*Spoiler warnings on high alert*
It’s been around a week now since Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness hit our screens and the film has drawn a lot of varied opinions. Most of them seem to be aimed at the showstopping fate of the cameoing members of the Illuminati of the 838 universe in a scene that sees a fully villain-ed up Wanda Maximoff launch a vicious assault through the puppeteered body of her own variant. The scene is quick, jarring and much in the vein of director’s cruel brand of humour (see the end of Drag Me To Hell for equally callous results) and while some fans were horrified at the MCU laying waste to some jiucy cameos a mere couple of minutes after they were first introduced, I have to admit I myself was laughing like a gurgling drain…
So let’s dive into MOM’s most disturbingly morbid moment and see who got the worst fate…
5) Mushing Marvel
Introduced as Universe 838’s version of Captain Marvel, it’s a legitimately nice feeling to see Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau return to the MCU after WandaVision informed us she succumbed to cancer during The Blip over in universe 616. Rocking a super suit and drawling like Gambit from the X-Men, this Captain Marvel seems just as self-assured as the Carol Danvers version – and to give her her due, she does last the longest when battling Wanda – but after a brief exchange of energy powers that send the combatants whirling around the room like twin goldfish in a toilet bowl, the Scarlet Witch eventually triumphs. Whether Wanda nulifies Marvel’s powers or simply drains them is unclear, but Rambeau is left vunerable enough for Wanda to pull over a statue onto the prone Captain to put her down for the count permanently. By far the least harrowing demise of the group – especially considering that three if them have already bought the farm – but still mean in the extreme.
4) Unraveling Reed.
Ok, this one hurt. Like a lot of people, I’ve been lobbying for a John Krasinski Reed Richards for years and to see him appear in those blue and black duds with a four on the front was genuinely an emotionally triumphant experience – however, it’s also an experience that’s short lived as after he witnesses Black Bolt get taken out in record time, his stretchy physique is painfully unravelled into what looks like blue strips of cheesy string. However, while the death itself is nasty (although not particularly gory as the rest of the poor saps on this list) it’s the brief bout of trash talk that proceeds it that raises chills. After pleading to Wanda’s instincts as a mother by telling her he has children of his own (Franklin and Valeria confirmed!), Wanda in return inquires Reed if they still have a mother and after hearing an answer in the affirmative coldly states: “At least they’ll still have someone to raise them.” and turns Mr Fantastic into Mr Tangfastic with the flick of a wrist.
Possibly the coldest move ever performed in the MCU, if the Scarlet Witch ever goes on to get a solo movie or another Disney+ show, may I suggest the title “A Bitch Called Wanda”?
3) Turns Out She Can’t Do This All Day…
Seeminging leaping out of the animated episodes of What If… (although that’s yet to be confirmed and she’s allegedly in Season 2) Hayley Atwell makes her flesh and blood debut as Captain Carter after a string of cameos from everything from Ant-Man to Avengers: Endgame. Hurling herself into the fray as only a super soldier does with only an unbreakable shield and a rocket pack to aid her, she seems undeterred that she’s essentially going to have to fist fight a vengeful God while everyone around her has off-the-scale abilities but she gives as good as she gets, though – well, almost.
Perhaps relying too heavily on the shield, Carter genuinely seems to think that this battle can be won with a good old right cross but is eventually hoisted by her own petard and has her signature weapon hurled back at her in a move that mirrors Bucky flinging the shield back at Steve Rogers in The Winter Soldier. However, unlike that movie, the shield move with such force that it slices Carter in half and thus into the wall behind her covered in far more red, then white and blue as Wanda enforces a half-off sale on all superheroes.
2) Professor Ex.
At first glance, you might think that this latest death in a long line of on-screen demises for Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier may be ranked oddly high for what apeares to be, at first glance, a simple neck snap – however, when we slow things down we find that Sam Raimi (the mischievous little scamp) has staged something far more horrific.
After being introduced as presumably the version of Professor X we grew up with from the 90’s animated series (big, yellow chair; wobbly mind waves; hint of the awesome series theme tune), old Chuck is absent when Wanda starts picking off the other members of the Illuminati like Jason Voorhees during spring break and thus is the last man standing (er… so to speak). Indulging in some old school brain manipulation, Xavier worms his way into Wanda’s mind hoping to free 838 version from her 616 dwelling puppeteer, but as he struggles to help, a super-ominous red cloud billows across the pure white background behind him and sure enough, an extra-witchy Scarlet Witch explodes from the mist and seemingly snaps the mustang’s neck, killing him in the real world.
But hold up. Go back and slow that bad boy down and we see that it’s not your average, everyday neck snap at all but in fact Wanda actually tears his fricking head clean in two!
What in blue hell could possibly top this?
1) Mind. Blown.
While lists usual state that they leave the best till last, here we leave the first for last as we are quickly and rudely informed by the movie that a) Wanda is really not to be messed with, and b) the might of the Illuminati is merely a red herring that the Scarlet Witch is about to tear through like a weed whacker through crepe paper.
As Wanda confidently Wade’s through some ineffectual defence from some Ultron sentinels (not a good move considering her brother was murdered by the orginal, mechanical dreadnaught), she finds her path blocked by four smug, woefully overconfident members of the Illuminati. Reed Richards takes point and warns Maximoff that a single word from the mouth of Inhumans leader Black Bolt could atomise her completely, to which she replies – “What mouth?”.
Yup, she’s only gone and used her reality warping powers to remove his mouth and his building sound wave has nowhere to go but to blow out the brain pan of the incredibly powerful monarch that causes the back of his skull to pop and sag sickeningly. What’s even more tragic us that Black Bolt’s (and by extension, actor Anson Mount) inclusion into the MCU proper comes after that atrocious TV show that turned up in 2017 and to finally see a more comic accurate version of Blackagar Boltagon go out like a punk is legitimately shocking, darkly hilarious and a perfect statement of intent to show exactly the type of person Wanda has become.