Doctor Strange: Who is the Sorcerer Supreme?

Doctor Strange’s doctorate is in being a badass

Spider-Man: “What about your fears?”
Doctor Strange: “I am Sorcerer Supreme! Every soul on this planet, in this dimension, is under my protection. I cannot allow myself the luxury of fear!”

Ultimate Spider-Man “Strange” (Season 1, Episode 13)

The Avengers are battling a demonic invasion. No matter how hard they fight, the Avengers are losing ground. One of the demons leaps at Captain America, only to be struck by a bolt of light. A new combatant has entered the battle. The demons scream, recognizing their ancient foe. As eldritch energy swirls around him, Doctor Strange descends to dispatch the demons.

When demons, monsters, and dimensional conquerors are attacking, who ya gonna call? Not the Ghostbusters; they’d be slaughtered in an instant. Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, humanity’s only line of defense against mystical threats.

But who is he? Where did he learn magic? And how did he become Sorcerer Supreme? Let’s find out. Backstorious Startus!

Surgeon Supreme: Doctor Strange’s Backstory

Dr. Strange: “I’ve sworn many oaths in my day, to every being from Hoggoth to Watoomb… but the first oath I swore was The Hippocratic. “I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and judgment and will do so at any cost.”

– Doctor Strange: The Oath

Doctor Strange debuted in 1963 in Marvel’s anthology series “Strange Tales”. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He was inspired by stories of black magic and the radio serial “Chandu the Magician“.

Dr. Stephen Strange was a brilliant but arrogant surgeon. He was badly wounded in a car crash and his hands were all but ruined. Unable to perform surgery, Stephen searched desperately for a way to heal his hands. He eventually got a lead on a so-called miracle worker in Tibet. This miracle worker was The Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme (played by Tilda Swinton in the 2016 movie, Doctor Strange).

The Ancient One refused to help Stephen, deeming him too selfish. Stephen soon discovered that the Ancient One’s student, Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), was plotting to assassinate his master. Stephen tried to stop Mordo, but was easily defeated. The Ancient One then appeared, exiled Mordo, and revealed to Strange that he knew about Mordo’s betrayal before. The Ancient One healed Stephen’s hands and offered to teach him magic. Doctor Strange accepted and began his tutelage in sorcery.

Triumph and Torment: Doctor Strange’s history

Doctor Strange: “You caught me unawares, Nightmare, but I am no child. I am Master of the Mystic Arts!”

Ultimate Spider-Man “Strange” (Season 1, Episode 13)

His training complete, Doctor Strange returned to New York to protect the world from mystical threats. He was accompanied by the Ancient One’s servant, Wong (played by Benedict Wong, really). While the two of them occasionally fought supervillains, they usually battled mystical threats. These included Baron Mordo, Nightmare the Lord of Dreams, D’Spayre the embodiment of despair, and his archfoe, Dread Dormammu.

During a battle with Dormammu, Doctor Strange was trapped in the Dark Dimension, Dormammu’s world. Strange found himself without allies except for a mysterious sorceress named Clea. Strange and Clea led an insurrection against Dormammu, who was revealed to be Clea’s uncle. They defeated Dormammu and were soon married. Dormammu eventually regained control of the Dark Dimension, forcing Clea to once more lead a rebellion. Doctor Strange was unable to assist her this time as he was needed back on Earth.

Black Magic: Doctor Strange’s Powers and Personality

Dr. Strange: [unleashing a spell] “By the Hoary $%!-ing hosts!”

– Doctor Strange: The Oath

Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, not some conjurer of cheap tricks. He is capable of using illusions, astral projection, various protective spells, dark magic, chaos magic… It would be quicker to list things he can’t do. He possesses various magical artifacts, most notably the Eye of Agamotto and the Book of the Vishanti.

The Eye of Agamotto allows Dr. Strange to see through disguises and weakens evil. The Book of the Vishanti is a grimoire that contains most white magic. It is the counterpart to the malevolent Darkhold, a book filled with dark magic. Together they make the Oreo Spellbook.

Doctor Strange has also allied himself with numerous higher beings. He has an understanding with Death that prohibits him from dying of natural causes although he can die in other ways. He frequently calls upon beings like Cyttorak and the Vishanti (a group of three beings; Agamotto, Oshtur, and Hoggoth) to grant him more power for his spells.

Stephen Strange was an arrogant man before his accident and learned humility while training with the Ancient One. He often serves as a mediator and mentor when dealing with other superheroes.

The Actors Who Played Doctor Strange

John Stephenson – Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
John Vernon – Spider-Man: the Animated Series
Maurice LaMarche – The Incredible Hulk
Roger Rose – The Super Hero Squad Show
Liam O’Brien – Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, Marvel Future Avengers
Bryce Johnson – Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme
Benedict Cumberbatch – Doctor Strange, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers Endgame, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Didya Get All That?
A magician you definitely won’t see at a birthday party.

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