Talents: Medicine, Occult Lore, Mythological Lore, Martial Arts A, E,
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, resentful apprentice sorcerer Karl Mordo he beset the child with demons from the age of eight, as he was jealous a kid would be better than him, and on throughout his youth. Ultimately Strange was rescued by Mordo’s master, the Ancient One, mystic protector of the Earth-realm as the 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 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 bill1. 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 materialist 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 1963, Strange was involved in a debilitating car accident. Though surgeons were able to save Strange, the nerves in his hands were severely damaged1. 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 legitimate. In a matter of months the once wealthy surgeon became a derelict1, 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.
Doctor Stephen Strange
Added by Peteparker
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 man easily dispeled. 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 he was well aware of Mordo’s treachery but prefered to keep Mordo close by in order to control and possibly change him1.
The Ancient One had known of Strange and his potential to serve as the Sorcerer Supreme prior to even Strange’s first encounter with him, regarding his hidden prowess so highly that he rejected Damien Hellstrom for Strange as his pupil. The Ancient One had planned to make Dr. Strange his 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, Satannish, 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 himself 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 Britain2; 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 Possessors3, Aggamon4, the House of Shadows5, Zota6, 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 enemies789. The mysterious doctor’s reputation grew, and Strange even became an occasional consultant to local and federal authorities.
When the debut of the Fantastic Four heralded the dawn of the Heroic Age, Strange initially remained aloof from New York’s superhero community, fighting his battles against Nightmare and Baron Mordo1011121314 in secrecy. At one point Loki, the Asgardian god of trickery manipulated Strange into attacking his heroic foster brother, Thor. The treachery was soon exposed, however, and Strange turned against Loki15. Thor would later, in the guise of Dr. Donald Blake save Strange’s life by operating on him after another battle with Mordo16. Soon after, a clash with Mordo led Strange to ally with the young Spider-Man, who helped Strange rescue several people from a mystic dimension. The experience proved so traumatic that Spider-Man asked Strange to remove their memories of the event, though this caused them to forget Spider-Man’s heroism as well. Impressed by the young hero’s bravery and altruism, Strange came to regard him as a friend, and the two have teamed up many times over the years.
The Dread Dormammu, sensing his old adversary the Ancient One’s declining power, soon challenged Strange to a mystic duel in his Dark Dimension as part of a larger plan to invade the Earth-Realm. While there, Strange was approached by Clea, a novice mystic and, though few knew it at the time, daughter of Dormammu’s sister Umar. Clea feared that if Dormammu fell as ruler of the Dark Dimension, dimensional barriers would weaken and the realm would be ravaged by the Mindless Ones. Clea thus sought to prevent the duel, but Strange would not yield17. Dormammu easily outmatched Strange, but in the process lost just enough of his energies that the Mindless Ones were able to invade. Seeking to save the Dark Dimension’s denizens, Strange lent Dormammu enough power to restore the barrier. Enraged by his own weakness, Dormammu felt honor-bound to spare Strange, who in turn bargained with him to spare both the Earth-Realm and the attractive Clea18. The vengeful Dormammu never forgot the humiliation, however, and became one of Strange’s most implacable enemies.
Shortly after, Strange joined several superheroes in battle against the powerful mutate Sundown. Now more involved with the superhero community, he became a special consultant to prominent super-teams such as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Avengers. Months after attending the wedding of Reed and Sue Richards,19 Strange was reunited with his own love, Clea, who came to live with him in New York.
Later, Strange was exiled to a hostile dimension by Asmodeus, who took the doctor’s form in an attempt to catch the Ancient One by surprise. Prevented from returning to the Earth-Realm by metaphysical law so long as Asmodeus occupied his form, Strange adopted a new form with a full-face mask (perhaps emulating his superhero allies). After defeating Asmodeus, Strange retained the new appearance to preserve his anonymity. After carelessly revealing his name during a battle with Nightmare, the cosmic Eternity, whom Strange was aiding at the time, agreed to return Strange’s anonymity by altering all relevant earthly documents and memories bearing the name “Stephen Strange” to “Stephen Sanders.”
Strange next resisted the invading Undying Ones, a race of demons that had once dominated the Earth, and were led by the infernal Nameless One. To face the onslaught, Strange manipulated Prince Namor of Atlantis20 and the monstrous Hulk into aiding him. With the Undying Ones defeated, Strange seemed to believe the world safe from further incursion. Strange was troubled by his arrogant exploitation of Namor and the Hulk, however, and decided to forego magic and return to medicine as a consultant, selflessly performing the duties once thought beneath him.
Strange’s return to medicine lasted only a few weeks. After Baron Mordo tried to kill him, Strange returned to sorcery and defeated Mordo with the help of the Ancient One. The Ancient One, for reasons of his own, reversed Eternity’s spell, restoring the name “Stephen Strange” to the world’s records and memories. Shortly thereafter, the Nameless One returned and Strange donned his (non-masked) robes to confront the threat alongside Namor and the Hulk. Becoming friends despite their differences, the three were soon joined by the alien Silver Surfer to form the core of the Defenders, a loose-knit “non-team” that would reunite sporadically to meet threats against the Earth.
A Captured Sorcerer
Added by Ralnon
Main articles: Illuminati (Earth-616) and Illuminati
Following the Kree-Skrull War, a number of Earth’s most powerful heroes — Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Professor X, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, and Namor — formed the establishment of the Illuminati. The secretive group of Earth’s most influential heroes would meet only a few times, and only to tackle events of extraordinary importance. While certain Illuminati members were unable to attend certain gatherings (such as Xavier and Iron Man), Strange attended all known meetings, adding the viewpoint and perspective his decades of battling mystic evil had brought him.
The Illuminati inadvertently precipitated an invasion of Earth by the shapeshifting, alien Skrull race by attacking the homeworld after delivering a warning not to endanger their planet again. This led to their capture, experimentation and analysis, which enabled the Skrulls to eventually perform enough reverse biological engineering and cloning to gather the resources required to launch a covert invasion.
Strange came under attack by servants of the Old One Shuma-Gorath, a vast extradimensional entity who had ruled on Earth millenia ago, but was banished in the Hyborean era. Shuma-Gorath sought to return through the mind of the Ancient One himself, and Strange entered his mentor’s mind to confront the creature. After fighting a losing battle, the Ancient One himself asked Strange to slay him rather than allow Shuma-Gorath passage to Earth. The Ancient One’s physical death made him one with Eternity, and Strange inherited the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, guardian of the entire universe. Seeking solace from his new burdens, Strange attempted to use his power to revive his brother Victor using spells from the Book of the Vishanti; unfortunately, Strange did not realize he had read the Vampiric Verses, imbuing Victor with the potential for resurrection as a vampire. Thinking the spells had failed, Strange left his brother’s body in cold storage.
Strange continued his adventures with the Defenders, and over the months the informal team’s ranks included beings such as the Asgardian Valkyrie, Brunnhilde, the winged millionaire Nighthawk, the happy-go-lucky Hellcat, and others. Though this pitted Strange against less magical foes (such as the mutant Magneto, the alien Nebulon, the subversive Sons of the Serpent, and the bizarre Headmen) the camaraderie of the team and the love of Clea gave Strange a welcome change from his customary solitude.
At one point, the trans-temporal sorcerers called the Creators manipulated the Ancient One’s spirit into offering Strange a chance to become one with the universe. When Strange rejected the offer he was stripped of the mantle and power of Sorcerer Supreme. Strange soon joined battle with the Creators, defeating their ally, the In-Betweener, and thwarting their reality-reshaping plans. Their deception revealed, the Ancient One restored Strange’s title; who, if anyone, assumed the title in the meantime is unknown. Though Strange’s adventure took mere days from his perspective, weeks passed on Earth.
Months later, the mysterious alien Tribunals perpetrated a hoax that convinced the four founding Defenders that their alliance would eventually cause a cosmic tragedy, and the group was disbanded. It would be some time before the hoax was exposed. Strange soon lent aid to BorderLine Investigative Services (actually a band of vampire hunters) in confronting Dracula. At one point, Strange cast the Darkhold’s famed Montesi Formula, a spell which destroyed all vampires within the Earth-Realm. The cryogenically stored body of Victor Strange, however, was passed over because it had been enchanted with the powers of the Book of the Vishanti. With the book ultimately being a tome of protection (even when applied to vampires), Victor’s body survived.
Meanwhile, in the Dark Dimension, Clea had returned to lead the rebellion against its current ruler Umar, whom she learned was her mother. Clea overthrew Umar and took the throne with Strange’s help, but her responsibilities as ruler of the Dark Dimension and his as Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth-Realm meant the two would be forced to separate. Upon returning to Earth, however, Strange’s role as Sorcerer Supreme was challenged by the covetous alien Urthona. At one point, the struggle against Urthona forced strange to destroy his own collection of talismans, tomes, and artifacts to prevent Urthona from take control of them. (It was later revealed that Agamotto, one of three Vishanti, had intervened, sequestering the collection away at the moment Strange seemed to destroy them).
With the artifacts removed, the barriers between dimensions they had established weakened, and the Earth was assaulted by a number of once-pacified mystic threats. Strange met the threats with the extradimensional novice mystic Rintrah, and was eventually joined by Kaluu, an old rival of the Ancient One and master of life-draining black magic. Weakened by the loss of his artifacts, Strange reluctantly accepted Kaluu’s offer to teach him the black arts. These skills served Strange well when confronted with the return of Shuma-Gorath, whom Strange fought on one of his home planes. The power required to defeat Shuma-Gorath corrupted Strange, to the point where he merged with the evil demon-god. After inducing the merged creature to commit suicide, both Shuma-Gorath and Strange’s own ego were destroyed. Kaluu guided Strange’s spirit back to Earth, slowly restoring Strange’s ego as he burnt off the taint of Shuma-Gorath’s evil. Though this ultimately allowed the demon to reform in his home dimension, at least it had been prevented from returning to Earth. Shortly thereafter, Strange returned to the Dark Dimension and married Clea, who came to live with him on Earth. Strange took Rintrah as his new apprentice, and an apparition of Agamotto restored Strange’s seemingly lost collection. With the collection restored, Earth seemed return to status quo.
Strange assisted the X-Men (on the behest of fellow Illuminati member and longtime friend Professor X) when Margali Szardos, Sorceress Supreme and adoptive mother to Nightcrawler, believed Wagner had been guilty of cold-blooded murder and thus magically separated his soul from his body into her own dimension. Strange determined that Nightcrawler was actually human, that a hostile yet not malevolent mystic force was responsible for his body’s “death”. Strange was taken along with the X-Men to Margali’s realm of “Hell” where Kurt’s innocence was proved and they were allowed to return to Earth on good terms. However, Strange was shocked when the Eye of Agamotto was used by Margali, who told him engimatically that he had not been the Eye’s first custodian, nor would he be the last, ending with Strange determined to find out more about the potent yet mysterious sorceress.21