WHERE DOES DOCTOR STRANGE HANG OUT?
The Sanctum Sanctorum
Latin for “Holiest of Holies,” The Sanctum Sanctorum is Doctor Strange’s brownstone manor in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. There, he houses countless magical tomes, relics, creatures, pocket dimensions and more, all requiring his constant attention. Given that most of his journeys are mystical, he rarely needs to leave.
He totally doesn’t drop acid there. Really.
The Ancient One’s Monastery
Have broken hands and want to learn magic? Climb the Himalayas and maybe the Ancient One will help you out. The Monastery has been home to many Doctor Strange stories and is considered both an epicenter of magic and a refuge from its darker elements. Unless Mordo’s there.
The Dark Dimension
The misleadingly named Dark Dimension is psychedelic as shit and looks like M.C. Escher had a baby with Salvador Dali. Thanks to its ruler, Dormammu, the Dark Dimension is constantly on the verge of crossing over to our reality and doing very naughty things.
DO I NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING TO WATCH DOCTOR STRANGE?
It’s a Marvel movie! Of course not! In general, the MCU does a great job of filling in the blanks, and as this is an origin story, it should be even less of a problem. That said, if you’d like to know more about the character beforehand…
Doctor Strange: The Oath, by Brian K. Vaughn
Hands down THE best written Doctor Strange story ever, it concerns Doctor Strange’s search to find the cure for his friend’s cancer, only to find himself embroiled in a cloak and dagger conspiracy with an enemy he never knew he had. Smart, funny, character-driven, exciting, and bristling with Doctor Strange lore, it is THE PERFECT way to get acquainted with the Sorcerer Supreme. It’s a shame it was only a miniseries.
Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, 2007
An animated movie direct to DVD by Lionsgate & Marvel, this is a cliff notes version of Doctor Strange’s origin and primary characters. It has a few action scenes too many between nameless side characters, and the less said about its swordplay the better. Otherwise it’s a great, character-driven story highlighting Doctor Strange overcoming his arrogance and insecurities.
Doctor Strange: Triumph and Torment, by Roger Stern
Doctor Strange teams up with Doctor Doom to save the villain’s mother from Hell. Triumph and Torment highlights the Strange’s empathy, ingenuity, and wisdom in a series of trials which are contrasted against Doctor Doom’s arrogance, relentlessness, and self-proclaimed infallibility. It’s less of a superhero adventure and more of a buddy cop kind of story across time, space, and reality. Damn fine reading.
Essential Doctor Strange Vol. 1
It’s out of print, but if you can find it on Amazon or ebay, these are reprints of the original Doctor Strange stories from Strange Tales. Each 8-page story reads quickly and highlights the character’s charm. As pulp comics from 1963, they may be a bit stilted for most, but they’re otherwise the character’s psychedelic craziness at its very best.