|“||I don't know what my future holds, but I can't go back.||„|
|~ Doctor Strange|
Dr. Stephen Strange is a recurring character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically, he is the titular protagonist of Doctor Strange, a minor character in Thor: Ragnarok and a major character in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. He is a powerful sorcerer and leading member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Originally a brilliant yet arrogant neurosurgeon, Strange suffered a car accident that resulted in his hands being crippled. When Western medicine failed to restore his hands, Strange embarked on a journey that led him to the Masters of the Mystic Arts as well as the discovery of magic and alternate dimensions.
|“|| Doctor Strange: It is Dr. Strange. Not Master Strange, not Mr. Strange, Doctor Strange. When I became a doctor, I swore an oath to do no harm. And I have just killed a man! I'm not doing that again. I became a doctor to save lives, not take them.|
Ancient One: You became a doctor to save one life above all others; your own.
Strange: Still seeing through me, are you?
Ancient One: I see what I've always seen. Your overinflated ego.You want to go back to the delusion that you can control anything, even death, which no one can control. Not even the great doctor Stephen Strange.
|~ The Ancient One calls out Strange for his ego- one of several examples in the film|
Strange has shown extreme determination, as he spent most of his money in seven different surgeries to attempt to heal his hands, remained outside of Kamar-Taj's front door for five hours after being initially thrown out, then spent most of his time at Kamar-Taj studying and improving his abilities, even going as far as studying while sleeping through Astral projection. He even allowed himself to be killed by Dormammu countless times until Dormammu gave into his demands.
Through his training with the Ancient One, Strange gained a newfound appreciation for the natural order of things due to his studies of the Mystic Arts, and became more humble. However, this is not to say he was a completely changed man; he retained a cocky attitude when dealing with people and things, as seen in how he behaved when he went to borrow books from Wong. This, coupled with his inquisitiveness and willingness to break rules, made him an odd one in Kamar-Taj and constantly an eyesore to many of his peers. However, due to this nature of his, he was also more willing to compromise and be somewhat flexible with his principles, quickly accepting that the Ancient One broke her own rules to do what was deemed necessary to protect the world, and he had to be willing to do so himself, which, when combined with his natural talent in the Mystic Arts, had the Ancient One name him as the Master of the New York Sanctum Sanctorum, despite his relative lack of training and inexperience.
Having trained as a doctor, Strange is a pacifist and tries to avoid hurting people, as it goes against the Hippocratic oath. He was disgusted by his actions in killing Lucian, stating he became a doctor to save lives, not take them. However, neither the Ancient One nor Karl Mordo were especially sympathetic towards this, with the former stating it was his towering ego and delusion that he could control death itself that made him become a doctor and the latter simply calling him a coward for not having the spine to do what has to be done. Nevertheless, Strange claimed that there were other ways to defeat their enemies, a claim he ultimately proved correct by defeating both Kaecillius and Dormammu without killing either of them.
Ultimately, Strange has always had good intentions, despite coming off as arrogant and selfish. After his talk with Kaecillius, Strange began to see his own failings reflected in Kaecillius and started showing signs of self-improvement. He repeatedly and genuinely apologized for his past treatment of Christine Palmer and showed a newfound trust in former rival Nicodemus West. During his talk with the Ancient One before her death, he admitted that his fear of failure is what pushed him to be a successful neurosurgeon. However, the Ancient One stated that his fear is exactly what kept him from greatness, as well as learning the simplest and most important lesson of all; it's not about him. Strange took this very much to heart, and when he faced Dormammu, he showed strong selflessness, allowing himself to be killed over and over in order to keep Dormammu trapped in the time loop so mankind could live and came to stop fearing failure.
Despite his tremendous maturity, Strange maintains some of his old habits such as making sarcastic comments and jokes when talking to others, similar to Tony Stark and Peter Quill. Whilst he compensates his lack of experience by further using the powerful magical relics at his disposal and his intelligence allows him to imagine unorthodox solutions to problems, Strange has also learnt to comprehend his limits and despite his success at the hands of Dormammu's defeat, he has begun to realize the natural order should not be entirely disturbed, the same reason why Mordo left the Mystic Arts and vows to never use the Eye of Agamotto until he is fully prepared. This was his second greatest lesson to learn - that time is beyond even his control. He also retains his meticulous and diligence by forming a watchlist of individuals that might pose a threat to Earth. However, his flexibility is his greatest strength in this regard as, even though he wants to be rid of these individuals, he was willing to help Thor locate Odin so he and Loki would return to Asgard.
Powers & Abilities
Master Sorcerer: As the present guardian of the New York Sanctum Sanctorum, Strange, despite his relative inexperience, is one of the most powerful Masters of the Mystic Arts, possessing a extremely high level of mastery of the mystic arts, which he uses to defend his native reality. Indeed, despite his inexperience, an impressed Karl Mordo claimed that Strange's prodigious skills meant that he was "born for the mystic arts", and the Ancient One herself noted that Strange has tremendous potential as a sorcerer. With the help of numerous mystical artifacts and relics, in addition to his astral powers, Strange is able to gain access to a multitude of mystical powers. Though naturally talented, Strange is still rather unexperienced in the art. Strange makes up for his lack of experience with his gifted intellect, as he defeated Kaecillius by outsmarting Dormammu and forcing him to leave and take Kaecillius with him.
- Eldritch Magic Manipulation: Strange is able to create, shape and manipulate Eldritch Magic. He demonstrated the ability to form Eldritch Whips, and Mandalas of Light.
- Levitation: Using the Cloak of Levitation, Strange is able to levitate, hover, and fly through the air even without the presence of wind. It is unknown how fast Strange can travel with the Cloak, though it is shown that it could greatly lessen the impact of falling from great heights by effortlessly reducing his speed.
- Teleportation: Using a Sling Ring, Strange is able to open portals that lead to different locations, gaining the ability to move across both the physical world and the dimensional Multiverse. He can also make portals small enough to reach through and grab things, such as several books from Wong's library.
- Interdimensional Travel: Using the same Sling Ring, Strange can travel between different dimensions and universes, crossing over different planes of existence or traveling across various forms of reality. However, Strange was able to access the Mirror Dimension and transport himself and the Zealots there without the Sling Ring.
- Astral Projection: Strange is capable of separating his astral spirit from his body, gaining access to the Astral Dimension, with him thus notably managing to assist Christine Palmer in operating on his physical body, while also demonstrating being able to make himself visible to her at will. He used it again to speak to the Ancient One's spirit before her clinical death. Notably, Strange found his that when Christine defibrillated his real body, his Astral form would send out a blast of energy, which he used offensively while grappling with Lucian's Astral form, ultimately destroying it and killing him.
- Chronokinesis: Using the Eye of Agamotto, Strange is able to control the flow of time, be it on a small or massive scale, notably to turn back something to a previous state, to accelerate its time in order to apply changes that have not happened yet, or to lock in a time loop, with time resetting over and over until he stops its effect. He first tested the ability on an apple, rewinding time on it to make it whole and then forwarding time to make it rot, despite not actually eating it to that point before hand. If interrupted while using this ability, time freezes until he resumes the spell. He even used it to make a reconstruction of the stolen page of the Book of Cagliostro and read from it, though he seemed to be unable to make the page real and only could reveal what had been their before. He notably used this ability to trap even Dormammu himself in the same moment, which would reset each time Dormammu killed Strange, and keep Dormammu from leaving his dimension to invade Earth until Dormammu agreed to leave Earth for good. Strange concluded that he isn't ready to wield the Eye of Agamotto's powers yet and decided to return it until he's ready to use it again.
- Transmutation: During his meeting with Thor, Strange was able to turn a cup of tea into a large mug of beer that was also able to magically refill itself, much to Thor's pleasant surprise.
- Master Physician: Strange was one of the world's most renowned neurosurgeons. His skill allowed him to perform nearly any form of operation with little to no mechanical assistance flawlessly. His perfect record and reputation with the craft reached such a point that ultimately, he developed a penchant for undertaking only the most challenging of operations, in order to boost his huge ego. Indeed, his skills were so impressive, that Strange was targeted by HYDRA's Project Insight as a potential threat long before he ever became a sorcerer. He lost the ability to perform surgeries after his hands were damaged beyond repair in a catastrophic car accident, but he kept his profound knowledge on the subject.
- Multilingualism: Strange is fluent in his native English, as well as Sanskrit, which made him able to read the Book of Cagliostro.
- Eidetic Memory: Strange's photographic memory and perfect recall had originally greatly aided him in medical school, helping him to earn both his MD and PhD simultaneously. During his mystic arts studies in Kamar-Taj, Strange managed to master entering the Astral Dimension, despite Wong not believing him to be ready, and Strange later greatly impressed Karl Mordo with how quickly the former was able to understand how to use the Eye of Agamotto after reading a portion of the Book of Cagliostro's instructions only once.
- Martial Artist: After being trained by both the Ancient One and Karl Mordo, Strange gained some skill in martial arts, able to ultimately defeat and kill the Zealot Lucian, and to even hold his own relatively well against the far more experienced Master Kaecilius. However, Strange's hands still suffer from severe nerve and bone damage as a result of his accident, further exacerbated by the unsuccessful surgeries made towards restoring his dexterity, meaning his hands are delicate and prone to intense pain should he attempt to punch something or someone.
- Cloak of Levitation: A mantle that enables Doctor Strange to levitate and hover in the air. It appears to be sentient and can move on its own power, causing it to move and flap in the air without the presence of wind. Offensively, the cloak's ability to move and fly with or without a wearer allows it to grab, lift, tackle or send opponents flying through the air. The cloak often assists Strange in combat by protecting him from enemy attacks.
- Eye of Agamotto: An ancient relic with a number of mystical properties, especially time manipulation in the user's immediate vicinity and on specific areas or targets. It is able to do so since it contains the Time Stone.
- Sling Ring: A mystical object which enables the wearer to open a portal to another location.