Across the Multiverse

Doctor Strange 2 leak reveals the debut of Marvel’s best antihero

Is the spirit of vengeance coming (back) to the MCU?

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will mark the culmination of Marvel’s table-setting this year.

With Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff set to play a major role in the sequel, it has the chance to finish what WandaVision started, and the film’s multiversal premise should also allow it to build on the events of the Loki Season 1 finale.

But Multiverse of Madness isn’t just going to serve several of Marvel Studios’ ongoing storylines — it’s also going to mark the beginning of others. After all, the film is set to introduce a prominent Young Avengers team member in Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez, a character with the power to create portals into alternate dimensions.

If another leak is to be believed, Chavez won’t be the only major comic book character making their big-screen Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness either. Is that a flaming motorcycle I see in the distance?

The Leak — Ghost Rider will be freed from a kind of “spiritual prison” in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, according to Atlanta Filming on Twitter, which reportedly overheard this development mid-production.

No further details were given about the twist, including which version of Ghost Rider could appear or why the character is in need of some alleged emancipation. And, of course, this is an unsubstantiated rumor that could turn out to be wishful thinking on the part of over-eager fans.

Johnny Blaze riding his beloved motorcycle in Avengers Vol. 8 #16. Published in 2019.Marvel Comics

Freeing the Spirit of Vengeance — Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard Ghost Rider will be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

As a matter of fact, this leak lines up with another report that surfaced online earlier this year, which also claimed that Ghost Rider will have a cameo in the highly-anticipated Doctor Strange sequel.

For what it’s worth, Ghost Rider appearing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has never felt entirely out of the realm of possibility. The character has a dark, uniquely horror-tinged edge to him in the comics, and because Multiverse of Madness is said to be the closest thing Marvel Studios has made to a horror film, it would make sense as the first film to bring Ghost Rider to life (in the canonical MCU, that is).

Which Ghost Rider could show up in Multiverse of Madness? It’s hard to say. The Robbie Reyes iteration of the character was previously played by Gabriel Luna in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even interacted with the Darkhold in that show. However, the jury’s still out about whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. is even canon in the MCU, and the leak from earlier this year indicated that Marvel will have a new actor to play Ghost Rider in Multiverse of Madness.

But let’s be honest: any version of Ghost Rider appearing in the film would be cause for excitement. At the very least, it would mean that Marvel fans may need to start taking those Midnight Sons spin-off rumors more seriously moving forward.

Johnny Blaze makes his presence known in Avengers Vol. 8 #22. Published in 2019.Marvel Comics

The Inverse Analysis — Little has been confirmed about the plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which makes predicting its twist quite difficult. That’s true whether we’re talking about villains like Shuma-Gorath and Chthon or major comic book heroes like Professor X and Ghost Rider.

That said, Ghost Rider being accidentally or intentionally freed from a spiritual prison does seem like something that could happen at some point in Multiverse of Madness. We’ll just have to see whether director Sam Raimi sees fit to fan the flames.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits theaters on May 6, 2022.