How Loki Sets up Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Today, Loki wrapped its first season on Disney+, creating the Marvel Cinematic Universe's multiverse and announcing that the show will return for a second season. In the process, it sets up several upcoming installments of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but perhaps none more directly than Marvel Studios' Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It may be obvious from the film's title, but the entire plot of the second Doctor Strange movie may be about dealing with the repercussions of the Loki finale. SPOILERS follow for Loki episode six, "For All Time. Always."

While Marvel hasn't revealed any specific details about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one synopsis for the film suggests it will deal with Strange's research into the Time Stone, once housed in the Sorcerer Supreme's Eye of Agamotto. It seems likely that the time heist in Avengers: Endgame, the manipulation of reality in WandaVision, and the creation of the multiverse in Loki, not to mention whatever Baron Mordo has been up to, will change the game for Doctor Strange.

In Avengers: Endgame, the Ancient One warned the Hulk that taking the Time Stone through time would create a doomed splinter timeline. Perhaps the Ancient One, in retrospect, was aware of the TVA's habit of purging divergent timelines, or at least that such alternate universes would be purged, even if ignorant of the TVA's responsibility. The Avengers avoided this by having Captain America return all of the Stones to the moment they were taken away, thus reducing the variance.

But now, there are many alternate dimensions, new timelines springing up from Loki's finale. It seems like Doctor Strange, who inherited the Ancient One's responsibilities, will have to decide whether his responsibilities are to his own timeline or all of them, a calculation that may be altered once Baron Mordo begins to act. Considering the movie's title -- and new rumors that suggest not just Wanda Maxmimoff but also Loki as well will appear in the film -- it seems he chooses to take the plunge into the multiverse. Perhaps this will also offer fans their first glimpse at the many Kangs that may now threaten the multiverse.

What do you think of how Loki sets up Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Let us know in the comments. Loki is streaming now on Disney+. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness opens on March 25th.