The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become an international cinematic powerhouse and shows no signs of slowing down. As the Captain America: Civil War directing duo of the to begin production on the seemingly distant 2018 mega blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War and its yet untitled 2019 sequel, some potentially spoilery information has surfaced concerning the next Marvel Studios film to hit theatres: Doctor Strange.
The from earlier this year of a “red-tentacle demon beast” included in the “Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum” LEGO set prompted much speculation as to what demonic entities could be appearing in the film aside from Mads Mikkelsen’s renegade sorcerer Kaecilius. Amongst others, Mephisto, Shuma-Gorath and Dormammu were theorized to be likely contenders, but if this easter egg spotted by an eagle-eyed fan is any indication, indeed a major Doctor Strange villain will be making an appearance.
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As shown in this handy key by Imgur user , the adorably tiny Nordic Runes printed on a small LEGO spell glyph piece are legitimate characters, and the corresponding alphabet letters print out a secret message: DORMAMMU IS NEAR
This is a huge revelation for comic fans, as Dormammu is a seriously big-time villain, an inter-dimensional conqueror as ruthless as Thanos and as powerful as Odin (or more so, depending on who you ask). Considered by many to be Doctor Strange’s greatest and most iconic foe, it is not exactly surprising that Dormammu is given mention within this LEGO set. However, assuming that this small detail is more than just a nod to the canon and indicates Dormammu’s inclusion in the upcoming film, there is a lot to talk about here.
For one, we know that the Dark Dimension in some capacity in Doctor Strange, as has been teased in both word and concept art from the production team. The film has been described as containing an inter-dimensional journey of sorts, and so audiences will likely be exposed to a whole host of bizarre and trippy vistas, as per the psychedelic comics from which the film gets its name.
The Darkforce, a crucial aspect of the Dark Dimension, was featured heavily in season two of Marvel’s Agent Carter earlier this year, and previously referenced in the first season of Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD. However, despite the existence of such connecting threads on the television side of things, Doctor Strange will be the first fully realized depiction of the Dark Dimension in the MCU. But what is the significance of the Dark Dimension besides the glorious visual spectacle that will surely come with its modern film adaptation?
When the Dark Dimension first appeared back in 1964 within the pages of Strange Tales #164, it blew the minds of comic readers around the world with its decidedly out-there concepts and unabashed psychedelic grounding, marking an important pioneering moment in comic history. However the very same comic issue also debuted another staple of the Marvel comics mythos, you-guessed-it: Dormammu.
Having ruled over the realm for many millennia, Dormammu’s long-standing association with the Dark Dimension could be likened to Sauron and Mordor. Hence the inclusion of the Dark Dimension in the Doctor Strange already seems to necessitate a mention of its demonic overlord, and now with the discovery of this secret rune message, an appearance from Doctor Strange’s flame-headed arch nemesis is basically guaranteed. Whether it will be in the form of a small easter egg, a minor cameo to set up future sequel films, or in a significant narrative capacity remains to be seen. Many have theorized that the purported main villain Kaecilius will be acting under the influence of a higher demonic power but whether or not that pans out, Dormammu is a pretty solid lock for his first silver screen appearance come this November.
What do you think? Be sure to comment with your theories and ideas!