With issue #15 (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) hitting theaters in 48 hours, last night I rewatched issue #14 to get back in the Marvel mood. Doctor Strange is one of my favorite of the origin story movies. It’s such a simple, linear tale, but it almost has to be with the trippiness of the MCU’s mystical universe finally unveiled. The film wastes no time showing you how different magic is in the MCU than in other universes by opening the film with Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One fighting her rogue disciple Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) in a New York that’s shifting while they fight like it was being operated by a bemused entity with a really cool kaleidoscope handy. This reality-shifting of Marvel’s capitol city was my favorite part of the film, taken to even greater heights later when Mordo and Strange are running from Kaecilius and his zealots.
Marvel has said that the MCU is going to be very different post-Avengers 4. It may not work on the “phase” system. It may be just an interconnected universe without a strict plot through line. However it shakes out, Stephen Strange is going to be a big part of how it looks, and I can’t wait for the sequel now that we all know the players and the ground rules. Since Strange 2 is at least three years away, remember you’ll be seeing him in November’s Thor: Ragnarok and in Avengers: Infinity War. Seeing him interact with some of the established heroes is going to be a blast. I especially want to see this moment recreated from the comics.