Multiverse of Madness

The one surprising Marvel movie you need to watch before Doctor Strange 2

Forget Doctor Strange and WandaVision...

Stephen Strange has returned, and he’s not alone. In fact, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness seems to be going for the all-time record number of cameos in a Marvel movie. Recent trailers have given some of those cameos away, and that means more homework for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe looking to brush up before Doctor Strange 2.

With that in mind, here’s one MCU movie you might not think to watch before entering the multiverse that you definitely should. (Warning: Marvel-sanctioned spoilers for Doctor Strange 2 below.)

Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, and Xochitl Gomez in Multiverse of Madness.Marvel

Doctor Strange 2 and Captain America 1

That’s right, the MCU movie we’re recommending you watch is none other than Captain America: The First Avenger. And before you ask, no, we’re not expecting Chris Evans to come out of retirement for Doctor Strange 2. However, that doesn’t mean someone won’t be wielding his vibranium shield.

A recent TV spot for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness confirms that Captain America: The First Avenger star Haley Atwell will appear in the film as Captain Carter (a variant of the character from an alternate reality where Peggy takes the serum instead of Steve Rogers). While an early poster for Doctor Strange 2 hinted at this cameo with Peggy’s shield, the new trailer shows Captain Carter in action — even if we don’t actually see her face. (It also seemingly confirms Professor X will return with his iconic yellow hoverchair.)

Captain Carter in Doctor Strange 2.Marvel

Peggy Carter and the MCU

If you need a quick refresher on how Peggy Carter became a superhero, watch the first episode of What If, but if you want to truly understand Peggy’s character, your best bet is The First Avenger. Haley Atwell plays a major role in the original Captain America movie, both as Steve’s sort-of love interest and as a (non-super)hero in her own right.

Carter is pivotal in stopping Red Skull (and the Nazis, by association). Then again, she’s also technically responsible for hiring Red Skull’s second-in-command Arnim Zola and allowing HYDRA to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., leading to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Peggy Carter may not be perfect, but in the MCU, who is? (Besides Steve Rogers, of course.) With her character set to return in a major way for the first time since First Avenger (smaller cameos in Winter Soldier and Endgame barely count), there’s never been a better time to revisit the movie that introduced Haley Atwell to the MCU.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sling rings into theaters on May 6.