Need to know: Doctor Strange

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As Marvel prepares for phase three, get yourself acquainted with new hero Doctor Strange.

Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige recently announced that a Doctor Strange film will feature as part of phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie will be directed by Scott Derrickson and will most likely be seen on screens in 2017. So who is this strange (pardon the pun) new character? Well, look no further and read ahead for everything you need to know to be a complete boffin on Marvel’s newest cinematic hero.

 

Origin

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Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1963, Doctor Strange made his first appearance in Strange Tales 110. Stephen Strange started off as a gifted but egotistical neurosurgeon. The superstar doctor credited all of his success to his hands, constantly bragging how they never made a mistake. Driving one day, his car slid off a cliff and left his body broken, allowing Strange to experience true pain for the first time. His life was saved in hospital, but his career was over, as his hands had suffered severe nerve damage.

Strange’s ego didn’t allow him to continue work assisting other doctors, as he was unable to receive all the glory. He therefore spent his fortune trying to restore what he had lost, eventually becoming a homeless drifter. Desperately seeking any help, Strange heard a legend of a Chinese wizard called The Ancient One who may be able to provide an answer outside the world of medicine. Pawning the rest of his possessions, Strange got on a flight to the Himalayas where he searched for the old sage. Once there he happened upon a temple where he found The Ancient One.

Strange was initially met with hostility; he was told he was not worthy of help or pity and was easily subdued. Left in awe by The Ancient One’s power, Strange was given shelter and introduced to the apprentice Baron Mordo. Ultimately, Strange caught Mordo attempting to kill his master in an effort to become the sole practitioner of black magic. Strange tried to warn The Ancient One, but Mordo covered his mouth in a metal sheet. The Ancient One arrived in time to save Strange and defeat Mordo. Strange had unwittingly proven his unselfishness and was chosen to become the new apprentice.

After extensive training (cue montage), Strange was given the rather catchy title of The Sorcerer Supreme. Reborn with a new purpose, he returned to New York under the guise of a mystical consultant secretly battling magical threats to the world. This included Mordo, who would go on to become one of Strange’s most enduring antagonists. Strange resides in the Sanctum Sanctorum, which is an integral part of the character’s legacy, along with his personal servant Wong, who guards the residence in his absence.

 

Powers

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Doctor Strange possess a wide range of powers, making him one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. He is trained in several martial arts disciplines and he has the ability to heal others, hypnotise, wield energy and produce force fields. He can also teleport and has telepathic qualities. Strange draws his powers from various mystical entities and wields various artefacts. These include the Cloak of Levitation, which allows him to fly, the Eye of Agamotto, whose light is used to negate black magic, and the Book of the Vishanti, which contains knowledge of white magic.

 

Connections

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In the comics, Strange most famously teamed up with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Strange also helped to create the team The Defenders alongside Namor, the Hulk and the Silver Surfer. In terms of the Marvel films, Stephen Strange was subtly name dropped in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. More interestingly, The Orb of Agamotto, which Strange uses as a crystal ball, is seen briefly in the first Thor movie in Odin’s vault, alongside the Tesseract and other various MacGuffins.

 

Potential Actors

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Patrick Dempsey has publically lobbied for the role and has been a fan favourite due to his remarkable resemblance to the character. Johnny Depp was long linked to the part, with Marvel maybe hoping the draw of a huge Hollywood star would help translate Strange to new audiences. Depp’s waning bankability as a box office star following recent flops and the simple fact he isn’t the youngest will probably rule him out now. Recent rumours have proven far more enticing, though, with recent Oscar winner Jared Leto and Benedict Cumberbatch among the frontrunners. Both of these actors could prove to be solid choices if Doctor Strange is to replace Iron Man as the focal character of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

Featured image: Jason Doctor (via Flickr)

Inset images: JD Hancock (via Flickr); Compulsive Collector (via Flickr); Jason Doctor (via Flickr); BBC

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