In the wake of New New Star Wars annihilating the box office, Marvel wants to remind us that whatever money the Force didn’t claim goes straight into Tony Stark’s piggy bank, so they get the last cover the year from Entertainment Weekly to introduce Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Stephen Strange. This is our first official look at The Batch in costume, though we’ve already seen him on set rocking a sadness beard. I know some nerds have gone off the idea of Cumberbatch as Strange because he became the too-obvious pick, but this is the superhero he should be playing. He looks GREAT.
I’m really glad to see that they’re going with Strange’s melodramatic comic book style for his costume. Over the last couple years, the Avengers’ costumes have developed a samesies body armor look, so it’s refreshing to see a new hero with a totally different, borderline bonkers look. The Doctor Strange comics are super weird, and in the EW profile, Marvel boss Kevin Feige promises that the movie will honor the psychedelic roots of the comic. GOOD. The best Marvel movies are the ones that that feel distinctly of their own world (see also: Guardians of the Galaxy, the Captain America trilogy, Iron Man 3). Let Doctor Strange be balls-out weird and watch it be yet another unlikely Marvel success story.
So what’s it about? Well, despite swearing up and down that they’re done with origin stories, Doctor Strange sounds an awful lot like an origin story. But the details are under wraps—EW identifies Mads Mikkelsen as the central villain but not what character he’s actually playing, ditto for Rachel McAdams as the female lead. This is Feige’s pet project, so it’s under a lot of scrutiny, even by Marvel’s paranoid standards. Not a lot is leaking out of this ship. I don’t expect we’ll see a whole lot from this movie until the trailer next year, so enjoy this look at The Batch in all his Strange glory.