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Sorcerer Supreme Logo

Overview

Sorcerer Supreme or Sorceress Supreme is a title granted in the fictional Marvel Universe to the "practitioner of the mystic or magic arts who has greater skills than all others or commands a greater portion of the ambient magical energies than any other organism on a given world or dimension". By definition, there can be only one Sorcerer Supreme per world at a time. [citation needed]

Earth-616

Earth

Agamotto, 1 million years ago

...

Hanuman, after the fall of the Elder Ones

After Man eventually wrestled control of the planet from the last of the Elder Ones, soon, at the dawn of civilization, Hanuman, Sorcerer Supreme of the House of Xal, and "king" of the shamans of his era acquired the Crystal of the Elder Ones.[1]

Zhered-Na, circa 19,000 BC

The Lord of the Vampires before Dracula rose to power, Varnae (once summoned to the Assemblage of Avatars, a gathering of the most powerful users of magic existent on Earth at the time, including the then-Sorceress Supreme Zhered-Na, by the first Sorcerer Supreme Agamotto to seek a solution for the conflicts between the Elder Gods, but little was achieved during the meeting and Agamotto himself grew frustrated by the limitations of humanity), one time while battling Doctor Strange, has claimed that he once sought the title of Sorcerer Supreme before he became a vampire.[2]

Salome, circa 13th century BC

Following the demon Zarathos's defeat some twenty-five millennia ago by the supernatural Blood, some among them worshiped him as the Fallen. Salomé, possibly the ancestor of the namesake of the millennia-old line of sorceresses of the same name, was among the Fallen's most powerful members, and around the thirteenth century B.C. she became Sorceress Supreme, by her account the first denizen of the Earth to do so. She presumably protected the Earth dimension from various threats, but her ego demanded worship as a goddess, which she received in the Assyrian city of Nimrud. Eventually, Salomé and her fellow Fallen were banished to another dimension, while the Sorcerer Supreme role apparently fell to a sorcerer on another planet within Earth's universe, though eventually, the responsibility fell again on the burdens of the mystics of Earth.

Ayesha, circa 10th century BC

Ayesha of Balobedu, ancestor to Ororo Munroe, was sorceress supreme.[3]

Makeen, circa 616 AD

Another past African Sorcerer Supreme, Makeen, was shown accompanying former Houngan Supreme, Legba, in the "six hundredth and sixteenth Age of Man" (apparently 616 A.D.) to prevent the Voodoo god Ogoun from invading the Earthly plane, eventually sacrificing their "living souls" to seal the gateways and turning their physical forms into statues which stand to this day; the Eye of Agamotto and Cloak of Levitation then together left Makeen for their next master, the new Sorcerer Supreme.[4]

Merlin, circa 6th century AD

...

15th to early 20th centuries

According to Doctor Strange,[5] the demonic, tentacled Marrakant Hellguard, resistant to Strange's magic, has incinerated every other Sorcerer Supreme since the 1500s (though apparently before the Ancient One's time holding the office) that has confronted it, only to be slain by Strange using Hitler's Handgun, designed to be effective in disposing of mystically-powered opponents.[citation needed]

Ayesha, circa 10th century BC

Reverend Hiram Shaw, ancestor to Sebastian Shaw, was sorceress supreme.[3]

Demon Rider, circa 19th century

...

Nina the Conjuror, circa 1950s

...

Ancient One

...

Strange

LostSS

Ex-Master of the Mystic Arts

Victor von Doom (Earth-616) 0010

Victor von Doom?

Strange held the title almost continuously since the transcendence of his mentor, the Ancient One, later reaffirmed when he was the winner of the Trial of the Vishanti.

During the Dark Reign, a new Sorcerer Supreme was chosen. Possible candidates included: Brother Voodoo, Doctor Doom, the Hood, Nico Minoru, Magik, the Ghost Rider, Wiccan, Druid (the son of the late mystic Doctor Druid), Baron Mordo, Ian McNee and Scarlet Witch (or possibly the Asgardian Loki in her guise), Storm, Clea, Spiral, Selene, Agatha Harkness (unclear whether deceased or still living), and even Dormammu. Though Daimon Hellstrom and Jennifer Kale were both deemed suitable candidates, it appeared that they were not destined to hold the title, and instead united to confront a threat so deadly it is worthy of a Sorcerer Supreme to handle. Marvel has described the candidates on its own official website, (as well as in interviews), as well as stating the pros and cons of each one. [6][7] Clea is said by Marvel to be the most likely candidate thus far for the role of Sorceress Supreme of the Marvel Universe, with the odds of 5-1. [6] Formerly, during the Trial of the Vishanti, Khalid Inshallah, Jules St. Thomas, "Screamer," Sen-Yu, Tareva, and Wai Chee Yee, along with at least four other unnamed mystics were also deemed worthy candidates for the office, chosen as most learned in the ways of sorcery by the Aged Genghis.[citation needed]

Voodoo

Recently, however, having failed in his duties, Strange no longer held the title, having decided to pass on his duties for another of a purer heart. Jericho Drumm was the Sorcerer Supreme, despite his lacking in knowledge of outer fields of magic beyond his own, due to his soul being the most pure and deserving, appointed the title by the joint choice of the Vishanti and the Ancient One.[8]

A new Sorcerer Supreme was chosen after the Eye of Agamotto automatically displayed to Strange and the New Avengers through its arcane powers in the Quinjet at least thirty-five images of "those who would replace" Strange, suspended in floating and shimmering blue bubbles of light, before the Eye itself vanishes from Strange. At the end, after Dormammu, the Hood, and their forces work to attack the New Avengers, the Son of Satan, and Doctor Strange, the new Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe was revealed at last to apparently be Brother Voodoo, the Haitian Houngan Supreme who has worked with Strange in the past, who now bears the Eye as a symbol of his new position and intervenes with a potent display of his own firepower.[9] The title was returned to Doctor Strange after Drumm's (temporary) death.[10]

Loki

Loki became the Sorcerer Supreme after having been granted the title by the Vishanti after a tournament, despite not participating in the tournament, let alone winning it. The Vishanti said that "It has been decided that a mortal can no longer fulfill the role of Sorcerer Supreme" due to an unspecified looming threat and that they sensed in Loki a desire to be better, "Restraint. Regret. Atonement." They were also displeased with previous title holder and tournament winner Doctor Strange.

This was later revealed to be an elaborate illusion orchestrated by Loki to become Sorcerer Supreme who believed that Strange wasn't ready to for the looming threats that were going to endanger the Earth. After feuding with Strange and forced to work together with him to subdue the Void, Loki gave Strange back his position as Sorcerer Supreme.[11]

Other planes

  • The Sorceress Supreme of the Dark Dimension, the realm to which Dormammu had been banished, is Clea, disciple and lover of Doctor Strange.
  • The current Sorceress Supreme of the demonic Limbo is the mutant Magik (Illyana Rasputin).
  • The Sorcerer Supreme of the Purple Dimension, a less well-known pocket realm based in old Doctor Strange stories, where green-skinned humanoids abduct humans as slaves, is Agganon.
  • The Sorceress Supreme of the Winding Road (and former Sorceress Supreme of Earth) is Margali Szardos, a sorceress with power enough to proclaim herself as the Sorceress Supreme.
  • Tiboro is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Sixth Dimension, and owns a strangely-shaped wand that fires an ectoplasmic ray, powered by lightning.
  • Shanzar is the Sorcerer Supreme of the Strange Matter dimension, a mystic realm visited by Doctor Strange.

Selection and Succession

As has been stated many times by various characters, there cannot be any permanent Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme of a dimension/reality; eventually, the office would pass on to another, with one's will or without. However, one could be a master of the mystic arts (such as Baron Mordo or Morgan le Fay) and not hold the title. Each existent reality of the Marvel Multiverse appears to be defended by a Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme, though certain dimensions linked to each reality does not (such as Asgard or Olympus). Urthona was the Sorcerer Supreme of his home planet Gevaltu within the Earth-616 dimension, but sought to become the Sorcerer Supreme of the entire universe by overpowering the one that had currently held that position, Doctor Strange, though his efforts eventually failed.

It appears possible that holders of the position of Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme in other universes or dimensional planes are capable of becoming candidates for the Marvel Universe's. Dormammu has also claimed destroying the most recent Sorcerer Supreme would grant the killer the title in his stead. The Eye of Agamotto, along with other magical objects, are not automatically removed or given to the new Sorcerer Supreme or candidates even after the former one has fallen from the station.[12] The Sorcerer Supreme can also "surrender," "lose" or "bestow" his position upon others of worthiness (as well as inheriting it from the former Sorcerer Supreme), though is also capable of taking it back multiple times after such a loss, as Strange has done various times in the past. Taking back the office has also been accomplished by Salomé of the Fallen, even without a contest between the universe's major power mages. One can become a Sorcerer Supreme against one's will, as shown in on a What If? divergent reality of Earth, as done to Stephen Strange by the dying Doctor Doom, though conventionally and under normal circumstances, one must first consent to accept the challenge and the responsibilities coming with the station, as voiced by the Ancient One and Agamotto through the Eye. Religion also does not appear to be a significant factor in the determination of the role of Sorcerer Supreme, as made evident when Brother Voodoo, of the Haitian faith, was chosen by the arcane deity Agamotto through his Eye and the spirit of the Ancient One, despite Drumm's worship of the Loas; in fact, the presence of Voodoo's spirit brother also appeared to be included in this responsibility, instead of a hindrance in the selection. Once, on Earth-148, the Sorcerer Supreme Necrom, while holding values opposite to those of most other Sorcerers Supreme, even worked with the dark arts, including necromancy, apparently indicating not all Sorcerers Supreme throughout the Marvel Multiverse must be pure in order to hold the title. There is also some kind of sign, test or initiation one must survive (though survival is not guaranteed, even if one is chosen for the office) to truly take up the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. It is possible for even moderately proficient mages to steal the magical powers of a Sorcerer Supreme against his will, as Nicodemus did to Doctor Strange; however, one must also possess considerable mental discipline as the Sorcerer Supreme, or else one would be overwhelmed by the sheer power and vast mystical awareness that belonged to one with such a title. Never before has the Houngan Supreme of Haiti served as the Sorcerer Supreme before Jericho Drumm.[13]

The Vishanti are apparently the ones who select the current Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, as it was they who gave great magical power to the Aged Genghis shortly after humanity's dawn in return his summoning together the greatest mystics in the world every century for a tournament to determine the Sorcerer Supreme, affirmed by the Vishanti themselves. The Vishanti were also the ones who stripped Strange of the Sorcerer Supreme title in the past and, while finding her repulsive, made Salomé Sorceress Supreme once again. Strange competed against a dozen others, including Doctor Doom, to retain his own position, and ultimately triumphed. The Vishanti has rarely been called upon for power by those other than the Sorcerers Supreme Doctor Strange and the Ancient One, and, on one instance, Clea, Strange's disciple. When Mockingbird asked Doctor Strange whether a "bad" person (or, as Strange says, one who abuses the magics for personal gain), by the context of their society, could possibly obtain the office, Strange replied that, "Good, bad, they have no real meaning here...not in this context."[14]

The new Sorcerer Supreme has been shown to be benevolent in nature, as Dormammu has mentioned to the Hood that the spells of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme bar him from entering their plane, thus confirming neither the Hood nor Dormammu received the title;[15] as Strange lost both the title and the power to maintain or work such spells long before the Reign, this refers to the new Sorcerer Supreme. However, the new Sorcerer Supreme still has "a lot to learn" and must learn what he requires from Spider-Man, ruling out Doom, Mordo, Loki, Harkness or Clea as the new Sorcerer Supreme.[16]

Capabilities

The Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme is functionally immortal, having the immortality conferred upon him after assuming. Such a being with the role does not age nor succumb to medical diseases, after a trial with Death, which you are forbidden to fight evoking the power of the Vishanti, (in which one does not truly destroy death itself, but truly accepts one's own mortality), though he can be killed; the Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme has access to the near-unlimited power of the Vishanti, the Octessence, and various other Principalities, as well as granted possession of such powerful mystic items ("gifts") as the Eye of Agamotto, Orb of Agamotto, Wand of Watoomb and the Cloak of Levitation, along with "books of knowledge" to help the Sorcerer Supreme train for his or her quests, such as the Book of the Vishanti.[citation needed]

Servants of the Sorcerers Supreme

There exists an ancient line of humans trained to serve the current Sorcerer or Sorceress Supreme of many of the realities in the Marvel Universe; Wong served Doctor Stephen Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth-616 reality, for years before Strange failed at long last in his duties as his dimension’s protector and lost the station; other Wongs exist in other parallel and alternate universes as well.[citation needed]

Notes

  • The term "Sorcerer Supreme" for Earth's supreme mystic protector wasn't allegedly used from the beginning,[17] though Agamotto was seen using it one million years ago.[18]
  • Despite numerous statements that the Sorcerer Supreme is only to defend one world, his duty is actually to the whole of the dimension of the world is within; Doctor Strange was the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe, yet was often, erroneously, called only "Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme", likely used by writers and editors to limit his power as to not enable him to diffuse every negative situation he or other characters were confronted with, as stated once by Marvel editor Joe Quesada, who admitted the difficulty of placing Strange in a truly “dangerous” situation. While it is certainly possible to have more than just one master of the mystic arts in one dimension, only one of them can hold the title Sorcerer Supreme at a time. More supporting evidence of this can be given by the fact there is no other known Sorcerer Supreme on any of the planets not of Earth; for example, there are at least tens of thousands of alien worlds in the Marvel Universe, many known to have potent mystics, yet none were called the Sorcerer Supreme. Furthermore, the mysterious cosmic being the Stranger, after revealing himself to not be the Beyonder, while describing the high potential, power, and uniqueness of Earth (including the manifestation of the Phoenix Force there, the repelling of such awesome beings as Galactus and the involvement of the Kree, Skrull, and Shi'ar Empires there for so many times), says “the Sorcerer Supreme makes his home there” and when Strange was captured once during the days of the Defenders, Strange was said to be the Sorcerer Supreme of their “cosmos,” strongly implying that the Sorcerer Supreme is not limited to his home planet, but the entire universe he resides in, for a defender of one mere world out of perhaps millions in the universe would be negligible indeed to one of the most powerful cosmic entities in existence.[citation needed]

Alternate realities

Ee'rath (Earth-148)

Necrom was Sorcerer Supreme of his Earth in Ee'rath.[19]

Guardians of the Galaxy 31st Century (Earth-691)

Doctor Strange took the title of Ancient One (previously held by his mentor) and also took on a disciple, a Lem named Krugarr.[20] Dormammu murdered The Ancient One (Doctor Strange). Dormammu was eventually defeated by the Guardians, Krugarr, the new Sorcerer Supreme, and his disciple Talon.[21]

Earth-S (Earth-712)

Professor Imam was Sorcerer Supreme. He was able to predict that Arcanna's son Benjamin Thomas Jones (Mysterium), was destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme.[22] It is unknown if Benjamin was able to take this role of Sorcerer Supreme.

Marvel 2099 (Earth-928)

The Sorcerer Supreme of Earth was a young woman calling herself "Strange". She was so inexperienced in her powers and used them so recklessly that once caused the death of her brother.[23] She secretly shared her body with a monstrous demon and her main opponent Garokk.[24]

Doom Became Sorcerer Supreme (Earth-938)

When Doctor Doom failed to rescue his mother's soul from Mephisto, he sought out the Ancient One to learn the mystic ways and attempt once again. Along his way, he became more powerful than Baron Mordo, and when Stephen Strange showed up with his crippled hands, instead of guiding him on the spiritual path, Doom cut off his hands and replaced them with mechanical ones to increase his accuracy and surgical abilities. In his second attempt at freeing his mother's soul, Doom and the Ancient One defeated Mephisto and rescued her, at the price of the Ancient One's death. Unprepared for the Ancient One's fall, Doom was unable to defend against The Dread Dormammu's attack on the Earthly plane. Knowing he was outclassed, Doom enlisted the help of the Fantastic Four to use his time platform and retrieve Blackbeard's treasure, an Obsidian Stone used by Merlin, which would help him defeat Dormammu. The Four accomplished their task and left Thing back in that time to become the pirate, Blackbeard (at Benjamin Grimm's request). Upon their return, the world was overrun by demons, and the Avengers, the X-Men, Daredevil, and Spider-Man were fighting them off in New York City while Doom battled Dormammu overhead. Reed managed to get the Stone to Doom in the nick of time, sending Dormammu back to the lands of the Faltine, just after dealing a deathly blow to Doom. Ironically, Stephen Strange ended up being the doctor who attempted to save Doom's life, (on Tony Stark's dime), but couldn't, and with Doom's dying breath, he instructed his Doombots to abduct Strange and put him into his armor, overwriting his personality and memories to those downloaded from Doom, forcing him to become the next Sorcerer Supreme/Doom against his will. As Uatu said, "As Sorcerer Supreme, it can be said that Victor von Doom had both the most short-lived and long-remembered tenure of them all. For with both his endless scheming and his boundless ego, he assured that this world would always have a Sorcerer Supreme...and that Sorcerer would always be Doom!"[25]

MC2 (Earth-982)

Doctor Strange retired from the role and the new Sorcerer Supreme was the young Doc Magus (Dormagus), possessor of the Eye of Agamotto.[26]

Mutant X (Earth-1298)

Doctor Strange was the Sorcerer Supreme and the Man-Thing.[citation needed]

Callisto Became Sorceress Supreme (Earth-2030)

Callisto was the "Mistress of Mysticism" and the Sorceress Supreme, holding the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation, being the mistress to Ororo Munroe, and where Callisto battled the Exiles.[27]

Humorverse (Earth-9047)

Dr. Stephen Deranged is described as "Sorcerer Supremo," which is apparently the equivalent title.[28]

Earth X (Earth-9997)

Clea betrayed Doctor Strange and killed him at the behest of her lover, Loki, becoming the Sorceress Supreme of that reality. She was discovered by Bruce Banner, and Thor took her away and imprisoned her in Asgard.[citation needed]

Iron Man: Sorcerer Supreme (Earth-9810)

Tony Stark became the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe after Stephen Strange's hands are shattered in a ride he takes him along while drunk. Stark became the Ancient One's apprentice instead to battle Baron Mordo, who had magically silenced him from revealing his treachery against his master. Dormammu intended to set the Mindless Ones upon Earth to destroy it, and Strange, Clea, and Stark united to banish the Faltine sorcerer. Stark combined his understanding of technology as well as magic to create an armor which incorporated both. It held a vast storage of magical spells in its memory, ready to be deployed at a moment's notice. This armor was lost when Tony Stark sent it on an endless dimensional quest, carrying the body of the dread Dormammu, forcing the dark lord (in his astral form) to pursue it.[29]

House of M (Earth-58163)

Warren Traveler was Sorcerer Supreme, and was an enemy of Captain Marvel.[citation needed] He reappeared slightly mad from the shift in reality while he warped from their last encounter.[citation needed]

Bullet Points (Earth-70105)

Since Stephen Strange never showed up in Tibet, having decided to work for SHIELD in exchange for them restoring his hands with claws, the Ancient One's apprentice Baron Mordo rose as Sorcerer Supreme after being mystically tutored. His moral ambiguity caused his death when he eventually had to face Dormamu.[30]

High Evolutionary Refused to Aid Beast (Earth-71224)

Beast was the Sorcerer Supreme and looked for a way to reverse the M-Day.[31]

Marvel Apes (Earth-95019)

Doctor Strange held the position of Sorcerer Supreme before perishing and passing the title onto Cleook, Sorceress Supreme.[citation needed]

Alternative Age of Apocalypse

Brother Voodoo replaced Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme.[citation needed]

References

  1. Savage Sword of Conan #161; Call of the Howling Shadows
  2. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #18
  3. 3.0 3.1 Marvel Tarot #1
  4. Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #3
  5. Doctor Strange: The Oath #4
  6. 6.0 6.1 http://www.marvel.com/news/comicstories.7099.New_Avengers%7Ecolon%7E_Magic_Show
  7. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=20145
  8. New Avengers #53-60
  9. New Avengers #54
  10. New Avengers Vol 2 #34
  11. Doctor Strange #385
  12. New Avengers #52-54
  13. http://www.comicheronews.com/?p=620
  14. New Avengers #53
  15. Marvel Zombies 4 #2
  16. New Avengers #55
  17. Vampires: The Marvel Undead #1; Varnae's entry
  18. Avengers Vol 8 #1
  19. Excalibur #50
  20. Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1
  21. Guardians of the Galaxy #36-37
  22. Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe #1
  23. 2099: World of Tomorrow #5
  24. 2099: World of Tomorrow #1-5
  25. What If? Vol 2 #52
  26. A-Next #3
  27. Exiles #18
  28. In search of Cleanex in What The--?! #19
  29. What If? Vol 2 #113
  30. Bullet Points #4
  31. X-Factor Vol 3 #24

See Also