7 of Doctor Strange's Strangest Moments
No one ever said a life practicing the mystic arts was boring!
After hitting the monumental 400th issue mark in DOCTOR STRANGE #10, it’s worth taking a look at the history of Doctor Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme approaches his next role. To celebrate the good doctor’s landmark anniversary, we’re exploring the strangest of Strange – some of Doctor Strange’s weirdest moments over the years.
When he fought God
Back in the 1970s in a story arc by Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner, Stephen found himself fighting a demon called Sise-Neg (“Genesis” spelled backwards). Stephen, who actually teamed up with Baron Mordo, was bested by Sise-Neg, who then claimed he had essentially become God. In reality, however, Sise-Neg was a sorcerer from the 31st century whose desire was always to transform himself into a god by recreating the universe.
Playing baseball with demons
Picture it: You’ve been ousted as Sorcerer Supreme. Your most beloved possession – the Eye of Agomotto – has been taken away. It’s an “all is lost” moment. What do you do? Play a little demon baseball, what else? In 2009's STRANGE #1, Stephen is forced to play baseball against a group of human souls being possessed by demons in order to free them from their possession… because baseball is a demon’s favorite pastime? The game goes on for a while before Stephen hits the winning run, and all is well in the world again.
That crazy caterpillar
In DOCTOR STRANGE #1, also by Englehart and Brunner, we see Stephen fighting a hookah-smoking caterpillar in what may be the greatest story ever told in the history of comics. In this arc, Stephen is trapped inside the Orb of Agomotto, where he runs into numerous Alice in Wonderland homages but eventually works out a way to escape.
This is technically a Marvel Ultimate story that follows the adventures of Stephen Strange Jr., the doc’s son from an alternate universe. But it’s a super weird moment and we’d be remiss not to include it here. So Junior isn’t as adept at magic as his dad, and when he faces Dormammu, we see that he lacks the characteristic Strange wit and shrewd thinking we’re used to from Stephen Senior. And due to his inexperience, he ends up getting strangled by his own cape until his whole head actually explodes. Gross.
Facial hair bros
Stephen and Tony Stark are both known as arrogant but good-hearted heroes whose intelligence and skills help them save the day, but also feed their egos. But that’s not all they have in common. They also both have a penchant for maintaining excellently groomed facial hair. And this doesn’t escape Tony’s notice. In 2015’s INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #3, Tony forces a high-five out of Stephen while gleefully exclaiming that they’re “Awesome facial hair bros.” Stephen who, let’s be honest, has never really gotten Tony’s sense of humor, simply replies “I hate you.” It’s a small exchange, just two panels, but it’s a hilarious and endearing moment that really deserves to be remembered.
An extended vampire weekend
The Marvel Universe is no stranger to vampires. But when the Sorcerer Supreme goes up against history’s most infamous vampire, who wins? I mean, Stephen, of course. But it makes for a pretty interesting face-off. During DOCTOR STRANGE #59-62, the Marvel Universe is still dealing with the fallout from the events of THE TOMB OF DRACULA. Stephen, Scarlet Witch, Captain Marvel, and Blade, among others, have teamed up to rid the world of vampires. Stephen goes up against Dracula multiple times, and the vampire almost wins. But when the doc discovers a super powerful spell called the Formula and recites it, he finally gets rid of Dracula once and for all. It’s a story you can really sink your teeth into. A story so good it’ll raise the dead. A story so thrilling it’ll make your blood race…
Becoming frenemies with Loki
In Donny Cates’s recent run, Stephen has once again fallen from grace and is no longer Sorcerer Supreme. You’d think he’d learn that lesson about humility or whatever at some point, but nope -- he just keeps rolling that same boulder up the same mountain. Loki has taken over his position (and honestly, how has this not happened sooner? Loki is literally the God of Mischief with an insatiable craving for power and has been practicing sorcery for centuries). At first, Stephen is understandably enraged about being replaced by Loki, and there seems to be little love lost between the two of them. But as the arc progresses, it turns out Loki and Stephen have more in common than meets the eye. In fact, they actually develop, if not a friendship, at least a lukewarm sense of mild affection for one another. And that’s something, right? It’s certainly a surprise for Stephen.
So clearly, life is strange when you’re the Sorcerer Supreme. Stephen’s journey has had no shortage of bizarre moments, and he will surely have many more to come. Being Earth’s foremost sorcerer is a tough gig and sometimes you gotta fight vampires and hookah-smoking caterpillars. But if there’s one thing you can say for it, it’ll always be interesting!
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