Who is Charlize Theron in Doctor Strange? Clea Strange, explained
After two hours of bloody body horror hallucinogens, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows the conventional Marvel credits scene playbook, using the final moments to introduce a major character to the strange doctor universe – which we assume now includes all universes.
This character, Clea Strange, played by Charlize Theron, the film’s multiverse badass, materializes to berate Doctor Strange, telling him he must answer for an “incursion” he caused, then having him go through a portal into a sort of colorful dimension. (Perhaps the Dark Dimension?)
An “incursion” occurs when portals or travel between universes cause one or both of them to be erased. Earth-838’s Doctor Strange, who we learn dies after battling Thanos, provoked an incursion to wipe out an entire universe, an act for which his death served as punishment. While we see Earth-616 Doctor Strange (the MCU’s longtime Doctor Strange) moving across universes both with American Chavez and dreamwalking, we don’t know what incursion he caused. (For more on all of these incursion speeches, you can check out writer Jonathan Hickman’s 2016 article. Secret Wars comic bow, and its avengers run that preceded it.)
This may be the plot of the next strange doctor film, which we are told about at the end (of the end of the credits and the credits), will take place.
“You caused an incursion and we’ll repair it, unless you’re scared?” said the artist formerly known as Furiosa as she opened the portal.
Doctor Strange, now with a third eye: “Not at all.”
Who is Clea Strange in the Marvel Comics?
Clear first appeared in strange tales #126, released in 1964. She is the daughter of the Prince of the Dark Dimension and the niece of its last ruler, Dormammu.
The Dark Dimension is another space contained within the Earth-616 universe. In Marvel, the “dimensions” seem to function as largely inaccessible realms from which both heroes and villains emerge. (Asgard is technically a “dimension”, just like the Quantum Dimension and Ta Lo of Shang Chi.)
The Dark Dimension is ruled by Dormammu, who wants to conquer other dimensions and add them to his own hellish realm.
In the comics, Clea first meets Doctor Strange after the former sends Strange to the Dark Dimension to defeat Dormammu. Clea and Strange become allies and eventually develop a romantic relationship with Clea, even moving to New York. (She also marries Strange, which is why her name often appears as Clea Strange.) She trains under Strange and eventually returns to the Dark Dimension to become its Sorcerer Supreme.
She also played a key role in one of the most recent Odd comic arcs, titles Death of Doctor Strange; after the death of Doctor Strange (insofar as anyone is really dead in comics), at the end of the five-issue arc, Clea becomes the Sorcerer Supreme in the main dimension 616. She even directed her own series, simply titled Odd.
How will Clea fit into the MCU?
Her introduction tells us that Clea already knows about Doctor Strange – and already has magical abilities, which already makes her relationship with Strange quite different from the comics (and different from the other romantic relationship Strange just had to give up – with Rachel McAdams’ Christine Palmer).
There may be another tragic romantic subplot for Steven, but we really hope not.
We expect the two to form an alliance and fight Dormammu in the upcoming film.
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