Get a taste of the best Doctor Strange stories before the movie materializes next month
By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is heading to theaters on Friday, November 4. And for the first time, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to become a very weird place, indeed. Now, the supernatural, the metaphysical, the alternate dimensions, even the multiverse itself are fair game for future Marvel movies. Even Benedict Cumberbatch has indicated that Doctor Stephen Strange may be one of the key figures in Marvel’s Phase Four films.
But who is Doctor Strange? Comic book movie fans are about to get a condensed version of his origin story. However, even a blockbuster film can only offer the briefest of glimpses into the heart and mind of the Sorcerer Supreme. Barring something unforeseen, there’s likely to be a Doctor Strange 2 on the horizon, and there are more than a few Doctor Strange stories that deserve to be retold for a larger audience.
Towards that end, ComingSoon.net has narrowed down the list to the five best Doctor Strange tales that we want to see on the big screen. Fortunately, Marvel has recently gone back to print on most of these stories, which should make it easy to get up to speed before the movie opens on November 4.
5 Doctor Strange Stories We Want to See on the Big Screen: A Separate Reality
Steve Englehart’s run on Doctor Strange with Frank Brunner and other artists gave us two fantastic epics that could easily be stand-alone films on their own. In the first tale, Strange was thrust into a very Lovecraft-inspired horror story as Shuma-Gorath threatened reality itself before forcing Strange to make a supreme sacrifice.
The second story involved Strange going up against someone who literally gained the power of God while meddling in time alongside Strange’s nemesis, Baron Mordo. For the ‘70s, it was considered to be one of the more blasphemous Doctor Strange stories. But times have changed, and audiences may be ready to embrace both of these feature length tales.
5 Doctor Strange Stories We Want to See on the Big Screen: The Montesi Formula
Back in the ‘70s, Marvel got a lot of mileage out of using Dracula as the star of his own horror comic. So of course Dracula eventually had to go up against Doctor Strange! Writer Roger Stern brought that rivalry to a conclusion during the ‘80s, in a multipart storyline that led Strange and Dracula to clash over the Darkhold… a book of evil magic that held the key to destroying vampires once and for all.
We doubt that Marvel Studios would introduce vampires into the the MCU for only a single movie, but the idea of sending Cumberbatch’s Strange against Dracula is very enticing.
This trade paperback is currently out of print, but Amazon is offering the storyline on Kindle and Comixology.
5 Doctor Strange Stories We Want to See on the Big Screen: Triumph & Torment
“Triumph & Torment” may never be adapted in any form, simply because Doctor Doom was Doctor Strange’s co-star in this story. Since it’s not likely that 20th Century Fox will part with any of the Fantastic Four related characters any time soon, it’s a non-starter to borrow Doom.
But with some changes, it’s not an impossible adaptation. Another villain would have to be swapped in for Doom, and it would almost be worth it. Roger Stern and future Hellboy creator Mike Mignola created a tale that gave Strange and Doom equal weight as the Sorcerer Supreme aided Victor Von Doom’s quest to free his mother’s soul from Hell.
The way that Doom attempted to achieve his goals was very entertaining, and the book featured more than one double cross. Decades after it was published, it still stands as one of the best stories that either Doom or Strange has appeared in.
5 Doctor Strange Stories We Want to See on the Big Screen: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen?
In 1997, artist P. Craig Russell was given the chance to completely rework a Doctor Strange story that he had created decades earlier. This time, Russell was joined by writer Marc Andreyko for one of the trippiest Doctor Strange stories to date: “What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen?” In this tale, Strange went up against Electra (who should not be confused with Elektra from Daredevil), a sorceress who was nearly as powerful as Strange himself.
We’d love to see this one for the epic battle between Strange and Electra, as well as Strange’s visit to Ditkopolis, a very overt nod to Doctor Strange’s creator, Steve Ditko.
5 Doctor Strange Stories We Want to See on the Big Screen: The Oath
In just five issues, writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Marcos Martin delivered one of the definitive Doctor Strange stories. In fact, some aspects from “The Oath” are already in the Doctor Strange movie, but there’s a lot material left to mine in this adventure.
The short version is that Strange moved Heaven and Earth to find a cure for his best friend’s cancer… and he succeeded. But getting that cure led to the near impossible choice of saving his friend’s life or saving the world. Along the way, Strange even formed the beginnings of a relationship with Night Nurse.
Unlike some of the other stories on this list, the stakes in “The Oath” were extremely personal. And that brought out Strange’s human side in ways that made him even more compelling. Marvel movies don’t often deal with smaller stake adventures, but it would be worth breaking that unwritten rule for a chance to do justice to this adaption.
Which Doctor Strange comic book stories do you want to see on the big screen? Let us know in the comment section below!