The Living Tribunal Confirmed for the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Comics has a list of cosmic entities that are as famous as the cosmic-themed heroes and villains that come into contact with them. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been steadily introducing those entities into live-action form, with a list that includes Odin (Thor), The Collector (Guardians of the Galaxy), and even a possbile brief look at Eternity (Ant-Man).

Phase 3 of the MCU has continued to introduce big cosmic entities into the mix, with Agents of SHIELD introducing Mephisto, and Doctor Strange introducing the dark dimensional being, Dormammu. However, there is also another revelation of a big Marvel cosmic entity that we get by way of Doctor Strange: The Living Tribunal.

WARNING! MILD PLOT SPOILERS FOR DOCTOR STRANGE FOLLOW!

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In Doctor Strange, Karl Mordo teaches Stephen Strange about mystic artifacts, including Mordo's own weapon, "The Staff of the Living Tribunal." It's a quick name-drop, but an important one, as The Living Tribunal is a big deal in Marvel Comics lore.

The Living Tribunal is an entity that looks like an Oscar statue with a floating head and three faces. Its purpose is to oversea all the alternate realities of the Marvel Universe, and judge them as needed. He first appeared (appropriately enough) in a Doctor Strange story, where the Sorcerer Supreme had to convince the cosmic judge that Earth's potential for great evil shouldn't be cause for its destruction.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Living Tribunal
(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics fans also know that The Living Tribunal is a pivotal figure in the first "Infinity Gauntlet" storyline. It is the Tribunal who first allows Thanos to make his bid for godhood - and eventually, when the threat to all reality is clear, The Tribunal is what orders the gems to be split up between Adam Warlock and his followers, never to be united again.

In other words: this little Easter egg could end up paying dividends by the time the Avengers: Infinity War is done, or could even connect to the Doctor Strange sequel, based on that end-credits sequence.

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MORE DOCTOR STRANGE: First Look at Dormammu / Doctor Strange End Credits Sequence Explained / Doctor Strange Mid-Credits Scene Explanation / Doctor Strange is Officially Joining The Avengers / Possible Sequel Villain Revealed / Possible Sequel Story / Doctor Strange Early Reactions / Marvel Cosmic Connection Revealed?

Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; and Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.