A number of the events in the life of Stephen Strange are subject to the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. Per the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005 Strange's early life is locked into the mid to late 20th century, with his stated year of birth being 1930. Many of the recountings of his early life make references that do not fit with the chronology of this date of birth. Per the Sliding Timescale, these references were made prior to his specified year of birth should be considered topical references relevant to the era of publication of the story.
Likewise the life of Doctor Strange during the modern age are also subject to the Sliding Timescale. In that certain references should be considered topical so as not to prematurely age the characters whom Strange interacts with. Although not implicitly stated, it can be assumed that mystical means are the source of Stephen's longevity.
These specific references will be generalized in the body of the text below with more detailed explanations in the references whenever possible.
Stephen Vincent Strange was born in November of 1930, [note 1] to Eugene and Beverly Strange. while the couple were vacationing in Philadelphia.[note 2] Stephen grew up at the family home in Nebraska. His sister Donna was born in 1932,[note 3] followed by his younger brother Victor was born either in 1938 or 1939.[note 4]
It was not long before Stephen was determined to be the successor of Yao, the so-called "Ancient One" and the Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth dimension. This information was shared with the Ancient One's disciple Baron Karl Mordo. Seeking to be the Ancient One's successor himself, Mordo began plaguing 8 year old Stephen with nightmares wherein he was attacked by demons via a psychic construct. The Ancient One then came to Stephen and dispelled the visions of demons and promised the boy that he would protect Stephen from then on. However the psychic construct in his mind made it so Stephen was still plague by nightmares and he secretly began drinking at a young age to deal with his night terrors. Despite these night terrors, at a very early age, Stephen was a child full of wonder, developing an interest in magic by age 9. However the wonderment of childhood was quickly quashed by Stephen's father Eugene, who was a no nonsense businessman who often chastised his children for pursuing activities that he considered a waste of time, such as birthday celebrations. One day Stephen tried to show off the ribbon he won in a spelling bee, and was punished by his father. Seeking Eugene's approval, Stephen decided to become just like his father, dismissing anything other than the pursuit of money as a trivial waste of time. By the time he was 11 years old, Stephen was inspired to pursue a career in medicine after helping his sister when she twisted her ankle while roller skating. When Stephen graduated from high school, he was voted as the most likely to succeed by his classmates. At the age of 15, Stephen had a relationship with a young girl named Laura Robinson.
Stephen left home for medical school and pushed himself to be the best, developing a drinking habit to cope with the stress. When Stephen was 19 he returned home from college to visit his family. Wanting to take his brother out to show off to her friends, Donna brought Stephen to the lake. While out swimming, Donna got a cramp and sank and drowned, the loss devastated Stephen.[note 5] Returning to medical school, Stephen graduated top of his class.[note 6] Stephen lost himself in his work and a few years later he was called back home when he heard news that his mother was on her death bed. Her final words to Stephen were to look after his brother Victor.
Instead, Stephen opened up a medical practice and focused primarily on building it. His personal drive for money made business very lucrative, but he continued to drown his demons with alcohol. Strange soon became a well-known surgeon, but was still haunted by the visions put in his head by Baron Mordo years earlier. He found escapes in living the high life, drinking, and dating various women. Stephen wasn't entirely materialistic and was actually able to find love. He soon fell in love with Madeline Revell a United Nations translator. The couple had a fast relationship and were engaged to get married. However, Madeline called the engagement off due to Stephen's increasingly materialistic nature. Soon Stephen got a phone call from his brother informing him that his father had fallen ill as well. Unwilling to face another death in the family, Stephen used the excuse that it was snowing to not make the flight. When Eugene died without his son by his side, Victor angrily made the trip up to New York. When he saw that Stephen ignored a call to come home to spend an evening with a woman, Victor stormed out of Stephen's apartment in disgust. Stephen chased after his brother just in time to witness him getting fatally struck by a car. Horrified by the death, Stephen then had Victor's body preserved in the hopes of one day finding a means to bring him back to life. Victor's inert body would remain in stasis for decades. 
Stephen's became a highly skilled surgeon and charged exorbitant fees, refusing to treat anybody unless the met his price. While working at a medical center in the Bronx, Stephen worked alongside Dr. Jonas Hilt who attempted to get Strange to be more charitable, after he turned down Reginald Pavlish, a Greenwich Village community activist. Eventually, Stephen Strange's pride and arrogance came to a heavy price the night he got into a car accident in 1963.[note 7] The cause of the accident varies from account to account. Causes of the accident range from a wet and slippery road,  excessive speed,  to impaired driving by alcohol and/or fatigue. Yet another source states that Strange intentionally crashed his car in an attempt to commit suicide due to the demons that constantly haunted his dreams. Whatever the case may be, Strange's hands were seriously injured. He was treated by Dr. Nicodemus West, who was able to save Stephen's hands from amputation. However, the nerve damage to his hands was so extensive Stephen would never be able to perform surgery again. A proud man, Stephen refused to take any other work and dwindled his vast fortune trying to find a cure and wallowing in his pity by drinking. Becoming a drifter, Stephen began frequenting a bar along the docks of New York City. There he heard some sailors talk about a Tibetan healer known as the Ancient One. Seeking to find the Ancient One in the hopes to heal his hands, Stephen used the last of his money to travel to Tibet.
Disciple of the Ancient One
Strange found the Ancient One's Tibetan palace, but the aged sorcerer refused to cure him, instead offering to teach him in mysticism. Strange refused, but couldn't leave immediately due to a sudden blizzard. While staying for the duration of the storm, Strange witnessed the Ancient One's apprentice, Baron Mordo, secretly attack the teacher with mystically summoned skeletons, which the old man easily dispelled. Strange, his skepticism eroding, confronted Mordo about the treachery but the Baron responded with restraining spells that kept Strange from warning the Ancient One or attacking Mordo physically. Amazed by these displays of magic, Strange underwent a change of heart. Deciding that the only way to stop Mordo was to learn magic himself in order to challenge Mordo on his terms, Strange accepted the Ancient One's offer. Pleased by Strange's acceptance for unselfish reasons, the Ancient One removed the mystic restraints, explaining that he was well aware of Mordo's treachery but preferred to keep Mordo close by in order to control and possibly change him.
One of the earliest lessons taught to Stephen was to not grieve the dead, as Stephen learned that death was merely a transitional state and that the spirit would live on. After many years of training, Stephen was told he would be sent to the United States to continue his mastery of the mystic arts. He was gifted many mystical artifacts such as the Eye and Orb of Agamotto and the Book of the Vishanti. Upon his departure to the United States, Stephen stopped to pay his respects to the Aged Genghis, learning that he had just been attacked by the another traveler seeking to be healed, the future ruler of Latveria, Victor von Doom. The Aged Genghis told Strange not to concern himself with Doom, as they were destined to meet in the future. The Ancient One then had Strange seek out his new home, a mansion located at 177A Bleeker Street in New York City's Greenwich Village. When Strange traveled to New York to purchase the property he learned how it was the site of both Native American and Pagan Rituals over the years and was reportedly haunted. Strange soon learned that the mansion was indeed haunted when he was attacked by the demon Mistress Tyanon and her familiar. First taunting Strange with illusions trying to tempt him back into his past life, Strange fought through them and banished the demons from the property. He then began shipping mystical artifacts in and making repairs. Once completed, Strange began calling his home the "Sanctum Sanctorum". After setting up his operations he was soon joined by Wong, son of the Ancient One's man-servant Hamir, who was charged with being the servant to Strange.
At some point Strange had the opportunity to work with the costumed adventurer known as the Black Fox. The only recorded instance, however, was in the late 70s, when the Black Fox and his First Line teammate Pixie were searching for his foe Nocturne. When Nocturne was disturbing the castle of the centuries old Alchemist known as Diablo, Doctor Strange detected this disturbance and went to ensure that Diablo's eternal imprisonment was not disturbed. Strange was able to assist in defeating Nocturne, and ensuring that Diablo did not escape. A few years later, having become aware of Uatu the Watcher of Earth, Strange witnessed as the First Line sacrificed their lives defending Earth from an invasion of the alien Skrulls. The Watcher then informed Strange that new heroes were to soon appear to replace those lost, turning Strange's attention to scientists Reed Richards, Henry Pym and Bruce Banner. The Watcher also suggested that Strange may also play an important role in this new future age of heroes. Strange returned to his home in Greenwich Village where he continued to hone his abilities and increase his power.
Master of Black Magic
By the modern age of heroes Doctor Strange had become a well known mystic operating from his Sanctum in Greenwich Village. One of his earliest recorded cases was in assisting a man plague by recurring nightmares. Strange soon discovered that the man was being haunted by the being known as Nightmare, ruler of the Dimension of Dreams and, with the help of The Ancient One, escaped the Dimension and freed the man who was being haunted by his own dark past. He later came to the aid of wealthy businessman Terry Szenics, whose attempts into tricking locals with false rumors of a killer beast manifested into real life thanks to the demon known as KhLΘG. Strange later banished the creature, but admonished Szenics, whose arrogance and snobbery allowed the beast to come to life. Baron Mordo soon resurfaced and used his powers to try and eliminate the Ancient One. Sensing his master in trouble, Strange battled Mordo in his ectoplasmic form, preventing Mordo from ending the Ancient Once's life. Strange was soon targeted by Mordo directly, who lured Strange to England to aid mystic Sir Clive Bentley. Strange only found Clive's daughter Victoria, a latent mystic herself, and fell into Mordo's trap. When the Baron attacked Strange, he was still no match for Stephen's superior mystical abilities and was forced to flee the scene. Nightmare resurfaced shortly thereafter, trapping the souls of many victims while he slept. When the police and health officials could not explain the strange phenomenon, Strange was sought to help solve the mystery. Using the Book of the Vishanti, Strange was able to travel into the Dimension of Dreams. There he defeated Nightmare and rescued his prisoners. Baron Mordo soon struck again, this time tricking Strange into leaving his body in his spirit form. Knowing that if Strange was separated from his mortal body for more than 24 hours he would die, Mordo stole trapped his ectoplasmic form. Seeking the Ancient One's aid, Strange was able to recover a mystical ring that allowed him to break Mordo's spells and return to his mortal body, banishing Mordo once again.
Detecting a mystical disturbance, Strange used the Orb of Agamotto to locate its source. He soon discovered that other-dimensional beings calling themselves the Possessors were trying to invade Earth, he traveled to Bavaria where he halted the invasion, and sealed the dimensional rift between the two dimensions. Later, while studying a sinister gem, Strange's home was broken into and the thieves attempted to steal it. The gem instead transported the thieves into the so-called Purple Dimension. Sworn to protect all life, Strange ventured into that realm and defeated its ruler Aggamon in order to free his captives. After being freed the criminals then reformed and turned themselves over to the authorities. Strange was on site when a news crew foolishly attempted to learn the secrets of the so-called House of Shadows. When reporter Allan Stevens became trapped inside, Strange battled the presence within the house and saved Stevens, before banishing the house to another dimension. Baron Mordo returned yet again, once again attempting to separate Strange's ectoplasmic form from his physical body. This time Mordo stole Strange's body and hid it in a wax museum. Strange managed to track it down and forced Mordo to retreat once more. Soon after Doctor Strange had his first encounter with the first of this eras heroes, the Fantastic Four. He was summoned by the Human Torch and Thing to help track down the Sub-Mariner who had captured their teammate the Invisible Girl, and their leader Mr. Fantastic went off alone to find her. With the help of Dr. Strange, the Torch and Thing were able to locate Namor and help rescue the Invisible Girl.
After many days of work, Stephen succumbed to fatigue, however in failing to place a spell of protection on himself he was left open to attack form Nightmare. This time, Strange threatened to unleash the creature known as Gulgol upon the realm, forcing Nightmare to surrender and set Strange free. Strange was next tricked into helping the Asgardian trickster god Loki in his latest plot against his step-brother Thor. To this end, Loki convinced Strange that Thor was actually evil. Strange then cast a spell taking Thor's hammer Mjolnir away from him. However, Strange soon realized the deception and defeated Loki in combat, allowing Thor to recover his hammer. Later, Stephen was drawn to a mysterious veiled woman who was under some kind of enchantment. He quickly sought the aid of the Ancient One. Learning that he woman was from Earth's past, Strange was sent back in time via an enchanted candle. With a warning to return before the candle burned out and being trapped in the past forever, Strange traveled back in time. In the distant past he clashed with the mystic known as Zota of Pergamum and defeated him. Returning to the present in the nick of time, Strange then freed the mystery woman, learning that she was the ancient Egyptian princess known as Cleopatra and returned her to her rightful era. During another clash with Baron Mordo, Strange was seriously injured and telepathically called out for help. He managed to reach Thor, who performed a life saving surgery on Strange in his alter-ego of surgeon Donald Blake. Indebted to Thor for saving his life, Strange offered to aid him should the need arise. This need soon came when Loki returned and not only kidnapped Blake's nurse Jane Foster but also discarded Blake's walking stick -- which was key to transforming into Thor at the time. Strange assisted Blake in tracking down his walking stick. Later, as Thor battled Loki, Stephen also freed Jane from the realm of Limbo where Loki imprisoned her. Thor later defeated Loki in battle and returned him to Asgard for punishment.
The Ancient One later learned that the Lantern of Lantarr was stolen and entrusted Doctor Strange in recovering it. Unable to locate its source, Strange soon discovered the novice hero known as Spider-Man had recently came into contact with it. Endowing Spider-Man with the ability to track it, Strange told the youthful hero that he could be summoned with a though. When Strange was finally summoned, it was to another dimension where he found his old foe Baron Mordo was capturing people for some mysterious sacrifice. Among those in this dimension were Spider-Man, as well as Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, his secretary Betty Brant and a number of high school students from Midtown High School including Eugene "Flash" Thompson and Liz Allan. With Spider-Man's aid, the Doctor was able to destroy the Lantern and banish Mordo. Upon returning Spider-Man and Mordo's victims back to the Earth dimension, he erased their memories but as he left he neglected to remove the spell that would allow them all to see his spirit form. Unknown to Strange, Mordo was working with Dormammu the ruler of the Dark Dimension, a being whom Strange would soon clash with on countless occasions thereafter. Strange later came to the aid of a pair of children who were imprisoned by the so-called Bottle Imp, seeing through his deceptions and freeing the boys. Strange also came to the aid of Peter Parker, unaware that Parker was secretly Spider-Man, who was being tormented by Flash Thompson. The pair were able to see Strange's spirit form due to the his previous spell upon them. Strange later attended an art exhibition put on by Alicia Masters, an associate of the Fantastic Four.
Baron Mordo resurfaced once again, this time taking the Ancient One captive. Strange soon found himself locked in battle with Mordo across the Earth in their spirit forms. Eventually Strange was able to locate the Ancient One and freed him after defeating the Baron once again. When Dormammu made his bid to take over the Earth dimension the Ancient One was too weak to do combat against him and sent Dr. Strange into the Dark Dimension to do battle instead. As he traveled through this realm, Strange was approached by a woman named Clea who warned Strange not to battle her master, but Strange was duty bound to do so despite her warnings. Given time to prepare, Stephen was approached by Clea once more. She showed him why Dormammu had dominion over the Dark Dimension: That it was Dormammu's magics that maintained a barrier that kept the deadly Mindless Ones from attacking those who dwell in the Dark Dimension. Soon Strange had to battle Dormammu. All seemed lost until Dormammu's focus on Strange led to the barrier keeping the Mindless Ones at bay to weaken. With the Mindless Ones began running free, Dormammu was too weak to replace the barrier. Doctor Strange then lent his own mystical power to help Dormammu who succeeded in trapping the Mindless Ones once again. In thanks, Dormammu grudgingly agreed to free Clea and promise not to invade the Earth dimension in the future. Returning to the Ancient One, Strange was rewarded by being given the Eye of Agamotto as well as a Cloak of Levitation. Strange later worked with the immortal Mortigan Goth in expelling a demon of Mephisto that had been possessing a young girl. Before leaving, Goth warned Strange of Vampires and that the Vishanti would eventually turn their back on him.[note 8] Strange later joined the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the X-Men, Spider-Man and Daredevil in combating the super-villain known as Sundown.
Strange later combated the evil mystic known as the Demon, who proved no match against Strange. Later, Stephen turned down an opportunity to speak on the television program the "Twelfth Hour", who was seeking to refute any claims of magic. The hosts foolishly tampered with the so-called "Screaming Idol" and found themselves transported to the realm of the mystical being known as Tiboro who had determined it was time to conquer the Earth's dimension again since it was on the brink of catastrophic war. Stephen came to the aid of the captured newscasters, defeating Tiboro in battle and forcing him to swear not to invade Earth's dimension. Strange later cast a spell of forgetfulness upon those who witnessed the disappearance and Tiboro's realm to keep them secret.
Soon the dread Dormammu began using Baron Mordo as a pawn in order to get around his vow to never attack the Earth. With his magical abilities boosted, Mordo sent his minions after Stephen, while also awakening the latent magical abilities of evil beings across the globe. Strange fled the mystic known as Kaecilius as well as Mordo's wraiths, seeking shelter in Hong Kong, but to no avail. Strange eventually managed to escape Mordo's minions by fleeing Hong Kong in an airplane while sending his ectoplasmic form out to put his pursuers on a wild goose chase. Stephen returned to his home, and after fighting off the Demon, he attempted to access the Orb of Agamotto only to find it missing. This also set off a trap bringing Baron Mordo to attack him. Put on the defensive, Strange eventually blacked out in combat. The Doctor in reality teleported himself to safety and ended up in a mystical realm ruled by the ruthless Shazana. Pledged to free the realm from evil, Stephen assisted Shazana's half-sister in liberating her domain before moving on. Strange returned to his native dimension and after hiding his body he sought out the Ancient One in his ectoplasmic form. He learned from the Ancient One's servant Haimir that the Ancient One lapsed into a coma, but would come out of it briefly muttering about something called Eternity. Strange was soon pursued by Mordo and his minions. When Mordo was suddenly cut off from Dormammu's increased power, Strange forced Mordo and his minions to flee. After unsuccessfully probing the Ancient One's mind to learn the secret of Eternity, Strange was forced to return to his physical body and find a way of learning the secret through other means.[note 9]Seeking to learn the secret of Eternity, Strange traveled to London, England, where he sought the aid of Sir Anthony Baskerville. Unaware that Baskerville was actually loyal to Baron Mordo. Discovering this trap, Strange defeated both Baskerville and Kaecilius in battle and learned that Mordo was being powered by Dormammu, before fleeing the scene. Strange then sought the aid of other mystics such as Rama Kaliph and Abu Ben Hakim before being told to seek out the Aged Genghis. The now senile mystic mistakenly transported Stephen to the realm of the so-called Demon of the Mask. Strange fought back when the Demon attempted to take his place. Returning to his native dimension, Stephen decided that the only means to learn the secret of Eternity was to probe the Ancient One's mind, no matter the risk. The Doctor then fought past the Ancient One's many mystical defenses to prove his mind and learn how to access the realm of Eternity. Although this nearly finished him, Stephen succeeded and used the Eye of Agamotto to open a portal to his destination. When Eternity revealed itself to Strange, he learned that this embodiment of all existence was unwilling to help in defeating Baron Mordo and Dormammu. Instead, Eternity informed Strange that he had the power to defeat his foes on his own. Strange then returned to his native dimension where he learned that Mordo had kidnapped the Ancient One in his absence. Deciding to finally face his foes, Strange tracked down Mordo for what appeared to be their final confrontation. Before the battle, Dormammu revealed that he had also kidnapped Clea for helping Strange in the past. Soon the Doctor and the Baron battled it out, but Strange soon proved to be the victor using illusions to confuse Mordo. Growing fed up of Mordo's inability to slay Strange, Dormammu finally decided to get involved directly, teleporting Strange, Mordo and the Ancient One to his domain.
Dormammu then summoned various rulers from other dimensions to witness the battle. Armed with the so-called Pincers of Power, both Strange and Dormammu fought in hand-to-hand combat. When Stephen appeared to have the upper hand, Baron Mordo decided to intervene blasting Strange from behind. Furious that Mordo interfered, Dormammu banished him to another dimension before the battle continued. Although weakened by the Baron's sneak attack, Strange was able to defeat Dormammu in combat. Forced to let Strange and the Ancient One return home, Dormammu still got a revenge of sorts by banishing Clea to another dimension. When Stephen returned to his home he was unaware that Mordo's minions the Demon, Kaecilius, and the Witch had planted a bomb in his Sanctum. Finding the bomb at the last moment, Strange soon battled it out with the evil sorcerers only to be captured and bound in hand and face restraints that prevented him from casting spells. However, Stephen managed to flee captivity due to the fact he could still separate his spirit from his body, regaining limited mobility. Although the villains managed to recapture Strange's physical body, his spirit form utilized his Cloak of Levitation and Eye of Agamotto to incapacitate his foes before erasing all memory of their evil ways and mystical knowledge. Still seeking to get revenge against Doctor Strange, Dormammu tricked Strange into searching for Clea in the realm of Tazza. Tricking the two into a mystical battle, Stephen managed to best Tazza and force him to free his captives before returning to his home dimension when he learned that Clea was not one of those imprisoned there.Strange was later drawn to a Greenwich Village magic show put on by an amateur magician calling himself Hex, when Hex accidentally opened a mystical puzzle box. Strange followed after Hex and freed him from the Dark Dimension before taking the puzzle box away before it could do further harm. Strange was latter attacked in his Sanctum by two thugs under the thrall of the sorcerer named Xandu who was seeking Stephen's half of the Wand of Watoomb. Strange was knocked out and the half of the wand was stolen. When Stephen later came around and tracked it down he found Xandu in the middle of a battle with Spider-Man. Strange helped defeat Xandu, whom he put in a deep sleep, before rendering the Wand of Watoomb seemingly powerless. Stephen later attended the wedding of the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl. Before the wedding began it was invaded by an army of super-villains under the control of Doctor Doom. When the Invisible Girl was attacked by the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes, Doctor Strange came to her aid, banishing the villain and his primates to another dimension. Soon the battle was ended thanks to a Time Displacer used by Mister Fantastic and the wedding went off without issue. When the international criminal and mystic known as Mister Rasputin set up operations in Greenwich Village, Strange detected the evil mystics presence. However when Stephen confronted Rasputin he was shot. Rushing his body to a hospital, Strange later sent his spirit form to subdue Rasputin and turned him over to the authorities. Dormammu then sought to attack Eternity directly, prompting Strange to try and stop him. While the Doctor was unable to prevent Dormammu from summoning Eternity, the ruler of the Dark Dimension from summoning Eternity, the cosmic entity seemingly slew Dormammu and apparently perished himself. With the aid of the Ancient One, Strange then freed everyone imprisoned by Dormammu including Baron Mordo and Clea, although Mordo was banished once again by the Ancient One. After bidding farewell to Clea, Strange realized that he had developed feelings for her, but concluded their very different lives and responsibilities would keep them apart.
The apparent destruction of Dormammu had a ripple effect across the mystical realms that would soon have grave repercussions.
Doctor Strange returned to as close to a normal life as befitting a master of the mystic arts. However this calm was soon broken when the Ancient One came too late to warn him that the mystic known as Kaluu could steal the Book of the Vishanti by teleporting it away. Preparing for an impending attack, the Ancient One told Strange that Kaluu was a former colleague turned would-be conqueror that the Ancient One banished centuries earlier. The Ancient One went on to explain that Kaluu was freed from his exile thanks to the apparent destruction of Dormammu. When Kaluu finally attacked Strange and the Ancient One, he trapped them inside the Sanctum Sanctorum and unleashed a horde of demons which were easily defeated. But when Kaluu enter the estate he found that both of his foes were now gone. Strange and the Ancient One had actually used mystical candles to send themselves back in time to recover the Book of Vishanti from the era that Kaluu banished the book. Using the Book as a defense, Strange easily defeated Kaluu and the Ancient One disbursed his ancient foe's essence across the Earth. However, the defeat of Kaluu unleashed an even greater evil -- Umar, the sister of Dormammu. Learning of her brother's defeat at the hands of Doctor Strange, Umar took Clea prisoner and used her as a pawn to lure Stephen back into the Dark Dimension.There, Stephen was subdued by demons and taken before Umar who tried to deceive Strange into going into the realm of the Mindless Ones to rescue Clea. Seeing through this ploy, Strange escaped Umar to free Clea on his own. Umar attempted to destroy Strange by taking control of the Mindless Ones, but the master of the mystic arts proved to be better at deception -- or so it seemed -- when he appeared to rescue Clea. "Clea" turned out to be a Mindless One in disguise, but Strange managed to escape this trap as well. With the aid of the mysterious Veritas, Strange managed to infiltrate Umar's fortress and confront her directly. Umar then attempted to slay Clea with a spell, but Strange managed to deflect it back at the new ruler of the Dark Dimension. With the help of the Ancient One, both Stephen and Clea managed to escape back to Earth. However, Clea was still not safe and so the Ancient One convinced Strange to cast Spell of Vanishment to hide Clea from Umar, even though they would never know where she was hidden. This still did not stop Umar from coming to Earth to seek revenge against Strange. While Umar sought out Strange on Earth, the Ancient One sent him to another dimension to free the destructive force of nature known as Zom. Strange brought Zom to Stonehenge where the Ancient One lured Umar for their final battle. At the sight of Zom, Umar cowered at the creature's superior might and teleported away. This victory was turning out to be a pyretic victory as Zom broke free from his bonds. As Zom prepared to destroy the Earth, Doctor Strange and the Ancient One attempted to stop him. Seeing the only way to stop Zom was to boost Stephen's power, the Ancient One seemingly sacrificed his life by allowing Zom to merge his physical form with Stonehenge, physically killing him. With his dying words, the Ancient One provided Strange with Zom's weakness but warned it came at a price. Absorbing the Ancient One's mystical powers, Stephen was severed Zom's forelock from his head. This seemingly destroyed most of his Cloak of Levitation. It also unleashed a great source of evil magic and heralded a call to the so-called Living Tribunal, whose very presence also prompted Zom to flee. As the Living Tribunal was appearing, Strange sensed someone calling out to his master. Sending his spirit form he found the X-Men who were seeking the Ancient One's mystical aid in stopping their foe the Juggernaut. Agreeing to help them, Stephen transported the X-Men's leader Cyclops and Marvel Girl into the Crimson Cosmos to recover the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak which was eventually used to defeat the Juggernaut.
Back in his own body, Stephen learned that by removing the forelock from the head of Zom, he awoken the mystical potential in evil people across the globe, and as a result the Living Tribunal was determined to destroy the Earth in order to protect the universe. Strange managed to be granted a few hours reprieve to try and fix the problem after showing the mystical ability to repair his Cloak of Levetation. The Tribunal then left the Sands of Death behind to count down the time while he returned to his home realm to wait. Strange rushed back to his Sanctum to find that it had been banished to another realm by Umar. Restoring it, he used the Orb of Agamotto to learn that all the evil mystics awoken during the defeat of Zom were gathering in a remote mountain. When he arrived to try and stop them from pooling their mystical powers together, Strange was too late to stop them and they succeeded in freeing Baron Mordo.[note 10] Mordo was unprepared to battle Strange since gaining the power of the Ancient One. Strange then absorbed all the evil magic from his followers and attempted to convince Mordo into helping him stop the Living Tribunal. However, Stephen made the mistake of giving Mordo the combined evil magics, and true to form, Mordo betrayed him. Strange was over powered by Mordo and then banished to the so-called World of the Million Perils home of the being known as Nebulos who had also taken Stephen's one-time ally Victoria Bently prisoner as well. Nebulos then endowed Stephen with the Staff of Polar Power and returned him to the Earth dimension. There Stephen used the Staff to absorb all of Mordo's enhanced mystical might before banishing him again. Nebulos then returned Strange to his realm and relinquished the Staff to utilized the stolen power to his own ends. The Living Tribunal then appeared in Nebulos' domain and Strange convinced him to destroy the Staff instead of the Earth as it contained the very power that threatened all existence. However when the Living Tribunal attempted to also slay Nebulos, Strange attempted to stay the Tribunal's hand until he could learn the fate of Victoria. Ultimately, Strange recovered the Staff and Nebulos was seemingly slain by the Tribunal. Stephen then turned the Staff of Polar Power over to the Tribunal who agreed to spare the Earth and then -- as a show of gratitude -- teleported Strange to the realm that Nebulos banished Victoria before the battle.
Master of the Mystic Arts
Stephen found himself transported to a strange alien world populated by deadly creatures. Seeking refuge in a nearby cave he found a massive communicator created by Yandroth the so-called "scientist supreme". Yandroth informed Strange that he had Victoria captive and was plotting to conquer the universe before challenging the Doctor to stop him. Strange accepted this challenge and his mystical abilities proved more than able to best Yandrother's technological defenses. Eventually, Yandroth unleashed his powerful robot Voltorg. While Strange destroyed Voltorg, Yandroth attempted to teleport away to a distant planet with Victoria as his prisoner. Strange altered the controls sending them to Earth instead, and followed after them. Reappearing in Stonehenge, Stephen was surprised to find the Ancient One alive and well, having been freed from the stones following the defeat of Zom. The Ancient One helped Stephen track Yandroth and Victoria to a dream dimension. Using a mystical crystal, Stephen traveled to this realm to rescue Victoria, only to find his attempts impeded by prehistoric creatures and viking warriors that materialized in this realm. While the viking warriors kidnapped Victoria, Stephen battled Yandroth. The fight ended when Yandroth stumbled off the path into the void below and was seemingly lost forever. Strange then quickly rescued Victoria and returned them both to their native dimension.Upon returning to his Sanctum Sanctorium, Stephen was contacted by the Professor X, leader of the X-Men. He soon learned that when he sent Cyclops and Marvel Girl into the Crimson Cosmos a demon had followed them to Earth's dimension that could only be seen through the ruby quartz visor worn by Cyclops. Strange assisted the X-Men in travelling to the mystical realm between Earth and the Crimson Cosmos and return the demon to its rightful domain. Left to his solitude Strange began reflecting on his past when his thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the Ancient One's screams. Strange was tricked into sending his spirit form into the mind of the Ancient One by his old foe Nightmare. This led to another battle between the two, but Strange once again proved to be Nightmare's superior. Once Strange banished his foe, the Ancient One revealed that he had intentionally allowed Nightmare to trap him in order to force Strange out of his current feelings of self doubt. With is confidence restored, Stephen was told by the Ancient One of a means to locate and rescue Clea. With this knowledge, Strange learned that Clea was trapped in the so-called Realm Unknown and in order to travel there he needed the aid of a female companion to break the barriers. He called upon Victoria Bentley, who agreed to help despite the fact that she was secretly in love with Stephen. In the Realm Unknown, Victoria found the strange dimension too much to handle so Stephen put her in stasis in order to continue his travels alone. He was soon attacked by Dormammu, who had survived their lest encounter and now had both Clea and Victoria as his prisoners.
Strange battled it out with Dormammu, who explained how he survived his encounter with Eternity and how he sought to once more take over the Earth dimension. Leaving Strange to battle a construct made out of his own mystical energies, Dormammu fled. Strange eventually defeated the monster and then sent Victoria and Clea back to Earth. Meanwhile, Dorammu along with Umar and a legion of demons attempted to breach the Doorway of the Dimensions to reach Earth, but were confronted by Doctor Strange. Strange battled Dormammu, allowing only the ruler of the Dark Dimsion pass through the Doorway, sealing it behind them. With Dorammmu on Earth, Strange was easily able to defeat his foe but was forced to allow Dormammu to flee back to the Dark Dimension. Returning to his Sanctum Sanctorium, Stephen found his former colleague Dr. Charles Benton who had come seeking to get Stephen to rejoin the medical community. When Stephen refused to give up his role as Master of the Mystic Arts, Benton abruptly left. After setting Clea up in an apartment in New York City, Stephen and Victoria Bentley answered an invitation from Lord Nekron in England. There they learned that Nekron was a follower of the demon Satannish who offered Nekron unlimited power if he could find a suitable slave for his master. Nekron attempted to defeat Strange, who proved more than an adequate match. When Nekron's time limit ran out, Satannish appeared and took Nekron as his slave instead. Back in the United States, Stephen attended yet another wedding, this time being thrown for Yellowjacket and the Wasp of the Avengers.Strange and Clea soon became a target of the Sons of Satannish cult and their leader Asmodeus. Seeking to kill Stephen, they used Clea as a pawn, kidnapping her from her apartment. Realizing that the agents of Satannish would target his lover, Strange tried to come to her aid but was too late. After defeating some of the Sons in mystical battle, he returned home to try and track them. There Clea returned, but was under the Sons' spell and unsuccessfully tried to kill him. Deciding to use her to track them down, he allowed her to steal the Book of Vishanti and take it back to the Sons' hideout hidden within a cemetery. There Asmodeus and his minions seemed to also steal the Eye of Agamotto and Strange's Cloak of Levitation before banishing them to another dimension with the Crystal of Conquest. Finding them in the Land of Shadows, Strange summoned the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak which he mystically hidden with illusions as well as triggered a spell to send the Book of the Vishanti to the Ancient One. Freeing himself and Clea, Strange learned that Asmodeus had taken his form to try and steal the Book from the Ancient One. Unable to return to the Earth dimension in his own identity, Stephen altered his appearance into a grim visage in order to return to his native dimension. He battled Asmodeus who died of a pre-existing heart condition, but not before he succeeded in casting a spell to bring the Frost Giant Ymir and the fire demon Surtur to Earth. Stephen was shocked when he unmasked Asmodeus, revealing him to be Charles Benton. As he died, Benton boasted that he had succeeded in his task to destroy the Earth.
Learning that Asmodeus banished his minions to the realm of Tiboro, Strange decided to free them in order to learn of a means of stopping Ymir and Surtur. Needing another mystic to bridge the gap, Stephen sought out Victoria Bently. As it happened she was hosting a costume party with the hero known as the Black Knight in attendance. Sensing the magic of the Knight's Ebony Blade, Strange recruited him instead. The two traveled to Tiboro's realm where they bested the the Sixth Dimension ruler and freed the Sons of Satannish held captive there. When they returned to Earth, one of the Sons' used the Crystal of Conquest and incapacitated the Black Knight, but they were later subdued by Strange. With time running out, Stephen recruited the aid of the Vision, Hawkeye, and the Black Panther at Avengers Mansion. They helped bring the injured Black Knight back to their headquarters where Strange utilized his long neglected surgical skill to heal his injured comrade. While the Avengers and the Black Knight kept Ymir and Surtur at bay, Strange managed to conjure a spell using the Crystal of Conquest to teleport both the Asgardian menaces before each other as they were attacking. The two elementals struck each other breaking the spell and banishing them back to the realm of Asgard, ending the threat to the Earth.
That New Years Eve, Strange was plagued by a nightmare where his old foe Nightmare had imprisoned Eternity. Waking he brushed the dream off and went out to celebrate New Years with Clea in Times Square. As the midnight hour tolled, Nightmare appeared before the crowd and revealed that he had indeed captured Eternity. Using Eternity's power, Nightmare caused time to run amok. Even though he was now wearing a masked disguise, Stephen revealed his name to the crowd of New Years revelers to save their lives, compromising his relatively secret existence. Nightmare then challenged Stephen to a duel, to which the Master of the Mystic Arts agreed. Stephen accepted Nightare's challenge and was given time to prepare. After spending what could have been his last moments with Clea and Wong, Doctor Strange traveled to the realm of Nightmare where he was seemingly felled by his own weapon, the Eye of Agamotto. In reality, Strange had sent his spirit form into the Crimson Cosmos where he freed the Juggernaut from his prison, convincing him that his path back to Earth was through Doctor Strange. The Juggernaut fought Nightmare for freedom, allowing Strange to break free. When his two foes realized that they had been tricked, Strange then directed their combined mystical attack toward the bonds that held Eternity. Eternity then vanquished both Nightmare and the Juggernaut and then sent Stephen back to Earth. Strange realized that Eternity repaid his attempts to free him by altering reality so that his name was now Stephen Saunders.[note 11]
Stephen soon realized that this was a gift from Eternity and that his very identity was changed to grant him the anonymity he lost when he revealed himself in Time Square. Reading the telegram he received, he learned that Kenneth Ward, the man who sponsored Stephen through medical school, was in trouble. Coming to his aid, he learned that Kenneth was being weakened after finding an idol belonging to the Undying Ones. Stephen soon uncovered that three demons were posing as Kenneth's butler and body guards and vanquished them, but was too late to save Kenneth's life. Stephen and Clea were soon drawn back to the Dark Dimension on a quest to stop Dormammu. During a battle with the Mindless Ones, Clea was then captured by Dormammu. Before Strange could do anything about it, he was approached by the Hulk who had come from years in the future to gather allies in a contest between the cosmic beings known as the Grandmaster and the Collector. He was joined with two other time displaced heroes, the Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer, who would all work together in the near future in a group called the Defenders. The trio were pitted against the Collector's pawns: the so-called Red Hulk, Baron Mordo, Terrax and Tiger Shark, who called themselves the Offenders.[note 12] Doctor Strange and Baron Mordo soon found themselves teleported to the Silver Surfer's home world of Zenn-La to fight over the fate of Clea. Strange and Mordo were soon killed by Galactus who was awaiting the return of his herald the Silver Surfer. Eventually, the Red Hulk won the contest, but when he upset the balance by challenging Galactus, the Grandmaster and Collector turned on him, reviving Strange and the other heroes. After the Red Hulk seemingly slew the Grandmaster, the Collector declared the game over and the contest null and returned Stephen and the others to their proper places in time with no memory of what transpired. Strange freed Clea, although those events are unrecorded.[note 13]
Back in his own era, Doctor Strange was drawn back to the hoe of Kenneth Ward. He arrived just as minions of the Undying Ones -- posing as Kenneth's "daughter" and her pet cat -- were manipulating the Sub-Mariner into recovering the lost idol of their master. Stephen arrived too late to stop the uncovering of the idol. When the minions of the Undying Ones recovered it they used it to open a portal to their masters domain. Entering the portal, Namor and Doctor Strange held off the Undying Ones and their leader the so-called Nameless One, keeping them away from the portal. Realizing that someone would need to remain in order to keep the demons at bay, Strange sacrificed himself, sending Namor back to Earth and sealing the portal behind him. Stephen was imprisoned for a time until a cult who worshiped the Undying Ones sought to free them from this other dimension. Their leader Van Nyborg captured Bruce Banner in an attempted to utilize his alter-ego the Hulk. To this end, the Hulk was sent into the realm of the Night-Crawler to destroy him so the cultists could use the Night-Crawler's dimension to bridge the gap between the Undying Ones and Earth's dimension. Barbara Norriss, a sympathetic cult member, ended up in the realm of the Night-Crawler as well. The Hulk's battle with the Night-Crawler spilled into the realm on the Undying Ones. There the Hulk found Dr. Strange and the pair battled the Nameless One in order to keep it in this dimensional prison. Upon hearing that a human sacrifice was needed to keep the Nameless One and its creatures at bay, Barbara sacrificed herself taking Strange's place. Upon doing so both Stephen and the Hulk -- transformed back into Bruce Banner -- were returned to Earth. There Stephen decided that he needed time away from being a mystic.
- ↑ The year of birth is first identified in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005, the month of November was specified on a tombstone in Doctor Strange #176
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #3 is the first reference to Stephen Strange being born in Philadelphia. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005 clarifies that it was while Eugene and Beverly were on vacation.
- ↑ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #9 shows a picture of Stephen and his sister Donna at ages 9 and 7, placing their age difference and locking in Donna's year of birth.
- ↑ This placement is vague and can be determined by Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005 which states that Victor Strange was one or two years old when Stephen was 11 years of age.
- ↑ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #45 makes reference to the band Deep Purple being a popular band at the time. Given the fact that Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005 states that Stephen was born in 1930, he would have been 19 in 1949. Deep Purple did not form until 1968. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #45 was published in 1992, prior to the Marvel Handbooks stating Strange was born in 1930. Typically this would be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, however with the date of birth retcon it should be considered a topical error in chronology.
- ↑ Uncanny Origins #12 also states that Eugene Strange died before Stephen graduated.This contradicts both Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #11 and Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #45 which both state that Eugene died after Stephen had graduated. This is also confirmed in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005 and other later handbooks. As such the statement from Uncanny Origins #12 should be considered inaccurate.
- ↑ This year is stated in Doctor Strange: The Oath #1 and confirmed in Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Marvel Knights 2005
- ↑ Mortigan Goth: Immortalis #1 states this event has having taken place in 1965. However this should be considered a topical reference per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 and used as a literary device to explain which point in modern age history this story can be placed. Mortigan Goth's warning came to pass much later. The warning about Vampires were in regards to his brother Victor becoming a vampire in Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #14 through 18 and the Vishanti turning their back on him from Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #50
- ↑ Unknown to Strange at the time, Clea briefly distracted Dormammu by freeing the Mindless Ones forcing the dark one to utilize his power to trap them again.
- ↑ Umar banished Strange's Sanctum Sanctorium to another dimension in Strange Tales #156
- ↑ The Juggernaut was trapped in the Crimson Cosmos by the X-Men in X-Men #33
- ↑ The Defenders seen here, other than the Hulk were all gathered from points in time prior to the first formation of that group in Marvel Feature #1. The Sub-Mariner was gathered moments after his bride Lady Dorma was murdered in Sub-Mariner #38. The Silver Surfer plucked just after he was transformed by the Galactus in Silver Surfer #1. Doctor Strange's was pulled from a previously unrecorded tale between Doctor Strange #183 and Sub-Mariner #22. While the Red Hulk was from the present circa Hulk Vol. 2 #10, presumably Baron Mordo, Terrax and Tiger Shark were also pulled from the Red Hulk's relative present as well.
- ↑ The Red Hulk's actions created a divergent reality of Earth-90512 where the Defenders were killed.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Uncanny Origins #12
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #11
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #9
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #85
- ↑ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #84
- ↑ The Order #6
- ↑ Excalibur Vol 3 #14
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #45
- ↑ Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #39
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 Doctor Strange #169
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Strange Tales #115
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Doctor Strange: The Oath #1
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Doctor Strange: The Oath #2
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #56
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Strange Tales #122
- ↑ Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange #1
- ↑ Defenders #107
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Strange Tales #110
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Strange Tales #118
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Strange Tales #116
- ↑ Marvel Graphic Novel #49
- ↑ Doctor Strange: From the Marvel Vault #1
- ↑ Marvel: The Lost Generation #8
- ↑ Marvel: The Lost Generation #12
- ↑ Marvel Saga #1
- ↑ Strange Tales Vol 3 #1
- ↑ Strange Tales #111
- ↑ Strange Tales #114
- ↑ Strange Tales #117
- ↑ Strange Tales #119
- ↑ Strange Tales #120
- ↑ Strange Tales #121
- ↑ Fantastic Four #27
- ↑ Strange Tales #123
- ↑ Strange Tales #124
- ↑ Journey into Mystery #108
- ↑ Untold Tales of Spider-Man Strange Encounter #1
- ↑ Marvel Double Shot #4
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1
- ↑ Marvels #2
- ↑ Strange Tales #125
- ↑ Strange Tales #126
- ↑ Strange Tales #127
- ↑ Mortigan Goth: Immortalis #1
- ↑ Untold Tales of Spider-Man Annual #1997
- ↑ Strange Tales #128
- ↑ Strange Tales #129
- ↑ Strange Tales #130
- ↑ Strange Tales #131
- ↑ Strange Tales #132
- ↑ Strange Tales #133
- ↑ Strange Tales #134
- ↑ Strange Tales #135
- ↑ Strange Tales #136
- ↑ 56.0 56.1 Strange Tales #137
- ↑ Strange Tales #138
- ↑ Strange Tales #139
- ↑ Strange Tales #140
- ↑ Strange Tales #141
- ↑ Strange Tales #142
- ↑ Strange Tales #143
- ↑ Strange Tales #144
- ↑ 64.0 64.1 Clandestine #8
- ↑ Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2
- ↑ Fantastic Four Annual #3
- ↑ Marvels #3
- ↑ Strange Tales #145
- ↑ Strange Tales #146
- ↑ Strange Tales #147
- ↑ Strange Tales #148
- ↑ Strange Tales #149
- ↑ Strange Tales #150
- ↑ Strange Tales #151
- ↑ Strange Tales #152
- ↑ Strange Tales #153
- ↑ Strange Tales #154
- ↑ Strange Tales #155
- ↑ 79.0 79.1 Strange Tales #157
- ↑ Strange Tales #156
- ↑ X-Men #33
- ↑ Strange Tales #158
- ↑ Strange Tales #159
- ↑ Strange Tales #160
- ↑ Strange Tales #161
- ↑ Strange Tales #162
- ↑ Strange Tales #163
- ↑ Strange Tales #164
- ↑ Strange Tales #165
- ↑ Strange Tales #166
- ↑ Strange Tales #167
- ↑ Strange Tales #168
- ↑ Doctor Strange #170
- ↑ X-Men First Class #4
- ↑ Strange Tales #170
- ↑ Doctor Strange #171
- ↑ Doctor Strange #172
- ↑ 98.0 98.1 Doctor Strange #173
- ↑ Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Vol 2 #6
- ↑ Avengers #60
- ↑ 101.0 101.1 Doctor Strange #177
- ↑ Doctor Strange #175
- ↑ Doctor Strange #176
- ↑ Doctor Strange #178
- ↑ Avengers #61
- ↑ Doctor Strange #180
- ↑ Doctor Strange #181
- ↑ Doctor Strange #182
- ↑ Doctor Strange #183
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #10
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #11
- ↑ Hulk Vol 2 #12
- ↑ Sub-Mariner #22
- ↑ Incredible Hulk #126