Warning: There are major spoilers in this article detailing the plot and credits scenes of Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness.
by the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessOur hero (Benedict Cumberbatch) has managed to save the multiverse from the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) aka Wanda Maximoff, who was under the influence of the evil magic book known as the darkhold†
That win didn’t come without losses, as Wanda killed an astonishing number of people in multiple universes, all to find a world where she could be with her twin boys. Not only did Doctor Strange see his fellow Avengers plunge into inescapable darkness, but also witnessed said murders, realizing that regardless of the universe, he could never be with the love of his life, Christine (Rachel McAdams).
But his work is not over.
The mid-credits scene takes place sometime after the events of the film. Doctor Strange is accosted on what appears to be a New York City street (where the wizard lives). Who could it be?
The one and only Charlize Theron, in superhero clothes.
She knows who he is, which is not surprising considering he is famous for his travels across the multiverse. He doesn’t seem to know her, but he hears her out. Theron tells him that there is a universe that has a… raid, the Marvel term for when an unstable universe collapses (mainly because of multiverse shenanigans). She asks him for help and he says he is ready to go. The two jump through a portal to save the aforementioned universe and the scene ends.
Theron’s appearance is very similar to that of Harry Styles in the Eternals‘ credits scene, which heralded his future as Eros, Thanos’ brother. Styles’ cameo made fans lose their minds†
Likewise, Theron’s introduction is both a casting announcement – Theron’s name has attached to many rumours and fancasts about Marvel, but it hasn’t been officially announced that she’s signed a Marvel contract — and a draft for Doctor Strange’s next adventures.
One big question, though, is who plays Theron? She wears big futuristic purple shoulder pads, a great eyeliner and her hair is so smooth and straight that it indicates that wherever she comes from has technology beyond flat irons and blow dryers. It’s a costume we haven’t seen before. Based on the uniforms that wizards in training wear at the Kamar Taj magical school – similar from movie to movie – doesn’t look like she’s one of Strange’s disciples. She also has powers, mainly a purple laser light sticking out of her hands, that are unique to the character.
According to the credits, Theron will play a character named ‘Clea’.
The name could be a red herring, a deception, or some sort of composite character that is a very loose interpretation of a character featured in the comic books (see: the Sylvie character in Loki which was based on a few characters important to Thor’s publishing history). But the name “cle” has, in the books, important implications in the world of Doctor Strange. In the comics, Clea is an extra-dimensional creature and a powerful magic wielder who becomes one of Doctor Strange’s most trusted allies. She is also one of Strange’s primary love interests.
In their comic book adventures, Clea and Strange often clash with the villain of the first Doctor Strange movie, dormitory (voiced in that movie) partially by Cumberbatch). In the source material, Dormammu is also Clea’s uncle. And in that first film, Dormammu was not defeated or killed, but came to an agreement with Strange that he would not interfere with Earth. Dormammu is still alive in the MCU, and a potential threat is another way for Marvel to connect Strange and Clea.
Of course there’s a whole bunch of Marvel projects between now and the next Doctor Strange movie. It might be a while before we see Theron play in the MCU, but her casting is undoubtedly big news for Marvel’s future.
In addition to the Theron blockbuster, the film has a second end credits scene at the very end. It’s a joke, not unlike Captain America’s witticisms that were on display at the end of this year Spider-Man: Homecoming† It features Bruce Campbell, who has a cameo in the film as a pizza ball dealer from an alternate world. (In his world, pizza comes in the form of balls.)
Campbell and Multiverse of madness director Sam Raimi are old friends, they started together on the Evil Dead franchisee. Campbell too appeared briefly in all three of the director’s Spider-Man films. This time, Campbell gets to tell the audience it’s all over and go home—until the next Marvel movie, of course.