Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange 2’s new poster reveals a shocking What If? Easter egg

Multiverse of Madness is bringing back one of What If…?’s best variants.

Rumors have been swirling for months about the various MCU cameos that will be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film is set to be Marvel’s first substantial exploration of the multiverse, which means it has the chance to showcase realities where certain characters and events turned out very differently than they did in the studio’s previous films and TV shows.

Only one other MCU title has actually explored the multiverse as deeply as the Doctor Strange sequel will, and that’s the first season of Marvel’s What If…? As a result, fans suspect that Multiverse of Madness will address What If…? in some important ways when it’s released this May.

Now we have reason to believe Multiverse of Madness may feature an appearance from one of the biggest variants introduced in What If…? Season 1.

Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell) in What If...? Episode 1.Marvel Studios

Familiar Variants — The first trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made waves when it revealed that the film will feature an appearance from a dark variant of Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) — likely the same one from What If…?’s fourth episode. While the second Multiverse of Madness trailer doesn’t feature any obvious What If…? Easter eggs, the film’s new poster does.

Shortly after the latest Multiverse of Madness poster was released, some keen-eyed Marvel fans spotted part of the shield used by Captain Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in What If…? in one of the poster’s fragments of shattered glass. It’s a small but major detail, one that seems to confirm a rumor that first surfaced back in July 2021.

Captain Carter’s shield in the newest poster for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.Marvel Studios

Calling in Captain Carter — Last year, a rumor began that Multiverse of Madness will feature an appearance from none other than Captain Carter. A variant of Peggy Carter who’s injected with the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Carter is the star of What If…? Episode 1 and a central player in the show’s first season.

Not only was the What If…? character well-received by viewers, but her presence suggests that Multiverse of Madness will embrace the same kind of playful multiversal possibilities that What If…? did. That’s exciting, and not just because it means Multiverse of Madness will feature Hayley Atwell’s first in-person MCU appearance since Avengers: Endgame.

Put the kettle on.Marvel Studios

It’s hard to know just what role Captain Carter will play in Multiverse of Madness. It doesn’t seem likely that she’ll be a major fixture, although there’s always a chance that’ll be the case. Notably, What If…?’s first episode ended with Captain Carter going into another dimension to fight a tentacled monster that looks a whole lot like the Shuma-Gortha-esque monstrosity seen in Multiverse of Madness’ first two trailers.

Additionally, it’s worth remembering that it was rumored last year that Captain Carter will be one of the members of the Illuminati in Multiverse of Madness. Now that the superhero team’s inclusion in the film has been confirmed by its latest trailer, it’s possible that Captain Carter’s cameo will come during the movie’s Illuminati section.

Will Captain Carter step in to help Doctor Strange sort out his (many) multiversal problems?Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness doesn’t hit theaters for another three months, but Marvel has already confirmed that it will feature appearances from a dark Doctor Strange variant, Professor X (Patrick Stewart), and Captain Carter. That suggests the film may feature even more cameos than fans think, and that its connections to What If…? may extend beyond just token appearances from Doctor Strange Supreme and Captain Carter.

Does that mean Multiverse of Madness will feature cameos from other What If...? characters like The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright)? It’s impossible to say, but the presence of Captain Carter’s shield on the poster certainly suggests so.

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