Doctor Strange has had some gross, psychedelic adventures, but nothing was grosser than his fight against Dormammu in Ultimatum.
Doctor Strange is no stranger (pun intended) to having dark, twisted adventures that have featured some of the weirdest, grossest, and most psychedelic moments in Marvel Comics history. However, how the Sorcerer Supreme meets his end in the much-maligned Ultimatum storyline was so disgusting that’s there an almost near-100% chance that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would never consider adapting it to the big screen.
One of Marvel’s most controversial storylines ever was 2009’s Ultimatum. Widely considered as one of the worst comics of all time, the Jeph Loeb-penned story was often disturbing without really having anything to say, while being chalked full of edgy, violent moments that were included for nothing more than shock value. Infamously, the storyline featured disgusting scenes such as Blob eating the Wasp, Giant-Man eating the head of the Blob, and Magneto brutally killing Professor X while also completely destroying Manhattan (and murdering millions of innocent people, including a number of heroes). Perhaps the grossest moment in the entire miniseries was the fate of Doctor Strange, who met his end in nauseating fashion.
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In Ultimatum #4, the Hulk levels the Sanctum Santorum which leads to the release of Dormammu, who breaches the walls of the Dark Dimension. The villain traps and takes the power of the Human Torch and is confronted by Strange – who arrogantly thinks that he can take his longtime adversary down with ease. However, things don’t go as planned as Dormmamu calls him a “sheep in wolf’s clothing…” while wrapping him in his own sash. Dormammu binds the sash so tightly around Doctor Strange that his face turns reds and his head explodes from the pressure. The scene is extremely messed up.
Strange’s death is so repulsive and gross, it feels like it belongs in The Boys, not in the pages of Marvel Comics. In this case, Strange’s head popping like a balloon was another moment in the Ultimatum storyline that just felt like Loeb’s attempt to shock the audience with the death of an Avenger in an extremely disturbing way.
It’s highly doubtful the Marvel Cinematic Universe would ever touch any major story beats from Ultimatum, as it’s a low point for the comics, even as they take Doctor Strange’s stories in a darker direction on the big screen. The MCU has already done a great Doctor Strange/Dormmamu scene in the Dark Dimension, so even if they were keen to adapt the gruesome storyline, which is extremely doubtful, it would feel somewhat redundant. Ultimatum represented a low point for many characters and Marvel Comics as a whole, with Doctor Strange’s death being unnecessarily gross for the sake of being gross. Like most of Ultimatum, Strange’s demise was repugnant and is better left in the past.
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