Doctor Strange is a fascinating character. His powers are mind-boggling, he’s amusingly arrogant, he has an Infinity Stone dangling around his neck, and he’s played by the effortlessly charming Benedict Cumberbatch. However, Strange’s 2016 MCU solo movie was a pretty formulaic origin story that failed to drum up a huge amount of interest in the character. Fortunately, his subsequent appearances in the next two Avengers movies, Infinity War and Endgame, made better use of his powers and characterization to make him more interesting to moviegoers. So, here are 10 Infinity War And Endgame Moments That Made Doctor Strange More Interesting.
10 Seeing 14 million alternate futures
Avengers: Infinity War is a prime example of MacGuffins in practice. The movie has six mystical objects that the villain is trying to collect. That gave the movie a plot, and also tied together all the characters. Gamora was the only one who knew where the Soul Stone was, Vision had the Mind Stone in his head, Loki had secretly nabbed the Space Stone from Asgard etc. Doctor Strange was a key part of this, as the sworn protector of the Time Stone. Before Thanos arrived on Titan, Strange used the Time Stone to see 14,000,605 alternate futures – and only one where the Avengers won. Here, Strange was used to telegraph the stakes of the movie.
9 Tricking Thanos on Titan
The skirmish on Titan is one of the most exciting sequences in Avengers: Infinity War. A lot of people hate Peter Quill for screwing up the plan to take the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos, but let’s be honest – even if they’d managed to get it off his hand and keep it off, it wouldn’t have been off for long. At one point, there’s a quiet moment in the conflict as the Mad Titan attempts to remove the Time Stone from around Doctor Strange’s neck. Strange tricks Thanos by scattering his own physical consciousness like a deck of cards, so there are dozens of Doctor Strange copies floating around.
8 “Oh, congratulations on the wedding, by the way.”
Stephen Strange might be arrogant and egotistical – it is his defining flaw, as identified by the Ancient One (and Christine Palmer and Wong and Karl Mordo and just about everybody else) in his initial 2016 solo outing – but he can be polite on the odd occasion.
When Bruce Banner arrives at the Sanctum Sanctorum to warn Doctor Strange and Wong about Thanos’ imminent arrival, the Sorcerer Supreme transports himself to Central Park, where Tony Stark and Pepper Potts are out for a walk. Strange tells Tony to come with him, but not before congratulated the couple on their highly publicized wedding.
7 Holding off a tidal wave during the Battle of Earth
The final battle sequence in Avengers: Endgame has since been dubbed “the Battle of Earth” by official Marvel canon. That’s a step up from the first Avengers movie’s Battle of New York (although this one did also take place in New York – upstate this time). Midway through the battle, the barrier protecting the warzone from the ocean broke and the water started flooding in. So, Doctor Strange stepped in to hold it off, pushing it up into the air in a kind of whirlpool. This prevented him from having the much-anticipated rematch with Thanos, but it also saved our heroes from getting swept away.
6 Creating a shield to protect the surrounding Avengers from Thanos’ warship
When Thanos realizes he’s losing the Battle of Earth to the Avengers, he orders his soldiers to open fire from his warship hovering in the sky. His generals warn him about his own troops, who will be killed in the fire, and Thanos tells them to do it anyway. So, Doctor Strange, Wong, and the other Masters of the Mystic Arts quickly create mystical shields to protect everybody. The shields won’t hold of the fire from Thanos’ warship forever, but that’s when a beam of light comes thundering through the sky and crashing through the ship, disabling its weapons systems and bringing it down. It’s Captain Marvel!
5 “Is that everyone?”
At the beginning of the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, the Masters of the Mystic Arts open up portals to allow hundreds of warriors onto the battleground to back up Captain America. And then Doctor Strange asks, “Is that everyone?” and Wong sarcastically replies, “What, you wanted more?” Props to the Russo brothers for choosing this moment to have Scott Lang enlarge himself from under the wreckage of Avengers HQ, having saved Rocket, the Hulk, and War Machine, and put them down alongside everyone else on the battlefield. Strange wanted more, despite having dozens of armies from all over the universe, and against all odds, he got more at that exact moment.
4 Helping Peter Quill to fight Thanos
Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely chose their teams wisely when they penned Avengers: Infinity War. Tony Stark and Peter Parker developed their father-son relationship, Tony’s witty banter with fellow arrogant hero Stephen Strange was a lot of fun, and the Guardians of the Galaxy were thrown in for good measure. Strange used his powers to help Peter Quill fight Thanos. First, he gave him mystical stepping stones that carried him over to Thanos, and then he opened up a portal for Quill to disappear away from the Mad Titan’s grasp. As he hopped into the portal, he took a second to remove his mask, show Thanos his goofy, insulting facial expression, and flip him the finger.
3 Giving up the Time Stone to save Tony Stark’s life
“We’re in the endgame now.” Thanos was about to kill Tony Stark when Stephen Strange stopped him and relinquished the Time Stone. He had said earlier that he would happily let Tony die to protect the Time Stone, and now, he was handing it over to Thanos willingly to save Tony’s life – he didn’t even seem to be reluctant to do it.
This is the moment that set up the sequel. The one scenario where the Avengers won that Strange saw involved Thanos succeeding in his plan. There was no way he wasn’t getting all the Stones and snapping his fingers. Tony needed to be alive to invent time travel and bring everybody back.
2 “If I tell you what happens, it won’t happen.”
MCU fans went into Avengers: Endgame knowing that whatever happened had been prophesized by Doctor Strange when he saw 14 million versions of the future and only found one where Earth’s mightiest heroes eventually triumphed over Thanos. We know that it involved Tony Stark in a major way, because Strange traded away the Time Stone in order to keep him alive. On the battleground at the end of Endgame, Tony said to Strange, “You said one out of 14 million, we win, yeah? Tell me this is it,” and Strange gravely told him, “If I tell you what happens, it won’t happen.”
1 Opening the portals to bring everybody to the battleground
There are many incredible moments in Avengers: Endgame that made it the highest grossing movie of all time. If it wasn’t for those moments, there’s a chance that not enough viewers would want to rewatch the movie for it to topple Avatar as the box office king. Arguably, the most breathtaking moment in the whole three-hour epic sees Doctor Strange and the Masters of the Mystic Arts opening up portals to bring all the resurrected characters onto the battleground on the rubble of Avengers HQ to give a lone Captain America some backup. This moment sums up the entire MCU.