After seeing Marvel's Doctor Strange movie, it would be disingenuious to call it 'the origin story of Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme.'
Sure, Doctor Strange chronicled the story of how arrogant surgeon Stephen Strange learned to let go of his selfish view of the world, and embrace a larger destiny of mysticism and magic. However, Strange's education in the mystic arts and appointment as warden of the New York sanctum were big developments that the movie arguably glossed over or rushed.
And so, we're left with a question after seeing the film: When will Doctor Strange become Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Avengers: Infinity War
The first and most obvious place for Doctor Strange to make his ascent to Sorcerer Supreme is in Avengers: Infinity War. With a movie as packed with characters as Infinity War will be, there will likely not be room for a storyline about Doctor Strange's promotion. But since every MCU phase always has a time jump between solo films and Avengers team-up events, by the time Avengers: Infinity War begins, there will have been any amount of years between that film and the events of Doctor Strange. Simply reintroducing Strange as a more powerful and studied Sorcerer Supreme would make a certain amount of sense.
Of course, there's another option: having Doc Strange earn his title of Sorcerer Supreme as a result of his heroic actions during Infinity War. It would be a good way to continue the character's progression organically, and make his upgrade to Sorcerer Supreme an event with proper grandeur and weight, rather than simply using time jumps to skip over it.
Doctor Strange 2
The Doctor Strange post-credits scene set up a storyline where Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has broken from The Ancient One's sect and is hunting down what he feels to be "unworthy" practitioners of magic across the world. That seems like a pretty clear setup for Doctor Strange 2, and the sequel could be where the good Doctor truly earns his Sorcerer Supreme title.
Now that The Ancient One is dead, there's a clear power vacuum as far as who supervises and manages the mystical forces of our dimension. Stephen Strange is a promising breakout talent as a sorcerer, but is hardly a true master, after his very rapid 'trial by fire' introduction to being one of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Just because he protected NYC sanctum from attack, stopped Dormammu, and earned the respect of The Cloak of Levitation, Strange still has something to prove when it comes to being Sorcerer Supreme.
One of those biggest tests is Mordo himself. Mordo trained Strange, and has always had skills in both magic and combat that rival - maybe even best - Strange's abilities. Doctor Strange 2 could in fact fashion it's entire story around the idea of Mordo trying to steal magic from other sorcerers in order to usurp the title of Sorcerer Supreme by being the only sorcerer left on Earth. That would be a direct challenge to Strange: defeat Mordo in order to be the best sorcerer on earth, or lose to him, likely die, and let a more militant man become sorcerer supreme.
Do you want to see Doctor Strange become Sorcerer Supreme? When would you like to see it happen? In Avengers: Infinity War? Doctor Strange 2? Or does it even matter? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter @ComicBookNOW or @KofiOutlaw.
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Doctor Strange is now in theaters; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; and Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019.