In only a few months, the Strange One comes to theaters, bringing mystical powers and esoteric realms to the MCU. Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Scott Derrickson, brings the Sorcerer Supreme’s origin story to the big screen. It will also introduce some of his most powerful allies, including The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), major foe (or not) Karl “Baron” Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and main film villain Mads Mikkelsen.
Since Mikkelsen’s role was revealed, fans have speculated that he’d play major menace Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension. A recent Marvel Miniature release exposed his character’s name as Kaecilius – something a new pre-film comic has confirmed.
Released today, Comixology offered up a first look at the Marvel prequel comic to the upcoming Doctor Strange (via Comic Book) standalone. The book, titled Doctor Strange Prelude #1, was scripted by Will Corona Pilgrim and penciled by Jorge Fornes. Inside the pages of this prequel comic, curious fans finally get to find out more about Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius. Focused on the future villain, the prequel comic showcases him working alongside other Masters of the Mystic Arts, including the Ancient One and Wong (played by Benedict Wong). Take a look at Kaecilius (pictured below, on the left) with the other Masters. He wears an orange robe, with rope dangling from his ceremonial belt, and wields two scythe-like blades instead of a staff.
In the story, a mystical trainee goes awry and makes off with a mystical relic – one which sucks up light like a vacuum and allows its user to tap into the forces of darkness. (Could it be connected to the “dark energy” mentioned during Agent Carter?) A powerful member of the order, Kaecilius wages a one-man assault on the staff-wielder but is defeated, requiring the aid of his fellow Masters to defeat the staff thief.
While the preview doesn’t heavily explore Kaecilius’ future, it does diverge somewhat from what we know about the character. His comic book role was primarily as a stooge for Baron Mordo. Naturally, it's entirely possible that the film diverges from the comic lore as often happens. If so, the MCU may have recreated Kaecilius as a powerful member of the very practitioners who championed Stephen Strange as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme. It's also possible the once enlightened practitioner turns from the light due to his defeat by the staff, his overconfidence, or other untold struggles with darkness.
Still, he could fall under the sway of Baron Mordo, saving the Baron’s nefarious ways for another film. At the same time, Ejiofor did insist that Mordo isn’t (exactly) Doctor Strange’s adversary in the film. Since the prequel comic doesn’t explain the once-powerful Mystic Artist’s fall from grace (or change in backstory), hopefully the second installment will. In the meantime, the Strange panel at Comic-Con might hint at more plot points or unscramble more details about this mysterious new (old) foe.
Marvel’s Doctor Strange Prelude #1 is currently available online and in stores. Doctor Strange Prelude #2 arrives on August 24, 2016.
Doctor Strange opens in U.S. theaters on November 4, 2016, followed by 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 Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp– July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Avengers: Infinity War Part 2– May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.