanos in the mirror universe where he can’t do any damage… Only TIME will tell 😉
We hope you’ve enjoyed our MCU Retrospective Series! Happy New Years!
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