Let’s see here: he wears the Cape of Levitation, has the Book of the Vishanti, and rocks the one and only Eye of Agamotto… If you guessed mist-, I mean, Doctor Strange, you’d be correct! What, the title gave it away already? Shame.
One of my favorite comic book characters in the recent years, Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange, has finally come to the big screen and all I can say is – it’s a bout damn time, Marvel!
A small PSA, if I may. In my opinion, going in blind to see a Marvel movie these days is like eating suspicious stuff in complete darkness. You’d enjoy that sandwich more if you knew that it’s not live crickets crunching between your teeth, and if it’s even a sandwich at all! Okay, that metaphor went a little bit overboard, but you get the idea – read up on the characters before you go see a comic book movie. It will greatly enhance your experience.
That said, I’m not going to retell you Doctor Strange’s origin story, there’s plenty of that in the movie and in more reputable comic book related sources and YouTube videos. What I do want to show you, however, are some pretty neat, and little-known, bits of info about this character, that I myself find fascinating. Let’s roll!
Doctor Strange was inspired by Chandu the Magician and Vincent Price
First appearing in 1963’s Strange Tales #110, the Sorcerer Supreme was created by the legendary comic artist Steve Ditko and originally named “Mr. Strange”. Strange looked a lot like Vincent Price, a horror icon from the ’60s, who played sorcerers on multiple occasions. It’s also the reason Stephen Strange’s middle name is “Vincent”.
Another huge source of inspiration for him was “Chandu the Magician”, a 1930s radio program, featuring a secret agent magician who used astral plane and illusions to solve his cases. That’s basically Doctor Strange in a nutshell.
He’s a member of the Illuminati
Hold on, before you call bullsh#t, it’s not the real-world Illuminati, but their comic book equivalent, featuring the world’s most important and/or most powerful people, like Tony Stark, Dr. Strange, Namor the Submariner, Mr. Fantastic, Professor X, and Black Bolt. If you don’t know some of these names, don’t worry, there’s a good chance one day we’ll get to see them all in one movie. This group of super-powered individuals were the ones who prevented the Kree-Skrull war, tried to destroy the Infinity Stones, and even sent the Hulk into space, only to have him come back way-WAY stronger and angrier than before (look up “Planet Hulk” and “World War Hulk” if you’re interested).
Also, an aberrant alliteration addict
Tell me if you see a pattern here: Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, Bolts of Balthakk, Fangs of Farallah, Seven Suns of Cinnibus, Flames of Faltine, Daggers of Daveroth, Vapors of Valtorr, Winds of Watoomb… Should I continue? And this is all Stan Lee’s fault, as he really enjoyed his alliteration in characters and (obviously) all sorts of spells.
He founded the Defenders
If you’ve been following the MCU, at some point you probably heard of the Netflix series like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist, and that they were supposed to form the superhero team known as the Defenders (coming soon, by the way). But these are not the same Defenders, that Dr. Strange chose in the comics. That team originally included the Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer, who were usually loners, protecting humanity against powerful supernatural threats. I’ve always been a sucker for a good team-up, so hopefully, Dr Strange will get a cameo or at least will be referenced in some way, in the upcoming Defenders series.
He’s not as powerful, as he used to be
There was a time period in the comics, when Doctor Strange was nearly omnipotent. He could go toe-to-toe against an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Adam Warlock, fought the omnipotent Living Tribunal (see if you can catch a reference to this dude in the movie), and even performed open-heart surgery on yet another all-powerful Marvel entity – Eternity.
Since then the poor Doctor has been nerved a lot. Naturally, he’s still someone you don’t want to piss off, he’s far less powerful than he once was. How weak? Well, he got his ass handed to him by a bunch of ninjas. And his current run in the comics called “The Last Days of Magic” feels like they’ll either make him super powerful again, or it’s gonna be the end for him…The movie’s earned an amazing pile of moola so far – over $400 million … Powerful it is then!
Doctor Strange has never been an Avenger
It’s so weird to realize that Dr. Strange has never actually been an official member of the Avengers. Sure, he fought alongside them, and was a member of the New Avengers in 2008, but that’s not the same. Surely, he will get an invitation from Tony Stark, but will he accept it? Doubt it, we need to make that Illuminati team-up happen!
Not the only Sorcerer Supreme
And for dessert, how about we travel to some parallel universes, where Doctor Strange is not the Sorcerer Supreme, but instead we have:
And even Victor von Doom himself