'Doctor Strange 2': 10 Lingering WTF Questions

It may be the Multiverse of Madness is here, but what even is Wanda's plan?

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
Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture, Video Games, Breaking News
Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Jennifer Bisset
Sean Keane
Richard Trenholm
4 min read
Elizabeth Olsen in her dark red superhero outfit in Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Elizabeth Olsen plays troubled Wanda Maximoff in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.


While it's soaring at the box officeDoctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness saw surprisingly split reviews -- what promised a deep dive into the infinite possibilities of the multiverse, turned out to largely keep to about three. And yet that limited scope still doesn't mean the Doctor Strange sequel, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, makes complete sense.

Let's dive into the lingering questions, loose ends and theories we have about the latest superhero juggernaut.

Read more: Is Doctor Strange 2 streaming on Disney Plus? What to know


10. Why didn't Wanda search for an alternative Vision?

Wanda set her sights on alternative versions of her twins Billy and Tommy to kidnap, so why didn't she search for a Vision who'd survived Thanos? Maybe in every possible version of the Avengers' battle with the supervillain, her love Vision dies (Thanos would have to remove the Mind Stone keeping Vision alive every time). Still, with her suped up Darkhold powers, surely Wanda could seek out the new Vision created in Disney Plus series WandaVision. Their pairing seems a far more feasible reality than the always-doomed idea of stealing an alternative Wanda's children.

Marvel Studios/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

9. Why didn't Wanda find a universe where her other self had died? So she could parent the twins?

Presumably the reason Wanda didn't do this is because there is no universe in which she had died. Yet, if her morals were so tainted by the Darkhold, why couldn't she create another Westview-type Hex and manifest new children for herself once more? Again, the idea of stealing another Wanda's children is rightly pointed out to be a lost cause toward the beginning of the movie.


8. Why is Doctor Strange the same in every universe, but not Spider-Man?

This is the perennial question. Spider-Man is completely different in every universe. He's even someone different to Peter Parker in an animated universe. So why is Doctor Strange the same man, bar varying facial hair and ponytails? Did we just not visit the universes where he's a different person? Or is there only one Stephen Strange, the brilliant neurosurgeon, who goes to Kamar-Taj to become a master of the mystic arts? Meanwhile, elsewhere, many different characters are gaining superpowers from radioactive spiders.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Xochitl Gomez and Benedict Wong star in Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

7. What's the difference between magic and witchcraft?

Wanda is disparagingly called a "witch" several times (outside her moniker the Scarlet Witch), albeit while she's in Darkhold morally questionable mode. However, this still begs the question: Why is her magic considered witchcraft and not straight up magic, same as the sorcerers? Is it because the rune magic in the Darkhold is actually witchcraft? But isn't the Scarlet Witch still a sorceress? It's all very confusing. Also, in WandaVision, her dark powers are defined as the all powerful Chaos Magic. So why not go with that and avoid the more loaded witchy term? Chaos Magic sounds much cooler anyway.

Benedict Wong broods among shadows in Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

6. Is there a universe in which Wong is constantly attacked by clowns?

One of the more questionable ideas put forward in Into the Multiverse: Dreams are really windows into other multiversal realities. One such reality involves Wong being chased down by clowns. So is this happening in a clown universe? If so, the movie missed a trick in not showing us that hilarious scenario.

Xochitl Gomez runs along a dingy street in a denim jacket and cool sneakers in Marvel's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

5. What happened to America's parents?

This is one of those loose ends we assume will be addressed in future Marvel installments. Although Xochitl Gomez's IMDb page doesn't reveal any upcoming Marvel projects, surely this isn't the last we've seen of her multiverse hopping America Chavez.

Marvel/YouTube/CNET Screenshot

4. Who built the Darkhold tomb for the Scarlet Witch?

Someone had the incredible foresight to, well, foresee that the Scarlet Witch would one day become buried in her own ready made tomb on Mount Wundagore -- despite Wanda initially believing it was a citadel in her honor. Who was behind the building project?

Marvel Studios

3. Where's our universe's Mr. Fantastic and Black Bolt?

A new Fantastic Four movie was announced by Marvel (and recently lost its director Jon Watts), so we'll definitely see the heroes on screen again. The question: Will John Krasinski reprise his role as Mr. Fantastic? His cheer-inducing appearance in Into the Multiverse clicks the fan service button, but was it a one off stunt casting or is Krasinski in it for the long run? As for Black Bolt, actor Anson Mount has already appeared on the small screen in the now-cancelled Inhumans series. Could we see him return in the future or, like his universe 838 counterpart, is his Black Bolt gone for good?

Professor X

2. Was universe 838's Professor X a mutant?

Basically, is the existence of Professor X in the Marvel Cinematic Universe confirmation that mutants widely exist? (Technically, Wanda herself began comic book life as a mutant, but has since been treated more as a sorceress.) The X-Men have long been rumored to appear in the MCU, so is Xavier's appearance a precursor to a new movie? We await for more imminent announcements, Marvel.


1. Why didn't Wanda just go to Kamar-Taj with Strange, and grab America there?

If Wanda was trying so hard to be reasonable in her plans, couldn't she have avoided killing dozens of sorcerers by accepting Doctor Strange's proposal to protect America at Kamar-Taj, then surreptitiously kidnap the teen there? She'd already attempted to dupe Strange with her fake apple orchard, so it wasn't like she'd planned to be forthcoming with him from the outset. Simply extend the charade until safely inside the compound's walls and avoid all the fuss.

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