Easter Eggs are all over the MCU, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and they often come in the form of superheroes and characters. Every superhero, sidekick, and villain is somehow tied together with a backstory or future story.
What is an Easter Egg? According to Clued Upp, an Easter egg in movies is a hidden message, image, or feature that you love to spot and makes you go “ahhhh, clever!”. Before exploring the eggs, let's start with the main characters of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
America is the crux of the storyline: she is the only person in existence with the power to jump between universes. Of course, she’s young and can’t control her powers. The villain (spoiler alert going forward!) tries to extract her powers and is indifferent to killing her in the process. As central as America is to the story, she somehow didn’t get that much to do. Until the very end, she was always in need of saving, and she didn’t get much to say. This was such a poor utilization of America’s character, as she was super feisty and relatable! The movie was already exciting, but if America were given more focus, Doctor Strange could’ve been that much better!
From TikTok: We finally get a Latina superhero, and her power is immigration??
The central protagonist, as the movie title goes. Smart and a bit conceited as usual, but Strange is a good person at heart. He is also a better person than all his alternate versions in the alternate multiverses. He is surprisingly self-deprecating and good-humored in this movie.
Wong is the Sorcerer Supreme at Kamar Taj (after Doctor Strange disappeared for 5 years due to Thanos), and Doctor Strange’s best buddy. Reliable and cool, Wong instinctively offers his life to protect the multiverse from Wanda’s destruction (yes, she is the villain!), but he refuses to sacrifice the lives of his friends.
Doctor Strange’s love interest with whom it never works out, regardless of which universe it is. They have a history, and they still care for each other, but Strange can’t get his stuff together to ever truly be there for her. Christine ends up saving him at one point.
Wanda Maximoff is the protagonist of WandaVision, however, she turns out to be the evil villain in this movie. Wanda wants to take America’s universe jumping powers in order to be with her imaginary sons, and she’s perfectly fine with killing both America and her alter-universe self in the process. Her motive in the movie was a bit of a stretch, especially for anyone who’s ever been a parent, or has even known a parent, but her backstory is that she is a bit deranged and traumatized. So the stretch was somewhat justified? Either way, Elizabeth Olson does a great job playing the terrifying Wanda here. She looked like she was straight out of The Ring.
Karl Mordo is the old friend turned rival of Doctor Strange. He’s not the main villain, but more of an obstacle and a thorn in Strange’s side.
The superhero leadership organization - the Illuminati - is a band of heroes from Earth-838, one of the parallel universes Stephen visits during the film. The six (seven including Strange) superheroes formed to protect their world from chaos, and are composed of some off-MCU characters from X-Men, Fantastic Four, and more! These were huge “cameos” that delighted many fans! Some of them are alternate versions of Marvel heroes played by different characters we all recognize. Unfortunately, they all got obliterated unceremoniously by Wanda. Luckily, they’re not gone forever, as the plot unfolds.
The Charles Xavier (Professor X) from X-Men elicited a big cheer from the audience. His telepathic abilities rivalled Wanda’s, but he, unfortunately, lost this battle.
Peggy Carter is Captain America in this universe much like the in the Disney Plus What-If series. Peggy receives the super-soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers.
Maria Rambeau is Carol Danvers' friend who became Captain Marvel in this world. Maria Rambeau is the mother of Monica Rambeau, the cool friend in WandaVision.
Funny guy John Krasinski from The Office appears as the MCU version of Fantastic Four's Reed Richards. John Krasinski was an internet favorite pick, and also elicited cheers from the audience. (And cheers from me! He went to my high school in Newton, Massachusetts, and although we never overlapped, I’m of course a fan!)
Doctor Strange’s friend turned nemesis from Kamar-Taj, as mentioned earlier.
Black Bolt from the short-lived series The Inhumans (2017) appears in the crew. His voice emits targeted sound at decibels that can shatter and kill anything. If he has the benefit of a mouth.
Clea makes an appearance in the post-credits! In the comics, her power parallels Doctor Strange’s, and she’s also Doctor Strange’s love interest with whom it actually works out (bye Christine).
Shang Chi’s 10 rings appeared in the opening scene with the first alternate Strange. I can’t seem to find this anywhere on the internet, so either it was so subtle that no one else noticed or wrote about it (I did because Shang Chi is one of my favorites), or I’m mistaken. I plan to rewatch to confirm.
There’s more Easter Eggs and character references that can be found in other sources! These are just some of the highlights for beginner and intermediate viewers!