Marvel’s latest cinema hit, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has officially landed on Disney+! In the dimension-hopping MCU epic, Dr. Stephen Strange and teenage tagalong America Chavez travel between parallel universes and explore the Multiverse. During the pair’s interdimensional romp, they are ambushed on Earth-838.
It’s on Earth-838 that Strange and Chavez are apprehended by the Illuminati, a team of meeting-of-the-minds-style superheroes who come together to make decisions that shape the fate of their world. This group included Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, Inhuman King Black Bolt, and Professor Charles Xavier, mentor to Marvel’s merry gang of mutants known as the X-Men. Of course, all but one of the Illuminati are being decimated by a very angry Wanda Maximoff. But back to Xavier for a moment.
Now in Multiverse of madnessProfessor X was played by Sir Patrick Stewart, who is famous for portraying the character in the X-Men movies produced by 20th Century Fox. Marvel Studios now owns Said X-Men movies and their rights, setting the stage for a rebooted X-Men team to eventually make their way into the MCU. But seemingly separate from that, Marvel Studios is working on an animated series, a continuation of the original X-Men cartoon from the 1990s. It is called X Men ’97 and it’s actually related to Doctor Strange 2†
An X-Men ’97 Easter Egg in Doctor Foreign
During the scene in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness introducing the Illuminati members of Earth-838 is Prof. Patrick Stewart’s Xavier getting his own little fanfare as he curled up in his hoverchair. Indeed, a rendition of the X-Men: The Animated Series theme can be heard when Charles appears on screen, but according to Disney+’s official subtitles, it’s meant to be a bit of an Easter egg.
As you can see above, according to those captions, the theme song being played is assumed to be that of: X Men ’97the Marvel Studios-produced reboot/revival of the original animated series.
This is the first officially licensed Easter Egg for the MCU’s first Mutant-led project, which will be released in mid-2023.
A Foreign Easter Egg, indeed
So, what exactly could this mean, if anything?
For starters, the subtitles might indicate, or at least imply, that Earth-838’s Charles Xavier is somehow the exact same character that appeared on the ’90s show. This seems unlikely, however, as the animated Professor X has an American accent rather than Patrick Stewart’s distinctly British way of speaking.
Or it could just be that Disney+ felt compelled to create hype for the coming X Men ’97 which will of course appear exclusively on the platform.
But why not just let the text read”X-Men: The Animated Series themed games” rather than referencing a brand new project that not everyone knows about and won’t be out until 2023? (At least.) Well, like the hit sitcom How I met your mother taught us, “Newer is always better.” In other words, it makes less sense to hook up to an outdated kids’ show from 30 years ago when the newer, sleeker model is at their disposal.
Either way, fans can see this Easter egg for themselves by opening the options window while watching Marvel Studios. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnesswhich, as previously mentioned, is now streaming on Disney+.