Marvel used San Diego Comic-Con to drop the second trailer for Doctor Strange. In many ways this movie is an important turning point, diving deep into the magical and the mystical in a way that could shape the future of the MCU, particularly when it comes to the Avengers finding a way to defeat Thanos in Infinity War.
Being an origin story, it's only natural that Doctor Strange will come positively stacked with easter eggs and references to the pages of Marvel Comics. Let's take a look at five of the best from the new trailer, and try to work out what we might expect when the movie arrives in November.
1. The Book of The Vishanti
In the pages of Doctor Strange comics, the Book of the Vishanti is basically the most important book known to man — that is, apart from the Darkhold. While the Book of the Vishanti contains a comprehensive index of white magical (defensive) spells, its dark counterpart is full of the kind of spells Voldemort and his Death Eaters would merrily unleash during their reign of terror.
Both books are indestructible, and removing a page from one destroys the counterpart spell in the other. In the trailer we see Stephen get his hands on the Book of the Vishanti, which presumably means the primary villain — whether that be Kaecilius or Baron Mordo — is on the hunt for the Darkhold.
2. Cloak of Levitation
All magical fiction has to involve a cloak, so of course Doctor Strange has one. This cloak, as the name implies, effectively allows him to take flight.
Later in the trailer we see Strange wearing the cloak, which presumably means his training with the Ancient One advances pretty rapidly. It's certainly an upgrade from surgical scrubs.
3. Yoga Class
We already know that Marvel's movie has taken major liberties with the character of the Ancient One, gender-flipping him, making her white so as not to upset Chinese censors and, apparently, transforming the way she teaches: In the trailer the Ancient One leads what looks like an enormous yoga class, teaching the mystical arts to an audience of twenty or thirty.
In the comics, the Ancient One has only two students: Strange and Mordo. In the movie, it seems Mordo has long since graduated as a student and will take on a mentor role with echoes of Bruce Wayne and Ra's al Ghul in Batman Begins — will Mordo also real his true, comic book-accurate villainous intentions before the credits roll, or is he truly on the side of good?
4. The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak
The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak are tentacle-style bands traditionally used by Strange in the comics to entrap an opponent.
We see the good doctor summon the bands when fighting Kaecilius in the trailer, although they appear to have been given quite a dramatic movie makeover to take the form of glowing beams of light. Whatever works, I guess.
5. Stronger Men...
The trope of the hero's enemy being a one-time good guy belonging to the same regime who was corrupted and turned to the dark side has been going strong ever since Star Wars, and was seen recently in Marvel's own Ant-Man (Yellowjacket having been a protege of Hank Pym who went power-crazy and decided to take everything at Pym Industries for himself).
It seems likely Doctor Strange will follow a similar path, the Ancient One's line about "stronger men than you [having] lost their way" likely alluding to the villainy of Kaecilius. His character having once been under the tutelage of the Ancient One would make him a dark mirror to Stephen Strange himself, particularly if Mads Mikkelsen's villain is in pursuit or possession of the Darkhold.