The following contains MASSIVE spoilers for Doctor Strange. You have been warned.
Another chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is behind us, but it's left us with several new questions to ask. Specifically, we're wondering how the newest film will impact the one coming out a year from now, Thor: Ragnarok. The mid-credits sequence of the newest film brought the newest member of the sanctum in contact with the god of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth).
While some hints had already been dropped that these two would cross paths, seeing them together creates more questions than answers. Naturally. Here are just a few.
Is This A Scene From Thor: Ragnarok?
Generally, the post-credits scenes in Marvel's films are shot specifically for the movie they're attached to, as a way to tease the future. However, when Ant-Man came out last year, they did something different. They included an actual scene from Captain America: Civil War as their teaser. We can't help but wonder which type of scene we're seeing here. If this is a Doctor Strange exclusive clip, then it would imply that Thor: Ragnarok will pick up after this scene takes place. We'd tend to think this is part of a larger actual scene from Ragnarok, however, because otherwise, we seem to be skipping over several questions that we still need answers to. Such as....
Didn't Loki Kill Odin?
Thor: The Dark World concluded with the reveal, to the audience only, that Odin had been supplanted on the throne by Loki, who was pretending to be the all-father. So how did Loki succeed in doing this? All of our indications had been that Loki had killed Odin in order to take the throne. We now know that's not the case. We've had some information in the news about how Odin will factor into Thor: Ragnarok so if you read news, you knew he was alive. However, most movie fans who remember how The Dark World ended probably assumed Odin was dead (or at the very least, imprisoned), so this is quite an odd way to reveal the truth.
Why Are Thor And Loki Working Together (Again)?
Regardless of the question of what exactly Loki did to Odin, the indication that the brothers are working together to track down dear old dad is all sorts of strange (or is that, Strange). This fact means that Thor has discovered Loki's subterfuge. It means that Loki somehow doesn't know what happened to Odin, when it would appear he was the one that did it. And, it means that Thor and Loki agreed to work together to find Odin? What exactly is Thor thinking? How could working with the guy who has been ruling Asgard under a false identity possibly be the best move in this situation? We'll give Thor the benefit of the doubt for now, but we need this one explained.
When Is This Happening?
This is tangentially related to other questions, but the timeline of the MCU seems to be getting... let's say, "Messy." It's never really clear exactly how long Stephen Strange is studying under The Ancient One. We also don't know where the events of Doctor Strange fit in relation to Captain America: Civil War. It seems clear that some significant amount of time has passed between the end of the film and the mid-credits sequence. The Doctor has compiled a list of people to look out for, something that surely took time. He's clearly settled into his post as the head of the New York Sanctum. Is this taking place months later? Years later? What else has been going on in the MCU between these scenes?
Why Are Thor And Loki In New York?
Of all the places in the Nine Realms where Odin could have ended up, he's in New York City? Neither of the two previous Thor films dealt with the city. The first took place in New Mexico while the second focused on London. It's true that both Loki and Thor have connections to the city, due to the latter attempting to destroy it in the first Avengers film, and the former helping to stop him. However, if we've previously established that Loki doesn't know where Odin is, then what brought them to New York? Is Thor only here to talk to Strange? It would seem like an odd detour to talk to The Ancient One's last student above anybody else who might be able to help them.
Why Is Strange Wearing Leather Gloves?
If you could take your eyes off of Thor's perpetually refilling mug of beer, you might have noticed that Doctor Strange is wearing some fairly conspicuous gloves in the scene in question. This wouldn't necessarily be a major point, except he wears nothing other than bandages on his hands for the entire duration of the rest of the film. You can't wear a sling ring over, or under, gloves like that. They would seem to be completely useless for somebody in his position. It's true that the Doctor Strange of the comics wears similar gloves, but why does he not wear anything like them previously? Is there a reason that Strange has decided to add these to his wardrobe?
How Much Doctor Strange Will We See In Ragnarok?
Regardless of whether or not this is an actual scene from Thor: Ragnarok , it does set up a connection between Thor and Doctor Strange that we fully expect will play out in the film next year. If Doctor Strange is keeping tabs on Loki, and Thor and Loki are staying close together, could we be seeing more of Strange than just a simple cameo? It's nearly impossible to say at this point. We're not expecting Strange to be around for the entire film, but we could get an appearance similar to Falcon showing up in Ant-Man, where Strange plays a pivotal role in a key scene or two. Based on the opening weekend box office of Doctor Strange, it would appear most MCU fans would likely be OK with that.