Stephen Strange was born to Eugene and Beverly Strange in 1930 while the couple was vacationing in Philadelphia. In 1932 Stephen's sister Donna was born at the family's Nebraska farm. Knowing that Strange was destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme, a resentful apprentice sorcerer, Karl Mordo, beset the child with demons from the age of eight through to adulthood, as he was jealous that a kid would be better than him. Ultimately Strange was rescued by Mordo's master, the Ancient One, mystic protector of the Earth-realm as the then-current Sorcerer Supreme. A year or two after this torment began, Stephen's brother, Victor, was born. At age eleven Strange aided an injured Donna, an experience which ultimately fostered an interest in medicine. Strange entered New York College as a pre-med student directly out of high school. Later, while home on vacation for his nineteenth birthday, Strange was swimming with Donna when she suffered a cramp. After a frantic search Stephen found her already drowned. The experience left him with a sense of personal failure that eroded his medical idealism.
Stephen earned his medical degree in record time and entered a five-year residency at New York Hospital, where his rapid success made him arrogant. Stephen's mother Beverly died near the end of his residency, and work became more and more impersonal for the bereaved surgeon. Strange's talent remained, however, and he became a wealthy and celebrated neurosurgeon before he turned thirty.
Egotistical and greedy, cold and callous, Strange's interest in his patients generally began and ended at his bill. The exception was Madeleine Revell, an injured United Nations translator whom he saved and fell in love with. Following a whirlwind romance and proposal, she left him due to his increasingly materialistic nature. Two years after his mother's death, Strange's father, Eugene also fell ill. Already crippled by grief over his mother's death (though he would never admit it), Stephen was unable to face any more tragedy, and refused to visit Eugene's deathbed. A few days later, an outraged Victor confronted Stephen in his apartment over his apparent lack of grief. Following the confrontation, Victor rushed from the apartment and into the path of an oncoming car. Victor died, and a guilt-wracked Stephen placed Victor's body in cold storage, half-hoping that future breakthroughs could revive him.
Around 1997, Strange was involved in a debilitating car accident. Though surgeons were able to save Strange, the nerves in his hands were severely damaged. With his surgical career over and too vain to accept positions as a consultant or assistant, Strange exhausted his fortune following every rumored treatment, no matter how ineffective. In a matter of months the once wealthy surgeon became a derelict, and resorted to performing a number of shady medical procedures to survive (and pay his growing bar tabs). Strange's guilt over the mistakes of his early life would come to weigh heavily upon him over the years, and his recollections of the time could not always be trusted.
Seeking the Ancient One
After hearing rumors of the mystical Ancient One, Strange pawned his last possessions for a ticket to the East. Strange found the Ancient One's Tibetan palace, but the aged sorcerer refused to cure him, instead offering to teach him in mysticism. Strange refused, but couldn't leave immediately due to a sudden blizzard. While staying for the duration of the storm, Strange witnessed the Ancient One's apprentice, Baron Mordo, secretly attack the teacher with mystically summoned skeletons, which the old woman easily dispelled. Strange, his skepticism eroding, confronted Mordo about the treachery but Mordo responded with restraining spells that kept Strange from warning the Ancient One or attacking Mordo physically. Amazed by these displays of magic, Strange underwent a change of heart. Deciding that the only way to stop Mordo was to learn magic himself in order to challenge Mordo on his terms, Strange accepted the Ancient One's offer. Pleased by Strange's acceptance for unselfish reasons, the Ancient One removed the mystic restraints, explaining that she was well aware of Mordo's treachery but preferred to keep Mordo close by in order to control and possibly change him.
The Ancient One had known of Strange and his potential to serve as the Sorcerer Supreme prior to even Strange’s first encounter with her, regarding his hidden prowess so highly that she rejected Daimon Hellstrom for Strange as her pupil. The Ancient One had planned to make Dr. Strange her successor.
Strange spent years under the Ancient One's tutelage, learning to tap the innate mystic powers of himself and the world around him, as well as how to invoke the powers of Principalities, powerful beings such as Dormammu and the Vishanti, who resided in their own mystic realms. A few years after Strange's arrival, Mordo left the Ancient One's palace to seek greater power. The two rivals would clash often in the future. It was during this time that Strange passed a test against Death itself. As a reward, Strange was given ageless life, and an ankh-shaped mark on his forehead that would only appear when his life was in dire jeopardy. The Ancient One herself had attained near-immortality by passing this test over 600 years earlier.
During his early years as a student of the mystic arts, Strange befriended many sorcerers around the world, including Lord Julian Phyffe and Sir Clive Bentley of Great Britain; Cardinal Alfeo Spinosa and Count Tancredo Carezzi of Italy; Omar Karindu, Rama Kaliph, and Turhan Barim of the Middle East; Wai Chee Yee and Sen-Yu of Asia; and Aleister Kane, Kenneth Ward, and Frank Brukner of America. Strange also found allies among more of earth's heroes, aiding the Black Fox in at least two adventures, while other adventurers, such as Immortalis and Terror, Inc., regarded him with skepticism.
Strange studied magic under the Ancient One for seven years and returned to the United States in the 1970s. Strange became a mystic consultant, establishing his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York's Greenwich Village. He was attended by Wong, latest in a centuries-old bloodline that had served the Ancient One, and who had became both Strange's servant and his friend. During this time Strange fought the demonic entities such as the Possessors, Aggamon, the House of Shadows, Zota, the Bottle Imp and KhLΘG. Strange also fought the otherworldly Nightmare, who fed upon dreaming humanity's terror, and became one of Strange's most bitter enemies. The mysterious doctor's reputation grew, and Strange even became an occasional consultant to local and federal authorities.
Powers and Abilities
Magic: Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth; he possesses vast mastery of the mystic arts, which he uses to defend his reality from otherworldly threats; his primary magical patrons are a group of entities known as "the Vishanti." The Vishanti are a trinity of godly beings composed of Agamotto, Hoggoth, and Oshtur. Although he has, on rare occasions, called upon the power of demons such as Dormammu; Strange more frequently did so before he realized Dormammu's true dark nature in the earlier issues. He has once stated that he can kill a mortal with the mere twitch of a finger.
- Intangibility: The ability of Invisibility or Near-Invisibility and Phasing through solid material.
- Mystic Bolts
- Banishment: Dr Strange has banished many types of creatures and humans to other dimensions but the extent of this is only possible as long as the 'Banish-ers' magic is greater then that of the 'Banish-ees' magic during the banishment.
- Flight: Doctor Strange can fly using magical energy but has since abandon it. (Presumably choosing to rely on the Cape of Levitation instead.)
- Protective Shields
- Time Manipulation: Strange has frozen, slowed, and traveled through time. This magic is enacted only through extreme concentration.
- Dimensional Travel
- Conjuring of Objects
- Various other spells: These spells seem to be quicker to perform but lesser in power than spells using divine energy. Strange has used his magics altogether to alter his clothing through something akin to minor molecular control, control and manipulate elements, Ect.
Dr. Strange has also been shown to amass as much wealth/gold as he desires using magic, as he has done to pay debts he owed.
Divine Sources: Dr. Strange can channel the virtually unlimited extra-dimensional energy of nigh-omnipotent mystical and non-mystical beings in multiple dimensions (known as Principalities) to empower his spells. This can take the form of standard spells ("Crimson Bands of Cyttorak") or just stating what he wants to occur and channeling some being to make it happen. It is unknown at this time what debt, if any, he incurs by invoking the powers that be. There is no strict quid pro quo (as the simple acknowledgement and invoking of the entity increases the entity's own powers, inexplicably), though some entities will feel he is obliged to heed their call when they need help in their conflicts as did the Vishanti.
This ability to be a conduit to multiversal power sources has given rise to the phrase "Dr. Strange is as powerful as the god he invokes."
Doctor Strange's powers typically come from one of three divine sources: The Vishanti (a trinity formed of Hoggoth, Oshtur, and Agamotto), the Octessence (a group of eight beings, consisting of Balthakk, Cyttorak, Farallah, Ikonn, Krakkan, Raggadorr, Valtorr, and Watoomb) and other beings who owe him a debt (this includes Satannish and even Dormammu). However, certain abilties of his stem from more obscure sources, such as the Faltine, the Seraphim, Cinnibus, Sheol, Ikthalon, Denak, Cyndriarr, Munnopor, Morpheus, Dyzakk, the Olympian deities (such as Poseidon and Hades) and others.
Darkness of the Divine Conduit (Black Magic): By sheer force of will "take" the power of another entity. This does not require the use of a spell. He used this ability against Arioch and Shuma-Gorath. The fact that Stephen can do this is a testament to his incredible will-power and strength of mind. This is considered black magic and as such he rarely employs this. Also when taking the powers of celestial entities he absorbs the mind and assumes their duties and roles in the dimension in which they exist. If his will falters, he can lose all sense of self.
Although Dr. Strange primarily uses spells that are considered 'white magic', he will use spells from other disciplines such as black magic, elemental magic, and catastrophe magic when necessary.
Dr. Strange's powers are all mystical but take several forms. Main manifestations include:
- It is said that he cannot use magic that can replicate anything discovered by human science.
- By force of will, Dr. Strange can "take" the power of another entity. This does not require the use of a spell. Also, when taking the powers of omnipotent entities, he can absorb their mind and assume their duties and roles in the dimension in which they exist. But, if his will falters, he can lose all sense of self.
- Dr. Strange also became proficient in Black Magic under the tutelage of Kaluu, including using the necromantic energy released in death for various effects. After he purged Shuma-Gorath from himself, he has since stopped using black magic.
- At a certain period, Dr. Strange became a receptacle of Earth's Gaia magic through the use of a forge built with the support of all his magical artifacts. This energy was exhausted in the War of Seven Spheres.
- For a brief period, research from the Vishanti library led Strange to tap into "catastrophe magic" by invoking a mystical alignment of all the planets, but this source of magic was limited and he ceased using it specifically as a source of his power.
- Strange's magical powers at their greatest peak exceeds that of even the Watcher Uatu and rivals that of other great beings, such as Galactus or Celestials.
As a result of his mystic training, Stephen is capable of a great many abilities, stemming from the innate resources of his body/mind/soul, such as:
- Astral Projection: Doctor Strange can release his astral form from his body, instantaneously and at will. In this form he does not need to breathe, eat, drink or sleep, is unrestricted by physical laws (for example, Strange has flown beyond Earth’s atmosphere, defying gravity with ease to speak with Iron Man), is invisible (though can be seen by any if he wished it so), intangible, and incapable of being harmed by all but the most powerful and rigorous of mystic means. As physical laws are meaningless on the astral plane, Strange is able to use it to traverse at virtually any speed desirable (Strange has reached Saint Missouri, Missouri from his Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village, New York in "a few brief seconds" thus, as well as traveling at the "speed of thought" through outer space).
- Universal Awareness: By performing mediation Dr Strange has sensed anomalies in time and space allowing him to protect against time travelers, extra dimensional invaders(Example: Dormammu, Nightmare), space aliens, Ect.
- Other Psychic Abilities
- Longevity/Fearlessness: Dr. Strange's lifespan has been extended and his fear of dying subsided in a manner similar to that of his mentor the Ancient One, due to a successful contest against Death. Though he can still be killed and even physically wounded he cannot succumb to any medical diseases. Doc passed a test by the Ancient One and defeated Death, or more accurately, accepted Death. As a result, from that moment forward, Doc stopped aging. "Death may come only from without, in battle-- and not from within." The Ancient One had once passed the same test himself, and lived 600 years. From that moment forward, a glowing ankh appears on Doc's forehead when he is in a situation of great danger and his death is imminent, "when Doc most needs a reaffirmation of life.
He appears to have modest psychic abilities which do not depend on magic. These abilities can be amplified by mystic energy and/or the Eye of Agamotto (done countless times) to afford Stephen incredibly powerful psychic abilities.
Former Expert Surgeon/Surgical Consultant: Strange holds an M.D. in neurosurgery, although his ability to perform such delicate tasks has been compromised due to his nerve-damaged hands, preventing him from performing surgery except when supplemented by magic. However, even without magic, Strange has shown himself capable of providing reasonable guidance to other less skilled, yet unmaimed surgeons through intense effort and strain. Strange is still capable of serving as a consultant.
Expert Occultist/Expert Magical Knowledge: During his studies which continued until recently Dr Strange has gain expert awareness on cults and the extra dimensional entities they worship, this knowledge as of yet far exceeds any on Earth in the Marvel Universe.
Expert Strategist: Stephen possesses considerable strategic skills, which he has employed as leader of the Defenders, all of which, combined with his level of intellect rivaling that of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and the other great minds of the Marvel Universe and surpassing even those of amazingly gifted intelligence such as Peter Parker, makes Strange a most formidable being indeed.
Skilled Martial Artist: Dr. Strange is a skilled athlete and was trained in the martial arts used by Tibetan monks in Kamar Taj, sufficient in talent to pass down such training to others, such as Clea. These talents have assisted him time-to-time when incapable of using his sorcery. Strange is a formidable opponent to any skilled attacker and continues to train regularly with Wong.
Normal human male with intensive regular exercise.
Science-Based Weakness: It has been said Strange's power is weaker against strictly science-based opponents.
Incantations and Gestures Dependency: Strange also depends on spoken incantations, mystical gesturing, and his arcane artifacts in his duties; likely these can be counted as weaknesses. Strange has been incapacitated various times by being gagged and bound, preventing him from uttering arcane invocations or performing mystic gestures.
Human Factor: Another weakness is that Strange, despite all his spells and magical training, is only human physically. Hence, if not taking proper care or defenses, Strange can be overpowered by mere blows, energy attacks, or gas. While technically immortal per se, he still must eat, sleep and breathe in order to survive.
Astro-Limits: Such is the skill and mastery of Doctor Strange that he is capable of spending up to 24 hours upon the astral plane before he must rejoin his ethereal form with his physical one, lest succumb to corporeal deterioration leading to bodily death and eternal suspension as a spirit. The physical form remains in an inert, death-like trance, vulnerable to both physical and magical forms of harm while the astral form is absent. If harm were to befall his physical form while he was in his astral form, he would be stranded in his wraith-like state. Though Strange has only his personal abilities in his astral form, the Ring of the Ancient One/Ring (of Full Power) can grant him access to the same resources he possesses in his physical body; however, certain writers and editors appear to have portrayed Strange in an astral form capable of feats beyond his personal abilities even without the Ring.
- Eye of Agamotto
- Cloak of Levitation
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of Stephen Strange (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: Stephen Strange (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by Stephen Strange (Earth-1010)
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