Doctor Strange Merch Appears To Confirm a Major Villain
Warning: Potential Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Box art for a new piece of merch from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has leaked, and it appears to confirm a major villain not previously seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Shuma-Gorath, the Great Old One and longtime nemesis to Strange.
Leaked on Resetera, the art shows Doctor Strange battling a giant squid-like creature with an equally giant central eyeball. Though previous reports indicated Strange might be pitted against the sea monster Gargantos, the box art for this 1000-piece puzzle more closely resembles Shuma-Gorath, a distinctly Cthulhu-esque Great Old One originally created by writer Robert Howard in the 1920’s as part of the expanded Lovecraft mythos.
Shuma-Gorath was later adapted into the Marvel comic mythos as one of Doctor Strange’s antagonists in 1972. In the decades since, he’s battled with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Invaders, and even Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy. Video game fans will also recognize Shuma-Gorath as a playable fighter from the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
We recently saw Shuma-Gorath appear briefly in Marvel’s What If…? series, in an episode where an alternate Doctor Strange summons the Great Old One to try and harness Shuma-Gorath’s power. It…doesn’t go well.
Being an ancient demon, Shuma-Gorath’s powers include the ability to communicate with and control other lifeforms across dimensions, in addition to shooting energy blasts from his eye and tentacles, and transforming the genetic makeup of lifeforms on a planetary scale. If you’re wondering how a giant Elder God can be tossed into Marvel vs. Capcom fights, Shuma-Gorath’s size and power can fluctuate depending on the dimension. On Earth, he’s typically humanoid-sized, but in his home dimension, he’s at his largest and nearly invincible.
Marvel hasn’t confirmed any leaks as of yet, so of course take everything with a grain of salt. Considering Shuma-Gorath is much more of a Doctor Strange nemesis than the mere Gargantos, it’s looking better for the Great Old One than the big squid, though who can blame you for confusing the two.
The puzzle box art also shows Strange fighting alongside characters like fellow sorcerer Wong, the interdimensional teenager America Chavez, and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. Wanda’s actions in the WandaVision series will play a role in Multiverse of Madness, and it’s theorized that she’ll become a student of Doctor Strange, or possibly his ultimate enemy, or both. We’ve seen similar art of the characters in a gift that was given to cast and crew.
It wouldn’t be Doctor Strange’s first time going up against a galaxy-sized deity, though. You can read everything else we know about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and what it means for the MCU here.
You can also check out the most recent delays for the MCU’s Phase 4, which has pushed back a number of projects all the way to 2023. Doctor Strange’s next adventure is scheduled to debut on May 6, 2022.
Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/fish man for IGN.