In the latter half of 2016 we will get to see Benedict Cumberbatch bring Doctor Strange to life on the big screen. It seems Marvel aren’t pulling any punches when it comes to releasing lesser known properties but after the fantastic Guardians of the Galaxy, who cares?
Like many future comic book movies the history of the character is a little mysterious. So, who is Doctor Strange and where does he reside in the shared universe? Like my previous 101’s I will highlight the facts that I feel are relevant to the coming movie, this is a brief roundup and not a complete biography of the character.
Doctor Stephen Strange was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and debuted in Strange Tales #110 in July 1963. Stephen Strange was a brilliant but egotistical neurosurgeon that used his skills for money and fame, until one fateful day that a car accident left his hands damaged and unable to perform surgery again. Strange, consumed by his need to be perfect travelled the world and exhausted all of his fortune whilst searching for a remedy that would restore the use of his hands to their former glory.
Nothing he found worked and left homeless and in despair, he sought out the last hope. On his travels Strange heard of a man called the Ancient One that may have been able to help. However, the Ancient One refused Doctor Strange help as he was arrogant and selfish. The Ancient One changed his mind when Baron Mordo, a student of his tried to kill him but Strange intervened after learning of his plot.
The Ancient One taught Doctor Strange how to use his powers and after the death of The Ancient One in 1973 the Doctor took over the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.
His powers are drawn from some of the Marvel universes most powerful magical beings, most notably Agamotto, who is Strange’s primary source of power. He also gains his abilities from artefacts such as, The Eye of Agamotto, The Book of Vishanti and The Cloak of Levitation.
Baron Mordo later returns and becomes one of Strange’s biggest foes alongside Dormammu. I would expect Marvel will use Mordo in some capacity in the movie but with the antagonists getting bigger and more threatening in the MCU, I would hope they go down the route of Dormammu being the big bad.
Dormammu is the ruler of an alternate dimension and has existed for billions of years. One storyline saw him team up with Loki and deceive the Avengers and the Defenders into obtaining pieces of an ancient artefact that would allow him to merge dimensions. This storyline also heavily features Scarlett Witch and The Vision, so with the current slate of active heroes, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see something from this arc appear.
These are the routes I hope Marvel take for the movie and I would be surprised if they went somewhere else. With recent rumors about Chiwetel Ejiofor’s involvement in the film I would love to see his take on either of the antagonists but whatever Marvel do, I’m sure it will be magic.