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Zelma Stanton was a librarian from Bronx whose head had been infected by Mind Maggots that formed some kind of growth in her head.[1] After what she initially believed to be a rash grew teeth and eyes, Zelma tried to go to the hospital, but accidentally freaked out the staff. A friend of her suggested her to seek help from Doctor Strange.

When Zelma visited Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, Strange noticed he had never seen something like Zelma's condition. He cast as spell in an attempt to expurgate whatever poked out from her head, but that caused countless of Mind Maggots to come out from it.[2]

The Mind Maggots quickly ran around the mansion and Doctor Strange made Zelma accompany him to find them. They were separated after reaching the library, and Zelma wandered the mansion until she came across Strange's housekeeper Wong in the kitchen. Wong guided Zelma back to the library, where Strange had remained to research the creatures that had infected her, and determined they were Mind Maggots. The creatures were linked to Zelma, so in order to trap them, Strange convinced her to shout her deepest secrets to lure them. When the creatures came running, Strange got in their way and absorbed them, curing Zelma completely. As she was leaving, Strange offered Zelma a job as his librarian, which she accepted.[1]

Following the attack on magic by the science-based cult known as the Empirikul, which saw the destruction of Doctor Strange's library in the process, Zelma assisted Stephen in rebuilding his collection, recording all the spells of his that still worked.[3]

While in the process of retrieving one of the last magical items in existence, Doctor Strange and Zelma became stranded in Weirdworld. Making matters worse, Doctor Strange fell ill to a poisoned arrow tip. The days they remained trapped, Zelma scavenged for food and resources while taking care of Stephen. When enemies tracked them down, Zelma used one of the spells she had written down to transfer Strange's illness to her as a last resort. Due to the magic she had absorbed from the creatures she consumed in Weirdworld, Zelma didn't immediately die. However, when they got back to the Sanctum Sanctorum, Stephen saw himself forced to feed Zelma some of the magical food he consumed to cure her. This ingest altered Zelma's physiology, making her more perceptive to the world of magic. Even though Stephen warned Zelma about the risks of delving into his world, she turned down the possibility of reverting to her normal life in due time, and chose to become Doctor Strange's apprentice.[4]




  • Some of Zelma's deepest secrets include:
    • Having cheated in her driver's exam.
    • Thinking her niece is ugly.
    • Hating her mother's meatloaf, for which she claimed to her she was vegetarian.
    • Having voted for J. Jonah Jameson for mayor.
    • Pretending to cry at funerals.
    • Hating dogs.
    • Dreaming about seeing the world but some days being afraid to leave her house.[1]

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