Who Is That Credit Scene Character In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness?

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has arrived in theaters and despite a very successful opening weekend, it's already proving itself a rather divisive entry in the MCU. This is Marvel we're talking about, so whether you loved or hated the movie, it's already time to start speculating about what's next. With a packed slate of films stretching years into the future, we know the studio is always thinking about its next move, sometimes to the detriment of the story it is currently trying to tell.

In typical MCU fashion, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" has two post-credit scenes. The second is just a bit of fun, but the first could have major implications for a third Doctor Strange installment, or possibly even for the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. The mid-credits scene showed Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) meeting a mysterious woman in purple, who was played by none other than the amazing Charlize Theron. She slashes her way into his dimension and after confirming his identity, invites him to help fix the incursion he inadvertently caused. Stephen's eager response is kind of odd, considering the way the film wrapped up. However, you may be wondering who is this new character and what does her appearance mean?

Strange isn't the only Sorcerer Supreme

Both the color of her hair and her outfit would indicate that Charlize Theron is playing Clea, Stephen's sometimes love interest from the comics, who he eventually married. Clea is most closely associated with Doctor Strange, though she has also helped out the Defenders. She has appeared sporadically over the decades, but Clea has more recently taken a much more active role — more on that in a minute. The character was created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, who introduced her in 1964 in "Strange Tales" #126.

Clea has strong ties to Dormammu, one of Stephen's greatest enemies, who you may remember from the first "Doctor Strange" movie. She hails from the Dark Dimension, which he ruled over. In fact, Clea is actually Dormammu's niece. From the first moment she met Strange though, he was a threat to Clea's relationship with her villainous uncle, and it didn't take long for her to switch sides. She's been imprisoned a number of times over the years as Strange's enemies hoped to gain his attention, but thankfully, Clea later evolved into a more fully realized character, whose magical prowess rivaled Stephen's own. She's not only a very powerful sorcerer, but is also half Faltine, which gives her unique magical abilities as well.

Inter-dimensional romance is never easy, and with Strange as acting Sorcerer Supreme on Earth while Clea took over as ruler (and later Sorcerer Supreme) of the Dark Dimension, their relationship hit plenty of roadblocks. The two even got married, though they scarcely saw one another. At a certain point, both recognized the futility of their attempt at domestic bliss and discussed getting a divorce.

The couple may have finally figured out a way to make things work, but thanks to a deal Stephen made with Mephisto in order to save the world, Clea lost all memories of their life together. However, when the Sorcerer Supreme was killed off in "The Death of Doctor Strange," it all came flooding back. With the help of a temporal remnant, Stephen and Clea were briefly reunited (comics are complicated) and his final gift was passing on the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme to her. She's even calling herself Clea Strange in his honor. There hasn't been a ton for Clea to do in recent years, but fortunately, due to this development, that seems poised to change.

What does this mean moving forward?

It's incredibly exciting that Charlize Theron has been cast in this role. Theron is so versatile as an actor and has proven herself quite the action star, lighting up the screen in films such as "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Atomic Blonde," and "The Old Guard." Clea hasn't always had a lot of great comic stories, but the fact that Marvel has cast a performer of Theron's caliber in the role makes it seem like the studio has major plans for her moving forward. She might even wind up being Doctor Strange's successor in the MCU, as she did so recently in the new "Strange" comics series from Jed MacKay and Marcelo Ferreira. Either way, we can hopefully expect some reality-warping adventures and inter-dimensional romance.

Unfortunately, there's always the possibility Clea will be dealt with much in the same way as Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) — as in, teased as pivotal to the next film only to be tossed aside for a far less compelling story. I'm not saying I hated "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," but I definitely was not a fan of how the film treated Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and I personally would've rather seen Strange truly face off against Mordo. Ejiofor is a fantastic actor and thus far, he's been criminally underused. Hopefully, the studio will do a better job with Clea. Also, I'm a huge fan of both Clea and Theron, so I love this casting, but I sincerely hope that for her next appearance, Marvel gives her a much better costume.

Those complaints and worries aside, I'd like to think Marvel wouldn't have cast someone as impressive as Theron if there weren't some great ideas already in the works. Fans have been waiting since 2016 for a follow-up to "Doctor Strange," but hopefully, now that Cumberbatch's Stephen has such an electrifying partner in crime, we won't have to wait quite so long for a third installment.