Marvel Studios has proven to be reliable in a number of areas, but one place where that's particularly true is with their post-credits scenes. The stingers have been a part of the Marvel tradition ever since Nick Fury showed up at Tony Stark's house at the very, very end of 2008's Iron Man, and every film since then has featured an extra special treat for fans after everything has been wrapped up.
As you probably predicted, Scott Derrickson's Doctor Strange doesn't break this tradition, and offers fans both a special mid-credits sequence and a post-credits sequence. What goes down in these scenes, and how will they affect the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? That's what we're here to discuss, so read on!
SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange. If you do not wish to know details about the end of the blockbuster, we highly recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles!
The Mid-Credits Sequence
Though it certainly seems that some time has passed, the mid-credits sequence picks up with Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) right where the end of the movie left him: in the New York Sanctum Sanctorum. He has clearly settled into his position as a new master of the domicile, and he has even started to invite in guests who require magical assistance. It seems that this practice has become old hat for him, but the arrival of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) certainly must be a special occasion.
In the Sanctum, the God of Thunder sits across from the surgeon-turned-sorcerer and remarks in wonder about Earth now having "wizards." Strange treats him with polite manners and offers the Asgardian some tea -- which Thor refuses, remarking, "I don't drink tea." The magician queries what the founding Avenger does drink, but before he can respond, a giant mug of beer suddenly appears in his hand.
With beverages settled, Strange gets right down to brass tacks. As Thor chugs his ale (only to have it magically refill itself), the sorcerer remarks that he keeps a list of individuals from both our dimension and others that he believes could be a serious threat to the world. Included on this list -- naturally -- is Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the God of Mischief who brought a horde of Chitauri to invade Earth. This news is of no surprise to Thor, who responds, "A worthy inclusion."
Continuing, Doctor Strange drops the bombshell, asking the Asgardian why he would bring his adopted brother to Earth. Sparing the doctor all of the details, Thor explains that it is a long story of "family drama," but that ultimately what they are looking for is their father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins). Oddly pleasantly surprised by this news, the sorcerer clarifies the situation, asking that once Thor and Loki find Odin, that they will return to Asgard without any fuss. The God of Thunder agrees, and Strange replies, "Allow me to help you."
As most of you can probably put together yourselves, this is a big fat tease for the third of three Marvel Studios 2017 blockbusters -- specifically director Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok. It seems that this is a credits sequence in the tradition of Captain America: The First Avenger and Ant-Man, in that it may not be a unique scene but instead an actual sequence from the third Thor movie.
This Doctor Strange mid-credits sequence has actually provided us with more about the plot of Thor: Ragnarok than anything we've previously seen or heard. We've previously learned that the movie is being planned as a "road film" starring Thor and The Hulk, and while we still don't know how the green monster will fit in, we do now know what's going on with the titular hero. In Thor: The Dark World, we saw Loki ascend the throne of Asgard pretending to be Odin, but it seems that the God of Thunder has figured out the ruse. From there, the mission seems to be finding where Loki sent Odin, and that involves getting assistance from Doctor Strange.
The mid-credits sequence is a nice way to fold the end of Doctor Strange into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (which we'll get to see happen on a larger level with The Avengers: Infinity War), but the post-credits sequence seems to be much more focused on teasing Doctor Strange 2...
The Post-Credits Sequence
While the mid-credits sequence shows us that Doctor Strange has spent the months since the end of his first solo film practicing magic in New York and helping those in need, but Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has been doing much darker things since leaving his former friends and allies of the Kamar-Taj. This includes taking a trip to the Big Apple to pay Mr. Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) a special visit.
The Doctor Strange post-credits sequence begins as Mordo arrives as Pangborn's workshop, where the formerly crippled man is working with a table saw. Pangborn is startled to see Mordo, who slinks out of the shadows recounting their first meeting in Nepal. Mordo explains that he has spent months away, and has come to the realization that the role of a sorcerer is to "twist thing out of their proper shape, stealing power, perverting nature." This is a dig at the fact that Pangborn has used magic to heal himself, and he defends what he has done by saying, "This is my power."
The situation escalates and Pangborn grabs a crowbar that is on his workbench and slowly moves towards his former instructor. Mordo explains that, "Power has a purpose," and as Pangborn raises the crowbar to strike, the green-robed magician pulls the magical energy from his target's chest. Pangborn falls to the ground, his body once again crippled in the way it was before his time at the Kamar-Taj, and he questions why Mordo would do this. In his response, the newly-birthed villain explains that he has figured out what is wrong with the world: "Too many sorcerers."
It's possible that this is a peek of what we may see from Mordo in The Avengers: Infinity War, but it is far more likely that this is instead a tease for Doctor Strange 2 - a sequel that admittedly hasn't been officially announced yet, and would have to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Four.
Regardless of when we get to see Mordo's plan unfold, the implications are perfectly clear. It seems that the former Kamar-Taj instructor is still feeling pretty burned by both The Ancient One's use of corrupt power, as well as Doctor Strange's use of time manipulation to stop Kaecilius and his zealots. With his faith challenged, he now believes that magicians merely change the world into something that it shouldn't be, and their practice needs to be stopped. This will obviously not be easy, and he will presumably have to construct some kind of intricate, highly detailed plan to execute his mission, but that's why we can probably expect this storyline to unfold further in Doctor Strange 2.