[SPOILERS for those who haven’t seen Doctor Strange ahead.]
Although Doctor Strange was predominantly an origin story, telling how Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange went from arrogant surgeon to the selfless saviour of all reality, it wasn’t completely devoid of set-up for future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. For example, the Sanctum Sanctorums are full of Marvel comic book easter eggs; big villain Dormammu was kept alive after being locked in a time-travel stalemate, and a mid-credits scene hinted at Strange’s presence in Thor: Ragnarok.
Perhaps the biggest bit of set-up, however, was in how the film doubled as a villain origin story for Strange’s fellow sorcerer, Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). In the comics, Mordo is one of Strange’s biggest nemeses – and while his big screen counterpart spent most of his time on the side of the Ancient One, a last minute turn saw he and Strange part ways over ideological differences. Then, in the post-credits scene, Modo steals the magic from paraplegic Jonathan Pangborn, declaring he believes there to be “too many sorcerers.” With so much legwork, you can imagine a lot of time was spent making sure the character was presented just right, and some new concept art highlights just that in regards to his costume.
Marvel concept artist Karla Ortiz has shared some preliminary designs for Mordo’s outfit on her Facebook page that show the development of his green and black robes. The traditional green, black and gold colour scheme is consistent throughout, but the actual makeup varies quite a bit, giving a sense of how the character developed over time. The first piece of concept art shows some really extravagant, folded robes similar to what we saw Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One wear, while the second features a costume design closer to the look of Stephen Strange’s getup in the film.
In the end, Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson and his collaborators went for something even more stripped back, possibly so Ejiofor was able to move easier in his character’s multiple action scenes – and also to distinguish his design from the other sorcerers. That’s a fair practical decision, but something a bit more flowing would have certainly been more striking, especially as the finished version has some significant differences from the original comic design.
Given his turn to the dark side at the end of Doctor Strange, Mordo will likely have switched up his outfit to represent his more ruthless outlook, by the next time that he appears in the MCU. As his role in the first movie was so different to how he’s presented in the comic books – supporting hero rather than villain – perhaps it’s here where the design will start lifting more from his classic comic costume – one that mirrors Strange with a thin collar and flowing cape.
Source: Karla Ortiz