In the 2016 movie Doctor Strange, in the introduction Dr. Strange is driving in his car being read a list of potential cases for him to take on. One of these is:

An Air Force pilot who broke his spine in an experimental battle armor [rough transcript from memory]

This seems to be a good description for

James Rhodes condition after the events of Captain America: Civil War.

The patient who stuck out at me (who also took Strange's interest, leading to certain events) was:

A female with a brain implant who was struck by lightning.

This description sounds familiar and is too odd to be a throwaway line in a series of movies know for its Easter eggs.

Who was this patient, and who were the others mentioned in the car ride?

  • 2
    Did...did the movie come out already?! Did I just completely miss that? They were just filming at my local comic book store a few months ago. – Broklynite Oct 27 '16 at 20:27
  • 1
    Saw it last night - at the least its come out internationally. FYI, its amazing see it in 3D – user20155 Oct 27 '16 at 20:28
  • 6
    Just as an aside, that description of the first guy also fits Justin Hammer's test subject "for the record, that pilot survived" dude who got twisted in half from Iron Man 2. (as an aside, I am also seething in a jealous rage, not likely to see this until it hits disc in the US) – Radhil Oct 27 '16 at 20:39
  • 6
    @Broklynite: UK baby, we’ve been getting the Marvels about a week before you poor colonials. Given that almost everyone in Kamar-Taj is played by an English actor, it seems fair. – Paul D. Waite Oct 28 '16 at 12:27
  • 3
    @Broklynite: of course! Nature abhors a Spider-Man movie vacuum. – Paul D. Waite Oct 29 '16 at 13:22

While we do not know who they are, we do know that the Air Force pilot is not War Machine:

Director Scott Derrickson spoke to Digital Spy and set us right on just when the events of Doctor Strange occur.

"That's not War Machine, actually," he said. "It sounds like it. And maybe in some other iteration we were even thinking it could be. The movie led up to present day.

"There's not that much of a time gap."


  • I was actually wondering if it was the pilot of the failed suit that Hammer built. The one that had his back twisted and broken by the out of control suit. – MissouriSpartan Nov 22 '20 at 4:20

It is more likely to be the guy from Iron Man 2 who was in Justin Hammer's "experimental" armour that went wrong. Assuming that, by the end of Dr. Strange we are up to date with the current MCU timeline, it would have taken maybe 1-3 years from the car accident for his hands to heal and to accomplish his training as a sorcerer.

  • As for the female, I agree that it seems too descriptive to be a coincidence. Maybe this is something we will hear more about in the next film... – Jobbieman Oct 29 '16 at 7:21
  • 3
    “it would have taken maybe 1-3 years from the car accident for his hands to heal and to accomplish his training as a sorcerer” — I don’t think there’s much evidence in the movie to support the 1–3 years idea. But even if there were, I thought MCU movies are generally meant to be roughly contemporaneous with their year of release, and Iron Man 2 came out six years ago. – Paul D. Waite Oct 29 '16 at 13:19
  • But aside from that: welcome to sci-fi.SE! – Paul D. Waite Oct 29 '16 at 15:50
  • 3
    In Stephen Strange's appartment at the beginning of the movie, there is a prize dated from 2016. Therefore the movie certainly starts during 2016 and may end before the end of the year. – Neow Nov 2 '16 at 14:31
  • Precisely my thought as soon as I heard the line! +1 for the reference to an older film in the MCU. – user66337 Nov 9 '16 at 2:59

Empire Online asked the director, Scott Derrickson, about that 22 year-old woman being Captain Marvel, to which he replied:

All I can is...maybe. That one, you're going to have to wait and see...
Empire Online

Entertainment Weekly asked too, to which they got the following reply:

Remember that Brittany Murphy movie where she goes ‘I’ll never tell…’
Entertainment Weekly

All this combined tells us that it is entirely possible that the patient struck by lightning is in fact Captain Marvel. However, we may yet be surprised, given director's smirky reaction.


My thoughts: The Air Force Col. mentioned is likely Rhodes/War Machine. The elderly woman mentioned, I suspect, with Spider-Man now entering the MCU, is possibly Madame Web. The woman with the implant, my first thought, is Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel.

  • 1
    Does Captain Marvel’s backstory include schizophrenia or brain implants at all? Also, is Captain Marvel college-aged? – Adamant Nov 7 '16 at 6:18
  • Also, the elderly woman has “advanced brain stem glioma,” does she not? I thought Madame Web had myasthenia gravis, possibly congenital. – Adamant Nov 7 '16 at 6:35
  • 1
    I thought Carol Danvers was absolutely one of them. – user35971 Nov 10 '16 at 21:53
  • 1
    They could change Captain Marvel's backstory in the MCU. The Civil War is different. – user35971 Nov 10 '16 at 21:56
  • The events of the recently released Captain Marvel (2019) imply that she left Earth in 1995 and only returned after the events of Infinity War, but there is still a possibility that she returned and then left again. There was, however, no mention of a brain implant or schizophrenia, though the movie doesn't rule out the possibility that one was present or that she had had schizophrenia. – Robert Columbia Mar 22 '19 at 13:02