[SPOILERS for Doctor Strange ahead.]
Marvel Studios’ output has been dominant at the box office for so long now, it’s almost hard to remember a time when the latest MCU release wasn’t the talk of pop culture. Beginning with the smash success of 2008’s debut Iron Man film, the MCU has taken the world by storm, with its 13 previously released films having hauled in over $4 billion at worldwide theaters. This trend seems likely to continue with next month’s 14th installment Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Sorcerer Supreme.
Of course, since the moment Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury spoke to Tony Stark about the then-fledgling Avengers initiative at the end of Iron Man, one of the most well-known aspects of the MCU has been each movie’s post-credits scenes. Often containing teases of what’s to come in upcoming Marvel big-screen blockbusters, these sequences effectively guarantee that nobody in the theater on opening day is standing up to leave until the end credits have finished completely rolling.
With that in mind, the details of Doctor Strange’s post-credits scenes have made their way online early, thanks to Screen Crush. Here’s the lowdown. The first scene – which technically happens mid-credits – features Strange inviting Thor to his Sanctum Santorum in order to get his help in stopping Loki, as Strange has by this point made it his goal to rid Earth of any mystical threats. Thor argues that he needs Loki’s help in order to locate Odin, so Strange brokers a deal: he’ll help Thor find his brother and father, but only if the Asgardians then leave Earth for good.
In the second scene – which actually occurs post-credits – Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) returns to a character introduced earlier in the film, played by Benjamin Bratt. This character had used the mystical arts to heal his paralysis, and Mordo – who had functioned as Strange’s ally for most of the film – turns to the dark side by attacking the man and violently absorbing his powers. His justification for this is simple: “There are too many sorcerers.”
Considering that Thor: Ragnarok is set to take place almost entirely off Earth, this suggests that Strange fulfills his half of the bargain, and Thor thus lives up to his by leaving the planet for good. Obviously, this won’t last too long, as Thor will be needed back for Avengers: Infinity War. Still, it’s a good way to explain him not being around for awhile, aside from just having him disappear by choice like he did between The Avengers and Thor: The Dark World. As for Mordo, his actions seem to set him up as the villain for a potential Doctor Strange sequel, which makes sense considering that he’s historically been a bad guy in the comics.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming – July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet-untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.