Madness

Marvel’s next big bad could be its strangest villain yet

“I am the emptiness outside all understanding.”

The MCU is about to get a whole lot bigger. Marvel is on the verge of introducing a number of notable comic book characters into its already massive cinematic universe, including Ms. Marvel, Kate Bishop, the Eternals, She-Hulk, Ms. America, Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, and the Fantastic Four. With noteworthy Marvel villains like Kang the Conqueror and Gorr the God Butcher also on their way, the entire landscape of the MCU feels primed to shift pretty dramatically in the coming years.

A new rumor suggests that Marvel may be bringing another very powerful and very weird villain into the fold soon as well.

The News — A new post from insider Daniel Richtman claims that Shuma-Gorath — a Doctor Strange villain in the comics — will be making an appearance in a future MCU title. Richtman does not specify which Marvel film or TV show in specific the villain will apparently show up in, but given the character’s comics history, it seems most likely that the project will be next year’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Marvel Comics

The Void Made Flesh — In the comics, Shuma-Gorath is an ancient eldritch being who ruled over Earth and feasted on humans for years until he was eventually banished by a time-traveling sorcerer. But that didn’t stop Shuma-Gorath from returning from time to time and causing problems, and the villain has often battled against Doctor Strange and the Ancient One. He also, notably, looks like a giant green octopus with one large eye in the center of his tentacles.

Based on the character’s relationship with Strange in the comics, it’d make sense for him to show up as a villain in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The use of Dormammu in 2016’s Doctor Strange proved that the franchise isn’t afraid of introducing and showcasing weird, all-powerful dimensional beings either, and Shuma-Gorath certainly falls into that category. It’s hard to imagine that he’d show up in any other upcoming Marvel title outside of Multiverse of Madness, though one must always be careful about trying to predict Marvel’s MCU plans.

It’s also worth mentioning that Shuma-Gorath isn’t the only eldritch villain from Marvel comics lore who has been rumored to have a role in the Doctor Strange sequel. WandaVision set up — whether intentionally or not — the possibility of the Elder god Chthon appearing in the film. So it’s possible that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness really will take advantage of its multiverse-centric storyline, and bring to life several weird dimensional beings. Wouldn’t that be trippy?

Marvel Comics

The Inverse Analysis — As usual, make sure to take this report with a bit of a grain of salt, since nothing is official in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until it actually happens on screen. Shuma-Gorath would no doubt bring a wild and unexpected presence to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but since there are already quite a few major characters confirmed to have roles in that film, it’s hard to know how much room there is in it for a villain like him.

That being said, if Shuma-Gorath really does show up in the MCU soon, then it looks like Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Val was right — things really are about to get weird.