Doctor Strange introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a grave new concept that was never before explored in the realms of that universe – Magic. Using magic, Doctor Strange achieved wonders. He could project his astral form out of his own body, could create mirror dimensions, open portals to faraway places as well as use them to kill or main his opponent. Magic also allowed Doctor Strange to control the flow of time using the eye of Agamotto which contained the Time Stone. While that movie was released three years earlier, its revelations are only being felt right now. As it turns out, the movie had already hinted at a villain way stronger than Thanos that had actually tried to meddle with changing timelines and getting away with it. And that villain is actually Doctor Doom’s Mentor in the comic books. Presenting – Doctor Strange movie hints Doctor Doom’s Mentor changed the MCU even before Thanos!!
This all sounds strange to hear. We promise we have an explanation. But first, let us set the premise.
The Doctor Strange movie saw Stephen Strange, a gifted but arrogant surgeon, meet with an accident and lose most of his motor functions in his hands – the most important limbs for a surgeon. Without his hands functioning properly, Stephen Strange tries anything and everything possible to cure his ailment. His hands do not turn back to normal. After he sees one of his patients that he was sure could never walk, playing Basketball, he is intrigued. It is from him that he learns about this mystical place called Kamar-Taj, a place where Eastern medicine and oriental arts are practiced in depth. It is there that Doctor Strange would find his answer. Kamar-Taj is the birth-place of Magic in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
After encountering the Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, and realizing that magic actually exists in this world, Doctor Strange soon becomes a disciple. He uses his exceptional mental attributes to stay ahead of the curve. The Ancient One was already impressed and had claimed that he had the potential to be one of the most gifted magicians she has ever seen. Doctor Strange proved her right. He used his photographic memory and brilliant problem-solving skills to learn everything there is to know about magic.
While the rest of the pupils and disciples learnt the traditional way, Stephen Strange took it up a notch and learnt magic through magic. He stepped into the library during the day time. When the library was closed, he would use astral projection to send his astral form to go through the books. If the books were not meant for the students and were forbidden to read in general, then Strange would just use portal magic to get his hands on those books. One way or another, he learnt everything and surprised everyone.
It is through these mischievous ventures into the Kamar-Taj library that Doctor Strange learnt about the existence of the Book of Cagliostro, written by the famed 18th Century Wizard Cagliostro. The Book of Cagliostro taught Stephen Strange the concept of time and how to use the Time Stone to bend it to your will. In the actual world, Count Alessandro Cagliostro was a popular Alchemist and Sorcerer of his time. He was known to practice psychic healing to cure incurable diseases, psychic telemetry, transmutation, clairvoyance, and some even claim he had unlocked the secret to immortality.
In the universe of Marvel Comics, Alessandro Cagliostro was a renowned personality known to dabble in the mystic arts to try to unlock a way to travel through time via magic after he encountered a group of time travelers from the future. In the Marvel Universe, Cagliostro turned evil, after using too much magic corrupted him.
One of those visitors that traveled back in time to meet Cagliostro was Doctor Doom, King of Latveria and one of the most powerful super villains the Marvel Universe has ever seen. Doctor Doom is known to be an extremely powerful sorcerer in his own right. He is so dedicated to the cause of learning magic that he once sacrificed the life of his own beloved to a demon god and used her skin as a tool to create armor that amplified his magical prowess. That is how focused he is.
Cagliostro, at that time, was not a magician by trade but in the future, he was known to be a mystical force to be reckoned with. Doctor Doom traveling to the past, and asking Cagliostro to teach him the ways of magic, actually inspired Alessandro Cagliostro to start learning magic. In a way, it was his own disciple that made him start learning the mystic arts, thereby creating a paradox.
Cagliostro would later go on to learn all kinds of magic. Immortality – a concept that was only understood by a select few mages like the Ancient One, was now Cagliostro’s for the taking. But he did not achieve immortality the same way the Ancient One of Kamar-Taj did. The Ancient One channelled raw power from the dark dimension, turning herself into a conduit of dark energy, to stop her aging process and become immortal. Count Alessandro Cagliostro, took a rather different and radical approach. He used vampire blood to do what Ancient One achieved. To become immortal, Cagliostro injected the Vampire blood into his own body and turned himself into a vampire to become immortal.
As an immortal, blood-sucking sorcerer, Cagliostro no had all the time in the world. He unlocked never before seen levels of dark magic. In the end, whatever he managed to know and learn, he jotted down in a sacred tome. The Sacred Tome would later be known as the Book of Cagliostro. The Book of Cagliostro contained notes from both pure, white magic and dark magic, the latter Cagliostro learned after reading the sinister Darkhold. The Book of Cagliostro would soon find his way into Kamar-Taj. It is the same book Doctor Strange reads in the library to unlock the secrets of the Time Stone.
Both the real world Cagliostro and the comic book Cagliostro had an obsession with manipulating time. They are similar in all aspects except one – the Book contained instructions on how to manipulate the time stream using the Eye of Agamotto. The book was just a manual on how to use the Time Stone. When Wong and Mordo saw Strange using the Book to use the Time Stone, they were horrified. They warned Doctor Strange that playing with time is dangerous and can cause “Branches in time. Unstable dimensional openings. Spatial Paradoxes. Tim Loops!” The warnings for the spells claim Wong and Mordo, came after the spells. They said that had Strange went ahead with the experiments, he was not changing time but was actually trying to tear it apart.
And this raises the million dollar question – If Cagliostro was the one who wrote the book that is supposedly the manual to control the Time Stone, how did he learn about the side effects that led him to write those warnings? The answer is pretty simple – he learned through the hit and trial method. Cagliostro unlocked the secrets of the Time Stone, no doubt, but did a lot of damage to the time stream while conducting his experiments. We know that the Ancient One is more than 700 years old.
Maybe Cagliostro, who is younger to her, was a student at Kamar-Taj. He stole the Time Stone, tried to play with time and caused massive damage to the time stream. Maybe time managed to heal itself or the Time Stone was used to revert back the damage, but the fact remains – Count Alessandro Cagliostro, the mentor of Doctor Doom, had used the Time Stone in the past and did things, unspeakable things to the timeline long before Thanos was born. That makes him infinitely more dangerous.
Avengers: Endgame is set for release on 26th April 2019. The official film synopsis of the movie has been recently released and it states:
“After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what consequences may be in store.”