Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, Master of the Mystic Arts, and Master of Black Magic, were created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1963, and originally appeared in Strange Tales #110. After permanently damaging his hands in a car accident, Stephen Strange seeks healing from any source he can find, traveling the globe in search of anything that can help him regain control of his hands. This voyage brings Stephen to the Ancient One, a mythical creature who teaches him the mysteries of magic and the mystical arts.
Dr. Strange returns to New York and establishes his stronghold, the Sanctum Santorum, to deal with all mystical, magical, and strange threats in the Marvel Universe. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the eagerly awaited sequel, will hit theaters on May 6th in the United States, and it will be directed by Sam Raimi (who did the original Tobey Maguire Spider-Man trilogy). What better way to pay tribute to the Sorcerer Supreme than to compile a list of his favorite comic book villains?
Mephisto is a terrible demonic monster that originally debuted in The Silver Surfer #3 in 1968, and is regarded to be Marvel Comics’ counterpart of the Devil. Mephisto was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema and is responsible for some of Marvel Comics’ most contentious events (including the dreaded Spider-Man: One More Day storyline). The figure is one of the more diabolical, striking near to the heart for most heroes. He is a recurrent nemesis for both Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider, including a time when both heroes had to retrieve the soul of Dr. Doom’s wife after it was abducted by Mephisto.
5. Baron Mordo
Baron Karl Mordo originally appears in Strange Tales #111, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. After Stephen Strange foiled Mordo’s scheme to destroy the Ancient One, he became one of the Sorcerer Supreme’s antagonists, even collaborating with Dormammu at times in canon. Mordo is a Voldemort-like figure with magical abilities that include dark magic, magical manipulation, astral projection, and a thorough understanding of Marvel’s magic literature. The character was last seen in The Death of Doctor Strange, a Marvel Comics event in which he was accused of murdering the Master of the Mystic Arts.
4. Mister Misery
Mister Misery (also known as “The thing in the cellar”) originally appears in Doctor Strange #8 by Jason Aaron, and is probably the most terrifying rogue in Dr. Strange‘s gallery. Mister Misery is a unique type of enemy for Strange because he was invented by Strange himself. The phrase “magic always has a price” appears frequently in popular fantasy literature, and when that price is not paid, awful things happen. Dr. Strange‘s failure to pay the magical toll has resulted in Mister Misery.
To avoid the anguish that would result from Strange’s spells, Wong (Strange’s aide) took the pain from Strange’s incantations and sent it to the Sanctum Sanctorum’s cellar. Mister Misery, a being that bears the toll of magic that Stephen Strange did not, was born as a result of this recurrent process.
Shuma Gorath is one of four undying “multi-angled” ones (a race of deities from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu stories) who exist in the Marvel Universe, first appearing in Marvel Premiere #10 in 1973 (and more recently in the What If?… series), and one of the confirmed villains in Doctor Strange 2. Gorath is one of Strange’s most terrifying antagonists, with a skill set that includes sympathetic magic, reality-altering, shape-shifting, and more. He is claimed to be more powerful than both Satannish and Mephisto. Marvel Studios is unable to utilize the name “Shuma-Gorath” in Doctor Strange 2 due to licensing difficulties. The rights of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Cimmerian, the story from which the name “Shuma–Gorath” comes, are owned by Heroic Signatures.
Nightmare and his power set first appeared in Strange Tales #10, and they’re definitely Freddy Krueger-esque (though Nightmare did emerge before Wes Craven’s pocket-faced invention), but on a whole different level. Nightmare is the ruler of the Dream Dimension and one of the terrifying Fear Lords. He has the ability to grab a sleeping person’s astral form and transport it to the Dream Dimension, where he can torture them for his own twisted purposes. The character was last seen in writer Gerry Duggan’s Savage Avengers #22, when he was said to be one of, if not the major, villains planned in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Dormammu originally appears in Strange Tales #126, which was published in 1964, and was a participant in one of the most quotable language exchanges in any Marvel movie (“Dormammu, I’ve come to negotiate!”). Dormammu, the Lord of the Dark Dimension, is commonly regarded as Dr. Strange‘s major antagonist and arch adversary. Dormammu is one of Marvel’s most terrible villains, with a power set that includes matter manipulation, possession, necromancy, and much more. The figure was last featured in comic books as one of the main antagonists in The Last Annihilation, a crossover event involving the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Of fact, Dr. Strange‘s rogues’ gallery is considerably larger than the five villains mentioned above. Regardless, these are the villains who have stood the test of time and have established themselves as Strange’s greatest. If not Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, these Marvel characters may feature in future MCU projects, as well as prospective Doctor Strange movies and sequels.