Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has been dividing Marvel fans across its opening weekend, as some suggest that the sequel ruins WandaVision, the Disney Plus series centered on Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff.
Following on from the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, the movie sees Benedict Cumberbatch’s titular sorcerer try to protect teenager America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), as she’s pursued by a relentless enemy who’s keen to steal her dimension-hopping powers. It acts both as a follow-up to 2016’s Doctor Strange and last year’s WandaVision, which tracks the transformation of Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) into the Scarlet Witch, following the death of Vision (Paul Bettany).
As those who have watched it already know, the show ended with Wanda freeing those she’d trapped inside her fake life at Westview, and saying goodbye to her conjured-up versions of Vision, and their sons Billy and Tommy. Its post-credits scene, however, teased a less peaceful future for Wanda, as it caught up with her living in the middle of nowhere and poring over the Darkhold, a fabled collection of evil spells.
Doctor Strange 2 leans into that tease, as Wanda fully embraces her dark side. Some have described the film as an earned continuation, while others have been left disappointed by its approach to the character.
All I wanted was for MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS to integrate ~ all ~ aspects of Wanda’s journey into her arc: the good, the bad and the ugly. And because of the scheduling reshuffle and WANDAVISION released first **SPOILERS** they chose to *only* focus on the bad and the ugly. pic.twitter.com/WZCkEhHE1FMay 7, 2022
One viewer took to Twitter to describe it as a “slap in the face to WandaVision fans”, as they claimed (opens in new tab): “It’s one thing for a movie to be boring, silly, whatever. This just kind of didn’t make sense to me. It didn’t feel believable and the story has huge consequences to her character.”
“More like DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE COUPLE OF UNIVERSES OF MADNESS that actively ignore Wanda’s arc in WANDAVISION,” wrote another (opens in new tab), as someone else claimed (opens in new tab): “I’ve reflected on the new Doctor Strange movie overnight and…it’s bad. And grossly sexist. And it ruins WandaVision. Two thumbs down.”
“I’m gonna say it, I’m not ENTIRELY on board with where they took Wanda’s character arc in MoM. Feels like they just kinda undid much of the growth she seemed to have gone through in WandaVision,” argued a fourth (opens in new tab).
#Wanda at the end of WandaVision: studying the darkhold & hearing her children. Wanda in #MultiverseOfMadness : corrupted by said darkhold mcu fans: “multiverse of madness ruined her arc from wandavision” me: ???????? pic.twitter.com/grleBtyRglMay 8, 2022
For those of you saying that Wanda becoming the villain in #MultiverseOfMadness completely ruins her character arc in ‘WandaVision’, you CLEARLY haven’t read anything about Scarlet Witch in the comics or you weren’t actually paying attention during the ‘WandaVision’ finale. pic.twitter.com/y9W8FhOEPOMay 9, 2022
On the flip side, another tweeted (opens in new tab): “I was really worried that Multiverse Of Madness would not meet my expectation especially as a massive WandaVision fan but I’m so glad to say that the movie gave me everything I wanted from it aa a continuation of Wanda’s story.”
“I definitely have my criticisms of Doctor Strange 2’s inconsistent logic & flawed narrative, but the criticism that Wanda’s arc undoes everything she learned in WandaVision is not one of them,” ScreenRant’s Alisha Grauso chimed in (opens in new tab). “Human growth is never a perfect hockey stick curve. Setbacks and plateaus are reality.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in cinemas now. For more on the movie, check out some of our pieces below. Be warned if you’ve not seen it yet, though, some of them contain spoilers…
- Doctor Strange 2 ending explained
- Doctor Strange 2 post-credits scenes explained
- The Illuminati in Doctor Strange 2, listed and explained
- Our guide to Marvel Phase 4
- The rumored Doctor Strange cameos that never came true
- All the Doctor Strange 2 Easter eggs listed
- What does 616 in Doctor Strange 2 mean?
- Where does Doctor Strange 2 fit on the Marvel timeline?
- Who is Hayley Atwell in Doctor Strange 2?
- Who plays Captain Marvel in Doctor Strange 2?
- Who is Charlize Theron in Doctor Strange 2?
- Who is John Krasinski in Doctor Strange 2?
- Who is Black Bolt in Doctor Strange 2?
- The TV history of the Darkhold, explained
- Patrick Stewart is Professor X – but not the one you think
- Our full WandaVision recap
- The Marvel movies and shows to watch before Doctor Strange 2
- When is Doctor Strange 2 on Disney Plus?
- How to watch the Marvel movies in order
- Is Doctor Strange 2 too scary for children?