What That New Villain Revealed In Spider-Man: No Way Home Means For The MCU

Ok so technically this new villain wasn't introduced in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," but in the post-credit scene that accompanies it. Any seasoned Marvel Cinematic Universe movie buff knows to stick around until the very end of the credits, lest they miss out on a bonus scene that may reveal information about the upcoming adventures of our favorite heroes.

With "No Way Home," viewers were treated to both a mid-credit and post-credit scene, with the latter having some pretty strong implications for the future of the MCU, particularly where the upcoming Doctor Strange feature film is concerned.

The Scene: A Quick Recap

Unsurprisingly, there are consequences to f***ing around with time, fate, and the way of the universe, let alone multiple universes. In the scene, which is functionally a trailer for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," we see Doctor Strange enlist the help of Wanda, aka Scarlet Witch, in order to better understand and help correct the multiverse. There is also the introduction of not just one, but two potential movie villains.

First, there is a brief moment in which Doctor Strange and America Chavez battle a tentacle monster who may or may not be an immensely powerful, interdimensional creature referred to as Shuma-Gorath. Next, we hear another character tell Doctor Strange that the biggest threat to the universe is him, and then comes the ominous entrance of another, noticeably less colorful Doctor Strange, who bears a striking resemblance to Strange Supreme.

What Does This Mean for the MCU?

Those of us who have watched Marvel's "What If...?" series, which explores alternate timelines and universes that shift the fates and outcomes of various characters and storylines, are already familiar with Strange Supreme, who is also known as Evil Doctor Strange. In an alternate universe, Doctor Strange, who has always had a tendency towards arrogance and selfishness, spirals into obsessive, grief-driven madness after the death of his girlfriend, Christine Palmer. He tries repeatedly to stop her death, even after he is informed by The Ancient One that it is an "absolute point" in time, thinking that he will still be able to alter Christine's tragic fate if he increases his powers by absorbing those of various mystical beasts. One of these beasts includes Shuma-Gorath, whose powers include immortality, reality manipulation, shapeshifting, and a host of various other mystical abilities. Eventually, Strange Supreme's efforts result in the destruction of his entire universe and rejection from Christine, who is alive but horrified at what he has allowed himself to become due to his inability to accept her death.

If the villainous-looking Doctor Strange we see in the post-credits scene of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is indeed Strange Supreme from the "What If...?" series, this means the entire timeline of the MCU thus far is now at risk. Since it appears as though Strange Supreme is now traveling between universes, it could mean that he hasn't yet given up on his mission of gaining enough power to undo Christine's death and gain the happily ever after he craves, despite the already horrific consequences of his actions thus far. If he's already destroyed one universe, he may have no issues tinkering with or completely laying waste to countless others as long as he feels the end will justify the means. Basically, his extreme power and lack of morality pose a threat not just to one universe, but to the entire multiverse.

As far as what's in store for hentai-esque nightmare fuel, Strange Supreme has already defeated and absorbed Shuma-Gorath's powers in "What If...?," so if the creature we saw in the post-credit scene is indeed Shuma-Gorath, this could mean that perhaps what we were seeing is the good Doctor Strange traveling back in time and/or to another universe to defeat it before Strange Supreme is able to do so. This is just a theory, however. I, like most of us, have no idea what's actually going on except that it looks like the MCU is about to get really weird — which isn't a bad thing.

It also brings at least the events from "What If...?" into film canon, meaning we may see the addition of alternate versions of familiar faces in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and potentially other upcoming MCU films as well.