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Why Doctor Strange Isn’t An Avenger | Screen Rant

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Despite fighting alongside the Avengers during the Infinity Saga, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ Doctor Stephen Strange is not officially a member of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) meets the multiverse-traveling America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who lays out her dilemma of being unable to control her powers and that demons are hunting her. Sold on helping America obtain the Book of Vishanti to counter the threat, Strange turns to Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and tells her, “I could use an Avenger.” Both the MCU and the Marvel comics see Doctor Strange team up with the Avengers; however, it seems that his involvement was only temporary.

Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange made his MCU entrance in 2016’s Doctor Strange. A gifted neurosurgeon, Doctor Strange, severely injured his hands in a car accident before journeying to Kamar-Taj to be trained in the Mystic Arts. During his Avengers era, he handed the Time Stone to Thanos, initiating the snap at the end of Infinity War that erased five years of his life. However, Strange returned in Endgame‘s final battle with the Mad Titan, along with every other dusted hero. After the MCU’s colossal superhero ensemble defeated Thanos, Strange returned to his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, where Peter Parker (Tom Holland) found him in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. At Peter’s request, in order to undo the world’s knowledge of Spider-Man’s identity, Strange cast a spell — which mistakenly went wrong, causing an incursion in the multiverse.

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

Strange’s admission that he “could use an Avenger” to Wanda in Doctor Srange 2 implies that Strange’s involvement in the fight against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame has not resulted in his official induction into the group. In the post-Endgame world, the Avengers appear to be on a hiatus. The deaths of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans), and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) leave just three of the original six Avengers alive, while Clint Barton has seemingly called it quits. With so many losses among the Avengers’ core heroes, one might expect Doctor Strange to take up a leading role, but it’s more likely that his fate lies elsewhere.

What sets Doctor Strange apart from the Avengers in the MCU is that he has always been a character who dances to the beat of his own drum. Strange has aided the Avengers when needed, though he understands his rightful place at Kamar-Taj and with the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Cumberbatch himself explained to KCRW why Strange doesn’t consistently bear the title of “Avenger,” stating, “He’s there to protect the reality of the Avengers in a different way to what they have been fighting up until the point that everything collides in the last two Avengers movies, so he holds his position as an adult on the periphery of that, but I think only for so long.” 

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Assuming Strange doesn’t alter his path, he could instead join the MCU’s version of the Illuminati sometime in the future, as his comic-book tales illustrate. The Illuminati were featured as an Avengers-like unit from Earth-838 in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so it’s possible Strange will aim to organize the MCU’s next superhero squad as well. Perhaps he’ll even work with Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong) and help train America Chavez in sorcery after her Doctor Strange 2 MCU debut.

Following the events of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the titular hero’s story has many chapters to come. For the foreseeable future, Strange looks bound to the multiverse, as his endeavors in both No Way Home and Doctor Strange 2 inevitably task him with regulating threats from other worlds. More immediately, though, he’ll need to address his corruption from reading the Darkhold book. Further complicating matters is the mysterious post-credits arrival of Clea (Charlize Theron), who took a three-eyed Doctor Strange into the Dark Dimension. Exploring Strange’s sinister side opens up many possibilities for his MCU future; however, it’s unlikely that he will land a spot on the Avengers roster.

Next: Everything We Know About Doctor Strange 3

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