Doctor Strange on the cover of Doctor Strange vol. 4, #2 (Jan. 2016); art by Alex Ross
|First appearance||Strange Tales #110 (July 1963)|
|Full name||Stephen Vincent Strange|
|Notable aliases||Stephen Sanders, Vincent Stevens|
Mastery of magic|
Dr. Stephen Vincent 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). A former neurosurgeon, Strange serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats. Debuting in the Silver Age of comics, the character has been featured in several comic book series and adapted in a variety of media including video games, an animated television show, and films. Inspired by storytellings of black magic and Chandu the Magician, Strange was created to bring a different kind of character and themes of mysticism to Marvel Comics.
Doctor Strange was a brilliant but egotistical surgeon. After a car accident destroys the nerves in his hands and hinders his ability to perform surgery, he searches the globe for a way to repair them and encounters the Ancient 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—the Cloak of Levitation and 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.
In 2008, Doctor Strange was ranked 83rd in Wizard's "200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time" list, and in 2012 was ranked 33rd in IGN's list of "The Top 50 Avengers". He was also ranked 34th on IGN's list of "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes". The character was first portrayed in live-action by Peter Hooten in the 1978 television film Dr. Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first appearing in the role in the 2016 film Doctor Strange.
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!
Doctor Strange debuted in Strange 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 the Chandu the Magician radio program that aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System in the 1930s. He had Doctor Strange accompany spells with elaborate incantations, such as the "Eye of Agamotto", the "Wand of Watoomb", and "Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth"; 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. Comics historian Mike Benton wrote,
The Dr. Strange stories of the 1960s constructed a cohesive cosmology that would have thrilled any self-respecting theosophist. College students, minds freshly opened by psychedelic experiences and Eastern mysticism, read Ditko and Lee's Dr. Strange stories with the belief of a recent Hare Krishna convert. Meaning was everywhere, and readers analyzed the Dr. Strange stories for their relationship to Egyptian myths, Sumerian gods, and Jungian archetypes.
"People who read Doctor Strange thought people at Marvel must be heads [i.e., drug users]," recalled then-associate editor and former Doctor Strange writer Roy Thomas in 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 historian Bradford W. Wright: "Dr. Strange remarkably predicted the youth counterculture's fascination with Eastern mysticism and psychedelia."
As co-plotter and later sole plotter in the Marvel Method, Ditko took Strange into ever-more-abstract realms. In a 17-issue story arc in Strange Tales #130-146 (March 1965-July 1966), Ditko introduced the cosmic character Eternity, who personified the universe and was depicted as a silhouette filled with the cosmos. As historian Bradford W. Wright described,
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 resembled Salvador Dalí paintings. Inspired by the pulp-fiction magicians of Stan Lee's childhood as well as by contemporary Beat culture, Dr. Strange remarkably predicted the youth counterculture's fascination with Eastern mysticism and psychedelia. Never among Marvel's more popular or accessible characters, Dr. Strange still found a niche among an audience seeking a challenging alternative to more conventional superhero fare.
Golden Age artist/writer Bill Everett succeeded Ditko as artist with issues #147-152, followed by Marie Severin through #160 and Dan Adkins through #168, the final issue before the Nick Fury feature moved to its own title and Strange Tales was renamed Doctor Strange. Expanded to 20 pages per issue, the Doctor Strange solo series ran 15 issues, #169-183 (June 1968-Nov. 1969), continuing the numbering of Strange Tales. Thomas wrote the run of new stories, joined after the first three issues by the art team of penciler Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer through the end. Colan drastically altered the look of the series, as Thomas recounted: "…he had his own view of what these other worlds should look like. Everyone else sort of copied Ditko's versions of those extra dimensions, which were great and wonderful. When Gene came on, he didn't feel a real rapport with that, I guess, so his extra dimensions tended to be just blackness and smoke and things of that sort… Sometimes it was a little strange for a dimension Doc Strange had been to before to look different when drawn by Gene, but nobody complained." Thomas recalled in 2000 that he returned to work a day late from a weekend comic book convention to find that Marvel production manager Sol Brodsky had assigned Doctor Strange to writer Archie Goodwin, newly ensconced at Marvel and writing Iron Man. Thomas convinced Brodsky to allow him to continue writing the title. "I got very possessive about Doctor Strange," Thomas recalled. "It wasn't a huge seller, but [by the time it was canceled] we were selling the low 40 percent range of more than 400,000 print run, so it was actually selling a couple hundred thousand copies [but] at the time you needed to sell even more."
After plans were announced for a never-realized split book series featuring Doctor Strange and Iceman, each in solo adventures, Strange next appeared in the first three issues (December 1971-June 1972) of the quarterly showcase title Marvel Feature. He appeared in both the main story detailing the formation of superhero "non-team" the Defenders, and the related back-up story. The character then starred in a revival solo series in Marvel Premiere #3-14 (July 1972-March 1974). This arc marked the debut of another recurring foe, the entity Shuma-Gorath, created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Frank Brunner. In issues #8-10 (May–September 1973), Strange was forced to shut down the Ancient One's mind, causing his mentor's physical death. Strange then assumed the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Englehart and Brunner created another multi-issue storyline featuring sorcerer Sise-Neg ("Genesis" spelled backward) going back through history, collecting all magical energies, until he reaches the beginning of the universe, becomes all-powerful and creates it anew, leaving Strange to wonder whether this was, paradoxically, the original creation. Stan Lee, seeing the issue after publication, ordered Englehart and Brunner to print a retraction saying this was not God but a god, to avoid offending religious readers. The writer and artist concocted a fake letter from a fictitious minister praising the story, and mailed it to Marvel from Texas. Marvel unwittingly printed the letter and dropped the retraction.
The Marvel Premiere series segued to the character's second ongoing title, Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts, also known as Doctor Strange vol. 2, which ran 81 issues (June 1974-February 1987). Doctor Strange #14 featured a crossover story with The Tomb of Dracula #44, another series which was being drawn by Gene Colan at the time. In Englehart's final story, he sent Dr. Strange back in time to meet Benjamin Franklin. In 2010, Comics Bulletin ranked Englehart's work on Doctor Strange with artists Brunner and Colan ninth on its list of the "Top 10 1970s Marvels."
Strange met his allies Topaz in #75 (Feb. 1986) and Rintrah in #80 (Dec. 1986). The series ended with a cliffhanger as his home, the Sanctum Sanctorum, was heavily damaged during a battle. Among the losses was Doctor Strange's entire collection of mystic books and other important artifacts. As a consequence, Strange was now considerably weaker and several spells designed to protect humanity from vampires and the evil serpent god Set expired.
The title was discontinued so that the character's adventures could be transferred to another split book format series. Strange Tales vol. 2, #1-19 (April 1987-October 1988) was shared with street heroes Cloak and Dagger. This new Doctor Strange series resolved Strange's quest to reclaim his power and missing artifacts, as well as resurrecting the Defenders, who had died in the last issue of that team's title.
Strange was returned to his own series, this time titled Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme, which ran 90 issues (November 1988-June 1996). The initial creative team was writer Peter B. Gillis and artists Richard Case and Randy Emberlin, with storylines often spanning multiple issues. Strange lost the title of "Sorcerer Supreme" in issues #48-49 (December 1992-January 1993) when he refused to fight a war on behalf of the Vishanti, the mystical entities that empower his spells. During this time the series became part of the "Midnight Sons" group of Marvel's supernatural comics. Doctor Strange found new sources of magical strength in the form of chaos magic, as well as a magic construct he used as a proxy. He would form the Secret Defenders with a rotating roster of heroes, and reunite with the original Defenders. Strange regained his title in Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #80 (Aug. 1995).
The character was featured in several limited series. The first was Doctor Strange: The Flight of Bones #1-#4 (February–May 1999), with a series of spontaneous combustions by criminals instigated by old foe Dormammu. Strange was the catalyst for the creation of a trio of sorceresses in Witches #1-#4 (August–November 2004). The Strange limited series (November 2004-July 2005) by writers J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes updated the character's origin. Another limited series, Doctor Strange: The Oath #1-5 (December 2006-April 2007), written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Marcos Martin, focused on Strange's responsibilities as sorcerer and doctor.
Doctor Strange appeared in four graphic novels over the years: Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa (1986); Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment (1989); Spider-Man/Dr. Strange: The Way to Dusty Death (1992); and Dr. Strange: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen? (1997).
Jackson Guice's cover for Doctor Strange #15 (1990) used Christian music singer Amy Grant's likeness without her permission, leading to a complaint saying that the cover gave the appearance that she was associating with witchcraft. A US District Court sealed an out-of-court settlement between Grant and Marvel in early 1991, with a consent decree in which Marvel did not admit to liability or wrongdoing.
Strange appeared as a supporting character for the bulk of the 2000s. He appeared regularly in The Amazing Spider-Man under J. Michael Straczynski, before being cast into a time loop by Baron Mordo. He later appeared on and off in The New Avengers, where he was stated as being part of the secret group known as the Illuminati to deal with future threats to Earth. Ultimately Strange joined the team and allowed them to use his home as a base after the events of Civil War, which he sat out. Doctor Strange was critical of the federal Superhuman Registration Act and aided the anti-registration Avengers team led by Luke Cage.
During the Bendis run, Doctor Doom attacked the Avengers and manipulated the Scarlet Witch into decimating the mutant population; Doctor Strange's failure to stop the latter and his failure to realize Doom's hand in the former caused him to start to doubt his abilities. After he was forced to use dark magic to confront an enraged Hulk, followed by further use of dark spells to save the New Avengers from the Hood's supervillain army, Strange renounced his status as Sorcerer Supreme, as he felt that he was no longer worthy of it. The Eye of Agamotto passing the mantle to Brother Voodoo.
He was also featured in The Order, which spun out of the 2000 Defenders revival, and the Indefensible Defenders mini-series.
Doctor Strange appeared as a regular character throughout the 2010-2013 The New Avengers series, from issue #1 (August 2010) through the final issue #34 (January 2013). Renamed Doctor Voodoo, the newly appointed Sorcerer Supreme sacrifices himself in order to stop the powerful mystical entity Agamotto from reclaiming the Eye. The following issue, a guilt-ridden Strange rejoins the New Avengers, and offers the team his valet Wong to act as their housekeeper. He and Wong are seen working with improvised teams of Avengers in later incidents.
Strange eventually regains his position of Sorcerer Supreme when the ghost of Doctor Voodoo's brother, Daniel Drumm, attempts to attack him by possessing various Avengers. He manages to defeat him with the use of dark magic without being corrupted by it. The spirit of the Ancient One appears to Strange to inform him that his willingness to fight for the world, even when not officially Sorcerer Supreme, coupled with his ability to use black magic when necessary and avoid its corruptive influence, has proven that he deserves the mantle.
He continues to appear in the pages of the 2013 incarnation of New Avengers, which focuses on the Illuminati as they deal with "Incursions", cases where two parallel Earths collide and cause the destruction of both universes. As such, the group have engaged in considerable acts of moral ambiguity in dealing with each impending incursion. In addition, Doctor Strange has become the host to a dangerous demon after offering himself up in order to save Princess Phan, a child whom the demon was possessing. The demon ultimately possessed Strange when fighting a group of heroes from a world threatened by an incursion and kills most of those heroes, resulting in the Illuminati having to stop him.
After the final incursion merges the remaining worlds into one, Doctor Strange acts as the right-hand man of Doctor Doom, who has become the ruler and god of this world after erasing all recollection of the separate realities that existed before this one, accepting the status quo as Doom is actually very good at his assigned job. However, when the Cabal emerge into this new world from a "life-pod" they used to escape the destruction and kill one of the Thor Corps who acted as Doom's security, Strange is forced to open a second pod and release the surviving heroes of Earth-616, with Black Panther and Mister Fantastic particularly shocked to learn of Strange's alliance with Doctor Doom. After he explains the situation to his former allies, Strange banishes the heroes of Earth-616 to distant corners of Battleworld when Doom finds them and kills a Phoenix Force-enhanced Cyclops. When Strange informs Doom that, regardless of his power, he will always fear Reed Richards, Doom kills Strange in an outrage. Although Doom attempts to claim that the heroes were the ones who killed Strange, the displaced heroes are eventually able to rally the various realms against Doom, culminating in Reed taking Doom's powers and restoring the multiverse, starting with recreating Earth-616, also restoring Doctor Strange to life.
In 2015, Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo team up for the fourth volume of Dr. Strange, also the first time the Sorceror Supreme has been featured in a solo series in 16 years. It features multiple magical characters, such as Dr. Voodoo, Magik, and Monako, as they prevent The Empirikul from eradicating magic from every universe.
Fictional character biography
Dr. Stephen Strange is an egotistical doctor who only cares about wealth from his career. After a car accident shatters the bones in his hands, the damage prevents him from being able to conduct surgery when his hands begin to tremble uncontrollably. Too proud to take on a teaching job, Strange desperately searches for a way to restore his hands.
After he exhausts his funds, he becomes a derelict. Depressed and still searching, Strange, while walking near the docks, overhears two sailors talking about a hermit called the Ancient One (who is actually the Earth's Sorcerer Supreme) in the Himalayas, who can cure any ailment. Strange uses the last of his funds to travel to the Himalayas to seek out the aged mystic. The Ancient One refuses to help Strange because of his selfishness, but senses a good side that he attempts to bring to the surface. He fails, but Strange's goodness appears when he discovers the Ancient One's disciple, Baron Mordo, attempting to kill the old man. After a confrontation with Mordo leads to his 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 profound 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 and takes up residence within the Sanctum Sanctorum, a townhouse located in Greenwich Village, and is soon assisted by his personal servant 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.
Powers and abilities
Strange is a practicing magician who draws his powers from mystical entities such as Agamotto, Cyttorak, Ikonn, Oshtur, Raggadorr, and Watoomb, who lend their energies for spells. Strange also wields mystical artifacts including the Cloak of Levitation which enables him to fly; the Eye of Agamotto, an amulet whose light is used to negate evil magic; the Book of the Vishanti, a grimoire which contains knowledge of white magic;:26–27 and the Orb of Agamotto, a crystal ball which is used for clairvoyance.:24–27
In addition to his magical abilities, Strange 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" by Eternity, the sentience of the Marvel Universe. He holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme from 1973 (with the death of the Ancient One) to the present, except during an interruption from 1992 to 1995. He relinquishes the title once again in 2009, but reclaims it in 2012 when he proves himself willing to protect the world even without the title.
Book of the Vishanti
The Book of the Vishanti is written by unknown authors and is closely associated with Doctor Strange. It is the greatest known source of white magical knowledge on Earth. The Book of the Vishanti contains spells of defensive magic and is indestructible. Its counterpart, the Darkhold, contains all the knowledge of black magic in the Marvel Universe, and is likewise indestructible. It is possible to destroy single pages of either book, but the balancing spell in the other book is destroyed as well to maintain a mystical balance. A collective of the three powerful magical beings Agamotto, Oshtur and Hoggoth, known as the Vishanti, must allow the spell to be destroyed.
Even though the book is a tome of benevolent magic, the spells within can still be dangerous when used improperly. This is proven when a young, inexperienced Strange tried to use the Book to resurrect his dead brother Victor, but the spell, known as the Vampiric Verses, caused Victor to become the vampire Baron Blood years later.
Apart from spells and mystical knowledge, the book also contains information about persons and events. It is unknown how the Book is able to contain up to date and recent information even though it was written thousands of years ago.
The first known owner of the book was the Atlantean sorcerer Varnae from around 18,500 BC. The next known owner was the Babylonian god Marduk Kurios. Marduk set a griffin to guard the Book. The sorcerer known as the Ancient One traveled back in time to c. 4000 BC and defeated the griffin and returned to the 20th century. The Ancient One would remain the book's owner, despite a brief loss when the dark wizard Kaluu returned the Book to the Griffin, until he deemed his student, Doctor Strange, worthy of taking it.
Doctor Strange keeps the book in his town house library in New York City's Greenwich Village. He briefly lost the book when he destroyed his home to prevent the alien wizard Urthona from taking his magical artifacts, but the book was saved by Agamotto, who transported it to his realm and returned it to Strange some time later.
Orb of Agamotto
The Orb of Agamotto is a fictional magical item in the Marvel Comics universe. It is a powerful scrying crystal ball owned and used by Doctor Strange. It can also be used to detect magic in use anywhere in the world and provide Strange with a location and visual. The orb rests in Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum in a room called the Chamber of Shadows. It usually is inside a display case with three curved legs. When summoned, the glass covering rises and the ball levitates. While powerful, the Orb has been blocked by exceptionally powerful mystic forces (such as Umar) who do not want their exact location known. On at least one occasion, it has been used to open a dimensional portal to the realm of Agamotto.
The character has starred in several alternate universe titles. In the miniseries Marvel 1602 #1-#8 (November 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 (November 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.
In the miniseries Marvel Zombies #1-#5 (February–June 2006), Strange is infected with a zombie virus along with many other heroes. He reappears in the second sequel, Marvel Zombies 3 #1-#4 (December 2008-March 2009)
In the alternate future universe of the Marvel imprint MC2, Doctor Strange is no longer the Sorcerer Supreme, the title there held by Doc Magnus. Doctor Strange uses his remaining power to reform the superhero team the Defenders in A-Next #3 (1998) and to fight the Norse god of mischief, Loki, Last Hero Standing #4 (February 2005).
The Ultimate Marvel title Ultimate Marvel Team-Up introduced a version of the character called "Stephen Strange, Jr.", the son of the original Doctor Strange, in Ultimate Marvel Team-Up #12 (July 2002). The character was killed in battle by the Ultimate Marvel version of Dormammu in the miniseries Ultimatum #1-#5 (January–September 2009).
Two months before the debut of the sorcerer-hero Doctor Strange, Stan Lee (editor and story-plotter), Robert Bernstein (scripter, under the pseudonym "R. Berns"), and Jack Kirby (artist) introduced a criminal scientist and Ph.D. with the same surname (called "Carl Strange"). Making his sole appearance in the Iron Man story "The Stronghold of Dr. Strange" in Tales of Suspense #41 (1963), the character gained mental powers in a freak lightning strike.
Doctor Strange stories have been collected into separate volumes.
- Essential Doctor Strange
- Vol. 1 collects Strange Tales #110-111, #114-168; 608 pages, December 2001, ISBN 0-7851-2316-4
- Vol. 2 collects Doctor Strange #169-178, #180-183; The Avengers #61; Sub-Mariner #22; The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #126; Marvel Feature #1; Marvel Premiere #3-10, #12-14, 608 pages, March 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1668-0
- Vol. 3 collects Doctor Strange vol. 2, #1-29, Doctor Strange Annual #1; and The Tomb of Dracula #44-45, 616 pages, December 2007, ISBN 978-0-7851-2733-8
- Vol. 4 collects Doctor Strange vol. 2, #30-56; Chamber of Chills #4; Man-Thing #4, 564 pages, June 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3062-8
- Marvel Masterworks: Doctor Strange
- Vol. 1, collects Strange Tales #110-111, #114-141, 272 pages, September 2003, ISBN 0-7851-1180-8
- Vol. 2 collects Strange Tales #142-168, 304 pages, September 2005, ISBN 0-7851-1737-7
- Vol. 3 collects Doctor Strange #169-179, 256 pages, The Avengers #61; March 2007, ISBN 0-7851-2410-1
- Vol. 4 collects Doctor Strange #180-183; Sub-Mariner #22; The Incredible Hulk vol. 2, #126; Marvel Feature #1; Marvel Premiere #3-8, 272 pages, January 2010, ISBN 978-0-7851-3495-4
- Vol. 5 collects Marvel Premiere #9-14; Doctor Strange vol. 2 #1-9, 272 pages, April 2011, ISBN 978-0-7851-5022-0
- Vol. 6 collects Doctor Strange vol. 2 #10-22; Annual #1; The Tomb of Dracula #44, 288 pages, July 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-6786-0
- Lee, Stan (September 1974). Origins of Marvel Comics. Marvel Comics. ISBN 978-0-7851-5615-4. includes Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales #110, 115, and 155, 254 pages.
- Stan Lee Presents Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts. Pocket Books. May 1978. ISBN 978-0-671-81447-2. collects Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales #111, 116, 119–120, 123, 131–133, 132 pages.
- Lee, Stan. Bring on the Bad Guys: Origins of Marvel Villains. Marvel Comics. ISBN 978-0-7851-0597-8. includes Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales #126–127, 253 pages, October 1976, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0671223557
- Lee, Stan (November 1978). Marvel's Greatest Superhero Battles. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-24544-3. includes Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales #139–141, 253 pages.
- Englehart, Steve (2002). Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality. Marvel Comics. ISBN 978-0-7851-0836-8. collects Marvel Premiere #9-10, 12-14; Doctor Strange vol. 2, #1–2, 4–5, 176 pages.
- Dr. Strange Vs. Dracula: The Montesi Formula. Marvel Comics. October 2006. ISBN 978-0-7851-2244-9., collects Doctor Strange vol. 2 #14, 58–62; The Tomb of Dracula #44, 160 pages, October 2006
- Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph and Torment. Marvel Comics. September 3, 2013. ISBN 978-0785184546., collects Doctor Strange vol. 2 #57; Doctor Strange and Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment GN, 168 pages
- Dr. Strange: Into the Dark Dimension HC. Marvel Comics. July 2011. ISBN 978-0785155058., collects Doctor Strange vol. 2 #68-74, 168 pages,
- Dr. Strange: Don't Pay the Ferryman. Marvel Comics. October 2015. ISBN 978-0785193258., collects Doctor Strange vol. 2 #75–81, 167 pages, October 2015
- Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath includes Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #36, 352 pages, September 2013, ISBN 978-0785184867
- Doctor Strange: The Oath – collects Doctor Strange: The Oath #1–5; 128 pages, June 2013, ISBN 978-0-7851-2211-1
- Dr. Strange: Strange Tales. Marvel Comics. October 26, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7851-5549-2. collects Strange Tales vol. 2, #1–19, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7851-5549-2
- Waid, Mark (2010). Doctor is Out!. Marvel Comics. ISBN 978-0-7851-4425-0. collects Strange #1–4
- Doctor Strange Omnibus Vol. 1 – collects Strange Tales (1951) #110–111, 114–146; Amazing Spider-Man Annual (1964) #2, 456 pages, October 2016
- Doctor Strange vol. 4:
- Volume 1: The Way of the Weird (HC, 136 pages, 2016, ISBN 0-7851-9516-5)
- Volume 2: The Last Days of Magic (HC, 168 pages, 2016, ISBN 0-7851-9517-3)
In other media
- Dr. Strange appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. In the episode "7 Little Superheroes", he alongside Spider-Man, Iceman, Firestar, Captain America, Namor and Shanna the She-Devil are invited to the Chameleon's house on Wolf Island so that the heroes could be gotten rid of.
- Doctor Strange had a cameo appearance in the 1990s X-Men animated series. He was seen in the episode "The Dark Phoenix Saga (Part 3)".
- Doctor Strange appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by John Vernon. In the episode "Doctor Strange", he and Wong help Spider-Man (Peter Parker) rescue Mary Jane Watson from Baron Mordo and Dormammu, and retrieve the Wand of Watoomb. After Spider-Man leaves, Doctor Strange detects the presence of Madame Web.
- Doctor Strange appeared in The Incredible Hulk, voiced by Maurice LaMarche. In the episode "Mind Over Anti-Matter", he helps She-Hulk at the time when an unnamed evil entity has possessed the Hulk into the Dark Hulk.
- Doctor Strange appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Roger Rose. He appears in the episodes "Enter Dormammu", "A Brat Walks Among Us", "Night in the Sanctorum", "Invader from the Dark Dimension", and "Election of Evil".
- Doctor Strange is featured in the Marvel animated shows on Disney XD, voiced initially by Jack Coleman, and later by Liam O'Brien.
- Doctor Strange is featured in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. He appears in season one's "Strange", where he helps Spider-Man and Iron Fist at the time when Nightmare has placed everyone in Manhattan in a deep sleep. In season two's "Journey of the Iron Fist", he appears in his astral form while visiting K'un-L'un. Doctor Strange has a minor appearance in Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors. He appears in "Cloak and Dagger" where he helps Spider-Man and Dagger when Dormammu has possessed Cloak into capturing Iron Fist and White Tiger. Doctor Strange also appears in Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister Six. In "Miles from Home", Doctor Strange helps Spider-Man when Doctor Octopus and Baron Mordo use the Siege Perilous to bring the demonic winged Green Goblin to the main reality. After Doc Ock and the alternate Goblin are defeated, Doctor Strange creates a temporal window to help Miles Morales talk to Rio Morales. In "Return to the Spider-Verse" [Pt. 1], Doctor Strange and Madame Web help Kid Arachnid on the interdimensional trail to gather the Siege Perilous pieces. In "Strange Halloween", Doctor Strange teams up with Spider-Man and Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm when every trick-or-treater gets turned into monstrous versions of their costumes. The three superheroes arrive to the Quantum Realm, confronting Baron Mordo and illusion versions of Dormammu, Ultron, and Doc Ock's nanite-powered form. Thanks to a tactic, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Ant-Man shatter the illusions and unknowingly bring Baron Mordo back to their reality. Although Baron Mordo unleashed the transformed trick-or-treaters on the heroes and even animated the vehicles and buildings into monsters, Spider-Man uses the imagination part of the spell and imagines the Eye of Agamotto enlarging which help Doctor Strange undo Baron Mordo's spell.
- Doctor Strange appeared in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.. In the episode "Stranger in a Strange Land", he is depicted as an old friend of the Hulk. In order for A-Bomb to perfect magic tricks, Hulk hooked A-Bomb up with Doctor Strange. In the episode "Planet Monster" [Pt. 2], Doctor Strange was among the superheroes that help the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. and the Avengers fight the forces of the Supreme Intelligence. He provides a barrier to protect the heroes from the Kree warship's lasers.
- Doctor Strange appears in Avengers Assemble. In the episode "Widow's Run", Black Widow convinces the Avengers to turn the Infinite Stones to Doctor Strange for help in order to determine what to do since Black Widow had a vision that Doctor Strange wouldn't be tempted by the Infinity Stones' power. Doctor Strange tells the Avengers that he has been forewarned about the Infinity Stones' powers which are causing danger to reality and even affecting the mystic realms. When Dormammu and the Mindless Ones emerge from the portal, Doctor Strange helps the Avengers fight until Black Widow uses the Infinity Gems' power to send Dormammu and the Mindless Ones back to the Dark Dimension. After Black Widow broke free from the Infinity Stones' influence, Doctor Strange was present when Thanos arrived and claimed all the Infinity Stones via the Infinity Gauntlet before leaving. In the episode "Avengers Underground", Doctor Strange is seen trapped in a special container by the Squadron Supreme as he tries to break out. In the episode "Avengers World", Doctor Strange appears on a holographic globe as one of the heroes Iron Man and Captain America consider potential candidate for the Avengers. Doctor Strange also appears in Avengers: Ultron Revolution. In the episode "Into the Dark Dimension", Doctor Strange turns to Iron Man, Hulk and Thor for help when it comes to Dormammu's Mindless Ones invading on Halloween. When at Stark Industries' Arc Reactor, Dormammu manages to steal the Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Strange as part of his plot to conquer all of reality. This causes Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Hulk and Thor into heading into the Dark Dimension to reclaim the Eye of Agamotto and defeat Dormammu. Doctor Strange and Iron Man continuously argue over the plausibility of magic (which Iron Man doubts) and the use of technology to solve magic-related problems (which Doctor Strange feels is useless). Once all that is done, Doctor Strange and Iron Man settle their differences between magic and science.
- Doctor Strange appeared in several episodes of Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, voiced by Yasunori Masutani.
- Peter Hooten starred as Dr. Stephen Strange in the live-action TV movie Dr. Strange, which premiered on September 6, 1978. In this film, Stephen Strange was a psychiatry resident rather than an experienced neurosurgeon. John Mills appeared as Thomas Lindmer, whom director-writer Philip DeGuere added to the story as a stand-in for the Ancient One.
- The 1992 film Doctor Mordrid began development as a Doctor Strange adaptation, but the studio's license expired before production began. The project was rewritten to change the main character's name and slightly alter his origin.
- In the animated direct-to-DVD film Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, released August 14, 2007, Doctor Strange (voiced by Bryce Johnson) travels to Tibet, seeking to heal his hands after a car accident. Training with the Ancient One and his pupils, Strange faces the emergence of Dormammu. Its broadcast premiere occurred November 1, 2008 on Cartoon Network.
- Doctor Strange has a brief non-speaking cameo in the 2010 film Planet Hulk. He and the members of the Illuminati regretfully inform Hulk of the decisions made to ensure his removal from Earth.
- The character appears in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning in the eponymous 2016 film, and is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch will once again portray Strange in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and its sequel.
- Doctor Strange appears in the 2016 animated film Hulk: Where Monsters Dwell, voiced by Liam O'Brien.
- Doctor Strange acts as Spider-Man's advisor in cutscenes in The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, on the Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by James Horan. He becomes available after the players help him find the Eye of Agamotto at the Mandarin's Palace in the Valley of Spirits. In his special dialogue with the Ancient One, Doctor Strange informs him of the Masters of Evil's plot and asks that he watches over them and aid them in whatever way he can. He also has special dialogue with Lady Sif once the player discovers the Twilight Sword shattered in Nifflehiem.
- Doctor Strange appears in Hsien-Ko's ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. He later appears as a playable character in the updated version Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, voiced by Rick Pasqualone.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced by Charlie Adler.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in the 2012 fighting game Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth, voiced by Chris Cox.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Nick Jameson.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, with James Horan reprising the role.
- Doctor Strange appears as a playable character in Marvel Contest of Champions for iOS and Android beginning in March 2015.
- Doctor Strange is a playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Wally Wingert while Jack Coleman voices the version that appears in the "All-New, All-Different Doctor Strange" DLC.
- Doctor Strange is a playable character in the iOS and Android game Marvel Future Fight.
- Doctor Strange is a playable three-star and five-star character (as "Stephen Strange" and "Sorcerer Supreme" respectively) in the match-three mobile game Marvel Puzzle Quest.
- In 1979, Pocket Books published Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts: Nightmare, by William Rotsler.
- In the 1968 book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe writes about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters' interest in comics and specifically refers to Doctor Strange.
- In the 2006 novel Spider-Man: The Darkest Hours by author Jim Butcher, Strange appears briefly as a fellow superhero from whom Spider-Man seeks assistance when struggling against three vengeful siblings of Morlun.
- Reisman, Abraham (November 16, 2016). "The Creator of Doctor Strange Will Not See You Now: Marvel Comics legend Steve Ditko wants his work to stand for itself. If only it were that easy.". Vulture.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2016.
Creeping conflict became apparent a few months after Spider-Man’s debut, when Lee first announced the impending debut of their next co-creation, a magician named Doctor Strange.
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"When Dr. Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110, it was only clear that he dabbled in black magic and had the ability to project his consciousness into an astral form that could leave his physical body."
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Inspired by the Mutual Network radio show Chandu the Magician, which [Stan] Lee had enjoyed during his childhood, Dr. Strange was in fact a more impressive character than Chandu.
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"Hailing 1968 as the beginning of the 'Second Age of Marvel Comics,' and with more titles to play with, editor Stan Lee discarded his split books and gave more characters their own titles…Strange Tales #168 [was followed] by Dr. Strange #169."
- Doctor Strange at the Grand Comics Database
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"[Roy] Thomas and artist Ross Andru reunited [Doctor] Strange, the Hulk, and Namor as a brand new Marvel superhero team—the Defenders."
- Sanderson "1970s" Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 156
"Dr. Strange began a new series of solo adventures. He got off to an impressive start with [a] story scripted by Stan Lee and illustrated by Barry Windsor-Smith."
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We cooked up this plot—we wrote a letter from a Reverend Billingsley in Texas, a fictional person, saying that one of the children in his parish brought him the comic book, and he was astounded and thrilled by it, and he said, 'Wow, this is the best comic book I've ever read.' And we signed it 'Reverend so-and-so, Austin Texas'—and when Steve was in Texas, he mailed the letter so it had the proper postmark. Then, we got a phone call from Roy, and he said, 'Hey, about that retraction, I'm going to send you a letter, and instead of the retraction, I want you to print this letter.' And it was our letter! We printed our letter!
- Doctor Strange vol. 2 at the Grand Comics Database
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Englehart, Steve (w), Colan, Gene (p), Palmer, Tom (i). "The Tomb of Dr. Strange!" Doctor Strange v2, 14 (May 1976)
Sanderson "1970s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 175
"The great Marvel artist Gene Colan was doing superb work illustrating both Doctor Strange and The Tomb of Dracula. So it made sense for Strange writer Steve Englehart and Tomb author Marv Wolfman to devise a crossover story."
- Sanderson "1970s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 174
"The year 1976 was the 200th anniversary of the United States' Declaration of Independence. So it was appropriate that several of the major events in Marvel history that year dealt with political themes… In September, just before departing from Marvel for DC Comics, writer Steve Englehart sent Dr. Strange back through time to meet one of the men responsible for the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin.
- Sacks, Jason (September 6, 2010). "Top 10 1970s Marvels". Comics Bulletin. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
- Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme at the Grand Comics Database
- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #60 (December 1993) to #68 (August 1994)
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- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #80 (August 1995) to #90 (June 1996)
- Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #60 (December 1993) to #75 (March 1995)
- Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 262
"Writer Roy Thomas and penciller Andre Coates created this new series that ran until 1995.
- Strange Tales one-shot at the Grand Comics Database
- Manning "2000s" Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 323
"Scribes J. Michael Straczynski and Samm Barnes, with artist Brandon Peterson, retold Dr. Strange's mystical origin for a new generation of fans in this six-issue limited series.
- "Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #15". Grand Comics Database. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
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- Hickman, Jonathan (w), Ribić, Esad (p), Ribić, Esad (i). "The Eye of Doom" Secret Wars 3 (August 2015)
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- DeFalco "1960s" in Brevoort, DeFalco & Manning 2008, p. 93
"Dr. Strange's archenemy, Baron Mordo, was introduced in Strange Tales #111.
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"Clea, Dr. Strange's longtime girlfriend from the Dark Dimension, debuted in Strange Tales #126.
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- Doctor Strange at Superhero Database