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Doctor Strange 2 Makes A Real-World Retcon Stupider Than Eternals

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Warning! SPOILERS for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness makes a real-world retcon that’s even more farcical than those of Marvel’s own Eternals. The narrative of Eternals is set predominantly after the events of Avengers: Endgame, but it makes several historical revisions while establishing its context. The absurd real-world changes in Eternals’ narrative, however, are now overshadowed by a retcon in Doctor Strange 2 that has ludicrously enormous scope.

The Eternals are explained to have historically protected Earth and aided humanity’s development. As such, several real-world events are retconned for the movie’s explanation of the Eternals’ origin, stretching their influence all the way back to the inception of agricultural cultivation. Eternals also indicates that the titular group of near-immortals had encounters and relationships with several popular figures from history and legends, including King Arthur and King Midas. The retcons of Eternals do not disrupt the narrative of the MCU, but they do provide a new perspective on its historical events.

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Related: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Ending Explained (In Detail)

In Doctor Strange 2, the powerful America Chavez explains that dreams portray events that are occurring in alternate realities, rather than simply imaginary content. While Eternals’ retcons are bold, they are confined to historical events. Comparatively, Doctor Strange 2’ dreams retcon disrupts the timeline of events as understood in the MCU. The revelation that dreams illuminate events occurring in another universe certainly provides an interesting narrative to the film, but the scope of this revelation is broad and absurdly transformative to the MCU.

The concept is applicable to every dream, as explained by America’s admission that she doesn’t dream as she has no multiverse variants. Doctor Strange’s dreams of falling are explained to be a result of his sinister variant, who is guarding the Darkhold, killing other Doctor Strange variants in alternate universes. Alternatively, Wong’s dream of him being chased by a clown is not explained, but it is nevertheless comically verified to be an event experienced by a variant of Wong in another universe. The dream retcon seems interesting while confined to the narrative of Doctor Strange 2, but it is an undeniably problematic concept in the wider perspective of the MCU.

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Dreams have already happened in several Marvel Studios productions set in the MCU, and their significance is now altered, perhaps even ruined, by the Doctor Strange sequel’s dreams retcon. Though the connection between dreams and the multiverse could prove exciting for the story of Doctor Strange 3, it has an adverse effect on the MCU. Notably, dreams have been portrayed in the MCU as a format for illuminating trauma experienced by characters. Tony Stark seems to remember the distressing events of The Avengers while dreaming in Iron Man 3, while Bucky recalls what seems to be a violent mission he undertook for Hydra in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 1. These scenes are dramatic and poignant, but Doctor Strange 2 detaches them from their original perspectives. While the dreams are assumed — or in Tony’s case confirmed — memories, the retcon indicates that these dreams are portraying events happening in alternate universes.

This new perspective does not exactly form plot holes, as it is plausible for similar events to occur in different universes on a separate timeline. But Doctor Strange 2, which received mixed reviews, nevertheless forces a new perspective to be adopted on dreams in the MCU, making its retcon even more farcical than those of Eternals. Despite the MCU being famed for its continuity and storytelling prowess, after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, any dreaming must suddenly be viewed in light of its multiversal implications.

Next: Doctor Strange 2’s Post-Credits Scenes Explained (They’re Both Important)

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