May 23, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Dr. Strange

Hey there faithful! Glad you could join us for another great Character Spotlight in Marvel Snapshot this week. In this edition, we’ll be entering the Sanctum Sanctorum of Dr. Strange. He’s one of my personal favorites for many reasons and I can’t wait to talk about him in detail. So without any further procrastination, let us enter into a world of mysticism and magic!

Depending on what you read or watch, you’ll  get a different origin story for Stephen Strange. One thing for sure is that an accident caused him to lose the delicate ability to use his hands for surgery. This sent Stephen into a spiral that he almost didn’t recover from. Thankfully he found his way to the Himalayas where he met his mentor and friend, The Ancient One. This man was the Sorcerer Supreme that taught Strange about all things mystical. Again, depending on which origin you read, you’ll get a different answer about the Ancient One’s death. One thing is for certain though; He bequeathed his title unto his prize pupil, Stephen Strange. This really ticked off The Ancient One’s other main apprentice, Baron Mordo. This is the event that sparked the lifelong conflict between the two sorcerers. Mordo also pledged his allegiance to the Dread Dormammu in hopes of defeating Strange, but that has yet to happen.

Throughout the years Strange has had many adventures with other superheroes, and solo journeys as well. I personally like the solo stories, or at least those with only one guest appearance. Strange spent a lot of time with The Defenders, and also helping various heroes such as Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and The Avengers. Strange resides in NYC, in his Sanctum Sanctorum (fancy way of saying “sacred place”), with his servant Wong. The two seem to be very good friends and are always there to help each other out in times of need. Wong is also Strange’s martial arts instructor.

After pretty much fighting everyone in the Marvel Universe in the 80’s and 90’s, we saw Dr. Strange have to take on his friends. In House of M, The Scarlet Witch, who had suffered a mental breakdown, was using her reality-warping powers to create a world where her family ruled and everything was as she wanted it. Eventually, Dr. Strange with the help of Emma Frost and Layla Miller coerced her to change everything back. After doing this though, she muttered the phrase…”No more mutants”, and depowered ninety percent of the mutant population. Strange could do nothing to reverse this, even with all his powers and mystical objects. It was also shown during this decade that after the Kree-Skrull War, several of Earth’s heroes banded together to form The Illuminati. This group’s purpose was to stop any galactic threats before they reached Earth. The group consisted of Dr. Strange, Mister Fantastic, Iron Man, Professor Xavier, Black Bolt,  and Namor. Their first mission was to go to the Skrull home-world and warn them to never attack Earth again…or else. The Skrulls didn’t take kindly to this and attacked the Illuminati, and successfully captured them. The Skrulls spent days using their advanced science to understand how mutants and super-powered beings of Earth were physiologically composed. This is what led to the storyline called Secret Invasion.

Soon after dealing with the Skrulls, Strange did something he vowed he would never do: He used Dark magic to stop The Hood and his gang as they were trying to kill the New Avengers inside his home. This is something he did a couple of other times, sure, but this time was the last straw! He felt he betrayed himself by using these black arts, so he decided to find a successor. He talked with Wiccan, and was attacked by The Hood at the behest of Dormammu. He then traveled to New Orleans to seek out Damon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan. Upon arriving though, the New Avengers were thrust into a confrontation with Dormammu and The Hood. During this battle the Eye of Agamatto sought out the New Sorcerer Supreme. It found Brother Voodoo. As of right now, he holds the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme in the 616 Universe. Strange is mentoring him on how to wield such power and doesn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. Even more recently, in the limited series titled “Strange”, we saw him meet a young girl named Casey, and it becomes apparent she has some latent mystical powers of her own. It was a very different angle at times for a Dr. Strange book, but it was very entertaining overall.

Watch out Brother Voodoo!

In current continuity, we haven’t seen much of Dr. Strange but I know in June we will see him in the re-booted New Avengers line up. Well, at least I think we will because he’s on the cover of issue #1. Hopefully this new book will get him back to the mainstream and be the fascinating, powerful, and way cool character he is. Check out the cool pics below. Especially The Hulk cowering like the big green sissy that he is before the power of Dr. Strange!

Suggested Reading
Essential Dr. Strange vol.’s 1-3 -Tpb
Marvel Premiere #3-14
Dr. Strange: The Oath -Tpb
Strange: Beginnings and Endings -Tpb
Spider-Man & Dr. Strange: Way to Dusty Death -MGN
Strange vol. 2 L.S. #1-4
New Avengers Illuminati #1-5

Billy Dunleavy



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gid Freeman, Gid Freeman, The Action Room, The Action Room, Comic Attack and others. Comic Attack said: Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Dr. Strange! #comics #strange #marvel […]

  2. I don’t think Hulk was “cowering” he was probably shielding his eyes just in case Strange’s skirt flew up lol

  3. It’s always so weird when a character has held onto a title for decades, and then it suddenly goes to someone else. Strange not being Sorcerer Supreme anymore just doesn’t feel right.

    And oh my gosh, is that a TWELVE CENT COMIC? I kind of want to cry.

  4. Billy

    @Speech- C’mon now, he wears leggings. lol
    @Kris- Agreed. I think Marvel is kind of in a pickle now with the Brother Voodoo title getting axed (which was great by the way). How can you say the title of Sorcerer Supreme means so much, yet a B-list character that can’t maintain his own title is the SS? It seems to me that eventually Strange will carrry that title (probably sooner than later).

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