Aside from the occasional star-spangled horror, the Marvel Cinematic Universe regularly knocks its costume designs out of the park. From the hot rod red of the Iron Man suit to the purple glow of the Black Panther costume, the MCU is consistently impeccable when it comes to translating comic book creations in a realistic, smooth fashion to the big screen.
One great example comes in the form of Doctor Strange’s costume. It seems like a cumbersome assault of layers, but it actually results in fluid movement on the part of Benedict Cumberbatch and his stunt double’s performances in the outfit. What’s more, the Doctor Strange costume for the MCU contains fun allusions to greater Marvel lore.
Updated on May 9th, 2022 by George Chrysostomou: Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness has shown off a few variations of the titular character’s costume across different realities. The exquisite details included within this magical uniform tell an intriguing story, with each element delicately chosen to represent something about Stephen Strange, his comic book background, or his place in the wider MCU.
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15 The Eye Of Agamotto
A huge inclusion within the Doctor Strange outfit is that of the Eye of Agamotto. It usually housed the Time Stone, with its prime use in the MCU thus far as an object that could allow the user to turn time forward and backward. Despite the absence of the Infinity Stone, Strange continues to don the eye.
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The Eye of Agamotto was clearly created for ulterior purposes. It’s intriguing therefore that the Eye continues to be worn on the costume after Thanos’ invasion, and it seems to help Strange channel his magic during the casting of the most difficult spells. It’s almost as if it’s hidden in plain sight considering its change of use. The additional Eye is also an easter egg for Strange’s eventual transformation at the end of the Doctor Strange sequel.
14 Corrupting Dark Magic
There are numerous incidents of sorcerers and witches being corrupted by the evil magic of the Darkhold throughout Multiverse Of Madness. There are a number of telltale signs including an additional eye, or the soot-like substance that appears to build upon the fingers when casting these shadowy spells.
The costumes themselves begin to fray and blacken as the magic is used though. For Doctor Strange, it’s a subtle change when he reads the Darkhold. The Sinister or Supreme Stranges that audiences have already seen, have been fully corrupted and thus demonstrate the end result of the costume’s transformation.
13 New Symbols
Audiences got to see a variety of other Doctor Strange outfits in this Multiversal sequel, including that of Defender Strange. Traditionally, there are certain symbols that have been associated with the former Sorcerer Supreme. That of Defender Strange’s is unique though.
It’s a blink and it’ll be missed inclusion, but the hidden symbols adorning Defender Strange’s uniform actually hint towards his alternative abilities. They tell of a different sort of magic being used, with a bat-like image also perhaps looking like a shield, with its outstretched protective arms hinting towards his role on The Defenders.
12 A Variant Collar
The appearance of the Doctor Strange statue which indicates the standing of an alternative sorcerer in the Multiverse is largely included for the overall narrative of the film. Yet, it also includes a hidden detail that many might overlook because of the stunning structure itself.
The collar on this Doctor Strange is far larger and marries into the imagery of the comic books. It seems that it acts as a defensive barrier, protecting the neck and side of the face of the Doctor. But, with this Doctor Strange getting corrupted by the Darkhold, it’s possible that the cloak’s larger collar actually hid the signs of darkness.
11 Wrist Straps
Plenty of versions of Doctor Strange features straps across the wrists. This is an intriguing inclusion in the outfit and one that many would have ignored. They will likely have a few different purposes, each of which says a little something about Stephen’s character development.
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For a man whose hands have shaken consistently after his injury, the wrist straps will act as a way to steady his arms and hands, so that he can be more precise with his movements. What’s more though, those details have also interacted with Strange’s magic, as he throws rope-like spells that appear to blast from the wrist straps themselves.
10 Boot And Belt Angles
There are so many details about Doctor Strange’s costume that it can be easy to overlook those that reside in the lower half of his body. However, there are plenty of details in every inch.
For one, Doctor Strange’s costume is loaded up with straps. The straps on his boots are parallel to the straps of his belts that criss-cross his torso. A potential hint towards Doctor Strange’s proclivity for keeping time running parallel? Perhaps.
9 A Ragnarok Easter Egg
In the post-credits scene of Doctor Strange when Thor, the God of Thunder, met with the Sorcerer Supreme, the costume seemed to be perfectly in line with the one evident from the rest of the Doctor Strange film. However, there is a more pronounced resemblance to an iconic costume design from the comics.
Earlier in his lore, the cloak covers up the sorcerer emblems and logos embedded into his costume. However, the original comic logo for Strange is clearly visible in this scene and an allusion to some of Marvel’s trippiest comic installments.
8 Those Gloves
Speaking of that post-credits scene, there’s another comic-accurate addition to Doctor Strange’s costume that is incredibly easy to miss unless one quickly got over the shock of seeing Strange turn up to tease the end of the Thor trilogy.
That’s because the post-credits scene was actually taken directly from Thor: Ragnarok itself. Hence why Strange’s costume is slightly altered and hence why he has those sleek golden gloves that he doesn’t sport in the majority of his other appearances. After all, he had to show one finger to Tony Stark.
7 Hand Embroidery
Alexandra Byrne, the costume designer of Doctor Strange, once spent some time with the L.A. Times discussing the details that went into Doctor Strange’s costume. In that interview, she was sure to heavily praise the myriad workers who helped bring her designs to life.
And it shows in the film, too. Looking closely at Doctor Strange’s costume in the MCU, it’s easy to see that hand embroidery was key for stitching together even the tiniest patterns of fabric. That level of detail is why the MCU always stands out from the franchise crowd.
6 Different Costumes
In another interview with /Film, Byrne also admitted that the costumes worn by Doctor Strange are not always the same one. Granted, someone would need a microscope to parse the difference between his costumes from scene to scene.
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Still, though, it’s a neat hidden detail that some Doctor Strange outfits are designed practically identical, but for different purposes. For example, some of Strange’s more soaring scenes require the costume to accommodate a harness. But even that detail is tucked away through movie magic.
5 Brass Knuckles?
One reason why the golden gloves from the comic book are only present in the post-credits scene of Doctor Strange and in Thor: Ragnarok is because Stephen Strange frequently needs access to his hands to be able to use the Sling Ring.
While the Sling Ring plays a prominent role in his origin story, they’re present early on in his costume design. However, Byrne cleverly disguised them as brass knuckles, so as to keep the secret. She told /Film that it was a “wait and see” part of her design that would be used by the most powerful magic wielders.
4 Cloak Came Last
According to Cumberbatch and an article from Flickering Myth, the cloak was always the last part of the costume he would put on when dressing up for his scenes in the Marvel films. The cloak even came after the Eye of Agamotto!
Apparently the cloak was “very heavy” and required its own crew of twenty people to handle it, while the rest of the costume department dealt with every other element of the film’s costumes. It’s a cumbersome cloak for the Cumberbatch, yet even this is hidden, as the cloak moves about freely.
3 Magic Carpet
Part of that fluid movement evident from the cloak was inspired by the design of the Magic Carpet in the 1992 animated Disney film, Aladdin. This piece of fabric was also given human characteristics.
While the physical cloak may have been heavy on set, it was light in the magical world of the film. When it taps on Tony’s shoulder in Infinity War, just know that Aladdin helped provide this detail.
Additionally, the cloak is intentionally designed to be asymmetrical. As Byrne described, she wanted the cloak to feel different than just an average cape for a superhero.
To achieve this, Byrne burned through myriad prototypes for her costume designs before eventually settling on a cloak that had a “semi-tailored shoulder on one side,” per her /Film interview. It may be hard to notice, but it helps give unforeseen character to the cloak and to Strange himself.
1 Smaller Collar
Lastly, there is a hidden detail within the collar on Doctor Strange’s costume. It seems obvious that it could be an impractical source of apparel when dueling with evil villains.
However, the wrap-around nature of the cloak did help maintain the Eye of Agamotto’s and the cloak’s positions around Strange’s body in the costume. Not to mention, a collar as big as the one from the comics would have been obscenely impractical. The smaller collar is a clever, secret way to keep it all together.
NEXT: 12 Best Easter Eggs in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
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About The Author
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David Mello is a writer, journalist, and editor from Boston, Massachusetts. He is obsessed with pop culture and sports and loves to expand his cultural knowledge of film, television, music, literature, and more. He currently writes for ScreenRant as a member of the Valnet, Inc. team. David has also written for OneClass, Moms Who Think, Up to Boston, the Boston Herald, and more. He spends just as much time watching classic movies as he does setting his fantasy football lineup.
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