A skilled surgeon, Dr. Nicodemus West dedicates his life to medicine but when magic enters his life, he pursues the path with passion.
Nothing is currently known about Nicodemus West before he became a doctor in New York City. Once there, he works in the same hospital as Dr. Stephen Strange, who would one day become the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange, and grows to admire his skills as a surgeon.
The Sorcerer Scientist
After studying hard, Nicodemus West becomes an accomplished physician in New York City. His inability to restore Dr. Strange's hands to their original state haunts him and he tries following Strange's path. That leads him to Yao, AKA Ancient One, who trains him in the ways of magic. West grows restless and decides to leave to try and use his powers to heal people. That proves too dangerous, so he gives up magic and focuses on working for the nefarious Timely Pharmaceuticals. During that time, he claims to keep himself in top physical shape. He also acquires a great number of magical objects that he keeps in a special vault.
When he returns to using the mystic arts, he casts spells that allow him to call on the Sands of Nisanti, trap other mystics, blast concussive magical energy from his hands, and astral project.
A Medical Menace
Dr. Nicodemus West grows obsessed with Dr. Stephen Strange after performing the surgery that repairs his hands to a certain extent. With Strange gone on his own journey afterwards, many of his patients began to die, which hits West hard. West tries finding Stephen so he could save his hands and winds up training under the tutelage of the Ancient One. He later joins Timely Pharmaceuticals and eventually goes on to work with Brigand to steal the Elixir of Otkid from Strange. This act brings him into direct conflict with Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme, and his allies Wong and Linda Carter, AKA Night Nurse.
A Doctor’s Quest
Dr. Nicodemus West was in the hospital when Stephen Strange came in after his life-altering car crash. West managed to save his fellow doctor's hands, but not to the point where he could use them for surgery any longer, which enraged Stephen.
Shortly after West met with Reginald Pavlish, a patient who Strange had rebuked before his accident. Later, when Strange disappeared to go on his own mystical journey, his patients began to die, which weighed heavily on Nicodemus. He thought that if he could somehow repair Stephen's hands, the patients would survive, so he tried following Strange's path. After spending years and all of his money, he finally came upon the Ancient One who agreed to train him in the mystic arts without ever telling Stephen. Nic claims the teacher did this because he was unsure of whether Strange could live long enough to take over as the Sorcerer Supreme.
However, West grew impatient and did not complete his studies. He returned to his old job where he attempted to use magic to cure Pavlish and instead killed him. West planned on turning himself in, but was confronted by a pair of Timely Pharmaceutical representatives. They offered him a way to help people and they covered up what he did to Pavlish. His duties also included sniffing out and dealing with other magic users, though he himself was to give up the practice. He agreed and had his artifacts put in a special vault.
Years later, when West heard that Dr. Strange, now the Sorcerer Supreme, had found a potential cure for cancer, he hired Brigand to break into the Sanctum Sanctorum and steal the Elixir of Otkid. The mercenary succeeded in the theft and also managed to injure Strange with a silver bullet from Hitler's gun. West tested the substance and found that it could cure any disease, a panacea. From there, he set up a meeting with the Overlords, the mysterious board of Timely Pharmaceuticals, who wanted him to destroy it, realizing that it would put them out of business if it could be reproduced.
When ordered to by the Overlords, West began using magic once more and summoned the Marrakant Hellguard, which set ablaze the secret hospital of Strange's ally Night Nurse. During their ensuing confrontation, West explained his history to Strange, Wong, and Night Nurse. When Wong seemed to die due to the brain tumor he had been dealing with, Nicodemus rushed off to pour the panacea down the drain.
For their inevitable battle, West and Strange made their way to the top of the Timely building. West called for the Sands of Nisanti, which he used to negate magic between them. He thought he had the upper hand, but Strange had been learning martial arts from Wong for years and easily turned the tables. West panicked and tumbled over the side of the building while holding the elixir.
Just before hitting the ground, West was able to cast his astral projection. As the elixir dripped into a nearby sewer grate, he asked Strange whether he would take what was left and figure out how to heal the entire world or use it to save Wong from his brain tumor. He faded away before seeing the answer, though ultimately Stephen saved his friend.