Not many of us had the luxury of reading comic books during our young teenage years. We had the help of older siblings, films or tv series (animated or not) to help younger generations familiarize with some of the most famous comic book heroes and legendary villains. And with the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the nerd factor has skyrocketed, creating more comic book lovers and sparking discussions among cohorts about who will be joining the live action franchise. On the plus side it is always cool to see your favorite superheroes on screen like Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk and soon Spiderman. Phase 3 will be introducing more characters with their independent storyline. But there are some characters not many of us are 100 percent familiar with, even if their names have been around for decades.
Take for example Doctor Strange. Big winged cape, goatee, silver striped hair, waving his arms around with crazy bright colors all over the panels.
Now, maybe most of you guys have heard of this magical “Sorcerer Supreme” but what about those who have no clue who he is? Most of us have never seen or read anything about this mystical fella who made his stellar debut in the 1960’s “Strange Tales”. Ever since, Doctor Strange has become one of Marvel’s most popular comics.
So with that in mind we have made a list of things you probably did not know about Doctor Strange.
10. Doctor Strange Is Not An Avenger
Maybe Doctor Strange will be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in time for Infinity War at the end of Phase 3 but the Sorcerer Supreme has never been an official member of The Avengers. In 2008, he fought beside The New Avengers but was never a core member of the group. However, Strange is a member of Tony Stark’s underground group, The Illuminati, and the co-founder of The Defenders along with The Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer.
9. Stoners Love Doctor Strange!
What else could you expect from a supernatural, highly colorful comic that dates back to the 1960s? When Marvel’s newest comic debuted back then, it was extremely popular with the potheads. In Tom Wolfe’s 1960’s novel The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the comic was referenced by Ken Kesey, who was an experimental user at the time, stating how he adored reading the comics while getting high, thanks to its strange concepts and vibrant colors. And it doesn’t stop there. In “Marvel Comics: The Untold Story”, author Sean Howe reveals how LSD had played a significant role on Doctor Strange in the 70s when some of its content creators were on acid while working on the comic.
8. Doctor Strange Has Influenced Music
Doctor Strange’s weird content and bizarrely beautiful style has gone on to inspire many artists, even some world famous musicians from album covers to song lyrics. The opening track to T. Rex’s 1971 album “Electric Warrior” referenced the Marvel sorcerer in its song lyrics. He has even made an impression on Pink Floyd. Their album cover for “A Saucerful of Secrets” was based on Strange’s earlier issues.
7. Was Kind of Adapted Before
Most of us already that know that Doctor Strange will be part of Marvel Cinematic Universe starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular role. What many may not have heard was that this comic got silver screen treatment back in the day. It debuted on CBS in 1978 as a tv movie/pilot starring Peter Hooten as Stephen Strange but was never picked up for a series. Fast forward to 2007, Doctor Strange was made into a 95-minute animated movie with Bryce Johnson as the voice of Strange. It was better received by audiences compared to the 78′ film. It debuted on the Cartoon Network in 2008.
6. Chandu The Magician Was the Inspiration behind the Comic
Though Stan Lee is given credit for the idea of Doctor Strange, it was actually Steve Ditko. He also who gets credit for the writing and the Sorcerer’s wicked style. Stan Lee, however, helped give Ditko’s idea some more creative shape. In a letter to Jerry Bails, dating back to 1963, Lee stated that he got the idea from a 1930s radio program called Chandu the Magician that aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System. In 1932, it was turned into a film which featured the character as a secret agent who was also a magician.
5. Often Gets Mistaken for Other Doctors
Well, this is awkward. Even I’m guilty for confusing the namesake for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove and apparently making that horrible mistake is quite common. Doctor Strange has also been confused for other Comic characters such as Batman villain Hugo Strange and Doctor Strangefate. The latter was created for Analgam Comics and was a blend of the names Prof. Xavies and DC Comic’s Doctor Fate.
4. The Inspiration Behind Adult Swim’s Dr. Orpheus
For fans of Adult Swim’s longest running series, Venture Bros, this fact may be a no brainer; but this is for those who have no idea of who Doctor Strange is. This animated comedy plays on famous comic book characters and other recognizable figures in pop culture. Doctor Tyrius Orpheus is based on Marvel’s powerful sorcerer. Everything about this man is parodied from his hand gestures to his salt/pepper hair. If you look at the picture, you can easily tell the influence.
3. Doctor Strange’s Lover, Clea, tried to Kill Him
Every hero needs a lover but before Stephen and Clea were lovers, they were once enemies. Clea is the niece of Doctor Strange’s arch nemesis Dormamaru, Lord of the Dark Dimension. She would stalk Doctor Strange under his orders, just to observe him. During surveillance hours she began to admire Strange’s abilities and started to tell him of her evil uncle’s plans. As punishment, she was put into captivity but was eventually rescued by The Ancient One. Clea was then able to live on Earth and fell in love with Doctor Strange.
2. He Isn’t That Powerful
You may be asking yourself, “what the heck are you talking about? He is the Sorcerer Supreme”. While yes he is named as the most powerful sorcerer in the Marvel universe, he hasn’t always been this way. Since his early days, his powers have fluctuated up until the 80s. Before then he was strong enough to fight against Adam Warlock and the Living Tribunal, until he was defeated by Hand Ninjas. He even abdicate the title of “Sorcerer Supreme” but eventually regained the title back in 2012. He is a little inconsistent here. So he maybe powerful. Just not as powerful as he was when he first started out.
1. Wong is Doctor Strange’s Servant and Martial Arts Teacher
Wong was mentioned in Strange Tales #110 back in July 1963 but made his official appearance in Strange Tales #147 in the summer of 1966. Even though he is a faithful servant to Strange, Wong is a highly skilled at martial arts, training Strange in both magic and hand to hand combat. Catch this: Wong’s father, Hamir, was a servant of The Ancient One, Doctor Strange’s mentor. It’s yet to be known if Wong will appear in the MCU along with his trainee.
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