‘Doctor Strange’ Review: How Has The MCU Changed?

Doctor Strange hit theaters earlier this week, which has resulted in a lot of new conversation regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its future. While we do know quite a bit about what the studio has planned for the next 4-5 years, there are still (thankfully) many things that remain a mystery. That said, with Marvel’s latest chapter, which has introduced the multiverse and magic, we can’t help but wonder how the rest of universe will be shaped from this.

The rest of this review will contain multiple spoilers for Doctor Strange. If you haven’t had the chance to see it, this is your chance to back out before we jump in.

Here we go.

One way that we see Stephen Strange’s impact to this universe is of course, the usage of the multiverse. It has been made clear that there is an infinite number of realities existing in the big screen Marvel world, and we have a character who is able to travel between them at will. Not only does this open the door for incredible sequences, as we saw in the film during the mirror dimension battle, but also new characters.

It is also mentioned in Doctor Strange that Strange himself has mastered one of the remaining infinity stones. Thanos is seen at the end of the second Avengers flick setting out to find the six stones and claim the Earth for himself. We now know where five of the six infinity stones are hiding, bringing us closer than ever before to the epic Avengers: Infinity War movie.

What came as a surprise to many, including myself, was the mid-credits scene. Thor is aware of the new sorcerer in town, and seeks Strange’s help in finding Odin, who he believes is hidden somewhere in New York. Strange offers Thor his assistance in finding his missing father, meaning we will likely be seeing the Sorcerer Supreme next year when Thor: Ragnarok releases. The other post-credit scene revealed something many fans expected to see; Baron Mordo turning into a villain. He is an iconic evil figure from the comic books, so seeing that they clearly intend to use him in the inevitable sequel wasn’t all that surprising, but still exciting.

Despite all the connections to the current universe seen throughout the movie, the biggest way that this movie has affected what we know is the introduction of true magic. There is an argument that Scarlet Witch is the first magical character in the MCU, but her powers are drawn purely from her exposure to an infinity stone. Doctor Strange has introduced mysticism and sorcery by shaping reality unaccompanied by a stone (although his powers are enhanced when using the Time Gem).

That said, Doctor Strange has proven to not only be one of the best origin stories of all time, but also a revolutionary film. It shows the power that special effects can have, and just what the mighty Marvel Cinematic Universe is capable of. They have taken yet another B-list character, and made him a star. Through the use of creative action sequences, incredible displays of special effects, a fabulous plot, and fantastic performances, Doctor Strange truly is one of Marvel’s greatest films yet, and surely another win for Marvel.

Comic Drops Rating: 8.9/10