A large part of the audience walked away from Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War with the knowledge that the Mad Titan Thanos was the true star of the Russo brothers’ superhero team-up flick. But Infinity War was really about the heroes of the MCU, one of them standing out the most: Doctor Strange.
Somehow, the story arc of the Sorcerer Supreme was told better in this film than told by the Doctor Strange movie. Infinity War is Stephen Strange’s journey from anti-hero to hero, and it’s a damn good story.
In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos was willing to sacrifice anything to achieve his goal, including sacrificing his beloved adopted daughter Gamora. However, most of the good guys are not willing to sacrifice anyone at the expense of saving the universe… except Doctor Strange.
Strange was willing to do anything to protect the Time Stone. This sets the Sorcerer Supreme apart from the rest of the heroes because he suggests that anybody’s death is worth it as long as Thanos doesn’t get his hands on the Infinity Stone.
In the heroes’ final confrontation with Thanos, the Mad Titan almost kills Tony Stark when Strange intervenes and agrees to hand over the Time Stone to Thanos in order to save Stark’s life. In doing this, Strange allows Thanos to almost fully assemble his Infinity Gauntlet thereby achieving the villain’s goal. The choice made by Strange completes his arc, finally understanding that saving the life of another was more important than achieving his own goal of protecting the Stone.
However, Strange knows there’s only one possible outcome, out of millions, in which the heroes actually win. To gamble on this one outcome, by allowing Thanos to assemble his gauntlet is a gutsy move.
Strange learns selflessness and learns to become a full-fledged hero. This is a greater arc than that was showcased in the Doctor Strange solo film. At the start of Infinity War, Strange is still the same arrogant doctor he was at the start of his solo movie. By the end of the movie, Strange finally seems to truly understand what it takes to be a hero.
Infinity War manages to tap into this a little bit, and we can only hope that Marvel Studios digs deeper into the character as they consider his future in the MCU.
Hopefully, he returns in Avengers 4.