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Submitted by on Oct 3, 2021

Doctor Stephen Strange is a fictional character that appears in Marvel Comics’ American comic novels. The character was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and originally appeared in Strange Tales. Doctor Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, the world’s foremost guardian against magical and mystical dangers. Strange was developed during the Silver Age of Comic Books to add a fresh sort of character and themes of mysticism to Marvel Comics, inspired by legends of black magic and based on Chandu the Magician by Harry A. Earnshaw and Raymond R. Morgan.

After a car accident badly scars his hands beyond repair, the character begins as an incredibly competent but arrogant surgeon who loses his ability to operate. He meets the Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme, while searching the world for healing. Strange enrolls in his classes and learns to master both magical and martial skills. He collects a number of magical items, including the powerful Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation, and moves inside the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is located at 177A Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, New York City. Strange takes on the role of Sorcerer Supreme and defends the world from supernatural dangers with his buddy and valet Wong.

In the 1978 television film Dr. Strange, Peter Hooten played the role for the first time in live-action. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Doctor Strange (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), AvengersInfinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2018), Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange (2019). Cumberbatch reprised his role in the Disney+ animated series What If…? (2021) as a different version, and the upcoming films Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).

Ditko pushed Strange into increasingly abstract realms as a co-planner and then solo plotter in the Marvel Method of scripting. Ditko established the cosmic figure Eternity, who represented the universe and was shown as a silhouette filled with the cosmos, in a 17-issue narrative arc in Strange Tales #130-146 (March 1965 ” July 1966). With issues #147-152, Bill Everett took over as illustrator, followed by Marie Severin through #160, and Dan Adkins through #168, the final issue before the Nick Fury feature was relocated to its own series and Strange Tales was renamed Doctor Strange. The Doctor Strange solo series spanned 15 issues, from #169 to 183 (June 1968 to November 1969), and continued the Strange Tales numbering system. After the first three issues, Thomas was joined by the art team of penciler Gene Colan and inker Tom Palmer until the end of the run.

Strange next appeared in the first three issues (December 1971 ” June 1972) of the quarterly showcase title Marvel Feature, after plans for a never-released split book series featuring Doctor Strange and Iceman, each in solo adventures, were announced. He appears in both the main tale and the associated back-up story about the founding of the superhero “non-team” the Defenders.

Marvel Premiere #3-14 (July 1972″March 1974) featured the character in a revival solo series. Another recurring foe, the entity Shuma-Gorath, was introduced in this arc, created by writer Steve Englehart and artist Frank Brunner, who took over as the regular creative team with Marvel Premiere #10. Englehart and Brunner worked closely on the stories, meeting every two months for dinner to talk about the series, and their run became known for its psychedelic visuals and plots. Strange is forced to shut down the Ancient One’s mind in issues #8-10 (May”September 1973), resulting in his mentor’s physical death. Strange is thereafter elevated to the position of Sorcerer Supreme.

Englehart and Brunner created another multi-issue storyline in which sorcerer Sise-Neg (“Genesis” spelled backward) travels through history, collecting all magical energies, until he reaches the beginning of the universe, becomes all-powerful, and recreates it all over again, leaving Strange to wonder if this was, paradoxically, the original creation. After seeing the issue after it was published, Stan Lee ordered Englehart and Brunner to print a retraction explaining that this was not God, but a god, in order to avoid offending religious readers. Frank Brunner and Englehart allegedly concocted a fake letter from a fictitious minister praising the story and mailed it to Marvel from Texas. The letter was printed inadvertently in Doctor Strange #3, and the retraction was never published.

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