Multiverse of Madness is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, specifically is the 28th film in the juggernaut franchise, and it comes with very high expectations. Not only because of its name, but also because it could serve as the climax for the storylines presented in the Disney+ shows Loki, and WandaVision. Multiverse of Madness only fulfills these expectations halfway, as the movie is just about two hours long, and it doesn’t have enough time to make good on all the promises.
Director Sam Raimi comes to save the production from the exit of the original director Scott Derrickson, and does so by applying his style inside the constraints of the Marvel formula. This makes for some fun sequences, but Raimi’s style never feels at home inside the story the movie wants to tell. What is that story? What happens to Strange and the rest of the characters in the movie, and how does it connect with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The answers to these questions are in the following paragraphs, which, of course, contain spoilers. So beware and read at your own risk.
Who Is America Chavez, and Why Is She Important?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness serves as the character introduction to America Chavez. The character, played by Xochitl Gomez, is one of the most important elements for the movie as she serves not only as an emotional anchor but also as a sort of McGuffin. You see, America’s power is that she can travel through the multiverse at will thanks to her portal abilities. This ability makes the character one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe. However, having such a powerful ability becomes very bad news for America, as everybody seems to want to have her power.
Especially Wanda, The Scarlet Witch. Wanda has been mourning the loss of her sons, Billy and Tommy. At the end of WandaVision, she loses them along with Vision, and Wanda is left alone to dwell on the bad things she has done. At the end of the series, she takes control over the Darkhold, an ancient grimoire that has some of the most powerful and dangerous spells in the MCU. The Darkhold also corrupts its reader, just like the One Ring does to its bearer in The Lord of the Rings.
Wanda has been corrupted and wants America’s power for herself. With it, she can travel the multiverse and find her kids alive. Sadly, taking America’s powers from her means that she would die so, at the beginning of the film when America meets our Doctor Strange, it is very clear that she doesn’t trust anyone. Everybody only seems to betray her and want to take her powers for themselves.
During the first half of the movie, America is introduced. Strange and Wong, who is now the Sorcerer Supreme, swear to protect her, but Wanda makes an ultimatum, she asks for America to be given to her. If not, she will attack Kamar-Taj and take America by force. Strange and Wong prepare to fight Wanda, but she is just too powerful. In the middle of the battle, America manages to open a portal and Strange saves her. America wonders if this Strange might be different from the others.
The portal takes America and Strange to a Utopia universe where it was Doctor Strange the one that killed Thanos by sacrificing himself. In this universe, Mordo is the Sorcerer Supreme, but receives Strange with a hug instead of a punch. Strange and American make the mistake of trusting Mordo, and they get trapped by The Illuminati, a group consisting of Mordo, Captain Carter, Captain Marvel’s Maria Rambeau, Blackbolt, Reed Richards, and Charles Xavier. They decide that Strange and not Wanda is the real threat to the Multiverse.
What Happens To The Illuminati In Multiverse of Madness?
However, they are proven wrong when Wanda possesses her version inside the Illuminati’s universe and attacks them. Richards and Black Bolt try to reason with Wanda, but she kills them with ease. Captain Carter also dies when Wanda cuts her with her own shield. Only Captain Marvel seems like a match to Wanda, but she also dies in the process. Later, Xavier tries to get into Wanda’s mind and unlock the original version trapped in there, but he fails.
Strange, America, and a version of Christine Palmer, manage to escape through a tunnel but Wanda captures America, not before sending them through another portal. Strange and Palmer arrive in a universe where Strange failed to save his universe. There they find an evil Doctor Strange, corrupted by the Darkhold, just like in What If episode five. The Doctors fight with our Strange winning and seizing the Darkhold. He will use the spell to possess another version of him. Strange chooses to possess the dead Strange that arrived with America Chavez the first time she arrived in Strange’s universe.
Everything culminates with Strange possessing a zombie version of himself and fighting Wanda with the help of Wong. The spirits of the dead help Strange, and he manages to hold his own against her. America finds the confidence to use her power at will and opens a portal for Wanda to see her kids. She arrives with the version of herself she possessed while attacking the Illuminati. Tommy and Billy see her and are afraid of her. Wanda finally realizes she has become a monster and leaves after the other Wanda assures her that she will protect the kids.
Wanda comes back from that universe and decides to destroy the temple from where the Darkhold was transcribed. Apparently killing herself in the process, finally ending her suffering. At the end, America begins as an apprentice at Kamar-Taj, and she has a hard time learning magic. Strange finally comes to peace with the fact that Christine is not for him, and begins a new chapter in his life. However, as he goes for a walk he starts screaming in pain as a third eye opens on his forehead, just like the Strange that was possessed by the Darkhold.