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  • Writer's pictureRock

Well, Of Course HE’S Here - Dr. Strange

I mean, this one makes the most sense, right?

When you think of magic and marvel, Dr. Stephen Strange is the first person that comes to mind. Possibly given the recent MCU film, Scarlet Witch might edge out others for second place, but he’s not called Sorcerer Supreme for nothing.

I think it’s important to point out that, from all we know so far, Midnight Suns is going to be based far more on the comic book versions of these characters than the movies. I’m sure they’ll be some influences from the MCU, but by and large, they’ll be using the comic books for their inspiration. Why is that important? Well, for one thing, the comic book Dr. Strange has, oh, about 59 years worth of back story since his first appearance. That’s a long time to be spell-slinging, and he’s got a huge catalog of spells that Firaxis can use in Midnight Suns.

Given, they all sound pretty ludicrous, like someone spilled alphabet soup on a scrabble board and then tried to clean it by using torn dictionary pages to wipe it up. You’ve got your Watoomb, your Vishanti, Agamotto, Eibon, Bom’Galiath and on and on. And, as far as power levels go, he’s probably got the most mojo (pun intended) of any of the characters we’ve seen so far. One of the problems with Dr. Strange, the character, is just that, in fact. He’s got so many things in his mystical toolbox, that, unless you catch him utterly by surprise, he’s likely got the exact spell to counter any attack. ‘Magic’ has always been troublesome in fiction unless you take the time to establish some pretty strict rules, and Marvel has never really gotten around to doing that. The closest they’ve gotten is that there’s always a ‘price’ to be paid, but what that price is varies from person to person and writer to writer. Dr. Strange has been ‘paying’ for years and so he’s got the be-all and end-all collection of spells for any conceivable situation. He’s talked as equals with some of the uber-cosmic beings of the Marvel Universe; beings like Uatu The Watcher, Eternity, Death… hell, he’s beaten Galactus!

So, he’s a powerhouse, likely THE powerhouse, but how do you take a character like that and not have the game be over as soon as he takes the field? Well, various writers over the years have found ways to limit him just as much as others have exalted him.

One of my favorite books has an alien sorcerer named Urthona nearly defeat Dr. Strange and, in desperation, Strange has to destroy all of his magical items and talismans to use their power to win. Not only does that release a ton of enemies he’s bound over the years, but it pretty much empties his aforementioned magical toolbox.

There’s a bunch of scenarios that could curb Strange’s god-like powers, from amnesia, being separated from his Sanctum Sanctorum, or even some sort of bargain he’s made in the past that’s come due, making him operate with less efficiency. That’s not to say that, over the course of the game (and this is just speculation here), I fully expect him to become one of the more powerful characters with some of the most powerful cards, though they’ll likely cost a ton to use.

I’m a big fan of Dr. Strange, and I have been for many years. He’s a riches to rags to… something else story, going from a self-absorbed world class surgeon to spending every penny he has trying to fix his hands after an horrible accident. In doing so, he becomes the Master of The Mystic Arts, gaining a vastly wider and deeper perspective. That’s to be admired, but it’s not the main reason I’m a fan. In a world of radioactive monsters, cosmic ray powered heroes, people born with vast powers, or having them bestowed or gained merely by accident, Stephen Strange is one of the very few people that doesn’t inherently have any ‘super powers’. He had to earn them, slowly over many years, by practice, hard work and studying. He’s smart, dumb people don’t become world famous neurosurgeons, but he’s not the genius that a Tony Stark or Reed Richards is; so when you think about how he became this powerful character from hitting rock bottom, it’s pretty clear how he gained the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Dr. Strange is one of my all time favorite heroes because the only real ‘super power’ he has ever had… Is reading.

And I think there is something fundamentally magical about that.

- Rock

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