Knowing his reliance on his medical abilities to support his affluent lifestyle, Strange began to seek a source of healing for his hands until the quest drained him of his resources and he faced a dark and uncertain future. Having crossed off all grounded cures from his list, he followed a path of rumor and legend to Tibet for a more esoteric shelter. There, high in the mountains, he met the Ancient One, a master mystic, and caught his first glimpse of a much larger universe.
Strange embarked on a journey to learn the art of magic under the Ancient One’s tutelage when he realized that the art of medicine would remain closed off from him forever. The former medico excelled at his lessons and grew to be as adept at spells and sorcery as he once was at surgery. The Ancient One saw in Strange a most gifted pupil and after years of schooling him, presented him with powerful artifacts with which to protect the Earth from many and varied menaces.
Returning to the West, Strange set up a new practice in New York City, and settled into his destined role as a sage, an occult advisor, and a Master of the Mystic Arts.
Doctor Strange’s powers and abilities originally stemmed from tapping into otherworldly entities and planes, chief among them the Vishanti, a triumvirate of powerful beings who granted magic-users temporary access to their essences through spells. Strange called upon the Vishanti throughout his early years as a magician to aid in his battles against various forms of magical danger and creatures, culminating in him receiving the title of Sorcerer Supreme when the Ancient One relinquished it upon his death.
As his career advanced, Strange lost and regained both his title as Sorcerer Supreme and his connection to the Vishanti several times due to injuries or extreme challenges to his authority. During these times, he sought other forms of sorcery to wield, including so-called catastrophe or chaos magic, blood spells, and demon possession. Ultimately, the doctor has found himself returning to more traditional wellsprings of magic after bouts with darker forms, each dalliance with the dark inevitably impacting him one way or another.
Strange’s primary artifact is known as the Eye of Agamotto, an amulet endowed with the might of the being it was christened for and the ability to impart powers of light, truth, and planar travel, among others. In addition, the doctor also makes use of his Cloak of Levitation to fly and maintains a sprawling library of mystical tomes in his New York home. Recently, he’s taken up the ancient Axe of Angarruumus for both offense and defense purposes.
A man in Stephen Strange’s important position is sure to create many enemies, and so it is expected that the Sorcerer Supreme may claim some of the most terrifying foes of any champion. Baron Mordo became Strange’s first opponent when the two studied simultaneously under the Ancient One and Mordo proved he cared more for selfishly gaining power than for helping others. As Strange learned to let go of his own ego he saw the same darkness in his fellow student and warned their teacher of it. Mordo swore eternal enmity against Strange and went on to transform himself into the doctor’s longtime foe.