Doctor Strange(Stephen Strange)is a fictional character appearing in comic books published byMarvel Comics. The character was created by Steve Ditko and first appeared inStrange Tales #110(July 1963).
Doctor Strange was a brilliant but egotistical surgeon. After a car accident destroys his hands and hinders his ability to perform surgery, he searches the globe for a way to repair them and encounters theAncient One. After becoming one of the old Sorcerer Supreme's students, he becomes a practitioner of both the mystical arts as well as martial arts. Along with knowing many powerful spells, he has a costume with two mystical objects - theCloak of LevitationandEye of Agamottothat gives him added powers. Strange is aided along the way by his friend and valet,Wong, and a large assortment of mystical objects. He takes up residence in a mansion called theSanctum Sanctorum, located in New York City. Later, Strange takes the title ofSorcerer Supreme.(1)
Doctor Strangedebuted inStrange 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 (Dec. 1963). Scripter Lee's take on the character was inspired by theChandu the Magicianradio program that aired on theMutual Broadcasting Systemin the 1930s. He had Doctor Strange accompany spells with elaborate incantations; though these often referenced established mythological figures, 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.
"People who readDoctor Strangethought people at Marvel must be heads [i.e., drug users]," recalled then-associate editor and former Doctor Strange writerRoy Thomasin 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 counter-cultural trends in art prior to them becoming more established in the later 1960s, according to comic historianBradford W. Wright: "Dr. Strange remarkably predicted the youth counterculture's fascination with Eastern mysticism and psychedelia."
As co-plotter and later sole plotter in theMarvel Method, Ditko took Strange into ever-more-abstract realms. In a 17-issue story arc inStrange Tales#130-146 (March 1965-July 1966), Ditko introduced the cosmic characterEternity, who personified the universe and was depicted as a silhouette filled with the cosmos. As historianBradfordW. Wrightdescribed,
"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 resembledSalvador Dalípaintings. Inspired by the pulp-fiction magicians of Stan Lee's childhood as well as by contemporary Beat culture,Dr. Strangeremarkably predicted the youth counterculture's fascination with Eastern mysticism and psychedelia. Never among Marvel's more popular or accessible characters,Dr. Strangestill found a niche among an audience seeking a challenging alternative to more conventional superhero fare."
Born in 1930, Stephen Strange was the eldest child ofEugeneandBeverly Strange, then vacationing in Philadelphia. Two years later, Stephen's sisterDonnawas born at the family's Nebraska farm. At age eight, Strange was beset by demons controlled by apprentice sorcererKarl Mordo, but was rescued by Mordo's mentor, theAncient One, a millennia-old sorcerer who protected the Earth dimension as its Sorcerer Supreme, a role Strange was destined to inherit. At age eleven, a year or two after his brotherVictor's birth, Strange aided an injured Donna, the experience inspiring him to pursue a medical career.
After high school, Strange entered pre-med at a New York college. Later, home on vacation for his nineteenth birthday, Strange went swimming with Donna, who suffered a cramp and drowned. Finding her body after a desperate search, Strange felt a sense of personal failure that eroded his medical idealism. After earning his medical degree in record time, he entered a five-year residency at New York Hospital, where his rapid success made him arrogant. When his motherBeverlydied near the end of his residency, a bereaved Strange grew distant from his work. His talent was unaffected, though, and he became a wealthy, celebrated neurosurgeon before he turned thirty. His egotism made him cold and callous, interested only in high fees. He saved the life of injured United Nations translator,Madeleine Revell; following a romance and proposal, she left him due to his increasingly materialist nature. Two years after Beverly's death, her husbandEugenefell ill; unable to face another family death, Stephen refused to visit his deathbed. A few days later, an outragedVictorberated Stephen for his apparent lack of grief, then rushed from Strange's apartment into the path of an oncoming car. Blaming himself, Strange placed Victor's body in cold storage, half-hoping that future breakthroughs could revive him.
Circa 1963, Strange was in a car accident that severely damaged the nerves in his hands, ending his surgical career. Too vain to accept positions as a consultant or assistant, Strange sought a cure and pursued every available treatment, legitimate or not, soon depleting his fortune; in months he was reduced to a derelict, performing shady medical procedures that barely paid his bar tabs. After hearing rumors of the mystical Ancient One, a desperate Strange pawned his last possessions for a ticket to the East and found the Ancient One's Tibetan palace. At first annoyed when the Ancient One refused to cure him, Strange was later astonished to see the sorcerer attacked by mystic forces. Upon learning that the Ancient One was Earth's magical defender and that the attack on him came from his pupilMordo, Strange tried to warn him, but Mordo mystically prevented Strange from doing so. For the sake of the Ancient One and the world, Strange acted unselfishly for the first time in years, vowing to learn magic himself so he could counter Mordo and his ilk. He offered himself as a disciple to the Ancient One, who accepted, having known of Mordo's treachery all along. The Ancient One spent years instructing Strange in the art of sorcery, teaching him how to tap the innate mystic powers of both himself and the world around him, as well as how to invoke the power of awesome entities, or Principalities, who resided in their own realms, most notably the three benign beings known as theVishanti. A few years after Strange's arrival, Mordo left to seek greater power, and would often clash with Strange in the future. Strange's guilt over his earlier mistakes weighed heavily upon him over the years, and not all of his early recollections can be trusted.
During his years of study and early activity, Strange befriended many sorcerers around the world, includingLord Julian PhyffeandSir Clive Bentleyof Great Britain;Cardinal Alfeo SpinosaandCount Carezziof Italy;Omar Karindu,Rama Kaliph, andTurhan Barimof the Middle East; Wai Chee Yee andSen-Yuof Asia; andAleister Kane,Kenneth Ward, andFrank Bruknerof America. Other immortal adventurers, such asImmortalisandTerror, Inc., regarded his ascent with skepticism. Strange also found allies among more earthly heroes, aiding the adventurerBlack Foxin at least two adventures. No later than the 1970s, Strange returned to America, becoming a mystic consultant in New York's Greenwich Village. He was joined byWong, the descendant of a line that had served the Ancient One for centuries, who became his servant and friend. Strange's earliest foes included the demonicBottle Imp; a nightmarish manifestation of the entityKhLΘg; and thedemon Nightmare, who preyed upon humanity's dreams and became one of Strange's bitterest enemies. Developing a mysterious reputation like the Ancient One before him, Strange became an occasional consultant to local and even federal authorities.
While theFantastic Four's debut heralded an upsurge of superhuman activity in recent years, Strange remained aloof from New York's many super heroes at first. The powerful Asgardian godLokilater tricked Strange into covertly attacking Loki's heroic foster brother,Thor; however, Strange soon pierced the deception and united with Thor to drive off Loki. Soon afterward, a clash with Mordo led Strange to encounter the youngSpider-Man, who helped Strange rescue several people from a mystic dimension and convinced him to remove their memory of the traumatic experience, even though this caused them to forget Spider-Man's heroism as well. Impressed by Spider-Man's bravery and altruism, Strange came to regard him as a friend, and the two unlikely allies have teamed up many times over the years.
Powers and Abilities
Doctor Strange is a master of magic, he draws his powers from mystical entities such asAgamotto, Cyttorak, Ikonn, Oshtur, Raggadorr, andWatoomb.He also uses artifacts such as the Cloak Of Levitation which gives him the power of flight and the Eye Of Agamotto whose light is used to negate evil magic.
In addition to his magical abilities, he is trained in several martial arts disciplines, 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" byEternity, the sentience of theMarvel Universe.
Doctor Strange has a number of allies including The Ancient One, Wong,Lord Julian Phyffe, Sir Clive Bentley, Cardinal Alfeo Spinosa,Count Carezzi,Omar Karindu,Rama Kaliph,Turhan Barim,Wai Chee Yee, Sen-Yu,Aleister Kane,Kenneth Ward,Frank Brukne, Spider-manand TheAvengers.
Over the years Doctor Strange has made a number of enemies including Mordo, Bottle Imp, Demon Nightmare, Dorrammu, Mephisto, Shuma-Gorath, Blackheart and many more.
Doctor Strange is an upcoming movie by Marvel Studios. The movie is directed by Scott Derrickson. The movie features Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange. The movie also stars Mads Mikkelson, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Scott Adkins.