When it comes to comic book movies, it’s never a great idea to over-scrutinize logic details, but the folks at the helm of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have always put a lot of thought into making sure that their narrative decisions add up. But if there’s one thing fans love to debate, it’s why the many heroes of the MCU tend to mind their own business between team-ups instead of coming to each other’s aid. After Avengers, everyone wondered why Tony Stark was left alone to fight his own battles in Iron Man 3. Similar questions popped up when Thor saved the world single-handedly in The Dark World. And now, with the introduction of Doctor Strange, the question becomes, where the hell have these mighty sorcerers been when shit got real in the past?
Basically, they’ve got way bigger fish to fry. The MCU has done a pretty good job of determining the realms within which their heroes function. The Defenders of Netflix’s MCU are battling bad guys on a street level, The Avengers earn their title as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes by protecting our dear planet, The Guardians are out there fighting the good fight in their corner of the galaxy, and now that we’re about to meet The Ancient One and her disciples of Kamar-Taj, we find that they’re the ones defending, not the world, not the galaxy, but the integrity of our entire dimension. So yeah, they don’t have a lot of time for warmongers like Obadiah Stane or crime lords like Kingpin. And until a mighty threat like, say, Thanos comes along to unite them all, the heroes are best served by protecting their individual realms.
Back in January, I had the opportunity to visit the set of Doctor Strange in London where we spoke with Marvel Studios head and MCU mastermind Kevin Feige about this very subject. Here’s what he had to say,
There are people inhabiting the same world that are stopping buildings from falling down, robots from doing this, aliens from doing that – these people in this movie are stopping inter-dimensional forces from wiping out all of reality.
So although it doesn’t necessarily come up, we’ve always assumed that the sorcerers have bigger fish to fry when they hear there’s something in a city or there’s a bank being robbed. They’re not thinking about it. They’re thinking if we don’t keep vigilant our sense of reality will disappear, and there won’t be a bank to rob and there won’t be a city to be conquered.
Along the same lines, you shouldn’t expect Benedict Cumberbatch to pop up in a lot of cameos after his introduction in Doctor Strange. Much like the comics, where he’s often portrayed as a sort of distant, fringe hero who shows up in times of great peril, he’s not likely to be kicking around the streets of Manhattan with the Avengers unless Manhattan is ground zero of a battle for the very fabric of reality. As the Sorcerer Supreme, Strange has a bit too much to deal with to become a card carrying member of the Science Bros.
I don’t think he does a lot of hanging out, necessarily. No, he usually gets involved when – as I said, he’s not going to intervene in the bodega crime down the street. But as things get bigger and as threats get bigger he can serve a very good purpose and can make his presence known.
So there you have it, you shouldn’t necessarily expect the Sorcerer Supreme to kick back beers with Bruce Banner, but when he’s needed, he’ll be there.
For all our coverage from the set of Doctor Strange, check out the links below and stay tuned for more.
- How ‘Doctor Strange’ Is Handling Magic and How it Ties in with The Quantum Realm
- ‘Doctor Strange’: Benedict Cumberbatch on His Strange Journey to Becoming the Sorcerer Supreme
- ‘Doctor Strange’: New Images and Posters Reveal Marvel’s Turn Towards the Magical