Spoilers for all works set prior to the end of Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.
Affiliation(s): Metro-General Hospital (formerly), Masters of the Mystic Arts, Avengers
Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Voiced By: Beto Castillo (Latin-American Spanish dub), Iván Muelas (European Spanish dub), Jérémie Covillault (French dub), Tristan Harvey (Canadian French dub), Michał Żebrowski (Polish dub), Satoshi Mikami (Japanese dub), Fábio Azevedo (Brazilian Portuguese dub)
Appearances: Doctor Strange | Thor: Ragnarok | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame | Spider-Man: No Way Home | Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
An expert neurosurgeon whose career ended abruptly when an injury sustained during a car crash destroyed the nerves in his hands. He eventually sought out the Ancient One in search of a cure for his condition, only to become her latest disciple in the Mystic Arts. Strange eventually becomes the master of the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, one of three seals that protect Earth from magical and extra-dimensional threats.
- The Ace:
- By the time of Infinity War and Endgame, Doctor Strange is easily the top dog of the Marvel universe. Master of the Mystic Arts, lord of the Sanctum Sanctorum, and seemingly having fully adjusted to life after the loss of his surgical career. He treats Thor and Loki like particularly annoying houseguests, he's the only superhero capable of going toe-to-toe with Thanos on Titan, and he's the one who manipulates the events to ensure that Thanos is ultimately defeated. The only human superheroes who even come close to matching him in terms of ability to fight Thanos single-handedly are Captain Marvel and Scarlet Witch, and their powers come from Infinity Stones — Stephen Strange is just that good. That said, he's gained the respect of even magic users outside the Masters of the Mystic Arts, like Agatha Harkness, who seems to believe he's the Sorcerer Supreme. Likewise, Wanda/Scarlet Witch treats him with respect and acknowledges him as an equal, recognizing him as the only genuine threat she faces.
- Even back in his days as a neurosurgeon he was shown to be one of the best at his job. He is able to quickly notice that a patient has been poisoned instead of suffering from brain death (which none of his fellow workers picked up on) and has, along with Christine, invented a new and effective medical procedure. Before his accident he had been scheduled to speak at the American Neurological Association, which also shows how respected and successful Strange was at his former career.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Though he is an Insufferable Genius from the start, Dr. Strange at the beginning of his film seems much more approachable than his comic book counterpart, even letting a patient's relative hug him. In the comics, he made it clear that he didn't care about his patients once they were cured. He doesn't properly start acting like Doctor Strange until after his accident.
- Adaptational Wimp:
- Downplayed, as he's no pushover, but his comic book counterpart is noticeably more powerful as a winner of the Superpower Lottery. Here, he wins battles more often by trickery than raw power. He also lacks his other iconic relics aside from the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation (Wand of Watoomb, Orb of Agamotto, Book of the Vishanti, etc...) and the ability to perform divine invocations. That said, this can be explained by his relative inexperience, and may grow into that level of power later on as he gains more knowledge in the arts. Even with that, here the Eye of Agamotto is just a container for the Time Stone and has no power of its own... at least until Multiverse of Madness shows him using it to reveal an invisible Gargantos, meaning that the Eye does have abilities of its own after all and it hasn't been reduced to a meaningless trinket without the Time Stone.
- Subverted as of No Way Home, he's now much closer to his comic counterpart in terms of power level. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness later shows him at much higher levels of skill and power closer to his original counterpart.
- Alliterative Name: Stephen Strange.
- Almighty Janitor: He was still a relative novice in the magical arts when he saved the world from a group of rogue mages, and scammed the resident Satanic Archetype into aiding him in said saving.
- Always Someone Better:
- In Doctor Strange, Dormammu's powers prove to be too much for Strange. Fortunately, Strange takes this into account and finds a way to turn the tables.
- Thor: Ragnarok shows him being a living lesson in humility to Loki as a sorcerer, with Strange easily manhandling the self-proclaimed God of Mischief through his use of portals.
- Multiverse of Madness then has him fighting against Wanda/Scarlet Witch who outshines him in raw magical power, borderline Reality Warping, and even demonstrates a mastery of the Mirror Dimension no other sorcerer has shown; despite Strange having enough experience to be at the height of his mystical abilities. Even his utilizing the forbidden magic and necromancy of the Darkhold isnt enough for him to beat her outright.
- Ambiguous Situation: In Avengers: Endgame, he's shown to be leading the other Mystics alongside Wong, but whether he's officially the Sorcerer Supreme or just the Master of the NY Sanctum is unclear. Later WandaVision has Agatha Harkness mentions that Scarlet Witch is stronger than the Sorcerer Supreme, but who bears that title stays unclear. Spider-Man: No Way Home finally confirms that he's not the Sorcerer Supreme; Wong is. Although Strange clearly got the aptitude and claims he'd have got the job if not for the minor technicality of his having been dead at the time the appointment was made. Given that Strange is very renowned, more than likely Agatha was referring to Strange and not Wong.
- Amicable Exes: Strange and Christine used to be lovers, and their break-up has apparently led to Christine deciding never to date her colleagues again (going by the fact that she calls this the "Strange Policy"). Despite that, they're on good terms at work and she tries to support him during his spiral into depression after the accident.
- Anti-Hero: He starts off as an arrogant and self-centered glory hound who wouldn't do anything too difficult for fear of staining his perfect record. When his Character Development kicks in, he becomes selfless enough to sacrifice his life, even becoming willing to use forbidden unnatural magic to save the day, just like the Ancient One.
- Antiquated Linguistics: By Avengers: Infinity War, he uses formal phrases like "hitherto undreamt of" that earn him mockery from more vulgar heroes like Iron Man.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Despite having experienced an alien invasion and living in a world filled with superhumans and gods, Stephen scoffs at the idea of healing through belief and states his disbelief in spirits and chakra. The Ancient One quickly dispels his skepticism by sending him on a trip to the Astral Dimension.
- The Archmage: Strange is destined to succeed the Ancient One as the new Sorcerer Supreme, but he lost the position to Wong due to being a victim of Thanos's Snap for five years. That said, even with Wong now bearing the title and its perks, it's quietly acknowledged that Strange is the true master of the mystic arts.
- Astral Projection: In keeping with his comic book counterpart, one of his key abilities is projecting an astral form out of his body. He uses it to fight enemies as well as a way to rest his body while continuing to study outside the boundaries of the physical plane. He can also project his astral self back into the real world, which he uses to guide Christine on what needs to be done to save his physical body while he's dying, even making his skin translucent for her so she can see where to aim a needle to drain the blood in his pericardial space. And by No Way Home, he can force the astral forms out of other people's bodies just like the Ancient One.
- The Atoner: According to Word of God, the reason he decides to help Peter Parker in No Way Home is that he feels some guilt over how it was his plan to sacrifice Tony Stark in Endgame which led to the events of Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- The reason he became a doctor was to atone for being unable to save his sister Donna from drowning when they were kids.
- Awesomeness by Analysis:
- Dr. Strange boasts a photographic memory as per his words and can pick up and assimilate knowledge at a very fast rate.
- The film doesn't draw attention to it, but he displays a consistent ability to diagnose the specifics of serious injuries without needing diagnostic equipment.
- Awesome McCoolname: Peter Parker even assumes it's just his superhero name when they introduce themselves.
- Back from the Dead:
- Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to create an infinite time loop so that he will continuously resurrect himself after Dormammu smites him countlessly.
- In Avengers: Endgame, he is one of many characters who are brought back from being dusted by Hulk reversing Thanos's deadly fingersnap from Avengers: Infinity War.
- Badass Baritone: Strange has a powerful and deep voice, courtesy of Benedict Cumberbatch. So does Dormammu — interestingly, also courtesy of Cumberbatch, though his voice was digitally blended with that of another, unnamed, deep-voiced actor.
- Badass Boast:
- Gives an excellent, succinct one to Dormammu.Strange: Pain's an old friend.
- In Infinity War, he all but tells Thanos to give up now or face his wrath. Endgame shows that Thanos really should have followed Strange's advice.Thanos: This day extracts a heavy toll. Still, [Ebony Maw] accomplished his mission.
Strange: You may regret that. He brought you face-to-face with the Master of the Mystic Arts.
- And again, before siccing the Guardians, Tony Stark, and Spider-Man on the Mad Titan:
- Gives an excellent, succinct one to Dormammu.
- Badass Bookworm: He's able to kick enough ass to protect the magical world because he knows so much about it. Sorcery requires "study and practice; years of it" and he spends a lot of his time with his nose in a book. He even manages to find a workaround for needing sleep by using his astral form to read while his body rests. Strange mentions offhand that his Photographic Memory allowed him to work towards multiple degrees at once.
- Badass in Distress: In Infinity War, he gets kidnapped and tortured by Ebony Maw in an attempt to steal the Time Stone from him, and has to be rescued by Iron Man and Spider-Man.
- Badass Normal:
- Even before becoming a sorcerer, Zola's algorithm classified him as such a serious threat that Jasper Sitwell mentioned him by name in the same breath as Bruce Banner. Since an award seen in Doctor Strange dates the film as taking place in 2016, this particular mention happened while Strange was a normal surgeon.
- Although he's obviously no longer normal by the time of Infinity War, Thanos specifically calls him out on the fact that Strange never used his greatest weapon, the Time Stone, during their Wizard Duel. Thanos had to use all of the Stones he had in his gauntlet at the time against Strange to win — without using a single Infinity Stone, Doctor Strange is just that good.
- Badass Pacifist:
- Strange really, really doesn't want to kill anyone. He doesn't even want to hurt anyone; he's a doctor and that's against the Hippocratic Oath. However, he's facing down people who wish to sacrifice the world to a dimension-devouring Eldritch Abomination. How does he finally win? By annoying Dormammu into submission. With time on an infinite loop, he's able to stop Dormammu from killing anyone but him, and all he's doing is asking for bargaining rights. He doesn't have to kill Kaecilius, either; he just lets Dormammu take him.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, he easily defeats the Sufficiently Advanced Alien god Loki non-violently with use of portals, dropping him into a bottomless pit for half an hour and then dumping him in Norway before Loki can even touch him.Loki: Handle me? Who are you? You think you're some kind of sorcerer? Don't think for one minute, you second-rate...
Dr. Strange: Alright, bye-bye. [portals Loki and Thor away]
- Subverted by the time of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Strange, due to the sheer universe-breaking scale of the miscasting of the Runes of Kof-Kol, has little to no qualms about sending the villains Doc Ock, Green Goblin, and Electro back to their home dimensions to die, as it is their original fate, hes not the one killing them, and in the grand calculus of the Multiverse, their sacrifices mean the safety of his home dimension. Ultimately double-subverted as he comes to agree with Peter's efforts and even ensures that the villains do indeed return to their own worlds with a good chance to survive and make better choices.
- Subverted again in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as he kills Gargantos by ripping out its eye and later personally (inderectly) kills Sinister Strange in a Wizard Duel. It's clear he sees it as a good thing, because he could clearly see how dangerous and evil Sinister Strange was. That being said, he's reluctant to harm Wanda regardless of how powerful and dangerous she is.
- Bash Brothers: With Wong and Mordo, until the latter chooses to leave the Masters of the Mystic Arts.
- Batman Gambit: His entire arc between Infinity War and Endgame is performing a major one on both Thanos and Tony Stark. Multiverse of Madness sees him doing it again.
- In Infinity War, he sees one possible future where the Avengers can defeat Thanos, and it involves surrendering the Time Stone to Thanos in exchange for sparing Tony's life, playing on Thanos's bizarre sense of honor and self-deluding nobility. After giving Thanos the Time Stone, and after the Titan snaps his fingers, he just looks at Tony and tells him there was no other way, addressing him personally, with Tony being burdened with the task that somehow it's his destiny to undo Thanos's victory. In Endgame, this leads to Tony building a time machine to transport the Avengers to recoup the Infinity Stones and build a new gauntlet with his Iron Man tech that allows the Avengers to undo the snap when Hulk wields it. But that only turns out to be Part 1.
- Upon reuniting with Tony in Endgame, Tony initially asks out of camaraderie if this was the one in 14,000,605 chance that everything works out, but Strange still refuses to confirm, stating that saying otherwise would alter the outcome. When Thanos wields the Infinity Gauntlet that Tony made and is about to put the Power Stone back in the Gauntlet, Tony, who had just regained consciousness, looks at Strange who raises his index finger signifying that yes, the one timeline with Thanos's defeat depends on Tony's Heroic Sacrifice, which Strange knew all along that Tony would do.
- In Multiverse of Madness, Strange uses one of these to great effect: he plays on Baron Mordo's ego to provoke him and create an opening to escape from Mordo's custody, which succeeds and allows Strange to flee from Wanda's rampage along with Christine and America.
- Beard of Sorrow: After his hands are crippled, he is no more capable of using a mechanical razor than a scalpel, and thus lets his facial hair grow in a disheveled manner. However, once he gets some traction in his magical studies, he uses an electric razor to trim it into a dignified beard, signifying he has his confidence back.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Said word-for-word to Peter Parker when he tells him that the spell Parker botched which was supposed to make the world forget he was Spider-Man ends up bringing in everyone from the Multiverse who knows he is Spider-Man.
- Big Brother Instinct: Multiverse of Madness reveals that he failed to rescue his younger sister Donna from drowning in a frozen lake, and her death inspired him to become a doctor.
- Big Brother Is Watching: A benevolent example; once he takes control of New York's Sanctum Sanctorum he dedicates himself to be constantly on the lookout for anything from other worlds that land on Earth and do it harm... and that includes people like Loki.
- Big Good: After his debut movie, he's essentially this for the MCU, even though he's not yet the Sorcerer Supreme; Since then, he's decided to keep watch on any potential threats to Earth, not just from other dimensions, so that he can summon and direct heroes to deal with it. Plus, he's had to take serious time to learn about the infinity stones to allow him to help other heroes deal with the impending threat Thanos poses to the universe by the time of Infinity War, and then enacted the big plan to ensure the one outcome where the heroes win, which means allowing himself to perish during the Snap. By the time he gets unsnapped in Endgame, he continues to ensure Tony sticks to the plan.
- Blue Is Heroic: Strange dons a blue robe as he quickly advances into his sorcery training.
- Body Surf: The climax of Multiverse of Madness has him possessing the decaying body of Defender Strange via Dreamwalking since he is physically trapped in the Earth of Sinister Strange.
- Break the Haughty: He goes through one of these over the course of the movie. At the beginning, Strange is an insufferable man who likes to show off during operation procedures, and who dismisses cases he deems to not be worth his time or has a risk of failure that could taint his reputation. After a car accident that ruins his hands and his career, as well as having several characters calling him out for his Jerkass behavior, he begins to mature up, admit to his flaws and care about people other than himself.
- Brought Down to Badass: By the end of Endgame, he's lost the Eye of Agamotto and the Time Stone within, but he is still a master of the mystic arts.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He is extremely prideful, full of himself, and thinks he is the greatest doctor alive or dead. That being said, he still takes the fact that he is saving lives very seriously. He is horrified when he has to kill someone against his oath as a doctor.
- The Cameo: He has a brief appearance in Thor: Ragnarok in a sequence that integrates the after-credits scene from his own movie.
- Career-Ending Injury: Stephen Strange's exemplary career in surgery is ended due to a car accident damaging the nerves in his hands. His search to cure this leads Strange to the Ancient One who leads him down a very different career path.
- Celebrity Paradox:
- In Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers' list shows Star Trek, meaning that if Star Trek Into Darkness exists, then Doctor Strange is Khan. In the UK version of Winter Soldier said list also included the BBC series Sherlock, whose star is Benedict Cumberbatch.
- A possible example; in The Avengers, Tony Stark calls Clint Barton "Legolas," implying that The Lord of the Rings exists. note If The Hobbit also exists and was filmed, Cumberbatch played Smaug and the Necromancer/Sauron in it.
- Celebrity Superhero: Multiverse of Madness reveals that since the events of Endgame he has become a public superhero with the world now knowing for certain that sorcerers exist. This is shown by how casually he uses his magic at Christine's wedding with her husband apparently being a fan. A random bystander asks him for a photo in a restaurant, though Strange refuses.
- Chain Pain: Frequently manifests his magic as a chain of energy.
- Character Development:
- Starts out as a self-centered glory hound who wouldn't do anything too difficult for fear of staining his perfect record to a selfless champion who is willing to endlessly lose against Dormammu in obscurity to spare Earth and the rest of the Multiverse from the fiend.
- Multiverse of Madness has him learning not to be controlling and not to always do things his way. Christine reveals that the main reason for their breakup was that Stephen always wanted to be the one in charge and he learns not to repeat the same actions of his Defender counterpart and trust America to wield her own power against Wanda. By the end of the movie he also comes to terms with the fact that him and Christine were not meant to be and moves on with his life.
- Charm Person: A subtle demonstration is done by Doctor Strange in Ragnarok when Thor visits the Sanctum Sanctorum. Thor has seen Loki kidnapped and has yet to meet Doctor Strange. When he first appears Thor raises his hammer (disguised as an umbrella) in defense. However, Doctor Strange greets him with "Thor Odinson... God of Thunder... You can put down the umbrella" and surprisingly Thor complies. Strange then immediately teleports them to another location to temporarily separate him from Mjölnir while they talk.
- The Chessmaster:
- In keeping with his comic counterpart, Strange wins many of his battles, not through skill or strength, but by using his wits and whatever resources he has on hand. Best demonstrated when he forces an Eldritch Abomination — one he has no hope of fighting — into a conditional surrender.
- Hinted at in Infinity War where he gazes through over 14,000,605 futures to find only a single way to beat Thanos. After battling the Mad Titan, which ends with Strange handing over the Time Stone in order to save Tony Stark's life, he then tells Tony that they've reached the endgame. Later, before fading away to dust from Thanos's universal genocide, he also tells Tony "there was no other way." All this heavily implies that giving the Time Stone and insuring Stark's survival are key to ultimately defeating Thanos, as Strange foresaw. This comes to a head in Endgame which sees the Avengers gathering the Infinity Stones in the past thanks to Tony's assistance, the Ancient One willingly giving the Time Stone away upon learning of Strange doing the same, and finally where Tony gains the Infinity Stones to defeat Thanos by Heroic Sacrifice. Just as Strange was counting on.
- The Chosen One: Played with. The Ancient One states in the trailer: "I've spent so many years, peering through time... looking for you." However, the film itself plays a bit coy with this, merely remarking at points that Strange has an inborn gift for the Mystic Arts, but he isn't yet the most powerful or skilled sorcerer, winning through luck, guile, and sheer stubbornness and at the end of the film the position of Sorcerer Supreme is left open. It's essentially a magical version of Falling into the Cockpit; he only keeps the Eye of Agamotto on because the Masters are interrupted before he can take it off, and being knocked into the New York Sanctum is what gets him the Cloak of Levitation. During the events of Endgame, it is revealed that the Ancient One knew Strange would become the greatest Master of the Mystic Arts as far back as the first Avengers movie, as all that Banner needs to convince her to give him the Time Stone is to tell her that Strange had set everything up for him to reach her in his timeline.
- Cincinnatus: He can control the Eye of Agamotto, giving him almost godlike powers, yet he returns it to its place after he's done with it, and doesn't claim the position of the Sorcerer Supreme.
- Clothes Make the Superman: The Cloak of Levitation, an enchanted red cloak that protects Strange, lets him levitate and responds to his mental commands. It can also move on its own and is sentient to some extent. In fact, comparing their respective performances in their first fight against Kaecilius, the Cloak was actually more badass than Strange when they first met!
- Color Motif: Both his surgeon scrubs and sorcerer robes are dark blue.
- Composite Character: As Adam Warlock was not in the MCU by the time of Infinity War, Doctor Strange essentially takes his role in Infinity War as The Chessmaster of the Avengers with vast cosmic power and knowledge playing a vast gambit to stop Thanos. Notedly, both Warlock and Strange end up sacrificing their fellow Avengers in a desperate gambit to stop Thanos.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Obviously not while studying on a Himalayan mountain or being a superhero, but the scenes from Strange's pre-accident life show he had a very high taste for luxury. In only a few minutes we're shown a large New York highrise apartment, a souped-up Cool Car, and what appears to be a cabinet full of high-end luxury watches. The result of this is that he is basically broke in only a few months after he can no longer work as a high-paid neurosurgeon.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Gets on the receiving end of this against Dormammu, multiple times. Subverted in the fact that getting subjected to this was his goal all along, by trapping Dormammu in a "Groundhog Day" Loop until he gives into Strange's bargain.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Multiverse of Madness reveals that his sister Donna died when they were playing on a frozen lake as children, which she fell into. The way Strange talks about how he was unable to save her, it's clear that her death was the beginning of his Control Freak tendencies and is probably why he became a doctor.
- Dark Is Not Evil: With no other options available to stop Wanda from killing America, Strange turns to using the Darkhold to dreamwalk into Defender Strange's corpse, even using the Souls of the Damned to his advantage. Despite this, Strange succeeds where Wanda and two of his own variants failed, resisting the Darkhold's corruption and managing to help solve the crisis without losing himself or sacrificing anyone else.
- Deadpan Snarker: Per the Marvel norm, he has quite the haughty and wry persona in regards to things he finds...
- Deal with the Devil: Subverted. After the revelation that sorcerers make deals with Dormammu for power, he goes to the Dark Dimension and offers to "bargain" — but it's not for something he wants from Dormammu, but rather something he's going to make Dormammu want from him.
- Death Is the Only Option: In Infinity War, after looking through 14 million versions of the future to find the one where the heroes win, he trades Tony Stark's life for the Time Stone and dies as a result. With his last words, he claims that there was no other way, but he's not referring to his own dusting, but to Tony's death.
- Demonic Possession: During the climax of Multiverse of Madness, he is forced to use the Darkhold to "Dreamwalk" or possess the decaying body of Defender Strange to rescue America Chavez from Wanda Maximoff in Mount Wundagore while being physically stranded in the Earth of Sinister Strange.
- As he puts it, "Pain's an old friend."
- It extends to more than just being able to take a beating. He spends five hours straight pleading and begging at the Ancient One's doorstep after she kicks him out for being disrespectful.
- There's no telling how long he and Dormammu were trapped in the time loop, dying and coming back again and again and again...director commentary confirms that it is a lot longer than what is shown. He remembers all of it. Not once did he lose his resolve or break his spell.
- He's the only person to fight on roughly equal terms against Thanos in single combat without using the powers of an Infinity Stone. Not only that, but Infinity War makes it exceedingly clear that there is nothing Strange won't do to keep the universe safe. Even when he's being turned to dust by the Snapture, Strange doesn't even flinch.
- Did Not Get the Girl: Towards the end of Doctor Strange, Christine eventually turns him down after the Ancient One dies. Despite Strange apologizing to her and becoming a better person, the damage Strange had done was already too much for their relationship to continue. Before Christine leaves, she gives Strange a Last Kiss on the cheek. In Multiverse of Madness, Strange is invited to Christine's wedding with another man, and he clearly still loves her and wishes they could be together again. However, seeing how desperately wanting a better life at any cost is corrupting others like Wanda or alternate versions of himself, Strange decides to truly make peace with this.
- Didn't Think This Through: In No Way Home, while Peter didn't realize he could just argue his friends' case for MIT entry and ends up going to Strange hoping that they can undo his secret identity reveal, Strange is quick to bring up a memory wipe spell. And then he proceeds to start casting it without much of a second thought, only explaining that everyone would forget Peter Parker was Spider-Man mid-cast. Not only does this freak out Peter into messing up the spell, but Strange apparently didn't even consider the consequences of this at all, showing he's still a bit arrogant about his use of magic despite Wong's preemptive warnings about the risks involved. No wonder he didn't make Sorcerer Supreme quite yet.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In Ragnarok, he sends Loki to a dimension where he's forever falling... and there's nothing Loki can do about it. And when Loki tries to charge him with knives drawn, Strange quickly intercepts him with another portal.
- Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: Coerces Dormammu into an incredibly one-sided deal in exchange for freeing him from the time loop.
- Die or Fly: Strange is subject to this treatment in his first film. The Ancient One strands him on Mount Everest to force him to figure out how to open a portal to get back. He nearly freezes to death before he manages it.
- Disabled Snarker: Getting his hands broken seems to have upped his penchant for sarcasm. Even more so when he gains his newfound confidence in sorcery.
- Disability as an Excuse for Jerkassery: Even though Christine is incredibly supportive, Stephen treats her horribly after the accident destroys his hands.Christine: This isn't the end, there are other things that can give your life meaning.
Stephen: [derisive] Like what? Like you?
Christine: ... and this is the part where you apologize.
Stephen: This is the part where you leave.
- Ditzy Genius: Doctor Strange makes Tony Stark look like a mildly talented mechanic who occasionally spills his ice cream.
- Despite his obvious intelligence, he wasn't smart enough to realize that texting while driving at night, in the rain, on a mountain road, is a VERY bad idea. While he survives, he suffers the Career-Ending Injury that starts his Trauma Conga Line; blowing his fortune trying to find any way to repair his hands.
- Better yet, he manages to use the Eye of Agamotto (AKA Infinity Stone of Time) to pseudo-repair a Tome of Eldritch Lore and start performing an obscenely dangerous ritual. Wong and Mordo are torn between awe that a man with only a few months of training was brilliant enough to rewind time and rage that he was dumb enough to nearly summon Dormammu.
- And when Peter Parker comes to him for a memory spell, Strange begins casting it before explaining critical details, like that it will work on everyone Peter knows and not just the public at large.
- Dr. Jerk: Pre-Character Development, Strange is a selfish and condescending glory hog that dismisses patients unless they can help his reputation and lords himself above his co-workers.
- Domain Holder: In Thor Ragnarok, he is implied to have attained this kind of mastery over the Sanctum Sanctorum, as he can warp and weave Thor and himself in and out of multiple rooms and spaces at will, without Thor's awareness. Of course, that doesn't mean the Domain isn't vulnerable to external attacks such as Mjolnir inside it, or a falling Bruce Banner that tumbles across the galaxy into his staircase.
- Don't Call Me "Sir":
- Gets pretty ticked off when people refer to him as "Mister," "Master," etc. instead of "Doctor".
- When he insists Peter need not call him "Sir," Peter immediately switches to First-Name Basis and calls him Stephen.Stephen: That feels weird, but I'll allow it.
- Don't Think, Feel: Played With in that Strange initially has trouble with the precise movements required for the spells he's trying to cast due to his hand tremors, only to be shown by the one-handed Master Hamir that the motions are less important than the intent behind them. However, Strange still has to process a lot of knowledge of the Mystic Arts in order to learn how to make his intent manifest as spells.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: After the car accident, Strange has too much pride to welcome sympathy from Christine and openly refuses to be one of her "sob stories". He regrets this later.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Has mastered this by Infinity War, as he attacks Thanos with multiple clones of himself, each of them restraining Thanos with a magical chain. In the comics, this is a spell called the Images of Ikonn.
- Drives Like Crazy: Passes on blind turns, at night, in the rain, while speeding and talking on the phone. This results in a horrific accident and crippling injuries to his hands.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Of a sort — Jasper Sitwell mentions him as being one of Project Insight's targets in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Eastward Endeavor: In his first film, seeking a cure for his hands, he goes east and is deeply changed by his experience there. His Jerkass tendencies are washed away by his training with the Ancient One, and he eventually realizes he doesn't need perfect hands to practice magic.
- Embarrassing Last Name: While not exactly embarrassed, he shows a level of frustration by his inability to have a surgical technique named after him.
- Enlightenment Superpowers: He visits a monastery in Nepal in order to heal his damaged hands and has to spend months learning introspection and opening his mind before he can even attempt proper magic. His mentor finally just drops him off on Mount Everest so that he will learn to open a portal before he freezes to death. It works.
- Establishing Character Moment: His first moment on screen is performing surgery like it's a game... only to hand it over to another doctor to save the life of a patient in the ER who's dying due to a bullet in the brain, showing the audience his arrogance and compassion at the same time.
- Expy: Strange shows a lot of similarities to Dr. Gregory House, especially with his mannerisms and his status as a genius doctor who is incredibly hard to work with.
- Everyone Has Standards: Subverted in Spider-Man: No Way Home. When Peter offers to have the memory of himself wiped from everyone in the MCU, Strange initially hesitates, as he knows that doing such a thing could wreck Peter's life more than it already has been. However, he goes through with casting the spell in order to prevent the universe from collapsing in on itself, although it's clear that he's upset about having to do so.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: He grows longer hair and a messy Beard of Sorrow loop after his hands are ruined in an accident. He cuts his shaggy hair and trims his beard to a well-kept goatee after finding a new purpose as a disciple of the Ancient One.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Gains a third eye on the forehead similar to Sinister Strange's own at the end of Multiverse of Madness, after using the Darkhold to Dreamwalk in the corpse of Defender Strange.
- Face Death with Dignity: In Infinity War, everyone else who gets snapped by Thanos, aside from Wanda, dies with varying degrees of pain, horror, and confusion on their faces. Except Strange, who simply locks eyes with Tony and calmly tells him, "There was no other way." Justified, because he had already seen this as well as his resurrection in the future scenario where the heroes emerged victorious and he trusted Tony would guide them there.
- Failure Gambit: Out of all the Avengers, Strange perhaps best knows the value of losing the battle to win the war.
- In his first film, he traps Dormammu and himself in a Stable Time Loop where Dormammu can kill him thousands of times...but never for good, nor can Dormammu escape, and ultimately forces the Eldritch Abomination to leave Earth in exchange for nothing more than him letting Dormammu go.Dormammu: You will never win!
Strange: No. But I can lose again... and again... and again... and again, forever. And that makes you my prisoner.
- In Infinity War, having seen the only version of future out of 14 million where the heroes win, Doctor Strange gives Thanos the Time Stone and thus enables him to wipe out half the universe, including Doctor Strange himself. In Endgame, circumstances align so that the Avengers can reverse the effects of the Decimation five years later.
- In his first film, he traps Dormammu and himself in a Stable Time Loop where Dormammu can kill him thousands of times...but never for good, nor can Dormammu escape, and ultimately forces the Eldritch Abomination to leave Earth in exchange for nothing more than him letting Dormammu go.
- Fatal Flaw: Arrogance. Even after being humbled under the Ancient One's tutelage, Strange is still prone to being very cocky and overestimates his own abilities as a result, which causes him to impulsively make bad decisions.
- In the events of his first film, he almost summons Dormammu because he was so confident that he can use the Time Stone to restore a ripped page and didn't even read the warnings beforehand.
- In Spider-Man: No Way Home, he immediately casts a spell that will make the whole world forget that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. The spell ends up getting botched and unleashing a number of people into their universe because he didn't care to explain to Peter the mechanics of the spell beforehand.
- Multiverse of Madness shows that this has made him quite insistent to do things his way and be the one in charge. He gets over this when he learns to trust others more and accept that some things were just not meant to be.
- Fingore: Strange's hands are crushed in his car accident, which costs him his medical career. He has rather prominent scars on the backs of his fingers from where orthopedic surgeons had to operate and then drill in splints to immobilize his hands.
- First-Name Basis: When Strange meets Wong, he asks the latter to call him by his first name. He later zig-zags with this for Peter Parker, as he requests the kid to call him either "Stephen" or "Sir" depending on how much respect he has for him.
- To Tony Stark: they both start out as being self-centered, reckless men who care about pleasure and success until a life-changing accident brings them down a few pegs; they also both have adjectives for surnames. The difference is Tony (as Iron Man) uses technology while Strange uses Magic. Additionally, Stark gets the chance to stroke his own ego for good by becoming a beloved superhero, while Strange learns humility by fighting battles kept away from the public eye. By the time of their meeting and enforced partnership during Infinity War, they are effectively each other's Red Oni (Stark) and Blue Oni (Strange), which their costumes reflect: Stark's Iron Man armor being "hot rod red" with gold accents, and Strange's robes being blue against the red Cloak of Levitation.
- To Thor: they both started as arrogant hedonists who suffer a fall from grace caused by their own actions. They find a new calling as magical/mystical heroes for Earth. The difference? Thor is a Norse deity who lives to uphold Asgard's Proud Warrior Race Guy customs until he gets banished to Earth to learn humility. Strange, on the other hand, is an ordinary mortal man who trained as a doctor (a saver of lives) and then learns about the existence of powerful, magical creatures outside of his dimension. Strange himself Lampshades this when he meets Thor himself in Ragnarok.
- Forgot About His Powers: Subverted in Infinity War. He doesn't use the Eye of Agamotto at all during the fight against Thanos on Titan — but this is because he removed the Time Stone from it beforehand. Because he saw the future with the Eye, he figured that the Time Stone wouldn't do him any good (much like how in The Avengers, one Infinity Stone-powered artifact was capable of negating another, and Thanos has four at this point), and considering the Failure Gambit he's playing, he likely removed the Time Stone to nudge the timestream towards the one possibility where the heroes win.
- Friend to All Children: Ebony Maw's quip about Strange being "popular with children" is proven true since the latter manages to swiftly form strong bonds with Peter Parker and America Chavez.
- The Gadfly: In Thor: Ragnarok, he uses his powers to mess with Thor and Loki.
- Genius Bruiser: He's both a brilliant doctor and a powerful Master of The Mystic Arts.
- The Gift:
- Strange has a knack for the Mystic Arts, and it's not just his photographic memory, he picks it up effortlessly.
- Do you know how all of the wielders of the Infinity Stones have a horrible fate? Strange somehow manages to use the Time Stone without any ill effect, or at least not yet anyway; as Mordo is adamant that manipulating time will have dire consequences.
- Glass Cannon: Even though Strange has become a tremendously powerful sorcerer, he is still human.
- Glory Hound: A downplayed example, as the most questionable thing he does to keep his perfect record and reputation is refusing to treat patients he believes he won't be able to heal, who probably get transferred to other available doctors.
- Godzilla Threshold:
- Originally, he opted to leave the Eye of Agamotto because he wasn't ready to properly wield it, and he felt it was too dangerous. But after recognizing the coming threat to the Universe and Thanos's crusade for the stones, things were too dire for him not to have it with him as a potential last resort even though he never uses it against Thanos.
- He uses the Darkhold when it's clear that it's the only way it can stop the Scarlet Witch, and the only way that he and Christine can save America, their only way back to their respective homes.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: He is a hero and wears a goatee that indicates his mysterious nature.
- Gracefully Demoted: Due to him blipping for five years, Wong became the new Sorcerer Supreme. Though he does snark about it, he also doesn't seem too upset about the situation.
- Guile Hero: Doctor Strange's style of world-saving. His reluctance at outright killing people because of his Hippocratic Oath, the generally more proficient and powerful enemies he's faced, and the many, many options the mystic arts offer, give Strange the option and a big incentive to outsmart his opponents through unconventional tactics and intelligent plays instead of overpowering them. He never threatens Dormammu, but uses time magic over which the former has control over to simply annoy him enough to make a deal, and his greatest action against Thanos in Infinity War is to give him the Time Stone in expectation of a later gambit.
- Despite being one of the most power magic users in the MCU, Strange's main opponents outclass him in raw power by several orders of magnitude (Dormammu, Thanos with several Infinity Stones, and Wanda Maximoff/The Scarlett Witch), so he resorts to trickery or long-term planning to win.
- Hand Blast: In Infinity War, Doctor Strange is briefly shown summoning a snake of energy from his hand that bounces off from some rocks to attack Thanos. It may be an unnamed Bolts of Balthakk spell Strange is using.
- Handicapped Badass: Despite his original goal being to fix his hands, he never actually accomplishes that during the movie. But his magic doesn't require steady hands (or technically hands at all) so he still remains a badass.
- Headbutting Heroes: With Iron Man in Infinity War over disagreements on how to fight Thanos, though their similar personalities certainly don't help. Strange makes it clear to Stark that if he had to choose between saving him, Spider-Man and the Time Stone, he would pick the latter over the two. Subverted at the end, when Strange sacrifices the Time Stone to save Stark. Double Subverted in Endgame when hit turns out that Strange needed him alive so that Tony could sacrifice himself to kill Thanos.
- Hero Antagonist: Becomes this in Spider-Man: No Way Home as his goal to send the villains home to protect his universe even if it results in their deaths puts him in conflict with Peter who wants to try and save them. However, neither really want to fight each other and while understanding of Peter's reasons, Strange isn't wrong that the villains and the unstable spell which brought them to the MCU is dangerous.
- Heroic BSoD: He suffers a minor one when he had no choice but to kill one of Kaecilius's mooks, snapping at the Ancient One and Mordo. Strange may (mostly) be an egotistical and abrasive jackass, but he takes his oath as a doctor very seriously, and sure enough, he doesn't take a single life in all subsequent appearances, relying on his expertise as a Guile Hero to get things done.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Subjects himself to an infinite one to imprison Dormammu in a time loop that will only end if he gives up or if the villain agrees to his bargain. Strange wins. Whereas before he was afraid of doing anything that would jeopardize his record, he's willing to die in order to stop Dormammu.
- Does it again in Infinity War. Having used the Time Stone to see only one future out of millions of possibilities where the heroes are victorious over Thanos, he willingly hands over the Time Stone to Thanos, stating that it was the only way they could win. Strange is then one of the casualties when Thanos uses the completed Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe, something he knew of when looking into the future.
- Heroism Won't Pay the Bills: In Infinity War, he comments on how he doesn't get anything for regularly saving the world from magical threats to the point where he can barely afford to go out and buy sandwiches from the deli.
- Hidden Depths: An Exploited Trope. As mentioned above, HYDRA saw him as capable of becoming a potential threat back when he was only a surgeon, and they would have killed him ahead of time with Project Insight had it not been for Captain America's efforts. Years later, Mordo suspects that he is a natural at Mystic Arts.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Insufferable glory hound he was, Strange was still a doctor who desired to help people even if his own ego got in the way.
- Hollywood Atheist: Strange dips into this trope during his conversation with the Ancient One by gratuitously describing humanity as a series of chemical processes on a floating globe in a cold, uncaring universe while she's trying to convince him magic exists. The Big Bad later echoes this view of the world later just to rub it in.
- Honor Before Reason: Per the promotional material of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Strange decides to go out of his way to try and help Peter with his exposed identity, despite having little reason to do so, and how dangerous it is.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Instead of going to almost any of his other allies for help, he once again defers to his pragmatism and goes straight to Wanda believing she can help him with America thanks to her powers of witchcraft being similar to the runes on the monsters chasing her. Turns out Wanda is the very person who's been sending them, and Strange accidentally tells her where America is. This is after she had enslaved an entire town of people and lost not just Vision a second time, but her children. While Strange had no way of knowing she'd acquired the Darkhold or even become the Scarlet Witch, it was not a wise decision to head straight to her when she was evidently not in a right state of mind.
- Hypocrite: Admonishes Wanda for using the Darkhold and wreaking havoc on the Multiverse, only to acquire an alternate Darkhold in another universe at the climax of Multiverse of Madness in order to Dreamwalk and save America. Wanda calls him out on it and Strange acknowledges he's just like the other multiverse Stranges to 838-Christine, but the key difference is that Strange does not use the dark book for himself or to hurt anybody. He doesn't even kill Wanda using it. He does what he has to strictly in order to save America, and encourages her to believe in herself which leads to Wanda waking up and destroying every version of the Darkhold once and for all.
- I Did What I Had to Do:
- When Stark questions him as to why he surrendered the Time Stone to Thanos, Strange replies that it is the only way to defeat him. This takes on a darker meaning in Endgame where it's revealed that Strange knew all along that Tony would have to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to ultimately stop Thanos. In any case, it came at the cost of him failing his oath to protect the Time Stone, which is no more as of Endgame.
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has him saying this word-for-word to Wanda when he attempts to justify his actions in Infinity War as the best method to protect the world.
- I Hate Past Me: Strange is not proud of his insensitive and jerkass behavior from before he began to study the mystic arts. He sincerely apologizes to those he's wronged and is determined to be a better man.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Stephen mentions to Sinister Strange that his sister Donna died in a childhood accident when the two of them were playing on a frozen lake and she broke through the ice. He feels guilty for not being able to save her and doesn't talk to others about it.
- Idiot Ball: Despite being otherwise clever and vastly intelligent, Strange has two moments of this in his first film:
- While driving down a mountain road, Strange speeds in terrible weather conditions and is generally more focused on his clients rather than looking at the road. The result: Strange crashes his car, breaks his fingers, and ruins his career as a surgeon.
- In Nepal, when three thugs corner him and demand his watch, he responds by punching one of them with his injured hands. It does him no good.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
- In his first film, he is stabbed by Kaecilius's magical spear in the New York Sanctum and has to teleport to Christine for emergency surgery.
- Later in the same film, one of the many, many ways Dormammu kills him is by throwing a volley of spears through his body.
- Important Haircut: The clean-shaven Strange grows a messy Beard of Sorrow after his accident, and he loses his ability to wield a scalpel let alone a straight razor. He trims back to a well-kept goatee after finding a new purpose as a sorcerer.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: According to the Ancient One, fear of failure is what drives him to excel.
- Incompletely Trained: In his debut movie, Strange has to save the world and take a position guarding one of its two remaining Cosmic Keystones while still nothing but a talented beginner. In fact, he only demonstrates six magical techniques over the course of the movie; his Sling Ring, Astral Projection, a whip made of concussive light, sigils that act as shields/brass knuckles (which he flubs half the time), accessing the Mirror Dimension and using the Eye of Agamotto to screw with time — and the last is really cheating as it's the Infinity Stone of Time. Though admittedly, everyone is freaked out that he's brilliant enough to use it so skillfully while still being inexperienced enough not to know that the dire warnings are written in books after the rituals no one should perform.
- Insistent Terminology:
- It's Doctor Strange. This is Lampshaded; Interestingly he only insists on his title when he feels he's due some measure of respect. Strange is even more of an arrogant ass than Stark, but he genuinely loves being a doctor, considers the Hippocratic Oath to be sacred, and is traumatized by killing one of Kaecilius's goons in self-defense. After he begins his studies with the Ancient One, he allows her to call him "Mister Strange" and with Wong, he instead asks to be called "Stephen."
- It is "Master of the Mystic Arts", not "wizard", thank you very much. At least Bucky recognizes Strange is not a wizard.
- Instant Expert: Played With, Strange does struggle a lot at first, but when he does finally get the basics he progresses extremely quickly. This is explained in that he is an incredibly smart man with a perfect memory, it is also shown that one of the first things he learned after mastering the basics was to astral project so that he could study even while he slept.
- Instant Costume Change: By Infinity War, he's capable of shifting immediately from street clothes to robes at a moment's notice, with the Cloak flying in to complete the transition.
- Instant Knots: Against Thanos, Strange summons bright red bands that instantly go grab and wrap themselves around Thanos's gauntlet. It may be an unnamed version of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak spell.
- Instant Runes: He creates glowing symbols in geometric patterns as a focusing mechanism for his spells.
- Insufferable Genius: Strange starts off as a brilliant surgeon who also happens to be arrogant, pompous, and stubborn. He would show off in the operating theatre and decline cases he considered uninteresting or that were too likely to be failures and damage his reputation. He later grew out of it due to being dealt a heavy dose of Break the Haughty.
- Intergenerational Friendship: He forms two of them. The first one is with Peter Parker and the second one is with America Chavez.
- It's All About Me: He had a colossal ego and the Ancient One even tells him at one point that the simplest lesson he needs to learn is that it's not about him. As with his Insufferable Genius tendencies, he developed out of it, to the point he's willing to die over and over in order to save Earth. Christine says this almost word for word when accusing Strange of this mindset. She's very much correct at this point.The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.
Dr Strange: Which is?
The Ancient One: It's not about you.
- It Was a Gift: In his first film, he wears watches — a gift from his Old Flame, Christine Palmer. The inscription on the backside of the watch says: "Time will tell how much I love you, Christine". His refusal to give up the watches to attackers in Kathmandu leads to him meeting Mordo, who introduces him to the Ancient One.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Before becoming a superhero, Stephen was incredibly arrogant and insufferable — even more than Tony Stark. Even when he starts his training, it takes time for him to drop his condescending attitude. By the end of the film, however, he puts all of his pride behind him to do what's right and even apologizes for being an ass to Christine.
- This aspect of his personality serves as an interesting foil to Peter's more openly heroic and loving nature in No Way Home. Doctor Strange sees the fate of the multiversal villains as inevitable and unlike other times in his career, he doesn't really bother to think of an alternative that could save them. Peter meanwhile sees them as the lost souls they are and wants to at least try to spare them from their fates. However, Strange isn't trying to be callous or cruel, he simply doesn't want to mess with the natural order (any more than he already has). And as Peter discovers the hard way, his optimism of saving the bad guys has dire consequences for him and his loved ones, something Strange himself warned him would happen. Their conflict in the movie stems from Peter's emotional side vs. Strange's logical side. That being said, Strange takes no pleasure in resigning even more people to a grim fate.
- Keeping the Handicap: Initially, Strange intends to learn magic to heal his permanently damaged hands and work as a surgeon again, just like Jonathan Pangborn who used his magic to walk again despite a complete spinal cord injury. However, in the end, Strange decides against it and leaves his hands as they are.
- Killing Your Alternate Self: He was forced to kill Sinister Strange due to the latter being a complete psychopath hell-bent on killing him.
- Kung-Fu Wizard: Several of the magic he performs require martial art movements and relics that are shaped like weapons.
- Levitating Lotus Position: The usual variation. On Titan, Doctor Strange is seen floating cross-legged (not in the lotus position, though) while he's using the Eye of Agamotto to peer into the different possible futures.
- Logical Weakness: While the Ancient One showed Strange that using magic does not necessarily rely on his hands, it requires making flourished sweeps of the arms, thus stopping and restraining Strange's limbs prevents him from using magic as Ebony Maw achieved with telekineticly manipulated cables.
- Ludicrous Precision: In Infinity War, he looks through 14,000,605 versions of the future in a few minutes time, somehow kept exact count, and gleaned enough information from them to know which single future to act on. It makes sense, though, when you remember that Strange has a photographic memory and was manipulating the Time Stone, so the time it would've taken to view that many outcomes would've been condensed to a few minutes.
- Made of Iron:
- In Doctor Strange, he gets beaten up by the Zealots, stabbed practically right in the heart by Kaecilius, has to undergo defibrillation after his heart stops, willingly undergoes it again to beat his opponent in astral combat, gets sewn up... and all this before the actual climax.
- In No Way Home, he manages to take one of the Green Goblin's Pumpkin Bombs in the face with himself no worse for wear.
- Manly Tears:
- He cries after the Ancient One dies and he says goodbye to Christine.
- He cries a bit more in Spider-Man: No Way Home, where in the end, he has to cast a spell to make everyone, including him, forget about Peter Parker in general, not just him being Spider-Man.
- In Multiverse of Madness, he's visibly upset when he's forced to view the memory of his Christine giving him his infamous watch. He also sheds a few when reflecting on the death of his little sister Donna.
- The Many Deaths of You:
- In his first film, Strange is killed by Dormammu countless times with an energy blast, impaling, meteors, tentacles, etc. In the end, Dormammu gets sick of it and agrees to leave Earth alone.
- In Infinity War, Strange finds a new and exciting way to die when he turns into dust.
- Me's a Crowd: In Infinity War, Strange demonstrates an ability to create many doubles, all of which attack and tie up Thanos. This may be an unnamed use of the Images of Ikonn.
- Military Maverick: Stephen Strange has developed a streak of bending or flat-out breaking the rules during his stay as an apprentice at Kamar-Taj. He uses a sling-ring to steal books from the library so that he could learn astral projection way before he was supposed to (earning a Promotion, Not Punishment moment from the Ancient One) and then later makes off with the Eye of Agamotto and tries using it in an experimental bit of sorcery. He is harshly scolded by Wong and Mordo for this, as using time-based sorcery is in direct violation of natural law, the very thing that the Masters of the Mystic Arts are meant to enforce. Later on, Stephen does this twice, both times working in their favor. The first time he uses it to reverse the Hong Kong Sanctum's destruction, and the second time he uses it to trap Dormammu in a "Groundhog Day" Loop until he concedes defeat.
- Mind over Matter: Has displayed a level of telekinesis in Infinity War by dispersing a giant dust cloud that Ebony's ship caused over the streets in New York and again upon his return in Endgame he spends most of the final battle with Thanos forces mystically redirecting a river threatening to flood the battlefield.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: Strange's greatest strength is his mind, but it isn't just his intelligence. It's his will, determination, analytical ability, his ability to learn quickly, his hardworking mind, his patience, and his ability to hold onto his sanity. These go a long way to defeating opponents he would otherwise lose to. Not only does this allow him to win in his intro movie, but in Infinity War, he manages the patience and determination to live through over 14 million timelines without going insane and he holds on to his rationality. Hell, even the fact that he managed to keep count of all of them is impressive all by itself.
- Mirror Character:
- Iron Man and Doctor Strange both started as arrogant and selfish persons who turned into anti-heroes, and their origin films have similar plot points. They share a strong mutual dislike of the other, primarily because they're both Insufferable Genius Deadpan Snarkers who are evenly matched in both capacities.
- Both Loki and Doctor Strange have an affinity to magic, go through Break the Haughty, hear similar phrases "This isn't \ it's not about you" and "Open your eye(s)" from a female character and see visions of the Multiverse (the Ancient One forces it on Stephen in his first film, and Loki sees the Sacred Timeline and hears voices of various MCU characters when he helps Sylvie to enchant Alioth).
- in the Multiverse of Madness sets him up as one to Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, as both of them are magic wielders who struggle with having to live a life without those they love. The difference is that Wanda gives into her obsession with getting to live a life with her children and goes to evil lengths to do so while Stephen realizes he shouldn't dwell on losing out on a life with Christine and remains heroic.
- Mr. Fanservice: In his first film, Strange is shirtless when he shaves off his Beard of Sorrow.
- Mr. Vice Guy: With actions such as: keeping the broken wristwatch, his adherence to the Hippocratic Oath even when an enemy tried to kill him and his overall growing heroism as a Sorcerer, Stephen was always a good person deep down. However, his pride and arrogance have hindered him a lot early on: thinking about his next high-profile patient took his attention away from the road and led to the car crash. Dismissing the Ancient One's teachings as pseudoscience gets her to kick him out of the temple. Getting angry at Christine for pitying him damages their relationship too much, and they don't get together again.
- Multiple-Choice Future: He uses the Eye of Agamotto to peer into the future to find an outcome where they come out winning against Thanos, sifting through over fourteen million probable futures and only finding one with such an outcome.
- Mundane Utility:
- He uses his Sling Ring to steal books from Kamar-Taj's library, and in The Stinger, uses magic to refill Thor's drink.
- A line in Infinity War suggests he occasionally uses magic just to move his hair about (assuming he's not being snarky).
- He uses his telekinesis to tie his necktie in Multiverse of Madness.
- My Greatest Failure: Multiverse of Madness reveals that much like his comic counterpart, he had a younger sister Donna, who drowned as a child when she fell through a frozen lake. His tremendous guilt over his inability to save her is what inspired him to become a doctor, so he could save the lives of others to atone for it. Sinister Strange even somberly mentions it's an event no variant of Strange likes to remember.
- Narcissist: Back when he was a neurosurgeon, Stephen was insufferably conceited and full of himself, looking down on and sometimes outright mistreating most of the people around him, which was only worsened when the car accident crippled both of his hands. Going to Kamar-Taj and learning sorcery under the Ancient One's tutelage gave Strange the humility he needed. He ended up learning the most important lesson from the Ancient One: "It's not about you."
- Nerves of Steel: Well, minus the ones in his hands of course. Doctor Strange might not be the strongest person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he is almost certainly the bravest.
- As a surgeon, he can calmly extract a bullet lodged between a person's skull and spine with his own two hands and no mechanical assistance. As a sorcerer, he enters the Dark Dimension and proceeds to outwit the nigh-omnipotent tyrant of that realm. And how does he do that? By setting himself up to be killed over and over again for the rest of time if that's what it takes.
- Facing down the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, (who, at that point in time, had four Infinity Stones in the Gauntlet) in a one-on-one. Even while turning to dust, Strange just calmly gives Tony some words of advice. After dying thousands of times at the hands of Dormammu, being turned to dust is probably the equivalent of a mild flu.
- Endgame reveals that back in 2012, he continued to perform surgery even though his hospital was in the middle of the battle zone of the Chitauri invasion.
- Never My Fault:
- After his accident, he blames the doctors for ruining him for trying to fix his hands, apparently not even bothering with the fact that his reckless driving is the very reason he ended up being hospitalized in the first place.
- In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Stephen places blame on Peter Parker for botching a spell that was supposed to make the world forget he was Spider-Man. This is in spite of the fact that Strange himself was the one who decided to try casting the spell in the first place, tried to cast it as quick as possible without making sure Peter was deadset about what he wanted and knew more about what the consequences of casting it would be than Peter.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In No Way Home, Strange agrees to help Peter out of a tight spot by casting a spell that would wipe the collective minds of the world of Peter's true identity. Wong warns that the spell is dangerous, but Strange proceeds anyway. However, Peter realizes that his friends and family will forget him too and starts talking, making Stephen lose his concentration and mess the spell up, pulling several villains from across the Multiverse into his own reality.
- No Body Left Behind: Is disintegrated along with half the universe after Thanos completes the Infinity Gauntlet in Infinity War.
- Not So Stoic: He is visibly touched by Peter's selflessness, and despite trying to hide it, he is deeply saddened with the kid's Heroic Sacrifice in choosing to be erased from everyone's memory, including Strange's own, to help him save the Multiverse.
- Not That Kind of Doctor: Strange takes great pains to remind people that he very much is that kind of doctor and has several different degrees to prove it. His most well-known and accomplished specialty is neurosurgery, but it's implied by the movie his talent, skill, and knowledge base allows him to handle a wide-range of techniques and disciplines. That doesn't mean he will treat you if you only have a minor ailment, as shown in No Way Home.
- Not What I Signed on For: His initial reaction after the Ancient One tries to title him "Master" of the New York sanctum. He rejects the title calling himself "Doctor" and cites the Hippocratic Oath. He realizes that the title carries the expectation of him defending the sanctum at all costs and he flat out says he's not going to do that again. Earlier Strange had even stated that he merely wanted to heal his hands, not save the world against mystic threats.
- Obi-Wan Moment: In Infinity War, when he is about to disintegrate into dust, he uses his last breaths to calmly reassure Tony Stark that "there was no other way".
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
- When Endgame revisits the Battle of New York, Professor Hulk goes looking for Doctor Strange. The Ancient One reveals that he's in the middle of surgery. During the Chitauri invasion.
- During the roughly 15 minutes between Hulks Badass Fingersnap (and his offscreen revival) and Black Panther first appearing through the portal, Strange wouldve had to coordinate his forces on Titan, the forces in Wakanda, the sorcerers of Kamar-Taj, the Asgardian army, the Wasp, and the Ravagers to have them all appear on the battlefield at the same time for their Big Damn Heroes moment. Again, 15 minutes.
- No Way Home has the good Doctor sense the presence of multiversal beings, discern the situation, then travel into the underground to find the Lizard, beat him into submission, construct a prison to contain the otherworldly threats and then rescue Peter from the Goblin's bombing onslaught with a well-placed portal. All in the time it took for Peter to defeat Doc Ock.
- Oh, Crap!: When he realizes that Wanda has been corrupted by the Darkhold and that she's the one pursuing America.
- Older Than They Look: Physically, he's only in his 40's. However, he's lived through countless time loops and traveled forward and backwards in time many millions of times over, meaning he's actually lived thousands, possibly millions of years.
- One-Man Army: As one of the most powerful heroes, he's naturally this. He can be seen taking out multiple Sakaarans at once in Endgame.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Strange and Tony spend most of Infinity War trading insults, one-upping each other and barely working together. However, after Strange looks into the future, he becomes notably friendlier to Tony, even calling him by his first name. It's the earliest foreshadowing of Tony's fate, as Strange likely grew to respect Tony after seeing him perform his Heroic Sacrifice.
- Out of Job, Into the Plot: His origin story starts with him being no longer able to perform his job due to severe hand injury. He finds a new occupation for himself shortly after.
- Outside-Context Problem: In Ragnarok, he briefly becomes one for both Loki and Thor, who were not expecting any powerful sorcerers on Earth. He traps Loki in a pocket dimension and takes his time to mess around with Thor.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: Strange knows very well that he doesn't stand a chance against a godlike entity like Dormammu in a straight fight, so how does he stop him? He lets Dormammu kill him over and over and over again until Dormammu gets so annoyed that he complies to his demands.
- Papa Wolf: He more or less becomes one to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and later on to America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
- The Perfectionist: A major part of his early jerkassery is his drive to keep a perfect medical record and a flawless reputation. It gets to the point that he refuses to treat patients if he believes he won't be able to cure them. The Ancient One even lampshades his fear of failure and how it drives him to excel.
- Pet the Dog:
Strange: Please, we saved half the universe together, I think we're beyond you calling me sir.
- He lets a relative of the patient whom he operated on hug him.
- A deleted scene has him bandage up a dog's broken leg on his way to Kamar-Taj.
- Many of his interactions (especially early on) with Peter in No Way Home can be seen as this, with him being surprisingly warm and welcoming to the boy and willingly offering his aid to him despite the risk it posed. He even lets Peter call him by his first name, something surprisingly few people do.
Peter: Okay... Stephen.
Strange: That feels weird, but I'll allow it.
- Rather than be angry with him for using his sling ring, Strange compliments Ned on his ability to create a portal.
- Photographic Memory: Offhandedly mentions having it, which explains how quickly he learns stuff and get multiple degrees at once.
- Pop-Cultured Badass: Strange is a big music lover, making a game out of identifying songs by their artist and year of release during surgery and naming a long list of singers with Only One Name while talking with Wong.
- Possessing a Dead Body: Due to him being physically trapped in Sinister Strange's Earth, he is forced to use the Darkhold to Dreamwalk into the corpse of Defender Strange so that he can rescue America Chavez from Wanda Maximoff.
- Pride Before a Fall: He was driving distracted because he was filtering his potential patients on his phone by "what would make me look good". This gets him into a car crash which ends his career.
- Primary-Color Champion: His apprentice outfit is blue, the Cloak of Levitation is red and the Eye of Agamotto is gold. Add on the yellow gloves he is seen wearing in Thor: Ragnarok (like in the comics) and you have all three colors.
- Rage Against the Mentor: Tries this multiple times against the Ancient One, but only manages to succeed after he finds out where her immortality and much of her great power comes from.
- Reality Warper:
- Against Thanos, Strange transforms a deadly black hole into harmless butterflies.
- Demonstrates this on a grander scale in Spider-Man: No Way Home, first when he casts the spell to have everyone forget that Peter is Spider-Man, then again later in the film when he hurls Peter into the Mirror Dimension, where his control over the domain is absolute and it's put to glorious effect.
- Real Joke Name: Strange isn't necessarily the best surname to have, and he at one point laments that he'll never be able to have a medical procedure named after him because of it. Also, when he meets Peter Parker in Avengers: Infinity War, Peter assumes that "Dr. Strange" is just his superhero name rather than his being a doctor (in the medical sense) with the last name 'Strange'.
- Refuge in Audacity: Beating Dormammu by allowing the ageless Eldritch Abomination to kill him so many times that Dormammu gets bored, then desperate, and eventually begs him to be freed.
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: According to Christine, he spends money as soon as he earns it. He has a collection of a dozen luxury watches — and the fancy self-winding drawer to put them in — in his big, fancy luxury apartment in New York City, where renting can be thousands of bucks at the low end. He quickly blows through his savings for futile treatment after treatment to fix his hands and, once his funds are gone, tries to put together a "small loan" of $200,000 for yet another treatment.
- Riches to Rags:
- As a successful surgeon, Stephen leads an exceptionally cozy life, but he also has a reputation for spending money as quickly as he makes it. After the accident, he burns through his money quickly trying to find something that will completely fix his hands, and is seen trying to get a loan to fund yet another experimental (and therefore uninsured) treatment from Japan; as Christine says, he's spending money he doesn't have. By the time he arrives at Kamar-Taj, he is completely ruined, which is driven home when all he has to offer the muggers Mordo saves him from is the watch he's wearing. After that, he at least gains a sanctum of his own, which is still quite fancy on its own right and very much loaded.
- Continued in Infinity War where Strange and Wong are introduced arguing about how they don't even have enough money to buy lunch. Being a pseudo-religious order of sorcerers dedicated to protecting the world in secret evidently doesn't gain much income, though the fact that Stephen exasperatedly offers to pay for Wong's sandwich means that he's not completely broke and he still has enough to provide for himself and others. And we do see in Endgame that he can afford a nice suit again.
- The Rival: At first, he and Tony Stark had some kind of rivalry—same ego, but on the polar ends of Magic Versus Science, and he was willing to let Tony Stark die to protect the Time Stone. Later on, he went out of his way to give up the Time Stone in exchange for Iron Man's life, essentially entrusting Tony to finish things from there after he gets dusted from existence.
- Sarcastic Confession: In his first film, Strange delivers a true while absurdly outlandish-sounding summary of events to Christine at the hospital. She refuses to believe him.Strange: Well, a powerful sorcerer who gave himself over to an ancient entity who can bend the very laws of physics, tried very hard to kill me. But I left him chained up in Greenwich Village, and the quickest way back there is through a dimensional gateway that I opened up in the mop closet.
- Scars Are Forever: A close shot of his bare hands in Infinity War as he hands the Time Stone over to Thanos shows that the scars from the numerous surgeries to repair his hands are still very prominent despite several years of healing.
- Science Wizard: A talented and intelligent doctor who's one of the most powerful superheroes thanks to being a Master of the Mystic Arts.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tries to leave Kamar-Taj twice in the middle of the movie. The first time is when he realizes that he may actually have to fight the horrific interdimensional threats the Ancient One talked about and the second is after he kills one of the Zealots and learns the truth about the Ancient One's immortality.
- Sealed Evil in a Duel: At the end of the film, he sets himself up to do this to Dormammu: as long as they're trapped in a time loop in the Dark Dimension, Earth is safe (even if Strange is being repeatedly killed). Luckily for him, Dormammu is easily bored.
- Seen It All: Having been violently killed by Dormammu hundreds if not thousands of times means that Strange barely flinches at cosmic-level threats that would drive any other Avenger to madness. He seems almost bored when dealing with Thor and Loki, and he's practically condescending when talking to Thanos (who has four Infinity Stones at the time) in Infinity War.
- Skeptic No Longer: Strange quickly comes around to the "magic is real" camp after the Ancient One shows him a thing or two.Strange: Teach me...
- Sleep Learning: He uses his Astral Projection to read books when he's sleeping.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only has one scene in Thor: Ragnarok, but he leads Thor and Loki to where Odin is, kicking off the rest of the plot.
- Smug Super: His Fatal Flaw of arrogance returns in No Way Home. He agrees to do a highly advanced spell in spite of the clear dangers that it represents if it goes wrong — which it then does — because he thinks that he can handle it.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: In Infinity War, engages in quite a few of them with Tony Stark.Strange: [Thanos] could destroy life on a scale hitherto undreamt of.
Stark: Did you seriously just say "hitherto undreamt of"?
Strange: Are you seriously leaning on the Cauldron of the Cosmos?
Stark: [still leaning] Is that what this—
[the Cloak of Levitation slaps Stark]
Stark: [puzzled] I'm going to allow that.
- Spontaneous Weapon Creation: The most basic spells Strange have learned allow him to conjure undisclosed magic and solid light which he can shape into shields, whip towels, a scimitar, and whatnot.
- Squishy Wizard: Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful members of the Masters of the Mystic Arts to have ever existed, but he is still vulnerable to means that can harm any human being.
- Starcrossed Lovers: To Christine Palmer. He always loved her but his ego and obsessive work drove her away, though they still remain friends. And much to his disappointment, the one thing that remains consistent with every universe he visits is that he and Christine will never be together.
- Steven Ulysses Perhero: Stephen Strange, is a surgeon (until a forced retirement), and constantly insists that others refer to him as Doctor Strange, rejecting being called Mister or even Master Strange.
- Story-Breaker Power: He's a Person of Mass Destruction who can fight against Thanos the Mad Titan on even footing after the latter had acquired four Infinity Stones. He ends up getting dusted out of existence by the Snap, but had he not then Endgame would have occurred very differently with much more ease.
- Strategy, Schmategy: He lasts quite a while in his first fight with Kaecilius simply by having no idea what the hell he's doing with the various artifacts that get involved.
- The Stoic: By the time of Infinity War, Strange is on a level of power and scope so far above the other heroes that absolutely nothing phases him, tossing Thor and Loki, the gods of Asgard, around like they're unruly houseguests and even having a one-on-one conversation with Thanos himself. Even while being disintegrated, he doesn't flinch, yell, or beg.
- Straw Nihilist: Strange dips into this trope during his conversation with the Ancient One by describing humanity as a series of chemical processes on a floating globe in a cold, uncaring universe while she's trying to convince him magic exists. The Big Bad later echoes this view of the world just to rub it in.
- Take a Third Option: If there are two choices, Stephen can be relied upon to at least try to find a third one. His lateral thinking is arguably his greatest skill and what makes him so dangerous as an opponent. Interestingly, it is something he has to learn through Doctor Strange, as he ignores or doesn't think of other ways of applying his vast surgical knowledge after his hands are injured, like going into teaching.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: 6 feet tall, dark-haired, and possesses one of the biggest sarcastic streaks in the MCU.
- Taught by Experience: While he received his basic training at Kamar-Taj, a majority of Strange's growth comes through fending off Kaecilius and eventually Dormammu. Notably, during his many loops with Dormammu, Strange lasts a fraction of a second longer with each loop.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: In Infinity War, he and Tony Stark regularly argue on how to go about defeating Thanos. Much of the conflict comes from their similarities causing them to butt heads with one another.
- Tempting Apple: When he learns about the Time Stone from the book he was not supposed to read, he tests in on an apple. Mordo and Wong arrive shortly after to reprimand him for attempting to break the space-time continuum and the laws of nature.
- Thanatos Gambit: Implied in Infinity War, where he tells Tony that allowing Thanos to kill half of the universe, himself included, is "the only way", implying that this was the only outcome he saw where Thanos would be defeated. By Endgame, it's confirmed that this was the case.
- These Hands Have Killed: After he's forced to kill a Zealot in self-defense, he suffers a minor Heroic BSoD.
- They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: Strange insists that he is called Doctor rather than Mister. Played for Laughs with Kaecilius, who asks his name by saying "Mister...?" to which he corrects Kaecilius by saying "Doctor" leading the latter to mistake that for his surname and addresses him as "Mister Doctor". Strange tries again to amend the mistake with "It's Strange!" but that makes it all the more confusing when Kaecilius misinterprets him saying it was a strange name.
- They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: He doesn't talk to anyone about his sister dying in a childhood accident.
- Thinking Up Portals: His Sling Ring is capable of opening portals to any point on Earth; a key tool of sorcerers in the MCU.
- In his first film, he has so much trouble just getting started that the Ancient One abandons him on Mount Everest so he can Die or Fly. However, he gets really good at it really fast;
- Within days he's skilled enough in its use to open portals with enough precision to swipe books from Kamar-Taj's library right under Wong's nose.
- In Thor: Ragnarok, he's graduated to opening portals between points he's not even present at; Loki falls through a street corner into a dimension where he falls endlessly until Strange drops him into the lobby of the New York Sanctum. When the little troll god (who unleashed an army on New York) gets pissy at this treatment, Strange throws one at him with a casual "Bye-bye!"
- In Avengers: Infinity War, he's able to LARP Portal, casually opening them so Spider-Man can Teleport Spam his attacks.
- Upon being brought back in Avengers: Endgame, he creates several portals of varying sizes and locations to the Avengers' headquarters, including all the way from Titan where he's personally located, to bring nearly the entire universe's heroes to participate in the final battle with Thanos.
- This Is the Part Where...: In his first film, he doesn't cope well with the loss of fine motor function in his hands, and lashes out at his former girlfriend Christine when she argues that he should stop chasing after a miracle cure and accept his disability.Christine: This is the part where you apologize.
Strange: This is the part where you leave.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Claims this to the Ancient One and Mordo after being forced to kill a Zealot, angrily citing his Hippocratic Oath, saying he became a doctor to save lives, not take them. Neither is especially sympathetic, with the Ancient One claiming that it's his towering ego and desire to save himself that made him become a doctor, while Mordo simply calls him a coward for not having the spine to do what must be done. Strange maintains that it is possible to Take a Third Option and accuses Mordo of lacking imagination. By the end of his first film, he does not kill Kaecilius, nor Dormammu. However, in Endgame, he is willing to sacrifice Tony while in Spider-Man: No Way Home, he is fine with sending the villains back to their universes to die, both times doing so to keep his universe safe, suggesting that while he hasn't abandoned this rule, he is more comfortable with sacrificing lives if it saves more.
- Time Abyss: Between dying countless times to Dormammu after weaponizing the "Groundhog Day" Loop, and living through millions of timelines where the Avengers fail to defeat Thanos, Strange has been around for a very, very long time. And those are just the time-stretching shenanigans that we know about.
- Time Master: Thanks to learning how to harness the Eye of Agamotto, Strange gains the ability to control time, capable of rewinding it, pausing it, or creating an infinite loop. By the time we see him in Thor: Ragnarok, he's offhandly compressing time on the fly to speed his dealings with the Asgardians up, much to Thor's confusion.
- Title Drop: In Infinity War, he drops the title for the sequel, much like his Foil Tony Stark did in the previous Avengers movie:Doctor Strange: We're in the endgame now.
- Token Wizard: Doctor Strange is the only hero in the MCU's line-up who is versed in magic and sorcery, the closest thing beforehand being Thor, a Human Alien that uses a magical weapon (Mjolnir) and draws power from magic forces to enhanced his natural Super Strength. In Avengers: Infinity War, he is the only member of his group with any magical associations, the others either being Science Heroes (Tony and Peter) or aliens (Quill, Mantis, Drax and Nebula).
- Took a Level in Badass: After spending the majority of his debut movie Incompletely Trained, he's later become very proficient in the Mystic Arts in less than two years, likely due to the fact that he can learn even when he's sleeping due to his Astral Projection.
- In Ragnarok, he's much more proficient than he was in his debut film — he's able to get the drop on Loki, God of Mischief and someone with at least a thousand years worth of experience. He's even able to spontaneously transport people to different locations just like the Ancient One did with him. (Word of God notes that about a year has passed between the end of Strange's dispatch of Dormammu and his meeting with Thor.)
- Infinity War showcases the full extent of the magical knowledge he's gained over the past two years during his fight with Thanos, who at this point has four of the six Infinity Stones. He can now partially summon the Mirror Dimension as a shield to protect him, turn miniature black holes into butterflies, create multiple copies of himself, and even summon what appears to be the film's version of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. Moreover, while the likes of Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Drax, and Mantis kept Thanos from concentrating by using sneak attacks, it was Strange and Stark that were doing the heavy lifting. This is especially impressive considering that Stark had far more experience in fighting than Strange.
- Taken up a notch once again in No Way Home. Despite not being the Sorcerer Supreme (albeit on a technicality as he was blipped during the succession), he's developed his skills to a grander scale and the memory spell he uses only went wrong because of Peter (as he's cast the spell successfully before, such as on Wong after their wild party in another world) and he's now the master of the Mirror Dimension, with his skill and control over it surpassing that of the Ancient One's! He's also able to cast a spell that can briefly hold back the tears in space-time caused by the events of the movie.
- By the time of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness he's not only a far more capable hand-to-hand combatant and athlete, but he's gotten even better at using the skills he has and he's now able to summon a variety of creatures in a number of ways, construct even more versatile weaponry and energy constructs, fire more potent energy beams, manipulate sound in a variety of ways, can dreamwalk and even has the ability to possess dead bodies and control demons through sheer force of will.
- Took a Level in Kindness: As he trains with the Ancient One, he begins to lose his arrogance, becomes open to others, and is selflessly willing to die many times by Dormammu's hands to save Earth from being devoured.
- Too Much Alike: He and Tony Stark share a strong mutual dislike of the other primarily because they're both Insufferable Geniuses and Deadpan Snarkers who are evenly matched in both capacities.
- Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: His defeat of Dormammu essentially boils down to Strange constantly trolling an Eldritch Abomination until said Abomination is willing to give him anything just to be rid of him.
- The Trickster:
- In Doctor Strange, he defeats superior sorcerers by outwitting them and bending the rules of magic rather than overpowering them. The way he traps Dormammu, and smirks when he says, "Dormammu, I've come to bargain" when he can tell Dormammu is close to giving in, really cements it.
- In the entirety of his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok, he spends the whole time trolling Thor and Loki. He teleports himself and Thor all over the Sanctum and causing the Asgardian to repeatedly fall over and crash into various things. As for Loki, he had him falling through a portal into another dimension as soon as he noticed his presence, returning him when Thor asked.Loki: I have been falling for thirty minutes!
- In Infinity War, he openly wears the Eye of Agamotto around his neck for anyone to snatch it away, only to be revealed that it has a protective spell that burns Ebony Maw when he tries to take it by force. Later, Thanos successfully takes the Eye, only to smash it and reveal that it was just an illusion all along and that Doctor Strange had the actual Time Stone mystically hidden away in a pocket dimension.
- Troll: By the time of Ragnarok and Infinity War, he's fully graduated to this, teleporting Loki into a bottomless pit and disorient Thor by teleporting him around the Sanctum Sanctorum. He even messes with Thanos — at one point during their duel on Titan, Thanos tosses a black hole at him, which Strange then promptly transmutes and tosses back in Thanos's face as a swarm of harmless butterflies.
- Ungrateful Bastard:
Peter: Thank you, sir.
- After waking up in the hospital, he only blames the doctors for ruining his hands instead of, y'know, thanking somebody for saving his life after a horrible accident he himself caused. Also, considering the amount of damage his hands sustained in the crash you'd think he'd be happy just to still have them, as amputation was a real possibility.
- He possesses shades of this in Infinity War when Iron Man and Spider-Man save him from Ebony Maw. His reaction is to accuse them of almost throwing him into space.
- Averted in No Way Home, saving half the universe together put Peter in his good books enough that he agreed to help him with hardly any coaxing and he's moved to tears out of respect and gratitude at Peter's sacrifice at the end of the movie.
Strange: (Holding back tears) Call me Stephen!
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Hinted at in Infinity War. He never explains what his exact plan to defeat Thanos is, offering only vague reassurances that things will work out ("We're in the endgame now" and "There was no other way") when he hands the Time Stone to Thanos in exchange for Tony's life and they realize Thanos has won when people around them, including Strange himself, die by fading to ashes. Invoked and retroactively justified in Endgame. After he and other victims of Thanos's Snap return from the dead and join the final battle, he flat-out tells Tony what was only implied in Infinity War — that any version of events where he explained his plan to Tony and/or the others ended with it failing.Tony: Hey, you said one out of fourteen million, we'd win, yeah? Tell me this is it.
Strange: If I tell you what happens, it won't happen.
- Vitriolic Best Buds:
- Strange and Wong snark at each other endlessly, even (or especially) after Wong becomes the Sorcerer Supreme, but they're all but inseparable and very loyal to each other.
- Has this with Spider-Man in No Way Home. Although Strange is quite upset with Peter for messing up his spell and causing a multiversal-scale crisis (as well as further preventing an easy solution to the problem by clashing against him), he genuinely cares about Peter's wellbeing, and is clearly devastated at the prospect of losing his memories of the kid to prevent the universe from collapsing in on itself.
- Weak, but Skilled: In terms of sheer power level, Strange isn't as strong as the other heavy hitters like Thanos, Captain Marvel, or Thor, but he doesn't really need to be. His Wizard Duel with Thanos in Infinity War in particular is a masterclass in watching a weaker sorcerer constantly adjusting his strategy and tactics to target the weaknesses and diminish the strengths of a more powerful one.
- Demonstrated wonderfully in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Wanda has gotten exponentially better since she took possession of the Darkhold, but for all her incredible power, her sanity is clearly dwindling. Stephen, meanwhile, may not have the same level of raw power (though his strength levels have definitely increased), but he's able to evade, disorient (and in the end even indirectly defeat her) because he's simply more resourceful and clever, using his magic in ways she would never think to.
- Weapon of Choice: As with the other sorcerers in the film, Strange has his own despite still being a relative novice. When battling Kaecilius and the Zealots throughout the film (as well as in his training scene with Mordo), Strange conjures some sort of weapon manifesting itself similar to a bath towel whip (at least in the way he uses it), while in the New York Sanctum, Strange briefly conjures twin shields with engraved shapes (emphasis on briefly). Of course, in the second half of the movie he uses the Eye of Agamotto as well as the below-mentioned Cloak of Levitation, which make him fare far better.
- Welcome to Corneria: Invoked, in order to force an Eldritch Abomination to give up his plan of consuming the Earth.Strange: Dormammu, I've come to bargain.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He's not too happy to find out Peter wanted him to cast a spell to make everyone forget he's Spider-Man mainly so he, his girlfriend and best friend could get into MIT. He's even less thrilled when finding out Peter hadn't even contacted the university to plead their case.Strange: I'm sorry, are you telling me that you didn't even think to plead your case with them first before you asked me to brainwash the entire world?!
Peter: Well, I mean when you put it like that...
- What You Are in the Dark: At the very end of the film, Strange's hand hovers over his broken watch, the same one given to him by Christine, and contemplates using magic to repair it or possibly even turn back time to before his accident which would not only give him back his old life but a second chance with Christine. In the end, however, he realizes using magic for such petty reasons wouldn't be worth the consequences and decides to leave it as is.
- Whip It Good: Sometimes uses his magic to manifest an energy whip.
- Worthy Opponent:
- Dormammu could consider Strange to be this as he's the only mortal to have ever gotten the better of him (that we know of) and kept true to his word. We'd have to see more of him to gauge this, however, but it's entirely possible (especially considering their long-standing history in the comics).
- While not to the same level as Iron Man, it's clear Thanos held great respect for Strange and was willing to spare Tony's life at his request. Strange being the only Avenger to have engaged him directly (and forced Thanos' hand several times in their brief duel) likely contributes to this.
- Wanda likely sees Strange as this, as she's very respectful of him even when angered and seems to hold him in high regard. He's also the only sorcerer to have ever gotten the better of her, more than once in fact.
- Writing Around Trademarks: In Infinity War, he uses an attack against Thanos that appears to be the Crimson Bands of Cytorrakk, an artifact and entity more closely associated in the comics with the X-Men franchise (particularly the Juggernaut), which Marvel did not have the film rights to at the time. The movie gets around this by simply not naming the spell.
- You Are in Command Now: While he doesn't become the Sorcerer Supreme, he does become the Master of the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City. WandaVision implies Strange is recognized as the Sorcerer Supreme, and Agatha Harkness mentions Wanda is more powerful than him. Spider-Man: No Way Home reveals that Wong has taken the title as Sorcerer Supreme, although Strange claims this is only a technicality since he was gone for five years because of the Blip while Wong wasn't.
- You Are Not Ready: Does this to himself when he leaves the position of Sorcerer Supreme vacant, even though he has the potential for it. No Way Home reveals that Wong is the Sorcerer Supreme due to being alive during the Blip. While Stephen is disappointed, he isn't bitter about it either.
The Cloak of Levitation
Appearances: Doctor Strange | Thor: Ragnarok | Avengers: Infinity War | Avengers: Endgame | What If...? | Spider-Man: No Way Home | Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The Ancient One: No minor feat, it's a fickle thing.
A cloak that enables its user to levitate. It possesses a mind of its own and proves itself as more of an ally than a tool to Strange.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In the comics, Strange only received the Cloak of Levitation from the Ancient One after defeating Dormammu for the first time. Here, the Cloak chooses Strange as its master as Stephen is just beginning to combat the threat of Dormammu and his followers, and actively assists him in doing so.
- Adaptation Expansion: The Cloak has always been associated with Doctor Strange in the comics, but it never had sentience and a cheeky personality of its own.
- Alternate Self:
- In What If...Doctor Strange Lost his Heart Instead of his Hands?, the Cloak of Levitation helps assist the Good Doctor Strange in trying to defeat his evil Supreme variant. Unfortunately, the cloak ends up being ripped apart by Supreme when he attempts to save his master from a particularly powerful attack.
- In the What If...Zombies?! timeline both Strange and Wong had become zombies, with the Cloak having joined the surviving heroes. It apparently has some sort of bond with Peter Parker in this timeline as it works with him often and allowed Peter to wear it. When they encounter Scott Lang, who is a head in a jar, the Cloak takes responsibility of moving Scott around.
- Earth-838 has its own version, although the only time we see it appears to be inert, leaving its status questionable. The Sacred Timeline Cloak also seems to get a patch of a piece of it.
- Ambiguous Situation: The Cloak is certainly sentient. However, it's still a piece of magical cloth. So it's unclear if it fades to dust along with Strange when Thanos snaps his fingers because it was on Strange's person at the time (when people are dusted their clothes go with them) or if it's considered its own living thing and just happened to be one of Thanos's victims.
- Ancient Artifact: Like all relics, it's rather old.
- Badass Cape: Literally. The Cloak is a bright red cape that can stylishly flow regardless of physics, and neatly wraps itself on Strange's shoulder. It is just as if not more badass than Strange, really — during its introductory fight, it deals with Strange's enemies better than he does.
- Blue Is Heroic: After taking some damage in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Cloak is repaired with a blue patch.
- Boring, but Practical: Its power is to float. Not very flashy compared to the Eye of Agamotto being an Infinity Stone that can rewind time, but it does Strange probably the most good.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Strange originally acquires the Cloak by being thrown through its glass case.
- Cloak of Defense: Its first on-screen action is saving Strange's life from Kaecilius.
- Clothing Damage: The fight with Gargantos early in Multiverse of Madness leaves the Cloak with a large hole in the back. The Earth-838 version of Christine Palmer repairs it with a large blue patch that likely was taken from the 838 Cloak as a flashback to 838 Strange's death showed it was blue.
- Cloth Fu: In this case, the cloth is sentient and can attack on its own. Notably slapping them or wrapping itself around them to hinder them.
- Dancing Pants: Capable of moving about without (and sometimes in contradiction to) Strange's will.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: If you believe the Cloak is a living being, then in What If... Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands? it was killed by Strange Supreme.
- Early-Bird Cameo: When Strange is exploring the New York Sanctum, he passes it by as it lies crumpled in the corner of the room, and it flies up as if he piqued its interest.
- Empathic Weapon: It's sentient, smart, and very expressive despite having no human qualities.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a cloak that lets you levitate.
- Expy: The Visual Effect Supervisor of Doctor Strange stated that the team looked at the Carpet from Aladdin, another magical highly-sentient floating piece of cloth, when hashing out the characterization of the Cloak and its relationship to Strange.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: The cloak hangs from the left shoulder, which is also where the bands of quilting on the back radiate from, leaving the right arm free for spellcasting.
- Funny Background Event: While Strange is drawing a portal to the hospital, it can be seen in the background smacking around Kaecilius's goon.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: It can block close-range attacks with impressive speed, can detach itself from its user to protect them, has a working knowledge of the New York Sanctum's artifacts, and if it weren't for its seemingly mundane gift of flight, Strange would have died a few minutes into the Mirror Dimension chase.
- In Avengers: Infinity War, the cloak gives Ebony Maw more trouble than Doctor Strange himself, not to mention Wong, Iron Man, or Spider-Man. It even single-handedly prevented Thanos from using the Infinity Gauntlet.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: After Strange has a few tears after Christine ends their relationship and gives him a Last Kiss, it wipes them off his face.
- Just in Time: Does it twice, each time saving Strange from death in the nick of time.
- Killer Rabbit: How dangerous could a floating piece of clothing be? Just ask that Zealot how he was beaten into the floorboards for over a minute, or ask Drax how he was humiliated by it.
- Living Clothes: The cape has a mind of its own, which is occasionally showcased and put to good use. Strange has basically a partner in battle who can assist him unexpectedly because almost no one can predict that a cloak could be sentient. For instance in Infinity War, the Cloak stalls Ebony Maw by making the unconscious Dr. Strange fly away with it, at least allowing Spider-Man to lend a hand.
- Mundane Utility: It doesn't need any stand, and it puts itself on.
- Mystical High Collar: A red one is part of the cloak.
- My Suit Is Also Super: It can easily block Kaecilius's blade of magic, and has powers of its own.
- No Body Left Behind: It disintegrates along with Stephen after Thanos snaps his fingers.
- Not Quite Flight: It lets the wearer levitate.
- Not the Fall That Kills You : It clearly knows it, and rather than arrest the fall completely, it simply slows Strange's fall.
- Only the Chosen May Wield: It's rather picky, and Strange can only wear it because it agrees with it.
- Power Floats: The cloak allows Strange to float in the air.
- Primary-Color Champion: In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the red cloak receives a blue patch following its damage in battle.
- Red Is Heroic: The cloak is red in color and has a heroic personality.
- Sapient Steed: The writers have compared Strange's relationship with the Cloak to an inexperienced rider and an experienced horse: the rider may be the one nominally in charge, but the horse is the one who knows what's up.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: Was just sitting around in a display case until Strange showed up.
- Silent Snarker:
- It's clearly exasperated with Strange's undertraining-caused antics and expresses it very well despite being unable to speak.
- In Avengers: Infinity War, the cloak is clearly annoyed at Tony Stark and Peter Parker, even shrugging in a huff and practically sighing when they become too engrossed in a personal argument.
- The Speechless: As a cloak, it's unable to speak.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Occasionally upstages Strange himself. Several fans have come away noting that their favorite character from the movie actually turned out to be a piece of fabric.
- Tranquil Fury: Gives this impression when beating one of Kaecilius's henchmen due to the whole "lack of a face and voice" thing.
- Tsundere: If Strange is doing something stupid, it's quick to let him know of its disapproval and even physically restrains him (by the neck, of course, given how it's attached). But when he's upset, the Cloak can be surprisingly gentle and affectionate.
- Undying Loyalty: As soon as its glass casing is shattered, it sticks by Strange through thick and thin. It even accompanies him into the Dark Dimension and endures repeated destruction at Dormammu's hands to help Strange enact his gambit.Tony Stark: Wow, you are a seriously loyal piece of outerwear, aren't you?
- Adaptational Jerkass: Along with Adaptational Villainy, many versions of Strange tend to be far crueler if not outright evil in comparison to the Sacred Timeline version.
- Failure Hero: Like the Sacred Timeline version they all became Sorcerer Supreme of their realities and chose to defend their worlds from mystical threats. Unlike the main Strange, however, all eventually failed in being heroes and end up causing more harm than good.
- In Spite of a Nail: It seems that no matter how much he tries, Stephen Strange can never find happiness with Christine Palmer. According to Sinister Strange while exploring alternate universes he was never able to find a version of Strange who was able to make their relationship work. Even when Stephen does get together with her in one timeline, he can only spend so much time with her before she's taken away from him in a deadly car crash.
- Pragmatic Hero: Their Fatal Flaw seems to be their willingness to cross certain lines for The Needs of the Many, leading to groups such as the Illuminati deciding that all variants of Doctor Strange are potential dangers to The Multiverse.
- Starcrossed Lovers: All the variants love their universe's Christine Palmer, but they can never be together. Most of the time, their romance simply falls apart due to their incompatible personalities, and the one universe where they actually make it work happens to be a universe where Christine is destined to die in a fatal car crash.
Dr. Stephen Strange
Affiliation(s): Guardians of the Multiverse
Voiced By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Appearances: What If...?
The Doctor Strange of Earth-91233, who became immensely powerful in his quest to undo the always-destined death of Christine Palmer in his timeline... with extremely dire consequences.
- The Aloner: Strange Supreme is left in a crystal prison by himself at the end of the episode, similar to the ending of What If...? Vol I, No. 43, where he is the only one left in the universe after Eternity's ghost wants to remain as a reminder to other universes.
- Alternate Self: To the Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline, coming from a universe where he loses the love of his life and attempts to bend the rules of time to bring her back to life.
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: An interesting example as while he is indeed incredibly powerful, to the point he can see Uatu and alter a fixed point in time, the fact he is so powerful is the problem as he causes the destruction of his universe. During the fight with Infinity Ultron, he is the main reason the Guardians of the Multiverse weren't immediately killed, proving that he has enough magical power to fight a being wielding the Infinity Stones. The brunt of the deviation from his Sacred Timeline counterpart can be summarized as Strange not being humbled by the loss of his hands early on, resulting in him falling a lot farther to reach the same caliber of hero and to ultimately stand tall against cosmic threats — only Supreme, being affiliated with the Watcher, does so on a multiversal scale.
- Arc Villain: The Villain Protagonist of "What If Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?".
- The Atoner: Though he has nothing to gain or lose from helping Uatu defeat Infinity Ultron, Strange Supreme nonetheless assists, if only to find some sense of redemption for his actions. It's because of this that he's willing to remain in his pocket universe after the battle and keep a close eye on Killmonger and Zola-Ultron as they fight over the Infinity Stones for eternity.
- Bad Powers, Good People: His tenure into evil turned him into a humanoid Lovecraftian abomination that houses an innumerable amount of mythic/demonic creatures within his body, gained from the power to eat energy and life forms. These abilities end up helping him defend the Multiverse against Infinity Ultron.
- Beard of Evil: By the time he becomes Strange Supreme, his goatee becomes this, with it being more pointed and dark compared to Good Stranges more rounded goatee.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: The Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline (at least up to Avengers: Endgame) is a person who's conscientious of his own flaws and has driven off egomaniacal threats like Dormammu and Thanos. Strange Supreme, though, ends up proving a larger threat to his own universe than either of the two were to the Sacred Timeline. However, he eventually finds redemption when Uatu needs help to prevent Infinity Ultron from wiping out all life in the Multiverse.
- Black Eyes of Evil: This version of Strange has dark eyes since he's absorbed various demonic entities.
- Bored with Insanity: Implied to have become this by the time we see him in Episodes 8 and 9, as Strange Supreme acts much like his ordinary self when Uatu meets him again, rather than the broken, regretful man seen at the end of his own story. Considering he's spent an indeterminate amount of time in a prison of his own making, he likely spent most of that time thinking about and coming to peace with his own shameful actions.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In-Universe. Strange Supreme is one of the only two characters in What If who becomes aware of the Watcher in the series (Infinity Ultron being the other), and pleads for Uatu's help when his universe is about to die.
- Broken Ace: He's an incredibly intelligent neurosurgeon, likely one of the most powerful sorcerers ever and as a consequence one of the most powerful beings in the Multiverse. He was also so haunted by the death of his girlfriend he sacrificed everything to bring her back, only to destroy the entire universe including her in the process.
- Composite Character: Strange Supreme's edgier costume aesthetics harken, ironically, to classical comics Baron Mordo◊.
- Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: He gains these by the time he encounters Good Strange, a result of his constant absorption of various beings into himself.
- Dark Is Not Evil: After the tragic events of his premiere episode, he uses his Lovecraftian Superpowers to buff his new team and fend of Infinity Ultron's campaign of oblivion.
- Deal with the Devil: A literal (since hes a Humanoid Abomination in the form of a demon sorcerer) and inverted example, as he agrees to help Uatu in his quest to stop Infinite Ultron from destroying the entire Multiverse, as a way to redeem himself.
- Deity of Human Origin: He was originally a very skilled neurosurgeon, and after spending centuries of consuming mystical beings, he becomes a Humanoid Abomination Physical God.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's unclear whether they were married or simply long-term (as Sacred Timeline Strange used to be with Christine), but this version of Strange loved his Christine so much that he sought to alter the causality of an Absolute Point in time just to see her again. Long after his Tragic Mistake, he continues to hold her memory in high regard.Captain Carter: What happened to you?
Strange Supreme: The same thing that happened to you... love.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Played for laughs when Strange refuses to absorb a giant insect into himself, though he settles for stealing his cape instead.
- Played straight in regards to destroying the entire universe. Strange never wanted to do such a thing, but the lengths he went to in order to save Christine ended up causing this to occur.
- Evil Costume Switch: Strange Supreme's descent into villainy is marked by a cape with black and purple in contrast to the red of the Cloak of Levitation. His clothing proper also has additional red highlights and a gold sash. He even has a pointed goatee.
- Evil Makes You Ugly: Normally, he uses his magic to hide the disfiguring that resulted from repeated absorption of mystic beasts. But when he resurrects Christine, there is a very unsettling◊ Glamour Failure that understandably scares her.
- Evil Sorcerer: He is a malevolent version of Doctor Strange from another timeline.
- Evil Sounds Deep: His voice is noticeably deeper than Good Stranges voice.
- Fallen Hero: From defeating Dormammu and saving his universe to causing the end of it a few years later.
- Fatal Flaw: His pride and arrogance go into overdrive. Without being humbled by losing his hands, along with being unable to accept Christine's death, he fully believed he could circumvent a fundamental rule in reality. This arrogance destroyed his universe.
- Fate Worse than Death:
- The episode ends with Strange being the sole survivor in his universe and apparently trapped in a pocket dimension, where he will likely live for the rest of his unnatural lifespan. Given the immense menagerie of demons he's absorbed into himself, it's very likely he's going to be there a very long time.
- Subverted in Episode 9. While he's still in his reality bubble in the end, he makes amends with Uatu and has a new purpose as the guardian of Killmonger and Zola-Ultron's prison, giving him something to stay occupied, at least.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: This Strange was already going off the deep end, but fully jumped after spending centuries in frozen time mastering his magic unimpeded. Later Played for Laughs in Season 1's finale, as he has a hard time giving a public toast for the newly-formed Guardians of the Multiverse, and is generally not as socially adept as his fellow teammates.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Finding out that Christine's death can't be undone no matter what he does sets Strange on his world-ending path in a desperate attempt to bring her back.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: His magic is a darker shade of orange to differentiate it from Good Stranges lighter orange magic. This also applies to when he absorbs Good Strange and the Eye of Agamotto turns red along with his magic.
- Good Counterpart: In a sense to Sinister Strange. Both were primarily motivated by their love for Christine, both turned to dark magic and both did horrible things. But where Sinister Strange went mad and began killing other universes, Strange Supreme came to regret his actions and worked with Uatu to do good after he destroyed his universe.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Unlike his Sacred Timeline self, this Doctor Strange became an Evil Sorcerer after Christine Palmer died in a car crash...only to destroy his home universe attempting to save Christine, and having to cope with the consequences of that ultimately puts him back on track to once again becoming a hero, though one with a Dark and Troubled Past.
- Heel Realization: After the universe begins falling apart, he finally realizes he's gone too far in his quest to save Christine. Unfortunately, by this point it's too late.
- Hero Killer: He absorbs Good Strange after a lengthy fight in order to make himself whole. And his actions indirectly kill off the rest of his universes heroes as well.
- Humanoid Abomination: The result of centuries spent devouring mystic beings, by the time he encounters good Strange, he appears as a writhing mass of shadows before settling on his human form with an Undeathly Pallor. By the time he resurrects Christine, she can only scream in horror at what he looks like.
- I Am Legion: He refers to himself and Good Strange as "We" and wants to absorb him to make them whole again.
- Irony: He muses to Uatu at the end of the first season of ''What If...?" that he has nothing but time. He's obviously referring to the fact that he doesn't much to do these days after wrecking the fabric of reality in his home universe, but he's also the carrier of a Time Stone, and certainly had nothing but time even prior to his attempt to resurrect Christine.
- Killing Your Alternate Self: He ultimately defeated the version of him created by the Ancient One.
- The Lancer: He is the one who helps Uatu gather the Guardians of the Multiverse and provide exposition, acting on Uatu's behalf in the battle against Infinity Ultron.
- Looks Like Cesare: The absorption of so many beings causes this Strange to grow incredibly pale, which emphasizes his villainous nature.
- Lovecraftian Superpower: During the battle with Infinity Ultron, Strange uses the abilities of several of the various mystic beings he absorbed, most notably sending three dragons to engulf the android in flames and later crushing the giant-sized Ultron back to normal size with the appendages of the kraken creature.
- Love Makes You Evil: The death of Christine Palmer led Strange to be Driven to Madness.
- Magic Eater: His method of attaining Physical Godhood was literally absorbing other, more threatening cosmic entities into his being. He does this more literally when he counters a galaxy-destroying attack from Infinity Ultron by eating it.
- Mirror Character: To Wenwu. Both are prodigies who lived for hundreds of years, both have incredible skill and power, both have access to powerful artefacts (the Eye of Agamotto and the Ten Rings respectively) and both were driven by a desire to save their loved ones (Christine for Stephen and Ying Li for Wenwu), with both threatening the fate of the world in the process. The only differences are Wenwu was already a villain prior to the death of his wife (albeit a very sympathetic and relatable one) and he spent his final moments saving his son and daughter, the loved ones he still had, redeeming himself in the process which aided in saving the world from its fate. Stephen, on the other hand, was unable to let go of his pain and ensured the destruction of his own universe, leaving him with nothing.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After seeing that his actions have doomed his universe, he begs Uatu to save his world and even asks to be solely punished for his hubris instead of dooming the universe. While he admits to wishing he could, Uatu explains he is forbidden to interfere and leaves Strange to his fate.
- My Greatest Failure: After he briefly succeeds at bringing Christine back to life, he ends up destroying his universe along with everyone in it, despite begging Uatu to save the universe. Along with the universe, Christine dies again leaving him completely alone.
- My Greatest Second Chance: However, when Infinity Ultron becomes a threat to the Multiverse, Uatu reluctantly gives him a chance for redemption, when he is recruited into the newly formed Guardians of the Multiverse. After defeating Infinity Ultron, he is given the responsibility by Uatu of being the guardian and keeper of Killmonger and Zola-Ultron's prison, to ensure neither of them ever escapes.
- Noble Demon: Nothing will stop him from saving Christine, no matter what he has to do in order to achieve it. But he hasn't lost his humanity and only goes as far as he has to in his quest for power. He resorts to diplomacy over brute force a few times and it's clearly out of preference rather than necessity.
- No Social Skills: We don't know how long he spent in a hell of his own creation, but it clearly hampered his social skills. By the time the Watcher takes him to join the Guardians, he can only manage an incredibly stilted speech talking about their likely imminent deaths, half-quoting O-Bengh and the Ancient One until T'Challa steps in and handles the toast a bit more gracefully.
- Physical God: At the end of his pursuit of power, Strange Supreme becomes one of the most powerful beings in his universe (so much that he accidentally destroys it) and one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse. He is able to sense and eventually speak to the Watcher, where it takes Ultron with all six Infinity Stones to do the same. In the first season finale, Strange is singlehandedly the reason why the Guardians of the Multiverse don't immediately fall to Ultron. When the AI detonates the galaxy to get rid of them, Strange reverses time and eats the explosion. He is also capable of containing Zola-in-Ultron's-body and Killmonger with the Infinity Stones in a time bubble by himself.
- Power Incontinence: While he has a fairly good grasp of his god-level magical abilities, the number of cosmic entities in his being tends to flare up at times, often in the form of an unsettling Glamour Failure or Involuntary Shapeshifting. He seems to have a much better handle on this by the time the Guardians of the Multiverse go up against Infinity Ultron, as he notably doesn't look nearly as disgusting when he channels massive amounts of power to contain Ultron compared to when he did so to resurrect Christine.
- Protagonist Journey to Villain: In episode 4, Strange is the hero who saves the universe from Dormammu and becomes the Sorcerer Supreme only to slowly descend into madness while attempting to gain power in order to reverse Christine's death. In the end, he kills his other self and destroys the universe he vowed to protect.
- Purple Is Powerful: The cape Strange Supreme steals from a large insect is shown to have various shades of purple. The "powerful" comes into play when Strange becomes so powerful that his entire universe begins to destroy itself.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: Strange successfully undoes Christine's death... only for her to disintegrate when reality falls apart anyway, leaving him completely alone for all eternity.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Receives one from Uatu when Strange begs for his help in saving his universe, where Uatu points out that Strange knew the danger of messing with time and was warned by everyone he knew, yet in his arrogance, he continued to believe he could fix everything.
- Really 700 Years Old: Strange Supreme admits to his heroic counterpart that he's spent centuries absorbing creatures into himself in order to gain the power to bring Christine Palmer back to life. Aside from his pale complexion, however, Strange Supreme otherwise looks just as young as Good Strange.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Not to himself, but to the Eye of Agamotto after he absorbs Good Strange, signifying how his power is now at its peak.
- Rousing Speech: Attempts to give one to the rest of the Guardians of the Multiverse. Keyword: Attempts.
- Say It: When Uatu needs help after Infinity Ultron proves how dangerous he is, Strange makes him say that he specifically needs Strange's help.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: In contrast to the traditional red and blue colors associated with Doctor Strange, this version's robe and cape are various shades of purple.
- Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: As the universe collapses around him, Christine and Uatu, Strange Supreme offers that he be punished for everything in exchange for things being set right. As much as the Watcher would like to punish Strange, his Alien Non-Interference Clause only allows him to invoke Cruel Mercy.
- Sole Survivor: As a consequence of Strange's actions leading to the destruction of the universe, Christine fades away in Strange's arms and he's left all alone in his pocket, the weight of his decisions leaving him a broken man.
- Spikes of Villainy: His new cloak evokes this.
- Starcrossed Lovers: He's the only Doctor Strange to have a functioning, healthy romantic relationship with Christine... and it happens to be the universe where Christine is fated to die. No matter how many times Strange tries to save Christine using the Time Stone, Christine always dies. Even breaking the laws of reality and unwittingly destroying the universe didn't help, as Christine only lives long enough to be horrified by Strange's actions before dissolving away along with the rest of the universe.
- Took a Level in Badass: Either he significantly refined his magic offscreen after his debut episode, or he seriously was not kidding when he said that his powers were diluted with another variant of him coexisting in the same universe. He puts his magic to incredible use against Infinity Ultron — making his teammates practically invulnerable with a protection spell, calling out massive displays of force from the entities he's absorbed over the centuries, and reversing Ultron's galaxy-destroying blast then subsequently absorbing its full force. Ultron eventually singles him out as the only reason why any of the Guardians are still standing, and resolves to focus on him.
- Voice of the Legion: Speaks like this when fighting Good Strange, with it becoming even more pronounced when he speaks to Christine in his Humanoid Abomination form.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: He is the only thing keeping the Guardians of the Multiverse in the fight against Infinity Ultron, who quickly realizes that if he can take out Strange Supreme, he wins the fight.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Literally. This Strange gets so absorbed in trying to bring Christine Palmer back to life, he ends up completely destroying his universe, leaving nothing but a small purple pocket dimension for him to wallow in, profusely sobbing and apologizing for his actions to no one.
- The Worf Barrage: He is the reason why the Guardians of the Multiverse are able to fight on an even playing field against the omnipotent Infinity Ultron. He casts a protection spell on his teammates that cushions blows that would obliterate normal humans. When Infinity Ultron tries destroying the planet they're on, Strange Supreme eats the attack. When Infinity Ultron tries using the Time Stone to steal back the Soul Stone, Strange Supreme just cancels it out with his own Time Stone.
Dr. Stephen Strange
Voiced By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Appearances: What If...?
In an attempt to stop Strange Supreme from tearing reality apart, the Ancient One split his existence into two, creating a Variant within a Variant who gave up his ambitions to resurrect Christine Palmer and remained good.
- Alternate Self: To Strange Supreme and ultimately to the Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline, in a universe where he is created by the Ancient One to stop his Supreme self.
- Curb Stomp Cushion: Give the man some credit; despite being overpowered very easily by Supreme Strange, he actually manages to hold his own for a bit before being overwhelmed.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: The first Doctor Strange variant to die on-screen (not counting the main version being snapped in Infinity War).
- Godzilla Threshold: His existence is this. The Ancient One admits to him that splitting the timeline is just as dangerous as what Strange Supreme is doing but was necessary in order to stop him from completely destroying the universe.
- Good Doppelgänger: He's this to Strange Supreme, representing what he could have been if he had been able to move on from Christine's death.
- The Hero Dies: Unfortunately, he loses to his evil counterpart, dooming the universe.
- Helpless Good Side: He might be a powerful sorcerer, but by the time he's created, Strange Supreme has amassed so much power that there was no chance this version could stand a chance against him.
- Made of Good: He embodies what Strange could've been had he managed to move on from Christine's death.
- Morally Superior Copy: To Strange Supreme, who was driven off the deep end by his desire to bring back Christine.
- Power Limiter: His existence stops Strange Supreme from realizing his full potential. After Strange Supreme defeats him, he reabsorbs him, gaining that power back.
- Walking Spoiler: The presence of another Doctor Strange is not made known until over halfway through the episode.
- Weak, but Skilled: This version of Strange lacks the immense power of Strange Supreme and the extensive experience of Sacred Timeline Strange (the events being only about one year after the first movie), but he manages to (briefly) hold his own against Strange Supreme with some impressive quick wit and ingenuity.
Dr. Stephen Strange
Species: Zombified human
Voiced By: N/A
Appearances: What If...?
On Earth-89521, Doctor Strange was infected with a zombie virus.
- Alternate Self: To the Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline, coming from a universe where he and Wong are transformed into zombies.
- Death by Irony: He was a zombie whose fate was being Eaten Alive.
- Eaten Alive: By the swarms of ants sent by Hope to save Dr. Banner.
- Eye Scream: His left eye is noticeably missing, leaving his orbital exposed.
- It Can Think: Becoming a zombie hasnt hampered Stranges magic skills in the slightest.
- Noodle Incident: Whatever led to him getting infected given that he was not with the Avengers when they confronted the zombie horde in San Francisco.
- Our Liches Are Different: An undead zombie who still has magic powers.
Dr. Stephen Strange
Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Appearances: Spider-Man: No Way Home note | Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
A Variant of Doctor Strange, coming from a world that has been almost destroyed due to a unknown event.
- Advertised Extra: Despite appearing in many of the promotional trailers, Sinister Strange only appears near the end of the film and lasted less than five minutes before being killed by his Sacred Timeline counterpart.
- Alternate Self: To the Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline and to Defender Strange and Supreme Strange.
- Beard of Evil: His goatee is the most pronounced of all the Strange variants, and he's also the most evil so far.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He appears late in Multiverse of Madness and has all the markings of a Big Bad (e.g Evil Doppelgänger/Evil Counterpart of The Hero out on a killing spree for his AU counterparts in a story about The Multiverse). However, Wanda is firmly cemented as the film's Big Bad by the time he showed up and he's relegated as an Outside-Context Problem.
- Cold Ham: He emphasizes Evil Sounds Raspy through gravitas and facial expressions.
- The Corruptible: This Stephen Strange fell victim to the sinister power of the Darkhold, becoming a twisted shadow of his former self.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: Killed by the main Strange near the end of Multiverse of Madness.
- Demonic Possession: He has made extensive use of Dreamwalking magic.
- Driven to Suicide: A twisted variation. He has become a serial killer of his own Variants across the multiverse, possessing them and forcing them to jump to their deaths.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Black-haired, skin as white as snow, and incredibly creepy.
- Evil Counterpart:
- By far the most evil variant of Strange in The Multiverse, he's a serial killer who used the Darkhold to kill alternate versions of himself and is possibly responsible for the destruction of his universe, though there's also a chance that his world's destruction is what pushed him into madness.
- He's also this to Strange Supreme from What if.... While Strange Supreme did end up destroying his universe trying to bring back Christine, at least he had the decency to feel ashamed and horrified by what he did, especially since it was All for Nothing. Strange Supreme then worked with Uatu to do good. Sinister Strange has no such remorse and even actively chases after other versions of himself and Christine, happily killing any version of him and taking their Christine for himself.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: His voice is notably gruffer compared to his variants, in addition to being the most evil of them shown thus far.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: His extensive use of the Darkhold has caused an eye to form in the center of his forehead, much like Strange Supreme did when in his true form. Sacred Timeline Strange is nothing short of unnerved when he sees it.
- Faux Affably Evil: While certainly creepy, he's polite enough to Sacred Timeline Strange when they meet. Then he admits, with a smile, that he's murdered many of their other variants.
- Freudian Excuse: Failing to prevent your universe from dying and then getting your mind bombarded with the dark influence of a tome of evil won't do much good for your mental state.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Upon losing the musical battle with Strange and being tossed out of his Sanctum, he falls and is impaled on a fence spike.
- In Spite of a Nail: The Strange of the Sacred Timeline is able to convince his counterpart he's from an Alternate Universe by mentioning the death of his sister Donna which Sinister Strange also experienced. Also like Strange Supreme, his relationship with Christine indirectly resulted in him going down a darker path. And like Supreme Strange of Earth-838, both of them came to use the Darkhold for seemingly noble purposes which only backfired, with Supreme allowing his friends to kill him while Sinister apparently had no one and fell further into evil.
- Karmic Death: After having killed a number of other variants of Stephen Strange, this one meets his end at the hands of the Sacred Timeline's Doctor Strange. Especially because he mentions having killed numerous other Strange variants by pushing them to their death, his own death was by falling onto a fence spike.
- Killing Your Alternate Self: Has killed a number of his variants prior to his introductions, believing he was giving them a favor by putting them out of their misery.
- Names To Run Away From Very Fast: The other evil Strange we know at least didn't go around calling himself "Sinister Strange."
- Obviously Evil: Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette? Check. Smug Smiler? Check.
- Outside-Context Problem: Being the Evil Doppelgänger/Evil Counterpart of The Hero in a story about The Multiverse, he has all the hallmarks of a classic Big Bad. However, he's introduced very late into the film, and by that time Wanda is firmly cemented as the film's Big Bad. As such, the main Strange wanting to defeat him has more to do with him getting in the way so he could go home and fight Wanda than Sinister Strange being on a killing spree for their multiversal counterparts. He's also a problem for Wanda even though they never meet since without him and his version of the Darkhold, she would have succeeded in her goal of killing America and escaping to another universe.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Sinister Strange killed many of his alternate selves with the Darkhold by Dreamwalking into them and making them jump off high rise buildings.
- Purple Is Powerful: His magic is coloured purple courtesy of his studies from the Darkhold.
- Put Them All Out of My Misery: His own variants, specifically. He is convinced that no Strange is happy and they are all a menace... so he uses Dreamwalking to force his variants to kill themselves.
- Serial Killer: He's murdered a number of other Doctor Strange variants, believing that he was putting them out of their misery.
- Shadow Archetype: He's essentially Strange Supreme, but without the redeeming qualities and truly tragic motivations. Since Strange Supreme was motivated to save the love of his life, his obsession of her is more forgivable while Sinister Strange ends up telling his Sacred Timeline counterpart that he would hand over the Darkhold if Strange gave him the Earth-838 Christine to keep.
- Slasher Smile: Quite fittingly for his title, he can pull off some sinister grins and smiles as he talks about what he did to the other Stranges.
- Tragic Villain: He tried to use the Darkhold to save his universe, but failed, leaving the universe a collapsing, seemingly lifeless wasteland. Further use of the Darkhold to seek out a world where he and Christine were still together didn't make things any better, as all he found were Strange variants who couldn't hold on to her, and Sinister Strange began murdering his own variants, convinced he was putting them out of their misery. By the time Sacred Timeline Strange finds him, Sinister Strange is a broken, malicious shadow of his former self, his only purpose being to protect the Darkhold and kill more of his variants.
- Villainous Widow's Peak: His hair is pulled back. This, coupled with his very pale skin and beard, give him a classic Card-Carrying Villain look.
Dr. Stephen Strange
Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Appearances: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
A Variant of Doctor Strange who teamed up with America Chavez.
- Alternate Self: One of the variants to the Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline, as well as Sinister Strange and Supreme Strange who also appear in the film.
- Animate Dead: In the climax of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Sacred Timeline Strange uses the Darkhold's Dreamwalking spell to take over the corpse of Defender Strange (which was buried under bricks atop a building early in the film) to save America Chavez and confront Wanda, animating his decayed body in the process.
- Apologetic Attacker: Is not thrilled about killing America by absorbing her power, but is convinced it is necessary.
- Body Horror: His reanimated corpse, used by Sacred Timeline Strange to fight Wanda, has already decayed badly by the time the climax rolls around, with a chunk of his cheek missing to reveal some of his teeth. After the fight with Wanda, much of the flesh from the left side of his body is gone, exposing his muscles and some of his skull.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Gets killed in the movie's introduction scene and is then buried by the main Strange. He wouldn't show up again until later when main Strange Dreamwalks into his corpse in the Final Battle to fight Wanda.
- Dark Is Not Evil: As a walking and flying corpse in the climax, he looks horrific with his decay and the horde of dark spirits Sacred Timeline Strange had him tame and contain within his body, and he's used to stop Wanda from becoming a multiversal threat.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: Dies at the opening scene of Multiverse of Madness and is then buried by the Sacred Timeline Strange before he is later used as a vessel to save America Chavez.
- Death Equals Redemption: When it becomes apparent that hes the one who is going to die in the encounter he thought America had no way out of, he spends his final moments casting spells to defend her. Subverted in that America never seems to notice the truth and Sacred Timeline Strange never tells her, although his body being used to protect America once-and-for-all has undertones of this trope as well, earning him some redemption-by-proxy.
- Handicapped Badass: When main Strange Dreamwalks into his corpse. Aside from obviously being dead, the body is already decaying badly by that point.
- In Spite of a Nail: When he's about to drain America of her power despite the fact it would kill her, he says the same thing his Sacred Timeline counterpart said about the multiversal villains to Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home which shows how similar they are.Doctor Strange: In the grand calculus of the Multiverse, their sacrifice means infinitely more than their lives.Defender Strange: In the grand calculus of the Multiverse, your sacrifice is worth more than-
- Not Too Dead to Save the Day: He dies early in the film, but his corpse ends up being vital to defeating Wanda in the climax, as Sacred Timeline Strange possesses it to fight her while trapped in another universe.
- Our Liches Are Different: Sacred Timeline Strange uses the Darkhold to possess his dead corpse in order to battle Scarlet Witch and save America Chavez. He still has powers after being reanimated, although those look more like they're based on the dark spirits that attacked Strange for the desecration of Dreamwalking a dead person (which he tamed and absorbed). Also, the fact that he uses the dark spirits as a makeshift cloak/set of wings adds to the motif of being a lich.
- Pragmatic Hero: When out of options, he attempts to kill America Chavez in order to prevent her powers from falling into the wrong hands, giving her a distrust of Strange from all dimensions.
- Rise from Your Grave: Happens in the Final Battle when the main Strange Dreamwalks his corpse from the pile of bricks he buried him earlier in the film.
- Walking Spoiler: The fact that he dies very early on in the film and then his main universe counterpart has to use the Darkhold to possess his corpse basically makes it hard to say anything about him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Dies in his first scene, although his body appears later and is used by Sacred Timeline Strange to stop Wanda.
- We Used to Be Friends: America begs for him to stop when he tries to kill her, saying that he's her friend. Defender Strange thinks that saving the Multiverse is more important than saving her life.
- Would Hurt a Child: He doesn't want to take America's powers -killing her in the process- to prevent the demon from getting them first, but he will if he thinks there's no other option.
Dr. Stephen Strange
Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch
Appearances: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
The Doctor Strange of Earth-838, who gave his life defeating Thanos... Supposedly.
- All for Nothing: Not only did he wipe out an entire universe through the use of the Darkhold, killing uncountable innocents, but he also didn't even succeed in his goal. He was unable to find a way to defeat Thanos through Dreamwalking, and the Illuminati were forced to find another way.
- Alternate Self: To the Doctor Strange of the Sacred Timeline, and to Sinister Strange and Defender Strange who also appear in Multiverse of Madness.
- Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: Earth-838 reveres Strange as the greatest superhero it's ever seen due to sacrificing his life to stop Thanos, with the Illuminati building a statue and apparently a museum all about him. However, this turns out to be a massive subversion when it is revealed by the Illuminati that this Strange, in an attempt to find a way to defeat Thanos, turned to the Darkhold and accidentally triggered an Incursion in another universe that killed trillions. After defeating Thanos, the Illuminati were forced to kill him before he could be fully corrupted by the dark tome, and manufactured a false narrative because the public was looking for an ultimate hero.
- Blood-Splattered Warrior: Has a bloody nose during the flashback to his death scene.
- Blue Is Heroic: He's wearing a blue tunic, his Cloak of Levitation is blue and is his universe's mightiest hero... supposedly.
- Composite Character: In comparison to the Sacred Timeline, he sacrificed himself to stop Thanos instead of Tony Stark which led to the entire world treating him as the greatest hero. Except not really.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: Yet another deceased Doctor Strange in The Multiverse.
- Face Death with Dignity: Strange willingly renounced the Darkhold and accepted execution by the Illuminati.
- Failure Hero: Doctor Strange turning to the Darkhold to try to kill the Mad Titan ultimately resulted in causing an untold amount of death in another universe, and did not turn the tide for the Illuminati at all. This is in part why the Illuminati choose to execute him after Thanos is eliminated.
- For Want of a Nail: The only version of Strange seen so far who doesn't have facial hair.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe example. Villain may be pushing it, but this version of Dr. Strange tried to use the power of the Darkhold to save his universe from Thanos, causing an Incursion that destroyed another alternate universe and killed everyone in it while becoming corrupted in the process. But after the Battle of Titan and his execution, the Illuminati members told the rest of the world that Strange sacrificed himself to stop Thanos, and he's remembered as Earth's mightiest hero.
- In Spite of a Nail: Both he and Sinister Strange ended up using the Darkhold for seemingly noble reasons. The difference is that Supreme Strange allowed himself to be killed when he saw that it was leading him down the wrong path, while Sinister Strange seemingly had no one and became corrupted by it.
- Metaphorically True: He did give his life to defend the world from Thanos, but thats leaving a lot out.
- No Body Left Behind: Disintigrated by Black Bolt's sonic powers.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. He is not the first Strange variant that we know with "Supreme" as part of his name.
- Posthumous Character: He died years ago, during his universe's version of the Infinity War. But his crimes are the reason the Illuminati have a zero-tolerance policy on multiversal incursions.
- Truer to the Text: The outfit he dons in his statue has a resemblance to his comic-book counterpart.