The newest trailer for Doctor Strange 2 – in the Multiverse of Madness – set the Marvel fandom ablaze this week. Not only did it reveal more details about the mind-bending plot, but it also teased the return of some iconic comic book characters for the first time in live-action. While there are rumours and theories surrounding the return of Mr Fantastic, Blade, and Black Bolt, we have been confirmed the arrival of the first member of the X-Men.
The trailer showed Doctor Strange being arrested by some Ultron robots and brought to a council. A bald head floated into view as none other than Sir Patrick Stewart’s voice sounded off. The legendary actor announced: “We should tell him the truth.”
Although Marvel fans from across the decades have presumed this is Stewart playing the leader of the X-Men, Professor X, from the various Fox films that have been released in the past 20 years, he could be an even more important part of the story.
Professor X played his biggest part in the Marvel universe in the X-Men Animated Series, which ran from 1992-1997. In this series, he sat in a floating yellow chair and mentored countless characters to become better superheroes and people along the way.
Although Stewart has been revered for his portrayal of Charles Xavier, the epitome of the character has long been considered to be the animated version.
With this in mind, could the return of Xavier be the animated show’s character rather than the live-action character? If so, this would make an incredible difference in a few ways.
Internet sleuths have worked out Xavier is within a group known as The Illuminati. This team of heroes, consisting of Professor X, (Superior) Iron Man, Mr Fantastic, Doctor Strange, Namor and Black Bolt, covertly influenced parts of the world as well as shared strategies with their superherodom.
The animated Xavier was last seen leaving Earth with Lilandra to go to Shi’ar to cure his injured back. This version of the character was also used to seeing some pretty whacky scenarios, including magic, timeline changes, and other superheroes. Therefore it is certainly more likely he would make an appearance in the Illuminati, and why he would simply shrug off the arrival of Doctor Strange from another universe.
If this is Xavier from the X-Men Animated Series, however, that may mean it is simply a one-off for Stewart. At 81-years-old, Stewart has played Charles Xavier seven times over the past 20 years, so he might not want to start an entirely new franchise as the hero.
What’s more, with Marvel slowly but surely introducing their own cinematic versions of their superheroes, they might want to start the X-Men from the beginning once again – like they have done with Spider-Man and Blade. Fans will simply have to wait and see what part Xavier plays in the upcoming film, but it will surely be an iconic moment for fans of the hero.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hits cinemas May 6, 2022.