Cloak of Levitation

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Cloak of Levitation
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance (Blue cloak) Strange Tales #114 (Nov. 1963)
(Red cloak) Strange Tales #127 (Dec. 1964)
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
In story information
Type Mystic item/artifact
Element of stories featuring Doctor Strange

The Cloak of Levitation is a potent mystical item worn by Doctor Strange, a character in the Marvel Comics universe. The primary purpose of the cloak is to give its wearer the ability to levitate and fly. The first appearance of the first (blue) cloak was in Strange Tales #114 (November 1963). The first appearance of the second (red) cloak was in Strange Tales #127 (Dec. 1964). [1]

Physical appearance[edit]

There were two distinctively different cloaks worn by Doctor Strange, as bequeathed him by his mentor; the Ancient One: a billowing, full-length blue cloak, that had minor abilities and spells woven into it, and the later red cloak that Strange is usually seen wearing.

The original design of the red Cloak of Levitation has been modified slightly by different artists since its creation; this includes the 'horns' around the collar. However, the basic shape and color scheme have remained intact, for the most part. The cloak has the ability to change shape and shade inline with the wearer's will.

The Cloak of Levitation is a full-length cloak, with enough surface to fully cover Strange. Even though the color scheme of the Cloak has somewhat varied over the years, the basic color of the cloak is usually a darker red, often with yellow (golden) designs around the border and collar. Most versions of the cloak also feature an upraised collar. [2]

History[edit]

While next to nothing is known about the Cloak of Levitation before it is given to Doctor Strange, it is suspected that the Cloak is many centuries old, since it was in the possession of the Ancient One.

The red cloak's first appearance is in Strange Tales #127, where, after Doctor Strange prevails in a battle with Dormammu, The Ancient One presents it to Strange as a prize, having deemed him worthy to wear the cloak.

The Cloak of Levitation is seen in a great many battles, most of which it plays a significant part. While it is extremely durable, there are a few occasions where it manages to take damage. Due to its mystical origins and properties, simply mending the cloak with average needle and thread would not suffice. Instead, a person with great knowledge of a mystical weaving technique must mend the garment though as a test of worthiness for The Living Tribunal, Strange uses a great amount of mystical energy to reconstruct the cloak.[3]

It is because of this that Strange gains a friend and valuable ally; after the cloak is damaged in battle, it is sent to Enitharmon the Weaver to be repaired.[4] After Enitharmon finishes repairing it, he sends it back in the hands of Rintrah, his assistant. After getting his valued cloak back, Doctor Strange offers Rintrah a position as his disciple, and Rintrah accepts. Rintrah himself later gains Strange's first, blue, levitation cloak, a separate object from the red one.[5]

At one point the cloak becomes larger than the solar system. This is when Doctor Strange confronts Adam Warlock, who had gone mad with near-infinite power and was obsessed with, at the time, sizes.[6]

Misuse of magic (which included a bond with the demonic Zom) causes Doctor Strange's fate as Sorcerer Supreme to be left up in the air.[7] After several days on the run from evil forces, Strange supervises the transfer of the title to the heroic Brother Voodoo. The new Sorcerer gains the cloak, now slightly modified, as part of his new status.[8]

Other cloaks[edit]

While, through most of the series, Doctor Strange wears the same cloak, there are a few occasions where he stores his traditional cloak and uses a newly created cloak.

In the first example, after going underground for a good deal of time, the Doctor resurfaces wearing a new Cloak of Levitation. This Cloak bears more resemblance to a Kimono or a robe.[9]

After being drafted into the War of the Seven Spheres, where he does battle for five thousand years, he returns to his home dimension, his Kimono-like cloak in pieces.[10] He repairs what's left of this Cloak into a third cloak of Levitation (sometimes called the "Overcoat of Levitation"), this one bearing resemblance to a trench coat.[11]

Sometime after this, however, he abandons his new cloak in favor of his original, traditional Cloak of Levitation.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions[edit]

Age of Ultron[edit]

In an alternate timeline with no Hank Pym and no Vision, Doctor Strange helps protect New York with a badly damaged cloak. Despite the tearing, the cloak still allows him to levitate.[12]

Counter-Earth[edit]

The Counter Earth, a planet that orbits opposite of the regular Earth, has a version of Doctor Strange called the Necromancer. This sorcerer also has a cloak.[13]

Future Imperfect[edit]

The cloak is seen in the Hulk graphic novel "Future Imperfect". Taking place a hundred years from 'now', after a nuclear war, the cloak, tattered, is shown as one of many items in the memorial-room home of the Hulk associate Rick Jones.[14] The same cloak is then stolen as part of a plot by Thanatos, a version of Rick Jones, who wished to became the ultimate version of himself. Thanks to other versions, including the elderly, Thanatos is stopped.[15]

Guardians of the Galaxy[edit]

The cloak survives to the far future, in the Earth 691 timeline. Here, Doctor Strange passes down his mantle and cloak to the alien sorcerer Krugarr.[16] The alien wears it consistently through his multiple appearances.

Infinity Gauntlet[edit]

In an alternate reality[17] involving the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos uses the Cloak to hang Dr. Strange, causing his death. This ties into the main series, where Thanos is using the gauntlet to control all of reality. Here, Strange is not slain with his cloak.[18]

What If...[edit]

In the reality where Wolverine becomes lord of the vampires,[19] a severely weakened Doctor Strange lends his cloak and the Eye of Agamotto to the Punisher. Though the vigilante uses it an attempt to kill all vampires, Wolverine tears the cloak and eye off and kills him.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan[edit]

The cloak is seen in another trophy case, this time belonging to the Red Skull, one of the villainous rulers of a post-apocalypse America.[20]

Abilities[edit]

The Cloak of Levitation, as its name suggests, has the primary purpose of granting its wearer levitation. The greatest advantage of this is that its wearer need know little about the mystic arts in order to operate it, nor must the wearer use any of his "mystical strength" in order to operate it. While the cloak actually has no will of its own, it has been known to act on the will of its wearer without command, responding to mere thought. While the top speed of the cloak is unknown, it has been shown traveling at subsonic speeds. The maximum load-bearing weight of the cloak is also unknown, but Doctor Strange has been shown carrying passengers. In the miniseries "The Oath", it is suggested that the cloak exhibits semi-sentient behavior (such as hiding in a favorite closet).

In addition to levitation, the cloak possesses abilities greater than that of any normal garment. These include:

  • Resistance to damage from the elements, physical attack, and mystical attacks, (for example, the cloak has withstood the direct blow from the enchanted Asgardian crowbar of the Wrecker)
  • The ability to change shape to mimic other garments, such a business suit,
  • Ability to act upon the will of its last wearer, even when not in physical contact (or even in the same room) as the wearer,
  • The ability to act as an extra limb, grabbing, striking, or even wrapping. It snatches a thrown knife in issue 66, for example.[21]

Other works[edit]

The cloak's noted similarity to a cape gets Doctor Strange an entry in the non-fiction book 'Caped Crusaders 101'.[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marvel Universe Wiki". Marvel Universe. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  2. ^ "Cloak of Levitation". Marvel Database. Retrieved 2014-12-16. 
  3. ^ Strange Tales vol. 1, #157
  4. ^ Doctor Strange vol. 2, #77 (1986)
  5. ^ Dr. Strange Annual #2 (1992)
  6. ^ Doctor Strange #36 (1991)
  7. ^ New Avengers Annual #2 (March 2008)
  8. ^ New Avengers #53
  9. ^ Doctor Strange vol. 3, #76
  10. ^ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #80
  11. ^ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #80
  12. ^ Age of Ultron Vol. 1 #7 (May 1, 2013)
  13. ^ Marvel Premiere #1 (1972)
  14. ^ "The Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect" #1-2 (Dec 1992 - Jan 1993)
  15. ^ "Captain Marvel" #30 (May 2002)
  16. ^ "Guardians of the Galaxy" Annual #1 (1991)
  17. ^ Silver Surfer #55 (1991)
  18. ^ Infinity Gauntlet' #1-6 (1991)
  19. ^ "What If..." Vol. 2 #24
  20. ^ Wolverine Giant-Size Old Man Logan (Sept. 2009)
  21. ^ "Dr. Strange Master Of The Mystic Arts" #66 Vol. 1 (August 1984)
  22. ^ Kahan, Jeffrey (2006). Caped Crusaders 101. McFarland. p. 127. ISBN 978-0-7864-2532-7. 

External links[edit]