In Spider-Man: No Way Home, the odd behavior of Doctor Strange has sprung up numerous theories. Some claim he may not be who we think he is.
We are pretty sure, (just like you guys are) that Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck is far from being dead. Marvel could lead us to a mother of all twists where it’s revealed that it is all Mysterio’s doing. No Way Home would end up becoming the second act of Mysterio’s grand illusion.
Dormammu has frequently used his dark magic to manipulate sorcerers of Earth. Kaecilius and many more mystics have fallen prey to his power. He may no longer be able to come to Earth but that does not stop him from corrupting Doctor Strange from afar.
A Fear Lord, Nightmare is the lord of the dream Dimension. He feeds on the nightmares of other living beings which makes him exceedingly strong in his home dimension. Both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange have fought him in the past. It is possible Nightmare has taken over Strange’s mind, explaining his odd behavior.
Dmitri Smerdyakov aka the Chameleon is a very infamous Spider-Man villain. It is a bit of a stretch to think the Chameleon could be masquerading as Doctor Strange. But weirder things have happened in the MCU. Moreover the Chameleon did appear in Far From Home. That’s a lose thread Marvel needs to address too.
During the secret Invasion arc, the Skrulls took over the world one hero at a time. Their shape-shifting spies disguised themselves as the heroes of Earth. A Super-Skrull with access to magic could easily replace Doctor Strange. This would also help make headway into the upcoming Secret Invasion series.
The Enchantress has already appeared in the MCU in the form of Sylvie in the Loki series. With the multiverse now in effect, a different time variant of the Enchantress could easily impersonate Doctor Strange if she wanted to. Moreover the casual disregard with which Strange casts that ‘reckless’ spell in No Way Home screams Enchantress.
Hailing from a demonic super race called the Many-Angled Ones, Shuma-Gorath has fought both Doctor Strange and the Ancient One. This eldritch horror monstrosity was teased twice in the What If episodes. So fans believe they are onto something since the creature once tried possessing the Sorcerer Supreme.
Mephisto’s looming threat keeps hovering over the MCU. And considering the plot of No Way Home, we are a bit confident Doctor Strange is actually Mephisto in disguise. In the comic books, it was Mephisto who erased the world’s memories of Spider-Man, leading to the One More Day arc. That is the same arc No Way Home clearly draws inspiration from.
Xandu is a powerful sorcerer from ancient times who has battled both Doctor Straneg and Spider-Man. Xandu’s primary goal is trying to resurrect the love of his life. To do so, he has gained mastery over controlling powerful ancient artefacts of magic. He once tried to use the Wand of Wattomb to rewrite the laws of nature. And he has used his powers to take control of heroes like the Hulk and Scarlet Witch.
D’Spayre is a powerful mystical villain and one of the Fear Lords, a triumvirate of evil magical beings that has fought Doctor Strange. His powers allow him to travel between dimensions and feed off of the fear of others. He serves the Dweller-in-Darkness, the monster from Shang-Chi. So the groundwork has already been laid should he make an entrance.