As November 4th looms closer many fans (including myself), are growing increasingly captivated with Marvel's upcoming and highly anticipated, Doctor Strange. I can't stress this enough, this is going to be an amazing film. There's no doubt that director Scott Derrickson will take this movie in an entirely different direction from the MCU's typical style — just take a look at the trailer:
As thrilling as the movie will be - and I'm sure it will be - we can only speculate as far as where this film will carry the rest of the MCU. All we know is that Dr. Strange is crucial to the MCU and will bring us back to the roots of the first installment of Iron Man. With what little we know, Dr. Strange has a lot on his shoulders, therefore what does it mean to carry this load? What is it that makes Dr. Strange so special and a crucial character? In other words, what does it mean to be Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme?
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What Does 'Sorcerer Supreme' Even Mean?
Good question. Basically, Sorcerer Supreme is a title granted to someone that has essentially mastered all there is to know in the mystic and magical arts. The actual definition is:
Sorcerer Supreme: 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.
Pretty much sums it up, right? It has been said that whomever holds this title is the most powerful in the universe. In the comics, there can only be one Sorcerer Supreme (or Sorceress) at any given time. It is Dr. Strange that currently holds the title after his mentor, The Ancient One. Whomever holds this position is responsible for protecting not only mankind, but the entire universe from all sorts of mystical evil, lurking in other dimensions. Holding the title grants functional immortality and immune to diseases, however they can't use magic to protect themselves and can be killed by enough physical trauma.
Past Sorcerer/Sorceress Supremes and Their Roles
Similarly to The Ancient One and Dr. Strange, there have been many people that have obtained the title of Sorcerer/Sorceress Supreme. The first known Sorcerer Supreme was Agamotto, one of the Vishanti, a trinity of powerful entities who operate for order and good. Before this, Agamotto was mortal, becoming the first Sorcerer Supreme. Before transcending, he left behind magical artifacts: Eye of Agamotto, Orb of Agamotto, and the Spine of Agamotto. Dr. Strange currently uses the Eye and Orb.
After a few successors came Margali Szardos, this time a Sorceress Supreme. Not much is known about her, other than that she was born in France and was taught magic as a child by her mother. Margali is also the adopted mother of Nightcrawler's Kurt Wagner.
There has only been one successor of Dr. Strange because he felt unworthy to use the Eye of Agamotto due to use of black magic that was used to defeat an enemy, relinquishing the title. The Eye of Agamotto later chose Doctor Voodoo. He began learning Voodoo because his brother was dying of a Voodoo curse put upon him. He held the title of Sorcerer Supreme for a short time before being killed by Agamotto.
Why Does The Marvel Universe Need Dr. Strange?
Dr. Strange could be used in any situation, any conflict, any threat. Dr. Strange possesses abilities that none of our current heroes have. Strange can manipulate energy and time itself, he's psychic, and he can even time travel! The list is actually too long to mention every single one of his powers, but time manipulation is enough for me. At this point, Dr. Strange can probably take on all of the Avengers at once if he had too.
Along with minimal physical threats, Dr. Strange is needed to fight mystical threats such as Dormammu, Mephisto, Blackheart, and Baron Mordo. These villains pose a huge threat that the Avengers or any other superhero can defend against. Dr. Strange is the only one that can defeat these enemies. For example, Baron Mordo is a long-time foe of Dr. Strange. Mordo has had the same training as Dr. Strange which makes their relationship very interesting.
Another major threat is Dormammu. He's essentially god-like, composed of pure mystic energy. Having nearly all the same powers as Dr. Strange, he's so physically powerful that he can even fend off an angered Hulk. He's virtually indestructible and Dr. Strange is the only one who can and has stopped him.
Dr. Strange's Role In The Marvel Universe
The role of Dr. Strange is very important to the earth and the universe. As the Avengers take care of physical danger, Dr. Strange fights off mystical threats. When granted the title of "Sorcerer Supreme," it limits Strange to only protect earth. While there are many dimensions and different realities, Dr. Strange is responsible for defending it at all costs.
Unlike the Hulk or Thor, Dr. Strange is a different kind of hero. Strange is very intelligent and is needed for the Marvel Universe moving forward. This intelligence has helped him not only as a surgeon, but as a hero and a member of the Illuminati. In the comics, the Illuminati is a group of Marvel's most powerful minds including: Iron Man, Professor Xavier, Namor, Black Bolt, and Mr. Fantastic. This group works behind the scenes to take care of numerous threats.
So as you can see, Dr. Strange is an important character in the Marvel Universe. What makes Dr. Strange so intriguing is that he is one, if not the only superhero who obtained their powers through choice. Some people may argue that Captain America volunteered for the super soldier serum, but that's a tad bit different. Stephen Strange went to find answers and trained and studied to become who he is. It wasn't some sort of freak accident such as gamma rays or a radioactive spider bite. Dr. Strange is a unique character and it'll be interesting to see what's in store for us in the upcoming film.
What does Sorcerer Supreme mean to you? What are you most excited to see in the upcoming film? Let me know in the comment box!
Doctor Strange is set to release on November 4, 2016