Everything You Need to Know About Marvel's Doctor Strange

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 - 2:59PM
Marvel
Doctor Strange
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 - 2:59PM
Everything You Need to Know About Marvel's Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange is one of those heroes that doesn't have a lot of name recognition, but that may change very soon. With the movie's release just over a month away, we've been throwing the spotlight on the Sorcerer Supreme a bit more. So here's a short rundown on everything you need to know about the MCU's Doctor Strange!

What's His Story?


Doctor Strange was created in 1963 by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee as an experiment with a more magical, mystical kind of hero. Steve Ditko partially based Strange on an old 1930s radio broadcast called Chandu The Magician, but the Eastern mysticism that swept American during the 1960s was also a big influence. A lot of people, including The Beatles, were being introduced to things like the Bardo Thodol (the Tibetan Book of the Dead) and the concept of yogis and meditation. As for his fictional backstory, here's the official Marvel synopsis:

Opening quote
From Marvel comes "Doctor Strange," the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place-a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange-armed with newly acquired magical powers-is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.
Closing quote


It's interesting that Nolan's Batman movies also had its protagonist retreat into the Himalayas to learn their superhero skills from a secret society in a hidden monastery. 

What Superpowers Does He Have?


As we've seen from the trailers, Doctor Strange knows more than just neurosurgery—he knows kung-fu. And magic. We've yet to confirm the appearance of all of his magical artificts and powers, but so far the MCU's Strange will have access to his Cloak of Levitation, which allows him to fly, magical bolts of energy, astral projection, and the famous Eye of Agamotto, which, besides allowing him clairavoyance (scrying, for you D&D nerds), might actually be one of the Infinity Stones.

In his various incarnations, Strange has called upon a couple mystical entities for his magic, including ones with names like Cyttorak, Oshtur, and Watoomb. Adding to the slightly Lovecraftian undertones is his Book of the Vishanti, a grimoire that (unlike the Necronomicon) grants him knowledge of white magic.

Here's one trailer that shows Strange's powers and martial arts training in action:



Why Didn't Strange Intervene When The World Was Threatened By Ultron or Loki?


In an interview with Collider, Kevin Feige explained why the most powerful sorcerer in the cosmos and his cohort of magicians aren't jumping in to fight alien invasions and robot battles alongside other Marvel heroes:

Opening quote
There are people inhabiting the same world that are stopping buildings from falling down, robots from doing this, aliens from doing that – these people in this movie are stopping inter-dimensional forces from wiping out all of reality. So although it doesn't necessarily come up, we've always assumed that the sorcerers have bigger fish to fry when they hear there's something in a city  or there's a bank being robbed. They're not thinking about it. They're thinking if we don't keep vigilant our sense of reality will disappear, and there won't be a bank to rob and there won't be a city to be conquered.
Closing quote


It's always hard to balance the stakes of different heroes, especially when someone like The Flash is stopping a bank robber and someone like Strange is defending our whole dimension from evil cosmic entities. Heroes with smaller stakes end up seeming kind of irrelevant, and once you're fighting reality-eating villains, the chance for fun and humor kind of drops off.

Still, the new movie seems to focus more on one man's rehabilitation and rise to become a superhero—something considerably more concrete and familiar. Dealing with weird, fringe stuff might actually be more interesting and mind-bending that the Hulk punching Tony Stark's Hulkbuster for 6 straight minutes.

How Is Benedict Cumberbatch in the Role?


Cumberbatch is not only an extremely talented actor, he's been one of the top choices for fans from the start. In fact, the studio was so convinced he was the perfect actor for the role, they moved the entire production schedule for him, which is a very unusual move in Hollywood. And test audience supposedly love him, so hopefully we're in for another Robert Downey Jr.-level match made in heaven.

Will This Be the Weirdest Marvel Movie Yet?


From everything we've seen, Doctor Strange will be entirely different from what we've seen before. It's been described as "psychedelic" and maybe Marvel's first horror movie, with Scott Derrickson going so far as to call it "Marvel's Fantasia."

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange

Is He Going to Be in Avengers: Infinity War?


Oh yes he is.


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