10 Marvel Characters That Could Be Wearing Doctor Strange's Face In Spider-Man: No Way Home – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home led to a number of theories about Doctor Strange’s odd behavior, but is that even really Doctor Strange?
The long-awaited debut of Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s trailer raised a number of questions with fans due to the strange behavior and recklessness of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange. This has led to a number of theories and questions about the true identity or plans of the Sorcerer Supreme in the third MCU Spider-Man movie.
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Some fans are wondering if Doctor Strange’s odd behavior could be connected to Baron Mordo’s final promise of “no more sorcerors” from the first Doctor Strange. However, there are quite a few other Marvel characters who could be masquerading as the Sorcerer Supreme in Spider-Man: No Way Home that we’ll take a closer look at today.
While the Child of Thanos known as Ebony Maw appeared to have died during his battle with Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange in Avengers: Infinity War, he was later seen alongside the Black Order from the past in Avengers: Endgame.
This could mean that the Ebony Maw from the past could have either survived Iron Man’s snap to secretly take control of Doctor Strange or he left a mental command when he had Strange captured. This would fall in line with Ebony Maw’s complete mental takeover of Doctor Stange in the Infinity storyline which turned him into a double agent for the Black Order.
Doctor Strange and Spider-Man have dealt with quite a few demons over the years, both individually and working together in one of their frequent team-ups. The Fear Lord known as Nightmare is one of those demons who has frequently used his control of the Dream Dimension to haunt and feed on the dreams and nightmares of humanity.
This has brought him into conflict with Spider-Man and Strange a few times over the years in the comics. While Nightmare is more powerful in his home dimension, he is capable of possessing others to do his bidding which could explain Strange’s odd behavior in No Way Home.
One of Spider-Man’s earliest villains who has become a constant thorn in his side is the master of disguise, Dmitri Smerdyakov/The Chameleon. The Chameleon doesn’t have any magical abilities of his own, but he frequently uses technology to mimic abilities when needed.
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While it is still a bit of a stretch to assume The Chameleon is masquerading as Doctor Strange, Numan Acar’s portrayal of the mysterious Dmitri in Spider-Man: Far From Home created a loose thread in the MCU that has fans wondering when The Chameleon might make his official debut.
2016’s Doctor Strange first introduced the villain known as the Dread Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension who had gathered Kaecilius and his followers to help him leave his dimension and spread his evil to Earth. While Doctor Strange was able to bargain his way out of the Dark Dimension, Dormammu isn’t one to forget a loss.
He may be trapped within his own dimension, but Dormammu has frequently been able to use his dark magic to subvert the wills of others and take control, which could mean he’s manipulating Doctor Strange from the sidelines in No Way Home.
There hasn’t been much indication that the Skrulls have begun to infiltrate the superhero community of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, given the friendlier nature of the alien shape-shifters in the MCU. However, the upcoming Secret Invasion series on Disney+ and the post-credit scene from Far From Home has teased a larger role for the Skrulls in the MCU.
In the comics, an army of Super-Skrulls with the merged powers of Marvel’s heroes (including Doctor Strange) attacked Earth during the Secret Invasion event, so it’s possible the Skrulls are taking a more subtle approach to their infiltration by replacing Doctor Strange with a mystically enhanced Super-Skrull.
The MCU was recently altered due to the events of Loki on Disney+, which revealed the existence of a timeline-monitoring organization known as the TVA that began working with Loki. While the character appears to be busy behind the scenes of the MCU, it’s also possible Loki’s up to his old tricks in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Loki’s magics have frequently enabled him to change his appearance, and he has also briefly served as the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth where he even shared an adventure with Spider-Man. The mischievous wink from Doctor Strange in the trailer might be a small clue that the God of Mischief could be hiding under Doctor Strange’s face.
Most of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange’s early adventures occurred within the Marvel Team-Up title as they dealt with a powerful sorcerer known as Xandu, who was attempting to bring back the love of his life using Strange’s Wand of Wattomb. Over the course of the series, Xandu showcased his ability to take control of other heroes like the Hulk or Scarlet Witch with ancient artifacts.
RELATED: No Way Home: 10 Ways It Could Be The Best Spidey Movie To Date
So it’s entirely possible that Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s team-up between the Wall-Crawler and the Sorcerer Supreme could introduce Xandu as one of their biggest shared enemies as he attempts to combine dimensions in order to restore his love.
Shuma-Gorath is an eldritch horror, one of the Many-Angled Ones who have plagued humanity for centuries, dating back even to Conan the Barbarian‘s Hyborean Age. The tentacled creature may have even appeared on Disney+’s What If…?, teasing its future involvement in the larger MCU.
While Shuma-Gorath originally tried to possess the Ancient One in the comics in order to free itself from its cosmic prison, it’s possible the eternal demon could try to do the same to Doctor Strange in the MCU given the Ancient One’s demise.
Marvel Studios has started to explore alternate realities of the MCU in the Disney+ series What If…?, which is loosely based on a similar fan-favorite comic of the same name. “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” explored a reality where Dr. Stephen Strange was inspired to seek out mystical power in order to resurrect his love, Christine Palmer.
Strange went to extreme measures to bring back Palmer, which resulted in his evil turn as the incredibly powerful Strange Supreme, whose actions destroyed his own reality while he survived in a limbo between worlds. It’s possible What If…? is setting up possible threats across the live-action MCU, which means Strange Supreme could possibly be hiding out in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The looming threat of Mephisto has been rumored since WandaVision first launched on Disney+, and it has become a running joke among fans with each new release that Mephisto will finally make his debut in the MCU. Spider-Man: No Way Home is no different, as the incredibly reckless actions of Doctor Strange have many fans diving into the Mephisto theory.
Spider-Man sought help from Doctor Strange to erase the knowledge of his identity in the “One Moment in Time” storyline which seems to be adapted for the movie. This took place after Mephisto made a reality-altering deal with Spider-Man during “One More Day,” which further fuels the fires of Mephisto’s possible role in No Way Home.
NEXT: Spider-Man: The Best (& Worst) Thing About Each Live-Action Actor’s Portrayal
Entertainment reporter, writer, and all-around geek, Scoot Allan has written for print and online media sources like Geek Magazine, GeekExchange, GrizzlyBomb, WhatCulture, RoguePlanet.tv and the Urban 30 before joining CBR, ScreenRant, GameRant and The Gamer as a staff writer. He enjoys salad but prefers french fries.


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