SPOILERS FOR MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS WARNING: THIS BLOG POST GOES INTO DETAIL ABOUT ONE OF THE END CREDIT SCENES, IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIE, SAVE THIS POST AND COME BACK LATER!
Spoilers incoming in:
Okay, it’s time to finally talk about it – it’s been nearly a week since the film was released, and the actress in question has officially posted it on her Instagram page, so I’m counting it as safe to talk about:
Clea has joined the MCU, played by Charlize Theron!
But, just who is Clea? What does she have to do with Doctor Strange? This post is going to answer all your questions about the character!
Who Is Clea?
Clea is the daughter of Prince Orini (the son of the former ruler of the Dark Dimension), and Umar, the sister of Dormammu (ruler of the Dark Dimension, and the villain Doctor Strange came to bargain with in the first Doctor Strange film), which makes her a hybrid of the Faltine (extra-dimensional beings of pure magic, on her mother’s side) and the Dark Dimension humanoids.
Or, put simply, she’s Dormammu’s niece from the Dark Dimension.
She was raised in the Dark Dimension by her father after her mother was banished to another realm by Dormammu. As her father was a loyal servant of Dormammu, she grew up worshipping him too, unaware that he was her uncle, or that he had banished her mother.
What Are Clea’s Powers?
Due to her heritage, Clea can fly, but due to her mastery of sorcery, Clea is also the Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension. This gives her the skills to throw magical energy blasts, astrally project, create energy shields, have mild telepathy, teleport to other dimensions, rearrange molecules at will, and control the Flames Of Faltine and has use of all of the same spells Doctor Strange has.
How Does Clea Tie Into Doctor Strange?
Clea’s first appearance was in a Doctor Strange comic, specifically Strange Tales issue 126 (1964) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The storyline involved the Ancient One sending Doctor Strange to the Dark Dimension to stop Dormammu from taking over the Earth. Clea saw Doctor Strange and was impressed by him, so she tried to save his life by convincing him to leave the Dark Dimension and leaving Dormammu alone.
Dormammu found out about this, and imprisoned Clea for her betrayal. At the same time, creatures called the Mindless Ones escaped due to Dormammu being distracted, meaning that he and Doctor Strange had to team up to stop them from causing more havoc. This put Dormammu in Doctor Strange’s debt, so Doctor Strange forced him to release Clea and not invade the Earth.
After several more attempts at rebellion against Dormammu, which resulted each time in banishment, it was decided that the safest place for Clea was on Earth, but this caused more issues, as she lost her powers in the process. This lead to Clea studying sorcery, eventually becoming Doctor Strange’s apprentice.
The two grew close over this time, but were sadly ripped apart when Clea decided to go back to the Dark Dimension, as it was without a ruler and the people wanted her to take over. Doctor Strange tried professing his love of her to stop her, but it didn’t work, and Clea chose to leave him and Earth, as well as resign her position as Doctor Strange’s apprentice.
But, that didn’t stop the couple from getting back together again. The two couldn’t legally be married, as Clea was an extra-dimensional being, so the two decided to wear magic rings which symbolized their mystical connection, especially as Clea couldn’t stay on Earth for long periods of time, as the Dark Dimension was always facing threats.
Since then, the two have had a very tumultuous relationship, made worse by their dimensional separation. As of current comic canon, the two remain as friends instead of lovers, but still wear their wedding rings.
At time of writing, Clea has taken over as Sorcerer Supreme of Earth after Doctor Strange was murdered (covered in Death Of Doctor Strange), and has adopted the last name of Strange in his honour.
Why Is Clea Taking Doctor Strange To The Dark Dimension?
At the end of Multiverse Of Madness, Clea states that Doctor Strange created an Incursion and that they need to fix it, so it’s possible the Incursion starts in the Dark Dimension.
Or, this could be a double cross, and Clea has been sent by her uncle to take revenge on the man who beat him all those years ago. Personally, I’m more for the two of them fighting Incursions together, but, the double cross idea would fit more with Clea’s comic origins in my opinion.
But, as always, only time will tell!
Where Can I Read More About Her?
Strange Tales (1964) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Marvel 1602 (2003) by Neil Gaiman, Death of Doctor Strange (2021) and Strange (2022) by Jed MacKay.