Out of all of the Avengers, Doctor Strange is perhaps the most adaptable to his situations, and the latest trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness supports this idea. During one fight scene in the trailer, he uses a move that was used against him back in Avengers: Infinity War, showing that with every failure, the character only becomes stronger.
Early in Avengers: Endgame, Ebony Maw visits Earth and is confronted by Iron Man, Bruce Banner, Wong and Doctor Strange. Using his telekinesis, Maw flings a car at the group, which is then repelled back by Iron Man. As the car comes tumbling back towards him, Maw simply slices it into two halves, which fall on either side of him. The fight ultimately ends with Strange being captured by Maw, being one of the very few people to win against him one-on-one.
Several years later, the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer shows Strange facing off against a giant one-eyed tentacle monster in the streets of New York. This monster throws an entire bus towards him, and much like Ebony Maw, he stands still and slices the bus down the middle with his magic, with the two halves falling on either side of him.
With the two clips put side by side, it looks intentional that Doctor Strange uses the same move. And it feels fitting for the character, as he's always been a master of adapting and learning to become better. His background as an expert surgeon gave him the drive to study and improve, and his drive was evident as he relentlessly worked to learn magic. And given that he's had to fight in the Mirror Dimension multiple times, he's learned to adapt to the situation on the fly as the ground beneath him constantly shifts.
Something else that supports this being an intentional callback is that learning from previous fights has been seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. During the fight against Thanos on Titan, Iron Man blocks a beam from the Gauntlet, then spins and goes in to knock Thanos' hand. This same move was used against him in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Iron Man shot a beam at an out-of-control Hulk, who blocked the beam with a spin and punched his hand.
While Iron Man adapts with every new suit variation, Doctor Strange adapts through study and practice. He isn't one to take a defeat lightly and has likely replayed his defeat against Maw in his head many times. He may have even taken inspiration from it during the Titan fight right after, as Strange uses his magic to grab Thanos' hand and pin him, much like Maw did to stop him from using the Time Stone.
Either way, Doctor Strange continues to become one of the most powerful people in the MCU with every new movie. And given how he adapts, it feels fitting that his greatest threat yet could be an evil version of himself, who confronts him at the end of the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer.
To see how the sorcerer learns from his past battles, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens in theaters on May 6, 2022.
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