Who Is Doctor Stephen Strange? The Master Of The Mystic Arts
Doctor Stephen Strange is one of the characters that, in these last decades, has gained strength in the fanbase of the Marvel Comics world. In fact, he is best known in American comics for being the Sorcerer Supreme.
This character has become par excellence, the protector of the Earth against any spell or magic. This superhero comes from the hand of famed writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko.
Who is Doctor Stephen Strange?
Image: Marvel Comics
Doctor Stephen Strange first appeared in 1963 in Strange Tales #110. Black magic and Chandu the Magician inspired the story. His creation came about when comics were in their silver age. With this, Marvel was looking for a different kind of character that would catch fans’ attention.
This character was born in the 1930s in Pensivalnia, Philadelphia, United States. He is the firstborn son of Hollin and Beverly Strange. He has two siblings, Dona and Victor Strange. Since he was a child, Stephen was brilliant, starting his medical career when he was young.
But his family, from the beginning, was marked by misfortune. When he was only 19, his sister Donna drowned while swimming, making him feel guilty.
The death of his sister made him finish his career out of obligation, but not because of the idealism that had marked his beginnings. Because of his intellect and performance, Stephen Strange began to reap great success as a neurosurgeon. Thus, he forged an arrogant and greedy character, where the material prevailed more than the spiritual.
Doctor Strange’s Mother Death
Sometime later, his mother died, and Stephen fell into depression again. This misfortune caused him to assume a cold attitude, turning his personality towards narcissism. His behavior towards the sick became completely artificial and distant.
Despite this, he fell in love with a patient, Madeleine. She was a translator for the United Nations. Unfortunately, the infatuation was short-lived, as Madeleine left him, unable to cope with his growing materialism.
As if this were not enough, just two years after his mother’s physical departure, Stephen’s father became ill and died. Stephen could not visit him on his deathbed; another death in the family was intolerable. For this reason, the tension between him and his brother became unbearable.
Victor fought with Stephen for not attending his father’s funeral and staying with a woman. His brother left the scene in great anger and was hit by a car, dying instantly. With another family member dead, Stephen again felt responsible and would not accept losing his brother either.
Because of this, Stephen decided to cryopreserve Victor’s body, seeking a future cure. After some time, Stephen suffered an accident that caused a nerve disease in his hands. That forced him to retire from medicine, unable to even touch a scalpel.
But, one day, he heard talk about a Tibetan with powers in a harbour. He went to see him, and with him, he learned the mystic arts by becoming a sorcerer. Here began a new stage for Doctor Stephen Strange.
Strange Becomes the Ancient One’s Disciple
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Doctor Stephen Strange quickly became the Ancient One’s disciple. The latter held the title of Sorcerer Supreme. That means he was in charge of repelling all supernatural evil that caused harm to this dimension.
For this reason, Dr Strange had several confrontations with various enemies and traitors. Among them is Baron Mordo, who wanted the title of Sorcerer Supreme and managed to defeat mystical extra-dimensional entities.
The Ancient One initially did not see Strange worthy of being his disciple because he was arrogant and haughty. However, Strange saved the Elder from his former disciple Baron Mordo, and he began his Mystic Arts training there.
Upon completion, Strange returned to New York, settling in Sanctum Sanctorum. This Sanctum Sanctorum is an old house located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. He lived next to his assistant Wong, who later became a great friend and ally.
Stephen Loses the “Sorcerer Supreme” Title
After helping countless superheroes from various spells caused by enemies, Strange loses the title of “Sorcerer Supreme” for refusing to fight a war on behalf of the Vishanti.
Recall that the Vishanti are the mystical entities that allow Strange to cast his spells. Therefore, he became part of the “Sons of Midnight”, a group of supernatural characters.
Their mission was to find new sources of the magical force of chaos. At the same time, he formed the Secret Defenders, started by Hulk, Wolverine, Spider-Woman and Ghost Rider.
Later, he would rejoin the original Defenders, regaining his title there, when the war he refused to fight ended. That caused the last team to fall apart because they no longer made sense.
From there, he began to help other superheroes, being part of several stories as a secondary character. That allowed Doctor Strange to keep appearing and fighting against the different spells and magics of the universe. Thus the Illuminati, the secret council to deal with future threats to Earth, was formed.
That included the well-known introduction made to the federal Superhuman Registration Act, which, as we know, divided the superheroes. Strange’s stance was firm, and he opposed the ex officio registration to that law.
Secret Wars 2015
Trying to prevent the annihilation plan that the Almighty had orchestrated, Doctor Doom, Doctor Strange, and Molecule Man clashed. That led to Doctor Doom creating a new universe called the Battle World from the fragments of other worlds. Stephen Strange then assumed the role of Sheriff of Agamoto, being second in command in Doom’s reign.
Dr Strange, Volume 4 (2016)
To launch its own collection, Marvel brought back Dr Strange in The Avengers. The company selected screenwriter Jason Aaron and illustrator Chris Bachallo to do so.
This pair was in charge of devising the new adventures of Doctor Strange. For this reason, in almost two years, they signed about 20 issues of the character. Strange had to face the disappearance of his magical powers in them due to the witch hunt led by Empirikul.
The Empirikul was an alien and ultra-nationalist inquisitorial tribunal. Its purpose was to stamp out magic by all means and all over the world. That was a great story that still resonates today.
Doctor Strange’s Powers and Abilities
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Doctor Stephen Strange is not known precisely for having superpowers in the world of comics. On the contrary, the powers he holds are purely mystical, among which stand out:
- Generation of illusions or
- Energy projection.
With this last power, he shows much potential, comparable to some cosmic entities. His primary sources of mystical energy are environmental and derived from the body, mind or soul. Strange also obtains additional powers from magical entities with whom he has made a deal.
He can also invoke some of his powers, such as the flames of the Faltine, the shield of the Seraphim, and the crimson bands of Cyttorak. Among other things, he can, without any inconvenience, practice astral travels, making himself invisible and intangible to any damage coming from mystical rituals.
But not everything is rosy. Stephen Strange’s body can be vulnerable when he is in this trance. If this astral travel lasts more than 24 hours, his body begins an inescapable decomposition. And if his body dies, Stephen will remain in astral form forever.
Doctor Stephen Strange Mystical Tools and Weapons
- For magic to become effective, he uses the Eye of Agamotto. That eye grants him the virtue, among other things, to see past images, become an inter-dimensional portal, and detect hidden things.
- There is also the Orb of Agamotto, which is a tool that helps him detect sources of mystical power.
- The Cloak of Levitation helps him levitate but not fly. When he wears it, he has an unknown maximum speed. He can control the cloak from a distance. With the cloak, Stephen can camouflage himself and use it as a shield against a magical attack.
- Strange also possesses the Book of the Vishanti, which allows him to counteract black magic. This book is considered the greatest grimoire of white magic and can nullify almost any spell.
Doctor Stephen Strange is an expert in martial arts and has extensive knowledge in the science of medicine and surgery. But, due to his accident, he has limitations when operating or casting spells.
Doctor Strange’s Enemies
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In the world of Marvel Comics, Strange has reaped countless enemies. That’s why we show you just a selection of them:
- Baron Mordo, is an evil wizard and former student of the Ancient One.
- Aggamon, the ruler of the Purple Dimension.
- Dagoth, is a sea demon who is the spawn of Dagon.
- D’Spayre, is a fear-devouring demon.
- Dweller in the Dark, is a demon that generates fear and is a member of Fear Lords.
- Dormammu, is a demon of the Dark Dimension.
- Nightmare, the ruler of the Dream Dimension.
- Enchantress, is an Asgardian sorceress.
- Kaluu, is a wizard who is about 500 years old.
- Umar, is a resident of the Dark Dimension.
Other versions of Doctor Strange
Image: Marvel Comics
In different versions, Doctor Stephen Strange has been present in:
This version of Doctor Stephen Strange is the son of the former Sorcerer Supreme. Wong disapproves of him for showing himself to be more irresponsible than his father. He faced several superheroes but was defeated.
This version has a similar origin to that of Earth 616. He was investigating the mutation of his world and was killed in his astral form by Clea. When defeated, Strange came back to life.
In his zombie version, Stephen tried to stop the virus but to no avail. His failure was because the virus’s origin was extraterrestrial and not mystical. Doctor Stephen Strange and Thor were infected in the final battle against the Fantastic Four.
Versions of Doctor Stephen Strange in Other Media
Image: Marvel Studios
In the versions of Doctor Stephen Strange in other media, we have:
On television, Strange appears in:
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, voiced by John Stephenson.
- X-Men animated series in the ’90s.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by John Vernon.
- The Incredible Hulk, in the episode “Mind Over Anti – Matter”, voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
- The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Roger Rose.
- Ultimate Spider-Man, in several episodes.
- Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
- Avengers Assemble, in several episodes.
- Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Yasunori Masutani.
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes – Black Panther: Trouble in Wakanda, voiced by Liam O’Brien.
- In the animated series Spider-Man, in the episode “Amazing Friends”.
Image: Marvel Studios
In the cinema, Doctor Stephen Strange appears in the films:
- 1978, Dr Strange, played by Peter Hooten.
- 1992, Doctor Strange.
- 2007, Doctor Strange The Sorcerer Supreme.
- 2010, Planet Hulk.
- 2016, Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell.
- 2016, Doctor Strange.
- 2017, Thor: Ragnarok.
- 2018, Avengers: Infinity War.
- 2019, Avengers: Endgame.
- 2021, Spider-Man: No Way Home.
- 2022, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Doctor Stephen Strange is a playable character in:
- The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Kingpin.
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.
- Marvel Super Hero Squad Online.
- Facebook Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth.
- Marvel Heroes.
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
- Marvel Contest of Champions.
- Lego Marvel’s Avengers.
- Marvel Future Fight.
- Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
- Marvel Power United VR.
Stephen Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts
Image: Marvel Comics
Doctor Stephen Strange is archly known to fans as the Master of the Mystic Arts. Strange was a famed, brilliant, eccentric and arrogant surgeon who, after suffering an accident, discovers magic as a new north.
Benedict Cumberbatch was the British actor who made these last films in the UCM. His movies have had a lot of impact over the years, so we are waiting for what the future holds for this magical character.
Featured Image Via Marvel Comics
I am a circus aerialist influenced by Dick Grayson and Spider-Man. Fortunate to write about the characters that inspired me. I also have a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in International Trade.