Madness was unleashed upon the multiverse on May 6th, 2022. And the madness that ensued, did not disappoint. Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse Of Madness built anticipation on potential cameos, and variants of established heroes. The suspense of who we would encounter, who could be introduced, and who could return built tension. As an audience, we heard so many rumors of who had been involved and what that would imply. From Tom Cruise playing Superior Iron Man, to Tobey Maguire returning as Spider-Man, there was one constant that was apparent. The Illuminati would 100% make an appearance in this film. Soon there after, the trailers leading up to release confirmed just that.
In this article I will be diving into the various cameos and variants in Multiverse of Madness and ranking them from worst to best (15 to 1). The characters we will discuss include minor appearances such as Bruce Campbell’s hot dog vendor and Christine Palmer. Another minor appearance would be Wanda’s dream walking variant. In the theme of a variant of a lead character, we also got Defender/Zombie Strange. An evil Strange reminiscent of Supreme Strange from What If… appears as well, now confirmed to be Sinister Strange. Rintrah appearing in Kamar-taj is one of the best cameos that could mean more for Doctor Strange. The most significant minor appearance is definitely *Spoiler Warning* Clea in the mid-credits. Finally, we have the Illuminati as mentioned prior.
The Illuminati in Doctor Strange: In The Multiverse of Madness consisted of (in order of appearance) Baron Mordo, Captain Carter, Black Bolt, Captain Marvel (Maria Rambeau), Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), and Professor X.
With my rankings I will consider three things. Fan service, their capabilities displayed, and possible importance to the MCU going forward. Even the deceased Illuminati opens the door to seeing certain characters in our beloved 616 universe.
At 15 (worst) I have Bruce Campbell’s hot dog vendor, he’s here for laughs and his connection to Raimi. His post credit scene is the most underwhelming post credits ever. Yet, you can look back and laugh at the goofiness of it.
Next, coming in at 14 I have Rintrah. Now Rintrah is character that I love from the comics and he has a ton of potential to be Strange’s apprentice in a future film. He has little dialogue in this film but just seeing him is phenomenal. Could definitely bring some madness to the MCU! Need a proper introduction.
Following Rintrah, I have Wanda’s dream walking variant at 13. Obviously we see this variant cause a ton of damage, but that was through possession. This Wanda has not become the scarlet witch in her universe, and it’s unlikely we’ll see her ever again.
At 12 I have Billy and Tommy, who appear more often than I thought they would in this film. Speed and Wiccan still have potential to show up in future MCU properties, but we didn’t get to see their powers in this installment. The hope is we get a Young Avengers project and potentially see Wanda reunite with her own twins.
Next, I want to dive into the first Illuminati member discussed, Black bolt. He comes in at number 11 for his importance of establishing the Inhumans, the display of how powerful he can be, yet his demise being the first of many. Reed sacrificed him essentially in the most brutal moment.
Kicking off the top 10, I have Baron Mordo unleashing madness. His appearance was expected and also had shocking moments including his intoxicating Strange & Chavez moment. Yet, Mordo didn’t develop as a character, show us anything new beyond his blade and dreads, or show indication in being in DS3. Still a strong presence and a great battle ensues.
After Mordo, I have Christine Palmer at 9. She gets closure in this film from a romantic plot line, has an expanded role, and gets to display how intuitive she is. I loved the sequence where she helps Doctor Strange possess Defender/Zombie Strange. That was absolute madness.
Speaking of Defender/Zombie Strange, I have him slotted at number 8. If this movie couldn’t get anymore Sam Raimi, just give me two hours of Zombie Strange with the cloak of demons. The sequences featuring this character are some of the most unique of any Marvel film, and give us a glimpse of what Doctor Strange can do with the darkhold himself in live-action.
Slotting in at number 7, I have Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel. I loved seeing an alternate version of Captain Marvel, she put up possibly the best fight against Wanda, and had a phenomenal suit. I don’t see her returning, but it was solid fan service and delivered an awesome battle.
My selection at number 6 are actually the Ultron bots. Seeing that Reed is responsible for the Ultron bots gone right is amazing, as it shows he’s the most intelligent human in the universe, but again they downplayed that notion in the Wanda fight by sacrificing Black bolt.
Number 5 is where the rankings get tough. Any selection of the top 5 could be controversial. So at number 5, I’m gonna shock the world. Sinister Strange is the 5th best cameo, and you wanna know why? Simply rewatch that music battle scene in theaters, and you’ll be amazed. The character was apart of the most creative and score driven scenes and made a dynamic shift in the 3rd act of the film.
Next at 4, I have Captain Carter. Hayley Atwell is an American and Britain treasure. I loved her return to playing Peggy Carter, the suit, and of course the shield! Her death is gruesome, but the “I can do this all day” was both iconic and ironic. It was great fan service and she had strong moments before her demise.
3 is where the real players come in, and I have John Krasinski’s Reed Richards in that spot. This could possibly be a tease at the casting of Reed Richards for the Fantastic 4 film, and possibly acquire their director in one swoop. Reed in this film is a little underwhelming, but the greatest fan cast of all time has come to fruition, with a plate full of fan service!
Number 2 will be followed by “who was that chick?”. As all of my friends proceeded to ask me after the film. Clea is a sorcerer supreme herself, a new love interest for Strange, and brings more madness into the picture with her relation to Dormamu. I’m excited to see her in a Doctor Strange 3 film, hopefully providing Stephen happiness. As it was a big topic in Multiverse of Madness.
Finally, landing in the number 1 spot has to be Professor Charles Xavier himself *Cue music*. This was the biggest cameo as it hints towards the X-Men, gave us Charles in his yellow floating chair, and the X-Men theme from the 90’s during his entrance. Charles had a surprising death, but it was amazing to see him finally in the MCU.