With the sole exception of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel stories all have either mid- or post-credit sequences. At this point, going to a Marvel movie means the entire audience will sit through the whole credit roll to see whatever plays at the end. It’s part of the MCU’s brand, the extra tissue tying the films together. But not every scene gets well explained, which happened with Doctor Strange 2’s mid-credits scene. Even if fans recognized the actor, most were probably left scratching their heads at her identity. Let’s break it down.
Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follow. One of the (many) subplots running through the second Doctor Strange film was removing the ill-advised love interest from the first film. Played by Rachel McAdams, Christine was supposed to be the girl Strange was in love with but was too self-absorbed to realize it. Unfortunately, the chemistry between Cumberbatch and McAdams was that of cold, flabby toast, making the whole relationship utterly unbelievable.
Thankfully, the second film starts with marrying her off to a far better option. Though other Christine variants turn up, the film confirms that Strange never marries any of them, leaving the two heading back to their different multiverse lives in the film's final minutes. It's probably for the best, too, since Strange’s experience with The Darkhold extracts its toll and leaves him a three-eyed monster in the middle of a New York City street before cutting to black.
Fans might then have been surprised by the mid-credits sequence, as Strange finds himself confronted by a woman dressed in mystical superhero clothing, telling him he’s causing an incursion (two multiverses to smash into each other) and beckoning him out into space. With new inter-dimensional adventures ahead, Strange opens his third eye, and the two disappear.
The credits that follow that list the actor as none of other than Charlize Theron (in case the purple eyeliner was so distracting you couldn’t place her), and the character’s name as “Clea.” In the comics, Clea is one of the most important characters in the Strange universe: His wife. She’s a fellow inter-dimensional traveler, more powerful than he is as a sorceress, and one of the few people who can put the arrogant sod in his place.
She’s also a tie back to 2016’s Doctor Strange film, as her father, Prince Orini, is a former ruler of the Dark Dimension. He was a loyal servant of Dormammu (the main antagonist in Strange’s first film), who she viewed as an uncle.
Now, most of this may be done away with for the MCU, since it doesn’t really fit the current 616 version of Strange. But it looks like Strange now has a new love interest for his next outing, one viewers will enjoy meeting.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing in theaters now. The rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is on Disney+, except for the Spider-Man films and The Incredible Hulk, which are available via Starz, HBO Max, and Amazon rentals.