‘Doctor Strange': A Beginner’s Guide To The Sorcerer Supreme

by Ryan Rigley

By the Vapors of the Vishanti! According to a report made by Comic Book Movie last week, Marvel Studios has big plans for its titular mystic character: Doctor Strange. Although there hasn’t been any sort of direct confirmation from the studio thus far, rumors of a movie based around the Sorcerer Supreme have been running rampant all over the Internet as of late.

In fact, there’s even a rumor going around that Marvel plans to make Doctor Stephen Strange the new “hub” character for Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much like Tony Stark’s role in Phase 1. While this might be terrific news for hardcore Marvel fans, there are still a ton of people out there that have never even heard of Doctor Strange. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a reading list for those of you who are new to the Sorcerer Supreme.

Marvel Masterworks: Doctor Strange, Vol. 1
Written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Steve Ditko, this Strange origin story chronicles the good doctor’s transformation from narcissistic surgeon into the ever-affable Sorcerer Supreme. Odds are, if Marvel were to make a Doctor Strange movie it would be largely based on this story. There have even been some “leaked” plot lines which borrow heavily from the first act of Strange’s origin and feature both Baron Mordo and Dormammu as antagonists.

Doctor Strange: The Oath
Recently re-released in trade paperback, Brian K. Vaughn’s “The Oath” gives us a glimpse of two aspects of Stephen Strange’s life, combining his former career in medicine with his current occupation as a mystical superhero. In this story, we see the close relationship that Strange has with his faithful servant Wong as he races the clock in an attempt to save his dear friend’s life.

Strange Tales: The Domain of the Dread Dormammu!
Taking place over the course of Strange Tales issue #126 and 127, this is actually Dormammu’s first physical appearance in the Marvel Universe. Before this story, the dreaded Lord of the Dark Dimension is merely mentioned by other characters. These issues see Doctor Strange traveling to the Dark Dimension in order to keep Dormammu from breaking through to our realm. Also, at the end of the story, Strange is gifted with his iconic Cloak of Levitation!

Doctor Strange: A Separate Reality
After the untimely death of his mentor, the Ancient One, Doctor Strange is forced to combat a time-traveling warlock who has come back from the future with the intentions of absorbing all of the magic that has ever existed. Armed with the all-seeing Eye of Agamotto and the coveted Cloak of Levitation, Doctor Strange confronts the warlock head-on proving once and for all why he deserves to be this dimension’s Sorcerer Supreme.

Strange Tales: The Eternity Saga
Considered by many to be the first “American Graphic Novel,” Steve Ditko’s revolutionary paneling work makes Strange Tales issue #130 – 146 a true masterpiece. Chased across the globe by Dormammu and his minion, Baron Mordo, Doctor Strange must find the cosmic deity known as Eternity and escape his mystical enemies despite the fact that he’s been rendered blind, bound, and powerless.

What are your favorite Doctor Strange stories? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!