Marvel Writer Explains Doctor Strange 2's MCU Secret Wars Setup
Michael Waldron, the writer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, hints at how the invasions discussed may build up a Secret Wars film.
Secret Wars, released in 2015, was an epic Marvel event book that paid off years of writer Jonathan Hickman's work on series like Fantastic Four, The Avengers, and New Avengers. The book shows the destruction and reconstruction of the entire Marvel multiverse into a single location: Battleworld, a world made up of various fragments from the multiverse created by Doctor Doom. With Phase 4 stressing the universe and several references to incursions laid forth in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it looks that the MCU is preparing Secret Wars to be the huge Avengers: Endgame-style event film that the series is working up to.
'Doctor Strange in the Mad Multiverse' Waldron spoke with Gizmodo about the choice to incorporate incursions and what it implications for a potential Secret Wars adaptation. Waldron linked it to how Marvel progressively incorporated cosmic themes into the MCU, beginning with Thor and progressing to Thanos, and that the mention of incursions is a preview of what is to come. This is Waldron's second hint about Secret Wars, since he previously worked as the chief writer for Loki, which alluded to a multiversal battle. According to Waldron:
"Well, I guess I think of it akin to it in the way that as soon as the MCU introduced the notion of space, of going to space, they teased Thanos almost immediately. There was Thor. And then Avengers was the first movie where there was a threat from the stars. And here comes Thanos. Obviously, there was a big build from there. So I think that maybe I always thought of the multiverse as kind of like, “OK, this is space.” You know, once upon a time, the MCU left Earth and went to the stars, now we’re going into the multiverse. So yeah we’ll see what happens with these incursions. They’re bad news."
Secret Wars being the focus of the MCU's next several Phases makes sense, given that the characters at the center of the tale are the Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom, with the former group being poised to join the MCU with the upcoming Fantastic Four revival. Secret Wars fits quite well with the present MCU because the primary plot of the comic book does not involve Captain America or Iron Man, the two most renowned characters of the MCU who have also departed the franchise and been replaced by new heroes. This means that new characters like as the Eternals, Shang-Chi, and Ms. Marvel will be able to shine in the adaptation.
The MCU's Phase 1 was characterized by the build-up to The Avengers, and following that film's tease, it was clear Thanos and an adaptation of The Infinity Gauntlet would be where all roads led. Phase 4 hasn't had a clear course, with several teasers throughout the series ranging from Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine's new squad to the danger of Celestials and now the anticipated entrance of Kang the Conqueror. These frantic threats suggest that Phase 4 will keep the cosmic, earthbound, and supernatural characters apart in their respective franchises until all of the plotlines inevitably intersect during Secret Wars. Kevin Feige recently announced that they have plotted out the next 10 years of the MCU, so it may be a long before this plotline plays out, but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness might be one of the most crucial films in terms of the franchise's future.