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Deconstructing the ‘Multiverse of Madness’ Trailer

(L-R): Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Marvel Studios' DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

It’s that time again, folks! A new Marvel Studios trailer means a new breakdown. Now that everyone’s had a chance to see the trailer, let’s put on our conspiracy theory hats, and discover some sorcerer-sized secrets! We’re breaking down the Multiverse of Madness trailer!

I’m actually a big fan of Doctor Strange. He’s always been one of my favorite characters. And I know that sentiment isn’t shared across MCU fans everywhere, which is fair. But to see his world expand and grow, and having this amazing trailer get into deep cuts from the comics is pure joy for me. So without further ado, let’s begin.

0:00-0:14 — The trailer starts with familiar voiceovers of Wong and Strange from No Way Home (or rather the No Way Home trailer since a lot of this dialogue was changed in the film). Clearly, Strange’s proclivity for tampering with reality is going to come back to bite him in the ass, and we know it.

0:15 — We get our first actual shot in the trailer of a familiar looking watch. This for me is one of my favorite examples of visual symbolism in all of the MCU since this, along with his hands, serve as a constant a reminder for the character of the conversation he and The Ancient One had the night of her death. Strange needs to be grounded and reminded about the fact that his duties as a master of the mystic arts aren’t about him.

0:22 — We see a warped version of New York in what appears to be the Mirror Dimension, hence the buildings getting inverted. However with Strange’s look of confusion, it’s apparent someone is messing with it. Who could it be? I think we find out later in the trailer.

0:32 — We next see Strange in a flooding Sanctum Sanctorum. Whether this is real (like the blizzard filled hallway was in No Way Home) or in the warped version of the Mirror Dimension New York in the shot above is unclear. Which I think will be something we’ll be repeating on a lot more of this analysis.

0:35 — We see Strange cryptically looking out the Sanctum Sanctorum window. If you look at this image though the hair is all messed up. It makes me think this is “a” Strange, but not our Strange. More on that later.

0:39 — We get a glimpse of a hand, and we know who it belongs to! That’s a Hex Bolt, and obviously our first glimpse of returning champ, Wanda Maximoff!

0:40 — Happy to report we get a couple of glimpses of a returning Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). Sad for Strange that she’s getting married, and very clearly not to him (he’s attending the wedding as a guest).

0:41 — We get a quick, creepy shot of a raven. Could they be allusions to the ravens Hugin and Munin from the Thor comics? Hugin and Munin were Odin’s ravens in the comics and warn him of the coming of Ragnarok. None of that really applies here so I doubt it. But who knows?

0:41 — There she is, Miss America! America Chavez has entered the chat! And I think there will be a lot of cosplay jackets coming out soon!

0:42 — We get a glimpse of Wong and he is not looking good. At some point he’s going to get captured and bloodied pretty badly. Hopefully everything works out okay.

0:43 — We see a version of Strange spiraling into an electrified void! However if you look closely, this version of Strange is rocking a ponytail. Perhaps this is a doppelganger? More on that later!

0:55 — Here we go! Another, fuller glimpse of Wanda!

1:10 — “I’m not here to talk about Westview.” Westview was a huge event. And I know it was definitely a larger mistake committed by Wanda. However, each of the Avengers is not above making those mistakes: Tony, Natasha, Clint, Peter Parker, and Strange himself! What matters is that they continue to fight and make things right. And now is Wanda’s chance. Clearly the Multiverse issue is a much larger issue than Westview.

1:21 — We get a glimpse of a dimension that Strange, America Chavez, and Christine are exploring. I love how much this scene builds on the growing scope and scale of these epic sets! Amazing work by the production designers and Andy Park and team. I also love that we get our first front-view of America!

(L-R): Rachel McAdams as Dr. Christine Palmer, Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange, and Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

1:27 — We get our first glimpse of Mordo. Last we saw him, he was on a quest to remove all magic from all the sorcerers on the planet. What does this mean for Strange and Wong? Only bad things, surely!

1:28 — We see bad times headed for Kamar-Taj. The foggy clouds indicate the mystical location will be attacked in this movie, and we’ll be seeing more of that later in the trailer.

1:32 — We get an amazing glimpse of — not Wanda — but Scarlett Witch! She’s working hard on a spell or incantation with her amazing costume on, which looks newer than the suit we last saw in WandaVision! We love her so much!

1:34 — We get a shot of Mordo and Strange battling out with Strange’s hands cuffed in front. He’s holding his own pretty well all things considered!

1:34 — We get another shot of the attack on Kamar-Taj, but oddly enough this looks like it’s at night, and there’s a radical explosion. However, if you look closely in the center, you’ll see the debut of another interesting character from the Doctor Strange mythology — Rintrah — a green-skinned minotaur from the planet of R’Vaal. Rintrah first appeared in Doctor Strange issues #80 and #81. In the comics, Rintrah was an ally of Strange, and helped him defeat a powerful demon named Urthona who mortally injures Strange, and tries to take over as the Sorcerer Supreme.

1:38 — We get a glimpse of Strange pulling up what looks like a dimensional map of different areas in the Multiverse. Perhaps they’re all being attacked by some force?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Stephen Strange in Marvel Studios’ DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

1:39 — We see Strange, America Chavez, and Wong in battle. Strange appears to be conjuring up two green serpents. I’m not 100% sure what this spell is or who the dragon/serpent creatures are. They look very reminiscent of a few of the dragons Strange Supreme absorbed power from in episode four of What If… Could be connected. Maybe not.

1:40 — This one is a big one. We get our first glimpse of the MCU’s version of Shuma-Gorath, who was a huge villain for Strange and first debuted in Marvel Premiere #10 in 1973. It is a being/force of chaos from another dimension and once possessed the Ancient One, which forced Strange to have to kill the original Ancient One to stop it. It looks like Strange will be doing battle on the screen with this chaos being, and America Chavez will be caught in the battle.

1:46-1:50 — The last shot of the trailer features the doppelganger we’ve been alluding to the entire article. It is an evil, creepy version of Strange. There’s been a lot of question about whether this is in fact Strange Supreme from What If… or if this is Necromancer, a version of Strange from Counter-Earth, who did battle with Strange Prime in the Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme series from 1992.

So many burning questions and yet so much excitement! I can’t contain myself! But my brain is fried, and I think that’s because that’s the effect magic will have on a person.

We can’t wait to see what answers lie ahead for us when Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters May 6, 2022!

Stay tuned to The Nerds of Color for all your Multiverse of Madness coverage!

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