Even in entertainment from the Walt Disney Company’s subsidiaries, audiences expect a certain type of content. It might be more accurate to say that audiences expect certain content limits from Disney-backed projects. Since Marvel and Star Wars are now two large branches of the Disney brand, it’s understandable that the envelope has been pushed, and expectations have shifted when considering the action-adventure storylines. But this one Marvel death scene was so shocking that it lives in the back of my head.
Trigger Warning: Discussion of a very short but gruesome death sequence in a fictional Marvel film. NO graphic images, but includes descriptive language.
The year was 2022, I was sitting in the movie theater with my father and brother on either side of me, ready to see Scarlet Witch (my fav) do her thing in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I had my popcorn in hand, my phone was on airplane mode, and I was excited. While I did end up really liking the film and Wanda Maximoff’s crazy delusion and breakdown, I walked away from the theater with a gruesome image I knew I’d never forget. And I’m a full adult person. What did this mean for kids?
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness follows Stephen Strange as he tries to salvage crumbling timelines and dimensions while Scarlet Witch abuses her powers in order to reunite with a family she’s only had inside her mind. It’s a chaotic, well-done, and surprisingly mature movie. One scene is right out of a horror film as a bloody Wanda limps into a battle with superheroes from an alternate timeline. Her power outmatches them instantly, and she easily decimates them.
Less than ten seconds of this scene is pure nightmare fuel. A hero named Black Bolt steps to Wanda in an attempt to subdue her. Black Bolt possesses a unique power known as the “quasi-sonic scream,” which can unleash destructive and powerful shockwaves just with his voice. Due to the dangerous nature of his powers, he often remains silent, as even a whisper from him can level entire cities.
Scarlet Witch disposes of him by magically removing his mouth and sealing over the space where it should be. This is so traumatizing to Black Bolt that he internally screams. Considering his sonic powers, the blast from his scream has nowhere to go and therefore causes his head to explode. His skull is shown to be caved in as he dies.
Something about this scene is so simple, short, and shocking that the chilling feeling has never completely left me. At another time, that scene alone would’ve earned the film an R rating.
Do you remember this Marvel death scene? Because I certainly wasn’t ready for it. Hopefully, other people weren’t as scarred by it as I was.
I was honestly surprised the Walt Disney Company approved it.