News of Joaquin Phoenix (perhaps) taking on the role Doctor Strange is spreading like wildfire, and Marvel is looking past Thor, Captain America, and "Avengers 2" to the good Doctor! But who is Doctor Strange? If you're not a die-hard comics reader, Moviefone has everything you need to know about Marvel's Master of the Mystic Arts.
Who is Doctor Strange? Stephen Strange is a skilled but arrogant neurosurgeon who is only driven by money. A car accident cripples his hands, leaving him unable to work. Desperately seeking a cure for his handicap, he travels the world seeking out alternative remedies, until he finds himself in the Himalayas, under the care of a mystic old man, known as the Ancient One. After saving the Ancient One's life, Strange becomes his pupil and learns humility, wisdom... and a little thing called magic.
Throughout the years, Strange wields a growing arsenal of magic powers, putting him into conflict with demons, gods, and witches in this dimension and the next. Along the way, he is aided by Wong, his martial arts practicing sidekick, and Clea, a sorceress and love interest.
Who is the villain? At the risk of certain death by sneaking into top-secret Disney meetings, we can safely speculate that the "Strange" movie will feature up to three villains. The first is Baron Mordo, the first spell-casting disciple of the Ancient One who plots to kill his mentor with black magic. Mordo serves the dread Dormammu, a flaming-head-ed tyrant of the Dark Dimension. Then there are the Mindless Ones, big rocky, humanoids that do the bidding of whoever summons them.
If we could make a rough "Lord of the Rings" analogy: The Mindless Ones = Orcs, Baron Mordo = Saruman, and Dormammu = Sauron.
What is the movie about? Don't get too ahead of yourself with visions of Strange tangling with the most fantastical creatures of the Marvel Universe. Expect an origin story, as Strange learns to control his new powers. This movie will also serve as one of the tentpoles of Phase 3, the wave of Marvel movies that will follow "Avengers 2" and hope to expand upon the adventures of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. We'll be treated to new characters, new genres, and perhaps a team of new Avengers.
What should I read? Check out the gallery below for a crash-course in everything Doctor Strange, from his magical first appearance to his current adventures.
Article photo courtesy Marvel