Some heroes have villains who can easily eclipse them when it comes to notoriety. Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor and I have Mickey Mouse who may or may not have survived a turn in my oven. And then you’ve got Doctor Strange, a character who has had a definite presence in the Marvel Universe as the go-to guy for supernatural menaces.
When it comes to villains however, Doctor Strange doesn’t exactly have many unfriendly faces that audiences will be familiar with. You’ve got rival Baron Karl Mordo and the dread Dormammu who serves as the inter-dimensional main event supernatural champion. That’s about it really. Padding out those threats to our reality when it came to writing Doctor Strange, were villains that were shared by other Marvel characters.
Villains such as Dracula, Nightmare or Mephisto. On the plus side, not having a very iconic rogues gallery also gives Doctor Strange and the man playing him, Blasphemy Cumbersnatch Barbituate Snugglesnatch Buckingham Cragglethatch Benedict Cumberbatch, a chance to experiment with a character who has barely been seen in the comics before. Kaecelius is his name, a threat who served Mordo as an emissary when he was first introduced way back in 1965.
He’s also the primary threat in the Doctor Strange movie this year, played by Mads Mikkelsen and leading an army of aptly-named Zealots in a quest to unravel our dimensions. According to a new featurette, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige described these zealots as “people who become seduced by what they find on the other side,” while explaining that Kaecilius is:
Interested in spilling the barriers between these dimensions.
Mikkelsen himself had a more blunt answer to the motivations of Kaecilius:
Kaecilius is part of this temple. If the majority is looking for truth here, he’s looking over there for the truth.
If there’s one problem that Marvel has that they’ve yet to really overcome, its villains. They’re forgettable, empty threats at best who just don’t have the appeal to leave a lasting impression on audiences. That sort of changed with the Phase 3 movies, with Daniel Bruhn’s Zemo in Captain America: Civil War was a fantastic example of how a villain should operate in the MCU.
Hopefully this Kaecilius character can also leave a lasting impression when Doctor Strange hits cinemas on November 4.
Last Updated: September 1, 2016