One of the most significant heroes of the MCU is also one of the newest entries to the franchise. Doctor Strange had only gotten one standalone movie before getting thrown headfirst into Avengers: Infinity War, but the good doctor managed to become one of the cornerstones of the battle against Thanos. Recently, concept artist and Marvel Studios head of visual development, Ryan Meinerding, shared a series of photos on Instagram of unused design art for Strange's costume, with the following caption.

"Unused Dr. Strange design from Dr. Strange. I love figuring out textures and patterns, and the embroidery on this was challenging but fun."
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The artwork shows the Master of the Mystic Arts wearing his Cloak of Levitation, which has a series of ornate, golden embroidery across the shoulders and lower sides. The fractal-like design resembles the look of the portals and enchantments that Strange and his fellow wizards routinely employ.

It is unknown why Marvel ultimately decided to go with the simple red design of the cloak, without the embroidery. In general, the costumes used for MCU characters are less flashy than their comic counterparts, the most prominent examples being Hawkeye and The Falcon's costuming, which is basically just real-world clothing.

Even without the embroidery, the Cloak of Levitation, which has a mind of its own, managed to be one of the most memorable parts of Doctor Strange's mythology, saving the hero's life on multiple occasions, and even managing to get in a few funny moments, like when Strange tried to run towards a weapon but the cloak actively stopped him.

The world of Stephen Strange, his cloak and the infinity stone under his care will be further explored in his second standalone feature, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The film has been endlessly teased and speculated upon. It was rumored to be Marvel's first full-on horror film until Kevin Fiege clarified that it was a regular MCU film with 'horror elements'.

The movie is also set to impact the entire MCU in a major way. It will introduce the franchise to the concept of the Multiverse from the comics. That means future movies in the series will deal with not one, but multiple earths, each existing in the same space, but different dimensions, and populated by radically different iterations of familiar characters, like zombie avengers, or dystopian societies.

Most importantly, the multiverse will allow the MCU to introduce several major Marvel heroes who have only recently been bought by Disney, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and Deadpool. The sandbox for the MCU is about to get a whole lot bigger, thanks to the interdimensional shenanigans of Stephen Strange and his faithful Cloak.

Needless to say, fans will be waiting with bated breath for the new Doctor Strange movie, which has been pushed back to a new release date on November 5 of next year. Let us hope this is the last time the film's release gets reshuffled.

Neeraj Chand