As the Sorcerer Supreme, Strange is a target of Mephisto’s millenia old plans for the oldest heroic mantles on Earth. Strange also founded the Strange Academy to train the next generation of magic leaders. Meanwhile, he is waiting for Kulan Gath to reveal himself, so he can call the Savage Avengers back together, and is investigating the problem with Spider-Man’s soul, which he tracked to Mephisto.
At a young age, Stephen Strange had dreams of becoming a doctor. The eldest child of three, Strange was born in 1930 while his parents Eugene and Beverly Strange were on vacation in Philadelphia. At the age of eleven he aided his younger sister Donna when she was injured, which proved to be a formative experience for him, and he was inspired to attend med school after high school. Ironically, it was his inability to later save her from drowning when he was nineteen and on leave from college that undermined his belief in life’s meaning and the value of idealism. Nevertheless, he rapidly finished med school at a young age and became a successful neurosurgeon.
Strange displayed phenomenal talent in his chosen field, and quickly attained wealth and notoriety. The more successful he became, the more arrogant he grew. Eventually this led to estrangement from his family and the undoing of his relationship with a United Nations translator named Madeline Revell to whom he had proposed marriage. So distant and self-absorbed did he become that he refused to visit his father on his deathbed. His enraged younger brother Victor Strange berated him for this, and then was killed as he ran into traffic. Stephen then placed the body of his brother into cryogenic storage. At a much later stage Stephen attempted to restore his brother through magical means, but instead imbued him with the curse of vampirism.
A car accident that damaged the nerves in his hands changed everything for Stephen Strange. He was no longer able to be a surgeon, yet he refused to become an assistant or consultant, instead squandering his money traveling the world and searching for a cure. One day he heard a rumor of a mystical personage known as the Ancient One in Tibet. Marshaling the last of his inner and outer resources, Strange diligently searched until the fortress of the Ancient One was revealed to him. Though initially outraged that the aged mystic refused to cure his hands, Strange’s anger was quickly replaced by amazement when the reality of magical forces was demonstrated before his eyes as he witnessed an attack on the Ancient One.
Circumstances revealed to Strange that it was none other than Baron Mordo, the Ancient One’s chief disciple, who was the perpetrator of the attack, and who continued to plot the destruction of the antediluvian mystic in an attempt to gain power. To his horror, Strange learned he was unable to reveal this after Mordo easily encircled him. Realizing the Ancient One was a force for good; Stephen selflessly abandoned his quest to restore his hands and committed himself to magical tutelage with the intention of foiling Mordo’s insidious scheme. By this act Strange proved himself to the Ancient One, to whom the entire melodrama had been transparent. Thus Doctor Strange put himself on the path to become the new Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth dimension, yet gained a deadly enemy in Baron Mordo.
Doctor Strange was created by the writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko and made his first ever appearance in Strange Tales #110 in 1963. He was originally going to be called Mr. Strange, but that was rejected for sounding too much like Mr. Fantastic. They changed the honorific to “Dr.” despite debuting a different Doctor Strange a few months earlier.
After many years of training, Strange returned to New York. He became a mystical consultant and started having interactions with the superhero community. After the Fantastic Four formed and many superheroes began to surface, Doctor Strange found a friend in Spider-Man. Spider-Man helped him rescue a group of people from another dimension and suggested that Strange remove from their memory this traumatic experience, though this meant that they would forget his own heroism. Initially tricked into conflict with each other by Loki, Thor and Doctor Strange also formed an early alliance to combat the god of mischief.
Noteworthy among the good Doctor’s numerous foes over the years as Earth’s magical guardian were the Dread Dormammu, Shuma-Gorath, the Undying Ones, and Nightmare. Strange’s first battle with Dormammu ensued when the powerful demigod of the Dark Dimension attempted to invade earth’s plane as he perceived the wane of the Ancient One’s might. Strange was forced to duel Dormammu in the Dark Dimension, and though vastly out-powered by the god-like entity, Strange was able to tax Dormammu to the extent that the barrier separating beings know as the Mindless Ones from the rest of the Dark Dimension became compromised. A force of pure destruction, the Mindless Ones would have meant annihilation to the other denizens of Dormmamu’s realm, and Strange nobly contributed his power to his enemy to prevent their being unleashed.
Bound by whatever strange honor as applies to his daemonic ilk, Dormammu then called off his invasion and released Strange. They were to clash many times subsequently, however, and Dormammu has been one of Strange’s most implacable and powerful foes. It was during this adventure that Doctor Strange also met Clea, a beautiful but inexperienced mystic (the daughter of Umar, Dormmamu’s sister), who became Strange’s first apprentice, as well as his lover.
In one of his more bizarre adventures, Strange fought the demonic forces of Shuma-Gorath, an ancient Lovecraftian entity that coveted earth’s domination from the world’s distant past and this time threatened our reality using the very mind of Doctor Strange’s beloved mentor, the Ancient One. Though it agonized him, Strange was left with no choice but to obey his teacher and slay him to prevent the holocaust Shuma-Gorath would have unleashed upon the world. The Ancient One then ascended to become one with the being known as Eternity, while Strange inherited the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.
Major Story Arcs
Sorcerer Supreme and Defenders
The Defenders were born when Doctor Strange formed a bizarre team-up with the Hulk, Namor, and later the Silver Surfer. These four strong personalities somehow managed to work together and started the unlikely super-team known as the Defenders to combat yet another world-conquering demonic threat, this time in the form of beings called the Undying Ones who were led by the evil and ancient Nameless One.
The Defenders went on to battle numerous threats both supernatural and mundane (so to speak), and were joined in an oft-changing roster that included such unlikely characters as the Silver Surfer, Hellstorm, the Overmind, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and Hellcat.
Dracula and the Montessi Formula
In yet another impressive display of the capabilities of a Sorcerer Supreme, Strange opposed Dracula himself to rid the world, at least for a time, of the plague of vampirism. Assisted by a dedicated band of vampire hunters (Hannibal King, Blade, and Frank Drake) and Wong. Doctor Strange kept Dracula busy, while the others recited the Montessi Formula from The Darkhold and destroyed virtually all the world’s vampires, including Dracula.
Yet this very undoing for most of the world’s vampires interacted with the previous spells Stephen Strange had attempted in his resurrection of his brother Victor, causing Victor to rise from the grave as the undead. Later developments also allowed the resurrection of many of the destroyed Nosferatu, though Strange banished the Vampire Verses to another plane of existence
Strange went on to battle a host of threats to the Earth dimension, at times battling cosmic entities such as the In-Betweener; participating in the power struggles over the dominion of the Dark Dimension between Clea, Umar, and Dormammu; and joining other heroes to oppose Thanos in his attempt to gain the Infinity Gauntlet; to name but a few. He has triumphed over others bearing the title Sorcerer Supreme, such as Salome, the first Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, and Shanzar, the Sorcerer Supreme of another dimension. Though he at first resisted such calls because of his duties as Earth’s mystical protector, Strange was eventually drawn into a 5,000 year battle against the Trinity of Ashes on the side of the Vishanti. Because of the magical nature of the realm in which he fought, or because of his innate power, Strange was absent from his home dimension for this conflict for only a few months in everyone else’s perceptions and appeared to age but little.
Secret Defenders and Midnight Sons
Though unquestionably a mighty force for good that has saved the Earth and even the universe from destruction multiple times, Doctor Strange found it necessary to have heroes regroup themselves. He did so in the reformation of the Defenders, nicknamed the Secret Defenders. This group consisted of an ever changing roster of superheroes that where right for the job. Doctor Strange also played an important role in the formation of the Midnight Sons, whom battled an alien invasion and other occult creatures.
Defenders Reformed and the Order
Doctor Strange does continue to show a certain predilection for arrogance, as evidenced by his susceptibility to Yandroth’s manipulation when Namor, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer and himself banded together to essentially take over the world. Yandroth had banded the four together by an apparently unbreakable curse (because it was the will of Gaea) that forced them to be teleported to the scene whenever a threat to the Earth manifested. The curse also heightened their natural egotism and irritability, which for these four was considerable. Unwilling to be snatched away from their other responsibilities any time the curse decreed there was a threat, the four decided instead to form the Order, which would keep the world safe by taking control and preventing threats from arising. Opposed by the other heroes of earth, the four appeared to have the power to triumph, but they realized in time that Yandroth was mystically siphoning the power generated by their violence to resurrect himself with the power of a god.
While they called off their plans and dispersed, they would not surrender themselves to mortal authorities for judgment. Doctor Strange was able to convince Gaea to let the four serve her willingly, and the curse was broken.
Civil War and World War Hulk
It was revealed that Doctor Strange had been a participant in the Illuminati, a group of superheroes whom tried to discuss the biggest threads in the universe and solve them themselves. Dr. Strange became a member of the New Avengers after the end of the Civil War, which he did not become involved in. He assisted the team on their first mission to Japan, and was severely wounded. During their second mission, to defeat The Hood’s Gang, Dr. Strange had to use extreme magic to take them all down.
Prior to the event of World War Hulk, Strange was one of the Illuminati who voted to exile the Hulk because of his destructive tendencies. When the Hulk came back and demanded the presence of the those who exiled him, Strange infiltrated his mind as a way to calm him down, but Hulk knew this move all along and gave him the opportunity to break Strange’s hands, so that he could not use his magic. Strange became desperate and drank a vial containing the essence of Zom, a powerful demon that he had once faced. When Strange and Hulk fought, Strange was winning but not before realizing that Zom is slowly influencing his actions. With this realization, he was defeated by Hulk and held captive in his make-shift gladiator arena of Madison Square Garden.
Strange No More
Strange later left the New Avengers feeling that he’d used too much dark magic, and must train in the use of light magic again. In the end, he failed in his duties as Sorcerer Supreme, thus his title is removed from him. In light of this he no longer wore his cloak of levitation nor the eye of Agamotto. Instead he went out to search for the new Sorcerer Supreme, hoping it was someone who had good intents instead of evil. The first person he visited was Wiccan, but there he was attacked by The Hood who was taken over by his demonic cape. With the help of Wiccan he managed to escape and went to the New Avengers for help.
Together they went to Hellstorm During the ride there, the eye of Agamotto glowed brightly and disapeared, according to Dr. Strange to the new Sorcerer Supreme. In the meantime the Hood was fighting Hellstorm but the fight was interrupted when a new player came in, Brother Voodoo, wearing the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. The New Sorcerer Supreme!
After fighting off Hood and Dormmamu along side his allies Strange offers to train Voodoo in his new title which he accepts. Later during the Dark Reign Iron Man attempts to hide the information of the super heroes from Norman Osborn and wipes his mind clean which causes him to loose his intellect and after a beating by Osborn himself falls into a coma. Several attempts are made to revive him and soon Strange is called in to help. After traveling into Stark’s mind he is able to bring him out of his dream and accept that he is Iron Man. While vulnerable Ghost arrives hoping to kill Stark but Strange comes out of his spell first and fights Ghost, but is wounded in battle. Iron Man awakens next and transports Ghost away with his own technology.
After Osborn finally snapped and attacked Asgard Steve Rogers was given Osborn’s old position and invited Strange to once again join the Avengers and he accepts. Soon after joining a demonic force possessing Strange and Damian Hellstorm attacks Doctor Voodoo trying to take the Eye of Agamotto by force. The mystical item teleports itself to the Mansion but is chased by the same force going from Luke Cage to eventually Iron Fist. After releasing a demonic army and kidnapping Iron Fist the source of the assault takes on the form of The Ancient One but after realizing his actions are uncharacteristic it is revealed to be Agamotto himself. He claims the Vishanti are dead and he want’s his eye back. The Avengers accept a challenge from him and imbue Wolverine with all their combined powers to fight against Agamotto. In end Voodoo uses the power of the eye to apparently kill both Agamotto and himself.
Circle of Four
When Blackheart tried to use a Hell created Centrifuge to plunge Earth into Hell, Strange and Daimon Hellstorm were present to try and prevent this. However, Johnny Blaze had already placed an amulet, given to Hawkeye by Strange, on the border of Las Vegas, preventing Hell from stretching any further.
However, while Venom, Red Hulk, X-23 and the new Ghost Rider fight within the barrier to prevent Hell and Blackheart from succeeding, Strange and Daimon work from the outside to prevent Hell spreading further, when the amulet shatters. They battle fiercely until Daimon gives in, under the persuasion of Blackheart. Fortunately, the four heroes within find a way to reverse the march of Hell and to defeat Blackheart, freeing Strange and Daimon, who notices that the four heroes have been marked with pentagrams similar to his own.
Avengers vs. X-Men
Dr. Strange took part in the battle between the Avengers and the X-Men over the return of the Phoenix Force to earth. He battled Magik in her domain of Limbo, but without the powers of the Sorcerer Supreme he was ultimately defeated by her. Magik took advantage of this by posing as Strange and teleporting the X-Men away from their impending arrest at the hands of the Avengers. After the Phoenix empowers five prominent X-Men the Avengers are forced to go on the run.
As skirmishes break out between the X-Men and the Avengers, Dr. Strange is seen providing magical assistance such as using illusions of the Scarlet Witch to intimidate the Phoenix Five and teleporting teams away from one-sided fights. When the final assault is launched against Cyclops, Strange uses the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak to bind the Phoenix avatar while Charles Xavier pleads with and then attacks his former student mentally. When Cyclops breaks free, Strange participates in the fight against him.
Final battle with the Avengers
Daniel Drumm later returns to seek revenge on Strange and the other Avengers for failing to prevent Brother Voodoo’s death. Strange is framed for the murder of Victoria Hand, which results in S.H.I.E.L.D. making a move on Avengers Mansion. Daniel subsequently possesses the various Avengers and forces them to battle Strange before Strange manages to defeat him once and for all. For his victory, he is reinstated as the Sorcerer Supreme and given back his old artifacts.
Doctor Strange leaves the Avengers a short while later, and is not part of the group when it is restructured by Captain America and Iron Man.
Time Runs Out
Doctor Strange continues to work with the Illuminati in secret, with the group coming together once more to prevent multiversal incursions that threaten their world. Around this time, Strange is called in by monks to save a young Asian girl named Princess Phan, who has become posssessed by a powerful demonic entity. Stephen is unable to defeat the demon without killing Phan, so he instead offers to become its new host in exchange for releasing the child. The entity later manifests itself during the Illuminati’s battle with the Great Society, which results in Strange violently killing most of the heroes.
Doctor Strange and the rest of the Illuminati are later branded fugitives by Captain America, and are forced to go on the run. Strange disappears from this plane of existence but resurfaces as the new leader of the Black Priests.
When the multiverse collapsed after the incursions and Doom used the power of the Beyonders to create Battleworld, Strange became Doom’s Sheriff and right hand man for more than 8 years. He served Doom faithfully until he discovered that some of his fellow heroes, among which were Mr. Fantastic and Black Panther, had survived the incursions in stasis. Rediscovering his heroic nature after conversing with his comrades, Strange teleports his allies to safety when they are confronted by Doom and is subsequently killed by Doom for his opposition.
All New Doctor Strange and Last Days of Magic
After the events of Secret Wars, Strange was resurrected with his memories of Battleworld removed during the restoration of the multiverse, becoming his dimension’s mystical defender once again.
Strange’s spells began to fail him, however, and soon finds that magic throughout the dimensional planes was dying. He discovers the source of the disturbance to be the Empirikul, a group of science worshipers hell-bent on exterminating all magic throughout the multiverse. By the time they made their way to Strange’s dimension, magic was all but extinguished, forcing Strange to gather and search for as many sources of magic remaining he could possibly find in order to combat the Empirikul.
Strange ultimately manages to defeat the Emprikul and end their crusade with the help of his new librarian, Zelma, and a magical being created from his pain, Mister Misery. Zelma would stay with Strange helping him rekindle magic, but Mister Misery would continue to hold a grudge against Strange for his unfortunate existence.
During Hydra’s takeover of America, Las Vegas was burned to the ground and sent to Hell. Doctor Strange took it upon himself to resurrect the city with magic, however, he also accidentally manifested Hotel Inferno, the hotel and casino created by Mephisto while Vegas was in Hell. Mephisto was allowing gamblers to bet their very soul and was able to convince Strange to make his own wager. If Strange wins, Mephisto empties his vault of souls and returns to Hell. However, Mephisto wins when he effectively tempts the Avengers with their own wrath. Thus, Strange’s soul now belongs to Mephisto.
To save Strange and Vegas, Wong and Bats collect a new roster of the Midnight Sons made of heroes that are either dead, damned, or carry darkness. The team consists of: Johnny Blaze, Blade, Moon Knight, Elsa Bloodstone, Iron Fist, Doctor Voodoo, Man-Thing, and, eventually, Ben Reilly. The team journeys to Vegas to do battle with Mephisto’s demon army, which now includes Strange and his Avengers allies as Ghost Rider-like demons.
While possessed by Mephisto, Strange found himself in the Realm Between with the other possessed people. He was able to conjure his Avengers allies back to their bodies so they could join the battle with the Midnight Sons. It was all a distraction thought, so Johnny Blaze could go to hell and claim Mephisto’s throne, robbing him of some of his power. With Blaze on the throne, Mephisto was imprisoned at Hotel Inferno.
Strange’s earthbound magic was burnt out well beyond the point that he could survive traveling to another dimension to recharge. On Tony’s suggestion, Strange took Tony’s new spaceship to look for a source of magic to recharge on a different planet. He met and partnered with Kanna, an arcanologist and technomancer. Together, they searched for more magical items throughout the cosmos.
Strange was feeling strong when they heard about Eoffren, a Nidavellir dwarf being held by the Majesdanians. They carried out a rescue mission, but Eoffren confronted him about using other people’s magic. He invited Strange to his forge so that Strange could make his own weapons.
Back on Earth and settling back into the Santorum, Strange is visited by The Ancient One. He told Strange that he had been pulled from the astral plane and made mortal by a mysterious being that stole all his knowledge of magic. Using the Eye of Agamotto, Strange manifests a portal to the being that stole the Ancient One’s memories, a cosmic accountant
This accountant was responsible for Strange’s last disconnection from magic because Strange is one of the worst offenders of not paying the price of magic. When he went to space, he found a new way to conjure, leading to even more debt. This caused the accountant to bait Strange with the Ancient One and take Wong, Zelma, and Kanna as collateral against those who hold Strange’s debt: The Faltine. When Strange breaks them out, The Faltine invade Earth.
While confronting Dormmamu, Strange teleports his allies back to the accountant’s office so they can find the piece of Ancient One’s memories that he had kept. By absorbing that information, the three of them were able to bring the fight to the Faltine, however, they had limited time since stolen magic knowledge is toxic. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to finish the job before Strange saved them by banning the knowledge from their minds. What Strange didn’t know, by doing so the knowledge was free to return to the Ancient One, who cleaned up the Faltine Strange’s other allies had missed.
With the accountant mysteriously gone, Strange remains in debt but is no longer cut off from magic, and Strange’s allies left for their own adventures
Strange is forced to travel to the Mystic Realm when an alien culture of sorcerers exiles Galactus there rather than have their planet be devoured. Strange feared that would cause an imbalance in laws of magic. Galactus hungered and devoured magic out of desperation, however, it was changing him. Strange convinced Galactus that he had become addicted and insane due to magic nutrients, so he volunteered to be Galactus’ herald while in the mystic realm so he can find appropriate sustenance for him, a job that was at odds with his oath as a medical professional.
Strange went searching for a healthy planet without sentient life. Once he succeeded, he led Galactus to it with the help of Clea, however, the energies Strange had sensed earlier was now different. As a trick of Dormammu, it transformed him into a being of extreme science and extreme magic, one that Strange couldn’t fight alone. One that was causing ripples through reality. So, he brought together the strongest beings to stop him.
Strange’s secret plan was to send them all into a battle they couldn’t win. He needed them to release all their energy on to Galactus so he would gorge and overflow to the point where Strange could split him with one powerful blow, destroying reality. In the aftermath, Strange was pulled to Hell by an angry Mephisto who no longer had souls to devour. So, he made a deal with Strange: he would give Strange the chance to go back and stop the alien sorcerer from banishing Galactus for the love that exists between Strange and Clea. Strange agreed.
Marvel’s Medics Assemble
Strange was attending a lecture by archaeologist, Dr. Annabelle Riggs. She was presenting, among other things, a magic mirror formed from the Gems of Aggamon. Strange was interested in keeping it safe at his Santorum. Just then, the Grim Reaper showed up to trap Strange’s astral form in the mirror and steal it. He was working for Mephisto, who was trying to replace Jane Foster as valkyrie. If Reaper successfully brings Strange to an afterlife, he becomes Earth’s new official death escort.
Because Reaper was already dead, Foster was able to use her abilities to bring him to Valhalla, where his powers were rendered inert. She returned with the mirror, freeing Strange’s astral form to return to his body. With the Eye of Agamotto, he saw Foster’s identity and swore to keep her secret.
When a dead body comes to life and starts yelling about Death being sick, Foster seeks out Strange’s help. Strange would open a door to death’s realm for them to check on her, however, in order to diagnose Death appropriately, Strange suggests they first collect a medical team: Cardiac, Night Nurse, Manikin, and Excalibur. As they make their way through the realm, they witness the Death of Death, a giant manifestation of The Living Tribunal destined to reap Death. It was lording over Death’s home, waiting for its chance.
When the medical team enters the home, they face multiple symptoms in metaphorical personifications. Unfortunately, Cardiac couldn’t take it and knocked Strange unconscious and killed Manikin in his Proto form. While Valkyrie continues on to heal death, Strange is revived to save Manikin’s 3 other forms.
When investigating a car crash caused by a roadside spirit, Strange came across a young boy in desperate need of brain surgery. His mother pleaded with Strange to do something after he admitted to being a doctor, but he was unable to do anything with the nerves in his hand still damaged. So, Strange took a risk with a rejuvenation spell that could also cut off his connection to magic, leaving his realm unguarded. The risk paid off as he neither lost his connection to magic nor did he lose the boy’s life.
With his hands fixed, Strange went back to work as a surgeon, in addition to being the Sorcerer Supreme. He only takes the cases that no other medical professional was willing to do thanks to an agreement with his hospital’s new Chief of Staff, a newly resurrected Dr. Druid. His two worlds collide when the emergency room fills up with victims of a magical attack from Wrecker. Wrecker had a power upgrade that Strange was unprepared for, and so did the rest of the magic using villains he had to contend with lately.
Strange found out that their power upgrades came from his own forge by someone who killed Eoffren and stole his keys. Following a lead at Strange Academy, Strange uncovered an auction run by Madame Masque, who had been selling mystical weapons from Strange’s forge. Using image inducer’s from Mr. Fantastic, Strange and Druid disguised themselves as demons to get close to the auction. They were able to dissolve all the weapons, turning a number of demonic customers against Madame Masque.
Strange was approached by Elektra about the Eyes of Agamotto. She had joined a group of heroes spontaneously in the Savage Land (Savage Avengers) when Kulan Gath kidnapped a number of warriors to perform a blood ritual that would teleport him and his followers to a planet beyond our own solar system. Gath had the Third Eye of Agamotto, and Elektra thought it best he did not keep it. So, Strange and Elektra brought together another war party not unlike the first team. Since Strange has the first Eye, they split the teams: one going after Gath and the other going after Sadurang and the Second Eye. The team only retrieved the Second Eye. Kulan Gath stayed aloof, and Strange disbanded the team until Gath gave them a new lead.
Strange’s search for Gath was unsuccessful, however, he did find a poison that each of the Savage Avengers were dosed with. It would slowly work its way through their system until they bent the knee for Gath becoming his enslaved guard. Strange was able to purge them of the poison from afar with a spell that took years off the end of his life. With nowhere else to turn, Strange contacts Shuma-Gorath, who has also been poisoned by Gath. Gath had been feeding off Shuma-Gorath’s energies, giving Strange no other option but to mercy kill the god. This coincided with the arrival of Conan the Barbarian, one of the Savage Avengers, who believed Gath had been under their noses the whole time.
The Ancient Mantles
As the present day Sorcerer Supreme, Strange was targeted by the present day Moon Knight, who, under Khonshu‘s orders, was collecting the powers of the mantles who once composed the Avengers B.C. team in order to face off against the on-coming Phoenix Force. Moon Knight, suspicious of Khonshu’s motives, eventually rebelled and returned the powers back to the mantle bearers.
Peter Parker’s Soul
When Spider-Man’s life was consistently turned upside down by a demon named Kindred, Spider-Man found himself coming to Strange for more and more help. Eventually, the Order of the Web came to him for help as well. They travelled Spidey’s dreamscape to locate him in the corporeal world during his battle with Sin-Eater.
Strange sensed something wrong with Spidey, which finally came to a head when he went to Hotel Inferno to confront Mephisto about Spidey’s soul. Mephisto waxed poetically about how he never takes anything that isn’t given willingly. He ultimately offers Strange the opportunity to gamble on Spider-Man, who was up against multiple Sinister Six variations brought together by Kindred. When Doc Ock incapacitated all of them and disconnected them from Kindred’s influence, Strange and Mephisto witnessed the odds move in Spidey’s favor.
Death of Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange had a late visitor come to his door one night whom stabbed Strange in the chest, killing him. Without its Sorcerer Supreme, dimensional gateways opened up around the world trying to take over this plane of existence. Friends and enemies came to his side after sensing his death but were greeted by a younger version of himself that Strange had coordinated with in case he was ever untimely killed. This younger Strange observed that the older Strange’s soul was taken, and with it, his power. Without his power dissipating, there can be no new Sorcerer Supreme.
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 180 lbs.
- Eyes: Grey
- Hair: Black, white at temples
- Identity: The general public regards Strange as an ordinary occult scholar, if not a charlatan
- Occupation: Sorcerer Supreme of Earth dimension, adventurer, occult consultant; former physician, neurosurgeon
- Citizenship: U.S.A.
- Place of Birth: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Education: Medical doctorate, extensive sorcery training through a mixture of self-education and vast arcane lore
- Marital Status: Estranged
- Known Relatives: Eugene and Beverly Strange (parents, deceased), Victor Strange (Khiron, brother, presumed deceased), Donna Strange (sister, deceased), Clea (wife, estranged), Umar and Orini (parents-in-law), Dormammu (uncle-in-law)
Powers and Abilities
Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world. Dr. Strange uses mystical energy invoked upon by spells/incantations or by the power of divine beings to manipulate forces of the universe including projection of mystic energy as bolts, slashes, binds, shields, or a scattered array of energy appearing like electricity, manipulating matter and various energies (physical or spiritual) even transmutation of matter, controlling the elements, opening or sealing mystical portals to other realms, teleportation or dimensional travel, reality warping and control over dimension, seeing through or casting illusions, invisibility and intangibility through astral projection, vast mental powers such as telepathy and telekinesis, communication with the dead and spiritual entities, seeing the future or past, manipulating dreams, removing spirits or placing them back into bodies, summoning supernatural beings, or using the powers of supernatural items.
Many of Doctor Strange’s powers are a function of his ability to manipulate the ambient mystical energy of the Marvel Universe. With this ability Dr. Strange can perform many functions. Commonly this is seen as energy attacks that range from low power to planet destroying, transmutation, telekinesis, teleportation, protective shields, etc. He uses this mystical energy to cast spells of a near infinite variety.
Dr. Strange can also channel the virtually unlimited energy of nigh-omnipotent mystical and non-mystical beings–known as Principalities–to empower his spells. This can take the form of stating what he wants to occur. This ability to be a conduit to multi-versal power sources has given rise to the phrase “Dr. Strange is as powerful as the god he invokes”. He is quite capable of utilizing power that is considered “black magic”, though he tends to do so only under extreme exigency. Though he rarely has, he can absorb the power of even a cosmic or semi-deity entity. Doctor Strange has a pact with Eternity possibly allowing him to live as long as the Ancient One and others before him have.
Doctor Strange has been noted calling upon many sorcerous phrases invoking certain entities, usually the above-mentioned Principalities. One example:
“Seven rings hath Raggador, from indigo to deepest black, Yet Oshtur grant me something more: The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak!”
This phrase for instance, would cause unbreakable magical bonds to appear, capable of constraining even the Hulk. In addition to Cyttorak and Oshtur, among the beings of power called upon by Strange are all-seeing Agamotto and hoary Hoggoth, who along with Oshtur form the triad known as the eternal Vishanti; the Seraphim; Cthon (who created the Darkhold tome); Gaia; Ikonn; Dormammu (rarely) and the hell-lord Satannish. Sometimes it appears the substance of mystical realms is invoked rather than the beings who rule over them, as when Strange summons the Flames of the Faltine (the birthplace dimension of Dormammu, but also particular energy beings who rule there). This may explain why Strange is able to call upon such evil entities as Cthon and Satannish to power certain spells, yet not be in their service.
Certain beings are typically invoked for particular effects, such as Ikonn for illusions, the Seraphim for protective effects like shields and the like, Cyttorak for bindings, Agamotto for dispelling negativity and revealing the truth, etc. Other magical constructs commonly employed through such agencies are the Vapors of Valtoor, the Chains of Krakkan, and the Seven Suns of Cinnibus. Doctor Strange seems to be more so than anyone else under the favored patronage of the powerful Vishanti.
The Sorcerer Supreme possesses a formidable arsenal of magical artifacts, two of which are particularly recognizable– the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation. The Eye of Agamotto is an artifact with many uses, such as vastly extending Dr. Strange’s psychic abilities, inter dimensional travel, emitting a light that pierces all deception and is anathema to evil beings, serving as a protective talisman, and other feats. It can be used as an almost irresistible offensive weapon, though Strange rarely does so. Similar to Mjolnir, the Eye can only be used by those it deems as morally worthy. The Cloak of Levitation has been a third set of hands for Dr. Strange, responding to his thoughts to entangle opponents, and allowing him to fly and levitate. It is virtually indestructible and has shielded him from attacks as well.
Strange also possesses the Orb of Agamotto, a sort of hyper-powerful crystal ball that allows clairvoyant perception of anywhere in any dimension or realm. Other powerful artifacts in his possession include the Book of the Vishanti, the Darkhold tome, and the Wand of Watoomb. His abode in Greenwich Village known as the Sanctum Sanctorum, both defies normal spatial law and is of such magical potency in its protections that it may be considered an artifact itself. Doctor Strange has also come into the possession of the Soul Gem in the past.
Since his adventure in space, Strange has had access to a cosmic forge on Nidavellr for him to create his own magical artifacts.
Earth-295 What If…? X-Men: Age of Apocalypse
After Apocalypse expanded his reign all over the world without any incarnation of the X-Men to challenge him, the Defenders rose twenty-years later to overthrow Apocalypse.
Doctor Strange assisted the Defenders, but died during their ventures. The Eye of Agamotto was inherited by Brother Voodoo, who became the new Sorcerer Supreme.
Through his death, the Defenders learned the truth of their reality, which branched from mainstream reality when Legion traveled back in time and killed both Xavier and Magneto.
Stephen Strange of the Marvel 1602 reality served as Queen Elizabeth I’s magician and mystical adviser, taking the place of the historical figure John Dee. After long searching for the source of the unusual weather patterns threatening the world, Strange met a Watcher who revealed that the problems were due to a time rift, with the caveat that Strange could not reveal what he knew to anyone so long as he lived. Strange circumvented this restriction by communicating to his wife Clea after he was beheaded for treason by King James.
Dr. Strange of the Ultimate universe, is Dr. Stephen Strange Jr. He was raised by his mother, Clea, away from magic because it was the reason that his mother and father separated. Strange’s father disappeared when he was very young, fighting the forces of evil. Stephen Jr. was approached by Wong, who knew and worked with his father. He taught Stephen the art of magic, just as he had taught his father. Stephen Jr. then appeared in TV shows as celebrity psychologist. He has the reputation of being arrogant, untrained and a womaniser.
Although he doesn’t have a doctorate degree, he is usually called Dr. Strange. His magical abilities are untested and always save the day almost accidentally. He eventually joined Daredevil‘s Ultimate Knights to bring down the Kingpin. Strange was killed by Dormammu in the Ultimatum Wave, when he attempted to fight the elder demon with little in the way of preparation or ability.
Dr Strange on the 2099 reality is a woman who just calls herself Strange. Secretly, she shares her body with a demon and is no adept with the use of magic, and in one incident, she accidentally killed her brother.
After serving as Sorcerer Supreme for several decades, Dr. Strange is retired and the title of Sorcerer Supreme has been passed to the younger Doc Magus. However, that has not kept Dr. Strange from helping Doc Magus on several occasions or teaming up with his former allies in the Defenders such as Namor and the Hulk. He continues to be a type of mentor to Doc Magus, even though Magus doesn’t want his help.
Dr. Strange has taken the title of the Ancient One. Due to Dr. Strange of the 616 universe traveling through the Dark Dimension to help Major Victory of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Dormammu escaped to the 691 universe, amplifying his power in the process.
As the Ancient One, Strange faced Dormammu and underestimated his opponent. Strange met his fate and died at the hands of his great enemy in Guardians of the Galaxy vol.1 #36. Dormammu was defeated by the Sorcerer Supreme of that reality – Krugarr – who was assisted by his pupil Talon. Strange’s amulet was given to Talon and Krugarr took Strange’s physical body and laid it to rest.
Dr. Strange of the Mutant X reality was the Man-Thing. In lifting the curse from Ted Sallis, the powers and appearance of Man-Thing transferred to Strange. Strange is brought into the battle with the Goblin Queen alongside Yellowjacket, Doc Samson and Stingray. By all accounts, once the battle is over, the group stay together as the Defenders, and Strange is not seen again until the Goblin Queen, disguised as the Beyonder, attacks the Six and the X-Men.
With most of the heroes of the world decimated. Strange protected the members of the Six, and Havok, until he was able to amount a suitable counter attack, and ultimately, defeat her.
Doctor Strange of Earth X was killed by his wife, Clea, while he was in the astral form. She became the Sorceress Supreme and was having an affair with the Asgardian god of mischief, Loki. He helped Captain Marvel in his astral form in the realm of the dead as one of the heroes aware of Mar-Vell’s death.
The Earth-A version is not magically powered and once impersonated the Dr. Strange of the mainstream universe when he came in earth-616. He was finally caught as the impostor when he couldn’t come up with a word that rhyme with “Cyttorak”.
In the Marvel Zombiverse Doctor Strange is one of the last heroes that is not infected with the zombie plague. They were assembled by Nick Fury in the Helicarrier to carry out an offensive against the zombified heroes. He is seen as one of the zombies that attack Doctor Doom‘s castle. He was later killed by Magneto when he rained down Strange with cars.
Doctor Strange is a crocodile named Croctor Strange.
In this reality, Doctor Strange is combined with Professor X and Doctor Fate to bring out Dr. Strangefate. As one of the strongest beings in the Amalgam reality, and the creator of the altered world, he attempts to prevent Access from returning the two universes to their natural existence, however, even he was unable to prevent it from happening. It was later revealed that he had remained hidden in Strange’s subconscious. He attempted to combine the two realities again, but Strange prevented this by allowing the Amalgam universe to exist within it’s own pocket dimension.
In this reality, Doctor Strange is still the master of the mystic arts and is the rival of Baron Mordo. However, his studies take him into a much more scientific pursuit of magic. When the Hulk faces off against the agents of HYDRA and Namor, in the Mangaverse, Strange uses his abilities to not only banish Mordo from the realms, but to help his fellow heroes in summoning Thor, to defeat the Hulk. After the world settles from the Hulk Event, Strange assists the remaining living Avengers in defeating the Black Panther’s sister, Shuri, who was posing as Doctor Doom. Strange is assisted by Tigra.
House of M
In this reality, Strange is a psychologist who attempts to help the Sentry with his mental issues. He doesn’t appear to be particularly engaged, or competent as a psychologist.
Age of X
In this reformed version of reality, Doctor Strange purports to be a Mutant Hunter. He works with the US Government as an independent agent, apparently hunting and killing Mutants. However, he is secretly working for Magneto, and instead of killing the Mutants, he transports them to Fortress X, where they live in “relative” safety.
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Doctor Strange appeared in the episode “7 Little Superheroes.” In this episode, the Chameleon tricks Captain America, Shanna the She-Devil, Dr. Strange, Sub-Mariner, Spider-Man, Iceman, and Firestar in order to defeat them all one by one. He was voiced by John Stephenson.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series
The character starred in the episode “Doctor Strange,” which aired as the Season 3 premier. In the episode, he and Wong team up with Spider-Man after Mary Jane Watson is tricked into joining a cult led by Baron Mordo, resulting in a battle with Dormammu. He was voiced by John Veron.
The Incredible Hulk: The Animated Series
Doctor Strange appeared in the episode “Mind Over Anti-Matter,” voiced by Maurice LaMarche. He shows up to help She-Hulk after the Hulk becomes possessed by an otherworldly entity which transforms him into the Dark Hulk.
Doctor Strange appears in the episode “Strange,” voiced by Jack Coleman. He helps Spider-Man and Iron Fist after Nightmare places all of Manhattan (including Spidey’s teammates Nova, Power Man, and White Tiger) into a deep sleep. He returns in the episode “Cloak and Dagger,” as well as a cameo in the episode “Journey of the Iron Fist” as an astral projection. In the show, he is given a more youthful and trendy design than his comic counterpart, meant to evoke modern magicians and illusionists such as Criss Angel.
Doctor Strange appears in the episode “Widow’s Run”, with Jack Coleman reprising his role. Black Widow comes to Strange after stealing the Infinity Stones from Avengers Tower, reasoning that he is one of the few people on the planet who will not be corrupted by their power. He ends up aiding the Avengers in their battle against Dormammu and is present when Thanos forms the Infinity Gauntlet. He later makes a brief cameo as one of the many heroes that have been captured by the Squadron Supreme.
He makes a return in an episode taking place on Holloween. Iron Man and Hulk aid him in fighting Dormammu, who’s taken the Eye of Agamotto, and tries to take over the world. He and Iron Man mix technology and magic, taking back the Eye and sending Dormammu back to the Dark Dimension.
He comes back in the season finale when the Avengers and Mighty Avengers are defeated by plenty of Ultron robots. He tells of an idea, but it’s seemingly kept a secret. Later, when the combined Avengers are fighting against Ultron, and he takes over Iron Man’s body, Tony summons Doctor Strange and he transports Tony to a dimension with no technology, destroying Ultron but trapping Iron Man in the process.
He returns in the fourth season of the show, attacking Agamotto as the Avengers provided his return to Earth. He helps them fight him, eventually defeated him. When they arrive on Battleworld, he’s trapped in a Western Town, until Hawkeye, Loki, Vision, and the Wasp stop the threat to the town, giving him a way to return to Avengers Tower with them.
He joins the Avengers, taking part in their escape plan from the Beyonder and Battleworld. He and Loki both fix the Bifrost, but in the act, Strange is injured. He transfers control of the Eye of Agamotto to Loki in a last-ditch effort to return home.
The Avengers succeed in returning the Universe back to normal, but Loki tries to keep the Eye of Agamotto, battling the Avengers. Strange takes part in the conflict, fighting off armies from getting to Earth from Asgard. Once Thor and Jane Foster defeat him, the Eye of Agamotto is returned to Strange. He is shown with the Avengers, seemingly staying with the team.
Doctor Strange appears in the two-part episode “Amazing Friends,” with Liam O’Brien reprising his role. When Groot arrives on Earth with an urgent message from the Guardians of the Galaxy, Miles Morales seeks out Doctor Strange to translate the warning. However, during a fight with Baron Mordo and A.I.M., both Miles and Strange end up trapped in a mirror dimension. The two end up having to work together to return to Earth and help the other heroes stop Mordo.
In the two-part episode “Vengeance of Venom,” Strange is one of the heroes who becomes possessed by a Venom symbiote, dubbing himself the Symbiote Supreme.
Doctor Strange appears in multiple episodes of the show, with Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his role from the live-action movies.
- He is the subject of the episode “What If… Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” where the car accident that crippled him in the mainline continuity instead kills his passenger, Christine Palmer. Driven to obsession by his grief, Strange learns the mystic arts in hopes of reviving Christine, but each of his attempts to reverse her death ends in failure. Realizing that he must go beyond the Ancient One’s teachings, Strange studies forbidden techniques that lead to his corruption and endanger the very fabric of reality itself. This version of Strange returns in the two-part season finale, where he is recruited by the Watcher to help save the Multiverse from Ultron.
- He also appears in the episode “What If… Zombies!?” where he is one of the many heroes who falls victim to the zombie plague.
- Doctor Strange makes a cameo appearance in the third part of the “Dark Phoenix Saga” storyline in X-Men: The Animated Series.
Doctor Strange appeared in a few episodes of The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Roger Rose.
- The creators of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have stated that Doctor Strange would’ve appeared in the show’s third season had it been renewed.
Jack Coleman reprises his role as Strange in the Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. episode “Stranger in a Strange Land.
- Doctor Strange appears in a few episodes of the Japanese anime series Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Yasunori Masutani.
- Doctor Strange appears in several episodes of the Marvel Future Avengers anime, voiced again by Yasunori Masutani in the Japanese version and Liam O’Brien in the English dub.
In 1978, CBS aired a Doctor Strange TV movie, which was meant to act as a pilot for a proposed TV show in order to cash-in on the network’s success with The Incredible Hulk. The movie featured Strange (played by Peter Hooten) as a psychiatrist rather than a surgeon, and featured Morgan Le Fey (played by future Arrested Development and Archer star Jessica Walters) as the main villain. The film was a ratings failure, and plans for the resulting series were scrapped.
In 2007 the direct-to-video film made its debut to gain mixed reviews from different media. The story told the origins of Stange as an surgeon to later become the Supreme Sorcerer after defeating Dormammu. The film was made by Lionsgate and starred Bryce Johnson as the voice of Doctor Strange.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Doctor Strange (November 4th 2016)
Doctor Strange appeared in his first feature film released November 4th 2016, as part of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us From Evil). Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness star Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Strange, with a supporting cast consisting of Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Karl Mordo, Benedict Wong as Wong, Rachael McAdams as Christine Palmer, and Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecillius, the villain.
The film depicts Strange’s origin story, showing how he went from being a wealthy, arrogant surgeon to the Sorcerer Supreme.
Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
Benedict Cumberbatch reprises his role in a cameo. When Thor and Loki head to New York City to find the missing Odin, Loki is quickly captured by Strange, who beckons Thor to come to the Sanctum Santorum. While there, Strange explains that he keeps a list of potential threats to the Earth, and that Loki is on it. When Thor tells Strange that he and Loki will leave Earth as soon as they find Odin, Strange immediately offers his assistance, wanting to be rid of them as soon as possible. After releasing Loki, he teleports both brothers to Norway to reunite with their father.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Cumberbatch reprises his role in the third Avengers film. At the beginning of the movie, a dying Heimdall uses the last of his energy to teleport the Hulk to the Sanctum Santorum in order to warn Strange that Thanos is coming for the Time Stone. Realizing that time is short, Strange recruits Iron Man to help protect the Time Stone, but the heroes are soon attacked by the Black Order. Ebony Maw captures Strange so that he can torture him into giving up the Time Stone, while Iron Man and Spider-Man board the Maw’s ship in pursuit. After defeating Maw, the heroes head to Titan, reasoning that they can set a trap for Thanos and remove the Infinity Gauntlet before he can collect all of the Stones. A fierce battle ensues, and Strange is ultimately forced to surrender the Time Stone to Thanos in order to save Iron Man’s life. After Thanos activates the Infinity Gauntlet in Wakanda, Strange is one of the countless beings across the universe to perish. With his dying breath, Strange cryptically tells Iron Man that this was the only way, hinting that there may yet be some way to defeat Thanos.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
In the follow-up, Doctor Strange and the other deceased heroes are resurrected after the Hulk uses the Infinity Stones to bring back Thanos’ victims. Doctor Strange plays a major role in the final battle against Thanos’ army, teleporting many of the restored heroes to the ruins of Avengers Compound for the final confrontation. Strange’s cryptic words to Iron Man are also made clear when Tony realizes that the only way to destroy Thanos is to sacrifice his own life by using the Infinity Stones once more. At the end of the film, Strange is seen as one of the many mourners at Tony’s funeral.
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Benedict Cumberbatch again reprises his role. In the film, Peter Parker comes to Doctor Strange for help after his secret identity was exposed by Mysterio at the end of the previous movie. Strange agrees to cast a spell that will cause the world to forget Spider-Man’s true identity, but unforeseen consequences lead to a Multiversal crisis that threatens all of reality.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
Benedict Cumberbatch will again reprise his role, this time in a sequel to the 2016 Doctor Strange film. The film will be directed by Sam Raimi.
- Doctor Strange acts as Spider-Man‘s advisor in cutscenes in The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, on the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear.
- 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 of the game, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. He is voiced by Rick Pasqualone.
- Doctor Strange returns in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, now voiced by Liam O’Brien.
- Doctor Strange also appears in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Marvel Avengers Alliance, Avengers: Battle for Earth, Marvel Heroes, Lego Marvel Super Heroes and its sequel, Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Puzzle Quest and Marvel Future Fight.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, voiced again by Liam O’Brien.
- Doctor Strange is one of the main characters in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, voiced again by Liam O’Brien.
- ToyBiz later released a Doctor Strange figure for the Galactus Build-a-Figure wave. ToyBiz later released a repaint depicting Strange in his astral form.
- Hasbro released a New Avengers-era Doctor Strange figure for the Age of Ultron Hulkbuster Marvel Legends Build-a-Figure wave.
- Doctor Strange received a Marvel Legends wave from Hasbro as a tie-in to the live-action movie, with Dormammu as the Build-a-Figure. In addition to a standard movie version of Strange, it also featured an astral repaint of the character as well as a comic version of Strange based on his Illuminati costume.
- An updated version of the MCU Doctor Strange Marvel Legends figure was released as part of a Hasbro box set celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- The Spider-Man: No Way Home version of Doctor Strange was featured in Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line as part of the Armadillo Build-a-Figure wave.
- A classic Doctor Strange (including an alternate masked head based on his short-lived blue superhero costume) was released as a Walmart exclusive.
- A wave was produced for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
- ToyBiz released a Doctor Strange figure for the Spider-Man: The Animated Series line. His appearance was based on his design in the cartoon.
- Hasbro released a classic Doctor Strange figure for the Marvel Universe line.
- The movie version of Doctor Strange was featured in the S.H. Figuarts line from Bandai’s Tamashii Nations division.
- Doctor Strange was featured in Funko’s Pop! line of bobbleheads.
- Hot Toys produced a figure of the MCU version of Doctor Strange.
- Doctor Strange was featured in Diamond Select’s Marvel Select line.
- XM Studios released a Doctor Strange statue.
- Diamond Collectibles released a Doctor Strange statue based on his Marvel 1602 appearance.
- Kotobukiya released an Infinity Gauntlet statue that included Doctor Strange among many other characters.
- Sideshow Collectibles produced a Doctor Strange movie statue.
- Dark Horse released a Doctor Strange statue for their line of vintage-style products.
- A light-up MCU Doctor Strange statue was released as a Disney Store exclusive.
- Diamond Select produced a movie Doctor Strange figure.