With the Doctor Strange movie set to come out later this year, the MCU is expanding and exploring a different kind of superhero world, filled with chakras, alternate universes and magic. Captain America: Civil War just kickstarted , and Doctor Strange will be a cornerstone of this part of the MCU set to culminate in the Infinity Wars.
Of all the parties coming together, we know the Avengers are split but still defending Earth in their own way; the Guardians are already in a fight with Thanos; Captain Marvel might just show everyone how it’s done… But where will Doctor Strange stand if our heroes have to join forces against a bigger evil? When you look back at his history, he’s certainly had — he casually resurrected a few times — but he also stands out a bit as Marvel’s lonely boy.
From his early days as a world-famous surgeon to his different battles across the universe, Doctor Strange has always had a pretentious side to his personality. And considering his powers are just not comparable to, say, Captain America’s, could he feel like the Avengers’ issues are just too trivial to get involved in? Granted, the arrival of space villain Thanos could convince him to put his powers to the service of the team, but there’s a number of events hinting at the possibility that he might just leave the Earthly heroes to struggle with their own woes.
1. His Terrible Family History
In his defense, Stephen Strange’s had a rough start in life. After he earned his medical degree in record time, he became one of the most successful and youngest surgeons on the planet, which quickly made him arrogant. When an accident incapacitated his hands, he lost his fortune trying in vain to find a remedy and became increasingly resentful and depressed.
On the side of his family, he refused to go see his father on his deathbed, his sister died while swimming with him and his brother was hit by a car following one of their disputes. As a result, he’s developed a closed-off, extremely introverted personality, which doesn’t make him the best team worker.
2. That Time He Fought His Battles In Secret
Doctor Strange made his first appearance in Strange Tales #110 in 1963. It didn’t take long for him to put his powers to good use, but the first battles he fought, he fought in secret. In issues 111, 114, 117, 121 and 125, he battled Nightmare and Baron Mordo in secret just when the Fantastic Four were emerging. It was the first time he made a point of staying away from the superhero community, but it wouldn’t be the last.
3. That Time He Sat Out The Civil War
In the comics, Strange is present in the buildup to the Civil War, but he quickly retires from the conflict. He stated that he was strongly , but didn’t stay to defend his point of view with Team Cap. And not only did he refuse to take part, he decided to go into exile in the Arctic, where he meditated for forty days while the other Marvel heroes were bashing each other’s faces. At least he later regretted staying out of it.
4. When He Wasn’t Really Useful In The Illuminati
were the superheroes’ own attempt at creating a governing body to protect the Earth from alien invasion. The group was originally comprised of Mister Fantastic, Iron Man, Professor X, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt and Namor, but they quickly came to irreconcilable differences as they each represent a different kind of superhero. While Doctor Strange was a founding member, his tendency to consider that he shouldn’t take a part in human conflicts because the influence of his magic reaches much further than our little planet meant he didn’t contribute much to the Illuminati.
5. That Time He Left The Superhero Community After Fighting The Order
In a darker chapter of superhero history, the Defenders — whose original members are Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist — were made inseparable by Yandroth, one of Strange’s long-time enemies. Although the curse seemed beneficial at first, it made it impossible for the four heroes to take care of their own individual issues, and their group eventually imploded. As they were going insane, they created the Order, having become so intent on protecting the Earth that they were actually attempting to take control of it.
Because Doctor Strange had to fight his former allies, he decided to leave the superhero community once again once things were back to normal. In the end, he simply seems better off handling issues on his own.
So what next? While we didn’t see him flee the Civil War in the movie, it’s possible that the MCU would let him react that way in the face of the Infinity Wars. On the run from the government, Captain America could very well , but Doctor Strange’s reticence to join a team and overall despise for human heroes such as Cap would make it very surprising that he’d just line up with him, even if he’s technically anti-Registration Act.
Whatever the role Doctor Strange chooses to play, I can’t wait to see how the MCU’s heroes gradually get together.
Do you think Doctor Strange would be a good ally to the Avengers?