The following contains spoilers for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness introduces comic book character America Chavez to the MCU - along with a few variants of characters the audience already knows. It also takes the audience on a wild ride through a few different universes as Doctor Strange struggles to keep America safe while fighting a former ally in the Scarlet Witch.

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While quite a few cameos and Easter eggs have already been spotted and dissected by fans thanks to the numerous trailers for the movie, there are still quite a few surprises to spot over the course of two hours. There are plenty of nods to Marvel’s comics, the wider MCU, and even some fun meta nods for fans to pick up on.

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The Book Of Vishanti

The movie’s seeming MacGuffin is a magical book hidden in different realities by the Stephen Strange that resides in them. The book has its root in Marvel Comics as one only used to defend a magic user. The book is supposed to have ever expanding pages (hence, America saying it can be used for whatever the sorcerer needs) and is only supposed to feature good magic. It’s also a bit of product placement as The Book Of The Vishanti: A Magical Explanation Of The Marvel Universe was released by Marvel for purchase in 2021.

More than that, the book alludes to the Vishanti. The trio are magical god-like beings who appear to be the root of magic in the main universe in Marvel Comics. They are the ones who give the first magical practitioners their gifts.

The first Doctor Strange variant the audience meets going after the book is also an Easter egg. He’s dubbed “Defender Strange” because his costume and ponytail are a nod to his role in the Defenders team in the comics that included Hulk and Namor.

Michael Waldron Cameo

Michael Waldron is the writer behind both Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and the Loki series on Disney Plus. He also makes his acting debut in the Doctor Strange sequel. Waldron appears as best man to Christine’s new husband Charlie at the start of the movie.

Gargantos

The one-eyed, many-tentacled monster that pursues America Chavez into the main universe is Shuma-Gorath in the comics, but had to be renamed due to copyright reasons for the movie.

Marvel fans will have recently seen the same monster in Marvel’s What If…? on Disney Plus.

Stephen Strange’s Watch

Stephen’s watch, despite its broken glass face, has been close by him in every movie appearance. Fans already knew it was a gift from Christine Palmer, but they might not have noticed one interesting detail about it.

The cracks in the glass are almost exactly the same as the pattern of lines that make up the metal work for the Eye of Agamotto that Stephen wears, and the metal work for the large window of the Sanctum Santorum on Bleecker Street.

Master Hamir And Rintrah

Master Hamir is the sorcerer who protects America while the rest of the sorcerers are busy fighting Wanda. He also happens to be one of the first sorcerers Stephen Strange met in the 2016 movie. He mistook Master Hamir for the Ancient One.

Rintrah is the minotaur-like being seen fighting alongside the sorcerers. While he doesn’t get much screen time in the movie, he’s an interesting figure in the comics. He’s actually from another planet, but has an innate ability for magic. He becomes Stephen’s apprentice for a time, and eventually, a teacher.

Bruce Campbell

Actor Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi have been friends since they met in high school and have completed a ton of projects together, most notably the Evil Dead movies, which stemmed from a short film they worked on together. Campbell has appeared in a role in nearly every Raimi project since.

In The Multiverse Of Madness, Campbell has a cameo as a vendor in one of the universes America and Stephen visit. When he becomes aggressive with America after she doesn’t pay for her food, Doctor Strange places a spell on him that makes him aggressive with himself instead. Campbell even gets the post-credit scene spot to give the audience a meta joke. As the spell ends, he looks right in the camera to tell the audience, “it’s over,” before the screen fades to black.

Earth’s Mightiest Hero

When America and Stephen search for the Doctor Strange of the universe they first land in together, they instead find a monument to him, labeling him as “Earth’s mightiest hero,” a phrase often used to describe the Avengers.

Of course, before they get to that universe, they also pass through over a dozen more universes. It’s hard to tell if all of them are meant to be analogous to worlds in the comics, but one has dinosaurs like Marvel’s Savage Land, and another appears to feature the comic book character of the Living Tribunal.

Wundagore Mountain

The mysterious mountain that has its own magical properties where Wong takes Wanda when she’s searching for an alternative to the Darkhold has its origin in Marvel Comics as well. The spells from the Darkhold being carved into the stone is a reference to the Darque Hold, the cavern in which Chthon originally placed his spells in Wundagore Mountain. Even the stone sentries guarding the Darque Hold resemble Chthon.

That’s also the same place where Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are actually born in the comics. Chthon gives her magic upon her birth. While the god of chaos is also referenced as having created the Darkhold in the MCU, no more about him is revealed.

The Universe Designations

When Stephen meets the Christine Palmer of another universe, she references Steven-838. That number provides the designation for the universe she’s from.There isn’t a comic book universe with that designation, but there is one designated Earth-616, the one she assigns to the Stephen Strange the audience knows from the main timeline of the MCU.

616 is the designation given to the main timeline of the comics as well. The numeric sequence has been referenced in the MCU before. Even in Agents Of SHIELD, the main team is designated as SHIELD-616 in their original mobile unit before their timeline diverges. None of the other universes in the film get official designations.

The Baxter Foundation

Christine Palmer and the Illuminati of Earth-838 are funded by the Baxter Foundation, which is convenient since one of the Illuminati is Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four.

The Baxter Building is the original living and working space of the Fantastic Four of the comics. It provides the office space for numerous scientists over the years in Marvel Comics, and fans have long speculated that Avengers Tower would eventually become the Baxter Building in the MCU, though that hasn’t happened.

The Illuminati

It’s hard to label the members of the Illuminati as Easter eggs since they are all characters the majority of the audience will recognize from other timelines. Baron Mordo’s similarities to his main MCU counterpart are even remarked upon by Stephen. There are Easter eggs associated with each of these versions of familiar characters though.

Captain Carter is akin to the Peggy Carter presented in Marvel’s What If…? series on Disney Plus, but this is her first live-action appearance with Hayley Atwell reprising her role. She fully commits herself to being this universe’s version of Captain America as she even says, “I could do this all day,” a phrase he uses in many movies.

The Captain Marvel here is Maria Rambeau instead of Carol Danvers, giving the character a chance to be a superhero as so many fans thought she would be.

Blackagar Boltagon is also known as Black Bolt. He’s the king of the Inhumans, and though he’s played by Anson Mount, who also played the character for Marvel’s short-lived Inhumans series, he looks closer to his comic book counterpart, complete with tuning fork on his head to help aim his deadly vocals.

Professor Charles Xavier uses his telepathic abilities to get inside the mind of Wanda Maximoff, demonstrating that, like in the comics, he’s one of this universe’s most powerful telepaths as well, though mutants don't get a mention. Interestingly, he’s using a yellow motorized chair, like his 1990s animated counterpart, suggesting the character is based on the animated version, not the FOX live-action movie version. That being said, his quote about someone stumbling and losing their way is lifted from X-Men: Days Of Future Past.

Reed Richards appears in the MCU for the first time, and he is played by popular fancasting choice John Krasinski. Fans have been requesting the casting since long before the rights for Fantastic Four went back to Marvel Studios. It’ll be interesting to see if the actor reprises the role in the main MCU continuity.

Charting In The ‘60s

When Reed introduces himself as a member of the Fantastic Four, Stephen doesn’t recognize his name, but he does make a comment on the team name. He jokes that they, “charted in the ‘60s.”

While that’s definitely a nod to the naming conventions of music groups in that decade, it’s also a nod to Marvel’s First Family’s origin. They made their comic book debut in August of 1961 with the first issue of Fantastic Four.

Ultron’s Sentries

The robotic guards that detain Stephen Strange and take him to see the Illuminati are designed to look just like Ultron’s sentries from Avengers: Age Of Ultron. In this universe, it appears that Ultron never became a villain, or was at least reprogrammed in some way.

The sentries even say “Ultron” out loud, so it’s not simply a design choice.

Familiar Musical Cues

Fans of Marvel movies and TV will recognize some musical cues used in the movie. Not everything is freshly composed for the movie.

When Wanda Maximoff dreams of her sons, the music shifts into the theme from WandaVision. As Professor Charles Xavier’s chair comes into frame for the Illuminati, the theme from the ‘90s X-Men animated series plays. Captain Carter gets Captain America’s theme played for her. The music allows the audience to see just which properties the characters reference even more so than their appearances do.

Disney References

Fans often look for hidden Mickeys in Disney properties, but this movie features a different Disney character. Billy and Tommy Maximoff are watching an old animated property in the living room when they try to get their mother’s attention as Scarlet Witch takes her over. That animated property is actually an old Oswald The Rabbit short. Oswald was Walt Disney’s precursor to Mickey Mouse. He’s gone through plenty of changes over the years as part of Disney’s legacy, and not as well known as the Mouse.

When America sends Wanda back to the same universe to show her the boys one more time, the brothers are watching TV again. This time, it’s another older Disney property, the animated version of Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. That’s fitting since it’s one of the live-action adaptations Disney has planned, and it’s also a story in which the princess discovers that someone she thought she could trust was actually trying to kill her, not unlike the boys seeing a witch who looks just like their mother in their living room. Wanda's use of mirrors also gives her something in common with the Evil Queen.

Disney fans often look for hidden D-23s in Disney properties as well. D-23 is a club for Disney fans that offers members exclusive content and merchandise. While there isn’t a D-23 explicitly in the movie, there is a D-24. The polycarbonate chamber that America is held in is designated D-24 on the screen when Christine is having trouble getting it to unlock. That would mean that Stephen was likely held in D-23.

WandaVision On Television

When Professor Xavier enters Wanda’s mind to try to reach the Wanda of Earth-838, he finds her buried in rubble. That rubble is reminiscent of just what happened to Wanda and Pietro as children, when they were buried in their home in Sokovia by a Stark missile.

This is only further solidified because that same story is the beginning of her Scarlet Witch abilities, according to Agatha Harkness in WandaVision. WandaVision’s first episode happens to be playing on the television that’s right outside the rubble when Professor X walks up and tries to help her.

In addition to actual footage from the show, the movie also gives fans a very specific nod to Wanda’s relationship with the sons she created. In WandaVision, she tells them, “A family is forever. We could never truly leave each other, even if we tried.” Wanda-838 says the same line to Billy and Tommy when she tucks them into bed.

Donna Strange

In order to prove to Stephen Strange of the universe that has experienced an incursion of another reality, Stephen-616 tells the story of his sister’s death in a frozen pond when they were kids. Donna is Stephen’s sister in the comics (he also has a brother named Victor in the comics), and the scene is reminiscent of her comic book story in which she dies while swimming, a story that was cut from the 2016 movie.

Sinister Strange’s Magic

Sharp fans who also watched WandaVision will notice that both Wanda and the “Sinister Strange” have darkened fingers as a result of their dealings with the Darkhold. That’s not the only interesting thing about their use though.

While Wanda’s magic is always shown through red light to signify her chaos magic, that of sorcery is always yellow. It’s just one way to show the differences in their magical abilities. Sinister Strange, however, has purple as his magical color. That’s the same color Agatha Harkness’ magic is in WandaVision. Purple has come to denote dark magic in the MCU as a result.

The Third Eye

Sinister Strange has a third eye when he battles Stephen, and just before the end of the movie, Stephen finds himself gaining that third eye as well. This isn’t necessarily an indication that the 616 version of Stephen is becoming as dark as that version. Instead, it’s a sign of his power growth.

In the comics, that third eye is actually a manifestation of the Eye of Agamotto. That’s the same relic Stephen typically wears around his neck and has been using since the first movie. Having the third eye might be an indication that he can call on that power directly now instead of using the relic.

The Gap Junction

The Gap Junction is a space between universes that Stephen-838 creates in order for a magical user to access the Book of Vishanti in an emergency. It’s also very similar to what would be a Nexus Point in the comics.

Nexus Points are gateways to other realities. Presumably, this junction existing between realities means it can be accessed by more than one doorway. The audience just happens to see one. That’s likely true given that the Gap Junction looks exactly the same from Earth-838 as it does in Stephen’s opening dream sequence.

It’s also worth noting that the design of the Gap Junction’s stained-glass panels includes a lot of stars. Stars are something of a motif when it comes to multiversal travel. There are also stars all over America’s jacket, and her doorways to new universes are star-shaped. That’s all a callback to the comics. When she kicks or punches a new opening to reality, it’s also star-shaped.

The Souls Of The Damned

If fans watch the credits, they might recognize some names voicing the souls of the damned that Doctor Strange uses to help him get to the Scarlet Witch.

One is Richie Palmer, who has worked on 24 different projects for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting as a production assistant on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He’s one of the co-producers for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.

Another is Scott Spiegel. The actor and director might be best known for his connection to the Evil Dead franchise. Like Bruce Campbell, he’s a frequent collaborator of Sam Raimi’s and appeared in cameos in Raimi’s Spider-Man movies as well.

America’s Jacket

Fans hoping that America Chavez would be an out and proud queer character as she is in the comics might be disappointed that it’s never addressed in the movie. Instead, there are a couple of Easter eggs on the jacket she wears in the movie to allude to that.

Not only does she have a rainbow flag pin on her jacket, but she’s also got plenty of artwork and writing that looks like she did it herself during her travels. Some of the writing features the phrase, “Amor es amor,” which is “love is love.”

The Mid-Credit Scene

In the middle of the credits, the audience is treated to a look at a brand new character. Stephen Strange, walking down the street and minding his own business, crosses paths with a woman in purple played by Charlize Theron, who was rumored to be up for a role. Comic book fans will recognize her clothing design and her ability to cut a hole in reality as Clea. She’s also credited as Clea in the credits.

She’s actually the niece of Doctor Strange villain Dormammu, and the daughter of the former ruler of the Dark Dimension. Though she typically needs to return to the Dark Dimension frequently to maintain her powers, she also gets banished by others to different dimensions frequently. She’s Doctor Strange’s longest-running love interest, and she even becomes Sorcerer Supreme herself at one point.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is now in theaters.

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