Dr Strange 2: In the Multiverse of Madness (Spoilers)

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The Darkhold feeding someone's worst angels is absolutely what its always been about, though. I don't know any incarnation of it where extended contact with it didn't wreck someone.

In fact, it is kind of important that it does. Wanda is insanely powerful. And, dramatically, that's a problem. It means there's no real challenge for her to overcome. The influence of the Darkhold provides that challenge. It shifts the movie from being about who is stronger with magic (a boring question) and shifts the questions to really be about the moral questions of what we do for what ends.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Sure, if this were a documentary, I'd totally be okay with them recounting how Wanda got corrupted. But it's a choice of a fiction writer who could decide what to do, and who chose to look at a character who'd gone through the events of Wandavision, and to undo that character growth due to the influence of an inanimate object.

See, I read it more as someone desperately reaching for a ledge and missing. And it didn't completely undo it; the end of the movie at hand shows that.

And what does do, as do a lot of the things with the alternate Stranges, is show that magical power is particularly hard to keep your arms around without it corrupting you even before the Darkhold gets into it.
 

In fact, it is kind of important that it does. Wanda is insanely powerful. And, dramatically, that's a problem. It means there's no real challenge for her to overcome. The influence of the Darkhold provides that challenge. It shifts the movie from being about who is stronger with magic (a boring question) and shifts the questions to really be about the moral questions of what we do for what ends.

Yeah. And as noted, we already knew at the end of Wandavision that this was at least going to be a problem.

As I noted, its clear she went into delving into the Darkhold with the best of intentions; but she suffers at that point from literally not knowing what she's doing. In D&D terms, she's very much a sorcerer, not a wizard. And the only way to find out she has at hand is this kind of spooky ancient magic book, but for all she knows, that's just how magic rolls. She theoretically could have gone to Strange, but she already knows she's done something bad with Westfield, so who knows how he'll react?
If I have anything to complain about, its that the tail end business with her hearing her children's voices crying for help falls completely out of the picture. I seriously wonder if in the pre-reshoot version that played more of a part and the reshoot was done because she came across as a bit too sympathetic with that in the picture.
 

Bolares

Hero
If I have anything to complain about, its that the tail end business with her hearing her children's voices crying for help falls completely out of the picture. I seriously wonder if in the pre-reshoot version that played more of a part and the reshoot was done because she came across as a bit too sympathetic with that in the picture.
I read that as a sensorial way to demonstrare the darkhold influencing her. She was not actually hearing her children crying for help. It was the darkhold making her hear that, and pushing her to go the route she went on the movie
 

What she is in this movie was directly set up in wandavision
In WV she messes with people's minds. The last three scenes are her getting revenge on Agatha for trying to kill her, her voluntarily giving up her loved ones to move on, and then the stinger of her looking at the book and hearing voices.

The next scene we see of her, she's admitting to sending demons to kill a child, and then one scene later she sees an injured sorcerer crawling away and disintegrates him.

Messing with minds to full on merciless murder. There is a pretty marked jump between the end of WV and the start of MoM.

Like, sure, time jump can explain it, but it's bad storytelling.
 


In WV she messes with people's minds. The last three scenes are her getting revenge on Agatha for trying to kill her, her voluntarily giving up her loved ones to move on, and then the stinger of her looking at the book and hearing voices.

The next scene we see of her, she's admitting to sending demons to kill a child, and then one scene later she sees an injured sorcerer crawling away and disintegrates him.

Messing with minds to full on merciless murder. There is a pretty marked jump between the end of WV and the start of MoM.

Like, sure, time jump can explain it, but it's bad storytelling.

I think this is just one of the things that's going to bother you that doesn't others. I don't consider it bad storytelling, because it was set up the moment we see she's diving into the Darkhold. While it'd have been possible she could have walked away, with what we know of her issues ending up somewhere like this seems far the more likely outcome to me. That just can't feel like bad storytelling to me; it seems entirely earned.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I think this is just one of the things that's going to bother you that doesn't others. I don't consider it bad storytelling, because it was set up the moment we see she's diving into the Darkhold. While it'd have been possible she could have walked away, with what we know of her issues ending up somewhere like this seems far the more likely outcome to me. That just can't feel like bad storytelling to me; it seems entirely earned.
I agree. Now for people who haven't seen Wandavision, this could seem out of left field. This movie tests the MCU's belief that all of its products are going to be consumed, as they really do expect people to have seen the tv show to know what's going on, and the movie really doesn't explain that much.

But if you have, I mean Wanda really goes down the hole in that show, doing a lot of bad things. It doesn't seem weird at all that you take that, add in a super evil book constantly corrupting you, that after a bit of time you have a witch that has gone full dark side.

I do think the Darkhold is narratively important to get her there "so quickly". Without it, I could see Wanda getting there eventually, but I would need to see that progression (else we have another Season 8 GOT Dennerys heel turn). But the book acts as a catalyst, accelerating Wanda through that progression and making her more unable to listen to reasonable arguments than she might have otherwise. Considering that Strange used it for like 10 minutes and may already have corruption in his body....it seems very reasonable that a person using it for several weeks (months?) could be completely corrupted.
 

Staffan

Legend
In WV she messes with people's minds. The last three scenes are her getting revenge on Agatha for trying to kill her, her voluntarily giving up her loved ones to move on, and then the stinger of her looking at the book and hearing voices.

The next scene we see of her, she's admitting to sending demons to kill a child, and then one scene later she sees an injured sorcerer crawling away and disintegrates him.

Messing with minds to full on merciless murder. There is a pretty marked jump between the end of WV and the start of MoM.

Like, sure, time jump can explain it, but it's bad storytelling.
It's a fairly big time jump. It's been at least one, maybe two years between Wandavision and Multiverse of Madness. Wandavision took place pretty much directly after Endgame, in 2023. Multiverse happens after Spiderman: No Way Home, which takes place in late 2024. It's unclear how long after, but definitively after (it could be in the interval between The Big Fight and Peter swinging around at Christmas in the end scene, so it's possible but unlikely that Multiverse is in 2024 but more likely to be 2025).

And two years with a Book of Evil Badness working its way into Wanda's mind? Yeah, I'll buy her becoming unhinged.

Plus, as has already been established, Wanda was never much of a paragon of Good. She deliberately triggered the Hulk into going on a rampage in a densely populated area, just because she wanted to get back at Stark for building the weapons that killed her parents.
 
Last edited:


I do think the Darkhold is narratively important to get her there "so quickly". Without it, I could see Wanda getting there eventually, but I would need to see that progression (else we have another Season 8 GOT Dennerys heel turn). But the book acts as a catalyst, accelerating Wanda through that progression and making her more unable to listen to reasonable arguments than she might have otherwise. Considering that Strange used it for like 10 minutes and may already have corruption in his body....it seems very reasonable that a person using it for several weeks (months?) could be completely corrupted.

In fact, we pretty much know at least two other incarnations of Strange fell down completely that way.

Honestly, you can of course have an issue with the Darkhold as plot device, but that's pretty much how its worked out for anyone who messed with it for an extended period. Its well established in prior fiction. Of course they didn't have to give it to her, but once that was set up there's pretty much have to been active intervention on someone's part (say, Strange getting his oar in much earlier) for some awful outcome not to have been likely; Wanda's just been shown as someone who struggles too much with her better and worse angels not for that to be expected, given how the Darkhold puts its thumb on the scale (and frankly, one gets the feeling the nature of her maturing power didn't help).
 

Then show it.

How much flashback time do you want in a movie that's already two hours long, that needs to also show where Strange is at right now, and give at least some time to America Chavez?

Like someone else said, you can argue that the need to have seen Wandavision is a potential problem here, but I'm hard pressed to see where things pointed at the end of that and where they arrived here being dissonant.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Messing with minds to full on merciless murder.

So, I find this a misrepresentation.

She wasn't "messing with people's minds". She was committing mass torture. The children of Westview were taken from their parents. The people had their agency taken away, under threat of whatever Wanda's power could do to them. They were mostly not allowed to sleep, and when they could sleep, they had the nightmares of a woman who was traumatized in youth, was experimented on by Nazis, had her brother die, had the only person she loved die at her own hand, and then at the hand of another....

At the end of Wandavision, they literally beg her to either let them go, or let them die. Continued existence as her toy was worse than death.

The only mitigation on this was that she seems to have not been fully consciously aware of their state, but it looked like a significant amount of knowing denial was involved. Either way, in her grief, some part of her was willing to subjugate nearly 4,000 people to her will without regard to the impact on them. Killing a handful or two no longer seems a great jump.
 

tomBitonti

Adventurer
People are ignoring the real ending to wandavision. She ends that show using a illusion to hide the fact that she doce completely in to the darkhold, and is hearing the cries for help of her children. Sure, she regrets enslaving westview, but right after that goes after the power of a demonic relic. What she is in this movie was directly set up in wandavision

Yeah, I thought that was odd. The presentation at the end of WandaVision seems to be that she realized that what she did was wrong and was on a redemptive path. But, the DarkHold has been shown to be extremely corrupting. Most but not all succumb to its influence: Aide is wholly corrupted, while Radcliff sees his errors in the end. I'm thinking that the presentation at the end of WandaVision was of her reading from the DarkHold, while projecting an external "normal" scene. I had thought that to be her sitting outside her house while having an astral projection read the DarkHold. That ending scene wasn't clear enough in foreshadowing Wanda's corruption.

To me, a weakness is the gap between the end of WandaVision and Wanda's appearance in the movie. While I understand the movie is already quite long, the transition is not adequately presented. I wonder how folks who have not seen WandaVision will handle the transition. There is too much which is not explained unless WandaVision has been seen. I think some showing of Wanda gradually becoming worse and worse are needed. The scene with her and the boys is too small to explain what happened, and feel disconnected. Who are these boys? Where did they come from?

I would have handled the withered forest reveal differently: Have Dr Strange invite Wanda to the monastery. Have him twig to something being off, and figure out that Wanda has been corrupted just before she is to arrive, just in time to prevent America from being taken.

TomB
 



tomBitonti

Adventurer
Being traumatized as a child to the point where she becomes a terrorist and unleashes the Hulk on a city didn't show that?

Or, what, you think that goes away on its own when more trauma is dropped on top of it, and exactly no mental health steps are taken?

Except, at the end of WandaVision, she lets her recreated Vision and children dissolve, effectively killing them, as a necessary loss to remedy her taking control over the town. She has a redemptive moment. There is a hint that she might see Vision again at some time in the future.

Also, she is aghast at her mistake in the market in Civil War (although, it is misplaced: There were many people in the market who would have otherwise died, and who knows how many would have died if the biological agent was released.)

What I see as a problem is that she recognizes that controlling the townsfolk is wrong, but then decides that killing America and (presumably) killing and taking the place of an alternate Wanda are OK. (And, killing lots of people along the way.) That's a huge shift.

TomB
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Except, at the end of WandaVision, she lets her recreated Vision and children dissolve, effectively killing them, as a necessary loss to remedy her taking control over the town. She has a redemptive moment.

Redemptive moments don't fix trauma. Redemptive moments are not a substitute for a few years with a good therapist.

Her first action after that redemptive moment was to run away and stew in isolation with a book of evil power. Good luck with that redemption.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Oh. Another thought - I've seen folks mention that the Book of the Vishanti seems like a red herring. It is supposed to give the sorcerer whatever power he needed to face the threat. He gets it and... nothing.

Except he, the only Strange to get the book, is also the only Strange who doesn't dive too deep into the Darkhold, the only Strange to not try to kill America, the only Strange who lets others help him.

So, either he already had what he needed, so the book didn't have to give him anything, or the book gave him the little extra trust/willpower/bravery he needed.

Nobody said the Book of the Vishanti was about blatant power.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top