Doctor Strange has been moved to the forefront of popular culture with a feature film on the way, headlined by the talented Benedict Cumberbatch. Here, our Grant Billings gets you ready by taking a deep dive into the Doctor Strange character and his history.
Dr. Strange: What You Need To Know
Ever since Marvel revealed that they were adding Doctor Strange to the MCU fans of these movies were given a character that added a lot more questions about the universe. While I was seeing Captain America: Civil War I heard someone say that Doctor Strange was a mutant. In a perfect world Marvel Studios would own the rights to more than just what we have seen in theatres so that all the character we love in the comics could exist in the same universe. X-Men and the Fantastic Four the prime examples. With the addition of Doctor Strange to the MCU, the universe gets just that much bigger. Which is incredible since Guardians of the Galaxy already took us to the deep reaches of space. Though space is a huge deal and a vast place to explore, Strange will bring us magic. And not pull a rabbit out of a hat kind of magic but astral projection and incantation sorcery. In the comics Doctor Strange is more than just an Avenger he is the Sorcerer Supreme and the wielder of the Eye of Agamotto. The team members look to him for guidance even when he does not trust himself, he is someone they can all go to for advice as he has gone through it all.
Doctor Strange: Origin
Before Doctor Strange became the Sorcerer Supreme, he was a famous Neurosurgeon with skills no one could match. His skills went to his head making him arrogant and one of the most sought after surgeons before thirty. His life took a turn for the worst after a horrible car accident left him in bad shape and his life saving hands with nerve damage.
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With no way to practice medicine, Doctor Strange became depressed and angry. After many dangerous surgeries, hoping each time they would fix his hands but failed, his anger deepened. Until he heard of a rumor, that one called the Ancient One could heal him. Using what was left of his wealth and selling most of his belongings Stephen ventured east in search of the rumor. When he found the Ancient One in a Tibetan temple he refused to heal him, but offered Strange a chance to learn the ways of mysticism but he refused. While Strange was there the Ancient One’s apprentice Baron Mordo attacked his master with magic Strange had not believed existed. With a change of heart Strange decided to accept the offer to learn under the Ancient One so he could then protect him. Inspired by his unselfish reasons to study under him the Ancient One removed mystic restraints Mordo had put on Strange and himself well aware of his apprentice’s treachery. He kept Mordo close so he could keep an eye on him and maybe change him.
After many many years of studying under the Ancient One, learning to tap into his bodies mystical powers and the powers around him Strange became everything his master had hoped. Gaining ageless life after a bout with Death itself, and an ankh shaped symbol on his forehead that would only appear when his life was in dire jeopardy Doctor Strange became the Sorcerer Supreme. After the years and years of training the darkness that had clouded his mind was gone and he was now whole again as his purpose was laid out in front of him. Protect the earth from all the horrible mystical realms and keep the mystical world in order.
Soon after his training was finished Strange returned to New York and opened his Sanctum Santorum along with his faithful servant and friend, Wong. Of course Doctor Strange was soon pushed into the superhero life as he ran into Avengers and other heroes quite often. He was even granted acceptance in to the Avengers immediately gaining his status as confidant and powerhouse.
Born in Transylvania, Romania Mordo was fascinated with magic so he sought out the Ancient One where he trained. Though worried about his lust for power the Ancient One taught him at least to keep an eye on him. As a fellow pupil to the Ancient One, Baron Mordo has been a thorn in Doctor Strange’s side since he first began to train under their master. As Strange became the Sorcerer Supreme Mordo turned jealousy into hate and then turned into one of the worse villains Strange had to face on a regular basis. Baron has done everything from trying to help Dormamu escape out of his realm into ours to impersonate Doctor Strange himself trying to destroy the Sorcerer Supreme and take the Eye of Agamotto from him. Apart from his hatred towards his fellow mystic, Mordo joined The Offenders the villainous version of Dr. Strange’s team the Defenders (yes he is on the team, Netflix and Marvel changed the lineup).
Considered to be more powerful than Lucifer and Mephisto the nemesis to Doctor Strange, Dormammu is just a twisted dark sorcerer hell bent on destroying our dimension using his own sorcery and army of his Mindless Ones. If only he could escape his own. Not only does he want to destroy our world and kill the Sorcerer Supreme but his end game is stealing the power of the Eye of Agamotto and using it to give him all the power he needs to do what ever he wants. Born before time even began Dormammu has fought so many heroes it’s hard to count. Spider-Man has fought his servant Baron Mordo, Captain America and Bucky stopped him from getting the Eye of Agamotto during WWII and even the Fantastic Four.
The Illuminate were a covert think-tank that only the members knew about. The original members included Black Bolt, Professor X, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Mr. Fantastic and Namor all of them representing a portion of the superhuman community. Other future members including Black Panther, Captain America (though he hated it) and Beast among others. These gifted minds shared strategy and information initially successful despite all of their major differences. Soon the think-tank took a turn for the worst. From the very beginning secrets were their downfall. Just a week or so after the Kree-Skrull War Iron Man realized that they all knew or had a hunch that this was going to happen and they could’ve all stopped it. The team was involved with Sentry, The Beyonder, Infinity Gauntlet (they each actually one a single infinity stone at one point), they caused World War Hulk, and were divided during the first Civil War with Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic leading the way for the Superhero Registration Act (Sokovia Accords in the MCU). Doctor Strange stayed out of the conflict, Professor X wasn’t on Earth at the time and Black Bolt had his own Inhuman problems. Black Panther was the only one to see this disagreement coming.
Doctor Strange And The MCU:
Like I said at the beginning of the article with Marvel Studios adding Doctor Strange to the MCU the universe will get that much bigger added mystic arts and other dimensions into the the already large universe they’ve created. Seeing as most of the plot and even the villain is still a mystery there is not much to say only speculation. There are though articles everywhere about how the green tint of Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamotto could be alluding to the fact that it could be another infinity stone, the time stone. Whether that will come to fruition it would be rather cool to see that come together as we haven’t seen a stone since Guardians of The Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thanos is set to wear the fully put together Infinity Gauntlet in Infinity Wars (2018) so it’d be a smart move to bring in another stone along with expanding the universe (I’m being redundant so you don’t forget) like they did in Guardians of the Galaxy.
All we can hope that Marvel Studios brings another blockbuster and shows that they haven’t lost their touch. I know I just want this beloved character to be given the light of day.
Grant Billings is a contributor for Geek Stream follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FictionFeed_HQ