I’m A Dad Who Watched Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, And I Loved What The Movie Has To Say About Parenthood
The MCU movie surprisingly has a lot to say about being a parent.
The following article contains some MAJOR SPOILERS for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. If you haven’t seen the latest Marvel movie yet, proceed at your own risk!
Ever since I became a father (a few months before the release of Captain America: Civil War), I have began to notice more often how the best Marvel movies spend a lot of time focusing on the bond (or lack thereof) shared by a parent and their children. This relationship was a major aspect in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and numerous other MCU movies that showed the tough decisions and sacrifices made by parents for one reason or another.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is no different. While watching the horror-infused Marvel entry, I couldn’t help but think about all the things the sequel had to say about parenting (both good and bad), and have been contemplating those moments ever since. Because the number of people who have become parents since the MCU started nearly a decade and a half ago continues to get larger by the day, I thought this would be a great opportunity to see how others relate. Let’s dive into the multiverse of parenting madness.
Wanda’s Descent Shows The Extreme Lengths Parents Will Go To Be With Their Children
Throughout Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), a.k.a. Scarlet Witch, has one source of motivation: find a way to reunite with her twin boys Billy (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy (Jett Klyne), no matter what. Since her boys are nothing more than a figment of her imagination in the main MCU universe (Earth-616) and have been gone since the WandaVision ending, the powerful Avenger turns to the Darkhold to find and kill America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) so that she can steal her ability to travel through the multiverse and find them in an alternate reality (Earth-838).
There is something beautiful and terrifying about the lengths Wanda will go to be with her children. I can’t help but sympathize with her wanting to reunite with Billy and Tommy, even if I don’t agree with the way she goes about doing it (you know, terrifying them and taking control of their mother). This whole situation is incredibly heartbreaking, especially when you consider how much everyone lost so Wanda can find some twisted form of happiness.
If Not For America’ Parents’ Love For Their Daughter, She Could Have Ended Up A Villain
America Chavez and Wanda Maximoff have similar motivations throughout Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in that the former is tirelessly searching for her parents and the latter is looking for her children in an alternate reality. But unlike her counterpart (and the Scarlet Witch hot on her trail), America doesn’t take a scorched Earth approach to reuniting with her long-lost parents, and I think a lot of that stems from the love her moms instilled in her before she accidentally made them disappear into the multiverse.
The lone scene that features America and her parents is one the most touching and heartbreaking moments in the whole movie, and adds a tremendous amount of depth to the newest MCU hero. Although brief, it tells you all you need to know about their impact on the young girl and shows how they instilled love and trust in her that carries on years later. Laying the groundwork for a child to grow into a loving and caring person is paramount in parenting, and honestly, it probably prevented America from taking a different, and much darker, path.
Doctor Strange Becomes A Better Person After Learning To Trust America
Doctor Strange has made some bad decisions during his time in the MCU, and among the biggest comes in the opening minutes of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when the Defender Strange version of the character attempts to kill America Chavez and take her powers because she doesn’t know to control them yet. While he tries to justify his action by saying it’s what’s best for the multiverse, his decision ultimately gets him killed.
The main version of Doctor Strange, while not set on murder, has similar trust issues with America throughout the movie, again to the detriment of himself and countless lives throughout the multiverse. But that changes when he finally learns to trust the young girl and allow her to come into her own. Instead of continually nagging her, Strange becomes a trusting father figure who nurtures the confused superhero. As something of a parent myself, I often find that it’s best to trust my kids to come into their own (with some guidance) and not immediately give up on them when they can’t get something right the first time.
Seeing Fear In Her Children’s Eyes Caused A Change In Wanda
During the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ending, America Chavez sends Wanda Maximoff to Earth-838 once more so she can see how her decisions are impacting the lives of the children she care so much about. While in the alternate universe, Wanda comes face-to-face with the crying and terrified eyes of her two sons, and sees the damage she is inflicting on them in a brief moment of clarity.
Although I have never terrified versions of my kids from an alternate reality, there have been times over the years where I have been brought back to Earth by my kids’ reaction to something they either saw or I did. It’s a terrible situation to find yourself in, and it is impossible to not be moved by it. Honestly, I didn’t expect to have that feeling going into a Marvel movie.
In The End, Wanda Was Willing To Sacrifice Herself To Protect Her Children And America
One of the most hopeful moments in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness takes place after Scarlet Witch sees the impact of her decisions in her children’s eyes and decides to sacrifice herself after destroying the Darkhold and all other versions of the book to prevent anyone else from falling into its trap. Although she won’t to get spend any more time with Billy and Tommy (presumably, anyway), she gives her Earth-838 counterpart and others throughout the multiverse a chance to be with their kids, as well as provides America Chavez a chance to live.
That is what parenting is all about — making sacrifices that will hopefully one day lead to a better life for our children. It doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your life, but it can go as far as letting go of your dream so you children can fulfill their own. It’s bittersweet, but the right decision.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does a tremendous job of touching on parenthood and all tough decisions that come with it. And considering how big of a role the relationship shared by parent and child has played in the MCU this far, there’s a strong possibility that will continue to be the case in any of the upcoming Marvel movies.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.