In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Sorcerer Supreme confronts threats from all sides, including an intimidating council of judges from throughout the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse and a zombified version of himself. However, one supervillain who may serve as the main enemy in the Doctor Strange sequel may have been hinted at right from the start of the film’s current teaser. And this suspected main supervillain might be Doctor Strange’s oldest comic book foe of all: Nightmare, more than simply a shadowy creature who preys on Stephen Strange’s psyche as reality is ripped apart.
Strange suffers from regular dreams of universes clashing and reality disintegrating around him, according to the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Super Bowl teaser. Despite the presence of an angry Baron Mordo, an explosive Scarlet Witch, and a multi-tentacled extra-dimensional monster in the video, there is still conjecture that an even more sinister entity is at work behind the scenes, threatening the Master of Mystic Arts. This makes use of the more horror-oriented approach that the Marvel Cinematic Universe film has been pushing towards, as well as the powers and abilities of the comic book version of Nightmare.
In 1963’s Strange Tales #110, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Nightmare as the villainous lord of the Dream Dimension alongside Doctor Strange. The nightmare started to harass Strange in his nightmares when Strange liberated numerous people imprisoned by Nightmare in his world, resulting in a long-running hatred between the two of them. Nightmare is omnipotent as the Lord of the Dream Dimension, his talents powered by the mental energy produced by all who dream — as long as people dream, Nightmare will exist and be able to gather power to pose a menace to the whole Marvel Universe.
The clip from The Multiverse of Madness has a surreal quality to it, as opposed to the standard mind-bending stuff seen in Doctor Strange’s earlier MCU appearances. This, combined with Strange’s recurring nightmares, suggests that Nightmare is not only targeting the Sorcerer Supreme, but that, with Strange and Wanda Maximoff’s minds preoccupied with the concept of the multiverse since the events of WandaVision and Spider-Man: No Way Home, Nightmare may become aware of the multiverse through their dreams and decide to target all of reality, prompting Strange to be brought to trial to protect the multiverse. Mordo and Strange Supreme, as well as Shuma-Gorath, are all puppets in whatever Nightmare’s master scheme is.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he has no lack of foes, since adversaries are no longer constrained by the limitations of the conventional MCU. In the same way that the Sorcerer Supreme was dragged into the Dark Dimension to fight Dormammu in the first Doctor Strange film, Strange might be drawn into the Dream Dimension to confront its own deadly overlord Nightmare in Multiverse of Madness. Stephen Strange and Wanda Maximoff are both carrying a lot of emotional baggage into the forthcoming MCU film, and it’s possible that this could supply Nightmare with the psychological energy he needs to launch his most ambitious plan yet, mimicking the original Doctor Strange comic book.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness premieres in cinemas on May 6.