Doctor Strange in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'
Source: Marvel

Why Doctor Strange Is Acting Odd in the 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Trailer

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Aug. 26 2021, Published 7:10 p.m. ET

The trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has got everyone talking — Marvel fan or not. It even led to a 24-hour streaming record break for Avengers: Endgame. So of course, we’re theorizing like there’s no tomorrow! And there’s no villain we like to theorize about more than Mephisto, the devil-like villain in Marvel comics, who has yet to appear in the MCU.

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Many fans thought Mephisto would first show up in WandaVision due to his ties to The Scarlet Witch in the comics. Then, the image of a devil in the Loki TV series inspired us to think he might be the one behind the TVA. So far we’ve been let down … but now, is it possible that Mephisto could actually be Doctor Strange in Spider-Man: No Way Home in a switcheroo of sorts?

Mephisto from 'Spider-Man: One More Day'
Source: Marvel
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Marvel fans think Doctor Strange could actually be Mephisto in disguise.

From what we know of Doctor Strange from past Marvel movies, he’s not one to bend the rules of the universe unless it’s absolutely necessary.

When the time stone is in jeopardy in Avengers: Infinity War, Doctor Strange is pretty steadfast that it would be the most dangerous stone for Thanos to get his hands on. But in the Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, we see a completely different side of Doctor Strange … so different, in fact, that some of us fans think he’s not what he appears to be.

The main conflict in Spider-Man: No Way Home seems to be triggered by Doctor Strange doing a spell to reverse everyone’s knowledge of Spider-Man being Peter Parker. It seems pretty out of left field that Doctor Strange would risk opening up the multiverse just to make Peter’s life a little easier.

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And although we see hints of at least four villains in the trailer, doesn’t it seem like the most villainous act of all is causing a multiversal conflict? Except Doctor Strange isn’t a villain … unless he’s not actually Doctor Strange.

'Spider-Man' "devil in disguise" a reference to Mephisto
Source: Marvel
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So the main theory is that Doctor Strange is Mephisto. Why? Well, it looks like No Way Home is loosely based on the Marvel comic, "Spider-Man: One More Day", in which Mephisto saves Aunt May’s life in return for breaking up Peter and MJ.

While that’s not what Peter is asking for here, the presence of Mephisto in the comic could be a loose inspiration for the film, and might finally bring the devil into the MCU.

Even if Doctor Strange isn’t Mephisto, he could be someone else in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home.'

This wouldn’t be the first time Marvel has done a shape-shifting switcheroo. The species we meet in Captain Marvel, the Skrulls, are adept at becoming anyone they observe. And at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home we learn that the Skrull, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), is actually impersonating Nick Fury, while the real Fury is off on vacation. Could another Skrull be acting as Doctor Strange?

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Doctor Strange wink
Source: Marvel

Another theory is that, following the Loki series, either Loki or Sylvie could be acting as Doctor Strange. Both have the ability to enchant or become other beings, and are after all, the God and Goddess of Mischief, so they’d be looking for any excuse to create a little chaos. Plus, Doctor Strange’s wink in the trailer is awfully Loki-like.

We’re not sure exactly what’s up with Doctor Strange, but we know something isn’t right — whether it’s a deal with the devil or just a little chaos, the MCU will once again find a way to surprise us.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to release in theaters Dec. 2021.

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