Some regular Marvel moviegoers seemed surprised, even shocked, that “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is part horror movie and has elements of the occult. He’s not referred to as the “Sorcerer Supreme,” for nothing.
Both elements have been part of Dr. Strange in the comic book for decades – ever since Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created the character back in the 1960s.
“The Death of Dr. Strange” continues this tradition.
Dr. Strange is murdered in the recent Marvel mini-series/crossover event.
While many people are ready to avenge his death and look for a possible suspect, only one person can solve the crime – Dr. Strange.
Early in his career as the Sorcerer Supreme and the “Master of Black Magic,” which was the character’s original designation, Dr. Strange created a contingency plan for the possibility that Earth would be left without a chief sorcerer. He removed a week from his chronological timeline to be used at a later date if needed.
With the older Dr. Strange’s death, the younger Dr. Strange returns with a week to solve the crime and rectify the lack of a Sorcerer Supreme.
This element makes what arguably should be a tragedy – after all, it is titled “The Death of Dr. Strange” – a fun adventure and whodunit. Even more fun, the younger Dr. Strange looks very much like the character as originally drawn by Ditko. The younger Strange’s speech owes a great deal to Lee’s dialogue for the character back in the ’60s with its rhythmic cadences and oaths of alliteration: “By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth.”
As with most comic book characters, “death” is not final for either Marvel or DC superheroes, villains, supporting characters, etc. So, anyone seeking the collected issues of this mini-series shouldn’t be surprised or shocked to see new adventures of Dr. Strange already available.
But it is fun to see the return of the character compared with the character he has become.