Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuted a new trailer during the Super Bowl, and it shows off more of Stephen Strange futzing about the multiverse that, apparently, he broke open despite his best efforts to shut it down in Spider-Man: No Way Home. It looks like Strange is in trouble, hauled in front of some kind tribunal—I’m not getting bogged down on which entity or entities this is, there’s no point trying to out-guess this movie—in handcuffs. The takeaway is that a lot of people are after Strange for the things he’s done recently, and all those chickens are coming home to roost.
There are two things that interest me most about this trailer. One is Wanda’s line, “You break the rules and become a hero. I do it and become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.” I mean, okay. Wanda. Let’s talk about this, because honestly, one of the biggest issues with WandaVision is that the show punted the consequences for your actions down the road. Stephen Strange HAS broken some pretty big rules. Wong explicitly told him—and Wong IS his boss—not to do that spell for Peter Parker in No Way Home. Strange did it anyway, and then that whole mess happened, and it seems at least some of this mess is stemming directly from that mess, so yes, Strange should answer some questions about that. But Strange didn’t brainwash and mentally and emotionally abuse a whole town, you know?
WANDA HURT PEOPLE. You cannot just walk away from that. She did, though, because she’s so powerful how is the Army or whatever going to stop her? But that doesn’t mean people just forget what happened in Westview. She was probably already a questionable figure with the public because of what happened in Captain America: Civil War, when she accidentally killed a bunch of Wakandans. Sure, yes, it was an accident. But it’s not a confidence builder in her or her powers. And now she’s even MORE powerful? And she’s once again hurt people? You can see why the public might not like her. I’m just saying, Wanda, don’t act like you don’t know why people don’t like you. You know. We all know.
The other thing that piques my interest is the glimpse of a building at the 1:03 mark that might be the Starlight Citadel. Does that sound like something from My Little Pony? Absolutely, yes. But it’s also home to the Dimensional Development Court, which might be that group of people Strange is hauled before in handcuffs, and it contains the Tower Omniverse, which has a doorway to every plane of existence—seems useful, if you’re multiverse-hopping. Does this all sound stupid? Also yes. But if Madness is going to the Citadel, then they’re going to the Otherworld, home of Marvel’s faeries and some of their strangest, most powerful magic users (it’s also the location of Avalon and Tir Na Nog, the Celtic mythology equivalent of Asgard). Madness could be introducing us to some DEEP Marvel lore about magic and magic users that blows open a lot of possibilities for the MCU. Adding to that is Moon Knight, which will also introduce a bunch of new magic and lore to the MCU. The Super Bowl spot is mostly remixing the first trailer, but brace yourself for a deeply weird year in the MCU.
We also get to see a little of Xochitl Gomez as America Chavez, a dimension-hopping Young Avenger with the power of laser fists, and while there is nothing in the trailer that points to this, the poster features an Easter Egg for Captain Britain. In the poster, the shards of glass reflect different characters. One shard (zoom in) has Captain America’s shield, except instead of a star at the center, there’s a Union Jack. The animated Disney+ series What If… introduced Hayley Atwell as an alternate Peggy Carter who takes the super soldier serum and becomes Captain Britain. It seems we’re going to see Atwell in live action as Captain Britain, especially if that really is the Starlight Citadel in the trailer. The Otherworld, especially Avalon, is tied to Captain Britain and the Captain Britain Corps, a bunch of heroes descended from King Arthur’s Court. Ten to one, we get a Disney+ series with Hayley Atwell and Kit Harington out of this.