|First appearance||Strange Tales #110 (July 1963)|
|Created by||Steve Ditko|
|Full name||Stephen Vincent Strange|
|Notable aliases||Master of the Mystic Arts, Master of Black Magic, Sorcerer Supreme, Strange, Stephen Sanders, Captain Universe, Vincent Stevens, Void|
Doctor Stephen Strange is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Steve Ditko, the character first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (cover-dated July 1963). Doctor Strange serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats. Inspired by stories of black magic and Chandu the Magician, Strange was created during the Silver Age of Comic Books to bring a different kind of character and themes of mysticism to Marvel Comics.
The character begins as an extremely talented but egotistical surgeon who loses the ability to operate after a car crash severely damages his hands beyond repair. Searching the globe for healing, he encounters the Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange becomes his student, and learns to be a master of both the mystical and the martial arts. He acquires an assortment of mystical objects, including the powerful Eye of Agamotto and Cloak of Levitation, and takes up residence in a mansion referred to as the Sanctum Sanctorum, located in 177A Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York City. Strange assumes the title of Sorcerer Supreme and, with his friend and valet Wong, defends the world from mystical threats.
The character was first portrayed in live-action by Peter Hooten in the 1978 television film Dr. Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Doctor Strange (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Cumberbatch will reprise his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
Artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee have described the character as having been originally the idea of Ditko, who wrote in 2008, "On my own, I brought in to Lee a five-page, penciled story with a page/panel script of my idea of a new, different kind of character for variety in Marvel Comics. My character wound up being named Dr. Strange because he would appear in Strange Tales." In a 1963 letter to Jerry Bails, Lee called the character Ditko's idea, saying:
Well, we have a new character in the works for Strange Tales (just a 5-page filler named Dr. Strange) Steve Ditko is gonna draw him. It has sort of a black magic theme. The first story is nothing great, but perhaps we can make something of him-- 'twas Steve's idea and I figured we'd give it a chance, although again, we had to rush the first one too much. Little sidelight: Originally decided to call him Mr. Strange, but thought the "Mr." bit too similar to Mr. Fantastic -- now, however, I remember we had a villain called Dr. Strange just recently in one of our mags, hope it won't be too confusing!
Doctor Strange debuted in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), a split book shared with the feature "The Human Torch". Doctor Strange appeared in issues #110–111 and #114 before the character's eight-page origin story in #115 (December 1963). Scripter Lee's take on the character was inspired by the Chandu the Magician radio program that aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System in the 1930s. He had Doctor Strange accompany spells with elaborate artifacts, such as the "Eye of Agamotto" and the "Wand of Watoomb", as well as mystical-sounding vocabulary such as "Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!". Although these often referenced the names of established mythological beings, Lee has said he never had any idea what the incantations meant and used them simply because they sounded mystical and mysterious. Ditko showcased surrealistic mystical landscapes and increasingly vivid visuals that helped make the feature a favorite of college students at the time. Comics historian Mike Benton wrote:
The Dr. Strange stories of the 1960s constructed a cohesive cosmology that would have thrilled any self-respecting theosophist. College students, minds freshly opened by psychedelic experiences and Eastern mysticism, read Ditko and Lee's Dr. Strange stories with the belief of a recent Hare Krishna convert. Meaning was everywhere, and readers analyzed the Dr. Strange stories for their relationship to Egyptian myths, Sumerian gods, and Jungian archetypes.
"People who read Doctor Strange thought people at Marvel must be heads [i.e., drug users]," recalled then-associate editor and former Doctor Strange writer Roy Thomas in 1971, "because they had had similar experiences high on mushrooms. But I don't use hallucinogens, nor do I think any artists do."
Originating in the early 1960s, the character was a predictor of trends in art prior to them becoming more established in the later counterculture of the 1960s. As historian Bradford W. Wright described:
Steve Ditko contributed some of his most surrealistic work to the comic book and gave it a disorienting, hallucinogenic quality. Dr. Strange's adventures take place in bizarre worlds and twisting dimensions that resembled Salvador Dalí paintings. Inspired by the pulp-fiction magicians of Stan Lee's childhood as well as by contemporary Beat culture, Dr. Strange remarkably predicted the youth counterculture's fascination with Eastern mysticism and psychedelia. Never among Marvel's more popular or accessible characters, Dr. Strange still found a niche among an audience seeking a challenging alternative to more conventional superhero fare.
As co-plotter and later sole plotter in the Marvel Method of scripting, Ditko took Strange into ever-more-abstract realms. In a 17-issue story arc in Strange Tales #130-146 (March 1965 – July 1966), Ditko introduced the cosmic character Eternity, who personified the universe and was depicted as a silhouette filled with the cosmos. Golden Age of Comic Books artist/writer Bill Everett succeeded Ditko as artist with issues #147-152, followed by Marie Severin through #160 and Dan Adkins through #168, the final issue before the Nick Fury feature moved to its own title and Strange Tales was renamed Doctor Strange. Expanded to 20 pages per issue, the Doctor Strange solo series ran 15 issues, #169-183 (June 1968 – November 1969), continuing the numbering of Strange Tales. Thomas wrote the run of new stories, joined after the first three issues by the art team of penciler Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer through the end.
After plans were announced for a never-released split book series featuring Doctor Strange and Iceman, each in solo adventures, Strange next appeared in the first three issues (December 1971 – June 1972) of the quarterly showcase title Marvel Feature. He appeared in both the main story detailing the formation of superhero "non-team" the Defenders, and the related back-up story. The character then starred in a revival solo series in Marvel Premiere #3-14 (July 1972 – March 1974). This arc marked the debut of another recurring foe, the entity Shuma-Gorath, created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Frank Brunner, who took over as the regular creative team starting with Marvel Premiere #10. Englehart and Brunner collaborated closely on the stories, meeting over dinner every two months to discuss the series, and their run became known for its psychedelic visuals and plots. In issues #8-10 (May–September 1973), Strange is forced to shut down the Ancient One's mind, causing his mentor's physical death. Strange then assumes the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Englehart and Brunner created another multi-issue storyline featuring sorcerer Sise-Neg ("Genesis" spelled backward) going back through history, collecting all magical energies, until he reaches the beginning of the universe, becomes all-powerful and creates it anew, leaving Strange to wonder whether this was, paradoxically, the original creation. Stan Lee, seeing the issue after publication, ordered Englehart and Brunner to print a retraction saying this was not God but a god, to avoid offending religious readers. According to Frank Brunner, he and Englehart concocted a fake letter from a fictitious minister praising the story, and mailed it to Marvel from Texas. Marvel unwittingly printed the letter in Doctor Strange #3 and dropped the retraction.
Due to the growing number of Doctor Strange readers, the Marvel Premiere series segued to the character's second ongoing title, Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts, also known as Doctor Strange vol. 2, which ran 81 issues (June 1974 – Feb. 1987). Doctor Strange #14 featured a crossover story with The Tomb of Dracula #44, another series which was being drawn by Gene Colan at the time. In Englehart's final story, he sent Dr. Strange back in time to meet Benjamin Franklin.
Strange met his allies Topaz in #75 (Feb, 1986) and Rintrah in #80 (December 1986). The series ended with a cliffhanger as his home, the Sanctum Sanctorum, was heavily damaged during a battle. Among the losses was Doctor Strange's entire collection of mystic books and other important artifacts. As a consequence, Strange was now considerably weaker and several spells designed to protect humanity from vampires and the evil serpent god Set expired.
The title was discontinued so that the character's adventures could be transferred to another split book format series. Strange Tales vol. 2, #1-19 (April 1987 – Oct. 1988) was shared with street heroes Cloak and Dagger. This new Doctor Strange series resolved Strange's quest to reclaim his power and missing artifacts, as well as resurrecting the Defenders, who had died in the last issue of that team's title.
Strange was returned to his own series, this time titled Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme, which ran 90 issues (November 1988 – June 1996). The initial creative team was writer Peter B. Gillis and artists Richard Case and Randy Emberlin, with storylines often spanning multiple issues. Strange lost the title of "Sorcerer Supreme" in issues #48-49 (Dec. 1992 – Jan. 1993) when he refused to fight a war on behalf of the Vishanti, the mystical entities that empower his spells. During this time the series became part of the "Midnight Sons" group of Marvel's supernatural comics. Doctor Strange found new sources of magical strength in the form of chaos magic, as well as a magic construct he used as a proxy. He would form the Secret Defenders with a rotating roster of heroes, and reunite with the original Defenders. Strange regained his title in Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #80 (August 1995).
The character was featured in several limited series. The first was Doctor Strange: The Flight of Bones #1-#4 (Feb.–May 1999), with a series of spontaneous combustions by criminals instigated by old foe Dormammu. Strange was the catalyst for the creation of a trio of sorceresses in Witches #1-#4 (Aug.-Nov. 2004). The Strange limited series (Nov. 2004 – July 2005) by writers J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes updated the character's origin. Another limited series, Doctor Strange: The Oath #1-5 (Dec. 2006 – April 2007), written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Marcos Martin, focused on Strange's responsibilities as sorcerer and doctor.
Doctor Strange has appeared in four graphic novels: Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa (1986); Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment (1989); Spider-Man/Dr. Strange: The Way to Dusty Death (1992); and Dr. Strange: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen? (1997).
Strange appeared as a supporting character for the bulk of the 2000s. He appeared regularly in The Amazing Spider-Man under J. Michael Straczynski, before being cast into a time loop by Baron Mordo. He later appeared on and off in The New Avengers, where he was stated as being part of the secret group known as the Illuminati to deal with future threats to Earth. Ultimately Strange joined the team and allowed them to use his home as a base after the events of the 2006 "Civil War" storyline, which he sat out. Doctor Strange was critical of the federal Superhuman Registration Act and aided the anti-registration Avengers team led by Luke Cage.
During Brian Michael Bendis' time as writer, Doctor Doom attacked the Avengers and manipulated the Scarlet Witch into eliminating most of the mutant population. Doctor Strange's failure to recognize Doom's hand in the former and to stop the latter caused him to start to doubt his abilities.[volume & issue needed] After he was forced to use dark magic to confront an enraged Hulk, followed by further use of dark spells to save the New Avengers from the Hood's supervillain army, Strange renounced his status as Sorcerer Supreme, as he felt that he was no longer worthy of it. The Eye of Agamotto passed the mantle on to Brother Voodoo.
He was also featured in The Order, which spun out of the 2001 Defenders revival, and the Indefensible Defenders mini-series.[volume & issue needed]
Doctor Strange appeared as a regular character throughout the 2010-2013 The New Avengers series. Brother Voodoo, now newly appointed Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Voodoo, sacrifices himself in order to stop the powerful mystical entity Agamotto from reclaiming the Eye. A guilt-ridden Strange rejoins the New Avengers, and offers the team his valet Wong to act as their housekeeper.
After the various Marvel universes merge into one, Doctor Strange acts as righthand man of Doctor Doom, who has become the ruler of this world after erasing all recollection of the previous separate realities that existed. Circumstances force Strange to open a pod that releases the surviving heroes of the original Marvel continuity, known as Earth-616. Doom kills Doctor Strange.
In 2015, Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo teamed up for the fourth volume of Doctor Strange. A new character, reluctant librarian Zelma Stanton, agrees to reorganize Strange's magical library.[full citation needed] Brother Voodoo returns, and the series and a spinoff, Dr. Strange: Last Days of Magic, sees such characters as Medico Mistico, Magik, Scarlet Witch, Mahatma Doom, Professor Xu, Monako, and Alice Gulliver.[full citation needed] With the laws of magic fundamentally altered, and with the loss of his former resources, Doctor Strange is forced to depend on his own physical skills and inventive use of his few functional spells. He eventually no longer has access to most of his former spells or his levitating cape.[full citation needed]
During the "Infinity Countdown" storyline, Doctor Strange goes on a space mission. He encounters Super-Skrull who has the Time Gem. After defeating Super-Skrull, Doctor Strange claims the Time Gem. Doctor Strange then tracks down the Mind Gem and finds it in Turk Barrett's possession as Turk managed to evade him. When Black Widow's clone arrives seeking out Doctor Strange where she wants to dispose of the Space Stone, he did not want to take it as he knows what would happen if they are in the same proximity. Using a magic spell, Doctor Strange spoke to the holders of the Infinity Gems and requested a parley to reform the Infinity Watch. He states to Adam Warlock, Black Widow's clone, Captain Marvel, Star-Lord, and Turk Barrett that they need to safeguard them from such calamities even if one of them is Thanos.
Fictional character biography
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Stephen Strange, M.D., Ph.D., is an egotistical doctor who only cares about wealth from his career. The bones in his hands are shattered in a car crash, leading to extensive nerve damage. His hands tremble uncontrollably rendering him unable to perform surgery. Too vain to accept a teaching job, Strange desperately searches for a way to restore the motor function in his hands.
After exhausting his funds, Strange becomes a drifter. Depressed and still searching, Strange happens to overhear two sailors discussing a hermit called the Ancient One (who is actually the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme) in the Himalayas, who can cure any ailment. Strange, nearly broke, seeks out the aged mystic. The Ancient One refuses to help Strange due to his arrogance, but senses a good side that he attempts to bring to the surface. He fails, but Strange's heroism appears when he discovers the Ancient One's disciple, Baron Mordo, attempting to kill the old man. After a confrontation with Mordo leads to him being shackled with restraining spells preventing him from either attacking Mordo or warning the Ancient One, Strange desperately and selflessly accepts the Ancient One's offer to become his apprentice to have some hope of helping the old man. The Ancient One, pleased at Strange's sincere change of heart, accepts the westerner and promptly frees him from the restraining spells while explaining he was aware of Mordo's treachery all along. Strange soon becomes Mordo's most enduring enemy, as the Ancient One teaches the doctor the mystic arts. After completing his training, Strange returns to New York City and takes up residence within the Sanctum Sanctorum, a townhouse located in Greenwich Village, and is soon assisted by his personal assistant Wong.
As the Ancient One's disciple, Strange encounters the entity Nightmare, and other mystical foes before meeting Dormammu, a warlord from an alternate dimension called the "Dark Dimension". Strange is aided by a nameless girl, later called Clea, who is eventually revealed to be Dormammu's niece. When Strange helps a weakened Dormammu drive off the rampaging Mindless Ones and return them to their prison, he is allowed to leave unchallenged.
In The Unbelievable Gwenpool #3, Strange encounters Gwendolyn Poole, who explains herself to be from a reality where all Marvel characters are fictional characters in comic books. As Strange helps her locate her home reality in order to create a fake background for her in the Marvel Universe so that she can get a Social Security number, driver's license and other essential documents, he discovers that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast to play him in Gwen's universe, remarking that he "could see that".
Powers and abilities
Powers and skills
Doctor Strange is a practicing magician who draws his powers from mystical entities such as Agamotto, Cyttorak, Ikonn, Oshtur, Raggadorr, and Watoomb, who lend their energies for spells. Strange also wields mystical artifacts including the Cloak of Levitation which enables him to fly;[note 1] the Eye of Agamotto, an amulet whose light is used to negate evil magic; the Book of the Vishanti, a grimoire which contains vast knowledge of white magic;:26–27 and the Orb of Agamotto, a crystal ball which is used for clairvoyance.:24–27
In addition to his magical abilities, Strange is trained in several martial arts disciplines, including judo, and has shown proficiency with numerous magically conjured weapons including swords and axes. Strange was a skilled neurosurgeon before nerve damage impaired his hands.
Doctor Strange is described as "the mightiest magician in the cosmos" and "more powerful by far than any of your fellow humanoids" by Eternity, the sentience of the Marvel Universe. He holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme beginning with the 1973 storyline in which the Ancient One dies, and retains the title thereafter, except during an interruption from 1992 to 1995. He relinquishes the title once again in a 2009 storyline, but reclaims it in a 2012 story when he proves himself willing to protect the world even without the title.
Artifacts and technology
Book of the Vishanti
The Book of the Vishanti is portrayed as being written by unknown authors, is closely associated with Doctor Strange, and is the greatest known source of white magical knowledge on Earth. The Book of the Vishanti contains spells of defensive magic and is indestructible. Its counterpart, the Darkhold, contains all the knowledge of black magic in the Marvel Universe, and is likewise indestructible. It is possible to destroy single pages of either book, but the balancing spell in the other book is destroyed as well to maintain a mystical balance. A collective of the three powerful magical beings – Agamotto, Oshtur and Hoggoth, known as the Vishanti – must allow the spell to be destroyed.
Even though the book is a tome of benevolent magic, the spells within can still be dangerous when used improperly. This is proven when a young, inexperienced Strange tried to use the Book of the Vishanti to resurrect his dead brother Victor, but the spell, known as the Vampiric Verses, caused Victor to become the vampire Baron Blood years later.
Apart from spells and mystical knowledge, the book also contains information about persons and events. It is unknown how the book is able to contain up to date and recent information even though it was written thousands of years ago.
The first known owner of the book was the Atlantean sorcerer Varnae from around 18,500 BC. The next known owner was the Babylonian god Marduk Kurios. Marduk set a griffin to guard the Book. The sorcerer known as the Ancient One traveled back in time to c. 4000 BC and defeated the griffin and returned to the 20th century. The Ancient One would remain the book's owner, despite a brief loss when the dark wizard Kaluu returned the Book to the Griffin, until he deemed his student, Doctor Strange, worthy of taking it.
Doctor Strange keeps the book in his town house library in New York City's Greenwich Village. He briefly lost the book when he destroyed his home to prevent the alien wizard Urthona from taking his magical artifacts, but the book was saved by Agamotto, who transported it to his realm and returned it to Strange some time later.
Cloak of Levitation
The Cloak of Levitation is depicted as a potent mystical cloak worn by Doctor Strange. The item has been referred to as a "relic" in the live-action movie Doctor Strange (2016). The primary purpose of the cloak is to give its wearer the ability to levitate and fly.
There were two distinctly different cloaks worn by Doctor Strange bequeathed to 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 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 (December 1964). The Cloak of Levitation is seen in a great many battles where it often plays a very significant role. While it is extremely durable, there are a few occasions when it is damaged. Its repair requires that Strange engage an ally, Enitharmon the Weaver.
Eye of Agamotto
Orb of Agamotto
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Aside from the Eye of Agamotto, the Orb of Agamotto is the other occult object that Doctor Strange owns. It is a powerful scrying crystal ball powered by the Agamotto entity to detect the use of magic anywhere in the world, providing Strange with a location and visual. It can also be used to monitor the shields that protect the planets created by the three sanctums. If Agamotto is inside the Orb, it becomes Strange's ultimate source of knowledge.
The Orb of Agamotto rests in Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum in a room called the Chamber of Shadows. It usually is inside a display case with three curved legs. When summoned, the glass covering rises and the ball levitates. While powerful, the Orb has been blocked by exceptionally powerful mystic forces (such as Umar) who do not want their exact location known. On at least one occasion, it has been used to open a dimensional portal to the realm of Agamotto. In the film Thor, the Orb is briefly shown in Odin's Trophy Room in Asgard.
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The following are the enemies of Doctor Strange:
- Baron Mordo - An evil wizard and former student of the Ancient One.
- D'Spayre - A fear-eating demon who is a member of the Fear Lords.
- Dormammu - A demon who is the ruler of the Dark Dimension.
- Dweller-in-Darkness - A fear-generating demon who is a member of the Fear Lords.
- Enchantress - An Asgardian sorceress. Doctor Strange first clashed with her during the "Acts of Vengeance" storyline.
- Kaecilius - An evil wizard who works for Baron Mordo.
- Kaluu - A 500-year-old wizard and a former classmate of the Ancient One.
- Mindless Ones - The inhabitants of the Dark Dimension that serve as Dormammu's foot soldiers.
- Mister Rasputin - A sorcerer who is the alleged descendant of Grigori Rasputin.
- Necromancer - Counter-Earth's version of Doctor Strange.
- Nightmare - The ruler of the Dream Dimension.
- Paradox - A creation of Doctor Strange that was originally used to fill in for him.
- Satannish - A very-powerful extra-dimensional demon.
- Shanzar - The Sorcerer Supreme of the Strange Matter Dimension. He once possessed Hulk turning him into Dark Hulk.
- Shuma-Gorath - A many-angled one who existed during Earth's pre-history.
- Silver Dagger - A religious sorcerer.
- Sons of Satannish - A cult that worships Satannish.
- Tiboro - A humanoid who claims to be from the Sixth Dimension.
- Umar - A resident of the Dark Dimension and the sister of Dormammu.
- Undying Ones - A race of demons from another dimension with a variety of magic and a variety of forms.
- Yandroth - A Scientist Supreme from the otherdimensional planet Yann.
Two months before the debut of the sorcerer-hero Doctor Strange, Stan Lee (editor and story-plotter), Robert Bernstein (scripter, under the pseudonym "R. Berns"), and Jack Kirby (artist) introduced a criminal scientist and Ph.D. with the same surname (called "Carl Strange"). Making his sole appearance in the Iron Man story "The Stronghold of Dr. Strange" in Tales of Suspense #41 (1963), the character gained mental powers in a freak lightning strike.
The character has starred in several alternate universe titles. In the miniseries Marvel 1602 #1-#8 (Nov. 2003 – June 2004), Sir Stephen Strange is both the court physician and magician to Queen Elizabeth I. The title Spider-Man 2099 introduced a female version of Strange who shares her body with a demon in issue #33 (1995). The miniseries Strange #1-#6 (Nov, 2004 – April 2005), written by J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes, with artwork by Brandon Peterson, reimagined the character's origin, allies and enemies in a contemporary setting.
In the miniseries Marvel Zombies #1-#5 (Feb.–June 2006), Strange is infected with a zombie virus along with many other heroes. He reappears in the second sequel, Marvel Zombies 3 #1-#4 (Dec. 2008 – March 2009)
In the alternate future universe of the Marvel imprint MC2, Doctor Strange is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme, the title there held by Doc Magnus. Doctor Strange uses his remaining power to reform the superhero team the Defenders in A-Next #3 (1998) and to fight the Norse god of mischief, Loki, Last Hero Standing #4 (Feb. 2005).
The Ultimate Marvel title Ultimate Marvel Team-Up introduced a version of the character called "Stephen Strange, Jr.", the son of the original Doctor Strange, in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #12 (July 2002). The character was killed in battle by the Ultimate Marvel version of Dormammu in the miniseries Ultimatum #1-#5 (Jan.–Sept. 2009).
Set in the Marvel 1602 universe. Sir Stephen Strange, both the court physician of Queen Elizabeth I and a magician, senses that there are unnatural forces at work. He is the replacement in the 1602 universe for John Dee and is married to a version of Clea. Here, he cannot use his 'Astral Projection' (which he refers to as a magic mirror) as well as the modern one could, lacking modern materials, and is often physically drained after it is finished, and lacks memory of what he saw in astral form. During this time, he makes indirect contact with Uatu, who warns him about the danger caused by the 'Forerunner's' arrival in the past, but is placed under a compulsion not to speak or act on this knowledge. Eventually, when Elizabeth is dead, he allows himself to be executed for witchcraft and treason so that his head, kept alive by Clea for some time after his execution, can continue to be of help by sharing the information he has gained from Uatu with the other heroes so that they can prevent the destruction of reality.[volume & issue needed]
Set in the Marvel 2099 universe. The Sorceress Supreme of Earth is a young woman who calls herself "Strange". She secretly shares her body with a monstrous demon. She is very inexperienced in her powers and uses them recklessly. In one incident, she causes the death of her brother. Her main opponent is Garokk who wishes to use her past torments and inexperience to gain the title of Sorcerer Supreme for himself.
In a 'reset' 2099 timeline where the Maestro has conquered a decimated world, he apparently kept Strange contained in a mystical circle. When Miguel O'Hara emerged into this timeline and released Strange, she claimed that the demon possessing her protected her from major world-shifts, working with Miguel to repair an old time machine of Doctor Doom's so that he could return to 2015 and avert this timeline. However, after Miguel's departure, Strange revealed that she was working with the Maestro and was under the control of the demon within her.
When Miguel returns to a new variation of the 2099 timeline where having superpowers is illegal, he witnesses Strange's demon being banished from her body with Moon Knight using a soul sword.[volume & issue needed]
Age of X
In the Age of X timeline, Doctor Strange poses as a Mutant-hunter for hire, but is in reality a double agent working with Magneto, who teleports mutants to Fortress X for safety.[volume & issue needed]
Set in the Amalgam Comics universe, Dr. Strange was combined with Doctor Fate and Charles Xavier into Dr. Strangefate. As the only character aware of the nature of the Amalgam Universe, he was the chief opponent of Access, who was attempting to separate the DC and Marvel Universes. Originally numbered as Earth-962.
In the mini-series Bullet Points, Dr. Strange chooses to work for S.H.I.E.L.D., rather than seek out the Ancient One, in exchange for them restoring his hands. Later he is seen possessing claws similar to Wolverine's.
Set in Howard the Duck's home-world and home dimension. This version of Doctor Strange is Ducktor Strange, an anthropomorphic Duck. In this reality, he is still a Sorcerer (the "Mallard of the Mystic Arts"), but is also a drunken derelict, who seems to live in alleys drinking "sorcerous sauce" (alcohol). He has appeared in Howard the Duck magazine #6 (July 1980), wherein he sends Howard and Beverly back to Earth; and in She-Hulk, vol. 4, #20 (Sept 2007), wherein he helps Stu the Intern return to Earth (since Stu's extensive knowledge of Marvel Comics continuity reminded him that he could find the Ducktor and how he could be returned by the Mystic Mallard).[volume & issue needed]
In She-Hulk (vol. 2) #21, a non-powered counterpart of Dr. Strange from Earth-A comes to Earth-616 (aka Earth-B) and impersonates the 616 Dr. Strange. The impostor is revealed when he can't think of a rhyme for the word "Cyttorak".[volume & issue needed]
Set in the Earth X universe. Dr. Strange's body is murdered by Clea (this Earth's Sorceress Supreme) under the behest of Loki. His astral form aids Captain Marvel in his journey through Death's Realm as one of the few inhabiting heroes aware of his death.[volume & issue needed]
An alternative Dr. Strange helped the Exiles briefly. This character was not a mystic, but instead was still a practicing physician who specialized in superhumans. This version of Doctor Strange was killed by an alternative version of Deadpool.
Fantastic Four: The End
In this series, Dr. Strange is now the Ancient One and had a daughter with Clea who is the new Dr. Strange.
Guardians of the Galaxy
In the alternative future of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dr. Strange assumed the title of the Ancient One (previously held by his mentor) and took on a disciple of his own, a Lem named Krugarr. Strange/the Ancient One was eventually killed by Dormammu, who was defeated by the combined efforts of Krugarr, his disciple Talon, and the Guardians.
In the Marvel Zombies universe, Dr. Strange is one of the last heroes in the alternative "zombie world" to be transformed into a zombie. He was last seen in living form as part of Nick Fury's resistance to defeat the zombified Marvel superheroes in the spinoff Dead Days before he and the rest of the surviving superheroes are later overwhelmed by the zombie Fantastic Four and turned. He participates in the multi-zombie attack on Doctor Doom's castle, in an effort to capture and devour the unaffected Latverian citizens inside. While part of a multi-zombie chase of Ultimate Reed Richards, he vanishes under a rain of cars launched by Magneto. However, he later resurfaces in Marvel Zombies 3 but with limited function as a result of Magneto's wrath. He is part of Kingpin's undead alliance and can only perform two spells, one of which allows viewers to see into other universes which becomes an essential tool to Kingpin's plans. Ultron kills Zombie Dr. Strange.
Dr. Strange assists Thor in the MAX mini series Thor: Vikings, when zombified, evil Vikings massacre Manhattan by pillaging and killing its citizens. Strange helps Thor locate the descendants of a victim that the Vikings had slain, just after the victim, a village wiseman had placed a curse on the Vikings that caused them to become zombified. With Strange's instruction, the battle-experienced descendants all fight the Vikings with Thor.
Set in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. First appearing in flashbacks, Dr. Stephen Strange married his former student, Clea, and the two of them had a child, Stephen Jr. Strange Sr. later vanished, and Clea decided to raise Stephen Jr. away from magic.[volume & issue needed]
As a college student, Stephen Jr. was approached by Wong, who told him about his father and took him on as a student. He supports himself as a new-age guru to the rich, powerful and famous, and is seen as a celebrity, appearing on television talk shows. He is known to the public as "Dr. Strange", although he does not hold a medical degree or doctorate. He has bemoaned his lack of knowledge in things mystical and usually, just barely saves the day with one last desperate, untried spell. Starting in Ultimate Spider-Man #107, this Doctor Strange is a member of Daredevil's team fighting against the Kingpin, the Ultimate Knights. In Ultimatum, Strange is gruesomely killed by Dormammu when Ultimate Hulk rampages through his house.
The title of "Sorcerer Supreme" was only self-proclaimed by the elder Strange as reported in the comics during a TV news broadcast.[volume & issue needed]
A Venomized version of Doctor Strange appears in Venomverse, who is responsible for gathering all of the different incarnations of Venom. His Earth was eradicated by the Poisons so he had gathered Venoms from across the multiverse in order to prevent the Poisons from consuming more of them. He is captured by the Poisons and he realises that instead of bringing more Venoms to fight, he had brought the Poisons more Venoms to consume. In the climax he sends all of the surviving Venoms to their universes while the bomb built by Rocket Raccoon explodes. His fate is unknown.
- In "What If....Doctor Strange Had Been Disciple of Dormammu?", Strange has his hands healed by Mordo and does not become a student of the Ancient One. Mordo later converts Strange into a disciple of Dormammu. When Strange is forced into a battle between Dormammu and the Ancient One, he decides in favor of good, and finally becomes a disciple of the Ancient One.
- In "What If...Dr. Strange Had Not Become Master of the Mystic Arts?", Dr. Strange never travels to Tibet, and Mordo become the Sorcerer Supreme.
In other media
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- Dr. Strange appeared in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends animated series episode "7 Little Superheroes", voiced by John Stephenson
- Doctor Strange makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in the 1990s X-Men animated series episode "The Dark Phoenix Saga (Part 3)". He senses Jean Grey's transformation into the Phoenix.
- Doctor Strange appears in a self-titled episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by John Vernon. Involved in a car accident, the embittered Stephen Strange sought healing from the Ancient One, ultimately saving his life from Mordo and becoming a sorcerer. He aided Spider-Man in freeing Mary Jane Watson from Mordo's mind control as he tried to free Dormammu from the Dark Dimension.
- Doctor Strange appeared in The Incredible Hulk animated series episode "Mind Over Anti-Matter", voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He joined She-Hulk in freeing Bruce Banner from an entity that had turned him into a dark version of the Hulk.
- Doctor Strange appears in The Super Hero Squad Show animated series, voiced by Roger Rose. He first appears in the episode "Enter: Dormammu!", when a powerful fractal gets stuck inside the Eye of Agammoto, causing him to act irrationally. In other episodes, he is seen taking in the Super Hero Squad for a night at he Sanctum Sanctorum and fighting the Enchantress, and aiding Chthon to recover his dimension from Doctor Doom.
- Doctor Strange appears in the Disney XD Marvel animated shows Ultimate Spider-Man, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Avengers Assemble, voiced initially by Jack Coleman, and later by Liam O'Brien.
- Doctor Strange appeared in the anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Yasunori Masutani in Japanese.
- Doctor Strange appears in the animated special Lego Marvel Super Heroes - Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda, voiced again by Liam O'Brien.
- Doctor Strange appeared in the anime series Marvel Future Avengers episode "Out of Time", voiced again by Yasunori Masutani in Japanese and Liam O'Brien in English.
- Doctor Strange appears in the 2017 Spider-Man animated series episode "Amazing Friends", voiced again by Liam O'Brien
- Dr. Stephen Strange appeared in the 1978 live-action television film Dr. Strange, portrayed by Peter Hooten. This version was a psychiatry resident rather than an experienced neurosurgeon.
- The 1992 film Doctor Mordrid began development as a Doctor Strange adaptation, but the studio's license expired before production began. The project was rewritten to change the main character's name and slightly alter his origin. Additionally, the main character was originally going be called "Doctor Mortalis" and Jack Kirby worked on the early concept art.
- Doctor Strange appears in the direct-to-DVD animated film Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, voiced by Bryce Johnson. Following a car crash that damaged his hands, he travels to Tibet seeking to heal them. Training with the Ancient One and his pupils, Strange faces the emergence of Dormammu.
- Doctor Strange makes a non-speaking cameo in the 2010 animated film Planet Hulk.
- Dr. Stephen Strange appears in live-action films set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is first referenced as merely "Stephen Strange" in dialogue by Jasper Sitwell in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and first appears in the 2016 film Doctor Strange, in which he is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch reprises the role in the films Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. He will reprise the role in the Spider-Man: No Way Home, set to be released on December 17, 2021, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was originally set to be released on May 7, 2021, but was later moved to March 25, 2022.
- Doctor Strange appears in the 2016 animated film Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell, voiced again by Liam O'Brien.
- Doctor Strange appears as a non-player character in The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin for the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear. This version serves as Spider-Man's advisor.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by James Horan.
- Doctor Strange appears in Hsien-Ko's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. He later appears as a playable character in the updated version, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, voiced by Rick Pasqualone.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced by Charlie Adler.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in the 2012 fighting game Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth, voiced by Chris Cox.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Nick Jameson.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced again by James Horan.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions for iOS and Android.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Wally Wingert while Jack Coleman voices the version that appears in the "All-New, All-Different Doctor Strange" DLC.
- Doctor Strange is a playable character in the iOS and Android game Marvel Future Fight.
- Two versions of Doctor Strange, "Stephen Strange" and the "Sorcerer Supreme", appear as playable characters in the match-three mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, voiced again by Liam O'Brien.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Powers United VR, voiced again by Liam O'Brien.
- In 1979, Pocket Books published Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts: Nightmare, by William Rotsler.
- In the 1968 book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe writes about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' interest in comics and specifically refers to Doctor Strange.
- In the 2006 novel Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours, by author Jim Butcher, Strange appears briefly as a fellow superhero that Spider-Man seeks assistance from amidst a battle with Morlun's vengeful siblings.
- Doctor Strange is referenced in the 1971 song "Mambo Sun" by glam rock band T. Rex on their album Electric Warrior.
- Doctor Strange is referenced in the song "Cymbaline" by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd on their 1969 album More.
- Doctor Strange appears on the cover of Pink Floyd's second studio album A Saucerful of Secrets, which contains a hidden image based on a panel from a 1967 Dr. Strange comic book story. The image used came from Marvels Strange Tales #158 which was illustrated by Marie Severin.
In 2008, Doctor Strange was ranked 83rd in Wizard's "200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time" list, and in 2012 was ranked 33rd in IGN's list of "The Top 50 Avengers". He was also ranked 38th on IGN's list of "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes".
- The blue "student" version first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), with the red "master" version first appearing in Strange Tales #127 (Dec. 1964).
- Strange Tales #120 (May, 1964)
- Strange Tales #110 (July, 1963)
- Marvel Premiere #10 (September, 1973)
- Doctor Strange #384. Marvel Comics
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"Creeping conflict became apparent a few months after Spider-Man’s debut, when Lee first announced the impending debut of Ditko's creation, a magician named Doctor Strange".
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Inspired by the Mutual Network radio show Chandu the Magician, which [Stan] Lee had enjoyed during his childhood, Dr. Strange was in fact a more impressive character than Chandu.
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- Doctor Strange at the Grand Comics Database
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- Sanderson, Peter in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 151 "[Roy] Thomas and artist Ross Andru reunited [Doctor] Strange, the Hulk, and Namor as a brand new Marvel superhero team—the Defenders."
- Sanderson "1970s" Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 156 "Dr. Strange began a new series of solo adventures. He got off to an impressive start with [a] story scripted by Stan Lee and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith."
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We cooked up this plot—we wrote a letter from a Reverend Billingsley in Texas, a fictional person, saying that one of the children in his parish brought him the comic book, and he was astounded and thrilled by it, and he said, 'Wow, this is the best comic book I've ever read.' And we signed it 'Reverend so-and-so, Austin Texas'—and when Steve was in Texas, he mailed the letter so it had the proper postmark. Then, we got a phone call from Roy, and he said, 'Hey, about that retraction, I'm going to send you a letter, and instead of the retraction, I want you to print this letter.' And it was our letter! We printed our letter!
- Doctor Strange vol. 2' at the Grand Comics Database
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Englehart, Steve (w), Colan, Gene (p), Palmer, Tom (i). "The Tomb of Dr. Strange!" Doctor Strange v2, 14 (May 1976)
Sanderson "1970s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 175 "The great Marvel artist Gene Colan was doing superb work illustrating both Doctor Strange and The Tomb of Dracula. So it made sense for Strange writer Steve Englehart and Tomb author Marv Wolfman to devise a crossover story."
- Sanderson "1970s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 174 "The year 1976 was the 200th anniversary of the United States' Declaration of Independence. So it was appropriate that several of the major events in Marvel history that year dealt with political themes… In September, just before departing from Marvel for DC Comics, writer Steve Englehart sent Dr. Strange back through time to meet one of the men responsible for the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin."
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme at the Grand Comics Database
- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #60 (Dec. 1993) to #68 (August 1994)
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- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #80-90 (August 1995 – June 1996)
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- Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 262
Writer Roy Thomas and penciller Andre Coates created this new series that ran until 1995.
- Strange Tales one-shot' at the Grand Comics Database
- Manning "2000s" Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 323
Scribes J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes, with artist Brandon Peterson, retold Dr. Strange's mystical origin for a new generation of fans in this six-issue limited series.
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Dr. Strange's archenemy, Baron Mordo, was introduced in Strange Tales #111.
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Clea, Dr. Strange's longtime girlfriend from the Dark Dimension, debuted in Strange Tales #126.
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He's the only Marvel hero to make it into an iconic glam-rock song! 'Mambo Sun,' the opening track on T. Rex's legendary 1971 album Electric Warrior, features the lyric 'On a mountain range/I'm Doctor Strange for you.' How romantic.
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'Suddenly it strikes you, that they're moving into range,' Syd Barrett's replacement David Gilmour intones solemnly, 'and Doctor Strange is always changing size.'
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