Bizarre Powers Doctor Strange Has In The Comics

As Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is the Marvel Universe’s go-to guy when it comes to magic, something he proves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he became the world’s foremost authority in extradimensional threats outside The Avengers. And with an upcoming film in 2022, Doctor Strange is out to prove that even the Marvel Multiverse itself falls under his jurisdiction.

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Thing is, fans might be surprised to learn that of all the Avengers, Doctor Strange has far stranger powers than what he demonstrates in the films. In fact, some of Stephen Strange’s earliest appearances highlight his most bizarre feats.

10 Death Has No Meaning

At some point in the life of Doctor Strange, the Ancient One set up a test where Doctor Strange had to travel inside the Eye of Agamotto and into the realm of Death itself. Finding himself in a losing war against Death, Doctor Strange at one point accepted his fate of dying. It’s this fearlessness and accepting the concept of death that Doctor Strange received the gift of infinite longevity.

Similar to the Ancient One, who had passed the same test and got to live for 600 years, Doctor Strange will no longer die out of natural causes. While he still needs oxygen, sleep, and sustenance as well as the ability to get wounded, Doctor Strange can only die in combat.

9 As Powerful As The Sources Will It

While modern Doctor Strange has been heavily nerfed in the comics, Doctor Strange in his classic appearances had wildly different power levels precisely because of his differing power sources. As fans might be surprised to know, Doctor Strange isn’t drawing from a personal mana source when it comes to accessing his magical abilities. Rather, he draws powers from beings across multiple dimensions to empower his spells.

His most notable power sources include the Vishanti, the Octessence, and entities that owe him a debt such as Dormammu. However, what’s important to note here is that Doctor Strange is only as powerful as the beings that grant him said power. Theoretically, Doctor Strange can invoke any kind of power he wished for as long as the being he’s invoking allows him to access such power. This is dangerous considering that the likes of Dormammu are considered even more powerful than Mephisto or even Lucifer.

8 Steal Powers From Other Sources

Aside from being able to channel the powers of entities, Doctor Strange can actually steal powers from others should he will it. He’s done this to the likes of Captain Universe, and even to entities such as Shuma-Gorath. It seems Doctor Strange uses this as a last resort, as he also drained the foul Asgardian Magic that Karnilla infused into the Wrecking Crew.

This gives Doctor Strange unprecedented access to a wide array of abilities. Captain Universe alone taps into the Uni-Vision, a cosmic consciousness that lets them sense things at an atomic level. More importantly, they have access to matter and energy manipulation - which in itself places Captain Universe on a universal power scale. Being able to steal these powers means Doctor Strange can be an all-powerful being should he want to.

7 Astral Projection Doesn’t Have A Speed Limit

While Doctor Strange in the MCU often pushes people’s astral selves out of their bodies for the sake of sheer amusement, his own version of astral projection in the comics can do a lot more than just serve as a spirit form. As the name suggests, Doctor Strange’s astral projection isn’t confined by physical laws and is essentially intangible. Moreover, his astral self remains invisible unless he wills otherwise, including in places such as the Dark Dimension.

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Perhaps what’s more impressive is how fast he can rely on his astral form, to begin with. When he releases his astral form via astral projection, this process happens simultaneously. Moreover, the lack of physical laws in the astral plane means Doctor Strange can traverse it at any speed imaginable. This allowed him to reach Missouri from his New York Sanctum in a matter of seconds. And perhaps more extreme is how his astral form can traverse outer space at “the speed of thought,” allowing him to participate in extraterrestrial affairs should he wish.

6 Psionics On Top Of The Mystic

Aside from tapping into the mystic arts, Doctor Strange also has a degree of psionic abilities. This is heavily demonstrated with his telekinesis, which allows him to move objects with the sheer power of thought. However, what’s even more impressive is that Doctor Strange is actually quite a powerful telepath. Granted, he’s not as skilled as X-Men mutants such as Psylocke, Emma Frost, Professor X, or Jean Grey. However, Doctor Strange can communicate through psychic means and has demonstrated vast feats with his telepathy.

For instance, Doctor Strange was able to trap the Sentry inside an illusion. This was quite a feat, considering that not only is Sentry one of Marvel’s Superman analogs, but the Sentry is also quite the powerful psionic himself. Moreover, Doctor Strange was able to best the Scarlet Witch in a telepathic showdown. Doctor Strange can amplify his telepathy with mystic energies as well, particularly through the Eye of Agamotto.

5 Magic Shields Can Protect From A Supernova

When Doctor Strange conjures circular shields to serve as a barrier to protect him and his allies against all manner of attacks, he’s actually conjuring up the Shield of the Seraphim. And while numerous opponents manage to tear through the barrier in the films, Doctor Strange can make the shields as powerful as need be, depending on the purpose.

At their most powerful, it seems Doctor Strange can empower the shields to withstand the strength of a planet being destroyed, and even boost the protections to include protecting him against a supernova.

4 Defeated Dormammu In Martial Arts

Just because Doctor Strange is a master of the mystic arts doesn’t mean he’s a pushover. Unlike glass cannon wizards in popular literature, Doctor Strange is well-versed in martial arts, particularly during his training in Kamar Taj. Aside from the fact that Doctor Strange can use his physical prowess when he can’t use his magic, Doctor Strange is strong enough to beat the likes of Mantis, who herself was able to defeat Thor in hand-to-hand combat.

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Perhaps more hilariously enough, Doctor Strange proves his supremacy in physical combat by defeating the likes of Dormammu in physical combat. At some point, Dormammu and Doctor Strange agreed to fight without using magic, and somehow Doctor Strange was able to best Dormammu, who himself is a skilled martial artist. As to how and why dimensional entities would even bother learning martial arts is beyond human minds, of course.

3 Manipulate Time Without The Time Stone

While Doctor Strange needed the Time Stone to travel in time inside the MCU community to defeat villains like Thanos, Doctor Strange actually has a limited degree of time manipulation. When concentrating, Doctor Strange can freeze time to talk with the astral self of the Hulk, and even manage to slow time down. To a certain extent, Doctor Strange may even travel through time to observe the flow of events.

This is a huge deal in the context of Marvel comics, as not a lot of individuals have demonstrated the ability to manipulate time. Save for cosmic entities like the Phoenix Force, only individuals such as Tempo, Sway, and Magik can manipulate time - and even then can only affect their immediate vicinity.

2 Guardian Of The Soul Gem

When Doctor Strange became a part of the secret society known as the Illuminati, he shared quite a number of clandestine adventures with the likes of Namor, Professor X, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, and Iron Man. At some point, Doctor Strange was able to gather all the Infinity Gems alongside the Infinity Gauntlet, and the Illuminati agreed to keep one Gem to ensure evil forces don’t get to use them. While Doctor Strange is entrusted with the Time Stone in the MCU, he becomes entrusted with the Soul Gem in the comics.

However, the Soul Gem itself is a very appropriate item for Doctor Strange to use, even if he possesses it briefly. The Soul Gem itself is able to harvest souls, and can even attack other souls in a variety of ways. Aside from trapping souls, the Soul Gem can even gather memories and information from souls it’s held captive. Most importantly, the Soul Gem gives its user access to the Soul World, a pocket dimension reserved only for souls.

1 Manipulate Reality With Words Alone

At some point, Doctor Strange encounters the Black Priests, which are beings who destroy Earths intruding in multiversal incursions. During his time with the Black Priests, Doctor Strange manages to learn how they tap into their power. Called “the Words,” Black Priests can use language itself to alter reality itself. They do this by taking a word that has a symbolic meaning and using another word to manipulate the meaning of the first word.

As such, Doctor Strange and the Black Priests can conjure effects such as energy blasts, pyrokinesis, cryokinesis, paralysis, and even organic disintegration. If Doctor Strange is able to use this freely, he can conjure almost any effect he wishes in any reality.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will premiere on May 6, 2022, in the United States.

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Rhenn Taguiam (726 Articles Published)

Rhenn is a Manila-based content writer with a love for all things geek and pop culture, and science and technology. He has a BA Journalism degree, and has since then pursued making content about geek culture. Rhenn used to write for a couple of geek and gaming publications, and also served as editor-in-chief for Philippines-based What's A Geek!. He constantly plays video games but also takes the time to try out older titles. If he's not playing video games, he's probably playing TTRPGs.

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