A Multiverse of Madness Throwaway Line Could be More Meaningful Than You Think
If there’s one thing Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness did, it’s live up to both the ‘multiverse’ and ‘madness’ elements of its name.
With cameos galore giving us a few familiar faces, there was also a major newcomer expected to catapult the Marvel Cinematic Universe forward. And one seemingly throwaway line has given us a fantastic idea of where things could go next.
Giving a whistle-stop tour of everything from a paint-filled world of nightmares to the ravaged universe of Sinister Strange, the sequel also established the main MCU continuity as Earth-616.
Aside from our world of deceased Tony Starks, faux Mysterios and one forgotten Peter Parker, Multiverse of Madness spent a lot of time in the utopian Earth-838. It was here that fans got their most jaw-dropping cameo, with gasps akin to when Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield popped up in No Way Home.
Before Multiverse of Madness had even released, there was a slew of rumors about who would be making up the Illuminati.
Although Wesley Snipes didn’t appear as Blade and Michael B Jordan didn’t take over as Black Panther, we did get our first recruit for the Fantastic Four. While The Office‘s John Krasinski was merely a fan casting for Reed Richards, aka Mister Fantastic, he’s officially joined the MCU in some capacity.
Well, he would have if Wanda hadn’t killed off almost all the Illuminati and shredded Reed Richards like courgetti. Before Wanda butchered him, she asked whether he had a wife and kids at home. Delivering one final zinger about how at least his children won’t be orphans, she then dispatched Reed in typically Raimi-esque style.
Starting with his wife, it’s a definite tease of Sue Storm and her alter ego as the Invisible Woman. We might not get her in Multiverse of Madness, but following Krasinski’s casting, it’s had fans thinking that Emily Blunt is probably waiting in the wings.
For longer than we care to remember, the real-life husband and wife have joked about playing Marvel’s dynamic duo. Then again, with no official word from on high, it’s entirely possible someone else could be stepping into the spandex. Yes, even Jessica Alba.
But that’s not the interesting part of this seemingly throwaway line, which brings us to Reed’s children, potentially Franklin and Valeria Richards.
Franklin was introduced in 1968’s Fantastic Four Annual #6 and quickly became one of Marvel’s most powerful additions, with his reality-warping powers giving even Wanda a run for her money.
Valeria arrived years later and was fully established in canon in 2002. She is Franklin’s younger sister, but sometimes appears as older thanks to her time-travel abilities. Although she was originally thought to be the daughter of Doctor Doom and the Invisible Woman (don’t ask), she was eventually revealed to be the daughter Reed and Sue had supposedly miscarried decades before.
In the comics, Franklin actually helped restore order to the Multiverse following an Incursion. The word Incursion was thrown around a lot during the Illuminati sequence, while the ending featured our three-eyed Strange and Charlize Theron’s Clea dashing into the Dark Dimension to stop one.
Giving ourselves a reality check, just because Reed and Sue have children in Earth-838, it doesn’t mean their Earth-616 counterparts made the same choices when we eventually get to meet them.
Much like how Spider-Man: Homecoming skipped the classic Uncle Ben death scene, whoever handles the Fantastic Four could pick up with an already-established quartet. Then again, there’s every chance the Fantastic Four doesn’t exist in our continuity yet, with the upcoming standalone giving them yet another live-action origin story.
It seems like one hell of a jump to introduce the Fantastic Four and their kids in one go, but remember, the MCU likes to sow seeds.
The inclusion of Jonathan Majors’ Kang the Conqueror means Phase 4 is already going in hard to time travel trickery. Given his own ties to the Fantastic Four thanks to his Nathaniel Richards persona being a distant relative of Reed, its an easy way to bring Franklin and Valeria into the story.
Although Franklin and Valeria aren’t typically associated with the team in the comics, we could also see them suiting up alongside the likes of Kate Bishop, Cassie Lang and Wanda’s kids for the Young Avengers.
Whether we just stick to the classic Fantastic Four line-up or expand it to a Super Six with Reed and Sue’s children, it’s about time Marvel’s First Family showed up.
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