Mailbag of Madness + Multiverse of Madness & Loki screenwriter Michael Waldron | Crooked Media
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May 13, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Mailbag of Madness + Multiverse of Madness & Loki screenwriter Michael Waldron

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight open up the mailbag of madness! First in Previously On (3:09), Jason and Rosie discuss the Avatar 2 trailer, the new Ms. Marvel teaser and the MCU’s changes to her powers, and celebrate the lives of Neal Adams & George Pérez, two legends of comics who sadly passed away recently. In the Airlock (20:45), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeeep) into the mailbag to answer YOUR questions (and some of their own) for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Finally, in Hive Mind (1:17:57) Jason and Rosie interview Multiverse of Madness & Loki screenwriter Michael Waldron, touching on the influence of wrestling in Michael’s work, how Mad Men’s Don Draper helped him write Doctor Strange, what it was like to work with Sam Raimi, and confirming some of our recommendations from the Multiverse of Madness reading list. 


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Listener’s Guide


Batman (beginning with Detective Comics #395, 1970) with Dennis O’Neil, inks by various including Dick Giordano, and letters by various including Ben Oda – re-establishing a darker, grittier tone for the masked vigilante.


Green Arrow / Green Lantern (beginning with issue #76, April 1970) with Dennis O’Neil, inks by various including Frank Giacoia, colors by Cory Adams, & letters by John Costanza – Lantern & Arrow take a socially-conscious journey across the US.


X-Men (beginning with X-Men #56, 1969) with Roy Thomas and ink by Tom Palmer and letters by Herb Cooper.



Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) with Marv Wolfman and inks by Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo, and Jerry Ordway.


Teen Titans (The New Teen Titans #1, 1980) with Marv Wolfman, inks by Romeo Tanghal, colors by Adrienne Roy, letters by Ben Oda.


Infinity Gauntlet (1991) with writer Jim Starlin and co-pencilled by Ron Lim, inks by various, colors by Jack Morelli, letters by Max Scheele & Ian Laughlin.


Wonder Woman (1986) – Reinvigorated WW alongside co-writer Len Wein and inker Bruce Patterson, for an unforgettable near 5 year long run.



Rom the Space Knight – A Parker bros. toy (designed by Bing McCoy) turned comics hero in the eponymous series (1979-1986) by Bill Mantlo & Sal Buscema; currently owned by Hasbro.


Strange Academy (#1, March 2020) – Skottie Young (writer), Humberto Ramos (pencils & inks), Edgar Delgado (colors), Clayton Cowles (letters).


Incredible Hulk #140 (1971) – Harlan Ellison (writer), Roy Thomas (writer), Herb Trimpe (penciler), Sam Grainger (inker), Artie Simek (letterer). 



Avengers #267-269 (1986) – Roger Stern (writer), John Buscema (breakdowns), Tom Palmer (finishes), Howard Mackie (assistant editor), Mark Gruenwald (editor).


Avengers: The Terminatrix Objective (1993) – Mark Gruenwald (writer), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inker), Chris Matthys (colorist), Steve Dutro (letters).


Timeless (2021) – Jed Mackay (writer), Kev Walker (art), Greg Land (art), Jay Leisten (art), Mark Bagley (art), Andrew Hennessy (art), Marte Garcia (colors), VC’s Ariana Maher (letters).


West Coast Avengers: Outta Time (#17-24) – Steve Englehart (writer), Al Milgrom (pencils), Joe Sinnott / Kim DeMulder / Romeo Tanghal / Mike Machlan (inks), Ken Feduniewicz (colors), Janice Chieng (letters), Mark Gruenwald (editor). 



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Jason Concepcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers from Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Some of them coming from screenwriter, Michael Waldron himself. So if you have not watched Doctor. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, go watch it. Come back. This podcast will be here for you, waiting for you in your podcast queue when you are done, it’s not going anywhere. Go watch the movie first, then come back.  Hello. My name is Jason Concepcion. Welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked podcast where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. On today’s episode on Previously On, we’re going to talk about the news of the week, including the Avatar: The Way of Water teaser trailer. TLDR. Pores. It’s all about the pores, the novelty pores of the skincare routine, the new Ms. Marvel teaser, including Kevin Feige, his recent comments about about tweaks to Ms. Marvel’s powers. And then we will celebrate the lives and works of two iconic comics creators, Neal Adams and George Perez, who passed away recently in the airlock. We will be answering all of your questions about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. And the Hive Mind to oh, folks. Big interview with Michael Waldron, the writer of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and of course, I’m ready. Writer of many other things, including Community, Rick and Morty and many, many others. Joining me now to talk about all of that stuff is the great, the powerful, the absolute most knowledgeable human being that I know about comics. A fan of Return to Oz. Yeah. Among many other weird movies. Former teen goth. Rosie Knight, Rosie. How are you?


Rosie Knight I’m sad. I feel like I’ve truly been seen in this interview. It’s true. I do know about comics, but I also do love weird movies. And I was a goth when I was a baby. When I was a small child.


Jason Concepcion What was the, what was the, what was, like, the soundtrack?


Rosie Knight Oh, my God. So when I was really young, it was definitely more like punk, because that was what my mom was into. Yeah. But when I was like, I know a teenager, like an early teenager, I went to see Queen of the Damned, the Aaliyah, a movie that was the same like the of the interview with a vampire movie. And that is just like there’s a meme going around at the moment where it’s like, you changed my life, and then it’s like I’m literally just a 90 minute advert for Nu Metal. So basically that soundtrack and any Deftones that was like my… Yeah, dude, I love the Deftones.


Jason Concepcion Shouts to the Deftones.Shouts to Aliyah. R.I.P., Star of Queen of the Damned. And what a time that must have been. Okay. Are you ready?


Rosie Knight I’m ready.


Jason Concepcion You ready?


Rosie Knight I’m ready.


Jason Concepcion Are you ready to talk about some news? Let’s start here with the T-Zone of the Na’vi. The beautiful, non-Greasy, perfectly taken care of the skin of the Na’vi aliens in the Avatar: Way of Water teaser trailer. Released by James Cameron. That’s right, we got him out of the seas. Philip, where is James Cameron been for the last decade plus. He’s been underwater in his custom made submarine. We brought him to the surface so that he could create, for you people, the sequel to Avatar released in 2009. That’s right. 2009.


Rosie Knight 13 years later.


Jason Concepcion Rosie, what did you think of teaser? Yeah, just just nothing at all is the world is completely the same as it was in 2009. Right? We’re all everything’s exactly the same and everything is just as it was back then. Are you, what are your feelings about this trailer? What are your feelings about the Avatar film franchise owner of the top grossing film of all time mantle, with a box office tag of $2.84 billion.


Rosie Knight Yep. Okay. So I think that if you like the first Avatar movie, this trailer will probably be like you will love it. Like, it’s just like, it’s like if there was a, if there was a very expensive super HD high tech, he definitely got really into water technology this time. It’s kind of like his Moana because like Moana.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely loves water tech.


Rosie Knight Yeah, in Moana,Disney worked out all these different ways to to animate water. And then they continued that with Frozen 2. And they I was there at the studio and they’re talking about it and this is obviously his version of that. Like when you’re watching it, there’s so many water shots. Yeah, it looks very pretty. I grew up in an area where Fern Gully was a very accessible movie.


Jason Concepcion Oh man, Fen Gully.


Rosie Knight So this legit, the first Avatar movie, I was like, this is just a remake of Fern Gully that costs a lot more and doesn’t have like a a rapping Robin Williams bat. Probably for the better. But otherwise, like, you know, it’s it’s fun. It’s Fern Gully, it’s Dances with Wolves. It’s the same kind of story. I will go I went see Avatar the night opened an IMAX in the biggest screen I could find because


Jason Concepcion Absolutely.


Rosie Knight I thought it was going to be the the evolution of cinema kind of in that… I fell for the hype


Jason Concepcion Step aside, greats of cinema. Step aside, Scorsese. Step aside, George Lucas.


Rosie Knight They’re like, this will be like that, like the moment in Wizard of Oz where they went from black and white to Technicolor, like this is going to be that moment. And it wasn’t. And also I’m a fan of I’m a fan of 3-D that’s like more corny. Like, I like 3D.


Jason Concepcion Right, right. Like Creature from the Black Lagoon.


Rosie Knight You know, My Bloody Valentine came out just for my.


Jason Concepcion My Bloody Valentine.


Rosie Knight A true 3D remake, which is, like, so outrageous and zero Z. But the 3D in that was like, amazing. The walking through the school, it feels like you’re kind of there and then pickaxes are coming out of your face. After that, I went to the IMAX and I was like.


Jason Concepcion *Laughter* The pickaxes.


Rosie Knight This was just like if you’re going to tell me it’s 3D, I want to feel like something’s going to hit me. But that’s the 3D I want.


Jason Concepcion Here’s I’m going to see this movie on opening night as I think many people are, like, we’re all shtting on this movie, this money. This movie is going to make a ton of money. It’s going to make a lot of money. I thought and continue to think at this very moment that the first Avatar movie is pretty dumb and not good. But I saw it in the theater, high out of my mind, if I’m going to be honest. Yep, and I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do this time.


Rosie Knight It’s the only way.


Jason Concepcion IMAX. Probably 3D. I’m going to take like two edibles and just melt into my seat as I gaze deeply into the beautiful, glistening blue skin of the Na’vi.


Rosie Knight Oh, yeah. Also, Jemaine Clement is in this one, so I’m like, We can find things. We can find things to love. Also, Michelle Yeoh So of course.


Jason Concepcion Well, yes. Next up, new Ms. Marvel teaser trailer called Not Alone, and Kevin Feige’s comments about some tweaks to Kamala Khan’s powers. The series begins streaming June 8th on Disney Plus. Here is what Feige told Empire regarding Ms. Marvel’s powers. Quote, “We adapt the comics. It’s not an exact translation. Ms. Marvel came about in a very specific time, was in the comic book continuity. She’s now coming into a very specific time within the MCU continuity. And those things didn’t match.”  And he continues, “You will see great comics splash panels in some of her action sequences. If you want big, giant hands and arms while they’re here in spirit, if not in stretchy, plastic type ways.”  We said on our previous episode that this is they changed the powers, so nobody would be confused when Reed Richards hits. Yeah, and that’s what they did also. Now, some people are upset.


Rosie Knight No, I think I think this makes a lot of sense. I like the cosmic idea. Also, he said something here that I think is very telling. It’s very vague, like it has to be. But when he says she came in in a very specific time within the comic book continuity, we have talked about that. She came in at a time when Marvel was not using the X-Men, so they had to make her an inhuman. That is not the case now. That is obviously what that is referring to and, Right? And then coming into the very specific time right now, we’re in this era where everybody is getting these powers that are artifact based powers and each of the artifacts seem to have a color that relates to the Infinity Gems. So now she’s going to have this artifact style powers that she’s going to gain from maybe the Nega-bands, perhaps whatever they are, that seem like they make some.


Jason Concepcion Some version of the Quantum bands.


Rosie Knight Yeah Quantum bands.


Jason Concepcion It’s unclear right now.


Rosie Knight You know, and and that is going to allow her to manipulate mass so her powers will look the same. But like you said, we he even says they’re not in stretchy plastic type ways. And that’s because A) it’s very, very, very hard to make those powers look good. We know that from every Fantastic Four movie. B) Yes. If you’re about to introduce the Fantastic Four, you can’t have another character with those same powers debut before Reed Richards.


Jason Concepcion Now, some would say, okay, but you have Korg in the Thor verse slash wider MCU, and then you’re going to bring in the Thing. And then there were some fans of Ms. Marvel who were upset. And I think that that is, if anything, a wonderful indicator about how ready the fan base is.


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concepcion To see this translated to the screen. I understand that there are some voices out there that are a little perturbed about it, but I think overall that’s like a great sign when you have an audience that’s like engaged enough to care


Rosie Knight Exactly.


Jason Concepcion About how the powers are translated to the screen. That’s a great problem to have.


Rosie Knight It’s an amazing thing. And also, it’s like it’s kind of hard to say now because it was, you know, now it’s like eight years ago. But that comic was a it was a cultural phenomenon like it. It had six printings of the first issue, the first Ms. Marvel solo title with Kamala. It was this. Just a huge moment that made so many people feel seen and allowed Marvel editorial to, for the first time since Spider-Man, create an absolutely new ground level character. So the fandom love is just so there. And I think something we always say, which I love in these kind of moments, is like, the good thing is, even if you watched the show and her powers, it doesn’t feel the same. I’m sure she’s going to say “I’m big” and I’m sure she’s going to punch something with the dragon fist.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, she’s right.


Rosie Knight Like it’s kind of going to be more of a Green Lantern version, though, I think of willpower, imagination. Which makes sense as she’s a fanfic writer and a kind of fan of superheroes. But even if you watch it and it doesn’t feel like what you hoped for, the best thing is the comics still exist. And that’s the nicest thing. This is always additive. It never takes away from the version that you love. So I hope I’m hoping that this show is going to just totally make all Ms. Marvel fans really, really happy to be able to see her on screen, even if right now that understandably sort of a bit like, hmm.


Jason Concepcion I’m I’m really excited. Not only because the trailer really captured the energy of the comics, but because like we’re in an era right now with some of the Disney plus shows. Hawkeye’s a great example where we’re starting to bring in the characters who are like fans of the original superheroes. Like it’s this next younger generation of fans that are coming in that are like, Oh my God, like Hawkeye is my favorite Superman. And that is just like a fun space to play with because, you know, we are fans of these characters too, so it’s just really fun way to just find a connection with these new characters coming in. Lastly in this segment, we have to recognize that the recent passing of two just real legends in the comics community, Neal Adams, who passed away in late April, and George Perez, who passed away recently. Two creators who, I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say really defined the way comics looked in the seventies and eighties, like in a major way. Neal Adams with his work on Batman and then on on Green Arrow, which at the time was, was one of the most culturally relevant comics going at the time. And not to mention his like pre John Byrne work with the XMen. And then George Perez


Rosie Knight I was going to say that his X-Men that let in there is like that stuff for a lot of people that was the first X-Men they ever read, whether it was in back issues and and he had this bombastic art style and he also did a lot for creators like Jim Lee did an amazing post when he passed about how Crusty Bunkers, which was his art studio. He mentored all these different creators and he brought up the next generation of comics, artists. And and then there’s, you know, this very famous story, which we kind of have talked to a little bit here about how he was one of the co-founders of something called The Comic Book and the Academy of Comic Book Arts, which he co-founded with Stanley and Carmen Infantino. And Stan kind of wanted it to be like the Academy of Motion Pictures,


Jason Concepcion PR, just pure. Pure marketing, right?  .


Rosie Knight And Adams was like how about if we like used it to do labor organization and started like leveraging it to try and get creative rights and set page rates and essentially start what would have almost been a union. And that didn’t happen. But that’s like such an iconic kind of moment. And he also I go to a lot of comic conventions, and Neal always had this massive booth that was like a battleship on the corner of the show floor, and he would just speak to anyone. I heard him tell so many incredible stories and he was just the friendliest, like, loveliest, most engaging guy who just acted like he was just another fan, which I just. And Perez, you know, George. George was the same, just two really special people. And I mean, George was just like Neal Adams. He redefined so many of these comics that we love.


Jason Concepcion I mean Infinity Gauntlet, that is him. Crisis on Infinite Earths, that is that you know that is his art. I first became aware of him through New Teen Titans, which was, you know, he just had this. This ability to cram so much detail, so many characters in a single piece of art, whether it was a great cover or a splash page and have everything there pop, you know, like, you know, when I think about my earliest experience with comics, it was just like staring at the pictures for hours and hours


Rosie Knight Of course.


Jason Concepcion Picking out details. And George Perez absolutely was… His art was so enjoyable to interact with that way that you could just like you could just absolutely fall in it. And again, has drawn some of the most iconic and influential stories in comics and absolutely defined the way comics looked for a certain era, like was part of that movement


Rosie Knight And I think like something that people always talk about. And I know like as people who the big age old question, are you a Marvel fan? Are you a DC fan? Like both of these creators span those publishers and especially with George, his work on New Teen Titans with Marv Wolfman, that was one of the first really big DC books that brought that real life gravitas. It followed the Teen Titans in their everyday life. It did the thing that people always say made Marvel stand apart. You know, people always say, like, Spider-Man’s broke, he’s sad, he’s doing his hero. And New Teen Titans bought that humanity. And George and Marv were just like such wonderful people. I interviewed them once about their collaborative friendship and they just obviously like love each other and they loved making those books. And it’s just, yeah, it’s a really terrible loss, but it’s incredible time to look back at these creatives and celebrate the amazing work they did. George also did an unreal arc on Wonder Woman that was meant to be like a six month run and ended up being five years long.


Jason Concepcion Reinvigorated the character. Yeah.


Rosie Knight Just with with Len Wein. And, and it was just like so beautiful. I always think of that art. There’s, there’s big pages from that, like these cover pages of this bright, beautiful themal Skera with all different. That was the first time he really reimagined who if Emma Skera could be which is still changing now but but that was this kind of more diverse atmosphere and the colors it just so beautiful like that. Yeah, both of them. Just incredible. It’s a great time to go and read some of those books.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. Our thoughts are with their families when we’re back.


Jason Concepcion Mailbag of Madness. I join the great John Lovett on stage this week for a live recording of Love It or Leave It. we live at the Hollywood Improv. Other guests include Hysteria’s is Erin Ryan, the tremendously funny Atsuko Oaxaca to listen to what went down, listen and subscribe to Love It or Leave It wherever you get your podcasts. What a funny and tremendously entertaining evening it was.


Jason Concepcion  (AD)


Jason Concepcion We’re stepping out of the airlock to answer the best that we possibly can. All of your various questions you had coming out of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Rosie, are you ready?


Rosie Knight I’m ready. First question Cameron asks in universe 818, which we have determined is 838, thanks to Mike Thee on Twitter who saw the movie with captions, they had control of that Ultron, so vision would never have been created? Would Wanda still create children without the trauma of losing her husband? Also with no evil Ultron, is Pietro still alive in that universe? These are very important questions.


Jason Concepcion All great questions. Of course, we don’t know. But I like the idea that what makes 616 in the MCU different is Wanda falls in love with Vision and thus isn’t able to have actual non magical biological children in this universe because of that relation she has with with Vision. But in all the other universes she meets someone and that’s why she has the children. It’s quite tragic. So I think probably what happens in it all depends if you know, is what what role does Tony Stark have in 838? But my sense is that some form of Vision would exist, whether it’s Jarvis or some other Android, and that Vision probably exists, but not in the purely like autonomous thinking robot, actual living, sentient being that we see in the 616 MCU. But of course, we don’t know. That’s just a theory.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I think you’re basically 100% right, because the one thing that makes this theory really work, the comic book version of Vision, as we’ve said many times, based on the like brain imprint of Simon Williams, Wonder Man. Cool. Yeah. The MCU version is so unique and so based on these unbelievably, could only really happen once in a multiverse situation with, you know, Jarvis becoming Ultron, Ultron losing control, and then Bana, Tony and Thor all needing to be there to create the version of Vision that Wanda falls in love with. So I think it makes a lot of sense that she would never be able to fall in love with Vision in these other universes because, well, Tony’s not there, Thor’s not there, blah, blah. You don’t have that exact version. So you could have a Vision, you could have a white Vision, you could have a Vision who she just doesn’t like because they don’t have that same connection. But I think in those universes, those are her biological children or her adopted children, but just not created through that kind of corrupted magic that we saw in WandaVision.


Jason Concepcion The next question from Matt Tal. This is from my DMs. Were Wanda’s guard monsters at Mount Wundagore Rosie’s favorite location in all the AMC? Were they? Dire Wraith. So this is a very interesting poll and that I had not thought of at all. Tell us .Do you want to tell us?


Rosie Knight Yeah. Okay. So this is this is really cool because visually, I have to say, this is a great catch now.


Jason Concepcion It’s a great catch.


Rosie Knight It’s a great catch.


Jason Concepcion Like a really great catch.


Rosie Knight The comic book… Before I get into the direct, the comic book reasoning that those monsters would follow Wanda, is because in the comics when she’s born, she gets touched by the magic of Chthon. Those are Chrhon’s kind of minions, so they can feel her magic in her. That’s probably why they’re following. Now, whether or not that Dire Wraiths, I don’t know who owns the rights to those at the moment. But, in Rom, the space knight, known mostly just as Rom, that which is a which has been at Marvel and I.D.W. and was created by Bill Mantlo and our Al Milgram. There are these giant, red, monstrous antagonists called Dire Wraiths, and in the Marvel Universe they are an evolutionary offshoot of Skrulls. So there is like a lot of cool, weird stuff here. And I just I think that would be so cool if that was actually what they decided that they were going to go for. Especially because apparently, now I did not know this, this is this is the magic of the Internet. Apparently, Dire Wraiths it’s actually like studied evil magic at some point in the history of Rom. So I think that could be just so cool. And if they are not officially Dire Wraiths, they were definitely influence because you just got to look at picture Google Dire Wraiths and you will see that Jason’s DM questioner was on point with this catch.


Jason Concepcion Now to your to your comment about whether IP wise this would be this actually could be the case. Now, you mentioned these are the antagonists of Rom, the Space Knight. Rom the Space Knight, a character I absolutely friggin loved when I was a kid. And that James Gunn has recently talked about, you know, whether or not he’d be interested in doing a movie on Rom, the Space Knight. Whatever the case, Rom the Space Knight was like a licensed character by, I think, Hasbro or Parker Brothers, or it was a board game character for a board game that came never came out. Parker Brothers. And was licensed to Marvel as a way to kind of like promote this board game that never really ended up coming out. So Marvel. It’s unclear who owns the characters, what we’re saying. So if even if they are Dire Wraiths. I don’t know if Marvel could come out and say they’re Dire Wraiths. But that being said, I love the idea that they’re, yeah, I love the idea that they are Dire Wraiths.


Rosie Knight Somebody somewhere’s probably really stoked. Some production designer is like I’m so glad somebody brought that up.


Jason Concepcion Up next.


Rosie Knight Okay. So Jess asks, why does Doctor Strange still carry around the eye of Agamotto? Wasn’t the time stone already destroyed in the main timeline? Does it do stuff without the time stone? This is one of the most asked questions in the MCU. Sam Raimi, director of Multiverse of Madness, did recently give us an answer in an interview with Cinemablend, he said ” The eye of Agamotto still has magical properties, even without the time stone.” Then he cheekily said, “as any true, Strange fan would know. So it reveals to him things that are unseen.”


Jason Concepcion And theoretically could could get people like, if you are lying to Strange, he could engage the Eye of Agamotto and you would not be able to tell him lies.


Rosie Knight In the comics, the Eye of Agamotto is actually like lives inside the amulet. And so the time stone in the original like Infinity Saga essentially replaced the notion of the Eye being a separate entity. But as the spoiler alert, as the movie of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and we see Doctor Strange with the eye on his head, which seems to come from the Darkhold. But that also links back to the Eye of Agamotto. And sometimes people who hold it,like the Sorcerer Supreme, they can manifest as a third eye. So there’s lots of cool, weird magic. But I’m so, so glad Jess asked this question because I think this is one of the biggest questions that MCU people have had since The End Game, Infinity War, stuff like why would he still wear it? You know, Eye of Agamotto still powerful, still doing some magical stuff.


Jason Concepcion I love that. Dan asks… Something Jason said in an episode raised a question for me in the cafe scene early on when Stephen and America and Wang our first meeting. How did Stephen remember that they had recently had a Multiverse scare regarding Spider-Man? Isn’t nobody supposed to be able to remember that or even that Spider-Man exists? Sorry if this is a stupid question. That’s a great question.


Rosie Knight That’s a great question. Not a stupid question. I think that is going to be if there is one question most people have coming out of it, it is going to be about that scene. To some people may have seemed throwaway. So this is a great question Dan.


Jason Concepcion This is a great question so how it should work, the spell. You know, if it’s based at all on on one more day, one of the most controversial story arcs in Spider-Man history. Right. But if it’s anything like the spell that was cast in that story arc, so if you got went on your phone and saw a picture of Peter Parker and you hanging out like at a party, would that spark realization that you were friends with Peter Parker? No. What would happen is you’d look at the picture and be like, huh, this is really boring. I’m not interested in this boring picture and I’m moving on. And then you would flip to the next picture and you’d forget about it. So Peter Parker is the kind of is the important part of this question, Dan, because it’s not that people forget about Spider-Man. They forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, is that correct?


Rosie Knight Yeah, that is correct. And also something that I find really interesting that this question sparks off that I really want to know is like, do Wong and Stephen remember that they helped Spider-Man fight a Multiversal scare, or do they just remember that Spider-Man was involved with one in New York so they know about the Multiverse? Like, how deep did the layers of the spell go? That’s what I want to know. I think that I don’t think is a stupid question. I think it’s actually like one of the most interesting kind of throwaway notions where it’s like, what’s that going to lead to? Like, because everyone thought maybe Wong remembered that Peter was Spider-Man because he was in Kamar Taj, he was going through a portal. But it seems like from this they kind of generally remember Spider-Man exists. They know something Multiversal will happen, but we don’t know if they were if they remember being involved in it, because it was very heavily related to the notion of Peter Parker and many Peter Parkers.


Jason Concepcion So my guess is they remember that they were helping Spider-Man with something. And if Wong of course, remembers that whatever it was, Stephen fucked it up in a really bad way. But my guess is if the spell again works anything like it, like it does in the comics, that they would just never they would just not at all be they would have no curiosity about what exactly they were doing with him. They would just be like, Oh, I remember that thing that we did with Spider-Man, Stephen, you really fucked that up. Yeah. And they would just the question of, hey, what were we doing? What was specifically that adventure about would just never come up. And certainly anything related to the Peter Parker-ness of it all would just be gone.


Rosie Knight That, I think, actually answers a really interesting question about something we’ve been thinking about, like, why wasn’t this Multiversal collapse connected to the other one? Well, you wouldn’t have really been able to explain how everyone knew it. So that’s actually really smart. Thank you, Dan, you made me have a revelation. Corey asks. My name is Corey. Day one listener. Friday the 13th is my birthday. Happy Birthday and the Perfect Day for Doctor Strange Mailbag Episode. Corey is about to ask one of my favorite questions. My question is with 616 being designated in the MCU as our Infinity Saga universe, how do we rectify that with the MCU already being a separate universe in the comics known as Earth 19999?


Jason Concepcion This is something that keeps me up at night.


Rosie Knight Legitimately. No, no, no, truly, truly.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. I truly like how’d? Especially with 616 being officially codified in this movie. I mean, Rosie, where do you land on this? Because I’m not sure I feel like this is we’re going to retcon. This is what’s going to happen.


Rosie Knight I think so. Well, on the surface, it makes a lot of sense. We have actually used in the show as a shorthand, 616 for main timeline in the movies. But making it canon makes it very confusing because. The whole point of these universes is that an animated film, a movie, a comic, each one is its own separate universe within the greatest span of the Multiverse. So for me, this sits uncomfortably, and I think there is a likelihood, as you said, that this would get retconned or it would be revealed that the 838 universe is not as it seems, because that is just one person’s idea of a designation. And it’s a really good Easter egg for comic book fans. But I believe that we will go back to Earth 19999 or it will be an ongoing conversation because the kind of original multiverses of like DC Universe, which has been doing it for longer, and that notion of being able to have all the different things that exist, the timber and Batman universe, the comic books. Yes, the Elseworld comic books, everything. That is part of what makes the Multiverse special. So I would be surprised if it was anything more than just the shorthand that we’re using here. And at some point we’ll get to have another conversation about it, because it’s one of the most beloved things for people to talk about.


Jason Concepcion Here’s the other thing…Could it be that this doesn’t make any sense.


Rosie Knight I want to hear everything.


Jason Concepcion Okay. Could it be that, you know like when you look at a crayon box and you’re like, man, does the color blue look the same to me as it does to you? It maybe it’s the case that whatever universe, you know, whatever heroes are fighting, whatever adventure in the broader MCU Multiverse, they all consider themselves 616 and therefore the numbering system is altered in that way because to them they are the main universe.


Rosie Knight Yeah, I think that if you’re using if we are going to say that 616 translates as main Marvel Universe, which is why it is in the comics here Main Marvel Cinematic Universe. You could argue that like almost every universe would see itself that way. And the only reason that Christine doesn’t designate herself that way is because she’s a scientist. So she sees it scientifically. But yeah, I don’t think this is the last we will hear of the designations, especially with the Times incursion and kind of these hints, a greater Multiversal crisis coming.


Jason Concepcion But again, Corey, I think I think they’re just going to retcon this. Yeah, at some point, probably. Next question. Alan asks, 1) Was that brief animated part of the Multiverse hopping the spider-verse? And 2) is a die hard sleepwalker fan I was disappointed they didn’t explore more of Nightmare in the mind scape. Same here. Yeah. Listen to our episode, couple episodes back where we very heavily predicted that they would meet in the middle and we were wrong about that, but that’s fine. Do you think the Nightmare illusions give hope of seeing that in the future? And then 3), can you talk more about Strange Academy that you referenced in the pod? Sure. Let’s take these sequentially. Rosie, do we think that that was the spider-verse?


Rosie Knight I do believe that one of the moments when they’re hopping through we go through the spider noir world. I am I would I would stake a claim that I think is right.


Jason Concepcion I, I feel the same. I feel the same exact way. The black and white world, I think, is a.


Rosie Knight Little bit rotoscoped, a little bit thicker lines look looked like we could have seen Nic Cage’s spider noir going through that. Very cool.


Jason Concepcion Then do we think we see a Nightmare somehow in the MCU in the future? I actually think we do. And I think just the fact that we are talking about the dream dimension and the way that people access a different plane of reality when they sleep, that is that’s Nightmare’s realm, essentially. Now, there is a dream dimension that is like good dreams and then, of course, Nightmare’s realm specifically deals with nightmares. But I would I would bet that we see him he’s a major Strange antagonist. Is a is a is a. A major and super scary villain. As as we’ve said, we’ve we’ve kind of like alluded to the way Nightmare’s dimension works. And another thing is like we’re running through villains here.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion Rosie, at what point, and this is like a broader question I’ve been thinking about, who’s the first villain that comes back? Right. You know, because we’re defeating a lot of these. And, you know, one of the at any any comics reader will tell you one of the big like oh shit moments in comics is when the big reveal happens on the last page and you realize like, like, oh my God, it’s dark side or oh my God, it is Ultron like and and here comes this major villain coming back. Do we, do we think, do we think we see a villain come back again in the MCU to fight our friends?


Rosie Knight Yes. I 100%. Look, this is the reality. Okay. You know what, Alan? I will say, as a also sleepwalker fan, I think you are right. I think Nightmare is going to come into. I also think they took a lot from Sleepwalker in this movie. They the mind scape stuff is basically like this dream world, like between the dream world and the astral plane. That’s basically the dream walking is almost like sleepwalking. Also pretty sure that who America was fighting at the beginning was cobweb. So don’t worry. It’s going to happen now, Jason. Yes, I think Thanos is coming back there. It just makes sense. Hundred percent in the comics, Thanos…


Jason Concepcion Kid Thanos a real Thanos. Kid Thanos.  Adult Thanos. Alternate Thanos.


Rosie Knight No, no, no. So one of the best things that Jim Starlin created, Thanos. Absolute icon. Love him. One of the things that he has installed into the Thanos canon is that every there’s like millions of Thanos clones in the comic books. Like there’s all these different versions. If a different creator did something that Jim didn’t like withThanos he’d be like, and that was a clone, that wasn’t the real Thanos. So there’s lots of different ways. Also in the comics,Thanos is deeply connected to death. Thanos gets resurrected. I think we could see. A resurrected version of Thanos. I think that with James Gunn and Guardians of the Galaxy Three. Coming soon is going to have Adam Warlock. They announced the casting, that is confirmed. Adam Warlock is so deeply connected to Thanos and I think we could see a version where Thanos is more of an ally or an anti-hero, and we could be dealing with an evil kind of major. And Adam Warlock split. And also, as scary as it is, we’re going to be five years away from Endgame very soon. And then it would only be a couple of years to a seven years away. And I wouldn’t be surprised. I think What If was a really cool thinktank for different ideas, and I think I love the T’Challa episode and I love the notion of him being this great, powerful force of good who could even turn Thanos good, you know. But I also think it was kind of teasing the notion of a Thanos who is more of a. He’ll turn sometimes good, sometimes bad- force in the MCU. And I don’t think I think that if one villain comes back. Oh, also Dormammu with the end of Doctor Strange 2.


Jason Concepcion Oh, yeah.


Rosie Knight You know, because that clear is his niece. And that’s who we see Doctor Strange leave with at the end. But that would be less of a big surprise and more of kind of like, Oh, there’s that floating cosmic doom head. But Thanos, I think if you did an echo of the Avengers Stinger, you know, if you if you do those echoes of like those big moments that make people scream in the theater, if you had that again with a fan or stinger, I think people, especially because they never really did that there were they didn’t do it at all. They hinted at it in Endgame and made me scream. And it wasn’t death, it was red skull in a cloak. But I think that there’s a lot to delve into with Thanos. This love lost desperate kind of romantic obsessed with death.


Jason Concepcion Here’s who I think is coming back. I’m ready kind of in a very similar way to you. I think Ultron comes back and I think Ultron beamed his brain, his like, you know, because he’s not the body. He’s not.


Rosie Knight Yeah, he’s the consciousness.


Jason Concepcion He’s the consciousness. Right. I think he beam is consciousness just like out outside of earth, out into space, hoping to find some other like A.I. space computer deep in space. And I think he found it. And this is a you know, I’m basing this off of Annihilation Conquest, one of for my money, Annihilation and Annihilation Conquest that really relaunched the Guardians of the Galaxy as currently constituted in Marvel Comics. I think those two crossover events are two of the best things that Marvel has ever done, and Ultron is the major villain of one of them. He has been beamed out into space. He creates all these versions like, you know, like fearsome, destructive robots created in his image. And he sends out this Annihilation wave to just basically destroy everything in its path. And I think that there is a world in which Ultron has done that in the MCU. He’s out there somewhere.


Rosie Knight I agree. And also, I think there’s two things in Doctor Strange that make that seem very, very relevant, which is there is an Annihilation namedrop. They say it in the same way they dropped Incursion and we saw an Ultron bot that worked. So I don’t think those two things are disconnected. I think that’s very smart.


Jason Concepcion And then finally, can you talk more about Strange Academy, which you refrenced in the pod? Sure. So Strange Academy is a Marvel comics title, creative team, Scottie Young and Humberto Ramos. It launched in 2020 and it is it’s Marvel Comics Hogwarts. Yeah. Stephen Strange and some of the most powerful magic users in the Marvel Universe get together. They found this school that Strange, then runs, and we meet a lot of wonderful young students, you know, Dormammu’s son, a Frost Giant. Various others. And we get to watch them on their magical journey in a school setting. It’s just like a super, super, super fun book. And I just, with America Chavez now at Kamar Taj learning to be a sorcerer, you know, it feels like we’ve got the first student for the Strange Academy if they ever decide to do it. And it’s just like. It’s an easy win for a Disney Plus show if they ever launched that.


Rosie Knight And the art is so good and it’s like set in New Orleans. So it has this kind of folkloric like space to the idea of magic and like the history of magic in the area. And it is just very fun. And I hope that and they just bring in so many cool magic characters, like even like Nico from The Runaways and like Man Thing who I love. Like there’s just a lot of, there’s a lot of cool nods and notions of like what a magic character can be. And in a way that’s just so relevant right now in the MCU, because we’re talking so much about who these different magic characters are, how do that powers work? Where do we find more of them? Are they born? Are they taught? Did it in a so yeah, that’s a that’s a really great pick. Next question, Angela T on Twitter asks, Do you think the ending of this movie makes it impossible for Wanda’s twins to become young Avengers slash teenagers? Oooh, Jason, I know you have some thoughts on this.


Jason Concepcion I think it makes it incredibly possible. I think what’s going to happen is we’re going to go open a portal to one of the many, many, many universes, apparently, where Wanda gave birth to Billie and Tommy. And we’re going to bring those kids to 616 and they are going to become Wiccan and Speed of the Young Avengers. Like just the fact that they’re out there in the rest of the Multiverse, it makes it even more possible. What do you think?


Rosie Knight Yeah, I think so, totally. I also think they’ve established like a tragic mother storyline if they wanted to use the ones from the 838. I also think that the notion of them existing in the multiverse and this kind of cosmic journey we’re going on in the MCU at the moment means we could even see something where we meet Hulkling in Secret Invasion, and which is a Skrull story Hulking as a Skrull. And we even maybe met Billy there instead, you know, and and we kind of meet these different versions of them. We could even have more than one. But I agree with you that we’re in a space where the ending actually makes them even more likely to be playing a major part in the future of the MCU.


Jason Concepcion My good friend Liz asks, What’s the difference between a sorcerer and a witch? Do you have to be born a witch? Is Loki a witch? How does that work? She also asks, how many TVA’s are there? And subquestion is the quantum realm it’s own universe or our universe? Ah, okay. Let’s take these in order. Okay. Do you want to take the sorcerer versus witch thing first?


Rosie Knight I think this is like one of the most. There’s everyone’s just ask such great questions first of all, thank you. You’re really asking the vital questions. And Liz, I think this is one of the most important questions in the MC. In the comics, this is very malleable. But I think in the MCU, they have essentially shown us quite explicitly that you have to be born a witch or you learn to be a sorcerer. So I do think that would mean Loki is technically a witch in the MCU, but Loki is also technically a god. So then you end up in that situation where what’s the difference between a god and a witch? I think the answer there would probably be a god is born from a deity who has powers, and that’s why they inherit them. Whereas someone like Wanda, as far as we know in the MCU now, was born to two humans and her powers manifested like a mutant in a moment of fear. And then she became she had her powers and she was officially a witch. And Agatha in WandaVision kind of speaks to this when she talks about there being communities of witches who train and who recognize those who are born. So I think in the MCU is as least stated that you are born a witch or you can learn to be a sorcerer like Stephen Strange.


Jason Concepcion Now in the comics. I forget where she says this, but Agatha Harkness said, I think in the, I want to say it’s in the Scarlet Witch solo series. She says something like, Wherever in the universe there is life, there’s witches and magic. So I think that one of the ways we can think about this is there’s different sources of magic in Marvel Comics, like there is for Iron Fist, there’s Chi. You know, of course, the Asgardians have their own version of magic, which is basically like Asgardian technology. There’s chaos magic, which is what Wanda taps into in Marvel Comics, the Odin force, which is like Odin’s own energies that become magic. There is necromancy, the magic of and blood magic, kind of a more evil magic. And I think that it. Thinking about magic that way. I’m guessing that MCU, witchcraft and the MCU version of witches is just like natural magic that is derived from life from whereas sorcery is matte like interdimensional magic and magic derived from the likes of Vishanti and


Rosie Knight Books basically.


Jason Concepcion These other notable magical like magical deities.


Rosie Knight Yeah and I thought it was really interesting in Multiverse of Madness where they say runes mean witchcraft. That’s how we know, because sorcerers use spells and spell castings, but witches confer. And so I think the more we go into it, the more this kind of notion of different types of magic is going to grow. You say, so this is really controversial and probably not true at all. But you just said something that made me wonder like, do you think there’s a world where basically the MCU’s first wave of mutants are just seen as witches like they have, people just think they have Scarlet Witch’s power and they’re actually just witches rather than mutants. And then we learn more because it seems like their version of magic is very similar to the comic book version of mutants.


Jason Concepcion I that would be a really fun way to do it. And. It brings with it. The thing that we’ve talked about, which is important when you’re going to introduce the X-Men, which is you need that society needs to hate and fear these figures and that would bring it. That would be a really cool way to do it. Okay. Then Liz asks, and these are very this is like this is an important question. Let’s take the last part of it first. How many TVAs are there? So this is unclear.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion But, let me just say in the comics, the TVA is infinitely large because think about it as the TVAs were dealing with all these different timelines and all these different realities, and in the offices of the TVA, there’s an office that deals with every single reality, right? So there’s one that deals with 616, there’s one that deals with 617. And because there are an infinite number of realities, the office space required by the TVA is infinitely large. So I suspect that it works that way where the TVA is just like this massively, infinitely large place. That deals with the infinitely large multiverse. It may not be the case, of course. At the end of Loki we saw that there was a statue of He Who Remains There in the TVA annex, leading us to believe that he had somehow changed the timeline so that so that Kang, He Who Remains is is now, you know, like the ruler of the TVA. He that he changed something. How do you think it works, Rosie?


Rosie Knight I think you’re right. When I first watched the final episode of Loki in that stinger, I assumed that it meant he was in a different universe’s version of the TVA. But I don’t think that’s the case. I think that you are right. The one thing that the TVA in Loki adapted so well from the comic books, it is a boring bureaucracy is like offices. It’s very boring. So basically all you have to imagine is each multiverse has its like boring office block that deals with that multiverse. So I think you’re right. I think there is a. In the comics. It’s the three kind of people who lead it, unless they implied that. And then we learn it was He Who Remains. I think there is a singular office that is in charge of all of the multiverse, each multiversal branch of the TVA, but they are technically one branch.


Jason Concepcion Now, here, here is how I can explain the the Kang statue essentially at the end of Loki. So He Who Remains and Kang are the same person just like Immortus is. There’s also a version of Kang just as Rama-Tut, but is also a version of Kang. So He Who Remains at the end of Loki was kind of like the best version of like the most chill version of it. And he talks about this like I was bloodthirsty. I had fought a million wars. But so He Who Remains was the most calm, most reliable and most peaceable version of a very, very violent character that had evolved over multiple, multiple, multiple timelines and because of the events of Loki, it flipped. Instead of He Who Remains being in charge of the TVA, it was the less evolved, more violent more warlike version of himself, KANG. So really it’s actually the same person that’s still in charge of the TVA.


Rosie Knight Yeah you’re just a different version. Right. Yeah. And it also could be like a before time. It could be an off after time. The real thing that I think clued us in was like, maybe there was things that people didn’t know they could have had their minds wiped. There’s all kind of men in black answers that could have occurred. But I think you’re right. That’s basically what if Kang the Conqueror ran the TVA instead of He Who Remains?


Jason Concepcion And then finally the quantum realm, which we are going to see in in Ant-Man, Quantum, Ant-Man and the WASP Quantumania. Is the quantum realm, also known as the micro verse in Marvel Comics. Is it its own universe or a part of our universe? I think it’s pretty clearly like a separate universe that you can get to just by shrinking.


Rosie Knight It’s like it’s like the instead of a portal into it, the portal is shrinking so small that you become. You know, quantum sized or whatever they would call it in the Ant-Man. And the notion is like it is its own singular dimension. That is right. And that’s why time moves differently there. That’s why people can survive that for a certain amount of time or other people can’t, or things grow very large or these different kind of things. And some things are tiny. I think I think its own universe or dimension, but I also think is really clever and an interesting question because I think this is where the notion of like multiverse and different universes versus dimensions becomes confusing, like the quantum realm and then the negative zone, which is the key, fantastic for location, those of both worlds more as dimensions than singular universes that run alongside. So I think when we get more and we will probably get very into that definition in Ant-Man and the WASP Quantumania. So I think we’re safe to say a separate and I’ll be interested to see the route that they go with it, because with Kang playing a major role in that movie and the quantum realm existing, that could definitely be a space to potentially introduce or teased the Fantastic Four in a more concrete way than The Multiverse of Madness did.


Jason Concepcion For any Marvel Unlimited people or people who have access to back issues. Hulk 140 by Harlan Ellison and Roy Thomas as writers with the great Herb Trimpe is penciler is is a great and very influential Hulk adventure in which he is shrunk down and discovers this kingdom inside the microverse and then falls in love with one of Hulk’s great loves ever Jarella, a very important figure there in the Microverse. It’s a really fun adventure from the from the bronze era of silver.


Rosie Knight Uh, is it 60s?


Jason Concepcion From the SIlver age of comics. Yeah, it’s like 1971.


Rosie Knight Yeah, it’s very controversial. Silver, bronze. Sliver, bronze.


Jason Concepcion Silver, the silver and or bronze era of comics.


Rosie Knight Depending on your belief system.


Jason Concepcion Yes, that’s right.


Rosie Knight So this is was for my DMs and Christian asked,.


Jason Concepcion Oh, I love it.


Rosie Knight What Kang comics should I read to understand the multiverse?


Jason Concepcion Rosie take away?


Rosie Knight Yes, I have three. I have three. Now, will these help you understand the multiverse? The multiverse is a many splendored strange thing, but these are good, Kang story arcs that will be useful to you. So the first one is Avengers 267 to 269. That’s a great Roger Stern writing, obviously John Buscema on the  breakdown Tom Palmer finishes. Howard Mackie was the editor on that one and Mark Gruenwald as well, who we know is like a really big part of Loki. And the stuff that we saw that this is the arc that introduces the notion of many gangs and the Council of Canada important, specific.


Jason Concepcion Super, super important stuff, yeah.


Rosie Knight So if.


Jason Concepcion You’ll see a lot of Rick and Morty kind of elements in this, you’ll see a lot of Council of Reads.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion Fantastic Four elements that were started right here.


Rosie Knight And if you’re if you are a fan of Rick and Morty, you might you will hear in our chat with Michael Waldron, the writer of Multiverse of Madness. Rick and Morty was a big comic book room, and this is one of the comic books that was most influential. So like and something really, really fun about it is you get multiple versions of the heroes, you get multiple versions of Kang. This is also a Monica Rambeau era Avengers, so there’s just a lot here that seems like it’s going to be very important, Namor. And yeah, it’s really fun. And the Council of Gangs, as Jason said, is like when you read it, you’ll be like, Oh, like, I see, this is where this comes from. This is where that comes from.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight One that I’m going to reference here, which is very relevant because of Loki, and it’s also just really fun. Mark Gruenwald, back again. He’s the writer this time. Pencils by Mike Gustavich, Inker, Bud La Rosa colorist. Chris Matthias Letterer. Steve Dutra. What is the comic called is called Avengers. The Terminatrix Objective. Yes. Now, this is really fun and I think this is from 1993. It’s incredibly nineties. And I think the reason that people will be more interested in this comic right now is it’s about Ravonna Renslayer, who we met in Loki. And it is a story where she takes on the esthetic and persona of Kang and it is like very, very cool and weird and it is an extremely strange and extreme nineties comic. But I do think it’s actually something that they’re really looking to at this moment in time. Like, I think this was a book that definitely was read in that Loki writers room. And also the art is just really cool and weird. Ravonna is really cool.


Jason Concepcion Nineties was a nineties was a absolutely bizarre time for comics and a lot of the art is unique.


Rosie Knight Mm-hmm. Very unique. And this stuff is like if you want to talk about characters who are in there now, this is like a story that stars alternate versions of The Avengers, right? So you have Thunderstrike Thor, which is very interesting because the current new Thor movie Thor Love and Thunder looks like it’s going to really take from that era esthetically. You have U.S. agent who we met recently and right. You have a War Machine who’s going to be coming up in Armor Wars. So there are things here that are that feel relevant. And also like if you just want to iron out wild sci fi superhero book, this is the one. If all of that feels a bit like, Oh, I don’t want to have to read a whole arc. That was a single issue that came out last year. Which was Marvel Comics way of essentially introducing readers to Kang and to a bunch of different stuff that was going to happen in the Marvel Comics universe. And a little bit of the MCU, which was called Timeless, by Jim McKay, who wrote Death of Dr. Strange, which we were shouting out. And then it’s got a ton of artists Kev Walker, Greg Land, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy, Jay Leisten, Marty Garcia. There’s just a bunch of people on there lettered by Ariana Mayer, and that is just a really, really great singular one shop about Kang, about the impact of Kang, about the timeline of Kang, and about the way that Kang can influence the Marvel Universe. And it’s just that’s a great starting point, I think, especially if you’re more into contemporary comics and you don’t necessarily know how to embrace the strange nineties art of it all. Okay. So, Jason, what about you?


Jason Concepcion I have just one to add to that really excellent list. I would add West Coast Avengers the Outtta Time, out. It’s Outta Time. Excuse me. O-U-T-T-A, Outta Time arc which starts on West Coast Avengers Volume two, number 17. This is written by Steve Englehart, Pencils by Al Milgram. Joe Sinnott on the inks. Kevin Foodenwich, Foodenwich, Ken Foodenwich on the colors. Janice Chang Lettering. Edited by Yeah. Edited by. Mark Gruenwald. And first of all, you get some of some West Coast Avengers flavor. For those of you who haven’t who are not fans of West Coast Avengers and picked up that really fun book of the mid eighties. And of course, there’s a lot of threads in some of the Disney Plus shows that we’ve talked about in the past. Hawkeye in particular, had laid some threads that could lead to the foundation of a West Coast Avengers team. And it’s a really, really fun time traveling adventure that gives you a lot of the back story of Kang and how the whole Kang shebang works. Super, super fun, super fun arc. And then our question is from Rosie. Rosie Knight asks and Rosie Knight asks. And this is, this comes from our interview with Michael Waldron in the next segment, which you will hear here. Mike has a very specific answer or non-answer, we should say, on the question of the various cameos and people that appear in, in The Illuminati sequence in Multiverse of Madness and that led us or leads Rosie to ask, What’s the deal with Charles Xavier and Patrick Stewart? So what is the deal, Rosie?


Rosie Knight Yeah, Michael. Such a brilliant interview just so and it is a spoiler interview that you are going to get insights into the movie. Right. But one thing that kind of blew my mind was Michael said, when I we he’s a fan of the X-Men animated series, you know, as most of us are. And I said to him, How does it feel to have been the one to introduce Charles Xavier in the yellow wheelchair? You know, and he was like, I got to be very careful about what I say about the names and who’s in the movie and duh duh duh duh. And I thought, well, that’s interesting because everything else has been very spoiler friendly, and that is something that we all assumed happened. So I just think it’s really interesting. I think it’s quite exciting. I would love to know the reasoning behind why you couldn’t necessarily say that Charles or that it was the Charles from the animated universe. And I just think it’s I think anything do the X-Men is exciting but that was an answer that made me think there could be more Charles Xavier in our future in whatever guise.


Jason Concepcion Right. I think that the fun. The fun theory is that Patrick Stewart, who had previously been outspoken in his desire to not be Charles Xavier again as part of the MCU, but who had recently been quoted as saying actually, like, there’s some really fun and interesting stories here, something to that effect. I think that the the fun theory version is that, oh, maybe Patrick could do it. Maybe Patrick, maybe. As you know, we had theorized that like, this could potentially be the end of these characters in the MCU. Certainly everybody. But maybe Peggy Carter is done here. But. Michael’s answer or non-answer evasive answer kind of like opens the doorway to maybe maybe Patrick Stewart will do it. I think that the the boring the boring version is maybe Marvel just doesn’t know particularly what they are going to do yet and just don’t want to get painted into a corner. It being like it is that Charles Xavier Yeah, of course it is.


Rosie Knight But is it the Charles Xavier?


Jason Concepcion Right to say to state that would paint them into a corner that they would then have to retcon if they go a different way. And so they just want to keep their options open. That’s the boring version, I think. But that also that that answer also, I mean, both of us in the in the room at the same time are like, oh.


Rosie Knight Ooh. This is interesting.


Jason Concepcion Hold on. Yeah.


Rosie Knight Okay. So my tinfoil hat light theory, which I love to have mine, is that you can’t really say it’s Charles Xavier because like he’s a Skrulll. And that’s what the big reveal is going to be is like the 838 universe is like a Skrull universe. And so all those Illuminatis were just Skrulls. And that’s why I think you can’t call him Charles Xavier. So give somebody give me $10, if that’s true, in like five years.


Jason Concepcion And then finally Paul asks Let’s say we put a hole in our own universe and safely jump across into a universe which is similar to ours. But they receive the Earth 838 MCU in their cinemas. What would be the first Earth 838 MCU movie? This is a great question. Wow. Okay. Who do, man, Rosie who do, what do you think the first the first Earth 838 movie is?


Rosie Knight I think.


Jason Concepcion We should run down what’s so the Illuminati.


Rosie Knight Let’s run down who it could be.


Jason Concepcion Let’s run down the Illuminati first. We’ve got Reed Richards, of course, smartest man of the universe. We’ve got Monica Rambeau.


Rosie Knight As Captain Marvel.


Jason Concepcion As Captain Marvel. We have got Peggy Carter as Captain Brittan slash Captain Carter. We have Black Bolt of the Inhumans. Yes, we have Professor Charles Xavier, headmaster of Xavier’s School for gifted children. And of course we have a Mordo, Baron Mordo and the Angry Eye, Sorcerer Supreme of the Universe. 838. What is our first movie, considering that that group we saw solo’d Thanos, so they defeated whatever their Thanos saga is. That is the team that defeats Thanos on Titan, apparently. Okay, what’s the first movie?


Rosie Knight So I think if we’re talking about in an MCU frame of mind, so it’s n alt- universe where the MCU is set up in established in the same way as our MCU. That would mean that the 838 Avi Arad and you know, Kevin Feige and that’s like trying to find that character. I think that the outlier but the most likely movie you could make for that slightly low budget, the universe. Jon Favreau. As much as you got two of the biggest teams included here, a Fantastic Four and X-Men. I think that would be your Avengers. So I think I actually think the first film would be like maybe Captain Carter, the first Avenger, you know, that their starting point to build the MCU, what if we’re talking of the MCU of it all? So you get that story that we see in What If expounded upon. You may be see the establishment of Shield in that universe, and then you bring in those other characters from that space. Maybe the stinger is some is is Captain Card going to speak to Reed or going to speak to Charles about recruiting mutants for Shield or something? I think that’s the that’s if we it’s hard to remember now, but Iron Man, when it came out, that was a risk. That was a.


Jason Concepcion That was a huge risk.


Rosie Knight That was a that was a oh, my God. Can you believe that they’re doing this? And I think that nature of that would be a First Avenger. Captain Carter.


Jason Concepcion I think you’re absolutely right. And that would lead to the rest of them. Let’s do let me do some, like, deductive reasoning based on the the little flashback snippet that we see in Multiverse of Madness when we see the Illuminati standing over the dead body of Thanos on Titan. So. It’s just the Illuminati, right? Fantastic Four not there. I guess you could. Like, Sue could be there, but invisible, hahaha, that’s the Stan Lee, right? So it’s like in the background. So I guess like there’s a world where Sue is actually is helping, right. So and also no X-Men. So this leads me to believe that 838 is a world in which Charles Xavier maybe founds his school or however he comes to prominence, he doesn’t put together an X-Men team. And and Reed doesn’t put together or is not part of a Fantastic Four team, because otherwise why would they not be there?


Rosie Knight Okay, so, so no, no, no. I think  Reed says that whatever happens there could be a he has the four in his chest and he mentions the kids.


Jason Concepcion He mentions the kids.


Rosie Knight We could be living in a world where their version of the Fantastic Four is him, Sue, Valeria and Franklin rather than. So it’s the family four. It’s the first family, the deepest kind of framework. I think you’re right. I think this could be an 838 universe where Charles Xavier does the right thing and does not start a child army from his house. Like he just let the kids stay in school and play baseball. He’s not sending children out to die like fighting people for humans. You don’t even like them, you know?


Jason Concepcion So I think it is a much more it is a it is seemingly a much more you top utopian society like everybody is much more chilled out. Potentially. We don’t know a lot about it, but we’re guessing that.


Rosie Knight I wonder if the other notion of this is something you always bring out, which I think is really funny and true about the Illuminati, where it’s like, I wonder if the reason that the rest of the that like Sue wasn’t there or Jean or any of these helpful heroes is because like the Illuminati kind of sucks and keeps it all a secret. So like, Sue just doesn’t know. She thinks Reed’s it like the back to the building, Gene’s at home with. Storm’s the headmaster of the school because Charles is always away, like Carol Danvers, who’s obviously Maria Rambeau’s wife, she’s probably out fighting, think it doesn’t know where she is. You know, I think that there’s something kind of funny to that notion that like the comics, it’s this group of people who think they know better than everyone else. So but it does seem strange that if you had like Jean Gray and Storm and, you know, the Sue who essentially has like an immortal power that can like it’s a power that can save anyone’s lives, it does seem a bit silly that they wouldn’t be there for Thanos.


Jason Concepcion Now, here’s the other option, right? They have the statue for Stephen Strange for his efforts, defeating Thanos. Of course, that’s PR and it was the Illuminati. But still, it’s clear that Thanos was a major, major, major threat. There’s I guess the one of the options is Thanos killed. Yeah.You know, killed The Thing. Killed the human torch. Killed all. Killed Sue. Killed all of the X-Men except for Professor Charles Xavier. And that’s why it had to be the Illuminati alone facing them.So there’s, there’s a world in which that was also the case.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Maybe they also had had an Avengers team and they got killed by Thanos. But there’s lots of different versions, I think. And yeah, I would actually love to see it.


Jason Concepcion All of which is to say, I think that you are exactly right. I think that. Thanos killing everyone aside, I think the movie that makes the most sense is the Captain Peggy Carter movie. Right. It can be. It can be just like Captain America, the First Avenger. Just Peggy Carter from a more British centric point of view. She gets injected with the super soldier serum, goes on to fight the Nazis and Hydra defeats them, etc. becomes the first Avenger. They assemble the Avengers team around her. That Avengers team is wiped out by Thanos and this the Illuminati has to go and save the day. But I think that you’re whatever the case after the fact, I think you’re exactly right that it would have to be Peggy Carter as the first movie. That was a really, really fun question. Yeah, thanks to everyone who submitted questions. We love doing this. We love hearing from you. Continue to submit questions even though we’re not asking for them. And if we get interesting ones, we will be sure to answer them in the run of our episodes. Up next. Hive Mind with Loki and Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron.




Jason Concepcion Welcome to the Hive Mind, where we explore a topic in more detail with the help of expert guests. This week, we could not have a more expert guest to help us talk about Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness screenwriter Michael Waldron.


Michael Waldron Hello, guys.


Jason Concepcion Hey, Michael. Thanks for allowing us in the junket verse. Which Marvel character in the MCU would give the best wrestling promos, you think?


Michael Waldron I don’t know, man. Wanda cuts some good ones, and she took it. She really did. And in this in this movie, you know. So I think she’s pretty good. Thanos is a pretty good monster. He’ll be a great one. So, yeah, I don’t know. They’re both pretty good. So, by the way, I’m such a fan of you guys, and I’m so excited.


Jason Concepcion Oh, thanks.


Rosie Knight Thanks so much.


Michael Waldron I’m such a longtime Ringer fan and everything. We just talk about the Hawks, this whole Trey Young on this entire.


Jason Concepcion They need that second ball handler, Mike. That’s what needs to happen.


Michael Waldron Bradley Beal, like Bradley Beal can get anything.


Jason Concepcion It feels like it feels like between you and I feel like Bradley Beal to Miami is the thing that everybody’s been talking about.


Michael Waldron That’s great.


Jason Concepcion Well, I guess we’ll throw out all the tough questions then. Those will be.


Michael Waldron Sounds good.


Jason Concepcion But thanks. That’s so kind of you to say.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Really appreciate it.


Jason Concepcion I wanted to ask I guess like how how did you find the emotional what is the emotional like key to unlocking a character like Strange who I think if  you know his like main you know, character trait is like kind of a dick, very high regard for himself. How did you unlock this guy?


Michael Waldron Yes. Tricky, right? I look to I actually I look to great television. I thought about Mad Men, my favorite show, The Sopranos shows about it’s like the difficult men trope, I guess, but shows about characters that. Refuse. They don’t want to look inward and are forced to. I feel like I feel like that’s what the journey of Mad Men is, is maybe Don Don Draper not necessarily changing, but he gains an awareness of who he is and why he is that way. And I, I seized on that a little bit for for Strange. And it feels like that’s something you can really do in Multiversal storytelling. Yeah. Loki and he do it here. You’re meeting literal mirror images of yourself and Strange, you know, through his journey comes to realize that maybe he’s lying to himself when he says he’s happy and living this this kind of emotionally closed off life. Just because he’s the best superhero doesn’t mean that he’s fulfilled. And that that felt like enough of an interesting journey to send a guy on in a superhero movie.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And then I guess kind of the counterpoint slash reflection to to use upon of that is Wanda, who’s this character who’s almost defined by emotions and just kind of what was it like for you to have to bring her on this journey? Which to us we’ve talked by a lot on the podcast, felt very true to comic book backstory, but I think for a lot of people will be quite surprised. So what was it like to take her on that antagonist journey?


Michael Waldron Scary because I guess WandaVision’s so good. And it was made by my friends. And you, you don’t want to do a disservice to it, but at the same time, you have to be bold and then you have to you know, we felt like we had to innovate and push the character forward. And as you said, this is true to who the character is in the comics. This is this is where she was always heading. And for me, it was it was making that the judgment call that that I that I felt like by the end of the events of WandaVision, she was essentially there. She was she was she was ready that she had she had encountered and reckoned with her grief in WandaVision, but I don’t think resolved it entirely. And and she walked away with the Darkhold and the knowledge that her children existed elsewhere in the multiverse. And that felt like how we could get into her greatest, darkest stories from the comics and selfishly have a lot of fun with her Terminator like villain.


Jason Concepcion What’s your what’s your, like, origin story with with some of these comic stories? Were you a big comics reader coming up as a as a young person?


Michael Waldron I was not. I was I was a wrestling fan. I was like that. That was my that was my thing. I feel like that’s what my little kid brain latched on to. Was Hulk Hogan turning evil? She said, maybe, maybe that’s what you know what the movie is. One giant Wanda leg dropping Randy.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Michael Waldron But so. So I came to it later and really when I was in the Rick and Morty room because so many of those big fans and that’s when I started reading like the Tom King vision and the Matt Fraction Hawkeye stuff. And of course, now I feel like I’ve read so much of it, but it was really wrestling and that was my comic books, I feel like.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And I think like you were a fan of the X-Men animated series, right?


Michael Waldron Yes. Yes.


Rosie Knight So what was it like to get to be the one to introduce the animated series Xavier and the Yellow Chair into kind of a live action space? Because I know that was with the duh, duh, duh, duh….that was the chills moment and what was that like for you?


Michael Waldron It was very cool. Look, I. I’m I. I still have to be cagey still. Of course, they have the names of these people. Or you’re going to see me get launched like a black ass stunt  for all of this.


Rosie Knight Piano.


Michael Waldron It was so awesome. It was so cool. Uh, yeah. I was losing my mind the entire time. I couldn’t believe it.


Jason Concepcion You you’ve been vocal about your love for Thor, The Dark World. And as a lover of hot takes, I’d love to hear that expounded upon more add my personal hot take on is is that hey that third act in the in the climactic fight is actually pretty freaking great like is it not would stand for Thor The Dark World, one of the most maligned MCU movies out there.


Michael Waldron Yes. Okay. Well, it it’s basically a Loki movie. It is. Which is which is great. It’s it has the death of Thor and Loki’s mother is an amazing moment. The over music the the M.O.S. reveal of Loki being told that his mother was killed and him turning his back and telekineticly blowing the furniture over is so great. It’s Thor and Loki fights like Loki turning good. It’s his it’s where he Hans Solo flies back into the, you know, into the trench and saves the way. Like, it’s it’s it’s great. So it’s the start of that redemption arc. There’s awesome action. I agree in that in that third act. And then Echols is like it’s Malekith is a cool villain. I like he’s a great actor. So yeah I don’t know man. It’s I think it’s pretty cool movie.


Rosie Knight Yeah. I am also a fan of it. I also do think it’s very interesting that that’s a movie that I know, like a lot of people who really like fantasy and like especially like a lot of women really always loved that movie and I always think it’s I love to see the movies that are seen as cool and the ones that aren’t. And I think there’s something interesting there, but I hope your love will translate to more people rewatching it because it’s good.


Jason Concepcion It it’s also it’s also good.It is talented. It’s a Mad Men. But Mad Men have been directly like, come on.


Michael Waldron Yeah, no wonder there’s some great character stuff in there, you know? I don’t know. I guess it all comes with a lot of these movies. It’s it’s what do you what expectations do you come into them with? I think that movie’s cool.


Rosie Knight Yeah, well, I think this is a very cool movie. And I was wondering, like, could you talk a little bit about working with Sam? Because I feel like there’s definitely shades of Thor, The Dark World, and the things that are cool in there, the kind of gothic, dark fantasy elements they really came over to to Multiverse of Madness. So could you talk a little bit about building that kind of visual landscape once you guys started getting to work together like Wanda on the Darkhold with Danny Elfman score, going about doing a cool montage, that’s like the most my favorite part. So cool.


Michael Waldron Yeah, the electric guitar is yeah incredible and I you know, when when Sam came on, I had Sam came on this movie like three days after me. And so I just went back through Sam’s library, and I felt like it was my job because I come from TV where I was used to the the television writer. It’s if you have more control, I guess the new teachers and son, I was like, okay, I’m working for Sam Raimi and I’ve got to what I it’s my job to set him up for success in every way I can. And so I tried to get an ear for the dialog that he had in his movies and all of that. And yeah, I just, you know, he encouraged me. He said, you know, look, write spooky sequences but don’t feel like you’ve got to do that just because it’s me and I. And I think if anything, I force tried to force him to do the Sam Raimi stuff. He didn’t he didn’t want to just do this the same old things. But but I’m glad, I’m so glad we got stuff like Dead Strange, you know? Yeah. Strange in the end and all of that.


Jason Concepcion I’m actually in the middle of a Mad Men rewatch right now with my partner and I watch it like every year. Season five is where we’re at. And one thing I’ve noticed and just thinking about you, talking about Mad Men is, you know, Don’s like self-awareness comes in service of it’s not like he wants to be a better person, although maybe in some level he wants to he wants to be better at the thing he does, he wants to unpack his toxicity so that he can better sell things to people. As we look forward into Strange’s arc, is that, do you feel like that, is that same kind of dynamic for sure that he doesn’t necessarily want to be a nicer, better guy, less of an asshole? He wants to understand how he’s an asshole so he can become a better magician. Is that kind of where we are with Strange?


Michael Waldron He’s going to he’s going to get a little bit nicer so he can cast a spell that sells everybody a Coke.


Rosie Knight Spoiler. Spoiler alert.


Michael Waldron No, I mean, I think that’s the interesting thing with a character like Strange is, you know, and and look, we’re in a lot of ways, maybe we’re just beginning his journey. You see him make Clea in the end. She’s a huge part of his arc in the comics. And that’s very well put about about Don. And I think that that is the kind of character that Stephen Strange is. You know, is he capable of changing who he is intrinsically or is he capable of just adapting so he can do a better job, so he can be a better surgeon or so he can be a better superhero? That’s interesting. As we get into our you know, however, the 11th and 12th year of the MCU, those are these are jobs for these guys. And I think that those are interesting questions to to ask.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And something that our listeners really love is like to know what kind of comics they should read if they really love this movie or they want to know more. What were the comics you read that most kind of influenced and shaped this film?


Michael Waldron Jonathan Hickman’s in, you know, his Avengers run, where they’re talking about I think it’s New Avengers, I believe.


Rosie Knight An Incursion stuff.


Michael Waldron The incursion stuff. I mean, that stuff is just amazing. As far as a Strange comic, the Brian  Kayvon Run the Oath, is really great and Nick West is the Michael Stuhlbarg character is the bad guy. Yeah, that’s a big part of why I try to keep him alive. I want to keep him out there. You never know. So those are maybe two two good ones to check out.


Jason Concepcion Right? And then finally, Michael, tell us everything about Secret Wars. I’m just kidding. Thanks a lot. This is really, really great.


Michael Waldron Thanks, guys. Thanks so much. It’s an honor to be on. I really appreciate it.


Jason Concepcion Oh, that’s so nice. Good luck with the Hawks next season. Except when they go next.


Michael Waldron Yeah. All right. Bye, guys.


Jason Concepcion A huge thanks to Michael Waldron and, of course, Rosie Knight for this episode of X-ray Vision. Rosie, what have you to plug for the people this week?


Rosie Knight I have exciting things to plug, so obviously I have. The Godzilla comic is coming out. Godzilla Rivals versus Batra you can preorder if you go to my Instagram Rosie Marks I have a link tree. There is a link there that you can show your comic shop, you can call up your comic shop. I will have exciting news of a sort of like a fun giveaway that we’re going to do with x ray vision and one of our favorite shops that will be confirmed kind of coming soon. The book won’t be out till a a long time because it’s comics like a few months. So we’ll do that closer to the line. But if you like comics and you want to support them, I posted a photo on my Instagram from Free Comic Book Day, which was last weekend at my local shop in Long Beach, which is Pulp Fiction Comics. And on May 21st, from 12 till 5, I’m going to be there with a bunch of amazing creatives for Transformers Day, and there’ll be a ton of Transformers creators there. Nick Marino, Mark Martinez, David Mario. Wow. Brenda Chee, who is like one of my favorite artists. And there’s also going to be a ton of rad local Long Beach artists, so it’s going to be very, very good and I will be there and you can come and get some cool comic books. They’ll be Transformers graphic novels on sale. I will draw a terrible Transformer sketch for you. You can get good Transformers art from people who actually draw for a living. So that would just be a really cool space to celebrate the recent Beast Wars annual, which has like a ton of cool comics. So that will be really rad. And I’ll remind everyone again next week.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, that’s going to be super fun. Check out our shownotes for the information on that. And I’m going to come I’m going to come down. That’s going to be so fun. Yes.


Jason Concepcion Folks check our videos on the On Culture YouTube channel in the show notes. Of course, for the listeners guide to X-ray Vision, where you can get all the details and all the stuff that we talk about. If you’re like, Oh, what was that thing they reference? What was at issue? They reference. What was that.story arc they reference. It’s all in the show notes. Go check that out. Our next episode is on May 20th. We will hear from you then. And of course, five star ratings on every platform where you get your podcast. Give us the five star ratings and reviews. Five, five, five, five. Five, five, five. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you, Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time, folks. Goodbye.