Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dr. Stephen Strange is a supreme master of the mystic arts, who uses his abilities to battle evil magicians and other supernatural villains. He is also often a consultant for other superheroes on supernatural matters.
Dr. Strange experienced a brief stint of popularity during the psychedelic era of the late 1960s. Since then, Marvel has published several, minorly popular series featuring the character and he makes frequent guest appearances in various Marvel comic books.
Dr. Stephen Strange was originally an accomplished, but arrogant surgeon who suffered subtle, but profound neurological damage in an auto accident. Unable to continue his profession and too proud to accept another medical assignment, he quickly became unemployed and destitute. He learned of an old hermit called the Ancient One who could have the ability to cure him. Strange sought him out and asked for his aid, the old man refused, but offered to take him on as an apprentice. Strange refused, but could not leave immediately due to a sudden blizzard.
While staying for the duration, he saw the Ancient One's current apprentice, Baron Mordo, secretly attack his teacher with some mystically summoned entities. Although Strange saw the old man easily fight them off, he still confronted Mordo about his treachery and promised to inform his master. Mordo retaliated by casting restraining spells which kept Strange from both warning the wizard or attacking Mordo physicially. Amazed by these displays of magic, alarmed by Mordo's evil and the peril the Ancient One was in, but frustrated by the mystic restraints, Stephen Strange underwent a profound change of heart. Deciding the only way to stop Mordo was to learn magic himself so he could challenge Mordo on his terms, he accepted the Ancient One's offer of apprenticeship. Pleased by Strange's acceptance and the unselfish reason for it, the Ancient One accepted him and immediately removed the mystic restraints. The wizard explained that he was well aware of Mordo's treachery, but preferred to keep the villain so he could control him.
Eventually, Strange learned well and eventually took the Ancient One's place as Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, the chief wizard of his dimension and responsible for defending it from other mystic threats.
The comic quickly distinguished itself with the unique visuals of artist Steve Ditko's depiction of the bizarre other realities that the wizard often ventured into. Since Ditko's departure, the character has had a spotty publishing history, both with his own series and the leader of his own superhero team, The Defenders. He is now chiefly used as a supporting character, the one other Marvel superheroes turn to for matters concerning magic and the supernatural.
Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth; he has unparalleled 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 comprised of Agamotto, Hoggoth and Oshtur. He also calls upon the power a number of other extra-dimensional entities, such as Cyttorak (see Juggernaut), the Seraphim, Watoomb, the Faltine, Ikonn, Munipoor and many others, often invoking these entities in alliterative oaths ("By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!" is nearly Dr. Strange's catch-phrase). Although he has, on rare occasions, called upon the power of the demonic Dormammu, he no longer does so. He also holds a M.D. in neurosurgery, although his ability to perform such delicate tasks has been compromised due to an accident.
Dr. Strange's powers are derived from three sources: 1) personal sources, such as telekinesis, astral projection (up to 24 hours), telepathy, and other mind powers, 2) universal sources, energy-manipulation powers such as the ability to cast eldritch bolts, and 3) dimensional sources which allow Dr. Strange to call upon gods, demons, and other higher-dimensional beings for them to "loan" him power. It is unknown at this time what deal is made between a sorcerer and the extradimensional being.
Note that some other (non-human) sorcerers, such as Dr. Strange's former apprentice/wife Clea, have an additional source of power. Clea naturally generates mystical energy, which she can then use (or, it is assumed, 'lend' to supplicants calling on her). When the Vishanti asked him to fight as a soldier in the War of the Seven Spheres, and refused to allow him to call upon them when he declined Dr. Strange briefly tapped into this type of energy by immersing himself within the Earth's mystical Gaeian aura, but his ability to tap this energy was expended when the Vishanti eventually forcibly drafted him in the five thousand year War, and the aura itself was damaged.
Later, research from the Vishanti library led Dr. Strange to tap into catastrophe magic by invoking a syzygy of all the planets, but this source of magic was limited and he ceased using it when the Vishanti once again allowed him to call on their power.
Additionally, Dr. Strange at one point turned to black magic to augment the temporary loss of all his sorcerous paraphernalia. Mentored by Kaluu (the Ancient One's former adversary), Dr. Strange eventually absorbed all the powers of the dark god Shuma-Gorath before being restored back to humanity. He no longer uses black magic, but his "white magic" powers seemed to be augmented after this.
Dr. Strange also possesses numerous magical artifacts, including the famous all-seeing Eye of Agamotto, which is kept in the amulet he wears at his throat. Its piercing light can be used to hypnotize and immobilize others, reveal mystical auras and magical effects, completely read another's mind, play back recent past events in an area and dissolve illusions, among other things.
Bibliography of Doctor Strange titles
- Doctor Strange (1968 series) #169-183 (June 1968 - November 1969 )
- Doctor Strange: Master of the Mystic Arts (1974 series) #1-81 (June 1974 - February 1987 )
- Giant-Size Doctor Strange (1975 )
- Doctor Strange Annual #1 (1976 )
- Doctor Strange: Into Shamballa (Graphic Novel) (1986 )
- Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme (1988 series) #1-90 (November 1988 - June 1996)
- Doctor Strange/Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment (1989 )
- Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Annual #2-4 (1992 - 1994 )
- Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Special (1992 )
- Doctor Strange (1999 series) #1-4 (February 1999 - March 1999 )
- Doctor Strange/Silver Dagger (1983 )
- Doctor Strange: What is it that disturbs you, Stephen? (October 1997)
- Strange (2004 )
- Unofficial Fan Page 
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