5 Comics To Read Before Watching Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

"Doctor Strange" was released in 2016 and it introduced us to an entirely new side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange opening the door to the realm of the mystic arts. While we've seen a great deal of Strange, as well as magic, in the MCU since — including in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" — Cumberbatch has yet to get a solo sequel. That all changes in 2022, as "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is finally set to hit theaters.

Hailing from director Sam Raimi ("Spider-Man," "The Evil Dead") this looks to be a wild trip through the multiverse that will deal with the consequences of Strange tampering with time and space. As Mordo made clear in the first movie, "the bill comes due." For those who are feeling particularly excited about the film (such as myself), it might be a good time to dig into the source material in the pages of Marvel Comics. We've put together a little list of recommended titles to check out that relate to the upcoming film in some way, shape, or form. Let's dig in.

Young Avengers (2013)

One of the big things we know for sure about "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is that America Chavez, aka Ms. America, is going to be involved. We even got a glimpse of her in the trailer, as portrayed by Xochitl Gomez. While the character originally appeared in "Vengeance" #1, she got to blossom in the pages of the 2013 "Young Avengers" series, which was written by Kieron Gillen and illustrated by Jamie McKelvie. And, given the persistent speculation that Marvel Studios is building to a Young Avengers team, this might be a good bit of reading for those who are especially obsessed with the MCU.

Here is the synopsis for the series:

Legacy isn't a dirty word... but it's an irrelevant one. It's not important what our parents did. It matters what WE do. Someone has to save the world. You're someone. Do the math. The critically acclaimed team of Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson (with added Norton Sauce) decide to reinvent the teen superhero comic for the 21st century, uniting Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye with Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America. No pressure. Young Avengers is as NOW! as the air in your lungs, and twice as vital. It's the book that knows Hyperbole is the BEST! THING! EVER!

Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: The Way to Dusty Death

"Spider-Man: No Way Home," in many ways, served to tee up the ball for "Doctor Strange 2." As such, fans might be wanting another adventure with Stephen and Peter ahead of the upcoming sequel, which will presumably not feature Spidey. I'll point you in the direction of 1992's one-off graphic novel "Spider-Man/Doctor Strange: The Way to Dusty Death." While I can't promise it shares any direct connective tissue with the new movie, it does feature multi-dimensional madness with these two superheroes in what I personally count as a downright excellent bit of comic book storytelling. That should come as little surprise, given that it was penned by two legends in Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway.

Here is the synopsis:

Welcome to the Death Dimension! Somewhere beyond time and space is a phantasmagoric landscape populated by demons, evil wizards and damsels in distress. A netherworld where the forces of darkness rule supreme. A nightmare realm where Spider-Man and Doctor Strange must wage a very personal battle, with the fate of the entire universe at stake. Welcome to the Death Dimension. No one gets out alive.

Avengers/Doctor Strange: Rise of the Darkhold

Another big thing we know for sure about the sequel is that Elizabeth Olsen will be reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, following the events of "WandaVision." This is particularly important as she is more powerful than ever. Also, we have the Darkhold to deal with, as the mystical book was a bit part of the show. As such, it would seemingly be a good idea to check out the collected edition "Avengers/Doctor Strange: Rise of the Darkhold." The collection was published in 2018 but it collects stories from various tales that were published in the '80s. It contains lots of mystical craziness, and lots of various heroes contending with said craziness. Something tells me that vibe is going to mesh well with what Raimi has cooked up.

Here is the synopsis:

Penned by the elder god Chthon and containing the blackest of magic, could the Darkhold be responsible for the Werewolf by Night's curse? Jack Russell's quest for the truth leads him into conflict with...Dracula! Modred the Mystic dared to learn the Darkhold's secrets, but he spells trouble for the Avengers when Chthon chooses Scarlet Witch as the vessel for his rebirth! And Doctor Strange attempts to use the Darkhold to destroy all vampires — as Thor battles Dracula!

Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment

Do I think Doctor Doom is going to show up in this movie? Vegas odds are probably against me on that one. Be that as it may, "Triumph and Torment" is widely considered to be one of the best Doctor Strange stories of all time, and with good reason. "Doctor Strange" co-writer C. Robert Cargill has called it has favorite tale involving the hero, which is no small thing. Written by the great Roger Stern with art from "Hellboy" creator Mike Mignola, this is a sorcery tale through and through with two powerful beings matching wits. Not only that, but Mephisto is involved! And Marvel fans have had a lot of fun with Mephisto theories over the last year, so why not dump some more fuel on that fire?

Here is the synopsis:

Doctor Doom and Doctor Strange enter Mephisto's realm in an all-out effort to free the soul of Doctor Doom's mother! But what price must be paid before Mephisto will release it? And will Doctor Doom make the sacrifice?

What If? #40

The animated series "What If...?" is quickly proving to be more important to the overall MCU than many might have thought going into it. Case in point, the evil Doctor Strange from the show is going to appear in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." Well, that show is based on a series of comics of the same name, with the same premise. As it relates to this movie, "What If?" #40 might be of interest, as it shows us what life might have been like if Doctor Strange had not become the Master of the Mystic Arts. What might the world look like if Mordo had taken after the Ancient One? Given that Mordo has been on a bit of a power grab, this seems like it could be very relevant.

Here is the synopsis:

WHAT IF...DOCTOR STRANGE HAD NOT BECOME THE MASTER OF THE MYSTIC ARTS? In an alternate story, Baron Mordo inherits the full extent of the Ancient One's power.

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2022.