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'Doctor Strange 2': Everything to Remember Before Watching

Here's what to remember from the Marvel Cinematic Universe before jumping into the mayhem of Doctor Strange into the Multiverse of Madness.

Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset
Jennifer Bisset Former Senior Editor / Culture
Jennifer Bisset was a senior editor for CNET. She covered film and TV news and reviews. The movie that inspired her to want a career in film is Lost in Translation. She won Best New Journalist in 2019 at the Australian IT Journalism Awards.
Expertise Film and TV Credentials
  • Best New Journalist 2019 Australian IT Journalism Awards
Jennifer Bisset
3 min read

Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.


The latest Marvel juggernaut is almost live on Disney Plus, but you might want to do a tad of prep before diving in. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, aka Doctor Strange 2, passed half a billion at the box office after a week. It references previous Marvel movies (the original 2016 Doctor Strange came out six years ago!) and the Disney Plus TV shows, so hopefully you're well versed on what came before.

If not, here's your cheat sheet for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everything that ties into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Note: Major characters you should be aware of are Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor).


Doctor Strange (2016)

First things first, let's look at the movie that introduced us to the cloak-wearing, magnificently goateed Doctor Strange.

Key takeaways:

  • Dr. Stephen Strange was a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon before a car crash severely injured his hands
  • Rival surgeon Nicodemus West (Michael Stuhlbarg) operates on Strange's hands, but fails to fully restore them
  • Strange learns to be a master of the mystic arts at Kamar-Taj, a secret compound in Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Sorcerer Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) helps train Stephen before becoming disillusioned with their master's contradicting morals and renounces his life as a sorcerer
  • Strange and Christine Palmer, an emergency surgeon, were lovers before Strange disappeared to Kamar-Taj. They're still friends after he becomes a superhero

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

This is the movie where Doctor Strange makes his biggest ever superhero play.

Key takeaways:

  • Doctor Strange uses the Time Stone to view millions of possible versions of the future to find the single iteration where the Avengers beat Thanos
  • Still, Wanda Maximoff is forced to destroy her love, Vision (Paul Bettany), and the Mind Stone in order to prevent Thanos from securing it (to poor Wanda's even greater despair, Thanos later reverses time and kills Vision again)

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Strange's master plan is enacted in the final Avengers movie, but the cost is dear.

Key takeaways:

  • Doctor Strange disappears for five years when Thanos wipes out half of all life in the universe in what's known as the Blip
  • Strange returns when Tony Stark uses the Infinity Gauntlet to bring everyone back and destroy Thanos. However, Tony dies in the process -- a fate Strange had already witnessed

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

The idea of the multiverse is a big feature of the latest Spider-Man movie, in which Doctor Strange plays a huge role.

Key takeaways:

  • When Peter Parker asks Doctor Strange to cast a spell that makes everyone forget Spider-Man, it goes wrong and breaks open the multiverse
  • In order to protect the multiverse, Doctor Strange casts a spell that erases Peter Parker from everyone's memory

WandaVision (2021)

WandaVision is a miniseries on Disney Plus. It explores Wanda's growing powers and what happened to her after Vision died in Infinity War.

Key takeaways:

  • After the events of Endgame, Wanda travels to a lot in Westview where she and Vision had planned to live together. In her grief over Vision's death, she manifests a new version of Vision and a Hex that traps the entire town
  • Inside the Hex, Wanda has twins Billy and Tommy who quickly age up to 10 years old
  • The twins and Vision disappear when Wanda decides to collapse the Hex and finally free the tortured residents
  • When Wanda goes into hiding, she hears the twins cry for help as she studies the Darkhold, a collection of evil spells

What If...? (2021—)

Marvel's What If...? is an animated anthology series that explores alternative timelines in the multiverse. Basically, it shows what would happen if different characters became heroes or gained another hero's powers.

Key takeaway:

  • In one universe, agent Peggy Carter receives the serum that turned Steve Rogers into a super-soldier. She becomes Captain Carter

And that's it! Hopefully you've bagged enough knowledge to tackle the latest Marvel behemoth. Best of luck and enjoy the movie!

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