Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated Marvel movies of Phase 4, coming March 2022. The name of the sequel alone has managed to spark hundreds of thousands of theories regarding its plot and after the WandaVision finale post-credit scene, fans certainly can’t wait to see what Marvel Studios has in store for the film. Helmed by director Sam Raimi, the film already has a star-studded cast with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Xochitl Gomez. Today, we’ll take a look at Karl Mordo, who was last seen in 2016’s Doctor Strange, and what role he might have to play in the sequel.
When we last saw Mordo, he paid fellow sorcerer, Jonathan Pangborn, a visit in his workshop during the Doctor Strange post-credit sequence. In it, we learn that Mordo had left Kamar Taj many months after the events of the film took place. He talked about how he had a revelation and that the true purpose of a sorcerer was to “twist things out of their proper shape… stealing power… perverting nature.” He absorbs Pangborn’s power and strips him of it before finishing with what he sees wrong with the world: “Too many sorcerers.”
Following the MCU timeline we’ve prepared, we know that it’s been approximately around 7 years since we’ve seen Mordo. It is possible that during that time, he’s been searching for other sorcerors and possibly absorbing their magic as well. Now, at the time, this ability seemed rather new, but thanks to WandaVision, we know that both sorcerers and witches have the ability to absorb the energy from another magical user, so it is possible that during his time in exile, Mordo could have learned this ability from other persons or means. That plot will certainly carry over into the Doctor Strange sequel, but how exactly is the question.
Marvel Studios has been upping its game in terms of developing more complex antagonists than flat-out villains. What I mean by this is that a lot of the characters that play the role of the “antagonist” to our “protagonist” really present motives that justify their actions and really blur the lines between the standard “good vs evil” motif. Some examples within the MCU are Vulture, Thanos, Killmonger, Baron Zemo, and Agatha Harkness to name a few. I sense that Mordo might do the same in this sequel. Out of all of the characters I mentioned above, Mordo is a character that clearly is a stickler for rules and the “natural order”. Coming into the Multiverse of Madness, I sense Mordo might not play an antagonist to Dr. Strange throughout the whole film, but rather present to us again the team-up dynamic between Strange and Mordo.
Many theorize (myself included) that a world (perhaps even universe) ending event could occur during Multiverse of Madness and Wanda Maximoff aka The Scarlet Witch is at the center of it all. Wanda’s powers at the end of WandaVision have significantly grown since we saw her debut in 2015. Wanda literally had the ability to create her own pocket reality and cast “magic on autopilot” as Agatha Harkness put it. And now that she’s in the possession of the Darkhold, who knows what sort of magic she could learn. The point in case being, whatever Wanda is up to, it’s most likely not going to be good. Especially with that prophecy that Agatha recited regarding the Scarlet Witch. This of course will draw the attention of Dr. Strange who may attempt to put a lock on Wanda and given Mordo’s current goal and interest to stop ALL sorcerors, then at the moment, the two might share a common goal and a common enemy; to stop Wanda Maximoff and make sure that the Scarlet Witch prophecy never comes to pass.
Now, of course, while their interests to stop Wanda align, that doesn’t mean that the two necessarily have the same ideas as to how to stop Wanda. Dr. Strange will probably attempt to help Wanda hone in her powers and pass through her grief in an adequate manner, but Mordo on the other hand might see her as a threat to the natural order and try to stop Wanda Maximoff by any means necessary, including possibly absorbing her power. This goes back to the idea I was mentioning about how Mordo has become a complex character, a character who believes he has the best intentions in the world, but obviously is morally wrong. But for now, we can only wait until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness drops in theaters in 2022.