Back Issues: Spider-Man's Strangest Tales With the Sorcerer Supreme

Doctor Strange is caught in Spider-Man's web when an unmasked Peter Parker calls on the good doctor to cure his identity crisis in Spider-Man: No Way Home. After saving half of the universe together in Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man asks the sorcerer Stephen Strange to make the entire world forget Mysterio revealed his secret identity in Far From Home. "Be careful what you wish for, Parker," warns the Master of the Mystic Arts of tampering with the stability of spacetime. But the spell is cast, and the Multiverse opened — unleashing sinister supervillains from every universe.

In the Marvel Universe of the comic books, Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme: Earth's most studied defender against magical and mystical threats. The arcane often brings the science-minded Spider-Man to the door of Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, joining forces with the master sorcerer to battle such supernatural threats as Xandu, Silver Dagger, Dormammu, and Mephisto. 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

The Wondrous World of Doctor Strange

After Strange's projected astral form makes a cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's most famous superhero co-creations cross paths for the first time in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2. In a crossover with Strange Tales, Spider-Man enters "The Wondrous World of Dr. Strange" when the sorcerer Xandu plots to steal the missing half of the enchanted Wand of Watoomb to become Master of the Mystic Arts (The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2). 

The sinister sorcerer casts an incantation banishing the meddlesome Spider-Man to an unknown dimension, but the web-head returns to help Strange prevent Xandu from using the whole wand to become the most powerful practicer of the Mystic Arts. Using his Eye of Agamotto to strip the Wand of Watoomb of its powers, Strange cleanses Xandu's mind and makes a promise to Spider-Man: "The friendship of Dr. Strange will be yours, whatever befalls!"  

Another early encounter between the Spider and the Sorcerer happens when Strange summons Spider-Man to help him find an ancient artifact, the Lantern of Lantarr, to prevent the dark arts magician Baron Mordo from using its power against the entire world (Untold Tales of Spider-Man: Strange Encounter #1). 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

The Spider and the Sorcerer

The Wand of Watoomb reunites Strange and Spider-Man when Xandu hypnotizes the web-slinger to steal the Crystal of Kadavus from Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Using the stolen crystal, Xandu regenerates the magical powers of the wand in a plot to make himself the master of the cosmos and restore his beloved Melinda from a death-like sleep (Marvel Team-Up #21). 

Thwarted by Spider-Man and Strange a second time, Xandu wouldn't return until years later when he displaces the soul of the Scarlet Witch to revive Melinda (Marvel Fanfare #6). Strange assembles a non-team of Secret Defenders — Spider-Man, Scarlet Witch, and Captain America — to prevent the vengeful Xandu from using the Wand of Watoomb to reunite with his long-lost love by merging Earth with the Death Dimension (The Secret Defenders #6-#8). 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

A Sorcerer Possessed

Doctor Strange assists Spider-Man once more when the Giant One and his Death Cult, the Monks of the Light, intend to sacrifice Flash Thompson to mystically renew their High Priest from his death-like trance (The Amazing Spider-Man #109). Spider-Man and Iron Man later seek Strange's help to uncover the mystery of the seemingly supernatural Wraith (Marvel Team-Up #50).

Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) join forces with Strange to save the woman he loves, Clea, her soul imprisoned inside the mystic Orb of Agamotto by the black arts fanatic The Silver Dagger (Marvel Team-Up #76). The trio saves Clea, dooming Strange: a short time later, Spider-Man must fight a possessed Doctor Strange when a curse transforms the mage into a werewolf-like creature (Marvel Team-Up #80-#81). 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

Defenders, Doom and Dormammu

When the Asgardian sorceress Enchantress entraps the soul of Valkyrie in her enchanted sword, Dragonfang, Spider-Man fights alongside Strange's new Defenders — including The Gargoyle and the mutant Beast of the X-Men — to save the warrior goddess (The Defenders #108-#109). Wicked forces bring Spider-Man and Strange together again when Doctor Doom and the Dread Dormammu, Lord of the Dark Dimension, conspire to unleash the Bend Sinister: a mortal mix of magic and science (The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14).  

It's not the final time Spider-Man and Strange defeat Doctor Doom. After an overseas mission with Silver Sable  (Web of Spider-Man #72), Spider-Man teams with Strange and Sable to fend off Doom as he targets a Symkarian princess with great mystical potential that could doom the world (Avenging Spider-Man #8). When a vengeful Victor Von Doom unleashes an army of Doombots on New York following an assassination attempt on his life, Spider-Man and Strange are among the heroes who band together to save the city from the robot rampage (The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 5 #35). 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

The Doctor Is In

Xandu returns with demons from the netherworld's Death Dimension in yet another plot to awake Melinda Morrison from her death resembling sleep. Demonic forces displace Spider-Man's soul from his body, but during a climactic spiritual battle with Xandu inside the Death Dimension, Spider-Man destroys the Wand of Watoomb and returns to the realm of the living with Strange (Spider-Man/Dr. Strange: The Way to Dusty Death #1). 

Strange's astral form guides Spider-Man's way back to the present when the hero is lost through time following an encounter with Dormammu's Mindless Ones (The Amazing Spider-Man #500). Strange goes on an occult quest into a bizarre dimension to save Spider-Man from a sorcerer's fever after the soul-eating Arachnix Spider-Demons steal his friend's spirit (Spider-Man: Fever #1-#3). 

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

One Moment In Time, For All Time

Another ailment would bring Spider-Man to the doctor's door: his dying Aunt May, struck by an assassin's bullet intended for the unmasked Peter Parker. Told it will take more than medical science to save her, Peter seeks out Doctor Strange for a miracle (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24). Strange calls on ancient spirits to help Spider-Man find someone who can heal his aunt, but only a deal with the demon Mephisto — at the cost of Peter's marriage to Mary Jane — can save Aunt May (The Amazing Spider-Man #545). 

When the unmasked Spider-Man's enemies target Peter Parker's loved ones, he asks Doctor Strange for a favor: make the world forget he's Spider-Man (The Amazing Spider-Man #640). Consulting with Iron Man and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four, Strange blends magic and technology to create an "anamnesis storm" and restore Spider-Man's anonymity. 

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Strange casts the spell, making the entire world forget Peter Parker is Spider-Man — everyone except Mary Jane — ushering in a brand new day for the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (The Amazing Spider-Man #641).  

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(Photo: Marvel Comics)

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