Name: Stephen Strange
Superhero Name: Doctor Strange
Created By: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Played By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Powers: near-immortality, magic – energy blasts capable of destroying planets, mystic bolts, the ability to banish creatures/people to other dimensions, conjuring, transmutation, telepathy, telekinesis, flight (even without the Cloak Of Levitation), protective shields, hypnotism, illusion casting, intangibility (the ability to turn invisible and pass through solid matter), time and elemental manipulation, teleportation, inter-dimensional travel, the ability to sense anomalies across space and time, use of multiple spells (including being able to use a language that distorts reality), the ability to channel the energy of mystical and non-mystical beings to empower spells, the ability to take the power of other beings.
Stephen also uses several magical artefacts to assist him. For example, the Eye Of Agamotto helps him see through any lie, absorb huge amounts of energy and free people from illusions. The Cloak Of Levitation is used to help Stephen fly, as well as a third set of hands in battle, as the Cloak responds to his thoughts.
On top of the magic, Stephen is also an expert neurosurgeon, an expert occultist, an expert martial artist, and is also the Sorcerer Supreme, meaning that he has the greatest skills in the mystic arts of Earth 616.
Mini Bio: Stephen Strange was raised in Nebraska, and was the oldest of three children – a sister, Donna, and a brother, Victor. At the age of eleven, he became interested in medicine after helping an injured Donna, though, at nineteen, he witnessed her death, which eroded his medical idealism.
Despite this, Stephen still received his medical degree in record time, and gained success quickly, which made him arrogant and impersonal. When his mother died at the end of his residency, the work become yet more impersonal to him, becoming nothing more than a paycheck to him. When his father fell ill, Stephen refused to see him felt unable to face more tragedy, which angered his brother Victor. The two fought, and Victor stormed out of Stephen’s apartment, storming into oncoming traffic and ultimately getting hit by a car and dying.
Years later, Stephen was involved in a bad car accident, leaving the nerves in his hands damaged, causing a constant shake, leaving him unable to do surgery. Stephen wasted all of his money on any treatment he could find, desperate to gain the use of his hands again, to no avail. It was only when he heard of the Ancient One, that he headed East, and began to learn magic, which turned out to have been Stephen’s destiny all along – as the Ancient One had known of Stephen’s potential from childhood.
During his training, Stephen battled Death himself, and when he won, was offered ageless life, meaning that he would never age, and would never die from an illness. Only outside forces could kill him, but he would be warned, thanks to an ankh shaped mark on his forehead, which would only appear when his life was in danger.
After seven years with the Ancient One, Stephen moved back to New York, where he set up shop in the Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village, with his friend Wong. There, he worked as a mystical consultant (a consulting superhero, if you will), for various authorities.
Originally, Stephen stayed out of the way from the rest of the superhero community but ended up pulled into various battles over the years. He joined the Illuminati – a team consisting of himself, Iron Man, Professor X, Black Panther, Namor, Mister Fantastic and Black Bolt – to tackle only the most important of battles in secret. He also set up the Midnight Sons – a group consisting of people like Ghost Rider and Morbius to tackle mystical threats.
He has helped in various major events, such as House Of M, but stayed out of Civil War, due to having friends on both sides of the war, and not wanting to influence things the wrong way.
In more recent years, Stephen has taken to training up other magical beings, such as Illyana Rasputin, and going as far as to open Strange Academy – a school for magic users of the Marvel Universe.
First Comic Appearance: Strange Tales issue 110 (1963)
Most Common Team Ups: Avengers, Defenders, Illuminati, Midnight Sons, Clea Wong, Ancient One
Comic Recommendations: Doctor Strange: The Oath (2007) by Brian K Vaughn, Doctor Strange And The Sorcerer’s Supreme (2016) by Robbie Thompson, Doctor Strange (2015) by Jason Aaron