Doctor Strange: 24 Fascinating Facts

Doctor Strange: 24 Fascinating Facts

  • Post Category:Comics

Introduction

Doctor Stephen Strange is a superhero appearing in 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.

Doctor Strange posing

Biography

The character begins as an egotistical surgeon who loses the ability to operate after a car crash severely damages his hands. Searching the globe for healing, he encounters the Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange becomes his student, and learns to be a master of both the mystical and the martial arts.

He acquires an assortment of mystical objects, including the powerful the Eye of Agamotto and Cloak of Levitation, and takes up residence in a New York City mansion called the Sanctum Sanctorum. Strange assumes the title of Sorcerer Supreme and, with his friend and valet Wong, defends the world from mystical threats.

Doctor Strange posing

Film

The character was first portrayed in live-action by Peter Hooten in the 1978 television film Dr. Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Doctor Strange (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Cumberbatch will return to portray the character in the sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021).

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24 Doctor Strange Facts

1. Publication

Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange, M.D., also known as Doctor Strange, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist and character conceptualist Steve Ditko, the character first appeared in Strange Tales#110 (cover-dated July 1963).

Steve Ditko sleeping

2. Chandu The Magician

Steve Ditko has admitted that his character was based on “Chandu The Magician.” Chandu The Magician was a radio program that aired in 1930’s. Chandu the Magician’s name is “Frank Chandler” and he learned magic from the yogis in India. His stories were popular on radio and hence we got our Doctor Strange.

Chandu the Magician

3. His Hands

Doctor Strange was a brilliant but egotistical surgeon. After a car accident destroys his hands and hinders his ability to perform surgery, he searches the globe for a way to repair them and encounters the Ancient One.

Doctor Strange showing his broken hands

4. Skills

After becoming one of the old Sorcerer Supreme’s students, he becomes a practitioner of both the mystical arts as well as martial arts.

Doctor Strange showing his skills

5. Additional Powers

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.

Doctor Strange showing his powers

6. Wong

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.

Doctor Strange and Wong
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7. Martial Arts Instructor

Like Alfred, who sometimes helps Batman by giving him advice, Wong also helps Doctor Strange by giving him Martial Arts lessons.

Wong carrying gear

8. Sorcerer Supreme

Later, Strange takes the title of Sorcerer Supreme.

Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme

9. Reception

In 2012, Doctor Strange was ranked 83rd in Wizard’s “200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time” list, and 33rd in IGN’s list of “The Top 50 Avengers”.

Doctor Strange posing with Avengers

10. First Live Action Movie

The character was first portrayed in live action by Peter Hooten in the 1978 television movie Dr. Strange.

Doctor Strange first live action movie

11. Doctor Strange in the MCU

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Benedict Cumberbatch has played the role of Doctor Strange since November 2016.

Doctor Strange in Avengers Endgame

12. Sanctum Sanctorum

As with many of Marvel Comics’ characters, Doctor Strange calls New York City his home, and has an actual, real-world address. His “Sanctum Sanctorum” (his fancy name for his home) is located at 177A Bleecker Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.

Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City
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13. Marvel Strange Tales

While not the most recognized or popular Marvel comic book character, Doctor Strange has nevertheless garnered a loyal following among his devoted fan base. So much so that the comic book that features his first appearance – Marvel Strange Tales #110 from July 1963 – has sold for $61,000 at auction.

Marvel Strange Tales

14. Failed Movie Attempts

From 1986 to 2005, people within Hollywood, such as Bob Gale, Wes Craven, David S. Goyer, and even Stan Lee himself with co-writer Alex Cox, have all tried to make a film adaptation of “Doctor Strange” but failed.

Doctor Strange with Stan Lee

15. Movie Scheduling Complications

When Cumberbatch was first approached for the film, he originally turned it down due to scheduling complications. However, when the release date for the film was pushed back from July 2016 to November 2016, Cumberbatch was able to sign on to the project.

Doctor Strange posing

16. Role Preparation

In the comics, Dr. Strange was trained at an Eastern monastery. So to prepare for the role, Cumberbatch volunteered to teach English at a Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling, India for a year.

Doctor Strange saying Teach Me

17. Runner-ups To Play Doctor Strange

Many different actors were rumored or considered for the role, such as Joaquin Phoenix, Colin Farrell, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tom Hardy, Ethan Hawke Jack Huston, Oscar Isaac, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Keanu Reeves, Justin Theroux, Jon Hamm, Johnny Depp, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, just to name a few.

Johnny Depp playing Doctor Strange

18. The Defenders

Dr. Strange co-founded the Defenders. The Defenders are a group of ‘outsiders’ and were effectively Marvel’s first ‘Non-Team’ of heroes who only assemble as needed.

The Defenders comic book
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19. Original Defender Members

They were the original team to handle mystic and supernatural threats before those became a mainstay for the Avengers to handle as well. The founding team (which would go on to rotate extensively) consisted of Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, Hulk, and Namor.

The original Defender members

20. Greatest Enemies

His greatest enemies are Baron Mordo and Dormammu.

Baron Mordo comic version
Dormammu comic version

21. Baron Mordo

Baron Mordo is another apprentice of Strange’s mentor the Ancient One, but Mordo grew jealous and went evil, engineering his mentor’s death. Mordo and Strange have been mortal enemies ever since.

Doctor Strange standing with Baron Mordo

22. Dormammu

Dormammu, meanwhile, is the leader of the Dark Dimension who challenged Strange when he took up the mantle of the Sorcerer Supreme. The Ancient One and Dormammu were lifelong enemies and Strange inherited the conflict.

Dormammu in the MCU

23. The Illuminati

Doctor Strange is a member of underground group “The Illuminati” which is founded by Tony Stark.

Doctor Strange in The Illuminati

24. The Time Gem

From 1972 to 2016, the Time Gem was originally orange. From 2017 and onward it has changed to green.

The Time Gem allows the user to see into the past and the future; stop, slow down, speed up or reverse the flow of time; travel through time; change the past and the future; age and de-age beings, and trap people or entire universes in unending loops of time.

At full potential, when backed by the Power Gem, the Time Gem grants the user omniscience and total control over the past, present, and future.

Doctor Strange with the Time Gem
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Reference: Wikipedia

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Doctor Strange posing with powers