Doctor Strange: 10 Things From The Comics The MCU Needs To Incorporate

The Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t bound by any limitations in plot devices ever since Phase Four has started diving into the multiverse. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be the culmination of many things brewing over this aspect, but it’s worth looking beyond as well.

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Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange has the potential to be a long-lasting character, so plenty of elements that are present in Marvel comics can apply to him in the long run. These don’t have to be exact adaptations by any means, but it would be well worth presenting in live-action where the core aspects are concerned. The MCU can incorporate facts about the superhero in its own way to acknowledge the source material.

Doctor Strange is by no means vulnerable should his powers be taken away from him. As depicted in Strange Tales vol. 1 #140, Strange is incredibly proficient in judo and martial arts. The MCU Strange has largely been a non-action guy, which should change going forward.

Strange should be seen partaking in physical action scenes so that he doesn’t become a one-trick pony who solely relies on magic. It would be very interesting to see him interact with martial artists like Shang-Chi and engage in sparring sessions, or take down enemies with them.

Doctor Strange is incredibly powerful, but his best potential was seen in a What If…? alternate version. Doctor Strange’s mystical potential can bring in cosmic entities like Eternity, who acknowledged Strange to be more powerful than any other human in Strange Tales #138.

As the sentience of the Marvel Universe, Eternity can also take over powerful beings such as Strange and it would carve out the cosmic nature of the MCU if this were to happen. Doctor Strange’s meeting with Eternity will be larger-than-life, just as it was when he encountered Dormammu, making it perfect to expand the MCU’s cosmic lore.

Even though Baron Mordo had an adequate amount of screentime in Doctor Strange, it will be six years since viewers will have last seen him by the film’s sequel. The comic book Doctor Strange’s archenemy is debatable between Dormammu and Baron Mordo, but the MCU should steer toward the latter.

Mordo impersonated Doctor Strange to discredit him in Marvel Feature #1; it’s a storyline the MCU could follow. Mordo need not be a one-film villain and Doctor Strange should have him as his most enduring antagonist throughout his run in the MCU.

Doctor Strange has been the Sorcerer Supreme ever since the end of the first movie, with the implication that he will hold this role indefinitely. In the comics, he gave up the mantle by The New Avengers #54 because he deemed himself unworthy for using dark magic to fight off the Hood’s supervillain army.

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This would be a great arc for the MCU version to take, as it would open up the possibility of characters like Wong becoming the new Sorcerer Supreme, whereas Strange will undergo a personal journey. The character needs more emotional turmoil to flesh him out, and the loss of the Sorcerer Supreme tag could be the way to go.

The MCU Defenders were poorly received on Netflix, but there’s no rule that says there can’t be another version, especially since the Secret Defenders also exist. And comic book fans know that Doctor Strange was the founder of the Defenders in Marvel Feature #1.

As it goes in the comics, the MCU team should have Doctor Strange be a constant mentor while the other members keep rotating. The likes of young heroes such as Shang-Chi or Kate Bishop can join the faction under Strange’s guide until they are ready to move on to the Avengers or toward solo prospects.

The ending of Doctor Strange vol. 2 comics saw his entire collection of mystical books and knowledge be destroyed along with the Sanctum. As a result, Strange was left considerably weaker until he started using chaos magic from Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #80 onwards.

Viewers have seen Strange at his lowest point when he lost his career, but seeing him lose his mystical abilities would be another matter entirely. It would showcase the exact extent of Strange’s powers without external magical powers that he draws from, bringing forward a more humane character to explore.

Doctor Strange has taken on just about every superhero there is at some point in the comics, with a match-up against the Incredible Hulk occurring in World War Hulk #3. Strange made use of dark spells to overcome the beast, which represented a clash with his morals.

Regardless of the effect on his psyche, there should be at least one battle between Strange and The Hulk in the MCU. The Hulk has been very subdued in recent times, and a fight against the Master of the Mystic Arts is sure to be a feast for the eyes. Ideally, it should come at a time when Hulk is at the power level of the comics’ World War Hulk to truly challenge Strange.

During the "Civil War" storyline, Strange was in favor of the anti-registration faction of the Avengers and offered them his home base while the conflict played out. While that particular arc is done in the MCU, the Sanctum can still be used as the new Avengers’ headquarters.

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It would make perfect sense since the actual Avengers facility was destroyed and former Avengers Captain Marvel and Bruce Banner reunited at the Sanctum in Shang-Chi. The Sanctum is the perfect hiding place for superheroes and will be a unique meeting point that Strange will oversee.

Like many MCU protagonists, Doctor Strange has been a villain in the comics at different points based on varying factors. In What If....Doctor Strange Had Been Disciple of Dormammu? Strange briefly aligns with Dormammu before choosing the right path.

The live-action Strange would be suited to such an arc as well, seeing as Dormammu was too easily banished in his debut movie. An evil character would be catastrophic for the heroes, but also present a huge challenge that will be fun to see play out. While the What If…? TV show delved into the evil Strange aspect, the live-action version’s malevolence should be through mind control or deception.

Doctor Doom is another one of Strange’s recurring foes, with the former even killing Strange in Secret Wars #3 after having forced him into becoming his disciple. There’s a good chance the MCU will make Doctor Doom the primary villain like Thanos in the future, so this match-up needs to happen.

Doom is one of the few characters capable of fighting Doctor Strange on his own, which would make their confrontation equivalent to Strange’s clash with Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. It’s always worth watching the heavy-hitters go at it, and the MCU can turn this fight into the best one yet.

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