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By Jake Kleinman

The Doctor Strange of 2022 is a confident sorcerer (even if he’s no longer supreme), but that wasn’t always the case. Back in 2016, when Benedict Cumberbatch first joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we watched the origin story of a cocky doctor tossed into a world of magic he barely understands.

One scene in particular from Doctor Strange emphasized his status as a very confused guy trying to do magic spells. But in the process, it set up a lingering MCU mystery that was only just solved six years later.

Doctor Strange and the Brazier of Bom'Galiath

In Doctor Strange, the titular neurosurgeon faces down an evil sorcerer played by Mads Mikkelsen. In one climactic scene, an untrained Strange fights the bad guys while trying to protect the Sanctum Sanctorum where some of the most powerful magic objects in the universe are stored. That includes a large gold artifact called the Brazier of Bom'Galiath.

In that 2016 fight scene, Strange grabs the glowing Brazier of Bom'Galiath and uses it to threaten his enemy. It works for a second — until it becomes clear he has no idea how to use it. From there, the plot moves on and we never actually learn what that thing does or why it was so scary. Six years later, we finally have an answer.

In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams) grabs the Brazier of Bom'Galiath and uses it to shoot fireballs at a pack of flying demons who are attacking Doctor Strange. So there you have it, the gold artifact is basically just a handheld fire canon. End of story — or is it?

Don’t leave yet, because a look at the comics could reveal how Doctor Strange 2 and the Brazier of Bom'Galiath set up a surprising Marvel villain.

Doctor Strange 2 and Mephisto

That’s right, Mephisto! The demonic Marvel villain who everyone thought might show up in WandaVision gets a brief shoutout in the MCU movie featuring Wanda herself. Coincidence?

Let’s back up slightly. In the comics, Doctor Strange uses the Brazier of Bom'Galiath for a very different purpose. In order to enter Mephisto’s realm during Mighty Thor #443 (1992), he casts a spell. However, because it’s such a major spell, he has to use the Brazier to stabilize it, which he does by lighting a fire in its top. As long as the fire burns, Strange says he’ll be fine.

In other words, not only does the Brazier of Bom'Galiath shoot fire, but it could be the key to reaching Mephisto — assuming the mysterious character ever actually shows up in the MCU, that is.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is currently in theaters.

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Dive Deeper:
'Doctor Strange 2' writer says Wanda is the Hulk Hogan of the MCU
'Multiverse of Madness' writer Michael Waldron says Wanda is the MCU's Hulk Hogan, and reveals what makes the Illuminati different…
'Doctor Strange 2' theory may reveal details about MCU's Fantastic Four
The Scarlet Witch wouldn't have stood a chance against Franklin and Valeria Richards, or so this fan claims.
A look at Charlize Theron's MCU sorcerer
If Clea is anything like her comic book counterpart, she's related to someone we met in the first movie
'Doctor Strange 2' finally disproves the MCU fandom's most annoying myth
When did we decide that homework was required for a Marvel movie?
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness: tonal shifts, misogyny and new superheroes – discuss with spoilers
What happened to Wanda? Where is the Marvel timeline now we’ve moved into multiple realities and is Reed Richards dead?
Charlize Theron shares first images of her MCU character Clea and fans are ‘thrilled’
In Marvel comics, Clea is ‘great love of Doctor Strange’ but also his ‘formidable equal as a sorcerer’
Get all your news in one place