The MCU has already successfully adapted many iconic villains from the comic pages onto the big, or small screen. The Doctor Strange franchise in particular has only had one movie, yet has managed to adapt a very difficult villain to the screen in the form of Dormammu. There have been many rumors regarding the much-anticipated sequel, with the antagonists of the piece especially standing out. Not only is Mordo set to return from the first installment but another more intriguing addition is set to take center stage. I am referring to Nightmare a psychological and powerful foe of the sorcerer supreme, who is sure to make a big impact when his time comes. However, I think there is another villain that could be an excellent addition to the sequel and represent many of the themes that the initial film spoke to, as well as developing them further in the future hit.
The Hood is an interesting villain by all accounts and one that has quite a unique backstory. His origins lies amongst mistakes, misunderstanding and general messiness. His original power comes from the Hood he takes from a fallen Nisanti demon and its boots. From here his life is turned upside down as he fakes to his family that he is earning a decent living whilst turning deeper into the criminal underworld, eventually hosting his own villainous team across the Dark Reign era of Marvel comics; not before becoming a kingpin of sorts. The Hood is plagued by his own demons across his arc, with his failures often getting the better of him. This is a complex, visually interesting and narratively satisfying character that certainly should and feasibly could be woven into the fabric of the MCU.
Doctor Strange seems like a natural fit for the character for a number of reasons. The first and perhaps most obvious connection is the Hood’s link to the mystical and magical world. Not only would he still gain his powers from a demon, a pretty acceptable addition into the universe at this point, but the first film has already set up the premise of multiple magical artifacts. Hood is the sort of character that would search for and utilize these magical objects, reaping off their artificial rewards without truly understanding the mystical depth of the abilities he uses. The character would probably have some internal power to do magic by himself but the point of the Hood is that he holds himself back from his own potential by looking for an easy way out. This version of Parker Robbins would be the stark contrast of both Baron Mordo and Stephen Strange who value intellect and hard work.
The second way in which the Hood would be a great match for the sequel concerns another character already structured into the framework of the film. Baron Mordo had a very specific quest at the end of the first film. His main motive moving forward is to travel the world in search of magical users. In doing so, he wishes to take away each of their abilities, claiming that there are just too many people utilizing these mystic arts for their own, selfish purposes. The Hood is, of course, one of these people who is neglecting and abusing the powers he has been gifted with. The Hood and his potential criminal empire is the kind of regime that Mordo would feel is his duty to take down. This puts Hood at the center of the sequel’s story. Not only as an antagonist to the Doctor, but also as an embodiment of everything that Mordo is fighting against. This is an important element if we are to understand and sympathize with Mordo’s motives further.
This brings me on to my third point about how Hood will play off of the already established villain, Nightmare. It appears that the second part of the Doctor Strange story will be using the multiverses and parallel dimensions again, in order to delve into the Dream Dimension. This is Nightmare’s domain, with his powers becoming much stronger in his own backyard. There could be a large potential here therefore for Hood to play into the much larger story.
In the first film, we had an ongoing theme, or different mystical users tapping into other dimensions to source their power. Our main villain in that piece tapped into the Dark Dimension, ultimately looking to unleash the all mighty Dormammu upon Earth. We could in the sequel, see a continuation of this theme, although in a far more accidental way. It could be that the Hood’s abuse of power could ultimately be weakening the divide between Earth’s dimension and that of the Dream Realm. In this way, Hood could be accidentally unleashing Nightmare into the world thus becoming a much larger threat than his cat burglary origins.
The narrative here becomes very streamlined. With the Hood somehow proving Mordo’s point about how magic should be handled, it is very plausible that we seem a team up of sorts again, between strange and Mordo in order to counteract the deadly doings of Hood’s mismanaged magic. From here it is up to the writing team to decide, but I feel a redemption of sorts from Robbin’s aiding the other two magical users in vanquishing Nightmare, could be the key to a well earned narrative arc. He’ll very likely turn to petty crime again afterward, but if Nightmare is to mess with his head the whole time he is using his magic, it would be very realistic for Hood to finally battle back against the demons that have been haunting him for most his life. From this character we could even have an interesting psychological exploration of a man that must support his family, needs the petty crime, is obsessed with power and his own failure and has a variety of opportunities that he disregards.
Adding the Hood to Doctor Strange 2 and utilizing him in this way as part of a larger plot could be a twist that many would not have assumed from this film. There is very likely an ambition to go bigger than the first film, using a much more threatening and mentally damaging villain in Nightmare and continuing to play off of Mordo’s betrayal. But I believe that Mordo should be saved as the ultimate villain in the third installment, with the Hood giving him a reason to continue his mission. It also gives a way in which Nightmare can be introduced to the world and one in which Mordo and Strange can be briefly reunited. Finally, Hood would be just another example of an interesting and complex villain, that would likely be just as unique as some of the fantastic additions we’ve already had thus far in the MCU. Ultimately, the inclusion of Parker Robbins into the MCU, through the Strange sequel, would, in my opinion, raise the stakes of the movie as well as bringing in a much more emotional core. This isn’t about going bigger and better, it’s about adding a narrative element that binds all of these components together. I believe that element wears a red hood…
What do you think about adding the Hood into the MCU via Doctor Strange 2?