Doctor Strange (Classic)'s History
Stephen Strange was born to Eugene and Beverly Strange in 1930 while the couple was vacationing in Philadelphia. In 1932 Stephen's sister Donna was born at the family's Nebraska farm. Knowing that Strange was destined to become the next Sorcerer Supreme, resentful apprentice sorcerer Karl Mordo beset the child with demons from the age of eight, and on throughout his youth. Ultimately Strange was rescued by Mordo's master, the Ancient One, mystic protector of the Earth-realm as the current Sorcerer Supreme. A year or two after this torment began, Stephen's brother, Victor, was born. At age eleven Strange aided an injured Donna, an experience which ultimately fostered an interest in medicine. Strange entered New York College as a pre-med directly out of high school. Later, while home on vacation for his nineteenth birthday, Strange was swimming with Donna when she suffered a cramp. After a frantic search Stephen found her already drowned. The experience left him with a sense of personal failure that eroded his medical idealism.
Stephen earned his medical degree in record time and entered a five-year residency at New York Hospital, where his rapid success made him arrogant. Stephen's mother Beverly died near the end of his residency, and work became more and more impersonal for the bereaved surgeon. Strange's talent remained, however, and he became a wealthy and celebrated neurosurgeon before he turned thirty. Egotistical and greedy, cold and callous, Strange's interest in his patients generally began and ended at his bill. The exception was Madeleine Revell, an injured United Nations translator whom he saved and fell in love with. Following a whirlwind romance and proposal, she left him due to his increasingly materialist nature. Two years after his mother's death, Strange's father, Eugene also fell ill. Already crippled by grief over his mother's death (though he would never admit it), Stephen was unable to face any more tragedy, and refused to visit Eugene's deathbed. A few days later, an outraged Victor confronted Stephen in his apartment over his apparent lack of grief. Following the confrontation, Victor rushed from the apartment and into the path of an oncoming car. Victor died, and a guilt-wracked Stephen placed Victor's body in cold storage, half-hoping that future breakthroughs could revive him.
Around 1963, Strange was involved in a debilitating car accident. Though surgeons were able to save Strange, the nerves in his hands were severely damaged. With his surgical career over and too vain to accept positions as a consultant or assistant, Strange exhausted his fortune following every rumored treatment, no matter how legitimate. In a matter of months the once wealthy surgeon became a derelict, and resorted to performing a number of shady medical procedures to survive (and pay his growing bar tabs). Strange's guilt over the mistakes of his early life would come to weigh heavily upon him over the years, and his recollections of the time could not always be trusted.
Seeking the Ancient One
After hearing rumors of the mystical Ancient One, Strange pawned his last possessions for a ticket to the East. 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 dispeled. Strange, his skepticism eroding, confronted Mordo about the treachery but Mordo 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 prefered to keep Mordo close by in order to control and possibly change him.
The Ancient One had known of Strange and his potential to serve as the Sorcerer Supreme prior to even Strange’s first encounter with him, regarding his hidden prowess so highly that he rejected Damien Hellstrom for Strange as his pupil. The Ancient One had planned to make Dr. Strange his successor.
Strange spent years under the Ancient One's tutelage, learning to tap the innate mystic powers of himself and the world around him, as well as how to invoke the powers of Principalities, powerful beings such as Dormammu, Satannish, and the Vishanti, who resided in their own mystic realms. A few years after Strange's arrival, Mordo left the Ancient One's palace to seek greater power. The two rivals would clash often in the future. It was during this time that Strange passed a test against Death itself. As a reward, Strange was given ageless life, and an ankh-shaped mark on his forehead that would only appear when his life was in dire jeopardy. The Ancient One himself had attained near-immortality by passing this test over 600 years earlier.
During his early years as a student of the mystic arts, Strange befriended many sorcerers around the world, including Lord Julian Phyffe and Sir Clive Bentley of Great Britain; Cardinal Alfeo Spinosa and Count Tancredo Carezzi of Italy; Omar Karindu, Rama Kaliph, and Turhan Barim of the Middle East; Wai Chee Yee and Sen-Yu of Asia; and Aleister Kane, Kenneth Ward, and Frank Brukner of America. Strange also found allies among more of earth's heroes, aiding the Black Fox in at least two adventures, while other adventurers, such as Immortalis and Terror, Inc., regarded him with skepticism.
Strange studied magic under the Ancient One for seven years and returned to the United States in the 1970s. Strange became a mystic consultant, establishing his Sanctum Sanctorum in New York's Greenwich Village. He was attended by Wong, latest in a centuries-old bloodline that had served the Ancient One, and who had became both Strange's servant and his friend. During this time Strange fought the demonic entities such as the Possessors, Aggamon, the House of Shadows, Zota, the Bottle Imp and KhLΘG. Strange also fought the otherworldly Nightmare, who fed upon dreaming humanity's terror, and became one of Strange's most bitter enemies. The mysterious doctor's reputation grew, and Strange even became an occasional consultant to local and federal authorities.
When the debut of the Fantastic Four heralded the dawn of the Heroic Age, Strange initially remained aloof from New York's superhero community, fighting his battles against Nightmare and Baron Mordo in secrecy. At one point Loki, the Asgardian god of trickery manipulated Strange into attacking his heroic foster brother, Thor. The treachery was soon exposed, however, and Strange turned against Loki. Thor would later, in the guise of Dr. Donald Blake save Strange's life by operating on him after another battle with Mordo. Soon after, a clash with Mordo led Strange to ally with the young Spider-Man, who helped Strange rescue several people from a mystic dimension. The experience proved so traumatic that Spider-Man asked Strange to remove their memories of the event, though this caused them to forget Spider-Man's heroism as well. Impressed by the young hero's bravery and altruism, Strange came to regard him as a friend, and the two have teamed up many times over the years.
The Dread Dormammu, sensing his old adversary the Ancient One's declining power, soon challenged Strange to a mystic duel in his Dark Dimension as part of a larger plan to invade the Earth-Realm. While there, Strange was approached by Clea, a novice mystic and, though few knew it at the time, daughter of Dormammu's sister Umar. Clea feared that if Dormammu fell as ruler of the Dark Dimension, dimensional barriers would weaken and the realm would be ravaged by the Mindless Ones. Clea thus sought to prevent the duel, but Strange would not yield. Dormammu easily outmatched Strange, but in the process lost just enough of his energies that the Mindless Ones were able to invade. Seeking to save the Dark Dimension's denizens, Strange lent Dormammu enough power to restore the barrier. Enraged by his own weakness, Dormammu felt honor-bound to spare Strange, who in turn bargained with him to spare both the Earth-Realm and the attractive Clea. The vengeful Dormammu never forgot the humiliation, however, and became one of Strange's most implacable enemies.
Shortly after, Strange joined several superheroes in battle against the powerful mutate Sundown. Now more involved with the superhero community, he became a special consultant to prominent super-teams such as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Avengers. Months after attending the wedding of Reed and Sue Richards, Strange was reunited with his own love, Clea, who came to live with him in New York.
Later, Strange was exiled to a hostile dimension by Asmodeus, who took the doctor's form in an attempt to catch the Ancient One by surprise. Prevented from returning to the Earth-Realm by metaphysical law so long as Asmodeus occupied his form, Strange adopted a new form with a full-face mask (perhaps emulating his superhero allies). After defeating Asmodeus, Strange retained the new appearance to preserve his anonymity. After carelessly revealing his name during a battle with Nightmare, the cosmic Eternity, whom Strange was aiding at the time, agreed to return Strange's anonymity by altering all relevant earthly documents and memories bearing the name “Stephen Strange” to “Stephen Sanders.”
Strange next resisted the invading Undying Ones, a race of demons that had once dominated the Earth, and were led by the infernal Nameless One. To face the onslaught, Strange manipulated Prince Namor of Atlantis and the monstrous Hulk into aiding him. With the Undying Ones defeated, Strange seemed to believe the world safe from further incursion. Strange was troubled by his arrogant exploitation of Namor and the Hulk, however, and decided to forego magic and return to medicine as a consultant, selflessly performing the duties once thought beneath him.
Strange's return to medicine lasted only a few weeks. After Baron Mordo tried to kill him, Strange returned to sorcery and defeated Mordo with the help of the Ancient One. The Ancient One, for reasons of his own, reversed Eternity's spell, restoring the name "Stephen Strange" to the world's records and memories. Shortly thereafter, the Nameless One returned and Strange donned his (non-masked) robes to confront the threat alongside Namor and the Hulk. Becoming friends despite their differences, the three were soon joined by the alien Silver Surfer to form the core of the Defenders, a loose-knit "non-team" that would reunite sporadically to meet threats against the Earth.
Following the Kree-Skrull War, a number of Earth's most powerful heroes -- Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Professor X, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, and Namor -- formed the establishment of the Illuminati. The secretive group of Earth's most influential heroes would meet only a few times, and only to tackle events of extraordinary importance. While certain Illuminati members were unable to attend certain gatherings (such as Xavier and Iron Man), Strange attended all known meetings, adding the viewpoint and perspective his decades of battling mystic evil had brought him.
The Illuminati inadvertently precipitated an invasion of Earth by the shapeshifting, alien Skrull race by attacking the homeworld after delivering a warning not to endanger their planet again. This led to their capture, experimentation and analysis, which enabled the Skrulls to eventually perform enough reverse biological engineering and cloning to gather the resources required to launch a covert invasion.
Strange came under attack by servants of the Old One Shuma-Gorath, a vast extradimensional entity who had ruled on Earth millenia ago, but was banished in the Hyborean era. Shuma-Gorath sought to return through the mind of the Ancient One himself, and Strange entered his mentor's mind to confront the creature. After fighting a losing battle, the Ancient One himself asked Strange to slay him rather than allow Shuma-Gorath passage to Earth. The Ancient One's physical death made him one with Eternity, and Strange inherited the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, guardian of the entire universe. Seeking solace from his new burdens, Strange attempted to use his power to revive his brother Victor using spells from the Book of the Vishanti; unfortunately, Strange did not realize he had read the Vampiric Verses, imbuing Victor with the potential for resurrection as a vampire. Thinking the spells had failed, Strange left his brother's body in cold storage.
Strange continued his adventures with the Defenders, and over the months the informal team's ranks included beings such as the Asgardian Valkyrie, Brunnhilde, the winged millionaire Nighthawk, the happy-go-lucky Hellcat, and others. Though this pitted Strange against less magical foes (such as the mutant Magneto, the alien Nebulon, the subversive Sons of the Serpent, and the bizarre Headmen) the camaraderie of the team and the love of Clea gave Strange a welcome change from his customary solitude.
At one point, the trans-temporal sorcerers called the Creators manipulated the Ancient One's spirit into offering Strange a chance to become one with the universe. When Strange rejected the offer he was stripped of the mantle and power of Sorcerer Supreme. Strange soon joined battle with the Creators, defeating their ally, the In-Betweener, and thwarting their reality-reshaping plans. Their deception revealed, the Ancient One restored Strange's title; who, if anyone, assumed the title in the meantime is unknown. Though Strange's adventure took mere days from his perspective, weeks passed on Earth.
Months later, the mysterious alien Tribunals perpetrated a hoax that convinced the four founding Defenders that their alliance would eventually cause a cosmic tragedy, and the group was disbanded. It would be some time before the hoax was exposed. Strange soon lent aid to BorderLine Investigative Services (actually a band of vampire hunters) in confronting Dracula. At one point, Strange cast the Darkhold's famed Montesi Formula, a spell which destroyed all vampires within the Earth-Realm. The cryogenically stored body of Victor Strange, however, was passed over because it had been enchanted with the powers of the Book of the Vishanti. With the book ultimately being a tome of protection (even when applied to vampires), Victor's body survived.
Meanwhile, in the Dark Dimension, Clea had returned to lead the rebellion against its current ruler Umar, whom she learned was her mother. Clea overthrew Umar and took the throne with Strange's help, but her responsibilities as ruler of the Dark Dimension and his as Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth-Realm meant the two would be forced to separate. Upon returning to Earth, however, Strange's role as Sorcerer Supreme was challenged by the covetous alien Urthona. At one point, the struggle against Urthona forced strange to destroy his own collection of talismans, tomes, and artifacts to prevent Urthona from take control of them. (It was later revealed that Agamotto, one of three Vishanti, had intervened, sequestering the collection away at the moment Strange seemed to destroy them).
With the artifacts removed, the barriers between dimensions they had established weakened, and the Earth was assaulted by a number of once-pacified mystic threats. Strange met the threats with the extradimensional novice mystic Rintrah, and was eventually joined by Kaluu, an old rival of the Ancient One and master of life-draining black magic. Weakened by the loss of his artifacts, Strange reluctantly accepted Kaluu's offer to teach him the black arts. These skills served Strange well when confronted with the return of Shuma-Gorath, whom Strange fought on one of his home planes. The power required to defeat Shuma-Gorath corrupted Strange, to the point where he merged with the evil demon-god. After inducing the merged creature to commit suicide, both Shuma-Gorath and Strange's own ego were destroyed. Kaluu guided Strange's spirit back to Earth, slowly restoring Strange's ego as he burnt off the taint of Shuma-Gorath's evil. Though this ultimately allowed the demon to reform in his home dimension, at least it had been prevented from returning to Earth. Shortly thereafter, Strange returned to the Dark Dimension and married Clea, who came to live with him on Earth. Strange took Rintrah as his new apprentice, and an apparition of Agamotto restored Strange's seemingly lost collection. With the collection restored, Earth seemed return to status quo.
Strange assisted the X-Men (on the behest of fellow Illuminati member and longtime friend Professor X) when Margali Szardos, Sorceress Supreme and adoptive mother to Nightcrawler, believed Wagner had been guilty of cold-blooded murder and thus magically separated his soul from his body into her own dimension. Strange determined that Nightcrawler was actually human, that a hostile yet not malevolent mystic force was responsible for his body's "death". Strange was taken along with the X-Men to Margali's realm of "Hell" where Kurt's innocence was proved and they were allowed to return to Earth on good terms. However, Strange was shocked when the Eye of Agamotto was used by Margali, who told him engimatically that he had not been the Eye's first custodian, nor would he be the last, ending with Strange determined to find out more about the potent yet mysterious sorceress.
It was at this point, however, that Victor Strange's body finally rose as a vampire, and ultimately fell under the sway of sorceress Marie LaVeau. LaVeau tried to coerce Strange into again reciting the Vampiric Verses, thereby nullifying the Montesi Formula, but Strange instead banished the page containing the Vampiric Verses page from the Earth-Realm. Nonetheless, LaVeau was able to use Victor as a template to duplicate the spell, making it possible for long-destroyed vampires to reappear.
Strange and Clea were soon drawn back to the Dark Dimension, as both Dormammu and Umar sought to reclaim the throne. Umar ultimately won, leaving Clea exiled on Earth. While Clea sought allies to mount an offensive, Strange and others were drawn up in the fight with an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos of Titan. The death-worshiping Thanos used the Gauntlet's immensely powerful Infinity Gems to attain omnipotence, and he eradicated half of the universe's population before the heroes defeated him and used the same power to undo the damage.
However, attempts to claim Strange's position of Sorcerer Supreme were not to end, even years after he had attained, lost and again won back his station. Ian McNee attempted to challenge Strange for the role, having trained himself for ten years, and apparently killed Strange; however, further killings due to others challenging McNee in turn convinced him that killing was the curse of the Sorcerer Supreme. However, Strange had not been killed and no one had really died from the battles. Nicodemus, too, tried to seize Strange's title, winning it briefly, but the strain and pressure of such power and responsibility quickly overwhelmed him.
Strange soon formed alliances with other supernatural heroes, manipulating the formation of the Midnight Sons, a loose group including his vampire hunter allies, as well as Morbius, Ghost Rider, and Blaze among others. These warriors were actually the last in a long line of Midnight Sons, destined to confront the demonic scourges of Zarathos and Lilith. He also briefly tutored the young sorcerer Augustyne Phyffe, who ultimately chose to abandon sorcery.
After sharing leadership of Earth's heroes against the Magus during the Infinity War, Strange teamed with Namor, the Hulk, and the Silver Surfer to battle Shanzar, the invading Sorcerer Supreme of another dimension.
Meanwhile, the Principalities of various mystic realms began summoning their devotees to serve them in the War of the Seven Spheres, a war between opposing magical entities expected to last five thousand years. When the Vishanti sought to enlist Strange, he refused, unwilling to abandon his earthly duties. Unable to resist them if called, Strange instead renounced use of their powers, stripping him of much of his power.
Strange was then attacked by an even more powerful Dormammu, who had manipulated Clea into deposing of Umar so that he could again rule the Dark Dimension. With the help of the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, and Ghost Rider, Strange was able to repel the dark lord, but he continued to rule the Dark Dimension, and Clea remained there to again lead the resistance. Strange soon after began recruiting Secret Defenders, ad hoc teams assembled to meet periodic threats to the Earth that he could not handle alone. Strange also sought the aid of Immortalis in curing his brother Victor, but was refused because no permanent cure was known. After Rintrah was slain while destroying a dangerous talisman, Strange placed his body in stasis pending a potential revival, and took Kyllian Kell, heir to ancient Celtic magic, as his new apprentice.
Strange was at one time abducted by the Goddess, who collected thirty-three of the most "spiritually-attuned" heroes in the universe to aid her in her Infinity Crusade, an attempt to purge the universe of evil. Mesmerized by the Goddess, Strange joined her crusade, and while his physical form served the her, he sent his astral form to keep tabs on his brother. By this time Victor Strange had adopted the identity "Khiron", a costumed hero and deadly vigilante. After realizing how violent he had become, Khiron chose to take his own life. After breaking free of the Goddess, Strange again fought Urthona, who had grown even more powerful by serving in the War of the Seven Spheres.
While tutoring his new, impatient apprentice, Kyllian was pulled into another dimension by a talisman. When Strange managed to find him, Kyllian refused to go, preferring to remain with Iskelior, a woman he met there. The bickering sorcerers were interrupted by the ancient sorceress Lilith, who began tearing down mystical barrier to allow her demonic offspring, the Lilin, passage to Earth. Kyllian remained behind to seal the dimensional tear, and Strange returned to Earth, promising to rescue Kyllian later. Joining the Midnight Sons, Strange confronted Lilith and her Lilin. At one point the Midnight Sons were menaced by a bloodlusting Morbius, while Wong's betrothed, Imei, was dying from the poisoned kiss of the Lilin Sister Nil. Strange chose to subdue Morbius' bloodlust, saving the most people possible, but allowing Imei to die. Furious, Wong left Strange, and would even try to kill him on later occasions. Eventually, the Midnight Sons were victorious, and the Lilin were sealed back away in another dimension. In the meantime, Kyllian was rescued by Modred the Mystic, and returned to Earth in the form of Wildpride, now more in control of his "animal magick," and bearing a grudge against the master he felt abandoned him.
Strange was later part of an international coalition of heroes opposing the techno-magical Mys-Tech, and was one of the six beings who stabilized the unraveling reality created by the clandestine group's "Un-Earth," A mystical replica they planned to use to control the real Earth.
Strange again had to defend his tile as Sorcerer Supreme, this time from Salome, a winged member of the mysterious Blood race and allegedly the first Earth-born Sorcerer Supreme over 20,000 years ago. Salome easily reclaimed the mantle from a weakened Strange, and began gathering followers to help her rule the Earth. Unable to stand against Salome, Strange secluded himself in a pocket dimension, taking Sister Nil (the last of the Lilin remaining in the Earth realm) to record his actions and act as his assistant. From that dimension he dispatched two magical constructs based upon himself to tend to his earthly affairs. The first, Vincent Stevens, became a cunning businessman, and built a fortune with which to develop so-called technomagick. The other was a being called Strange, a masked figure who fought alongside the Midnight Sons and gathered artifacts for Strange to use against Salome. Strange also left leadership of the Secret Defenders to Doctor Druid, another of the Ancient One's pupils. Though Doctor Druid served as best he could, he was ultimately unable to lead the group.
Possessing few of his artifacts and mystically poisoned by Salome's dance, Dr. Strange realized that he would have to focus on developing his weakest discipline, elemental magic, in order to reclaim the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. Dr. Strange had barely finished enhancing his sorcery when Stevens and Strange rebelled against him. Stevens was apparently destroyed in the resulting conflict, and Strange went to the Dark Dimension, where he merged with rebellion's Nobel as Paradox. Salome, meanwhile had enlisted Wong against his old master, claiming to have bound Imei's soul to the demon Xaos, and promising a full resurrection in exchange for his service. Later, Strange would show Wong that Salome had been deceiving them, and that Imei was truly dead. Wong gained some closure when Strange took him to visit her in the afterlife, and the two eventually reconciled. This time, however, Wong joined Strange as an equal partner, and in many ways a brother, not a servant. Wong still refered to Strange as "Master" from time to time because "old habits are hard to break."
After using defeating Salome, Dr. Strange temporarily assumed a younger, more violent persona as he began to track down and terminate the illegal operations established by Stevens. Dr. Strange was still cleaning up after Stevens when he was again summoned by Vishanti to served in the War of the Seven Spheres; unwilling to lose any more of his already diminished power, this time Strange complied. Although from his perspective Strange spent 5,000 years fighting for the Vishanti against their enemies, the Trinity of Ashes, only a few months passed on Earth by the time he returned. Strange's memories of the war were suppressed, and he returned to his more mature, bearded appearance. Exhausted from the war, Strange turned to the use of unpredictable Catastrophe Magic to increase his power. He later claimed to have supplemented it with so-called Chaos Magic, though still later he would claim that there was no such thing. In any event, Strange eventually regained the patronage of the Principalities, and his power was restored to their height.
The Dread Dormammu returned to attack Strange at this point, using the mutant Jonathon White and Strange's ally Topaz against the him. Strange drove off his old foe and magically guided another surgeon to save Topaz from Dormammu's attack. Strange then faced the return of his old enemy Yandroth, the techno-mage. Strange, Namor, Hulk, the Surfer united to oppose Yandroth's attacks on the Earth, but the four began to quarrel amongst themselves. Yandroth seemed to perish in the final conflict, and as final curse used Earth's magical energy to bind the Defenders together, forced to reunited against all future threats to Earth, regardless of their other concerns. Other former Defenders came to their aid at times, and though irked by the cause, was nonetheless touched to see the team reunited. The curse magnified the egos of the cursed quartet, however, until they became mentally unstable. They then became Order, seeking to end all threats to the Earth by taking control of it. Other heroes, including Clea, fought them, and the energies unleashed by the battle were harnessed to resurrect and further empower Yandroth. Coming to their senses, the Defenders stopped fighting, and Yandroth was reduced back to his human form, defeated, and imprisoned.
Shaken by the ordeal, Strange cut himself off from the superhero community. Strange made the idealistic mystic Topaz his fifth known disciple, but kept her at an emotional distance. When the power of the Kale family Book of Shadows unleashed the Hellphyr, a monster that attacked mystics, Topaz joined Jennifer Kale and Satana in meeting the threat. She ultimately decided to leave Strange's side to join the other two in guarding the tome.
Afterwards, Strange recruited the mutant Dead Girl to help him investigate the Pitiful One's attempt to resurrect a number of hell-bound villains. During this time he came into conflict with the spirit of his old master, the Ancient One, who had apparently been relegated to a level of Hell for petty misuses of his power. Strange was able to neutralize the threat, and was merciful to his old master. While Strange enjoyed a brief flirtation with Dead Girl, Wong grew concerned over the Doctor's health, particularly his failing memory.
House of M
When the Scarlet Witch suffered a catastrophic mental break-down Doctor Strange used the Eye of Agamotto to stop her with a memory so terrible she collapsed from it, and ended the chaos she was inadvertently causing. The frail Wanda was taken to Genosha by her grieving father,Magneto. Desperate, Magneto enlisted the aid of his old friend and enemy, Professor Charles Xavier, to help his mentally unstable daughter. Xavier in turn summoned Doctor Strange. Even their combined efforts were not enough to help her. They attempted to mend her shattered psyche and minimize the damage done by her reality-altering powers, but were largely unsuccessful in their endeavor. Strange, having done all he could for Wanda, told the assembled Avengers and X-Men that together, he, Xavier and Emma Frost could shield the heroes from Wanda’s power and went with the Avengers and X-Men to find Wanda. Due to the interference of her brother, Quicksilver, they failed, resulting in the warping of reality known as "the House of M."
After Emma Frost and Layla Miller joined forces to unlock his memories, Strange went with the heroes to Genosha to force Wanda to put the world back. Wanda changed the world back to its original form but in the process depowered of 90% of the entire mutant population. Surviving mutants and ex-mutants referred to this as "M-Day: The worst day in mutant history." Strange was unable to break the successfully wrought spell or even find Wanda with his powers afterward. Later, a troubled Strange claimed that, as his job was to prevent something exactly like the House of M and its aftermath, he had "failed completely".
In a meeting of the Illuminati, Strange vehemently opposed the proposed Superhuman Registration Act, calling the actions it entailed "disgusting", simply a means to give into people's fear and ignorance. Their fellow heroes would fight to the death for their rights to oppose registration. He informed Iron Man and Mister Fantastic that they were never to call on him again before magically departing.
Some time later, while Strange had friends on both sides of the war, Strange went into seclusion in the Arctic, fasting and meditating nonstop for forty days. As Sorcerer Supreme he could not take sides in the matter, for his given duties did not include influencing the evolution of the superhuman role in society, especially since there was no clear right or wrong. He prayed for an outcome that would benefit mankind and spill the least amount of blood. He later regretted his lack of involvement in the Civil War. After the conclusion of the War Strange was granted immunity to registration, yet the immunity did not extend to him openly breaking the Act with others.
Following the Civil War, Doctor Strange housed the renegade Avengers in his Sanctum Sanctorum under the guise of a Starbucks under construction. He aided the team on their missions such as disabling the Mighty Avengers with mental illusions, teleporting them away from Elektra to the Silver Samurai while in Japan, freeing Maya Lopez from the Hand's magic and defeating the ninjas, saving their Ultron-virus infected plane, and casting a series of spells helping to calm the panicking symbiote-infected people to return to their homes.
When Spider-Man came to seek his magical expertise in healing Aunt May, Strange tried to help Peter Parker by using the Hands of Death to send him around the entire world to consult others, but told Peter that even his magic couldn't help May now, or at least he was unable to use it to help her. He also continued to fulfill his duties as Sorcerer Supreme, such as aiding the new roster of the Fantastic Four from preventing Eternity's death.
World War Hulk
Dr. Strange was among the members of the Illuminati who, alarmed at the continuing destruction caused by the Hulk, agreed to exile the Hulk into space. When the Hulk returned to Earth seeking vengeance, mistakenly believing them responsible for the an explosion that killed millions on the planet Sakaar. Strange declined Iron Man's request to use magic to again banish the Hulk, arguing the Hulk would simply return again. He instead offered Iron Man the aid of the New Avengers to evacuate and help defend New York, which Stark gladly accepted.
Strange entered the Hulk’s mind, reminding them of their history and friendship, as well as insisting the bomb was not planted by the Illuminati. Just as the Hulk reverted to his Bruce Banner form, and a sympathetic Strange presented himself in a physical form, Banner turned back into the Hulk and crushed Strange’s hands. Strange's crushed hands limited his magic abilities.
Strange invoked the power of Zom to battle the Hulk, drinking Zom's soul to become a semi-demonic version of himself with spiked maces for hands. However, the unfamiliar use of such vast dark magic weakened his control over his new powers, which caused Strange to almost kill civilians. The shaken Strange was overpowered by the Hulk, implanted with an Obedience Disk, and forced to first fight a giant, tentacled monster in an Madison Square Garden with the rest of the fallen heroes.. He was then forced to battle the other Illuminati members, facing off against Black Bolt (actually a Skrull impostor) and attempted but failed to use what remained of his magic to stop him. The Sentry arrived in time to save the Illuminati, and Strange was freed, though his mind, body and soul were all evidently scarred by this incident.
The disturbed Iron Man, having received the Skrull Elektra's corpse, summoned the other five Illuminati members to discuss the Skrull threat. The Illuminati were caught by surprise when the Black Bolt attending the meeting revealed himself to be a Skrull an attacked. Strange teleported the four of them out of there. The five Illuminati members then each went his own separate way, realizing that they had lost far more than just a world: they had lost their ability to trust. The Illuminati was essentially no more.
Before the Skrull invasion was fully underway, Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum had been invaded by the crime syndicate of the super-villain the Hood, prompting Strange to use of darker magic than normal. This lapse prompted him to temporarily depart this plane to heal himself and to reflect on his worthiness to be Earth's Sorcerer Supreme. Strange had lost both his mastery of the Mystic Arts and the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Doctor Strange returned to Greenwich Village once more to combat a stampede from the Dream Realm, though he himself admitted he was in no shape to do battle with the beasts unleashed, his hands still broken and his mystical energies at an all-time low. Daimon Hellstrom used hellfire to destroy Nightmare’s beasts.
A Doctor Strange from an earlier time period appeared (wearing the dark masked costume he had worn long ago to conceal his identity) with the other three original Defenders to engage his longtime rival Mordo, allied with Terrax, Tiger Shark and Red Hulk. Two of the Elders of the Universe, the Grandmaster and the Collector had made a bet involving the teams of the original Defenders, for the Grandmaster, clashing with the newly formed team of Offenders, for the Collector. Strange had to work with his allies to fend off the sinister foursome if he was to the save the life of Clea. Though Strange was eventually slain by the Red Hulk, Galactus defeated the Red Hulk and the Collector decided to undo the deaths brought about.
Doctor Strange was met by Thor, who told him of his need to heal Mjolnir. Strange summoned magics to pass through Thor, carrying away the Odinpower from him, and deposited it in Mjolnir. When it was done, the hammer was whole once more.
Strange contacted Wiccan to find out if he was the one destined to be the next Sorcerer Supreme. He offered to make Wiccan his apprentice. After the Hood's demonic form approached them, Strange confronted Parker. The Hood was acting on the orders of the Dread Dormammu to slay Strange, and thus claim Strange's former role of Sorcerer Supreme. Dormammu had bestowed upon him the ability to locate Strange if Strange utilized magic. Strange teleported himself and Wiccan away reaching the New Avengers and pleading for their aid.
Strange and the New Avengers joined forces to combat the Hood and Dormammu. They follow the Eye of Agamotto to New Orleans to contact Daimon Hellstrom before the Hood could destroy him to prevent him from possibly rising to Strange's lost role. They struggled against the might of Dormammu, until Brother Voodoo, having been granted the power and gifts of the office of Sorcerer Supreme by the Eye of Agamotto and the Ancient One's spirit, intervened and confronted Dormammu himself, passing the initiation and dispelling him. Though Strange did not escape the battle entirely unscathed, he retained the power to manipulate magic (though to a far lesser extent) while he was apparently redeemed in his own eyes somewhat to observe the new Doctor Voodoo battle supernatural menaces.
When Agamotto was cast out of the Vishanti and had most of his powers stripped from him, he attacked the New Avengers in order to reclaim the Eye of Agamotto from Doctor Voodoo as it was the only artifact that could defeat him. Jericho used the Eye to defeat Agamotto, but the Eye was destroyed and his life was lost in the process. Then Doctor Strange rejoined the New Avengers.