10 Facts You Should Know About DOCTOR STRANGE
Welcome to 10 Facts, where we give you a rundown of the ten essential things (and some obscure facts) that you should know about a character.
With his movie inching closer, this edition focuses on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange!
1. He was created by Steve Ditko.
Dr. Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110 in July 1963. Although Stan Lee wrote the script for the issues, Ditko has always been solely credited for the creation of the character. Lee even admitted that Doctor Strange is purely Ditko’s idea, well except for the name.
However, in the 2007 documentary In Search of Steve Ditko, Lee personally believes that he is a co-creator of Doctor Strange.
2. He was a top neurosurgeon.
While the name Doctor Strange definitely sounds like a traditional comic book superhero/supervillain name, it is in fact the character’s real name. Before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange was a top neurosurgeon in the medical field (which made him egotistical and arrogant) before suffering severe nerve damage to his hands in a tragic car accident.
Seeking for a cure to restore his hands, he eventually met the Sorcerer Supreme at the time, the Ancient One, where he was taken as his disciple.
3. He wields several mystical artifacts.
The way Doctor Strange’s magic works is that his powers aren’t inherently in him, but the artifacts he uses. As a magic practitioner, Strange channels the energies from different mystical entities like Agamotto and Cyttorak, and artifacts that allow him to use their spells.
For example, his signature artifacts are the Cloak of Levitation, Eye of Agamotto and the Orb of Agamotto. The Cloak of Levitation (his red cape) allows him to fly, while the Eye of Agamotto (the amulet around his neck) works as some sort of protection against evil magic. The Orb of Agamotto (a crystal ball) senses magic being used around the world, providing him a location and visual. Think of it as his own version of Professor X’s Cerebro.
Interestingly, the Orb of Agamotto can be seen in Odin’s vault in 2011’s Thor along with the Infinity Gauntlet.
4. He has a sidekick named Wong.
During his training, Doctor Strange was given a servant by the Ancient One named Wong. Though some may think of him as Strange’s “Alfred,” Wong is actually capable of using spells himself and is a master of several different martial arts.
Wong has served Doctor Strange loyally for many years (Strange considers him as his best friend), and during that time witnessed him inherit the title of Sorcerer Supreme from the Ancient One.
5. He lives in the Sanctum Sanctorum.
The Sanctum Sanctorum is the residence of Doctor Strange and Wong. It is located in 177A Bleeker Street, Greenwich Village in New York City, which was the real address of the apartment of Doctor Strange writer Roy Thomas.
Doctor Strange cast a permanent spell over the Sanctum as protection from potential invaders. It can alter its appearance as needed and houses a vast library of mystical books and artifacts.
6. He wore a superhero costume for a while.
When the sales of his comic book started to dwindle down, Marvel decided to give him a more traditional superhero look as a way to renew interest to the character and boost sales.
The “blue costume” debuted in Doctor Strange #177 (Feb. 1969) by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan in which he is almost unrecognizable as the Master of the Mystic Arts. It didn’t sit right with the fans, and his series was cancelled six issues later (and the blue costume with it).
7. He is a member of the Illuminati.
Yes, the Illuminati is very real, in the Marvel Universe at least.
The Illuminati is a secret group of superheroes formed by Iron Man as kind of a “superhero government” after the Kree-Skrull War devastated the Earth. The team consists of Namor the Sub-Mariner, Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), Black Bolt of the Inhumans, Doctor Strange, Iron Man and Professor Charles Xavier. Black Panther was approached by Tony Stark to be a part of the team, but he outright refused to meet or even participate. He rationalizes that such a team will inevitably end in a less altruistic manner due to their huge egos.
Similar to the United Nations, each member of the team represents a different superhero society in the Marvel Universe. The Illuminati’s main goal is to exchange information that could potentially prevent grave otherwordly threats in the future. Recently it has been revealed that each member guards an Infinity Gem.
8. He is a founding member of the Defenders.
Doctor Strange is a founding member of the superhero team the Defenders along with Namor, Hulk and later on, the Silver Surfer. Debuting in Marvel Feature #1 (December 1971), the Defenders were a group of solo heroes or outsiders formed by Dr. Strange to fight extra-dimensional and mystical threats. Described as a “non-team,” the group only came together when needed and weren’t exactly an official team like the Avengers.
Over time, the Defenders’ ranks grew to include other heroes like Hellcat and Nighthawk. Their mission also expanded from only stopping supernatural threats to fighting any other threat that came to Earth.
Although Marvel’s The Defenders from Netflix shares its name with the comics superhero team, its founding members and origins are vastly different.
9. He has never been an Avenger.
It doesn’t take much to be a member of the Avengers these days in the Marvel Universe, and recently, membership requirements have eased up quite a bit. Almost all Marvel superheroes have been a part of the Avengers in some form or another. But in all the years since the group’s incarnation one interesting fact remains the same, Dr. Strange still has never been part of the Avengers.
However, he appeared in a few story arcs in the 2005 comics series New Avengers, providing them housing in the Sanctum Sanctorum (disguised as an ongoing construction for a future Starbucks no less). Nevertheless, whether he’d become an official member in the future still remains to be seen.
10. There has already been a live-action Dr. Strange movie before.
Unless you’re a big fan of the character, a lot of people may think this is the Sorcerer Supreme’s first foray into film. But in 1978, a made-for-TV movie about Dr. Strange aired on the CBS network starring Peter Hooten in the titular role.
CBS’ original plan was to use the movie as a pilot to lead into a Dr. Strange TV series, capitalizing on the success of its The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man shows at the time. Unfortunately, poor ratings forced CBS to cancel its plans, and Dr. Strange never made it past the 93-minute pilot.