By the standards of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, Doctor Strange and Spider-Man teaming up in Spider-Man: No Way Home is somewhat unexpected. But the idea of the two frequent Avengers hanging out and getting into trouble with one another makes quite a bit of sense over in the world of Marvel comics, where they’ve both been operating in NYC for some time.
By now, you’re likely familiar with No Way Home’s plot, in which Doctor Strange and Spider-Man accidentally screw up the multiverse while attempting to perform a powerful and tricky bit of magic together. One would think that, considering all of the tribulations Stephen Strange went through to learn magic, he would understand that tinkering with reality at the behest of a stressed-out teen probably isn’t the best idea.
Because Doctor Strange has only made a handful of appearances in Marvel’s movies, it’s tough to get a sense of just how much time he’s spent poring over the various mystical tomes housed in the Sanctum Sanctorum meant to teach magic users how best to perform their spells. No Way Home makes it seem like, while Strange has certainly taken a look at the Book of Vishanti, he might not have read it all that closely, because it’s absolutely full of explanations about the many dangers of trying to pull off such large-scale spells.
In a bit of tidy media symmetry, Abrams’ Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti, a new 160 page book of spells and lores pulled from Marvel’s comics, has just dropped in time for No Way Home’s release. While the book doesn’t include any explicit plot points about No Way Home, it details a number of the magical characters in Strange’s orbit like the Scarlet Witch, Agatha Harkness, and Wiccan, and provides some insight into the rules of magic that Marvel’s sorcerers should all be aware of.
Here’s our exclusive look at some of the amazing and spectacular strangeness you’ll find in Doctor Strange: The Book of the Vishanti.