After months of fan fervor, rumors, and speculation, the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home is finally a real thing. Not only that, but it seems to be living up to everything it was hyped to be.
Somehow, the first teaser’s viewership even trumped that of Avengers: Endgame, an insane feat. Though, if anyone could pull it off, it would be Spider-Man.
The biggest draw of the trailer was the various confirmations of rumors that Marvel Studios was planning on bringing back multiple villains from both the previous Sam Raimi and The Amazing Spider-Man iterations of the famous wall crawler.
Alfred Molina’s return as Doc Ock is probably the highlight of the bunch in that regard, uttering the now-famous line “Hi Peter” — a line which many believe is aimed at Tobey Maguire, who is rumored to return to the role of Peter Parker in the film.
Of course, MCU fans also had a new dose of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, whose well-intentioned spell to fix Peter’s problem goes awry.
Along with the wizard breaking the multiverse, fans noticed something funny about the Sorcerer Supreme’s new appearance: he had an empty Eye of Agamotto draped around his neck.
So what gives?
DOCTOR STRANGE’S EYE OF AGAMOTTO
The very first sighting of the Eye of Agamotto was with its introduction in Doctor Strange, the same MCU film that showed the Time Stone to audiences for the first time.
As revealed by Wong in Strange’s origin film, the Eye was created by a sorcerer named Agamotto, the father of the Mystic Arts. The purpose of the device, as described to viewers then, was to contain the powers of the Time Stone, one of six Infinity Stones that became the crux of the biggest Avengers films to date.
To this day, the mystical artifact has only been seen as a vehicle to use the Time Stone. In its first appearance, the Eye was used to terrorize an apple, reverse the destruction of Hong Kong, and greatly irritate a being of immeasurable power.
Strange’s new weapon went on to be featured prominently in Avengers: Infinity War, where it was the target of Thanos and his Black Order.
The good Doctor was seen utilizing the Eye only briefly that time around, tapping into the Infinity Stone held within to binge-watch all of the inevitable futures in which the world’s mightiest heroes were set to face defeat. Notably, Strange didn’t use it against Thanos in their visually impressive battle on Titan, something that the villain caught onto quickly.
This led to Thanos seemingly crushing the Eye of Agamotto, but thanks to the Mad Titan’s declaration of it being a fake, there could easily be enough room to argue that the stone’s casing remains intact, just simply out of sight.
But without the stone, what maketh the Eye? Well, it’s best to take a look at the source material.
AGAMOTTO’S COMIC ORIGINS
In the comics, the Eye of Agamotto never housed any Infinity Stone, no less the Time Stone; that idea is completely original to the MCU. But what can it do instead?
Well, it does have some Time Stone properties, as it has been shown to be able to playback recent events—though, in reality, its powers seem to be a catch-all. It can demonstrate telepathic-like abilities, emit an all-revealing light, teleport dozens of beings, weaken enemies, banish demons, and so much more.
In the comics, the unique device, which also went by the Eye of Truth, is only used for order, also dubbed “white magic”. The Eye only responds to a user if the magician in question is of a pure heart and clean soul. This being comics, that soft rule has been broken a time or two, by antagonists such as Baron Mordo and Loki.
The mystical artifact was created by a character named Agamotto, who was a member of the Vishantis, a trio of god-like entities who are the source of the power in which whoever holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme can choose to draw from—a title that, much like the MCU, was founded and first held by Agamotto himself.
NO INFINITY STONE, WHAT NOW?
With the artifact’s comic counterpart not having any ties to the Infinity Stones, there’s plenty of room for the MCU to harken back to its origins; maybe even introduce a retcon here or there.
The casing of the Eye of Agamotto itself could still have mystical aspects and capabilities that have yet to be revealed by Marvel Studios. After all, it was made by the first Sorcerer Supreme in the MCU, so there’s plenty of room for some untouched mythos.
At the end of the day, after the removal of the Infinity Stone, Strange’s signature Eye of Agamotto could simply be a decorative piece—something to tie his costume together, maybe even just serving as a matter of tradition.
The last time fans saw Doctor Strange was in Avengers: Endgame, in which the Sorcerer Supreme didn't have the Eye of Agamotto on hand — at least, not visually. So its sudden inclusion is certainly something that needs some further explanation on Marvel’s part.
Hopefully, it’s something that audiences will get in Spider-Man: No Way Home on December 17, instead of a gruelling wait until March 22 next year for a proper answer in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.