The following contains spoilers for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, now playing in theaters.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness goes a long way toward escalating the sheer scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe multiverse, including introducing new elements and characters that could define the franchise's future. One of the most powerful teases could even prove to be one of Marvel's strongest figures. The variant of Reed Richards, who appears briefly in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, reveals that he has children, which could set the stage for his reality-altering son Franklin to eventually join the MCU.
After fleeing the MCU to try and escape Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange and America Chavez end up on Earth-838 -- home to the Illuminati, a group of heroes composed of Baron Mordo, Charles Xavier, Captain Marvel, Captain Carter, Black Bolt and Mister Fantastic. Notably, this is the first appearance of a Reed Richards variant in the MCU, formally introducing one of Marvel's most iconic genius characters to the grand scope of the superhero multiverse. But Reed doesn't end up lasting all that long, as he -- and the rest of the Illuminati -- are wiped out in quick order by Scarlet Witch.
When the Earth-838 Wanda (puppeted by the MCU Scarlet Witch via Dream-Walking) confronts the Illuminati, she quickly uses her magic to take away Black Bolt's mouth, resulting in him using his powers improperly and killing himself in the process. Reed tries in vain to reason with Scarlet Witch, citing his own children as a sign that he empathizes with her pain. But when he admits that their mother (implied to be the Invisible Woman) is still alive to watch after them, Wanda uses her powers to untangle the elastic man and kill him. Although this is the last direct reference to the Fantastic Four in the film, it's potentially a vital one due to the confirmation of Reed's children -- possibly including Franklin Richards.
The first of Reed and Susan Richard's two children, Franklin made his debut in Fantastic Four Annual #6 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Franklin has proven to be an innocent-hearted and sweet young man. This is juxtaposed with his sheer potential. Seemingly born a mutant but amplified by the cosmic origins of his parents' powers, Franklin is a reality-warper and psionic powerhouse that, in theory, even the Scarlet Witch pales in comparison to.
In the comics, Franklin has created entire pocket dimensions at a whim and has been regarded on a cosmic scale compared to the likes of Galactus. The god-like Celestials who appeared in Eternals have even judged him as a potential equal in terms of raw power, which speaks to just how powerful the son of Mister Fantastic and Invisible Woman can really be.
The suggestion that Franklin exists on Earth-838 could be seen as a tease of the Richards family being able to expand to include him, which could be a huge revelation for a multiverse that is increasingly gaining threats. Loki set up the arrival of Kang the Conqueror as a major force to be reckoned with, while Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness set the stage for Incursions, a multiversal level event where realities crash into one another and cost trillions of lives in the process.
With the scope of the MCU growing, Franklin even being teased sets up the possibility that a version of him (or even his potential grown-self, who had reached a level of power where he could summon the planet-consuming Galactus as his herald) could have a role in the future events of the MCU. Given Franklin's power, that could be a serious turn for the universe and could escalate the scope of the action even further than anyone could have imagined.
To see the MCU's potential Franklin Richards tease, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is in theaters now.