Doctor Strange: 9 Best Comic Issues Of The 2000s | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

Fighting off a zombie apocalypse. Serving the British monarch. Teaming up with Spider-Man. Doctor Strange has had quite a run in the 2000s.
From new origin stories to new team-ups, the 2000s proved to be a major era to revamp Doctor Strange’s character. The Sorcerer Supreme also appeared in several alternate universes during this time. This included a stint as Queen Elizabeth I’s physician as well as a magical zombie.
RELATED: 10 Best Doctor Strange Comic Issues of the 1970s
As for Strange’s allies, the usual magicians like Wong and Clea were also joined by Spider-Man, Thor, and many others. Illuminati also proved to be a major team which Strange formed with a few others as a breakaway faction from the Avengers. Overall, the Marvel superhero went through several iconic changes that subsequently contributed to his overall personality.
After an attempt on his life goes awry, Doctor Strange grows concerned and sets out to find the people who want to murder him. But that’s not the only problem he faces. Doctor Strange’s friendship with Wong is also tested as the latter suffers from terminal cancer. This prompts the sorcerer to lay his hands on a magical elixir.
His pursuit for the elixir keeps him at loggerheads with another disciple of the Ancient One who feels the elixir shouldn’t be used for personal purposes. While Strange is usually a rule-abiding sorcerer, this comic shows his desperation to bend the rules a little. The Oath goes on to be one of the most popular Doctor Strange storylines, adding to the stellar bibliography of Saga and Y: The Last Man writer Brian K Vaughn.
As zombified Vikings attack New York and kill its citizens, Thor and his Asgardian warrior peers seek the help of Doctor Strange. The magician gets to hop across time and even create some special spells out of zombie blood.
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Intended for adult audiences, this Marvel MAX series added a darker and mature tone to Strange’s personality. At the same time, there’s plenty of twisted humor thrown in the mix. Written by The Boys and Preacher creator Garth Ennis, the story allows both Thor and Strange to engage in an over-the-top hyperviolent saga.
In the 2000s, Doctor Strange -along with heroes like Iron-Man,  Mr. Fantastic, and Namor- have been functioning as a secret group. This miniseries adds more context behind their origin as they are compelled to look at the consequences of their actions.
As the team was born out of the Kree-Skrull War, Tony Stark suggests that they should form a superhero government to prevent a future crisis like this. Hence, the comic sets in motion an ideological clash between Strange and other superheroes making it as relevant as other essential Marvel comics like Civil War.
Out of the many superhero teams that Doctor Strange is a part of, The Defenders might be the most unofficial group. But desperate times call for desperate measures. So, when Dormammu wreaks havoc along with his sister Umar, Strange joins forces with Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer. The hilarious misadventures that ensue from the rest of the story.
RELATED: 10 Best Doctor Strange Comic Issues of the 1960s
The Defenders: Indefensible makes for a quick and engaging read largely due to the chemistry between the four lead characters. Strange himself is depicted as a solitary, brooding man. Finding him get annoyed with allies like Hulk and Namor make for some funny moments that readers wouldn’t otherwise find in an average Doctor Strange comic.
A Marvel horror comic spin-off set within the Marvel Zombies universe, Dead Days focuses on the resistance efforts of the last batch of heroes who have survived the zombie apocalypse in an alternate world. Even though Doctor Strange tries his best to help Nick Fury’s resistance, he is overpowered by the zombified versions of Fantastic Four. Needless to say, the Sorcerer Supreme turns into a zombie after this attack.
Starting from Dead Days, Zombie Doctor Strange went on to play a major role in other storylines in this parallel universe. From joining Kingpin’s undead alliance to attacking Doctor Doom’s castle, this zombie was one of the weirdest yet most distinct alternate versions of the Doctor.
One of the several times Spider-Man teamed up with Doctor Strange included a Marvel Team-Up issue. As the wall-crawler is possessed by Strange’s common nemesis Xandu, Strange frees him from the mind control and joins forces. They both travel across an astral plane to unearth a bigger mystery.
A significant part of this issue is that Strange discovers Spider-Man’s secret identity for the first time. Their eventual relationship is interesting to explore, especially with the release of the upcoming film Spider-Man: No Way Home that will yet again feature both characters in the same frame.
The crux of this New Avengers storyline is that Doctor Strange needs a successor. After a failed mission, Strange must give up his title as the Master of Mystic Arts. As several other sorcerers battle it out to be the next heir apparent, Strange seeks the help of the New Avengers.
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It’s an unlikely team-up for Strange who must establish control before the magical battle royale causes imbalance. However, the usually bossy wizard can’t call the shots this time given his title’s loss. So, it’s all the more exciting to find him in a slightly powerless state.
As its title suggests, this limited series is set in a medieval dimension where every Marvel hero is reimagined as a period character. The story is set within the reign of Elizabeth I as the heroes set out to fight a mysterious force that might alter all of reality.
A project authored by Neil Gaiman, 1602 has been a hugely popular read for its detailed alternate versions of characters like Doctor Strange. In this universe, ‘Sir’ Stephen Strange serves as the physician and magician in the Queen’s court. His astral powers are very limited when compared to the modern version. While living with the sorceress Clea, he devises a plan to use his powers for future generations.
Strange is one of the many origin story reimaginings that the character got. This one, in particular, was a part of the Marvel Knights imprint. From covering his life-changing accident to his interactions with the Ancient One, the story is a perfect read for those who are getting introduced to the Doctor Strange mythos.
The story’s creative team includes television and comic book legend J. Michael Straczynski. At the same time, Brandon Peterson also stands out as the artist as he adds a mellow and realistic touch to Strange in his inking and penciling.
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Shaurya Thapa is an Indian freelance journalist who mostly dabbles in writings on cinema, music, and human interest features. When it comes to Screen Rant, he writes lists on a wide array of subjects ranging from international films to mainstream Netflix series and comic book trivia. He also hosts a podcast called ‘BhindiWire’, an Indian parody of IndieWire.


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