1. Doctor Strange asserts his franchise potential by becoming Sorcerer Supreme
The requirement of post-credit teases means every Marvel movie suffers from Return of the King syndrome. Imagine if the heroes, bloodied and tired from their big fight, walked off into the sunset, promising to return for the next big brawl. Whedon knew how to navigate the stinger space -- the first Avengers offered a glimpse of Thanos, a big bad, from miles down the road, and the cast eating shawarma -- a joy. Setup strung across start-and-stop endings are brutal, but Doctor Strange's final beat is worth the extension.
For all the hyperactive, hallucinatory graphics, for every spell cast and rune blocked, Strange never gets a frozen-in-time splash page moment. A tacked-on ending does the trick. After saying goodbye to Christine (Rachel McAdams) and hanging up his Eye of Agamotto infinity stone, Strange returns to the Sanctum Sanctorum, primps his cape, and stands stoic, ready for what's next. Cumberbatch is a hero, commands the downbeat. There will be more of him to come -- a final title card promises it -- and the actual ending of the movie pumps you up for his return. No additional Avengers required.