Clea Lake was a young woman living in a one-room apartment in New York City. She had a mystical psychic bond with Stephen Strange, a psychiatrist with a talent for mystic arts, although they had never met. Lake lived alone while attending University to get a degree in psychology. As she had not much money, she bought second-hand books and looked for special offers. Unbeknownst to Lake, the evil witch Morgan le Fay had reached Earth from her exile and intended to murder the Sorcerer Supreme, Thomas Lindmer. Le Fay saw Lake and, seeing that Lake had an innocent soul, she decided to use her in her plan: Le Fay possessed Lake, controlling her actions.
Lindmer tried to stop Le Fay on an urban bridge over the road, but le Fay disappeared. Lake then walked across the bridge as if she were a mere pedestrian and, when she had Lindmer at hand, she pushed him over the bridge's edge. Lindmer was caught completely unaware and fell to his apparent death. The situation was so shocking that Lake broke the possession and screamed aghast. Le Fay approached Lake and asked whether the old man was dead or not, and Lake escaped. Lake was not even conscious that her own hands had pushed Lindmer, and she understood that the other woman was somehow responsible for that. This event was so traumatic that Stephen Strange perceived it as a dream, due to his bond with Lake.
Lindmer survived using magic, but he was too weakened to attempt anything like that again. He however understood that Lake, the girl that le Fay had used, was important for them because le Fay would go back to her—thus, Lake was in danger. Lindmer sent his pupil, Wong, to find Lake. Although he did not know her name, he had drawn a portrait of her. Lake was plagued by nightmares featuring le Fay. She woke up stressed, and she still saw le Fay's face everywhere. Scared, she ran from her own home, leaving the door open, and almost caused a traffic accident. A cab driver, seeing her distress, offered to help, and then they both noticed that Lake was amnesic. The cabbie took her to the East Side Hospital ER, where she was assigned to psychiatry-under Dr. Stephen Strange. Strange recognized her from his vision but, being a rational man, he discarded the possibility. Lake insisted in telling about the bridge event, which Strange remembered vividly. Lake asked to not be given sleep-inducing drugs, and strange agreed to that (although he also ordered to test Lake for illegal drugs)—in fact Lake was violent when a nurse tried to give her one routine medicament. Strange sided with Lake at this. Le Fay tried to stop Strange, but Strange had a ring with the symbol of light that protected him.
Wong also found Lake in the hospital, and reported to Lindmer. Lindmer went to see Lake; as he could claim that he had met her previously, he had a valid reason, and he used his magic powers to "convince" the nurses. Lindmer finally talked to Strange and explained that Lake was in danger due to magical forces, but Strange could help her if he accepted this heterodox vision of reality. Strange was sceptical, but friendly.
Chief of Psychiatry Dr. Frank Taylor, disagreeing with Strange's medical approach, gave Lake a tranquilizer. Strange angrily yelled at Taylor, who replied that Lake was not Strange's personal patient but an aggressive patient in a public hospital. A second doctor sided with Taylor, suggesting that Strange liked Lake and thus he could not be objective.
However, the drug was enough to make Lake sleep, and le Fay took this chance to capture her: A sleeping person visited the lower astral planes, but le Fay took Lake's astral form to the higher astral planes, which she could not leave by herself and where she would be hounded by hostile dwellers; should they kill her astral form, her body would follow. Meanwhile, Lake's body fell into a comma and her state was critical. Strange quickly acted as a doctor and stabilized Lake, but he could not wake her up. Strange visited Lindmer at Lindmer's mansion to see if he could help Lake. Lindmer explained that Lake had been trapped in the astral plane, and a magician could rescue her by travelling there - but Lindmer himself had been recently weakened and was unable to do so. However, Lindmer could train Strange so that Strange could go, making use of his latent abilities. Strange accepted because Lake was in danger. Lindmer explained that Strange could track Lake using their psychic bond and, once he grabbed her, he could wake himself and her by concentrating. Strange's ring, Lindmer continued, would protect him against most of the inhabitants of the plane but, should any of them attack, Lindmer taught Strange a spell, a plea to Raggadorr that would repel them.
Lake was found by Strange, but by then le Fay had already noticed and sent the monster Balzaroth to retain them both. Balzaroth succeeded in separating Lake from Strange, but then Strange defeated Balzaroth with his spell. Strange then took Lake and both of them left the astral plane. Lake woke up in the hospital, remembering a vivid dream in which Strange valiantly saved her life.
In the hospital, Lake recovered completely and admitted to herself that she felt attracted to Dr. Strange. She decided to play billiards to while away the time until Strange came to see her, and see if he could walk her home simply for the pleasure of his company. Strange, feeling attracted to Lake too, agreed. Lake told him about her dream, but he suggested that he had only saved her using traditional, medical reasons. Lake told him that she studied psychology and that he could babysit her to help with her homework. They agreed to have a date for dinner that same night.
Le Fay then managed to defeat Lindmer and Wong, apprehending the latter, and she magically appeared on Lake's house just when she was receiving Strange for her date. At seeing le Fay again, Lake suffered another breakdown and she collapsed on her bed. Le Fay then approached Strange and blackmailed him: She threatened to hurt Lake unless he accompanied le Fay to another dimension. Strange agreed, worried about Lake, but then Strange defeated le Fay in her own domain and released Lindmer. Strange then agreed to train as a wizard under Lindmer, happy to know that he had no need to renounce to love.
Soon afterward, Lake dated Strange again—but she did not remember her previous date, her encounters with le Fay or even the conversation she had had with Strange when leaving the hospital. During a walk, they saw le Fay in a TV interview: The sorceress pretended to be a self-help expert using a secret method to "release the inner power" of her young followers. Lake did not recognize le Fay and claimed that le Fay's method looked like some dumb fashion.
- Psychic bond: Clea Lake has a natural psychic bond with the wizard and doctor Stephen Strange. Due to this, they were especially linked to each other, and important events in their lives were perceived by the other as a dream, even before they met. Besides, the bond allowed Strange to find Lake in the astral planes. Apparently, the bond was natural.
- A certain knowledge of psychology. She has also shown ability at playing billiards.
- Clea Lake had a history of psychic problems due to her encounters with Morgan le Fay. During her worst crisis, Lake suffered from somniphobia because she correctly believed that le Fay could get her if she was sleeping.
- Clea Lake has limited resources and resorted to second-hand books and special offers to buy study material.
- In the movie Dr. Strange, Clea Lake is portrayed by actress Eddie Benton (born Edmonda Benton), who later changed her stage name to Anne-Marie Martin.
- In the movie, Clea Lake is a human student unaware of the magic-users around her, very different to the comic-book character who is a magic-user woman from another dimension. The main similitudes seem to be that Clea is Dr. Strange's love interest and that she is a damsel-in-distress, repeatedly kidnapped and targeted by the villain.
- 1 Appearances of Clea Lake (Earth-96173)
- Minor Appearances of Clea Lake (Earth-96173)
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