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Did You Catch the Doctor Strange Reference in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’?

A red alien with fins on either side of his head uses golden magic to create a happy face emoji. Star-Lord looks on, unimpressed.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is a wild ride and an emotional conclusion to the story of Star-Lord, Rocket, Gamora, and the rest of their found family. Plus, it has tons of references and Easter eggs! Lylla the Otter! Phyla-Vell! Even Howard the Duck! But as a Doctor Strange fan, I was delighted by one Easter egg in particular.

Did you notice that one of the Ravagers was apparently trained in sorcery at Kamar-Taj?

This character appears when Peter and the others show up at the High Evolutionary’s Orgosphere. They’re intercepted by the Ravagers, whom Nebula has called for help. As the Ravagers board the Guardians’ ship, one Ravager—a big red serpent-looking guy with fins on either side of his head—creates the same types of portals that Doctor Strange creates with his sling ring, so that more Ravagers can come in. This character also uses magic to communicate with what look like magical emojis.

I wouldn’t read too much into the cameo—it’s most likely just an Easter egg to remind us that everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still interconnected. However, as is always the case with Marvel movies, this random character who only appears for two seconds has a whole backstory in the comics.

Meet Krugarr, the alien Sorcerer Supreme

A comics panel showing Krugarr, a red snake with human arms wearing a cape, creating magical lightning bolts. He says he's going to avenge the death of the Ancient One.
Marvel breaks down the alien sorcerer in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, whose name is Krugarr. Introduced in 1991 in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1, Krugarr studies under Doctor Strange to eventually become Sorcerer Supreme, while Strange himself graduates to Ancient One. Funnily, we also see Krugarr in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, although I’ll admit he escaped my notice until he started whipping out those magic spells.

Of course, Marvel characters and stories almost never make it into the MCU exactly as they were in the comics, so who knows what Krugarr’s story is in the Guardians of the Galaxy series? Maybe he went to Earth for awhile to study at Kamar-Taj. Maybe they teach the same style of sorcery elsewhere in the galaxy. It’s hard to say. As a Doctor Strange fan, though, I’m happy Krugarr got some screen time.

(featured image: Marvel)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.