Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness Mentions Some Beloved Marvel Characters, And They're Kind Of A Big Deal

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has blown the Marvel Cinematic Universe wide open. Whereas "Loki" revealed the complexity of the multiverse and the origins of branching timelines and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" showcased multiversal chaos coming to the Earth-616 we know and love, our new Doctor Strange outing sends our heroes falling through the multiverse and making frenemies along the way.

One key scene introduces a whole slew of players that have long been outside the terrain of the MCU, including Reed Richards, Charles Xavier, Captain Carter, and more. With all those major reveals, it's easy to lose one key Reed Richards line that subtly reveals two very important MCU characters — ones that may have an impact on the MCU's future.

What are cameos, if not IP persevering?

Doctor Strange's tumble through realities finds the hero in Earth-838, a version of reality where Doctor Strange defeated Thanos' assault using the Darkhold and its use corrupts him. Strange sacrifices himself and is lauded as a hero across his Earth, despite the complex legacy revealed by his Earth's Illuminati organization (that he co-founded). The Illuminati has a distinguished comic history, and here its members include Earth-838 variants of Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Captain Carter (Hayley Atwell), Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Captain Marvel (the Maria Rambeau version, played by Lashana Lynch), Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart), and Reed Richards (John Krasinski).

Enter Wanda "Scarlet Witch" Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who crashes the Illuminati party in search of Doctor Strange's new ally America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez). In a conversation between Reed Richards and a dream-walking Scarlet Witch, Reed tries to reason with Wanda, saying that he knows how she feels and has children of his own. She asks if they still have a mother, which he affirms. Wanda responds coldly that it's good they do, because there will be someone to watch them once he's gone ... and she kills him in one cold move. Frightening, badass, and complex as that scene is, let's not get distracted by the most important reveal: Reed has kids that have now been introduced to the MCU, and if their comic lore is any indication that's a big deal.

Reed Richards loves two kids and becomes a hero, Wanda does it and becomes the enemy

In the comics, Reed Richards has two children with wife and co-Fantastic Fourster Susan Storm: Franklin and Valeria Richards. Of the two, Franklin has the longest pedigree and is consequently more widely known, having first been introduced in 1968's "Fantastic Four Annual #6." In Marvel canon, Franklin Richards is easily one of the most powerful beings in the universe with the power to warp and reshape reality itself. Given powers by the unique cosmic-ray empowered biology of his parents, Franklin's abilities (and even his long ambiguous status as a potential Marvel mutant–it's now canon that he isn't) have varied widely but overall he can do anything he conceives of from making pocket dimensions and time traveling to making Galactus his herald and recreating the multiverse. If Scarlet Witch is a powerhouse, Franklin Richards is a powercity.

Valeria Richards was conceived in 1983's "Fantastic Four #254," and while Valeria is decidedly human and sans superpowers like her brother, she is an intellectual phenom and one of the smartest characters in Marvel history. While Reed Richards is one of Marvel's greatest intellects, Valeria has exhibited incredible intelligence that's said to surpass Reed's since she was a child (see "Fantastic Four #573"), and has invented technology allowing her to replicate Susan Storm's force fields, neutralize Franklin's powers, or even jump through time and gain invulnerability and enhanced strength.  With one simple conversation, Reed Richards just introduced two marvel phenoms into the MCU.