10 Things Only Doctor Strange Fans Know About Clea
Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness offers a cavalcade of cameos, including the introduction of the iconic Marvel Comics superheroes of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, arguably the film’s best cameo comes from its mid-credits scene. Charlize Theron appears as Clea, and comic book fans know that Clea plays a vital role in the story of Doctor Strange and the mystical arts.
Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Clea in 1964, introducing a minor character who would eventually become titanic in importance. Clea plays a big part not only in the ranks of the mystical beings of Marvel Comics, but at the heart of Doctor Strange. The two were married in a magical rite and have remained close through many ups and downs over the years. With Christine seemingly out of place in the MCU, Clea finally takes her place alongside Doctor Strange.
Nameless for two years
Clea holds a central role in Doctor Strange lore in Marvel Comics, but she went unnamed for two years. She made her first appearance in strange tales #126 in 1964, where Doctor Strange first battled Dormammu.
Clea continued to appear regularly in Doctor Strange stories in the anthology but only earned her name by strange tales #146 in 1966. His story and importance in the comics only grew from there.
Clea is one of the most powerful magical beings in the Marvel Universe. Part of her power in the mystical arts comes from being Dormammu’s niece. Dormammu rules over the Dark Dimension and succeeded his father, Prince Orini.
Umar, his mother and sister from Dormammu, hails from the Faltine race. The Faltines exist as pure magic and come from a different universe than the Dark Dimension. Clea’s magical heritage grants her tremendous power and potential which she eventually realizes in the comics.
Prisoner of Dormammu
Dormammu ranks among Doctor Strange’s most powerful villains and he proved his might by imprisoning Clea. She served him like all beings in the Dark Dimension, but she also questioned his actions and motives.
When she tried to talk Doctor Strange out of confronting Dormammu about his plan to invade Earth, he imprisoned Clea for acting against him. He eventually freed her after Dormammu and Strange worked together to defeat an even greater threat.
Clea comes to the MCU with the obvious ability to move between dimensions. This dimension-jumping ability comes straight from the comics. In strange tales #151, Clea tumbled across the multiverse much like the Sorcerer Supreme does in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
After Dormammu loses his rule in the Dark Dimension to Eternity, Clea’s mother Umar plays for the throne. This leads to Clea being hunted, and she travels from dimension to dimension, seeming to distance herself from Doctor Strange for good.
Clea eventually settles on Earth, though she loses her powers after being cut from the Dark Dimension. She then trained in the mystical arts as a student of Doctor Strange. Their relationship finally switches to a full romance.
Clea begins her training in First Wonder #12 and continued for a while. She and Strange worked together as a tight-knit team to fight off the mystical realm’s major threats, including Baron Karl Mordo.
A Clue To Clea’s Possible MCU Future Comes Into Play The Marvel Team #76. A villain named Silver Dagger manipulates Clea into unleashing her full power as Faltine. She transforms into a being of pure energy and attacks Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange struggles to stop Clea in this powerful new form, and only with Spider-Man’s help does he subdue Silver Dagger and return Clea to her normal form. Silver Dagger seems like a reach for the MCU, but Clea struggles with her extraordinary power factor at one point.
Sovereign of the Dark Dimension
Another likely fate for Clea in the MCU emerges from the comics. The war for control of the Dark Dimension has been going on for several years in the comics, with Clea eventually taking her place as ruler in strange doctor #73.
She faced her mother Umar in an epic battle to decide the fate of the Dark Dimension once and for all. Umar remains one of the best Doctor Strange comic book characters outside of the MCU and should appear now that Clea has made her debut.
Married in magic
MCU fans know Doctor Strange loves Christine, but comic book fans know the true love of his life is Clea. The challenges of each being the Sorcerer Supreme of their respective realms kept them apart, but the two got married nonetheless.
Clea’s status as a being from the Dark Dimension prevented a legal marriage on Earth, but they were married via a mystical document that bound them forever. Their powerful bond probably leads to them becoming one of the best MCU couples.
Dealing with Morbius
Clea alerts Doctor Strange to the MCU about an incursion he has created. Incursions play an important role in bringing disparate universes together in 2015 Secret Warsone of the most important Marvel events, and in the movies, could send the MCU crashing into the Sony Marvel Universe.
If so, Clea could take on Morbius like she did in the comics. Clea plays a role in strange doctor #14, where Strange discovers via Morbius that vampires exist in the Marvel Universe. This storyline unfolds in the MCU if the cinematic universes collide.
Clea’s journey from student to master came full circle in 2022 when she became the Sorceress Supreme of Earth-616. With the death of Stephen Strange, she assumes the role she trained for with a power and experience few can match. His first battles as the new Sorcerer Supreme include defeating Doctor Doom with little effort.
She also took Strange’s last name in honor of her deceased lover. Clea attempted to bring Strange back via a complex spell but failed. Instead, she brought back Thunderstrike, a version of Thor from the comics that could play a role in the MCU as well.
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