Stephen Strange was born in 1945. Strange's father shared certain interests with Thomas Lindmer, Sorcerer Supreme of that Earth, including magic—although the older Strange was not a user of magic. Lindmer and the senior Strange soon saw that Strange was a clear-minded, extraordinary young man of high morals. Lindmer kept contact with the Stranges until 1958.
In 1963, the Stranges were involved in a car crash, which Lindmer later theorized was not accidental but a murder attempt. Stephen's father and mother had both died, in Lindmer's opinion, because they had tried to protect Stephen—and had succeeded. Stephen had received a ring with the mystical symbol of light within his father's estate.
Stephen Strange became a doctor, making good use of his mind, but at the same time he had such a rational mind that he was unable to contact his own talents for mysticism. Strange became a resident psychiatrist for the East Side Hospital, where his behavior was less than perfect; one of Strange's nurses, Sarah, jokingly reprimanded him for being a pennywise womanizer, but Dr. Frank Taylor, the East Side Hospital's Chief of Psychiatry, constantly complained of Strange arriving late to meetings and of Strange completely disregarding Taylor's opinions. However, Strange also despised Taylor: Strange visited the hospital six times a week, and Taylor only twice a week. As a result, Strange believed that he had a more detailed view of his patients than Taylor did — for instance, when he admitted a chronic alcoholic identified as Mrs. Sullivan against Taylor's counsel.
The evil sorcerer Morgan le Fay, exiled from Earth, had a chance to go back there for three days in a quest both to defeat, nay destroy, the Sorcerer Supreme and to corrupt the highly talented Strange. Lindmer had discovered this, and he called his old friend and pupil Wong, also a wizard, to help him in that ordwal. Lindmer went to challenge le Fay while, following Lindmer's orders, Wong looked for Strange. Wong quickly found the hospital at which Strange worked and had admitting privileges.
Meanwhile, Morgana possessed the body of a young, innocent woman, and used her to attack Lindmer, pushing him off a bridge. This woman happened to be Clea Lake, a student of psychology at a University, to whom Strange had a psychic bond. As the event was shockingly traumatic for Lake, Strange had a vivid vision of it—which he believed was simply a dream. However, soon afterward, an amnesic Clea Lake was accepted in the ER of the Hospital, and the doctor called Strange for specialized help. Strange quickly recognized her from his vision but, being a rational fellow, he refused to believe it and settled that it was some confusion. Lake explained the accident in which an old man had been pushed off a bridge, unsettling Strange once again. Lake also talked about an evil woman stalker that was waiting for her at home, and her own somniphobia. Strange agreed to help her, and not to force her to sleep—but he also asked to check her for drugs.
Both le Fay and Wong were trailing Lake, understanding that she was an important piece of their game. Le Fay tried to charm Strange, but he was protected because of his ring. Wong simply reported to Lindmer where he had found Lake, and Lindmer decided to go to the hospital, explain that he had met their "Jane Doe" woman, and talk with Strange. Meanwhile, Taylor reprimanded Strange for his heterodox behavior.
Strange agreed to meet with Lindmer at his office because he recognized Lindmer from the vision. Lindmer explained that Strange and Lake had a psychic bond and that Lake was unstable at understanding that she had been possessed, but Strange's skeptical perspective prevented him from believing any of this. Lindmer insisted that Strange could help Lake via unusual means, and that Strange should visit Lindmer of his own free will. Strange agreed to continue the conversation.
But as soon as he left that meeting, Strange discovered that Dr. Taylor had given a tranquilizer to Lake, making her sleep. Strange argued with Taylor about this; Taylor believed that Lake was a patient of the hospital, not Strange himself, and that Strange liked her, thus he was unable to be objective. However, facts gave reason to Strange when he visited her: Lake had fallen into a comma. The nurse wanted to call Taylor but, due to the urgency of the situation, Strange had to stabilize Lake first. After this act, Strange took Lindmer's visiting card and, after he noticed that it was embossed with the same symbol as Strange's ring bore, he decided to go visit Lindmer to see if they could help Lake together.
On his way to the Mansion, Strange saw a biking kid riding to the path of a bus (secretly being led by le Fay) and he saved him. Le Fay was surprised that Strange could do that. Le Fay had been attempting to kill Strange but she found herself attracted to him, which self-sabotaged her acts.
Strange met with Lindmer and asked him about the rings's symbol. Lindmer admitted having been a friend of the Strange family, and revealed that Strange's father worked with him, preparing this eventual encounter. Lindmer also explained that Lake was suffering the aftereffects of having being used as a weapon, and he said that his own powers had been too weakened to save her. Strange agreed to try Lindmer's methods, and lent him the ring. Lindmer used his alchemical arts on the jewel and returned it. He then explained to Strange about the quest upon which he (Lindmer) was sending him(Strange): Dreaming people normally visited only the harmless lower astral planes, but Lake had been trapped in the dangerous higher astral planes. Strange would be sent there to look for Lake; he could find her by following their psychic bond. The ring would stop most of the inhabitants from attacking Strange or Lake but, should any of them try, Lindmer told him a word-based spell, a plea to Raggadorr, scourge of demons, which would repel them. Strange could return by concentrating.
Following Lindmer's words, Strange found Lake in the astral plane and tried to help her out. In their way out, they were stopped by the riding demon Balzaroth, sent by le Fay to bring her Strange alive. Balzaroth forced Strange to leave Lake, but Strange used his spell and Balzaroth was forced to escape. Strange then took Lake again and both of them escaped from the astral plane; at that moment, Lake woke up in the hospital.
Le Fay had been serving a higher demon, the Nameless One, and it demanded an explanation from here. Le Fay explained her feelings for Strange, and the Nameless One threatened to break the spell that allowed le Fay to retain a youthful appearance: If le Fay looked like an old woman, suggested the monster, then Strange would never have feelings toward her. The Nameless One insisted that Strange had to die at her hands.
Strange visited his patient Lake, who was awake, active and grateful. She told Strange about a dream she had had in which Strange saved her life, and offered to go home with him. She suggested that she could stop being his patient so they could date, and he could help her with her psychology classes, and they agreed to dine together at seven.
Before that, however, Strange visited Lindmer again and told them that he was too rational to go on with their mumbo-jumbo. Wong tried to defend his mentor, but did not convince Strange. While leaving, Strange saw a cat outside the door, and thought it was Lindmer's pet, so he let it in. However, the cat was really the metamorph le Fay, tricking Strange so she could bypass the mansion's mystical barrier. Le Fay defeated Wong and Lindmer, kidnapping the old man. She then went to Lake's house, causing Lake another psychiatric crisis and an unwanted nap. Le Fay appeared in front of Strange and offered to leave Lake alone if he accompanied le Fay to her magically-based dimension.
Teleporting them both to her demonic lair, le Fay offered to teach Strange strange powers and gave him fantastic riches. (To prove this, she created golden collars from nothingness and put them on Strange's neck; she also provided Strange with red-trimmed black robes that incorporated capelets upon the shoulders.) She also taught Strange how to create magical bolts, and talked about the secret knowledge of the Universe at hand. When she kissed him, however, Strange found her lips to be cold. Even then, Strange agreed to romance le Fay for the time being.
To do so, le Fay asked Strange to take out his ring, but Strange was unable to do so without Lindmer's help. Le Fay mocked Lindmer's supposed power and, to prove it, showed that Lindmer was a prisoner there, tortured. This terrified Strange, and made him reject le Fay. The offended witch moved vegetable branches to tie Strange, and Strange's only spell failed to protect him—but the ring repelled the ropes. Le Fay tried to bolt Strange, but he stopped the attack with the ring, and reacted with a similar attack himself, defeating her for the moment.
Strange recognized Lindmer as his mentor, and both of them were instantly magically transported out of the Dark Dimension back to the Mansion, while the Nameless One exacted his revenge on le Fay, that of restoring her appearance to a reflection of her true age, for her failure. Wong soon joined Strange and Lindmer in the studio. Lindmer revealed to Strange that he had deliberately allowed le Fay to defeat him so that he might make Strange see her true colors. Lindmer staged a quick ceremony so that Strange could officially accept his destiny and serve humanity. By accepting those powers, however, Strange had to renounce the pleasures of ignorance, offspring, or an easy death —though not that of love. Strange accepted, and they all heard the disembodied voice of the Ancient One, asking Strange whether he accepted "the guardianship of the light." Strange did, and his clothes changed. A part of Lindmer's essence and power was transferred to Strange, overwhelming him and weakening the latter. Wong helped them recover, and explained to Strange that he had acquired the power, but lacked the skill or wisdom to use it as yet. In this, he likened Strange to "a child with a loaded gun."
Strange returned to his practice, still angering Taylor, and he also resumed dating Lake again—although Lake did not remember their first date. Both of them saw a rather unintelligent television advertisement in which Morgan le Fay, young again, offered her pseudo-mystic method to "free one's inner power."
Strange left the mansion, saw a illusionist staged on the street, and changed his trick: Instead of making some flowers appear, the unaware magician made a dove appear to his own surprise. Strange left the scene with a smile.
Powers and Abilities
- Stephen Strange has shown several magic-based powers, including the following ones:
- Astral Projection: Using his specially-prepared ring, Strange could travel to the higher astral planes, and return to Earth simply by focusing. While in the astral planes, Strange could pick up people trapped there.
- Psychic bond: Strange has a natural psychic bond with the university student Clea Lake. Due to this, they were especially linked to each other, and important events in their lives were perceived by the other as a dream. Besides, the bond allowed Strange to find Lake in the astral planes.
- Spells: Strange has used magic in a variety of spells. He was taught a plea to Raggadorr, scourge of demons, that allowed him to repel the riding monster Balzaroth, but this same spell proved useless against Morgan le Fay. Strange also had the ability of matter transmutation, so he could transform flowers into a dove, for example. Apparently, Strange had access to all the powers demonstrated by Thomas Lindmer, Sorcerer Supreme (for instance, his longevity or self-healing power), but not neccessarily to the skills and wisdom to use these.
- Strange is a qualified doctor of medicine, specialized by psychiatry. He is able to treat several patients both from a psychological point of view (such as reassuring Clea Lake and Mrs. Sullivan) and with medication (when stabilizing Lake's critical state).
- Strange's rational mind works against him when he tries to understand the unfathomable mysteries of the universe.
- Strange has also shown a tendency toward unpunctuality when meeting with his Chief of Psychiatry.
- Clothing: The witch Morgan le Fay conjured weird dark robes from nothingness for Strange to wear, along with golden collars and jewelry, in an attempt to tempt him. Later, when Strange accepted to be trained in sorcery by Thomas Lindmer, his clothes transformed into a different purple uniform with a white eight-sided star in his chest and a yellow cloak.
- Ring: Stephen Strange's ring, with the symbol of light in it, protects him against several spells, and he can use the ring as a shield against mystical bolts — which he can then redirect. The ring protects Strange against most of the hostile beings in the higher astral planes. The witch Morgan le Fay insisted that Strange should take it off, but apparently only Thomas Lindmer, Sorcerer Supreme, could take it from Strange's finger.
- Watch: Stephen Strange owns a working watch, but even then he gets late to meetings.
- In the movie Dr. Strange, Stephen Strange is portrayed by actor Peter Hooten.
- By contrast with the Dr. Stephen Strange of Earth-616, this Dr. Strange is neither a surgeon by medical specialty nor noted for arrogance. Also, he shows no signs of injury to his hands, the injury which led the Dr. Strange of Earth-616 to seek out Yao, the Ancient One, and led to his becoming first Yao's apprentice then Yao's successor. All this was because Philip DeGuere, the director-writer of the made-for-television film, did not rely on all the details of the Marvel Comics about the character.
- The film, when transmitted, was too low-rated for CBS-TV to pick up its series option.
Links and References
- Dr. Strange on the