December 2009 Walt Disney Co. chief Robert Iger, overseeeing the final acquisition of
Marvel, is reportedly looking at 'obscure' Marvel super heroes among the company's 5,000 proprietary characters, for
rapid development into branded film properties.
Iger said that Disney may 'test' different Marvel characters on cable TV, similar to how Warners showcases DC
Comics super-hero properties on the Vancouver-lensed 'Superman' TV series "Smallville".
"Instead of making a $200 million movie and kind of betting the farm on one character," said Iger, "you can develop
a television pilot, or a television series."
Following their Marvel Comics success of "Spider-Man", co-creators Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko debuted 'Doctor Strange' in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), fashioning the physical look of the
character after Lee Falk's 1930's comic strip character "Mandrake The Magician".
'Dr. Stephen Strange' was an arrogant, world-renowned neurosurgeon, until a car accident damaged
his hands, preventing him from conducting surgery. In desperation, a bitter Strange seeks out a legendary Tibetan hermit living
in a 'Lost Horizon' of the Himalayas who may have the cure to his debilitating condition.
Strange finds 'The Ancient One', possessed of the knowledge of sorcerous
spells and incantations, invoking names and aspects of extra-dimensional objects and beings of power. Some of these phenomena
include the 'Flames of the Faltine', the 'Shades of the Seraphim' and the 'Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth'. When Strange selflessly thwarts the evil ambitions of the Ancient One's
traitorous disciple 'Baron Mordo', the 500-year old sorceror tutors Strange in the 'mystic arts', teaching him how to use
magical artifacts to augment his power, including the 'Cloak of Levitation', the all-seeing 'Eye of Agamotto' and the 'Book
of the Vishanti'.
Strange's residence in New York's Greenwich Village, referred to as his 'Sanctum
Sanctorum', figured prominently in stories focusing on extra-dimensional battles in the Big Apple.
Strange uses his magic to achieve a number of effects, including energy
projection, teleportation, telepathy and astral projection.
Strange was also schooled in the use of addictive and corruptive 'dark
magic' by one-time foe 'Kaluu', using it to destroy the entity known as 'Shuma-Gorath'.