8 Problems With The MCU That Doctor Strange Doesn't Fix

Aren't Doctors supposed to make things better?

Doctor Strange Mads Mikkelsen
Marvel Studios

If there's one thing you're all but guaranteed to get when you sit down to watch a Marvel movie, it's a good slice of enjoyment.

But enjoyable doesn't necessarily equal problem-free, and while the majority of the studio's cinematic universe entries are definitely entertaining, they're certainly not without their issues.

Enter Doctor Strange, Marvel's fourteenth effort since Iron Man and the movie that had all the makings of a radically divergent, subversive comic-book blockbuster. And while - as expected - it was supremely good fun, it didn't stray quite as far from the Marvel formula as many had hoped, leaving it riddled with a host of complications that have permeated the MCU for years and years.

And these complications are present in a good chunk of Marvel's movies, too - not every single film plays host to every single issue, but they're widespread enough to be deemed a concern.

And that's disappointing, especially for a mammoth-sized studio with some of the most talented creative minds in the world and a near-infinite amount of resources at their disposal. We should expect better when we put down our hard-earned cash, and hopefully things start to improve in the future.

But for now, here are eight big problems that are plaguing the Marvel Cinematic Universe - including Doctor Strange - that need to be addressed...

8. Wasting Iconic Comic-Book Characters

Doctor Strange Mads Mikkelsen
Marvel Studios

It's not always possible to faithfully adapt a comic, and that's fine - but if the cinematic version of a character is intended to be vastly different from the one we see in the source material, why even bother giving them the same name?

Dormammu in Doctor Strange was nothing like the Dormammu from the source material, to the point that it feels silly to call the movie version 'Dormammu'. Why not call him something else and save the true Dormammu for a more effective role in a movie further down the line? Slapping the name of a popular comic-book villain onto a movie villain who could be a completely different character feels like fan-service at its most patronising.

The MCU's done this multiple times before, too - for example, Zemo in Civil War and The Mandarin in Iron Man 3 were those respective characters in name only. Why not use characters that fit with the story you're trying to tell - even if that means creating a brand-new one - instead of twisting a comic-book persona to fit on the big-screen?

This issue aside, Dormammu was one of Doctor Strange's weak links; he never felt imposing, was given nothing to do, and came off like a slightly more colourful version of Galactus from Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer. Marvel's source material is rich and vast, so it's a shame to see them lazily slot in characters that aren't relevant or fitting.


WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.