Best Spider-Man and Doctor Strange Team-Ups
When the Master of the Mystic Arts meets the wise-cracking Web-Slinger. Read their greatest crossovers on Marvel Unlimited now!
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What do you get when you combine Doctor Strange and Spider-Man? You get one of the most classic pairings in the Marvel Universe! A partnership that goes back almost 60 years, these New York-based heroes are all about keeping the peace in their city and beyond. They are the perfect mixture of magic and street-level, and you can always count on them going to another dimension or facing an opponent from a different dimension. Or both! In no particular order, here are some of their best team-ups, all available to read on Marvel Unlimited!
In their first team-up from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL (1964) #2, the pair are tasked with stopping a powerful and evil sorcerer named Xandu from assembling a magical artifact, the Wand of Watoomb. Xandu is already a step ahead of them as he already has half of the wand! A battle ensues. Doctor Strange is temporarily knocked out while Spider-Man, who has the other wand half, is transported to another dimension. Xandu manages to obtain the other half and is filled with power, but not for long. Combining their abilities, Strange and Spider-Man take the Wand of Watoomb back from the egotistical wizard, and Doctor Strange absorbs the wand’s power into the Eye of Agamotto. This will not be the last time the duo goes head-to-head with Xandu.
Xandu is back, and he wants revenge! This time, in MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #21, he wants the Crystal of Kadavus, for reasons yet unknown. Instead of hypnotizing two random guys in a bar, Xandu gets Spider-Man to steal the skull-shaped gem from the Sanctum Sanctorum. Spider-Man fights Doctor Strange, as Xandu’s hypno spell has changed his perception of his ally, and once again, Xandu gets what he wants. Xandu then uses the Crystal of Kadavus to recharge the Wand of Watoomb. Remember that little artifact? Well, it’s back too! Xandu plans to use it to wake his lost love, Melinda Morrison, from a coma and destroy his enemies. No longer mesmerized, Spider-Man joins Doctor Strange in defeating Xandu one more time. Doctor Strange, feeling sorry for Xandu, tries to revive Melinda, but all of them learn that she is in a “death that resembles sleep.” Unfortunately, Xandu does not believe him.
Demons have entered New York City. They’re looking for something. No, someone. Melinda? Yes, Melinda Morrison, Xandu’s former girlfriend. She’s alive again (see MARVEL FANFARE #6 for more detail) and is being hunted down by demons from the Death Dimension. Whoa! Spider-Man fights them as best as he can. Thankfully, Doctor Strange completely removes them with magic. With Melinda placed in a sleep sphere, it seems that the team is in the clear… for a few minutes. The demons raid the Sanctum Sanctorum, and Spider-Man is pushed out of his body and is possessed by none other than Xandu. If Spider-Man doesn’t return to his body within 24 hours, Peter goes poof! One body swap, a fake Gwen Stacy, an Uncle Ben guilt trip, and multiple quakes in another dimension later, Xandu is defeated. Déjà vu. Spider-Man does what should have been done after the first time the Wand of Watoomb was used for evil: he breaks it. The team return to Earth with Xandu and leave Melinda, who becomes the Queen of the Death Dimension.
Spider-Man is on a date with Cissy Ironwood and suddenly, the mood is ruined by a werewolf! After a tussle into a lake, Spider-Man recovers the Eye of Agamotto from the werewolf. Spider-Man is curious as to why the werewolf had the amulet, so he visits the Sanctum Sanctorum to find Clea, a sorceress with deep ties to Doctor Strange. She doesn’t really help Spider-Man, so he goes to a very accurate tarot reading to figure out his next steps. After a second trip to the Sanctorum, Clea, Wong, and Spider-Man learn that Doctor Strange is the werewolf. Satana further explains in issue #81 that Doc was cursed after saving Clea from the Silver Dagger (that story can be read in MARVEL TEAM-UP #76-#77), and only the daughter of the Devil can save him—or end him. Satana battles the demons who want Strange’s soul, sacrificing herself in the process, and Doctor Strange is cured of his lycanthropy. A bittersweet ending.
WEIRDEST BIRTHDAY EVER
Part of the three-part storyline, “Happy Birthday,” Spider-Man is stuck between his past (before he is bitten by the radioactive spider) and his future (being tracked down by cops). Fortunately, Doctor Strange is there, psychically, to help him return to the present, using the Spell of Becoming to pull Spider-Man toward the right direction. Spider-Man faces a range of moments from his life, from meeting Sandman, to confronting the Green Goblin on the George Washington Bridge, and he is absolutely drained. When Spider-Man doesn’t want to move forward, Doctor Strange pushes him to keep going. Eventually, Spider-Man returns to the moment before he took a trip down memory lane: fighting Mindless Ones in New York City with other heroes. Doctor Strange succeeds in stopping the monsters, and he gives Spider-Man a super special gift—five more minutes with Uncle Ben. How nice!
One night, Doctor Strange learns from the Ancient One that two regular humans have obtained a powerful artifact called the Lantern of Lantarr. An easy name to remember. While gathering “pics” of himself for J. Jonah Jameson, Spider-Man encounters the exact men who are using the lantern to mug a woman. Not long after this meeting, Spider-Man runs into Doctor Strange. The good doctor gives Spider-Man “lantern sense” since he came in contact with the lantern. The lantern is found, but then it’s used to trap a lot of people, including Flash Thompson and Liz Allan, in another dimension. Is it truly a Spider-Man and Doctor Strange team-up if there isn’t a trip to a bizarre, alternate world? It is also revealed that Baron Mordo wants to use the captured people as a sacrifice to obtain immense power from his patron, Enigma (who is actually Dormammu). Mordo fails, and everyone is teleported back to New York. This is one of the few times that Jameson admits that Spider-Man is a hero, but no one will ever remember what happened because Spider-Man asks Doctor Strange to wipe their memories. And it won’t be the last time Spider-Man makes such a request…
Read from #51 issue #54! Due to using forbidden magic in a previous battle, Doctor Strange has lost the title of “Sorcerer Supreme.” He has to search for the new Sorcerer Supreme and hopes that it didn’t go to the Hood or especially Doctor Doom. Spider-Man suggests that they—he and the New Avengers—help Strange. Because what are friends for? The Eye of Agamotto takes them to New Orleans, where the artifact and the Sorcerer Supreme title are transferred to Brother Voodoo. Doctor Strange makes quick work of Dormammu, who has possessed the Hood, and Brother Voodoo (now Doctor Voodoo) exorcises the demon. Just think, if Spider-Man hadn’t offered to help Doctor Strange, who knows how this moment would’ve turned out?
Spider-Man wants his anonymity back. His family is constantly in Kingpin’s crosshairs because of who they’re associated with. This seems very familiar. In part three of “One Moment in Time,” instead of being visited by a certain malevolent demon, Spider-Man goes to Doctor Strange to ask him if he can make everyone forget his true identity. Strange can do it, but he has to talk to Tony Stark and Mister Fantastic about it first. Stark is hesitant to the idea, mentioning Sentry as an example, but eventually agrees; Reed Richards does as well. Mixing the arcane and science, Strange casts the spell while Spider-Man and an unconscious Mary Jane Watson are in a protective cell, allowing them to remember everything. For better or for worse.
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