Things will be very Strange indeed aboard the Disney Magic!

More details have been revealed about the epic events of Marvel Day at Sea! The day’s entertainment will include a brand-new interactive show with Doctor Strange that invites families to join sorcerer supreme Doctor Strange on a journey of discovery into the world of the Mystic Arts.

Through the power of special effects and projections, you’ll be transported from the Walt Disney Theatre to the New York Sanctum Santorum, the residence of Doctor Strange. As apprentices, you’ll learn how to master the Mystic Arts, create portals to other worlds and cast spells.

Children play a special role in the experience, as Doctor Strange calls upon the young apprentices to learn the fundamentals of the Mystic Arts, and his Master Students lead the kids in training exercises. Each new student of Doctor Strange is awarded a certificate after completion of their mystic arts training.

But this powerful experience isn’t over yet! The students will need to put their new skills to the test when suddenly an epic battle against the Dark Dimension ensues. Doctor Strange calls upon his young apprentices to join forces and summon their practiced powers…

Will they prevail? Keep your mind open. The possibilities out there are endless.

Marvel Day at Sea premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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The Master of the Mystic Arts will soon be seen aboard the Disney Magic.

The premiere of Marvel Day at Sea is just around the corner! Marvel fans will want to join us as we count down to this epic celebration on select cruises aboard the Disney Magic.

In the coming weeks, we’re featuring some of the mighty Marvel Super Heroes you can meet onboard during the daylong event, giving you insights into who they are and how you can get some face time with them.

Today, the spotlight is on the Master of the Mystic Arts… Doctor Strange!

Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful sorcerers in existence. Once an expert surgeon, a car accident severely damaged his hands, sending him on a quest that led to his discovery of the Mystic Arts. His magical repertoire includes energy projection, matter transformation, teleportation, dimensional travel and time travel, to name just a few.

During Marvel Day at Sea, you can see Doctor Strange in his very own show in the Walt Disney Theatre. Through the power of special effects and projections, Doctor Strange demonstrates his mastery of the Mystic Arts. Doctor Strange may also be encountered around the ship, summoning his powers and seeking enlightenment, as well as appearing in the nighttime deck show.

Stay tuned to meet more Super Heroes assembling for Marvel Day at Sea, which premieres on select 7- and 8-night Disney Cruise Line sailings from New York this fall, and returns on select 5-night Western Caribbean cruises from Miami in early 2018.

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Donny Cates conjures up magical plans for Marvel Legacy Doctor Strange!

After battling the magic-purging forces of the Empirikul and being held captive in a Darkforce prison during the events of Secret Empire, you might think Doctor Strange would need a vacation. Well, at the outset of Marvel Legacy, the Doctor is out—and Loki is more than willing to take his spot!

The God of Mischief becomes the new Sorcerer Supreme on November 15 as writer Donny Cates and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta take the reins of DOCTOR STRANGE with issue #381!

We spoke with Donny to hear a few whispers about what to expect when the Lord of Lies becomes the chief master of magic in the Marvel Universe.

Marvel.com: Writer Jason Aaron and artist Chris Bachalo put Stephen Strange through the ringer recently, culminating with the Doctor getting locked in a Darkforce prison by Captain America. Does the poor guy get any downtime before Loki steals his job?

Donny Cates: Oh not at all! [Laughs] The Doctor has had a pretty rough year, and I’m sad to report that I’m not much nicer to him than the previous captains of this ship! But that’s not to say this arc isn’t going to be fun, because honestly, when you have both Stephen Strange and Loki in the same book, it’s just going to be so much fun. And so, so weird!

Marvel.com: So how does Loki end up as Sorcerer Supreme?

Donny Cates: You know I can’t tell you that! I’ll say this, though: we do not tease out and play coy with the way that that Loki achieves. It’s stated upfront, and honestly, in the first issue of my run.

Or is it? I mean, he is the Prince of Lies, right?

Marvel.com: Given Strange’s recent problemsnot to mention the compromised state of his magical powershow will he handle the Asgardian trickster?

Donny Cates: Not well. In a lot of ways, this story shares its roots in the origin of DOCTOR STRANGE itself. With his ego laid low—and his previous profession taken away from him—he heads on a new journey of self-discovery that will challenge him to grow stronger and reclaim his life and his identity.

Marvel.com: Speaking of which, this seems like it might be a good opportunity for a crossover. Will we see any other Asgardians in the title?

Donny Cates: Well, I might be the biggest THOR fan alive, so if that were to happen, I would certainly love writing such a thing.

Marvel.com: What’s it like working alongside artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta and colorist Jordie Bellaire on this title?

Donny Cates: Unbelievable. Honestly, people are not going to believe the art coming from Gabriel and Jordie on this book. The most frustrating thing is that I can’t just share all of this amazing artwork with the world as soon as it hits my inbox. I think I can speak for the entire team when I say our days essentially grind to a halt when Gabriel turns in pages. We all just stop what we’re doing and stare at this gorgeous art that he’s made. It’s unreal.

And Jordie! I don’t have the words to express how excited I am to finally work with one of my favorite creators in the industry. I’m very, very fortunate to be working with this crew. I’m fighting above my weight class for sure! Just doing my best to keep up with these artistic titans.

Marvel.com: You recently mentioned how much you enjoyed writing a despicable Captain America when discussing your collaboration with Nick Spencer on Steve Rogers: Captain America #18. And now, between THANOS and Loki, you’re working on two titles featuring bad guys in prominent roles—what makes villains so much fun to write?

Donny Cates: I had a blast writing Cap. I co-wrote that scene of him addressing the United Nations, and I just channeled my inner pro wrestler and went nuts.

With Loki, though, I think it’s important to realize that he’s no longer the mustache-twirling bad guy of old. He really is trying to atone for the sins of his past, you know? Kieron Gillen‘s JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY run is a wonderful story that really exemplifies that sentiment. I love that run, and it’s become a touchstone for me when writing the character. The wonderful thing about Loki these days is that, while he is trying his best to change his ways and be a better god, no one on Earth (or in any realm, really) trusts him as far as they can throw him.

So it’s a constant exercise in restraint for our trickster friend. He’s not used to having to bite his tongue and suffer people’s judgment—but at the same time, he very much understands that this general mistrust is his own doing; that he sowed those seeds himself in a past life. So he’s a very interesting character to play with, and I think his role in all of this new story will surprise a lot of people.

DOCTOR STRANGE #381, by Donny Cates and Gabriel Hernandez Walta, hits shelves on November 15!

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Writer Robbie Thompson summons a retrospective look as the series powers to a close!

Even magic has its limits.

On September 13, the Sorcerers will have to accept that reality in DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #12, as writer Robbie Thompson and artist Nathan Stockman conjure up an intense conclusion for the supernatural crew.

As he dusted off his magic artifacts for the last time, we caught up with Robbie to ask about his stellar work on the book—and what’s still to come.

Marvel.com: As we reach the end, how are you feeling about the DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME series as a whole?

Robbie Thompson: I’m feeling sad! This book was so much fun to work on—Editor Nick Lowe assembled a murderer’s row of all-star talent and I learned a ton on this book. Every collaborator has brought their A-game on every page.

But I also feel satisfied, and thanks again to Nick for that, too. We had time to wrap the story up the way we wanted to—with a satisfying conclusion to the story we set out to tell.

Marvel.com: How does the art for that last issue look? What was the artistic collaboration like over the course of the whole title?

Robbie Thompson: Thanks to Nate Stockman, [artist] Jim Campbell, and [letterer] Joe Caramagna, the last issue of the series looks stunning.

I’m so happy with how this book turned out—it’s been bittersweet, but also fun, to see the pages, colors, and lettering on this final issue. We decided to do something different for this one, inspired by FANTASTIC FOUR #252, by having this final issue be horizontal. It made for some fun and crazy layouts from Nate—and helped keep us on our toes right to the end of the run.

Marvel.com: As you wrote the characters, did any surprises emerge throughout the run? How would you characterize their emotional journeys over the course of the bookespecially Strange’s?

Robbie Thompson: I think the character that surprised me the most was Mindful One. We knew going in that Sir Isaac Newton was going to turn on the group—and that some characters would leave sooner rather than later—but I wasn’t expecting Mindful to be such an emotional character. His friendship with Kushala came out of the way that Javier Rodriguez drew them both, and based on that, we would all pitch moments for Mindful in each issue and he started to grow as a character. It was cool to see him become more of an emotional part of the team.

As for the rest of the team, typically, Sorcerers Supreme work alone—not with other Supremes. But because of the time travel, we had a chance for each of them to see that they were a part of a much larger story than they knew, which made for some emotional moments, especially for Doctor Strange. He gets to talk to someone in issue #11 that I wasn’t initially planning on him even meeting when we first set out to tell this story. But because this is a time travel story, we had the unique opportunity to say something a little more emotional in that exchange. And because we’re talking about Sorcerers Supreme throughout time, including Stephen Strange’s mentor Yao, we had a chance to have Strange see his own legacy—to have him understand the impact he’s had on magic and history.

Marvel.com: I’m sure you’ve had a few favorite moments over the course of the series. Looking back, which ones stand out?

Robbie Thompson: For me, the moments I love looking back on are where the collaborative nature of the story shined through; a moment where Nick or Editor Darren Shan had a great fix for a story or character beat, a moment where Javier Rodriguez took a page and completely made it his own, getting to watch Nate Stockman create his versions of future X-Men battling in Dublin, getting to watch colorist Jordie Bellaire take a two-page spread and work her magic.

Then there’s our letterer, Joe Caramagna—he’d come up with the perfect creation every time. Comics work best when everyone contributes, and I think the book’s best moments came from when everyone pitched in and brought their own spin to the story being told.

Marvel.com: How did it feel to sit down and write the final issue? How did it feel to finish the script?

Robbie Thompson: To be honest, I kept putting it off! We were ahead because I started writing out of order to help the schedule, so I just kept dragging my feet! I wrote a draft of the last script, which wasn’t bad or anything, but when Javier handed in his cover for the last issue, I threw my work in the trash. The image Javier sent in was so inspiring that I had to rewrite what I had—and it made for a much, much better ending. So I’m glad I waited and dragged my feet, because I like this ending much more than what I originally wrote.

Marvel.com: What can fans expect in the last issue?

Robbie Thompson: When readers see who shows up at the end of issue #11, they’ll want to see how this all ends in #12. It pays off something we set up all the way back in the first story. Again, Nick was awesome about giving us time to wind everything down the way we wanted—we’ve been able to wrap up every detail.

Witness the mystical end with DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #12, by Robbie Thompson and artist Nathan Stockman, on September 13!

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Writer Jason Aaron reflects back on his run with the Sorcerer Supreme!

We find ourselves at the end of an era, folks. Just as Stephen Strange once faced The Last Days of Magic, writer Jason Aaron finds himself fast approaching the final installment of his nearly two-year run on DOCTOR STRANGE with issue #20 coming May 17. No need to worry, though, because the MIGHTY THOR writer says he has more plans in store for the Sorcerer Supreme.

Jason worked some of his magic on us to deliver a few poignant thoughts on a comic that means a lot to him and the Marvel Universe. Prepare for things to get strange—well, stranger than usual anyway.

Marvel.com: You’ve been writing DOCTOR STRANGE for nearly two years. What has been your favorite part about writing for Stephen Strange? Put another way: What was been the most magical part?

Jason Aaron: I think to me, the most important part coming in was just making the book fun. DOCTOR STRANGE as a series is one that didn’t always catch on. We hadn’t had a solo DOCTOR STRANGE ongoing in a quite a while so the character is sometimes hard for people to connect with or relate to and his world maybe seems so different compared to the rest of the Marvel Universe and maybe a little impenetrable. So I wanted it to be welcoming to people who’d never read a STRANGE book before, but also at the same time, something that could be embraced by the longtime fans of the character and as part of that, I wanted to make it fun to hang out with Stephen Strange and embrace the fact that he is very different from the all the rest of the heroes of the Marvel Universe; I did want to give a weight to what Strange goes through and let you understand a little bit about what it’s like to be him and the price he has to pay to be the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s not like Cap throwing a shield or Thor throwing a hammer. There’s a real price to be paid every time Doctor Strange uses magic. Sometimes that’s a price that’s paid by other people, by the world at large, but most often that’s the price that’s paid by him. So I think we demonstrated that in a lot of different ways and just how difficult it is to be the Sorcerer Supreme. I like kind of that dichotomy and the fact that Doctor Strange seems to be having a good time, the guy even embraces the weirdest little corner of the Marvel Universe, but at the same time, you don’t really wanna be Doctor Strange. It’s not a fun gig.

Marvel.com: Which character, hero or villain, have you most identified with and why?

Jason Aaron: I think it was nice to add a character like Zelma [the librarian] to the mix, someone who came into Strange’s world with fresh eyes, someone who didn’t really even believe in magic before that and certainly didn’t embrace the weirdness in a way that Strange does so I liked seeing [the weirdness] through her eyes and seeing how that experience has changed her along the way, which we really drive that point home in the last issue, issue #20.

Marvel.com: Under your direction, Stephen went from the top of his game as a Sorcerer Supreme to seeing magic die off. Can you discuss the process of crafting this roller coaster-esque odyssey for such a unique character and the challenges therein?

Jason Aaron: I like the way of sort of establishing Strange and the beat he walks as Sorcerer Supreme and what it’s like to him. I like the idea of [villains] who really [burn] his world to the ground—I think from there we start to kind of rebuild it. [We put] a few more limits on his powers; Strange has become kind of a deus ex machina for a while in the Marvel [Universe] where he could always just sort of show up and wave his fingers and save the day so I wanted to get away from that and show it’s a lot harder for him to be who he is and to do what he does, show him really have to fight and struggle for it, sometimes literally. We wanted him to be able to mix it up a little bit more and not just stand around and shoot magical energy blasts, but have to pick up a weapon and jump into the fray more than we’re used to seeing.

Doctor Strange #20 cover

Marvel.com: Another theme in the comic is the existence of supernatural horrors just beyond the veil of human comprehension, which was brought to vivid life by Chris Bachalo’s artwork. Was the cosmic horror and weird fiction of H.P. Lovecraft an influence at all?

Jason Aaron: Sure. I’ve read a lot of Lovecraft and love it. I think, again, that Doctor Strange is very different from all the other heroes in the Marvel Universe and that he’s the guy who walks a very different sort of beat and has to deal with threats that most of the other heroes may not even know exist. We wanted to drive that home and Chris has been a huge part of that. Right out of the gate in issue #1 we did the bit where we kind of see the world through Doctor Strange’s eyes; we call it “Strange Vision” where we see the normal world kind of go into black and white and we see all the things that only someone like Stephen Strange can see in pop and color. Chris is the perfect artist to do stuff like that. He really took it to another level on this. All along the way, once he was on board, he’s been filled with all sorts of crazy ideas with stuff to put in this book, visually, and has taken it to some really wild, imaginative places.

Marvel.com: What was it like writing this comic in the midst of big releases like the “Doctor Strange” movie that helped propel Stephen to a status of fame that he may not have enjoyed before?

Jason Aaron: Yeah, I think that’s really cool. Certainly anything that helps get more eyes on the comics, I’m always a fan of. I really enjoyed the movie, I really liked the tone of it and it felt like the movie and the comic were kind of pulling in the same direction in that regard. I’m really excited to see Strange pop up again in the [Marvel] Cinematic Universe.

Marvel.com: What hints and/or spoilers can you offer up about issue #20 before it drops in May?

Jason Aaron: I think it kind of sums up my run-up to this point. It’s the big issue; it’s drawn by the two artists who’ve handled most of it in the art so far: Chris Bachalo, the main artist, and then Kevin Nowlan who’s drawn a few bits here and there. So the two of them together, I think they’re the perfect pairing for this series. It’s a story that goes to a lot of different places, kind of focuses on Stephen and the core group of supporting characters around him and like I said, sums up my run so far and kind of sets things up for the new writer Dennis Hopeless to [take on] these same characters and take them forward into some new and different stories.

Marvel.com: And going off that, can you say anything on where Doctor Strange will go from here? Is he gonna be making any cameo appearances in MIGHTY THOR?

Jason Aaron: Maybe. You never know. I really enjoyed writing that team-up issue of STRANGE where we saw Doctor Strange and Thor teaming up so yeah, I don’t think I’m done writing Doctor Strange in some capacity.

Marvel.com: Is there anything in particular that you hope readers have taken away from your run on the title?

Jason Aaron: Just, you know, don’t ever touch Doctor Strange’s refrigerator…

Join Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo, and Kevin Nowlan for DOCTOR STRANGE #20 on May 17!

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Robbie Thompson shares the more outlandish elements of Doctor Strange and company!

Fans of the bizarre have a lot to love when it comes to DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME. With so many top dog sorcerers running around, there’s bound to be all kinds of weirdness!

We’ll get to see more of that in the upcoming issue #6—due out March 8—where the sorcerers find themselves banished to a magical dimension, running for their lives. In fact, the book might just qualify as the craziest, strangest comic Marvel publishes.

We asked writer Robbie Thompson why he thinks that’s true…

People are Strange

“The strangest people in comics make this book! It’s a fact! I mean, I’d consider myself totally strange! And so is editor Nick Lowe, who came up with the idea for this book and built this team of maniacs! We’ve got Darren Shan and Allison Stock on editorial as well. These three lunatics always push the book into the most bizarre corners of the Marvel Universe and come up with crazy characters to fill out our cast.

“Joe Caramagna adds all kinds of strange and crazy lettering to each issue, bringing the characters’ voices to life and peppering each page with creepy sounds. Jordie Bellaire brings an absurd amount of strangeness with each page she colors, from throwback coloring to black light posters of yore, to making each monster and creature resonate with vibrant energy. Inker Alvaro Lopez contributes an incredible amount of strange detail and foreboding shadows to every panel, making each page ooze with awesome.”

Doctor Strange

“But I’d consider the Doctor Strange who draws this book, Javier Rodriguez, the strangest and best of all of us working on this comic. From his insane layouts, to his out-of-this-world creature design, Javier constantly makes this book the strangest comic on the stands. Each page he hands in seems more astonishing than the last; he has amazing skill as a storyteller and collaborator.”

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #6 cover by Javier Rodriguez

Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #6 cover by Javier Rodriguez

Strange Days

“The plot and events of this story also make it the strangest book out there—I mean, we started by killing Merlin! Who does that? We travelled back in time and fought the terrifying monster that was The Forgotten, and then saw betrayal by that lunatic Sir Isaac Newton—yes that Sir Isaac Newton! We’ve really tried to make each issue more magical and ‘out there’ than the last and we’ve got even more strangeness coming up as the Sorcerers bring their insanity to the present day Marvel Universe and team up with the Avengers!”

Perfect Strangers

“I think the cast of this book also makes it incredibly strange. Everyone is a Sorcerer Supreme, but because Merlin plucked them form different timelines, they’ve either never met, or they meet at the wrong time. The Ancient One shows up as a teenager. Wiccan comes from a time when he replaced Strange. Nina remains a mystery. Kushala appears as a Ghost Rider we’ve never encountered. And yet, these strangers share a common bond: serving as the Sorcerer Supreme!”

Stranger Things

“This book has the strangest creatures in the Marvel Universe—The Forgotten, demons, all manner of tentacles—and we haven’t even unleashed issue #6 yet. I see #6 as pure, unbridled Javier Rodriguez madness and I can’t wait for people to see what he and the rest of the gang have cooked up in this issue!”

See for yourself in DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME #6, coming March 8!

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Jason Aaron kicks off as writer of the good doctor by nearly destroying magic!

Something weird is going on in Manhattan. Sure, what else is new, right? Well, an all-new take on the Master of the Mystic Arts by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo counts as new and delightfully weird!

Launching in the wake of Secret Wars, DOCTOR STRANGE returned our pal Stephen to the Sanctum Sanctorum in Greenwich Village where people needing help with supernatural problems could seek him out. He also tackled problems as they popped up, like harmful creatures attaching themselves to unassuming humans. After a series of weirder-than-usual occurrences, including unforeseen incursions from other dimensions and a variety of spells losing their power, Strange uncovered the truth: a mysterious technology-based force aimed to eradicate magic across multiple dimensions.

Enter, the Empirikul, a group dedicated to tracking down and destroying magical energy wherever they find it. To them, magic represented a sin that needed to be wiped out in every dimension. Lead by The Imperator, the Empirikul—including the supernatural-sniffing Witchfinder Wolves—had already made their way to an unsuspecting Earth right under Stephen’s nose.

Doctor Strange (2015) #1

Doctor Strange (2015) #1

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To Strange and some of his fellow mages, much of this trouble resulted from the fact that the Sorcerer Supreme had not balanced the scales of magic. An older magician explained that he would drown a rabbit every time he saved a life to keep things even. Strange intended a mysterious ritual in the basement of his home to do exactly that, but Wong instead created the Secret Disciples of Strange to absorb just some of the punishment our hero took on while performing his duties, which take an unimaginable toll.

Aaron and Bachalo also introduced a new character into Strange’s life: a librarian from the Bronx named Zelma Stanton. She entered his life seeking help with an extra mouth growing out of her head, but agreed to return to organize the doctor’s ever-growing collection of mystical tomes.

Right now, the first eight issues of DOCTOR STRANGE can be read on Marvel Unlimited. #1-5, covered here, make up the first arc while the other three really dive into Strange’s battle with the Empirikul, which leaves magic in a much different place than the Sorcerer Supreme would like.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

These first five issues act as a lead-in to a much larger story called “The Last Days of Magic” that wove through DOCTOR STRANGE #6-10 as well as the DOCTOR STRANGE: LAST DAYS OF MAGIC one-shot. The ride continues in the main series by Aaron, Bachalo, and guest artists like Leonardo Romero and Kevin Nowlan. For even more magical adventures, check out the spinoff DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME by Robbie Thompson and Javier Rodriguez featuring a team of mages from throughout time gathered to stop a threat called The Forgotten with secret ties to Merlin.

That’s it for The Spells of Doctor Strange, but keep an eye on Marvel Unlimited for new titles added each month as well as your local comic purveyor for new issues of DOCTOR STRANGE and DOCTOR STRANGE AND THE SORCERERS SUPREME.

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The Defenders reunite with a new mystery for the Master of the Mystic Arts to dig into!

The original Defenders formed when Doctor Strange realized he needed some muscle in the form of Hulk and Namor to take on a threat. Since then, the founders—plus Silver Surfer who joined not long after—have infrequently called on one another for aid.

As the new DEFENDERS title debuted in 2012, writer Matt Fraction utilized The Hulk and the Fear Itself event to set Doctor Strange, Namor, Silver Surfer, Red She-Hulk, and Iron Fist on a mission to stop Nul, a threat even more dangerous than a berserk Jade Giant. But that proved just the opening salvo of a year long journey that not only threatened all life on Earth, but also explained what makes the planet such a special place filled with amazing heroes.

To tell the story, Fraction teamed up with artists Terry Dodson, Michael Lark, Mitch Breitweiser, Victor Ibanez, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton and Mirco Pierfederici. After taking care of Nul, the Defenders discovered a strange, reality-altering device dubbed the Concordance Engine that fueled the rest of their adventures in the 12-issue series.

Defenders (2011) #1

Defenders (2011) #1

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Along the way, the group lost Namor for a time but picked up Black Cat, Scott “Ant Man” Lang, and an alternate dimension Nick Fury from the 60’s. Doctor Strange accidentally brought an old flame back to life, Iron Fist fought his fellow Immortal Weapon John Aman, and reality bent as they dug further into the truth behind the Engines.

As Silver Surfer discovered and John Aman later explained, a group of incredibly powerful beings seeded Earth with the potential to defend against those who seek to destroy worlds in search of the new, otherwise known as the Death Celestials. The engines actually bent physics and probability in the favor of the heroes who would fend off destruction at the hands of the Death Celestials.

Before long the truth came to light: in moving one of the Concordance Engines, the Defenders screwed up the whole plan, allowing the Death Celestials to more easily overtake the planet. To combat the problem, Doctor Strange used the Concordance Engine itself to travel back in time in his cosmic form to alter the day Hulk asked him for help in the first issue. Not only did Past Stephen make good on a previously bad choice, but Future Stephen saved the world by essentially erasing all their meddling.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

While still important to the overall story, DEFENDERS #4 acted as a Doctor Strange solo story. In the first issue he slept with a college student named Molly interested in the arcane and didn’t treat her too well afterwards. At the time he didn’t realize how lonely he had had been, but that changed when an old flame named Martha appeared out of nowhere. The problem? She was supposed to be dead. Stephen posited that he accidentally conjured her up not through magic but thanks to his proximity to the Concordance Engine.

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The Sorcerer Supreme and Doctor Doom face Mephisto for the soul of an innocent!

In 1989, Roger Stern and Mike Mignola created an epic, standalone tale called DOCTOR STRANGE & DOCTOR DOOM: TRIUMPH AND TORMENT. The graphic novel kicked off with an appearance by old school Strange character The Aged Genghis concerned about Doom—Doctor Doom that is.

Aged Genghis remembered the time that Victor Von Doom came to his cave searching for guidance in the mystic arts. The mage sent him along to a group of remote monks who he soon overtook and used to create his iconic armor, including the mask which he put on his face before it had fully cooled.

Back in the present, Aged Genghis announced a magical competition of sorts to all of the world’s most prominent sorcerers, including Doctors Strange and Doom. The old one channeled Hoggoth, Oshtur, and Agamotto to create a shell around himself that the attendees tried to get through. The winner officially received the title of Sorcerer Supreme.

Strange and Doom remained at the end of the contest with Stephen winning and Doom avoiding the gods’ attacks. Aged Genghis then explained that, as the winner and Sorcerer Supreme, Strange owed runner-up Doom a boon. The despot knew exactly what that would be: help in saving his mother’s soul from the demon Mephisto.

Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment (1989)

Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment (1989)

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Before venturing to the location of their prize, the two headed to Latveria where Strange saw that the people seemed to love their ruler. He also learned that, many years ago, Cynthia Von Doom made a deal with a devil to help her Gypsy clan gain power in Latveria. She perished before seeing the fruits of her labor, but her son eventually picked up the idea and took power.

After Victor amassed a different kind of power, that of magical training and education with Strange in the role of professor, the duo traveled to Mephisto’s realm. Amidst strange visions that recounted some of Stephen’s own history, potential betrayal, and a mother’s rebuke, the pair still figured out a way to beat the devil at his own game, but not necessarily walk away with a pure victory.

Over the years, Doom continued to study the mystic arts himself, using them to battle the Fantastic Four, Black Panther, and the forces of Hell to the point where Strange worried that the Latverian leader might actually be selected as the next Sorcerer Supreme when he gave up the responsibilities.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

The Aged Genghis first appeared way back in 1965’s STRANGE TALES #136. In that story by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Artie Simek, Stephen searched the globe looking for help with an Eternity problem. In turning to Aged Genghis he commented that the ancient mage had been driven mad by his long years of existence. As a counterpoint, Aged Genghis claimed to know everything and provided the Master of the Mystic Arts with a scroll that helped him on his journey. Far from a regular player, Aged Genghis only popped up a few times between this issue and TRIUMPH AND TORMENT, specifically in the second DOCTOR STRANGE volume.

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The former Sorcerer Supreme trains a new protégé!

After Doctor Strange gave up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme and Brother Voodoo took over for a time, the Master of the Mystic Arts appeared in NEW AVENGERS and his own limited series simply titled STRANGE written by Mark Waid and drawn by Emma Rios in 2009.

As this story kicked off, Strange set up a situation where a young woman named Casey Kinmont would help him get to her grandfather, an incredibly rich man who owned a baseball team that sold its souls to the devil decades ago. After passing a few mystical skills on to the surprisingly adept Casey and actually taking part in the baseball game himself, Stephen saved the players and left without saying much else.

Intrigued by Strange’s comments about her being a natural in the ways of magic, Casey continued using her truth-revealing glasses and the vanishing spell he taught her on the fly while trying to dig up more information on the mysterious magic man.

Strange (2009) #1

Strange (2009) #1

  • Published: November 11, 2009
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: March 16, 2011
  • Rating: Rated T
  • Writer: Mark Waid
  • Penciller: Emma Rios
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It turned out that the vanishing spell itself sent the targets to a realm ruled by a very angry god called Baroshtok. Luckily, the mad deity retained some empathy and accepted that Casey had not known the ramifications of her actions.

While trying to transport away, Strange and Casey wound up in the middle of a confrontation between a pair of soul stealing demons, the nicer one named Laroximus and the reality-threatening one called Virilian. What manner of high-stakes competition might bring about this kind of veracity? Why the Bibb County, George Miss Buttermilk Pageant, of course. Casey attempted to ferret out which stage mom made a deal with that particular devil while Strange and Larry poked around Virilian’s realm to ascertain the true scope of his plans.

Without giving too much away, STRANGE ended with one character selling their soul, huge sacrifices, the return of an old enemy and a victory that saved the world, even if it proved to be a less than happy ending.

Opening the Book of Vishanti

Even though Doctor Strange pledged to save Casey at the end of this limited series, he hasn’t as of this writing. In fact, “Casey Kinmont” only appeared in one issue outside of STRANGE and it turned out to be a fake. A mystic named Adria tracked Stephen down in GIRL COMICS #2 and gave him some problems, especially noting that women like Casey, Clea, Night Nurse, and others tended to enter his life and leave worse for the wear. Ultimately, Stephen defeated this opponent, but her words seemed to ring with at least some truth.

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