A 'Doctor Strange' Primer: Who Is This Mad, Bizarre Marvel Character?

Doctor Strange isn't quite as popular as some other Marvel Comics superheroes, yet he is well known enough to warrant a film adaptation of the comic book series, which was originally created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee in the 1960s. For those who haven't followed Doctor Strange throughout his Marvel adventures, a short look into what the Doctor Strange film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role, might be in order.


Doctor Strange Is To Be An Origins Story


First of all, Doctor Strange relies heavily on the source material, which was written in the midst of the psychedelic 60s, so audiences should be prepared for a wild, trippy ride going into the film. The story begins with the introduction of Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch), a surgeon whose life is forever changed in a devastating car accident that causes severe nerve damage to his hands. Realizing he can no longer operate, Doctor Strange takes a sabbatical to sort things out for himself and ends up traveling to the Himalayas.

As is the case with virtually every superhero, Strange comes across a mentor and teacher, all too eager to guide him on the new path his life is about to take. In this case, Doctor Strange meets The Ancient One, (played by Tilda Swinton), but, unlike previous superheroes, Strange's change isn't the result of some accident (i.e. spider bite, gamma radiation, tech gadgets, etc). Doctor Strange does take place in the Marvel universe, though it may be the only story to evolve in a realm where magic is real and it's from magic that Doctor Strange becomes something much more than human.

Ultimately, Doctor Strange will become known as the Sorcerer Supreme, after having spent years in training with the Ancient One, who will guide him in the ways of magic and mysticism, but will also help Doctor Strange overcome the arrogance of his former life.

Doctor Strange Works With Magic, But He's No Harry Potter


The J.K. Rowling penned stories tell a far different tale from those written for Marvel's Doctor Strange, and just as it will be in the film, those tales didn't equip Stephen Strange with anything as conventional as a broomstick or a magic wand. Instead, Doctor Strange is armed with his Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto.

What is the Eye of Agamotto?

The Eye of Agamotto is one of the most powerful and most ancient artifacts in existence, passed down through the ages from one Supreme Sorcerer to the next. Used to fight evil, it can shoot lasers to disable demons and it has the ability to aid the Sorcerer in seeing through illusions and employing telepathy in the bearer's quest for the truth. Impressive powers to be sure, but Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige has suggested the Eye of Agamotto will prove to be far more vital, connecting Doctor Strange to the other Marvel franchises. Marvel fans might have noticed that the six Infinity Stones that Thanos keep popping up in various MCU franchise films.

Yes, it seems the Eye of Agamotto is actually one of the six Infinity Stones. This may not be the only film in which we see Doctor Strange.

While it seems obvious that Doctor Strange will play a major part in building up to Avengers: Infinity War, the foes this particular hero will face come to us through other dimensions. In this Doctor Strange standalone film, he will face off against fellow sorcerers like Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), demons like Dormammu, and Shuma-Gorath, a villain also known as the Lord of Chaos.

Doctor Strange, starring Rachel McAdams, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tilda Swinton, will hit theaters on November 4.

[Image by Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios]