What you Need to Read to Know: Doctor Strange

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We all know that Doctor Strange is set to hit theaters in November, but for many this is a relatively unknown character. He’s been support or a team-up in the comics we normally read. We know who he is and what he can do, but we aren’t really familiar with him.

Like all comics he has been subject to many changes simply based on the whims of his writers and artists. All these changes can make it difficult to find the real Doctor Strange as some story arcs are considered much better than others.

If you want to do some quick read up on Doctor Stephen Strange, as perceived by his fans then here is a list to get you started on the basics. This is by no means definitive, it’s just a guideline to get you started.

Like all good stories you should really start at the beginning;

Strange Tales #115 (1963)
Written by: Stan Lee
Drawn by: Steve Ditko
Lettered by S. Rosen

The Doctor makes his first appearance in Strange Tales #110, but issue #115 is where you get his back story. This is where you get the idea the idea of who he was and what motivated him to become the hero known as Doctor Strange.

Doctor Stephen Strange was an egotistical surgeon who felt more for his paycheck than his patients. His stellar career was at an end when a car accident destroyed his hands and he sought out whatever means he could find to recover his hands and his career. He eventually turned to magic, discovering the Ancient One.

The Domain of the Dread Dormammu!

Strange Tales #126-127 (1964)
Written by: Stan Lee
Drawn by: Steve Ditko
Letterer: Artie Simek

This is actually two comics, but they introduce you to a few very key characters in Doctor Stanges life. This is the first time we encounter ‘The mindless Ones, it’s the Doctors first actual fight with his main nemesis Dormammu. And the most important first to Doctor Stranges humanity is this is his first encounter with Clea, his long time love interest.

This is also where Doctor Strange acquires the Cloak of Levitation and the all-powerful Eye of Agamotto.

Time Doom! Marvel Premiere #11-14

Marvel Premiere #11-14 (1973)
Written by: Steve Englehart
Drawn by: Frank Brunner

This storyline apparently caused quite a stir because it presented Doctor Strange as being around at the creation of the Universe. This is the story arc where Doctor Strange becomes the Sorcerer Supreme that we know him as today.

Doctor Strange: The Oath (2006)

oathWritten by: Brian K. Vaughn
Drawn by: Marcos Martin
Inks by: Alvaro Lopez

This five volume arc has been described as the comic that pulls Doctor Strange into the modern Marvel Universe joining him with the New Avengers. This comic goes deeper into Stephen Strange and explores him as the sum of his parts: Sorcerer, doctor, and man. This arc also introduces us to the Night Nurse, a doctor for the superheroes.

I’m not saying that these are THE comics that will make you a Doctor Strange expert, but they will give you a pretty solid foothold into his history, his motivation and the beings around him.