Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe got off to a roaring start this summer with Captain America: Civil War scoring positive reviews and grossing over $1 billion worldwide. Now, attention is starting to turn towards the franchise's second entry of 2016: Doctor Strange. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme, the origin story introduces Stephen Strange to the MCU while showcasing a whole new corner of the world - one underscored by magic and mysticism.
The film was hit with accusations of whitewashing recently due to the casting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, but Doctor Strange remains one of the more anticipated movies of the fall and should continue Disney's box office dominance when it premieres. Having the fan-favorite Cumberbatch headlining is a key selling point, and many are in agreement he certainly looks the part very well. Now, thanks to some Doctor Strange merchandise, fans can get a better look of the actor in character.
Infinity Arc took to their Twitter account to share images of various Doctor Strange products, including mugs, glasses, and lunch boxes. As one would expect, the items place Cumberbatch front and center, giving moviegoers a great view of the newest MCU superhero as he prepares to battle against evil:
— Infinity Arc (@Infinitiaku) June 6, 2016
Comic book adaptations are always placed under a microscope of scrutiny, with several curious to see how the protagonist's costume is translated from page to screen. There have been no shortage of poorly conceived get-ups in the long history of the genre, but fortunately Doctor Strange seems to be one of the better ones. Though there are obviously slight variations, for the most part, Cumberbatch's costume is the spitting image of what's seen in the source material, making it a faithful interpretation. This isn't very surprising, considering that Doctor Strange has been a passion product of Kevin Feige's for years. If anyone was going to make sure the character looked right on film, it's him.
Phase 3 marks an interesting time for the MCU. While there are sequels to established brands like Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy, a number of the productions place newcomers in the spotlight (Black Panther, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Captain Marvel). As the contracts of the original Avengers expire, this latest wave of Marvel films could resemble a passing of the torch scenario as a new band of heroes take over. Avengers: Infinity War is said to serve as the culmination of everything that's come before, and Phase 4 will mark the beginning of a new saga. Conceivably, the roles of Iron Man, Captain America, and the others could be diminished to make way for more stories with the fresh blood. If that's the plan, Marvel needs all of these to be hits.
Luckily for them, the studio has proven that they can make a franchise out of just about anything, and Doctor Strange should be no different. The MCU has established a strong reputation with viewers thanks to a string of well-received blockbusters, meaning there's still large amounts of goodwill. Hopefully these tie-in products can match the quality of the films, and there's not another Infinity gauntlet oven mitt episode.
Captain America: Civil War is in theaters now. Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; 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.
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