A brilliant but arrogant New York surgeon, Dr. Stephen Strange's life was turned upside down when a car crash caused irreparable nerve damage to his hands, preventing him from ever holding a scalpel again. Driven by arrogance and desperation, he traveled the world in search of a cure, finally arriving in Tibet to seek the help of the Ancient One, a powerful wizard and (unbeknownst to him) the Sorcerer Supreme, the mage charged with protecting the Earth from the otherdimensional Cosmic menacies who would threaten it.The Ancient One, finding him too proud, turned Strange down but allowed him to stay the night, letting Strange discover and foil the plot of his Deceptive Disciple Baron Mordo, so that he would learn humility and see the existence of true evil — and the need to combat it. Sensing his great magical potential, the Ancient One asked Strange to become his new apprentice, and the now humbled Strange accepted.After years of study he moved back to New York and engaged in many mystical adventures and fought many wicked foes, including the vengeful Mordo, the Dread Dormammu and the abominable Shuma-Gorath, who caused the death of the Ancient One, leading to Strange inheriting his title and responsibilities. As the new Sorcerer Supreme, Strange became the best and last line of defence between Earth and total destruction at the hands of its most powerful enemies.
The Ageless: Like any Sorcerer Supreme, he has a pact with Death itself that means he will not die of natural causes, though he has a higher-than-normal chance of dying in combat with some otherworldly Eldritch Abomination.
The Alcoholic: In some depictions he was prone to alcohol abuse as a surgeon, either during or just after the car accident that ruined his hands.
Amplifier Artifact: The Cloak Of Levitation which lets him... levitate, and fly. Also the Wand of Watoomb, the Book of the Vishanti, the Darkhold, the Purple Gem, and anything with "-of Agamotto" at the end of it, as well as many other mystical objects.
Badass Bookworm: Not only is he a former world-class surgeon turned master of the mystic arts, he's a highly skilled martial artist to boot and is fully capable of laying the smackdown without relying on his magical powers.
Creepy Good: He stands out as eccentric and decidedly 'other' in the superhero community, from his wardrobe to his house and all its artifacts. People even get nervous when he decides to show up via Astral Projection. In some depictions he seems to enjoy this and find it amusing; in others, it cuts him off from his fellow humans and makes him feel lonely and isolated.
Deus ex Machina: Was once a meme for him, which was acknowledged in a comic where he was given the ability to intentionally invoke it. Mostly though he serves in the traditional sense such as when the Fantastic Four had a surprise encounter with Shuma Gorath and Dr. Strange conveniently showed up to save them.
Fingore: Strange's hands were badly injured in the car crash, and though they outwardly appeared to heal, nerve damage meant he could never safely operate again.
Progressively Prettier: He started as a somewhat gaunt older man with slanted eyes, progressed into a conventionally-handsome Western man, transformed into something that was almost Bishounen, and eventually settled as an ordinary-looking (but still more attractive than average) man in his mid-forties.
Secret Identity: In the past he had a 'civilian' identity as "Stephen Sanders," but he eventually let it lapse. The Weirdness Censor seems to keep most persons from realizing he's more than a harmless New Age kook.
Story Breaker Power: Toned down recently. Besides beating cosmic entities and eldritch horrors left and right, he has sealed black holes, stopped time, merged with universal concepts, channeled the mass of or restored universes, etcetera. And he's on humanity's side.
The daughter of the demonic entity Umar, though unaware of that fact for some time, Clea spent most of her life as one of countless denizens enslaved to her uncle, the god-tyrant of the Dark Dimension Dormammu, whose servant Orini was her own father. Impressed by the courage of Stephen Strange in his battles to defeat The Dread One, she chose to help him as his only ally in the Dark Dimension but quickly became a prisoner for her trouble. Both Dormammu and even Umar sought to hurt Strange through her, until the Ancient One sent her to another dimension for her safety, and eventually she went to Earth to live and train with Strange.After years of training Clea returned to the Dark Dimension and learned that Umar was her mother, after she had taken over the Dark Dimension. Now much more powerful, Clea led a rebellion against her mother and defeated her in magical combat, and was named the new ruler of the Dark Dimension before being overthrown by Dormammu again, though not before marrying Stephen within it. Some time later Umar and Mordo regained control of the Dark Dimension and she was tricked by Dormammu into helping him overthrow them. To atone she chose to stay behind and lead the fight against him. She has not been seen since, but Strange has never forgotten her.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Both her mother and uncle are malevolent demonic entities seeking to dominate all of Creation, and her father was Dormammu's closest disciple. The Hell Lord Satannish is supposedly a creation of Dormammu too, which would make Clea his cousin. And at one point, Baron Mordo was Umar's consort. This is not a healthy family background.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Depending on the Writer, she has a rather whimsical sense of humor and will distract Strange with lighthearted pranks (or physical intimacy) if she thinks he is getting too serious and needs to loosen up.
Mentor Ship: She is Strange's greatest apprentice, and the love of his life.
Mysterious Waif: When first introduced, all she could do was watch Strange from afar and look concerned.
Mystical White Hair: Its color is probably because she comes from another world, but it is never really explained — or questioned, for that matter.
Wong is the latest in a long-line of men who devoted themselves to the service of the Sorcerer Supreme beginning with his ancestor Kan ten generations before. He is more than just Strange's manservant; he is the sorcerer's confidant and most trusted friend, as well as his tutor and sparring partner in the martial arts - in turn, he is versed in magic enough to assist in complex spells and hold his own against his master's less impressive, but still dangerous, threats. He still calls Strange "master" on occasion, but he claims it's mostly a matter of habit.
Dr. Strange's secretary and business manager as well as the Executive Director of the Memorial Metaphysical Institute. Occasional love interest for Wong though his duty and his Arranged Marriage get in the way.
Unfazed Everyman: Probably the most normal person in Strange's social circle. The "unfazed" bit might have something to do with her family history.
The Ancient One
Strange's centuries-old mentor and his predecessor as Sorcerer Supreme, the Ancient One has been protecting the Earth and wider Marvel Universe for generations from the forces of evil. He brought out not just Strange's inner magical potential but also his inner hero, and entrusted him with the responsibility to battle his most powerful foes. Strange was eventually forced to kill him to prevent the demon Shuma-Gorath using him as a conduit to Earth, but rather than die he merged with Eternity and became one with the universe, leaving his student the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.
Oshtur began life as one of the Elder Gods, powerful magical entities that were the first sentient life on Earth. She fled to another dimension as her siblings began consuming each other for power, and there she met with another cosmic entity named Hoggoth and later, inspired by the children of mortal creatures, gave birth to the entity Agamotto. Agamotto became the Earth's first Sorcerer Supreme and left several magical artifacts to in their trust, and the trio became known as the Eternal Vishanti, and now serve as magical patrons of those who defend the Earth against the dark and demonic enemies that threaten it.
Of a sort. Agamotto, at least, has attempted some pretty terrible atrocities out of greater necessity, while merely observed others he could have prevented out of boredom and loneliness. Unlike some of the other entities he butts heads with, though, he's not the vengeful sort and is graceful in defeat.
A Form You Are Comfortable With: Their typical appearance, albeit still weird. When Strange entered Agamotto's realm, he saw imagery drawn from Alice in Wonderland (Agamotto as an enormous caterpillar, hookah and all).
Whilst her sister Oshtur fled the Elder Gods to another dimension, Gaea dealt with them by giving birth to the entity Atum, who consumed the ones who did not escape and then dispelled their evil energies, which eventually became The Legions of Hell. Gaea then established countless magical barriers to prevent her demonic brethren from returning to Earth again, which were later reinforced by successive sorcerers. When Strange fell out of favour with the Vishanti, Gaea was there to serve as his new patron.
Big Screwed-Up Family: Her sister is Oshtur of the Vishanti, which is fine, but the rest of their siblings are cannibalistic demonic entities who are bent on her death for siring another entity born to eat them before they could wreck more damage across the cosmos.
Hot God: Specifically, to Storm, who worships her as the Bright Lady she once met in her youth.
The Anthropomorphic Personification of Eternity has existed since the dawn of time and represents one of the fundamental aspects of the universe. It is enemies with some of the most powerful and dangerous evils in the cosmos which seek either to kill it or take its power for themselves, which in either case will result in The End Of Reality As We Know It. He has assisted Doctor Strange when he comes into battle with these enemies.
The Worf Effect: It seems to be traditional that whenever a writer wants to introduce a new villain at the universal threat level, one of the first things they'll have him do is defeat/imprison/displace/frighten/infect Eternity.
The Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, which grants Immortality to the Sorcerer Supreme if s/he is deemed worthy. It often takes the form of a young woman, as which it earned the affections of the mad Titan Thanos. It grants authority to various Death Gods, Skyfathers and Hell Lords to take charge of souls after death or under certain arrangements. Though a largely amoral entity that ultimately desires the end of life itself, it is not actively malevolent and sees its duty as bringing an end to pain. It is thus opposed to those that are out to do far, far worse.
Fate Worse than Death: While she is far from nice, when you compare her to the likes of Dormammu — who turns life and death into a neverending torture camp, or Shuma-Gorath — who turns life itself into a cancer and enslaves you mind, body and soul, Death is practically a saint and is rarely directly opposed to Earth's heroes.
Good Is Not Nice: Perfectly willing to snuff out sentient lifeforms in the trillions if it would prevent the entire Multiverse from imploding.
Godzilla Threshold: If he shows up, you know this has officially been crossed at the Multiversal level
He has very particular rules on when he will cross said threshold, however. For instance, during the Infinity Gauntlet , the greater cosmic forces of the universe, such as Infinity, were refused help from the Tribunal. According to the Tribunal, as powerful as Thanos was, it was of no concern to him, as a) even with all that power, Thanos' influence would not extend to rest of the Multiverse, and b) Thanos gained the power of the Gems through his own strength, so, by the Tribunal's standards, no real crime was committed. This is after Thanos killed half the universe, too.
Weaksauce Weakness: Compared to everything else he may as well be omnipotent but if his three heads can't agree on something he won't act. This can be used to keep him out of a lot of plots he'd solve before they began.
The Worf Effect: Despite his phenomenal power, he actually has three losses under his belt: one was due to his own power being used against him and it was revealed later that he threw the second, but the third, in Marvel Universe: The End, was definitely an example of this, as well as Jim Starlin's neverending quest to prove that Thanos is the greatest thing ever, for reals.
The treacherous apprentice of the Ancient One before Strange took his place, Baron Karl Amadeus Mordo has plagued the Sorcerer Supreme several times in his quest for revenge and power. He often allies himself with more powerful demonic entities, frequently Umar or Dormammu, and tends to rely on Mind Control and illusions to further his evil schemes.
Villain's Dying Grace: Twice — once to save Strange's friend Sara Wolfe and a second time to save Strange himself. He didn't survive the second one.
The demon Chthon is perhaps the most powerful of the Elder Gods and the first Evil Sorceror in the history of Earth. The office of Sorcerer Supreme was created specifically to defend against this demon in particular, and it has successfully exercised a nebulous influence throughout the planet's history. Chthon is the creator of a demonic race called the N'Garai and is the author of the Darkhold, the first book of Black Magic from which vampires, werewolves and witches were unleashed on the world. It is trapped in a pocket universe both by innumerable mystical barriers erected by Gaea and Earth's magical defenders and by its own sheer power, as it is so strong and huge it cannot leave by normal means, though has imparted a fraction of its power into potential human hosts for later possession, most notably and successfully the Scarlet Witch.
Arch-Enemy: To Oshtur and the Vishanti, who made it their mission to never let him win.
Bigger Bad: It cannot act directly in the regular Marvel universe and thus is rarely if ever seen, the exceptions being when it utilises Demonic Possession, and in such cases it is a shadow of its true power (though still a major threat to all life everywhere).
Dangerously Genre Savvy: It was wise enough to escape Atum while it was eating its brethren, but savvy enough to leave behind the Darkhold as an anchor from which to wield its influence; Chthon also wrote the name of the Demogorge in his book so if Atum ever becomes it again against him, he will fall under his control. Quite often even when its beaten, Chthon manages to leave something behind that it can use to cause more damage.
Demonic Possession: Several times, though it seems to have reserved the Scarlet Witch as its host of choice. It once ended up possessing her brother Quicksilver and even though this was just a tiny portion of its power, it very nearly destroyed the planet causing calamities as it rewrote reality.
Dimension Lord: Of a pocket dimension adjacent to Earth. As the Scarlet Witch demonstrated though, his power can affect the multiverse.
Evil Counterpart: It is the antithesis of the Sorcerer Supreme and the job exists primarily to fight it, and not demons, evil sorcerers and cosmic beings in general. Also, its presence is enough to slowly kill Strange, who has to either use magical shields by default or fight Chthon by proxy in order to engage him.
Father Of A Thousand Young: Vampires, werewolves, witches and all manner of demons and other horrors owe their existence to him, though sometimes indirectly.
Fighting a Shadow: It has never shown up in its true form and usually relies on hosts or squeezing through portions of its power. If it did somehow manage to return, it would probably destroy the world just with its presence.
God of Evil: God of Chaos and the source of Chaos magic, both of which are evil in the context of the story.
I'm a Humanitarian: Devoured its own siblings for power, degenerating into a demon in the process.
I Have Many Names: The Other, The Great Shadow, He Who Holds The Darkness, Demon Of The Darkhold.
Man of Kryptonite: The very essence and presence of Chthon is poisonous to the Sorcerer Supreme, whoever that may be. Strange can usually get by this with magic shields, though.
Satan: Somewhat closer to this than even the Hell Lords- whose existence it is partly responsible for- as a source of Ultimate Evil in Marvel Earth. It is far more powerful than any of them too. The archangel Lucifer fought against his forces in the distant past before he fall even, so perhaps it is more correct to say he is worse than the Devil.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The demon itself is trapped in another dimension and countless magical barriers are erected to keep it there; on one occasion a portion of it escaped and wound up imprisoned in Mount Wundagore. The Fantastic Four villain the Puppet Master gets his magical clay from there and it was there that it implanted a fraction of its power into Wanda Maximoff and marked her as its host.
Swiss Messenger: Chthon is usually out to cause the biggest mess it can most of time but even if it had just stuck to experimentation and study without becoming more proactive the damages it is ultimately responsible for would still be incalculable. Shuma Gorath is a liberal user of chaos magic, for example.
Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Darkhold, responsible for the creation of vampires and the fall of Atlantis amongst many other things. The Book of the Vishanti was written specifically as a counterweight to it.
Dormammu is a member of the extradimensional race known as the Faltine, and with his sister Umar was exiled for craving matter and killing their "father" Sinifer, who spawned them. Through treachery and guile Dormammu took control of the Dark Dimension and began to cultivate worship of himself across several universes and conquering several others, which he merged with the Dark Dimension to increase his power as he is strongest there. He is responsible for the creation of Sataanish and other Hell Lords and is the power behind several demons, sorcerers and other magical villains.The classic Marvel Dimension Lord, Dormammu is a powerful Evil Sorceror and one of the most feared and terrible entities in the universe. Wielder of truly godlike power, either a demon or something even worse, The Dread One has worked for unknown ages towards making our reality his own. He has fought Earth's Sorcerer Supreme since the days of Agamotto but holds a particular enmity for Strange, who considers him his Arch-Enemy and will do anything to defeat him.
A God Am I: Worshipped as God within the Dark Dimension and as a deity in thousands of others. Within the Dark Dimension he is virtually unstoppable.
Arch-Enemy: While Mordo was probably this originally, Strange eclipsed him a long time ago and Dormammu was in most senses his master anyway. The war between Strange and the Dread One is much more personal, and Dormammu is a much more formidable foe.
Black Magic: His name can be invoked by sorcerers wishing to utilise his power. In the early days Strange himself use to do this, until he found out exactly who and what he was calling upon.
Evil Counterpart: Like Strange, Dormammu is a sorcerer first and foremost, though a much more powerful one who can rely on his natural magical energy. More importantly, Dormammu's greatest flaw is his Pride, which is what Strange had to overcome to get the help and tutorship of the Ancient One. Though Strange was never as psychopathic as the Lord of Darkness, he was every bit as arrogant.
He is also often compared to Odin, the All-Father of Asgard, and is usually portrayed as at least as powerful as he is. Whether he is less or much more is Depending on the Writer, but if Strange is not opposing Dormammu Odin probably is.
I Have Many Names: The Dread One, The Black One, The Great Enigma, Eater of Souls, Lord of Darkness, Lord of the Dark Dimension
Knight of Cerebus: The Ur Example for Doctor Strange's stories. Before him, the villains could be beaten in a single issue. Then he showed up, and provided the first threat that required a multiple issue storyline to defeat.
Kung-Fu Wizard: Like Strange, he is a highly-trained fighter and is willing to engage in hand-to-hand combat. Strange has often managed to defeat him by playing on his ego and goading him into trying to win by killing Strange with his own hands rather than annihilating him with overwhelming power.
The Man Behind the Man: He is the power behind Sataanish and many other Hell Lords, and is frequently the patron of Baron Mordo and several other troublemakers.
Order Versus Chaos: Was once chosen to represent Chaos in a game of cosmic chess against Odin, who represented Order. Though, in every other sense that was more of a straight-up battle between Good and Evil.
Out-of-Character Alert: Some of Strange's opponents tried to distract him with illusions of Dormammu, which Stephen could recognize for saying things out of character for the Dread One, like calling Umar his brother. Shuma-Gorath had commited especially spectacular blunder at it - his illusion said Dormammu is here to reclaim title of Strange's greatest enemy, that Shuma-Gorath took from him. Strange knew real Dormammu would never admit being second to anyone at anything.
Smug Snake: He is an extremely intelligent demonic entity and has diabolical plans that stretch across multiple dimensions and countless millennia...and they all tend to be beaten, because he is just that arrogant and can't deal with things not working out exactly like he wanted them to.
An embodiment of ultimate evil, powerful Hell Lord and Marvel's most common stand in for Satan. He has antagonized just about every hero, but tends to single out those who are especially noble like the Silver Surfer and Thor. As can be expected, many of the traditional tropes associated with Satan are part of him. His origins are unclear, but it seems that he was not one of the Hell Lords created by Dormammu, and has no ties to him, and though he is not as powerful as the latter he is stronger than perhaps all other Hell Lords under his control. Strange often battles him when other heroes fall foul of his schemes, though memorably he once allied with Doctor Doom to save the villain's mother from the demon's clutches.
Dimension Lord: He rules one of the Splinter Realms, which were originally Hell itself before being divided between the various demons and gods that now rule it. He owns one of the larger portions and within is nigh-unstoppable, but is much weaker outside of it.
Fire and Brimstone Hell: He actually even modeled it on Dante's Inferno, just to mess with those that end up in it.
Smug Snake: Kind of. He's certainly quite powerful and competent, but he also likes to act like a far bigger deal than he actually is, frequently posing as an unstoppable demon god when he's actually just a dimension lord who is outmatched by beings like Chthon, Shuma-Gorath, and Dormammu outside of his realm.
One of Strange's oldest demonic foes, Nightmare is an evil entity that preys on human beings in their sleep and seeks to trap them in the Dream Dimension where he can plague them with nightmares for all eternity, feasting on their psychic energy by causing his victims fear. Though he is unable to affect the waking world, the terrors and illusions he utilises can traumatise and haunt a person long after sleep.
As Long as There Is Evil: As long as people can dream, Nightmare will live. It is possible to kill him by stopping people dreaming, but humanity would quickly go mad as a result. Causing him mortal injury has had devastating effects, such as causing psychics worldwide to go berserk. This is implied to be the reasons why more benign entities of the mental plane, such as the Sleepwalkers, tolerate his rule over the Dream Dimension.
Dimension Lord: The Dream Dimension, though despite its name there are actually several of them and in fact several other dream demons, though he is possibly the most powerful. The other dream dimensions are not always bad places.
Non-Action Guy: He doesn't seem to have the raw power demonstrated by some of Strange's other enemies, which is why he resorts to trickery and manipulation instead.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He has a daughter called the Dreamqueen; he got her by raping a succubus. Which is messed up in all sorts of ways. Worse, he once told the Incredible Hulk that he spawned his other daughter Daydream by raping Banner's wife; this earned him a mild case of death, though of course he got better. He also spawned his son, Trauma by raping the mother.
Sealed Evil in a Can: The usual solution to defeating him, though it is always just a matter of time till he gets out.
Super Weight: Level 6 inside his own realm. Level 5 outside of it.
World Domination: He is psychically linked to humanity, so his ambitions are often limited to just this unlike other demons on this page. Of course, this would mean that humans would be suffering horrible nightmares for all eternity, so it's still far from a pleasant goal.
A Hell Lord who is said to be the creation of Dormammu and thus ultimately acts to further his goals. He is a rival of Mephisto and one of the few who can come close to matching him in power.
Deal with the Devil: Compared to Mephisto, he is somewhat more honourable in these matters, though its still a bad idea to barter with him.
Satan: Likes to pretend he's this, though he's little more than middle management for Dormammu at the end of the day.
Super Weight: Level 6 in his own realm. Level 5 outside of it.
Set is the Elder God who first devoured its brethren for power and degenerated into a demon, and is thus the first murderer in the history of Earth. It is an enormously powerful ancient evil that seeks to kill humanity and mammals and make reptilian life the dominant on Earth again, as it gains power from their violent death. The multi-headed snake god is the power behind many ancient sorcerers since mankind's early days and holds a special enmity for its sister Gaea, who is responsible for many of its greatest defeats.
Arch-Enemy: Gaea, who sired Atum to kill Set and the other Elder Gods, and unleashed it against Set again when he returned, and sent the dinosaurs to wipe out all mammalian life as she had decided dinosaurs were an evolutionary dead end. Their battle accidentally caused the dinosaurs to go extinct (the meteor that killed them was probably summoned by one or the other) and is the reason it has so many heads.
Artifact of Doom: The Serpent Crown, which grants magical powers to whoever wears it and of which there are several throughout the multiverse, each mystically connected to the same Set who is a unique entity (Depending on the Writer). The Crowns enable him to influence events on a multiversal scale.
Body Horror: Its true form in its own dimension is identical to its normal one...except that it has been turned inside out for some horrible reason.
Dimension Lord: He is stuck in a pocket dimension adjacent to Earth thanks to magical barriers set up to keep him there. He has slightly more freedom than his brother Chthon however as he has managed to escape before and is still capable of influencing not just Earth, but alternate versions of Earth throughout the multiverse (though only Earth, due to the limitations of his prison.)
Horror Hunger: More than any other Elder God, Set is characterized by his insatiable appetite and is possibly unable to stop, not that it particularly wants to mind. It is said that while Gaea nourishes, Set consumes.
In one continuity, he actually ate the Phoenix Force.
Human Sacrifice: Demands it, partly because it grants him power, partly just to be a dick.
Hydra Problem: Atum cut off its original head, but two more took its place. So Atum kept cutting until he has seven.
I Have Many Names: Father Set, the Great Serpent, the Great Devourer Set the Great Destroyer.
Each of its heads have their own name too and are the basis of various mythological and religious serpents-Set, Apep, Ophion, Tiamat, Lotan, Leviathan and Apocalypse, respectively, are their names.
Legacy Character: There is another Set in the Marvel cosmology, the God of Evil of the Egyptian pantheon who often clashes with Odin and The Mighty Thor- apparently he took Set's name just because he thought Set the Elder God was just that Bad Ass. Apocalypse of the X-Men was also once mistaken for Set, and milked it for all it was worth.
One of the most dangerous demons Stephen Strange has ever faced, Shuma-Gorath is one the most ancient and terrible entities to ever exist. Apparently unkillable, borderline omniscient, and the ruler of nearly a hundred alternate realms, it is responsible for the death of the Ancient One and has attempted to invade the Earth several times, and in the distant past even ruled it on two separate occasions. It has only grown stronger since then and its return could bring about the end of the universe.It has recently been established that it is one of the Many-Angled Ones, immortal Lovecraftian entities that alter reality to bring about an end to death and allowing life to grow out of control and ferment as a cancer, and turning all living beings into creatures as alien and abominable as they are. It also established Shuma-Gorath and his brethern as one of the oldest sentient life forms in the multiverse, and is thus a truly ancient and terrifying evil.
A God Am I: Worshipped as such in all of its hundreds of realms and across thousands more. Within its own realms it is all powerful in every sense of the word, save for its lesser realms, though even in them its power is said to be so huge it makes Mephisto and Satanish look like "mice in a great temple".
Canon Immigrant: Same as Set, he comes from Robert E. Howard's pulp novels, though Shuma is much less of a character; he was mentioned all of once and there was no indication he was even a real being until Marvel got ahold of him.
Shuma-Gorath: So thou knowest the essence of Shuma-Gorath, eh, Doctor Strange? Aye — evil! Ancient, timeless... patient... evil! And Shuma-Gorath doth know thee.
Characterization Marches On: The elder god Cthun used to be considered the worst of Strange's enemies and the addition of this Shuma Gorath to the marvel universe proper did not change that. It did not take many appearances though for Shuma Gorath to rapidly increase in threat level, despite how rarely the octopus ever appears. This can be attributed to Robert E. Howard treating such creatures as a different kind of challenge for Conan and Kull to overcome but since Shuma looks like something from a HP Lovecraft horror story it was increasing portrayed that way as time went on.
Charm Person: All living beings within its realms are fanatically devoted to worshipping it, though this doesn't seem to apply to artificial beings like robots and the like. In ancient Earth "its name was whispered in reverence by every living thing". Even in the present, many powerful and often evil entities are prepared to serve it.
Demonic Possession: Of a sort. If you have enough power, you can kill it in its own realm, but the amount of power you'll need to absorb (and, implied, the sheer atmosphere of its home dimension) will slowly corrupt you until you become Shuma-Gorath yourself.
Shuma-Gorath: Once you have smashed this shell, you will stand in the midst of the cosmos and exult — and you will reach out with your new-found power and do your will — for good, you think — But after an age your will becomes the only good — and one day when the magic invokes the name of Shuma-Gorath — you will answer!
Depending on the Writer: On his good days it is capable of destroying Death itself, outmatching Galactus and the Celestials combined, and automatically destroy galaxies through aura-pressure alone,. On an off day, it can be beaten by....the Mighty Avengers....yeah. Justified since it is established that Shuma frequently utilises Fighting a Shadow so the Avengers probably didn't beat the real deal.
Eldritch Abomination: More so than any other on this page. Its normal form is a multi-armed tentacled monster with one giant eye, but it can take any shape and its other forms, and possibly its true form, are even more alien than that. It has been said that Shuma takes the form which most terrifies the dimension he is trying to conquer. One panel even has "Shuma Gorath Fhtagn" written in jagged red letters.
God of Evil: To the point it does not even want worship, just misery, going by all three times it has been on Earth. During Conan's time Shuma Gorath even obliterated worshipers trying to gain its favor, only wanting to see some kind of bloodshed. Shuma Gorath did offer Conan gifts though in an attempt to stop him from summoning Crom against it-too little too late.
God of Gods: More like God of gods of gods. Shuma-Gorath claims that even Dormammu pales in comparison to his power and there is very little to contradict that; next to Zom and the Living Tribunal it is probably the most powerful being on this page, and Zom has a bad habit of dying or being a Sealed Evil in a Can. As ruler of a hundred alternate timelines, it has implicitly killed the likes of Eternity, Death and the other cosmic abstracts many times overnote In The Thanos Imperative, Death is able to kill him and the Many-Angled Ones (though only temporarily, as they would inevitably reform, and it is later shown that he survived or even simply escaped), but that is due to the rules of the Cancerverse and the magical-mechanics of how they ruled it; the Cancerverse only existed because the Death of that universe had already been killed, and halfway through the story the Many-Angled Ones start pushing through the weaponised corpse of Galactus- The Galactus Engine-, showing that they or their minions had killed him too, and used it to destroy another abstract cosmic entity and fight several others simultaneously (a fight the Engine was winning- the abstract entities had even started to retreat). It is all but stated that they are even stronger and that they were the creatures pushing the Galactus Engine through that were said to be yet more powerful still., and it might very well be one the top ten most powerful beings in the entire Marvel cosmology.
Hero Killer: Strange was forced to kill the Ancient One to stop it, then later forced to kill himself to prevent it from consuming him and get rid of its power. It returned far quicker than he imagined.
Immortality: Shuma-Gorath cannot truly die and any creature that somehow manages to kill it will end up becoming it, unless they have a similar level of immortality. If you kill yourself, its energies will just reform and it will return again. And don't put it off too long; those energies are so powerful than with them inside you can destroy galaxies just by being in them!
The Man Behind the Man: It has been served by Nightmare and various human sorcerers, one of whom sold out the world in exchange for "my life and Barbados. All manner of otherwise egomaniacal gods and demons are more than willing to do its bidding if it calls on them.
Nigh Invulnerable: Oh, sure, you can hurt him, potentially even injure him severely, but you cannot ever hope to keep him down for long. No matter what you hit him with, he WILL get back up as if nothing happened.
Sympathetic Magic: He once made a voodoo doll of Earth. Disaster ensued. What's worse is that it didn't even require any effort; it conjured it out of nowhere purely to mess with Strange. (This backfired when Strange used it to kill him).
Time Abyss: Shuma-Gorath is not only one of the oldest creatures in the multiverse; it is one of the first. It probably started out as some kind of magical, invincible bacteria from a completely alien reality, and slowly grew in size and power over the course of trillions of years at least, until the present where it is currently one of the most powerful forces of evil in all of existence. The other Multi-Angled ones are the same.
Vampiric Draining: The time traveler Sise-neg found Shuma Gorath feeding on the fear of early primates and noted it was passively draining energy from him even as he subdued it. So he banished it before it could possibly do something unexpected. Shuma was also able to drain the Human Torch and Invisible Woman somehow, suggesting it can derive energy from multiple sources.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Many-Angled ones eliminate death as part of their standard stratagem when they take over a universe; the end result is a universe of nightmarish horrors as life grows out of control.
Mother of Clea and twin sister of Dormammu, Umar is a Faltine trapped in humanoid form after giving birth to her daughter, a fact that left her enraged because it meant she would always be weaker than her brother. She varies between allying with the Dread One and scheming to take over his realm, and has occassionally succeeded though he usually ends up taking it back. Though not quite as evil or strong, Umar has displayed greater patience and guile and thus has proven to be just as big a threat to Strange and the universe as her dreaded sibling.
Big Damn Villains: In one "Incredible Hulks" arc she abducted the Hulk to the Dark Dimension, which coincidentally kept the Earth from feeling more of his rage.
The Incredible Hulk couldn't last five minutes with her, but seemingly it was the best sex he had had in a long time, because no much how much she tortured Bruce Banner he remained too calm to transform back into the Hulk. Umar was furious.
In a later storyline she abducted Hulk again when he was in full Worldbreaker mode. This time they were both satisfied.
Cool Crown: When she rules the Dark Dimension her head goes on fire like her brother's.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Dormammu's Red, insofar as she tends to be more deceitful and cerebral in her evil ways. This is partly because just she is stuck in a humanoid form though and is thus weaker than she should be, and she can still be really hot-tempered if pushed enough.
Created "long ago" by entities unknown, Zom is an ancient and terrible demon whose sole mission is to destroy everything, and whose rampage was only stopped by an alliance of powerful magic users whose ranks included even Dormammu and Umar. The alliance sealed him away but Strange released him on the advice of the Ancient One to help him win his battle with Umar; Zom proved to be an even greater threat and even Eternity was no match for him, but eventually he was defeated and a small piece of him was kept by Strange as a keepsake, though that too has recently been destroyed after Strange foolishly relied on its power, an act that caused him to resign as Sorcerer Supreme.
Always a Bigger Fish: The theme behind its original story arc; Zom was brought in to defeat Umar but went out of control and managed to defeat Eternity, but it was made clear it was no match for the Living Tribunal.
The Berserker: Zom, but especially those who draw on its power as its sheer fury overwhelms them. Clea was able to successfully invoke it to undo one of Dormammu's spells though.
Big Eater: The zomling that formed when a little of Zom's essence escaped from the jar.
Genius Bruiser: It has mastery of several spells that even Strange has trouble dealing with, so it is an accomplished Evil Sorceror. However, he is such a Brute personality-wise that he can come across as Dumb Muscle.
Literally Shattered Lives: How Strange originally managed to defeat it; turned out to be a case of From Bad to Worse as now its evil was spreading everywhere and the Living Tribunal threatened to destroy the universe to stop it if Strange didn't clean up his mess.