The last three before the Top 10, and quite frankly these three shocked the hell out of me.
13. Jean Grey (322 points - 9 first place slots)
"Once upon a time, Jean Grey was the Phoenix, and the Phoenix was Jean Grey. No retcon, no cosmic entity, but Jean 'Marvel Girl' Grey's powers reaching their unlimited potential becoming "fire and life incarnate". And it was awesome. And then she was corrupted by the Hellfire Club and became Dark Phoenix. And it too was awesome. And then came Uncanny X-Men #137 where she killed herself instead of remaining an uncontrollable force of destruction. And it was fucking awesome! (and sad). For years, Marvel had the biggest balls on the block, killing off one of their most popular characters. And the X-Men knew that, once again, they were playing for keeps and death was always a possibility. Too bad it didn't last..."
"The soul of the X-Men."
"She will be back, she always comes back."
So, how many of you think Hope = Jean? I am really curious on this?
Jean Grey is the youngest daughter of Professor John Grey, at Bard College History Department in Annandale-on-Hudson, and his wife Elaine Grey. Jean was playing with her friend Annie Richardson when Annie was struck by an automobile. The experience of the accident caused Jean's powers to manifest. She was so disturbed by this that she isolated herself because she could not control her new abilities.
When Jean was eleven, a psychiatrist suggested to her parents that they consult Professor Charles Xavier, who was a telepathic mutant. Professor X informed Jean and her parents that Jean was in fact a mutant. Her parents had never considered the possibility that Jean could be a mutant. Professor X brought her to his school in Westchester County New York, Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. He then taught her how to operate Cerebro. Jean then, in the form of the Phoenix, touched Scott Summers' mind as he slept in an orphanage. For Jean's own good, Professor X dampened her powers using a series of psychic shields, or blocks, so her powers would only manifest at levels she could handle as she matured. When Jean reached the age of 13, she started to manifest telekinetic powers, and Professor X began instructing her in their use.
When Professor X declared that Jean had reached mastery of her powers (her telekinesis), he recommended to her parents that they should enroll their daughter in his school. The Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, presently known as the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, was secretly a school for mutants, and also serves as the X-Men's headquarters.
Jean became the fifth member of the X-Men and the first woman to join the mutant team. The other members of the team were Scott Summers (code named Cyclops), Henry McCoy (code named Beast), Warren Worthington (code named Angel) and Bobby Drake (code named Iceman). Jean herself took the code name Marvel Girl.
The team became active in fighting other mutants (and humans) who threatened peace on the planet. As time went by, the team's relationship grew tighter and they came to think of themselves as family. The original X-Men remained together saving the world for many years, and they became renowned for their exploits. Unfortunately the X-Men were never accepted by society the same way other superheroes were due to public fear and distrust of mutants, and this prejudice has ever remained a problem throughout the team's history.
When the alien force named Z'Nox attempted to invade the planet, Professor X released most of the psychic shields on Jean. He hoped, due to her current maturity level in addition to his years of tutelage and training, that she could handle the amount of power she now had access to. Professor X was then believed to be dead and Jean in effect took on some of the roles he used to fulfill. She continued to use her telepathic and formidable telekinetic powers to aid the X-Men.
The Original X-Men team left for a mission to Krakoa, which lead to their capture. This forced Professor X into recruiting another team of mutants to rescue them. This team became known as the New X-Men. Once again, Jean and the other members left the team, but not Cyclops, who believed that he belonged with the X-Men. Scott's decision upset Jean. However, Jean held on to her connections with the X-Men, especially being best friends with Storm. Cyclops, Wolverine, and eventually Jean Grey became part of this new team of X-Men.
During a romantic night for Scott and Jean, three X-Men (Jean, Wolverine and Banshee) ended up being abducted by the Sentinels. They were taken to an abandoned SHIELD orbital platform under the command of the anti-mutant activist Steven Lang, who planned to unleash a new generation of Sentinels.
The Space Station was then during the rescue mission made by the other X-Men and Dr. Corbeau, which led to them having to abandon the station immediately before it was destroyed. They escaped the space station aboard a space shuttle. The X-Men realized that perhaps the only safe place on board during re-entry was in the rear compartment, but someone still had to pilot the shuttle.
Jean volunteered and telepathically contacted Dr. Corbeau for instructions on piloting the ship. Upon re-entry, Jean's psionic shield's were overcome and she was about to die along with everyone else on board. At this time, the remaining blocks which Professor X placed in her mind gave way and she was able to unleash her powers to their full extent and save all on board. The ship crashed into a bay of water and Jean appeared to telekinetically reform her body within the water.
Jean became the Phoenix and unimaginably more powerful than ever before. As an example of how powerful she had become, she was able to heal the M'Kraan Crystal to prevent the universe from destruction. In doing so, she almost single-handedly saved the entire universe.
Mastermind psionically attacked Jean in the form of illusions, confusing her by altering her perception of history. He made her believe that she was an aristocrat and that she was Mastermind's wife and also the Black Queen of the villainous Hellfire Club. Jean then lost control of her now totally unleashed powers which caused her to become evil, spreading tragedies and fighting her friends. When she temporarily gained her own consciousness back, she used her powers to commit suicide rather than kill everyone she loved.
After her death on the moon, Jean experienced an afterlife called "White Hot Room," where her soul was awakened and welcomed by death to help her understand the Phoenix Force before she was sent back to Earth. Jean found herself on top of a floating tower in a cosmic realm and wondering why she was not dead. Jean's corpse was then awakened by the Phoenix Force, causing her dead body to dig itself out of the ground and rise. Her body was then rejuvenated by the Phoenix Force, creating the White Phoenix.
Many years after Jean's death, the Avengers discovered the pod/cocoon containing her body, which had been resting on the ocean floor off the coast of Jamaica. Not realizing what it was, they brought it to Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four for further study. Jean then woke up and emerged from the cocoon, but could not remember anything of her recent history, including her encounter with the Phoenix Force. The Avengers and the Fantastic Four helped her to recover her memory. After that, Jean discovered that she had lost her telepathic powers, but that her telekinetic abilities had grown even stronger.
Jean and the other founding members of the X-Men -- Cyclops, Beast, Angel, and Iceman -- had an emotional reunion. They then became aware of the rising anti-mutant movements in the country. They could not believe that the existing X-Men team had actually begun working with Magneto, so the five of them decided to form a new mutant team called X-Factor. Jean herself went back to her original code name of Marvel Girl.
Jean and Scott's reunion was by far the most difficult for all involved. While Jean had been 'dead,' Scott Summers had met, fallen in love with, and eventually married a clone of Jean that had been created by Mr. Sinister. The clone was created by using a small amount of the Phoenix Force rejected by Jean, and was intentionally meant to be a failure for Scott. The clone called herself Madelyne Pryor. Later on, Madelyne became the villainous Goblin Queen and was defeated after a battle with Jean.
Jean's telepathic powers were regained after her battle with the villain Psynapse.
Jean fell in love with her X-Men teammate Scott Summers (Cyclops). Both of them were very shy and slow to show how they really felt for each other, but they eventually revealed how much they both loved each other. Later, when Professor X recruited new students into the school, the other original members, except for Cyclops, left the school to follow their own paths. Cyclops continued his relationship with Jean. Jean at that time worked as a swimsuit model while Cyclops worked as a radio announcer. Their relationship survived countless challenges, finally leading to their marriage.
A few years later Cyclops became possessed by En Sabah Nur and was released of his influence when Jean used her advanced telepathy to separate the both of them. However, Jean and Scott grew apart after this as Scott felt he didn't know Jean anymore. This drove Scott into the arms of Emma Frost and they began a telepathic affair. After Jean's death (see below....ya, I know spoiler), Scott continued his relationship with Emma, much to the dismay of other X-Men like Shadowcat and Rachel Summers (who had become the new Marvel Girl in honor of her mother).
Scott proposed to Jean, but she kept on declining due to the memory of him being married to Madelyne Pryor, after he thought Jean was dead, which caused a lot of turmoil in Jean's mind. She gradually came around and after some deliberation, Jean then proposed to Scott. Finally their marriage was consummated and they also accepted Rachel Summers, their daughter from a parallel reality, into their lives.
During their honeymoon, they went to an alternate time line to raise Scott and Madelyne's son Nathan Summers (later known as Cable). During their return, Jean adopted the new codename of Phoenix to credit the entity and Rachel since she was believed to be dead. Also because of this, Jean adopted a green costume with a yellow mask. However, it was revealed that Rachel was only missing due to events that happened along with Apocalypse's premature death.
Apocalypse and Cyclops were then fused during a battle, which led Jean to switch powers with Psylocke. the switch increased the powers of both women leading to stronger and additional powers for both. With the help of these powers, Jean was able to separate the spirits of Scott and Apocalypse.
In Phoenix Endsong, the Phoenix Force formed and was assaulted by a Shi'ar warship, which caused it to splinter throughout the galaxy. The Shi'ar also planned on killing Jean Grey as they believed that Jean was the heart of the Phoenix.
During the Phoenix's arrival on planet Earth, it discovered that Jean was dead. With full determination to resurrect Jean, it consumed her body and forced her to dig herself out of her grave, and hence Jean was resurrected. Neither Jean nor the Phoenix Force were truly prepared for this resurrection, which caused the Phoenix to quickly go insane and become the Dark Phoenix. Jean stated that the resurrection was wrong and the entity was "sick, blind, and has forgotten."
The X-Men started formulating tactics on how to contain the Phoenix Force, but things went from bad to worse when the mutant Quentin Quire ( Kid Omega), who had a notable crime history, returned with plans to resurrect his dead girlfriend Sophie Cuckoo using the Phoenix entity. The Shi'ar then arrived as well and planned on killing the Phoenix while she/it was still unprepared and weak.
The X-Men encountered Jean at the North Pole, where Logan would repeatedly attempt to kill her. When Wolverine confronted her and asked if he is talking to Jean or the Phoenix, she replied "I am always Jean Grey and always the Phoenix." Phoenix managed to regain control of herself and her sanity and sealed herself in ice. Phoenix then used Cyclops' optic blast to empower herself. Emma Frost then attempted to fool the Phoenix by telling the entity that Scott no longer loved Jean. Phoenix was momentarily distracted by this, which allowed Cyclops to quickly trap himself, Emma, and Phoenix in a Phoenix Egg Containment Unit created by Beast. Emma then offered herself to the Phoenix Force, and was immediately consumed by it.
Kid Omega then appeared, broke open the containment egg, and asked the Phoenix fragment to bring Sophie Cuckoo back to life, which the Emma Phoenix did. Although Kid Omega had succeeded in his goal, Sophie decided to stay dead rather than return to life to be with Kid Omega, since she was still disgusted by him and his previous actions. Meanwhile, Emma Frost was still consumed by the Phoenix Force after being inhabited inside the Phoenix Egg, but because she was only an Alpha Level mutant (unlike Jean Grey who is an Omega Level mutant), she was not capable of joining with the entity for long. To save Emma's life, Jean Grey forcibly separated Emma from the Phoenix. The Phoenix was surprised that Jean was able to accomplish this feat without any assistance. Jean then stated that she and the Phoenix were one and that she would always be the Phoenix. Cyclops then instructed the Stepford Cuckoos and Emma Frost to link all the X-Men together telepathically to sustain the Phoenix 's sanity. As they were helping her to keep her sanity, Jean Grey/Phoenix transformed itself into the White Phoenix.
But then the Shi'ar created an event horizon and Cyclops found himself "somewhere" with the White Phoenix. She then asked Scott to show her his eyes and they both bathed within his optic blast. After Cyclops awoke, he found himself and the other X-Men alive and back on Earth, but Jean Grey was nowhere to be found.
12. Silver Surfer (342 points - 4 first place slots)
"My top two were influenced a lot by their current usage, but the Surfer has been ignored and misused for the last decade. However, his early stuff as well as the Infinity Gauntlet era stuff by Jim Starlin and Ron Marz secured a spot for the Surfer as one of Marvel's most interesting and original characters, when written properly."
"Christ like figure."
"Norrin Radd sacrificed his love, his body, and parts of his humanity to save his planet from the world devour Galactus. And in turn, he was given the power cosmic -- a vaguely defined, massive amount of power mean to help serve his new master. But what makes the Surfer a great character isn't his power levels. It's his personality. Introspective. A philosopher. Not one to enter combat unless forced.
He's a cosmic god, with the soul of a poet, and one of the greatest visual concepts in comics."
The last two picks here really really really shocked me. I love Surfer, is he 12th place worthy? I am sure that is debatable, but man, kudos to you. But yeah, he has one of the easiest coolest looks in comics.
Norrin Radd lived on the peaceful planet Zenn-La (Deneb System, Milky Way Galaxy). His race was so advanced that there was no need for crime or violence. Norrin's parents were Jartran and Elmar Radd. Jartran was a scientist and Norrin followed in his footsteps, constantly studying. His mother was unable to handle the simplistic existence on Zenn-La and committed suicide. Norrin always blamed himself for this. Norrin was nurtured by his father to become a great man. After he entered manhood he learned that his father may be guilty of stealing another scientist's ideas. He was disgusted with his father and walked away from him, and the incident caused his father to commit suicide also. Norrin has great issues with his lack of forgiveness and buried them deep inside.
Like his mother and father, Norrin also dreamed of a society that had more substance. He believed that no goals were left to be achieved on Zenn-La. He was filled with discontent and often went to the museum to watch holograms of Zenn-La's past, such as wars and space travel. This often troubled his girlfriend, Shalla Bal. She believed they had all they could ever want together, but Norrin always dreamed of more.
One day their peaceful existence was threatened by the presence of Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds. The Council of Scientists let Norrin use a spaceship to approach Galactus and plea for the sake of the planet. Galactus agreed to spare the planet in exchange for Norrin to become one of the Heralds of Galactus. Given a fraction of the Power Cosmic, Norrin was transformed into the Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer's main task was to find planets with the proper energy Galactus needed to feed on. Over time it became more difficult to find planets without life on them. Galactus, unknowingly, began to alter Norrin's mind to repress his morals.
Eventually this lead to the Silver Surfer bringing Galactus to Earth. This brought him in a battle against the Fantastic Four. It was the Thing's girlfriend, the blind sculptress Alicia Masters, that was able to get the Silver Surfer to unlock his morality and see that the planet deserved to be spared.
Working with the Fantastic Four, they were able to stop Galactus from destroying Earth. This defiance enraged Galactus. As punishment, the Silver Surfer was exiled on Earth. Galactus had created an energy barrier that would prevent the Silver Surfer from leaving Earth and soaring through the stars.
At first, the humans feared the Surfer to the point of attacking him. Entire countries would launch every weapon they had when he passed overhead. It seemed the Surfer would lead a life of discontent no matter what the circumstances. When he tried to help, sometimes he was retaliated against. When he tried to trust he was betrayed. Doctor Doom tricked the Surfer and stole his cosmic powers in such an instance. After his powers were returned he had a hard time trusting any humans. He seemed a lost soul. Although they were ungrateful, the Surfer continued to protect the humans from great threats. Eventually, the Silver Surfer became a hero on earth and began to discover human feelings in his adventures. He fought along side many of Earth's heroes and joined the superhero group, the Defenders.
But the Surfer longed to be free of his prison, to soar infinite space as he was meant to do. The Surfer constantly attempted to escape the barrier Galactus had placed on the planet. He once traveled through time to try to escape and did so successfully, only to find himself in a future where all civilizations had been destroyed. He chose to return to his prison as opposed to this existence. He attempted escape with the help of physicist Al Harper, but this failed as well. He was allowed to leave the barrier by Mephisto, only to find he had kidnapped his love Shalla Bal and he returned to Earth once again to find her, while Mephisto reveled in his frustration.
With the help of Reed Richards he successfully escaped and his first action was to go home, to Zenn-La. When he arrived, he found the paradise of Zenn-La destroyed and the residents claiming it the Surfer's fault. Galactus had returned and consumed the energies after the Surfer betrayed him. When he tried to find Shall Bal, he learned she was kidnapped by Mephisto once again. In order to save Shalla Bal he returned to Earth, only to become trapped there once again. This would not be the last time Mephisto attempted to use Shalla against the Surfer and he next tried to get the Surfer to destroy SHIELD, but eventually failed once again.
The Surfer spends his time on Earth posing as a homeless man, sleeping more and more each day, detached from humanity. His rest is disturbed once an alien spacecraft of gigantic size enters Earth's atmosphere with a view to land on the planet, causing panic, anarchy, and hysteria on a massive scale. Still untouched by this revelation, the Surfer finds himself investigated by three police officers, who find his appearance suspect. Before more can ensue, the spacecraft finally lands on Earth, in the middle of the city the Surfer resides in. Galactus is revealed to be the occupant - exclaiming himself all powerful, he claims he wishes to guide mankind in a new, glorious era.
With the Fantastic Four's help he was able to escape the barrier. The Silver Surfer made peace with Galactus when he saved his current herald, Frankie Raye from the Skrulls. Galactus lifted the barrier and the Surfer was free to have adventures in space, something he had long wished to do. He wished to never return to Earth, the home of his imprisonment, ever again.
Once the barrier was lifted, the Surfer immediately thought of Zenn-La and his love Shall Bal. He returned to find that after breaking his promise to Galactus to serve him, Galactus had returned to Zenn-La and consumed it's energy. But the residents managed to escape his wrath and rebuild, with the help of Shall Bal and the Power Cosmic he had granted her when Mephisto brought her to Earth to torment the Surfer. He proposed to Shall Bal, now the Empress of Zenn-La, but she declined. With no true place he could call home, Surfer returned to space.
Surfer then was attacked by the Elders of the Universe. With the help of Mantis he learned of their plot to kill Galactus and destroy reality. Together the already powerful beings had gathered the Infinity Gems. He managed to stop their plot with the help of Mantis and Frankie Raye. Eternity admitted to Galactus that if not for the Surfer's help the universe may have been destroyed. But this turned out to not be the end of the Elders' threat to Galactus, as Death would not allow the Elders Galactus consumed to die. This meant that they survived inside Galactus making him very ill. With the help of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman they traveled to the Magick Realm to retrieve the Infinity Gems. In-Betweener interfered and traveled back to Galactus to kill him. Instead, he sent Galactus back to Magick Realm. Silver Surfer appealed to Lord Chaos and Master Order of what the In-Betweener had done and they freed the Elders from a very angry Galactus.
The Surfer soon found himself in the middle of the Second Kree-Skrull War. At first he remained neutral but through a Skrull trick, ended up joining their side. He had helped the Super Skrull to escape the Eternals and help to restore the Skrulls shape-shifting powers. The Kree knew of the trickery, but could not simply forgive the Surfer and made him their enemy. He was uneasy with his alliance when Reptyl joined their side and the Super Skrull was killed. Empress S'byll proved to not be as treacherous as most Skrulls after all and she and the Surfer attacked Hala themselves and defeated Nenora, the Supreme Leader. A truce was made between the races and the Surfer again soared the universe alone.
The Surfer then met his next threat and one of his worse enemies, Thanos. Thanos was resurrected to kill half of the universe. He proved to be a very powerful and intelligent being. He faked his death so that the Surfer would not meddle in his affairs while he sought out the Infinity Gems. Thanos has the Surfer imprisoned on Dynamo City to further preoccupy him. After his escape, he met up with Thanos who had the Infinity Gauntlet. He stole the Surfer's soul and kept it in the Soul Gem. He meets Adam Warlock in the Soul World and with his help is able to free himself.
With Thanos now in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet he thought himself a god. To please Death, he instantly wiped out half of all life in the universe. The Surfer traveled to Earth to gain the help of any hero he could find. He was able to gather the help of Doctor Strange, the Avengers and some of Earth's mightiest heroes. Adam Warlock exited the Soul World and was best suited to lead the heroes against this growing threat.
The Surfer had a special part in Warlock's plans. While Thanos was distracted by Earth's heroes and the gathered cosmic deities, the Surfer was to take the Gauntlet from Thanos. When the time came, he was noticed and failed to capture the gems from Thanos. After the gauntlet is taken by Nebula, the heroes need Thanos' help to get it from her. The Surfer will not accept this and attacks Thanos. Doctor Strange makes a dimension for them to fight in to settle it with each other. They battle medieval style with limited powers and the Surfer emerges victorious but refuses to kill Thanos. When he turns his back Thanos attacks him and the Surfer yields. The heroes eventually gained control over the gauntlet and it went to Adam Warlock.
During the Infinity Gauntlet the Surfer faces many trials and tests. In the realm of perception the Surfer was able to destroy the demons of guilt, denial and doubt he harbored throughout his lifetime. He was able to get forgiveness for his past associations with family and love. He was also able to forgive himself. The only ones to not forgive the Surfer are the millions he brought death to as Galactus' herald. The guilt for this was something the Surfer never knew since Galactus had blocked that in his mind. He had Galactus turn the guilt in his brain back on and the Surfer could almost not bear it. He overcame this. In another reality he was able to defeat the Shadow Surfer, the dark side of himself, to finally become whole.
During the events of Annihilation, the Silver Surfer became aware of the invasion of his universe after the destruction of Xandar. He was able to save Air-Walker from the Seekers, who were trying to capture all of Galactus' Heralds for their leader Annihilus. He met up with Firelord and Red Shift but they were soon met by Stardust. Galactus had summoned the Surfer. He left to speak with his former master.
Galactus told his former Herald of the recent freeing of Aegis and Tenebrous from Kyln, two of his adversaries from early in universal history. Galactus asked Surfer to stand with him as his Herald once more. The Surfer accepted and his power increased and augmented, he was quickly tested by Ravenous, agent of Annihilus. Surfer dispatched him easily.
Shortly thereafter Tenebrous and Aegis ambushed Galactus and his herald, striking them both down. The Annihilation Wave arrived and picked up the pieces, taking both Galactus and the Silver Surfer prisoner. Silver Surfer was held in a stasis sphere while the Power Cosmic was drained from both him and his master through technology given to Annihilus by Thanos.
Surfer was eventually freed by Drax The Destroyer. Surfer in turn freed Galactus, who's power quickly was restored, decimated the Annihilation Wave.
After this the Surfer went to Aegis and Tenebrous in an attempt to hold them at the Crunch until Galactus arrived. He was no match for them and they quickly brought him to near death. In a risky maneuver, he surfed the energies of the Crunch and was able to kill Aegis and Tenebrous with it. Nearly dead, Galactus healed the Surfer, amazed that the Surfer could accomplish such as task.
The Silver Surfer continues to serve as Galactus' Herald alongside Stardust.
11. Dr. Strange (374 points - 10 first place slots)
"Master of the Mystic Arts. Take Tony Stark's origin and change a couple words; swap technology for magic and you have the good Doctor."
"A man that loses all and reinvents himself in order to be the Sorcerer Supreme. Plus I love magic characters."
"Like Spidey, the earliest stories hooked me on the character. The Silver Dagger saga kept me as well as other odd stories and sagas."
Kudos to the good Doctor, I really never expected him to do this well. But apparently there is much love for him. How many of you want him back as Sorcerer Surpreme?
At a young age, Stephen Strange had dreams of becoming a doctor. The eldest child of three, Strange was born in 1930 while his parents Eugene and Beverly Strange were vacationing in Philadelphia. At the age of eleven he aided his younger sister Donna when she was injured, which proved to be a formative experience for him, and he was inspired to attend med school after high school. Ironically, it was his inability to later save her from drowning when he was nineteen and on leave from college that undermined his belief in life's meaning and the value of idealism. Nevertheless, he rapidly finished med school at a young age and became a successful neurosurgeon.
Strange displayed phenomenal talent in his chosen field, and quickly attained wealth and notoriety. The more successful he became, the more arrogant he grew. Eventually this led to estrangement from his family and the undoing of his relationship with a United Nations translator named Madeline Revell to whom he had proposed marriage. So distant and self-absorbed did he become that he refused to visit his father on his deathbed. His enraged younger brother Victor Strange berated him for this, and then was killed as he ran into traffic. Stephen then placed the body of his brother into cryogenic storage. At a much later stage Stephen attempted to restore his brother through magical means, but instead imbued him with the curse of vampirism.
car accident that damaged the nerves in his hands changed everything for Stephen Strange. He was no longer able to be a surgeon, yet he refused to become an assistant or consultant, instead squandering his money traveling the world and searching for a cure. One day he heard a rumor of a mystical personage known as the Ancient One in Tibet. Marshaling the last of his inner and outer resources, Strange diligently searched until the fortress of the Ancient One was revealed to him. Though initially outraged that the aged mystic refused to cure his hands, Strange's anger was quickly replaced by amazement when the reality of magical forces was demonstrated before his eyes as he witnessed an attack on the Ancient One. Circumstances revealed to Strange that it was none other than Baron Mordo, the Ancient One's chief disciple, who was the perpetrator of the attack, and who continued to plot the destruction of the antediluvian mystic in an attempt to gain power. To his horror, Strange learned he was unable to reveal this after Mordo easily ensorcelled him. Realizing the Ancient One was a force for good; Stephen selflessly abandoned his quest to restore his hands and committed himself to magical tutelage with the intention of foiling Mordo's insidious scheme. By this act Strange proved himself to the Ancient One, to whom the entire melodrama had been transparent. Thus Doctor Strange put himself on the path to become the new Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth dimension, yet gained a deadly enemy in Baron Mordo.
After many years of training, Strange returned to New York. He became a mystical consultant and started having interactions with the superhero community. After the Fantastic Four formed and many superheroes began to surface, Doctor Strange found a friend in Spider-Man. Spider-Man helped him rescue a group of people from another dimension and suggested that Strange remove from their memory this traumatic experience, though this meant that they would forget his own heroism. He also formed a bizarre team-up with the Hulk, Namor, and later the Silver Surfer. These four strong personalities somehow managed to work together and started the unlikely super-team known as the Defenders. Initially tricked into conflict with each other by Loki, Thor and Doctor Strange also formed an early alliance to combat the god of mischief.
Noteworthy among the good Doctor's numerous foes over the years as Earth's magical guardian were the Dread Dormammu, Shuma-Gorath, the Undying Ones, and Dracula. Strange's first battle with Dormammu ensued when the powerful demigod of the Dark Dimension attempted to invade earth's plane as he perceived the wane of the Ancient One's might. Strange was forced to duel Dormammu in the Dark Dimension, and though vastly out-powered by the god-like entity, Strange was able to tax Dormammu to the extent that the barrier separating beings know as the Mindless Ones from the rest of the Dark Dimension became compromised. A force of pure destruction, the Mindless Ones would have meant annihilation to the other denizens of Dormammu's realm, and Strange nobly contributed his power to his enemy to prevent their being unleashed. Bound by whatever strange honor as applies to his daemonic ilk, Dormammu then called off his invasion and released Strange. They were to clash many times subsequently, however, and Dormammu has been one of Strange's most implacable and powerful foes. It was during this adventure that Doctor Strange also met Clea, a beautiful but inexperienced mystic (the daughter of Umar, Dormammu's sister), who became Strange's first apprentice, as well as his lover.
In one of his more bizarre adventures, Strange fought the demonic forces of Shuma-Gorath, an ancient Lovecraftian entity that coveted earth's domination from the world's distant past and this time threatened our reality using the very mind of Doctor Strange's beloved mentor, the Ancient One. Though it agonized him, Strange was left with no choice but to obey his teacher and slay him to prevent the holocaust Shuma-Gorath would have unleashed upon the world. The Ancient One then ascended to become one with the being known as Eternity, while Strange inherited the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme.
The Defenders were born when Doctor Strange enlisted the help of the Hulk and Namor to combat yet another world-conquering demonic threat, this time in the form of beings called the Undying Ones who were led by the evil and ancient Nameless One. The Defenders went on to battle numerous threats both supernatural and mundane (so to speak), and were joined in an oft-changing roster that included such unlikely characters as the Silver Surfer, Hellstorm, the Overmind, Valkyrie, Nighthawk, and Hellcat.
In yet another impressive display of the capabilities of a Sorcerer Supreme, Strange opposed Dracula himself to rid the world, at least for a time, of the plague of vampirism. Assisted by a dedicated band of vampire hunters, Doctor Strange recited the Montessi Formula from The Darkhold and destroyed virtually all the world's vampires, including Dracula. Yet this very undoing for most of the world's vampires interacted with the previous spells Stephen Strange had attempted in his resurrection of his brother Victor, causing Victor to rise from the grave as the undead. Later developments also allowed the resurrection of many of the destroyed Nosferatu, though Strange banished the Vampire Verses to another plane of existence.
Strange went on to battle a host of threats to the Earth dimension, at times battling cosmic entities such as the In-Betweener; participating in the power struggles over the dominion of the Dark Dimension between Clea, Umar, and Dormammu; and joining other heroes to oppose Thanos in his attempt to gain the Infinity Gauntlet; to name but a few. He has triumphed over others bearing the title Sorcerer Supreme, such as Salome, the first Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, and Shanzar, the Sorcerer Supreme of another dimension. Though he at first resisted such calls because of his duties as Earth's mystical protector, Strange was eventually drawn into a 5,000 year battle against the Trinity of Ashes on the side of the Vishanti. Because of the magical nature of the realm in which he fought, or because of his innate power, Strange was absent from his home dimension for this conflict for only a few months in everyone else's perceptions and appeared to age but little.
Doctor Strange does continue to show a certain predilection for arrogance, as evidenced by his susceptibility to Yandroth's manipulation when Namor, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer and himself banded together to essentially take over the world. Yandroth had banded the four together by an apparently unbreakable curse (because it was the will of Gaea) that forced them to be teleported to the scene whenever a threat to the Earth manifested. The curse also heightened their natural egotism and irritability, which for these four was considerable. Unwilling to be snatched away from their other responsibilities any time the curse decreed there was a threat, the four decided instead to form the Order, which would keep the world safe by taking control and preventing threats from arising. Opposed by the other heroes of earth, the four appeared to have the power to triumph, but they realized in time that Yandroth was mystically siphoning the power generated by their violence to resurrect himself with the power of a god. While they called off their plans and dispersed, they would not surrender themselves to mortal authorities for judgment. Doctor Strange was able to convince Gaea to let the four serve her willingly, and the curse was broken. Though unquestionably a mighty force for good that has saved the Earth and even the universe from destruction multiple times, this saga, along with such examples as his manipulations during the formation of the Defenders and the Midnight Sons; as well as his participation with the actions of the Illuminati, demonstrate signs of the old hubris that dominated his character when he was still a neurosurgeon.
Prior to the event of World War Hulk, Strange was one of the Illuminati who voted to exile the Hulk because of his destructive tendencies. When the Hulk came back and demanded the presence of the those who exiled him, Strange infiltrated his mind as a way to calm him down, but Hulk knew this move all along and gave him the opportunity to break Strange's hands, so that he could not use his magic. Strange became desperate and drank a vial containing the essence of Zom, a powerful demon that he had once faced. When Strange and Hulk fought, Strange was winning but not before realizing that Zom is slowly influencing his actions. With this realization, he was defeated by Hulk and held captive in his make-shift gladiator arena of Madison Square Garden.
Dr. Strange recently became a member of the new New Avengers. He assisted the team on their first mission to Japan, and was severely wounded. During their second mission, to defeat The Hood's Gang, Dr. Strange had to use extreme magic to take them all down. He fled the group saying that he'd used to much dark magic, and must train in the use of light magic again. In the end, he failed in his duties as Sorcerer Supreme, thus his title is removed form him. In light of this he no longer wore his cloak of levitation nor the eye of Agamotto. Instead he went out to search for the new Sorcerer Supreme, hoping it was someone who had good intents instead of evil. The first person he visited was Wiccan, but there he was attacked by The Hood who was taken over by his demonic cape. With the help of Wiccan he managed to escape and went to the New Avengers for help. Together they went to Hellstorm during the ride there, the eye of Agamotto glowed brightly and disappeared, according to Dr. Strange to the new Sorcerer Supreme. In the meantime the Hood was fighting Hellstorm but the fight was interrupted when a new player came in, Brother Voodoo, wearing the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto. The New Sorcerer Supreme!
Because I forgot yesterday, the next two people to be eliminated from the TLC are...
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Twiggs and Hawk.