- Doctor Strange 3 might feature Doctor Doom as a compelling potential villain, as he is not only a charismatic leader but also a powerful practitioner of mystic arts.
- Karl Mordo, one of Doctor Strange’s iconic villains, could reappear in Doctor Strange 3 and resolve his murderous journey left unresolved in the MCU.
- Dormammu, Nightmare, Mephisto, or even an alternate version of Doctor Strange himself could be exciting villains for Doctor Strange 3.
There hasn’t been any confirmation that Doctor Strange 3 will happen in the MCU, but it seems likely that Benedict Cumberbatch’s former Sorcerer Supreme will get a third movie to close out a trilogy. Previously, Strange has faced off against the fallen sorcerer Kaecilius and the corrupted Scarlet Witch as primary antagonists. Though it’s possible he’ll face another human magic user, there are also plenty of different options.
Who Strange finds himself at odds with in the unconfirmed Doctor Strange 3will likely come down to when the movie comes out. It’s possible that the project could be planned for a hitherto unannounced slot before Avengers: The Kang Dynasty or Secret Wars, but Strange may not headline another solo project until the MCU Phase 7. Whenever it happens, these ten villains would be exciting to see on the big screen either again or for the first time.
Every Marvel Villain Confirmed For MCU Phase 5 (So Far)
Phase 5 of the MCU is set to introduce several new villains, with a number of them already confirmed as part of the franchise’s upcoming projects.
10 Doctor Doom
Doctor Victor Von Doom may be a popular pick for the villain of the MCU’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot, but the lesser-known side of his powers makes him a compelling potential villain for Doctor Strange 3 as well. While Doom is a charismatic leader and a gifted scientist/inventor, he’s also among Earth’s most powerful practitioners of the mystic arts. While Strange has already faced off against a Darkhold-powered witch and Dark Dimension-backed sorcerer, a villain equally gifted in technology could be an exciting way to give Strange a new challenge.
Furthermore, depending on when Doctor Strange 3 comes out, a meeting between Strange and Doom would be the perfect precursor for the latter’s assumed role in Avengers: Secret Wars. Doom plays a critical role in the comics’ event of the same name, and, if he’s to do the same in the MCU, he’ll need an established relationship with at least some MCU characters. While that could be the Fantastic Four, Doctor Strange works equally well.
9 Karl Mordo
Baron Karl Mordo is one of Doctor Strange’s most iconic villains in the pages of Marvel Comics, and the skilled sorcerer is brilliantly set up in the first Doctor Strange. Shown as a mentor of Stephen’s in Kamar-Taj, Mordo becomes increasingly disturbed by magic users’ repeated willingness to meddle with natural forces he doesn’t believe should be toyed with. Despite dedicating himself to taking out sorcerers worldwide a the end of Doctor Strange, the mainline MCU Mordo was absent from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Mordo was originally supposed to be killed in Multiverse of Madness by Scarlet Witch, but the fact that the scene was cut means it’s the perfect time for Strange’s one-time ally to reappear. If he was upset over Strange manipulating time before, he’d certainly be livid about the incursions and multiversal damage done by Strange and Wanda’s universe-hopping escapades. Even if Doctor Strange 3 features a new primary antagonist, it would be a shame to leave Mordo’s murderous journey left unresolved in the MCU.
Dormammu may have technically been the big bad of the first Doctor Strange, but he only appeared in the movie’s climactic third act and was more of a looming background presence while Kaecilius took center stage as the antagonist. Of all the villains possible for Doctor Strange 3, Dormammu seems like the most likely, given how Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ended. MCU newcomer Clea whisks Strange away to the Dark Dimension, the home realm of Dormammu. Furthermore, Clea is the niece of Dormammu in Marvel Comics, so there’s a familial connection there if the MCU keeps her original backstory.
Doctor Strange has already faced off against one powerful ruler of an alternate dimension, and Nightmare makes sense as the next to follow suit. A Fear Lord of the Dream Dimension, Nightmare preys on victims as they sleep and can never be truly defeated as long as there are dreams to sustain him. Doctor Strange is one of the MCU’s most powerful heroes now, and Nightmare is suitably powerful to match.
In the lead-up to its release, it seemed as though Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness may have been teasing Nightmare as its secret antagonist. It makes sense, too, given the emphasis put on the importance of dreams and dreamwalking. While this didn’t come to pass, it does set Nightmare up as an exciting future villain. Furthermore, Nightmare was the first enemy Doctor Strange ever faced in Marvel Comics, so his inclusion would be a wonderful nod to where Strange’s narrative journey began.
Mephisto was an incredibly popular prediction for the secret villain of WandaVision before the show eventually revealed Agatha Harkness to be pulling the strings behind the scenes, but the demonic powerhouse seems like a perfect fit for Doctor Strange 3. Ruler of a pocket dimension he calls “Hell” (though not actually the Christian Hell), Mephisto is nearly unparalleled in power and has crossed paths with Doctor Strange more than a few times in Marvel Comics.
Mephisto has all the classic demonic-magic-user abilities one would expect, but a few unique powers make him a particularly compelling narrative villain. Mephisto can create “bargains,” giving something to the person involved in exchange for something else. Making a deal isn’t terribly exciting in and of itself, but, due to whatever mystical properties they possess, the deals are virtually unbreakable. Such a deal could be the narrative kick-off point for Doctor Strange 3 or an ending teaser that sets up a future film.
5 The Council Of Kangs
Time will tell if Kang the Conquerer will return to the MCU after his apparent demise at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, but even if he does, it seems he’s not really the big bad of the Multiverse Saga anyway. That honor, at the moment, seems to belong to the Council of Kangs. Though the Quantumania post-credits scene revealed that thousands of Kangs are in cahoots with each other for whatever their nefarious plan is, it’s clear that the collective is run by a few particularly powerful variants – Scarlet Centurion, Rama-Tut, and Immortus.
If Marvel Studios wants to build this group up a bit more before Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, pitting at least one against Doctor Strange seems like the perfect opportunity. Having another Kang lose to a solo Marvel hero may hurt their reputation, but Doctor Strange 3 could end differently. Having Strange suffer a defeat could set future stakes high and create a stronger need to bring the Avengers together once more.
4 Shadow King
WIth Marvel Studios only recently preparing to hear writer pitches for their X-Men movie, it seems as though the mutant team still won’t be introduced to the MCU for several years at the earliest. However, that doesn’t mean that X-Men-adjacent heroes and villains can’t appear sooner (like Wolverine and Deadpool will in 2024’s Deadpool 3). One version of Shadow King has already been featured in live action – on FX’s Legion – but he’s also a perfect villain for Doctor Stange 3.
Strange has faced several incredibly powerful magic users in his two solo movies so far, so a telepath would be an interesting new direction to take his next antagonist. Much remains unknown about the true history of Shadow King, but the being is a multiversal embodiment of humanity’s darkness. In most interpretations of the character, this entity is bonded with mutant Amahl Farouk, whose mutation allows him to physically control others. The pair makes a terrifying combination, and seeing Strange have to contend with someone who is more of a mental threat than a physical one could make for a terribly engaging story.
If Mordo is still on his quest to eradicate sorcerers, he may have picked up some powerful allies since his last appearance in Doctor Strange. Imperator would be a perfect match. On a quest to avenge his parents, who were killed for studying science in a dimension where doing so is heresy – the Imperator commands an army of robotic beings with the quest to kill all magic users in the multiverse. Strange certainly fits that bill, and an enemy who doesn’t use magic would be an interesting change of pace for the Doctor Strange franchise.
Wanda Maximoff was the unexpected villain of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and her villainous actions were in part due to her corruption by the Darkhold. Though the book is undeniably powerful, the Elder God who wrote it, Cthon, is even scarier. It’s unclear what the exact nature of Strange’s newfound third eye is, but, if it’s Darkhold-related corruption as it seems to be, Cthon may be coming for the one-time Sorcerer Supreme.
1 Doctor Strange Himself
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness briefly featured multiversal variants of the powerful sorcerer, but none played the role of central antagonist. If Doctor Strange 3 delves further into incursions and once again deals with the multiverse, it’s more than possible that Stephen could find himself at odds with another version of himself. Furthermore, the mainline MCU Strange could even be painted as the antagonist as another Strange fights for a reality suffering incursions caused by MCU Strange’s actions.