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Stephen Strange was a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon who was renowned for his skills, to the point where he was comfortable making extravagant purchases as he was always confident that he could make the money back later.
Despite his ego, he would take on cases where there was no immediate possibility for financial reward if he felt that the operation was interesting enough, such as assisting fellow doctor Christine Palmer in removing an irradiated bullet from a patient's brain even when the man had been diagnosed as dead. However, he would show off his medical expertise during and after the procedure. Strange did decline cases where the chance of success was limited.
His career came to an end when his car veered off road, due to him talking on his phone while he was driving on a narrow and wet road. The resulting damage was serious nerve damage to his hands that made his ability to operate again unlikely. Desperate to regain his old skills, Strange spent thousands of dollars on various experimental operations that may have been able to restore his hands but was never able to achieve more than a minor improvement in his condition.
Seeking the Ancient One
While talking with his physical therapist about if the practices ever led to any marked improvement in patients, Strange was told about Jonathan Pangborn, a paraplegic who was able to walk again despite serious spine damage. Visiting Pangborn to ask about his improvement, Pangborn told Strange that he had regained his ability to walk through various exercises he learned at Kamar-Taj. Believing that recovery would come through Eastern medicine instead, Strange spent the last of his money to reach Kamar-Taj in Kathmandu, Nepal. After hours of searching, Strange was unable to find the mysterious Kamar-Taj. He was soon attacked by a group of criminals, and was only saved by a hooded man, who claimed his name was Mordo and that he could take him to Kamar-Taj.
At Kamar-Taj, Mordo introduced Strange to the mysterious 'Ancient One'. Believing that the Ancient One was working on an experimental type of cellular medicine, Strange was disheartened to learn that her methods lied heavily with the power of belief. After being insulted by Strange, the Ancient One demonstrated her powers of astral projection on him to show him that there was more to the world than what he believed. Strange was initially doubtful of what he had just experienced, but he became eager to learn after the Ancient One took his mind on a tour of the different dimensions. Although initially uncomfortable at Strange's arrogance, witnessing him wait for hours outside her door after her initial rejection prompted the Ancient One to give him a chance as she recognized his sincere desire to learn.
Sorcerer Supreme's Apprentice
Over the next few months, Strange was taught by the Ancient One, the current in a long line of Sorcerer Supremes, the practices of conjuring extradimensional energy to form weapons and shields, astral projection, and dimensional travel. Strange's eidetic memory helped him learn and understand the history and technique of the mystic arts at a much-accelerated rate than most, but Strange's devotion to the laws of reality and the physical world stalled his training in some areas. The Ancient One advocated the teaching that he must surrender control in order to gain control, before leaving him on the top of Mount Everest with nothing but a Sling Ring to find his way back. Strange proved himself capable to surrender control and returned back to Kamar-Taj.
Strange formed a bond with Mordo, who taught him martial arts and about magical artifacts. Mordo claimed that an artifact imbued with magic will one day choose him, but only if he was ready. Strange also frequented Kamar-Taj's library, which was under heavy protection by Wong, after a recent break-in. Strange's advanced knowledge of the Mystic Arts compelled him to experiment with the Eye of Agamotto, a magical artifact that was created by Agamotto, the first Sorcerer Supreme. Strange discovered that the Eye gave him the ability to manipulate time. Using this ability, he repaired the Book of Cagliostro, which had ripped pages that were stolen, and learned of Dormammu and the Dark Dimension. However, he was reprimanded by Mordo and Wong before he could learn more.
Strange demanded to know what the Masters of the Mystic Arts actually was. Wong explained that, while heroes like the Avengers protected the world from physical dangers, the Masters of the Mystic Arts protect it from mystical threats, such as Dormammu. He explained that Agamotto built three Sanctums on Earth; one in Hong Kong, one in London, and one in New York City. These acted as barriers from creatures from other dimensions, and if all three should fall, the Earth would be exposed to these threats. Frightened, Strange wanted to leave, for he only wanted to heal his hands, not be part of a mystical war.
Just then, a bomb went off, which caused the London Sanctum to explode and Strange to fly into the New York Sanctum. Barricaded in the Sanctum, Strange explored before coming across the perpetrator of the explosion, Kaecilius, murdering the protector of the New York Sanctum. Kaecilius and his Zealots, all defectors from the Masters of the Mystic Arts, turned their attention to Strange and attacked him. Strange did his best to defend himself, and he even managed to dispose of a couple of them. The fight came down to solely Strange and Kaecilius, and Strange was only able to restrain Kaecilius due to the intervention of the Cloak of Levitation, a magical artifact that chose Strange.
Kaecilius attempted to persuade Strange to join his side, claiming that the Dark Dimension will provide eternal life for the Earth and everyone living in it. Kaecilius even revealed that the Ancient One harnessed power from the Dark Dimension, which was the reason she was able to live for so long. Strange didn't give in and was just going to leave Kaecilius restrained. However, he was suddenly attacked and severely wounded by Lucian Aster, a Zealot, who then freed Kaecilius.
Strange used his sling ring to travel to Metro-General Hospital, where he knew Christine would be able to operate on him secretly. A surprised and confused Christine operated on Strange, while Strange guided her in his astral form. The astral form of Lucian arrived at the hospital as well, and Strange was forced to battle him while Christine operated on Strange's body. Strange soon realized that the defibrillator gave his astral form more energy, so he ordered Christine to use it as its highest shock level. She did, and Strange used it to destroy Lucian's astral form, killing him in the process. Christine finished up operating on Strange, while Strange tried to explain himself, but she only partially believed him. Afterward, Strange returned back to the New York Sanctum.
Distressed that he just killed a man, Strange confronted the Ancient One and Mordo, who just arrived at the New York Sanctum. Strange revealed to the Ancient One that he knew about the secret to her long life. Angered at the accusations, the Ancient One stormed off and Mordo continued to argue with Strange. They were interrupted by Kaecilius yet again when he reappeared to drop a bomb in the Sanctum. However, Strange prevented him from doing any damage by trapping all of them in the Mirror Dimension. Strange soon realized it was a mistake when Kaecilius showcased his power over the Mirror Dimension. The Ancient One quickly arrived, with the mark of the Dark Dimension on her forehead, which confirmed the source of her power. She engaged Kaecilius in battle, but Kaecilius was able to mortally stab her and left her to plummet to her death in the physical dimension. Strange and Mordo flew after her but were unable to save her.
Strange took her to Christine, and they took her to surgery. Strange noticed that the Ancient One took to astral form, so he followed. They conversed in their astral forms on a nearby balcony. She offered advice about giving up his arrogant and egocentric ways in order to achieve a higher form of success. She revealed that Jonathan Pangborn was only able to walk because he channeled the magical energy to give him the power to walk, instead of using it in the form of the mystic arts. Strange realized he could do the same, but he chose not to. The Ancient One reflected on her life for a moment, before passing away.
Strange reconciled with Christine after this and expressed his love for her. He then departed to Kamar-Taj to retrieve the Eye and Mordo. After convincing Mordo to join him in his last attempt to stop Kaecilius, they arrived in Hong Kong to find that the Sanctum had already been destroyed. Strange used the Eye to reverse the destruction of the Sanctum and city. They were joined by Wong in their fight against Kaecilius. Realizing that the battle against Kaecilius was pointless, Strange instead flew directly into the Dark Dimension to confront Dormammu itself. Strange trapped Dormammu in a time loop using the Eye, which prevented Dormammu from completely killing Strange and from completely absorbing the Earth. Infuriated, Dormammu was forced to give into Strange's demand to take Kaecilius and to leave the Earth alone.
Strange returned to Earth, where he encountered Wong and Mordo. Mordo, who despised the Ancient One's deceit and Strange's reckless manipulation of time, abandoned the Masters of the Mystic Arts and broke off into his own sect.
Master of the Mystic Arts
Strange returned to Kamar-Taj to return the Eye of Agamotto. Wong revealed that the Eye of Agamotto contained an Infinity Stone, before telling Strange that there was so much more he didn't know. Strange was eventually named Master of the Mystic Arts and given the duty of guarding the New York Sanctum.
One day, Wong was giving Strange a brief lesson on the history and destructive power of the Infinity Stones. Strange noted that Asgardians tend to bring trouble to Earth when they get involved with these Stones, when coincidentally he and Wong were alerted to the arrival of Asgardian Thor Odinson and his brother Loki in New York. Strange met with Thor, who brought Loki to New York because they were searching for their father Odin. In the hopes that they'd return to Asgard promptly after finding him, Strange provided Thor with the information that Odin was residing in Norway and transported him and Loki there using his sling ring.
Months later, Strange and Wong were informed about the impending arrival of Thanos by Bruce Banner, who crashed into the Sanctum Sanctorum after being teleported to Earth by Heimdall to escape Thanos's massacre.
After summoning Tony Stark from a jog with Pepper Potts, Strange and Wong informed Stark of the Infinity Stones. Banner explained that since Thanos already had the Power and Space Stones, he was probably coming for Vision, who had the Mind Stone. When Stark suggested placing the Time Stone in a garbage dump, Strange denied the request, justifying that he was its guardian. Just then, Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian arrived to collect the Time Stone. Despite Strange, Stark, and Wong's attempts to fend off the invaders, Maw captured Strange; Strange had placed a spell on the Eye of Agamotto to prevent others from taking the Time Stone, forcing Maw to torture Strange to end the spell.
Inside Maw's ship, Strange was rescued by Stark and Peter Parker, who sucked Maw into space. The three struck an alliance and decided to take the fight to Thanos on the planet Titan. Upon arrival, the three were ambushed by Peter Quill, Drax, and Mantis, each mistaking the other for agents of Thanos. The two groups then chose to team up to take the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos. While Stark and Quill formulated the plan, Strange used the Time Stone to look into the outcome of the fight, going through 14,000,605 futures and seeing only one in which they won.
Strange then confronted Thanos when the Mad Titan arrived, with Thanos explaining his motives: to save the universe from imminent destruction by eliminating half of all life on it. Following a long battle, the heroes were able to restrain Thanos. However, when Nebula revealed that Thanos had killed Quill's girlfriend Gamora, Quill's anger got the better of him and ruined the plan. The battle resumed, with Strange using his magic to best Thanos, but ultimately ended when Thanos incapacitated Stark. Before Thanos could kill Stark, Strange offered the Time Stone to save Stark's life. Thanos then left the scene, with only the Mind Stone left to claim.
Strange could only wait as Thanos found the Mind Stone and completed the Infinity Gauntlet. Once Thanos snapped his fingers and destroyed half of the universe, Strange was among those disintegrated, but not before telling Stark that "there was no other way."
Five years after, Hulk snapped his fingers to bring all of Thanos's victims back to life, including Doctor Strange. With Wong's help, Strange gathered the resurrected heroes and their allies to the ruins of the New Avengers Facility and helped the Avengers in the final battle against Thanos. During the battle, Iron Man asked him if this is the one out of the millions of futures that they win, and Strange replied that if he told him what happens, it won't happen. Later in the climax of the battle, Strange held up one finger indicating that the only chance of victory was if Tony sacrificed himself by using the Infinity Stones to decimate Thanos and his army. Afterwards, Strange attended Stark's funeral.
Mystic Arts: Stephen Strange is an accomplished practitioner of the mystic arts, to the point where he has had the title of "Master of the Mystic Arts" bestowed upon him. Many of the feats this knowledge confer come from manipulating extradimensional energy to control matter.
- Astral Projection: Simply by willing it, Strange can eject his astral body from his physical one to traverse the Astral Dimension. In this form, he exists in a non-corporeal state, able to pass through walls and remain unseen by those in the physical world.
- Conjuring: Strange is able to harness extradimensional energy to form weapons and shields for use in combat. These typically have an orange glowing appearance. Strange was able to make an umbrella stand appear in front of Thor for him to put down Mjølnir, which had been disguised as an umbrella. He also was able to hide the Time Stone after secretly removing it from the Eye of Agamotto and later made it appear between his fingers, allowing it to float over to Thanos.
- Matter Manipulation: In his studies in mysticism, Strange has learned techniques allowing him to augment matter into different forms. Such as successfully turning tea into beer. After Hulk crashed through the roof of the Sanctum, Strange was able to transform the normal street clothes he was wearing into his blue robes. During the Battle of Titan, Strange transformed a singularity sent by Thanos into multitudes of blue butterflies, impressing the Mad Titan.
- Dimension Travel: Strange carries a Sling Ring to create sustained portals between two points on the planet. He can also invoke a transition to the Mirror Dimension, for himself and others.
- Dimension Warping: Strange was able to conjure a construct of the Mirror Dimension in a form of a shield.
- Levitation: Using the Cloak of Levitation, Strange is able to levitate, hover, and fly in the air even without the presence of wind. It is unknown how fast Strange can travel with the Cloak, though it is shown that it could greatly lessen the impact of falling from a great height by effortlessly reducing his speed.
- Atmospheric Spell: Strange was able to conjure a wave of golden light that cleared the street of smoke and debris after Ebony Maw's Q-Ship landed in Greenwich Village, while also stopping the destructive windstorm the ship was causing. The smoke was expelled from the street and towards the sky.
- Protection Spell: To protect the Eye of Agamotto from being stolen by Ebony Maw, Strange cast a protection spell upon the relic that burned anyone that attempts to take it, making it seemingly impossible to remove it unless the spell was removed, even if he were killed.
- Binding Spell: During the Battle of Titan, Strange conjured dark red metallic bands to restrain Thanos's hand so he couldn't use the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. The bands were much stronger than the usual Eldritch Whip he uses to restrain enemies, notably able to restrict Thanos' use of the Gauntlet for a considerable period of time, although Thanos was able to eventually break out and redirect the force of the bands to knock Strange away.
- Duplication Spell:Strange was able to create dozens of copies of himself to attack Thanos with their Eldritch Whips. The duplicates, however, were quickly dispersed when Thanos released a wave of energy from the Power Stone, with only the real Strange remaining.
- Earth Swallowing Spell: During the Battle of Earth, Strange summoned opened up numerous chasms in the earth, producing glowing purple tendrils of energy that lifted Thanos' soldiers and dragged them into the ground, before resealing themselves and vanishing.
- Water Spell: Strange cast a spell that held back the lake outside the Avengers Facility from rushing into the battlefield after its foundations were breached, gathering the water into a funnel and pushing it away.
- Bilingual: Strange has learned Sanskrit, at least in its written form, remarkably by teaching himself from books on Sanskrit.
- Eidetic Memory: Strange has a photographic memory, enabling him to recall minute details of anything he has committed to long-term memory. This has greatly benefited his career in medicine; he typically applies this in the recall of music-related trivia but has also made good use of it in absorbing vast amounts of knowledge from written text.
- Martial Arts: Strange has been trained in martial arts to an intermediate level. He is a capable combatant in himself, made formidable by drawing on his knowledge of the mystic arts to equip himself with both offensive and defensive weaponry suited to the nature of the fight.
- Physiology: As a Doctor of Medicine, Strange is trained in the form and function of the human body.
- Surgery: Dr. Strange is a world-renowned surgeon with an advanced specialist knowledge in neurosurgery. While he retains the knowledge, his physical dexterity and pain prevent him from continuing surgical procedure.
Strange has the strength of a man his age, height and build, who engages in intensive regular exercise.
Doctor Strange has suffered extensive nerve damage in his hands, thus causing him to lose all fine motor control in his fingers.
Various temporary conjured weapons
- Benedict Cumberbatch portrays Doctor Strange in the films Doctor Strange, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
- Stephen Strange was mentioned by Jasper Sitwell as one of the numerous individuals selected by Arnim Zola's algorithm as posing a threat to global stability and Hydra's plans.
- 12 Appearances of Stephen Strange (Earth-199999)
- 2 Minor Appearances of Stephen Strange (Earth-199999)
- Media Stephen Strange (Earth-199999) was Mentioned in
- 37 Images featuring Stephen Strange (Earth-199999)
- Quotations by or about Stephen Strange (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Stephen Strange (Earth-199999)
- Characters killed by Doctor Strange
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