These Doctor Strange Comics To Read Will Prepare You For The Movie

Doctor Strange has nearly arrived in theaters, bringing with it the worlds of magic, mysticism, and alternate realities to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Due to the type of hero he is, i.e. a magician, Strange is entirely different from everyone else in the MCU, but he still comes from the same place. Doctor Strange began as a superhero in the pages of Marvel Comics in the 1960s, just like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the Hulk, but what Doctor Strange comics should you read before the movie?

Given his long history, there are plenty to choose from — he's appeared in over 3,500 separate comic issues to date. The character, created by comic book legend Steve Ditko, first appeared in the pages of Strange Tales in 1963. He went on to co-headline the title with Nick Fury and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. until 1968, when the magazine became the solo series Doctor Strange with issue #169. He didn't last long as a solo star initially, and his book was canceled in 1969. Doctor Strange then returned in the pages of Marvel Premiere, where he briefly headlined in the early '70s before earning a new solo title in 1974. He headlined books largely interrupted from then until 1996, at which point he was reduced to a secondary character in the Marvel Universe. Then, to coincide with the upcoming film, Doctor Strange came back with a new solo series in 2015.

As I said, there are a lot of Doctor Strange comics to choose from, but these seven are a good place to start.

1. Strange's Origin

Considered one of the best origin stories in comics, see how Strange got his start in his first appearance in Strange Tales #115, with art by Ditko and a story by Stan Lee.

2. The Oath

This limited series from 2007, written by Brian K. Vaughn, is largely credited with updating the character for the 21st century — and the movie is known to have borrowed from it.

3. Official Prelude

This summer, Marvel released the official prelude comics for the movie, which contain important background information on the film's characters.

4. A Separate Reality

Writer Steve Englehart is credited with expanding the character's horizons in the 1970s with deeper philosophical and mystical leanings, and this series' influence in dealing with alternate realities is evident in the movie.

5. Baron Mordo's Introduction

Strange's nemesis, and a major player in the movie, Mordo makes his first appearance and commits his most treacherous act in Strange Tales #111.

6. To Have Loved And Lost

This 1982 issue, penned by Roger Stern, sees Strange's astral self learn what the world would be like if he never became a Master of the Mystic Arts.

7. The Eternity Saga

The biggest threat to Doctor Strange is the Dread Dormammu, who's rumored to show up in the film. This series by Lee and Ditko sees the villain team up with Baron Mordo and go after Strange and the Ancient One, causing them to seek out even more powerful help.

These comics will all give you a great idea of who Doctor Strange is and what he's all about, meaning you'll be ready to see Benedict Cumberbatch tackle the role on the big screen.

Images: Walt Disney Pictures; Marvel Comics