The Sorcerers Supreme

Sorcerers Supreme

Sorcerer Supreme or Sorceress Supreme is a title granted to the "practitioner of the mystic or magic arts who has greater skills than all others or commands a greater portion of the ambient magical energies than any other organism on a given world or "dimension". By definition, there can be at most two Sorcerer Supremes per world at a time: there will be two Sorcerers Supreme if one of them has greater skills than all others while the other commands a greater portion of the ambient magical energies than any other; there will be no Sorcerer Supreme if there is a tie between two organisms in terms of their above-mentioned skills or abilities; and there will be one Sorcerer/ess Supreme if the same organism both has greater skills than all others and commands a greater portion of the ambient magical energies than any other.

Prime Marvel Universe Earth

Agamotto, circa 1,000,000 BCE and 18,000 BCE to 15,000 BCE

Agamotto the All Seeing

The immensely powerful being known as Agamotto the All Seeing unofficially served as Earth's first Sorcerer Supreme. Agamotto was also part of an Avengers team around 1,000,000 BCE.[1]


Zhered-Na, circa 19,000 BCE

Zhered-Na

Varnae, the Lord of the Vampires before Dracula rose to power, was once summoned to the Assemblage of Avatars, a gathering of the most powerful users of magic existent on Earth at the time, including the then-Sorceress Supreme Zhered-Na, by the first Sorcerer Supreme Agamotto to seek a solution for the conflicts between the Elder Gods, but little was achieved during the meeting and Agamotto himself grew frustrated by the limitations of humanity. One time while battling Doctor Strange, he claimed that he once sought the title of Sorcerer Supreme before he became a vampire.[2][3]


Shamhat of Akah Ma'at, circa 15,000 BCE to 11,000 BCE

Among the Bird-Men of Akah Ma'at, the great priestess of Oshtur, Shamhat Saraswati was hand chosen by Agamotto to served as the Sorcerer Supreme.[4][5][6][7]


Ayesha, circa 10,000 BCE to 6000 BCE

When a battle between all of Earth's mightiest mages was held to determine the next Sorcerer Supreme, the priestess Ayesha, the Rain Queen of Balobedu emerged as the champion. Ayesha is believed to be the ancient ancestor of Ashake and Ororo Munroe.[5][8]


Hermes Trismegistus, circa 6000 BCE to 3000 BCE

Hermes Trismegistus

In ancient Egypt, a powerful wizard was chosen as the Sorcerer Supreme. With this honor, he changed his name to Hermes Trismegistus and served as the Sorcerer Supreme for nearly 3000 years.[5][8]


Aged Genghis, circa 3000 BCE

Aged Genghis

Granted power and wisdom from the Vishanti, the ancient wizard known as Aged Genghis served for a time as the Sorcerer Supreme. Aged Genghis has also maintained other duties such as judging the contest of Earth's most powerful magic users to determine who can hold the title of Sorcerer Supreme.[5][6][8]


Zoroaster, circa 1800 BCE to 1300 BCE

Zoroaster

In Persia, the great wizard priest Zoroaster, a hero from the Hyborian Age, served as the Sorcerer Supreme between 1800 BCE to 1300 BCE.[5][6][8]


Salomé, circa 1300 to 1100 BCE

Salomé

Following the demon Zarathos's defeat some twenty-five millennia ago by the supernatural Blood, some among them worshiped him as the Fallen. Salomé, possibly the ancestor of the namesake of the millennia-old line of sorceresses of the same name, was among the Fallen's most powerful members, and around the thirteenth century BCE she became Sorceress Supreme, by her account the first denizen of the Earth to do so. She presumably protected the Earth dimension from various threats, but her ego demanded worship as a goddess, which she received in the Assyrian city of Nimrud. Eventually, Salomé and her fellow Fallen were banished to another dimension, while the Sorcerer Supreme role apparently fell to a sorcerer on another planet within Earth's universe, though eventually, the responsibility fell again on the burdens of the mystics of Earth.


King Solomon, circa 1100 BCE to 800 BCE

King Solomon of Israel

Solomon the King of ancient Israel was a prophet of the Israelite people and a powerful sorcerer. He was the Sorcerer Supreme for almost 2000 years.[5][8]


Queen of Sheba, circa 800 BCE to 550 BCE

Balkis, the Queen of Sheba

Following the death of her mentor and paramour, King Solomon, Balkis, Queen of Sheba, took up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.[5][6][8]


The Triumvirate, circa 550 BCE to 400 BCE

In 550 BCE, a group of three Greek philosopher sorcerers, Thales the Milesian, Pythagoras of Samos, and Pherecydes of Syros, jointly held the position of Sorcerer Supreme as The Triumvirate. Pythagoras was eventually replaced by Empedocles of Agrigentum and Thales was replaced by Epimenides of Knossos.[5][6][8]


Caius of Lacedaemons, circa 400 BCE to 100 BCE

After defeating the Triumvirate, Caius of Lacedaemons succeeded them as the Sorcerer Supreme.[5][9][6][8]


Zhang Jiao, circa 100 CE

In China, the powerful sorcerer Zhang Jiao served as the Sorcerer Supreme.[5][6]


Merlin, circa 500 CE

Merlin

Although he initially refused to take it, Merlin won the title of Sorcerer Supreme around 500 CE.[5] Eventually he did take up the position.[10]


Makeen, circa 616 CE

Makeen

Another past African Sorcerer Supreme, Makeen, was shown accompanying former Houngan Supreme, Legba, in the "six hundredth and sixteenth Age of Man" (apparently 616 CE) to prevent the Voodoo god Ogoun from invading the Earthly plane, eventually sacrificing their "living souls" to seal the gateways and turning their physical forms into statues which stand to this day; the Eye of Agamotto and Cloak of Levitation then together left Makeen for their next master, the new Sorcerer Supreme.[11]


15th to early 20th centuries

According to Doctor Strange,[12] the demonic, tentacled Marrakant Hellguard, resistant to Strange's magic, has incinerated every other Sorcerer Supreme since the 1500s (though apparently before the Ancient One's time holding the office) that has confronted it, only to be slain by Strange using Hitler's Handgun, designed to be effective in disposing of mystically-powered opponents.[citation needed]


Ancient One, circa 1450s

The Ancient One

Yao, the Ancient One was a mysterious figure who has served as Earth's Sorcerer Supreme off and on for centuries.[10][8]


Hiram Shaw, circa 1690s

Rev. Hiram Shaw

In Salem, Massachusetts, Reverend Hiram Shaw, an ancestor of Sebastian Shaw, was the Sorcerer Supreme.[13]


Isaac Newton, circa 1700s

Sir Isaac Newton

Late in his life, Sir Isaac Newton rose to the position of Sorcerer Supreme.[14]


Demon Rider, circa mid to late 1800s

Kushala, the Demon Rider

Kushala the Demon Rider was an Apache woman possessed by Spirit of Vengeance after the massacre of her people. Following her possession, she searched the world learning different magical forms and eventually became the Sorcerer Supreme.[15][16]


Nina the Conjuror, circa 1950s

Nina the Conjurer

The mysterious woman only known as Nina the Conjurer was trained in magic by her brother, João.[17] Around the mid-20th century, she won the title of Sorcerer Supreme while enhancing her magical abilities while searching for her brother who was imprisoned by Merlin.[10][17]


Stephen Strange

Ex-Master of the Mystic Arts

Victor von Doom?

Strange held the title almost continuously since the transcendence of his mentor, the Ancient One, later reaffirmed when he was the winner of the Trial of the Vishanti.

During the Dark Reign, a new Sorcerer Supreme was chosen. Possible candidates included: Brother Voodoo, Doctor Doom, The Hood, Nico Minoru, Magik, the Ghost Rider, Wiccan, Druid (the son of the late mystic Doctor Druid), Baron Mordo, Ian McNee and Scarlet Witch (or possibly the Asgardian Loki in her guise), Storm, Clea, Spiral, Selene, Agatha Harkness (unclear whether deceased or still living), and even Dormammu. Though Daimon Hellstrom and Jennifer Kale were both deemed suitable candidates, it appeared that they were not destined to hold the title, and instead united to confront a threat so deadly it is worthy of a Sorcerer Supreme to handle. Marvel has described the candidates on its own official website, (as well as in interviews), as well as stating the pros and cons of each one.[18][19] Clea is said by Marvel to be the most likely candidate thus far for the role of Sorceress Supreme of the Marvel Universe, with the odds of 5-1.[18] Formerly, during the Trial of the Vishanti, Khalid Inshallah, Jules St. Thomas, "Screamer," Sen-Yu, Tareva, and Wai Chee Yee, along with at least four other unnamed mystics were also deemed worthy candidates for the office, chosen as most learned in the ways of sorcery by the Aged Genghis.[citation needed]


Brother Voodoo

Brother Voodoo

Recently, however, having failed in his duties, Strange no longer held the title, having decided to pass on his duties for another of a purer heart. Jericho Drumm was the Sorcerer Supreme, despite his lacking in knowledge of outer fields of magic beyond his own, due to his soul being the most pure and deserving, appointed the title by the joint choice of the Vishanti and the Ancient One.[20]

A new Sorcerer Supreme was chosen after the Eye of Agamotto automatically displayed to Strange and the New Avengers through its arcane powers in the Quinjet at least thirty-five images of "those who would replace" Strange, suspended in floating and shimmering blue bubbles of light, before the Eye itself vanishes from Strange. At the end, after Dormammu, the Hood, and their forces work to attack the New Avengers, the Son of Satan, and Doctor Strange, the new Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe was revealed at last to apparently be Brother Voodoo, the Haitian Houngan Supreme who has worked with Strange in the past, who now bears the Eye as a symbol of his new position and intervenes with a potent display of his own firepower.[21] The title was returned to Doctor Strange after Drumm's (temporary) death.[22]


Loki

Loki

Loki became the Sorcerer Supreme after having been granted the title by the Vishanti after a tournament, despite not participating in the tournament, let alone winning it. The Vishanti said that "It has been decided that a mortal can no longer fulfill the role of Sorcerer Supreme" due to an unspecified looming threat and that they sensed in Loki a desire to be better, "Restraint. Regret. Atonement." They were also displeased with the previous title holder and tournament winner Doctor Strange.

This was later revealed to be an elaborate illusion orchestrated by Loki to become Sorcerer Supreme who believed that Strange wasn't ready to for the looming threats that were going to endanger the Earth. After feuding with Strange and forced to work together with him to subdue the Void, Loki gave Strange back his position as Sorcerer Supreme.[23]


Other planes

  • The Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension, the realm to which Dormammu had been banished, is Clea, disciple and lover of Doctor Strange.
  • The current[citation needed] Sorceress Supreme of the demonic Limbo is the mutant Magik (Illyana Rasputin).
  • The Sorcerer Supreme of the Purple Dimension, a less well-known pocket realm based in old Doctor Strange stories, where green-skinned humanoids abduct humans as slaves, is Agganon.
  • The Sorceress Supreme of the Winding Road (and former Sorceress Supreme of Earth) is Margali Szardos, a sorceress with power enough to proclaim herself as the Sorceress Supreme.
  • Tiboro is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Sixth Dimension, and owns a strangely-shaped wand that fires an ectoplasmic ray, powered by lightning.
  • Shanzar is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Strange Matter dimension, a mystic realm visited by Doctor Strange.

During the magic-hunting crusade of the Empirikul, Doctor Strange stated (in presence of Magik (Illyana Rasputin)) he buried seventeen Sorcerers Supreme, and that after spelling a call to all the Sorcerers Supreme, no one answered the call.[24]

Selection and Succession

Ian McNee notes on the succession of the Sorcerer Supreme

As has been stated many times by various characters, there cannot be any permanent Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme of a dimension/reality; eventually, the office would pass on to another, with one's will or without. However, one could be a master of the mystic arts (such as Baron Mordo or Morgan le Fay) and not hold the title. Each existent reality of the Marvel Multiverse appears to be defended by a Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme, though certain dimensions linked to each reality does not (such as Asgard or Olympus). Urthona was the Sorcerer Supreme of his home planet Gevaltu within the Earth-616 dimension, but sought to become the Sorcerer Supreme of the entire universe by overpowering the one that had currently held that position, Doctor Strange, though his efforts eventually failed.

It appears possible that holders of the position of Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme in other universes or dimensional planes are capable of becoming candidates for the Marvel Universe's. Dormammu has also claimed destroying the most recent Sorcerer Supreme would grant the killer the title in his stead. The Eye of Agamotto, along with other magical objects, are not automatically removed or given to the new Sorcerer Supreme or candidates even after the former one has fallen from the station.[25] The Sorcerer Supreme can also "surrender," "lose" or "bestow" his position upon others of worthiness (as well as inheriting it from the former Sorcerer Supreme), though is also capable of taking it back multiple times after such a loss, as Strange has done various times in the past. Taking back the office has also been accomplished by Salomé of the Fallen, even without a contest between the universe's major mages of power. One can become a Sorcerer Supreme against one's will, as shown in a divergent reality of Earth-938, as done to Stephen Strange by the dying Doctor Doom, though conventionally and under normal circumstances, one must first consent to accept the challenge and the responsibilities coming with the station, as voiced by the Ancient One and Agamotto through the Eye. Religion also does not appear to be a significant factor in the determination of the role of Sorcerer Supreme, as made evident when Brother Voodoo, of the Haitian faith, was chosen by the arcane deity Agamotto through his Eye and the spirit of the Ancient One, despite Drumm's worship of the Loas; in fact, the presence of Voodoo's spirit brother also appeared to be included in this responsibility, instead of a hindrance in the selection. Once, on Earth-148, the Sorcerer Supreme Necrom, while holding values opposite to those of most other Sorcerers Supreme, even worked with the dark arts, including necromancy, apparently indicating not all Sorcerers Supreme throughout the Marvel Multiverse must be pure in order to hold the title. There is also some kind of sign, test or initiation one must survive (though survival is not guaranteed, even if one is chosen for the office) to truly take up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. It is possible for even moderately-proficient mages to steal the magical powers of a Sorcerer Supreme against his will, as Nicodemus did to Doctor Strange; however, one must also possess considerable mental discipline as the Sorcerer Supreme, or else one would be overwhelmed by the sheer power and vast mystical awareness that belonged to the office-holder. Never before has the Houngan Supreme of Haiti served as the Sorcerer Supreme before Jericho Drumm.[26]

The Vishanti are apparently the ones who select the current Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, as it was they who gave great magical power to the Aged Genghis shortly after humanity's dawn in return for his summoning together the greatest mystics in the world every century for a tournament to determine the Sorcerer Supreme, affirmed by the Vishanti themselves. The Vishanti were also the ones who stripped Strange of the Sorcerer Supreme title in the past and, while finding her repulsive, made Salomé Sorceress Supreme once again. Strange competed against a dozen others, including Doctor Doom, to retain his own position, and ultimately triumphed. The Vishanti have rarely been called upon for power by those other than the Sorcerers Supreme Doctor Strange and the Ancient One, and, on one instance, Clea, Strange's disciple. When Mockingbird asked Doctor Strange whether a "bad" person (or, as Strange says, one who abuses their magic for personal gain), by the context of their society, could possibly obtain the office, Strange replied that, "Good, bad, they have no real meaning here...not in this context."[27]

The new Sorcerer Supreme has been shown to be benevolent in nature, as Dormammu has mentioned to the Hood that the spells of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme bar him from entering their plane, thus confirming neither the Hood nor Dormammu received the title;[28] as Strange lost both the title and the power to maintain or work such spells long before the Reign, this refers to the new Sorcerer Supreme. However, the new Sorcerer Supreme still has "a lot to learn" and must learn what he requires from Spider-Man, ruling out Doom, Mordo, Loki, Harkness or Clea as the new Sorcerer Supreme.[29]

Capabilities

The Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme is functionally immortal, having the immortality conferred upon him or her after their ascension. Such a being with the role does not age nor succumb to medical diseases after a trial with Death, which you are forbidden to fight evoking the power of the Vishanti, (in which one does not truly destroy Death itself, but truly accepts one's own mortality), though he can be killed; the Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme has access to the near-unlimited power of the Vishanti, the Octessence, and various other Principalities, as well as granted possession of such powerful mystic items ("gifts") as the Eye of Agamotto, Orb of Agamotto, Wand of Watoomb and the Cloak of Levitation, along with "books of knowledge" to help the Sorcerer Supreme train for his or her quests, such as the Book of the Vishanti.[citation needed]

Servants of the Sorcerers Supreme

There exists an ancient line of humans trained to serve the current Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme of many of the realities in the Marvel Universe; Wong served Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth-616 reality, for years before Strange failed at long last in his duties as his dimension’s protector and lost the station; other Wongs exist in other parallel and alternate universes as well.[citation needed]

Notes

  • The term "Sorcerer Supreme" for Earth's supreme mystic protector was stated to allegedly not having been used from the beginning,[3] though Agamotto was seen using it one million years ago.[1]
  • According to Ian McNee, there is conflicting information, with evidence to support both theories,[30] as to whether the Sorcerer Supreme is appointed to protect Earth,[31][32] or all of Earth dimension.[33] McNee wondered whether or not there is a Sorcerer Supreme for each solar system (or area of these solar systems).[30] Despite numerous statements that the Sorcerer Supreme is only to defend one world,[citation needed] his duty is actually to the whole of the dimension of the world is within;[citation needed] Doctor Strange was the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe,[citation needed] yet was often, erroneously, called only "Earth's Sorcerer Supreme".[citation needed] While it is certainly possible to have more than just one master of the mystic arts in one dimension,[citation needed] only one of them can hold the title Sorcerer Supreme at a time.[citation needed] More supporting evidence of this can be given by the fact there is no other known Sorcerer Supreme on any of the planets not of Earth;[citation needed] for example, there are at least tens of thousands of alien worlds in the Marvel Universe, many known to have potent mystics, yet none were called the Sorcerer Supreme. Furthermore, the Stranger, while describing the high potential, power, and uniqueness of Earth stated "the Sorcerer Supreme makes his home there",[citation needed] and when Strange was captured once during the days of the Defenders, Strange was said to be the Sorcerer Supreme of their "cosmos",[citation needed] implying that the Sorcerer Supreme is not limited to his home planet, but the entire universe he resides in, though a defender of one world out of millions would be negligible to one of the most powerful cosmic entities in existence.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Avengers Vol 8 #1
  2. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #18
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vampires: The Marvel Undead #1; Varnae's entry
  4. Marvel Zombies: The Book of Angels, Demons & Various Monstrosities #1; Angels' entry
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Marvel Tarot #1
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #7
  7. Marvel Universe App: Saraswati
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Marvel. Marvel Universe App: Succession of the Sorcerer Supreme. Marvel Universe App. Retrieved on 4 June 2020.
  9. Doom 2099 #13
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1
  11. Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #3
  12. Doctor Strange: The Oath #4
  13. X-Men: Hellfire Club #1
  14. Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1-5
  15. Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #3
  16. War of the Realms: Journey into Mystery #4
  17. 17.0 17.1 Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #4
  18. 18.0 18.1 http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.7099.New_Avengers%7Ecolon%7E_Magic_Show
  19. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20145
  20. New Avengers #53-60
  21. New Avengers #54
  22. New Avengers Vol 2 #34
  23. Doctor Strange #385
  24. Doctor Strange Vol 4 #4
  25. New Avengers #52-54
  26. http://www.comicheronews.com/?p=620
  27. New Avengers #53
  28. Marvel Zombies 4 #2
  29. New Avengers #55
  30. 30.0 30.1 Marvel Tarot #1; Sorcerer Supremes
  31. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3; Angels' profile
  32. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #7; Magic - History of the Sorcerer Supreme
  33. Doctor Strange: The End #1

See also

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