Doctor Strange is the newest Marvel superhero getting the major motion picture treatment. A hero unlike those shown before from the studio, Doctor Strange has mystical powers. Unlike Captain America, the Hulk, and Iron Man, his powers did not come from science. He's not a god like Thor or a genetically altered twin like Scarlet Witch — he's not even a super spy like Black Widow or a veteran like The Falcon. Doctor Strange is just a man who happens to be able to manipulate the world around him through magic. But, how did he tap into this magic in the first place, and how did Doctor Strange get his powers? These are questions that will be answered in Doctor Strange , but here's what to know before going to the movies.
Before Doctor Strange became, well, Doctor Strange the magician, he was Doctor Strange the actual doctor — a surgeon, to be more specific. But, after a car accident causes him to suffer nerve damage that makes being a surgeon impossible, Stephen Strange goes on an adventure in search of a cure. In the comics, he loses everything in his foolish search for a cure, and as a last-ditch effort, he goes in search of the Ancient One, a mystical being he heard rumors of. In the comics, the Ancient One takes Stephen under his wing (in the comics, the Ancient One is a man) and teaches him wizardry, as well as how to tap into the mystical powers of the world.
It's tough to say how Doctor Strange gets his powers, because he doesn't so much acquire them as learn to unlock them. The Ancient One doesn't douse him in toxic waste or use Loki's staff to give him powers, he (or she, in the film) teaches him how to tap into his own innate magic. One could say that it is the Ancient One who gives Doctor Strange his powers when he/she agrees to take him on and train him, but really, how Doctor Strange gets his powers is probably one of the more boring superhero origin stories: he studies.
For years, Stephen studies magic and the martial arts, all under the watchful eye of the Ancient One. This lengthy process, of course, will likely be condensed in the film in the form of a couple of scenes and a magical montage, if you will. However, it isn't all about unlocking the powers within. Doctor Strange does traditionally have a few magical items that helps him hone his powers.
In the Doctor Strange film, he will get some powers thanks to the Cloack of Levitation, which helps him fly, and the Eye of Agamotto, an amulet. The exact powers of the amulet are being kept under wraps, but Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently teased its greatness. "In this film, the Eye is a very important relic that can be quite dangerous if used in the wrong hands, because it has the ability to do any number of things, the most dangerous of which is, it can sort of manipulate probabilities," Feige said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly . If you're scratching your head and wondering what the hell "manipulate probabilities" means, Feige added that, essentially, it can "screw around with time," opening up the possibilities of alternate realities and timelines.
Doctor Strange has some of the most complicated super powers we've ever seen on the big screen, so it makes sense that the story of how he gets his powers is a bit unorthodox. Watching Stephen Strange study magic might not be as sexy as seeing Steve Rogers emerge from a pod with pecs bigger than your head, but Doctor Strange's powers sure are worth it.
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