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Doctor Stephen Strange is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee, the character first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (cover-dated July 1963). Doctor Strange serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats. Inspired by stories of black magic and Chandu the Magician, Strange was created during the Silver Age of Comic Books to bring a different kind of character and themes of mysticism to Marvel Comics.
The character's origin story indicates that he was once an egotistical surgeon. After a car crash severely damages his hands and hinders his ability to perform surgery, he searches the globe for a way to repair them and encounters the Ancient One, the then-holder of the title Sorcerer Supreme. After becoming one of the old Sorcerer Supreme's students, Strange becomes a practitioner of both the mystical arts and the martial arts. He has a suit consisting of two main relics, the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto, which give 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 the Sanctum Sanctorum, located in New York City. Later, Strange takes the title of Sorcerer Supreme to help to defend the world against future threats.
Artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee have described the character as having been originally the idea of Ditko, who wrote in 2008, "On my own, I brought in to Lee a five-page, penciled story with a page/panel script of my idea of a new, different kind of character for variety in Marvel Comics. My character wound up being named Dr. Strange because he would appear in Strange Tales." In a 1963 letter to Jerry Bails, Lee called the character Ditko's idea, saying:
Well, we have a new character in the works for Strange Tales (just a 5-page filler named Dr. Strange) Steve Ditko is gonna draw him. It has sort of a black magic theme. The first story is nothing great, but perhaps we can make something of him-- 'twas Steve's idea and I figured we'd give it a chance, although again, we had to rush the first one too much. Little sidelight: Originally decided to call him Mr. Strange, but thought the "Mr." bit too similar to Mr. Fantastic -- now, however, I remember we had a villain called Dr. Strange just recently in one of our mags, hope it won't be too confusing!
Fictional character biography
Stephen Strange, M.D., Ph.D., is an egotistical doctor who only cares about wealth from his career. The bones in his hands are shattered in a car crash, leading to extensive nerve damage. His hands tremble uncontrollably rendering him unable to perform surgery. Too vain to accept a teaching job, Strange desperately searches for a way to restore the motor function in his hands.
After exhausting his funds, Strange becomes a drifter. Depressed and still searching, Strange happens to overhear two sailors discussing a hermit called the Ancient One (who is actually the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme) in the Himalayas, who can cure any ailment. Strange, nearly broke, seeks out the aged mystic. The Ancient One refuses to help Strange due to his arrogance, but senses a good side that he attempts to bring to the surface. He fails, but Strange's heroism appears when he discovers the Ancient One's disciple, Baron Mordo, attempting to kill the old man. After a confrontation with Mordo leads to him being shackled with restraining spells preventing him from either attacking Mordo or warning the Ancient One, Strange desperately and selflessly accepts the Ancient One's offer to become his apprentice to have some hope of helping the old man. The Ancient One, pleased at Strange's sincere change of heart, accepts the westerner and promptly frees him from the restraining spells while explaining he was aware of Mordo's treachery all along. Strange soon becomes Mordo's most enduring enemy, as the Ancient One teaches the doctor the mystic arts. After completing his training, Strange returns to New York City and takes up residence within the Sanctum Sanctorum, a townhouse located in Greenwich Village, and is soon assisted by his personal assistant Wong.
As the Ancient One's disciple, Strange encounters the entity Nightmare, and other mystical foes before meeting Dormammu, a warlord from an alternate dimension called the "Dark Dimension". Strange is aided by a nameless girl, later called Clea, who is eventually revealed to be Dormammu's niece. When Strange helps a weakened Dormammu drive off the rampaging Mindless Ones and return them to their prison, he is allowed to leave unchallenged. In The Unbelievable Gwenpool #3, Strange encounters Gwendolyn Poole, who explains herself to be from a reality where all Marvel characters are fictional characters in comic books. As Strange helps her locate her home reality in order to create a fake background for her in the Marvel Universe so that she can get a Social Security number, driver's license and other essential documents, he discovers that Benedict Cumberbatch has been cast to play him in Gwen's universe, remarking that he "could see that".
The character has starred in several alternate universe titles. In the miniseries Marvel 1602 #1-#8 (Nov. 2003 – June 2004), Sir Stephen Strange is both the court physician and magician to Queen Elizabeth I. The title Spider-Man 2099 introduced a female version of Strange who shares her body with a demon in issue #33 (1995). The miniseries Strange #1-#6 (Nov, 2004 – April 2005), written by J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes, with artwork by Brandon Peterson, reimagined the character's origin, allies and enemies in a contemporary setting.
TagsBased on a NovelActionFantasyDramaSuperpowersMature ThemesViolenceWarMysteryRomance
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