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Magic and Thunder: A History of Doctor Strange/Thor Team-Ups

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Movies, Comic News, Movie News Comment
Magic and Thunder: A History of Doctor Strange/Thor Team-Ups

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” now in theaters.


In the mid-credits scene of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” the Sorcerer Supreme is visited by Thor, who’s in New York City with his brother Loki searching for their father Odin. When Doctor Strange, who’s concerned about Loki’s presence in New York, learns that they will leave as soon as they accomplish their mission, he agrees to help them find Odin. This suggests that Doctor Strange may team up with thunder god in the upcoming film “Thor: Ragnarok.”

Doctor Strange and Thor haven’t been the most common of allies over the years, so we thought it would be interesting to look back at what history of team-ups the two heroes do share.

The first time Doctor Strange and Thor appeared together, they didn’t actually even interact. In 1964’s “Strange Tales” #124 (by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko), Loki decides to trick Doctor Strange into blocking Thor’s access to his famous hammer Mjolnir. The issue amusingly opens with a splash page apologizing in advance for the way that Ditko draws Thor in the comic …

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Loki showed up at Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum with a plea for him to help him get Thor’s hammer, as that’s the only thing that could free Loki from the entrapment that he claimed that Thor put on him. He even gave Strange a sliver of Thor’s hammer handle to prove that Thor was evil (of course, said sliver was not actually from Thor’s hammer). Strange agreed to help him and came up with some magic to wrest Thor’s hammer from him…

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It was at this point that Strange realized that Thor was not evil, so he turned on Loki…

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Strange and Loki had a fearsome battle, one that Loki was actually winning, before Strange managed to break free long enough to get Thor’s hammer back to him. Thor tracked Loki down, so Loki had to get out of there before Thor got there, so Thor never ended up actually meeting Strange that day…

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However, just a few short months later, they finally did meet in “Journey Into Mystery” #108 (by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Chic Stone), but under very strange circumstances. Thor was just flying by when he was called to help Doctor Strange, who was in bad shape…

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Somehow, Dr. Blake’s knowledge of magic healing (which must have been really weird to the other medical professionals in the room at the time) healed Strange, who now owed a debt to Blake.

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Blake quickly called in the favor when Loki stole Blake’s enchanted walking stick (which was really Mjolnir in disguise) and threw it out into New York City somewhere. Strange was tasked with finding it for Blake and he came through with flying colors…

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Similarly, Doc kept Jane Foster safe after Loki kidnapped her, giving Thor (since he had his hammer, he could now get to her) time to save her.

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Certainly a bit of an odd first team-up, but it was a successful one!

The two really wouldn’t meet up again for roughly another decade (although they both attended the wedding of Reed Richards and Susan Storm in “Fantastic Four Annual” #3, they are never in the same panel together), until they were both a part of the Avengers/Defenders War in 1973. Even there, they didn’t really interact with each other, but they did fight side by the side at the final battle against Dormammu and Loki.

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Their next notable interaction was in, of all places, the pages of “Fantastic Four”, where New York City was taken into outer space by Terrax, herald of Galactus. Luckily, New York City is filled with superheroes, including Thor and Doctor Strange, so they teamed up with the other heroes (namely the Avengers and the Fantastic Four) to actually defeat Galactus!

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In a story we just recently featured here at CBR, Dr. Blake and Dr. Strange team-up to help find a cure for the mysterious “Green flu” in “Incredible Hulk Annual” #11.

In “Thor” #333 (by Alan Zelentz, Mark Bright and Vince Colletta), Thor turned to Doctor Strange for assistance with Sif, who was under the sway of Dracula. Strange actually learned Thor’s secret identity in this interaction (although, come on, Strange, that business back with Dr. Blake should have been a big clue).

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Doctor Strange faked his death at one point in the late 1980s, and Thor attended his funeral. They teamed up again soon after, though, in “Thor Annual” #14 (by Roy Thomas, Al Milgrom and Don Heck), alongside Quasar and the Thing against Set (this was during Atlantis Attacks)…

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Soon after, Thor sought out Doctor Strange’s help in “Thor” #413 (by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Joe Sinnott), as Thor was suffering from some weird seizures…

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Strange successfully exorcised the problem, which was that Loki had left a piece of his own soul behind after he had lent Thor some power in “Thor” #398. Loki is such a jerk.

Another one of Loki’s plots ended up with Thor being exiled and Eric Masterson (who was sharing Thor’s body at the time) took over as Thor. Eric fought in the “Infinity Gauntlet”, but people were obviously wondering why Thor was acting so differently. Finally, in “Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme” #35 (by Roy and Dann Thomas, Dan Lawlis, Sam DeLarosa and Don Hudson), Strange and this new Thor formerly met for the first time (although Eric and Doc had met in “Thor” #413 while Eric was not in control of Thor’s body)…

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In “Thor” #443 (by Tom DeFalco, Ron Frenz and Al Milgrom), Eric had lost Mjolnir to Mephisto, so he turned to Strange for help getting the hammer back from Mephisto’s domain. Strange armed him and showed him how to get there…

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Strange later called in Silver Surfer to help Eric out, as well.

In “Thor” #601 (by J. Michael Straczynski, Marko Djurdjevic, Danny Miki and Mark Morales), Thor turned to Strange for help fixing a broken Mjolnir…

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Strange helped, but the cost was significant…

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That was in 2009. Obviously, Thor and Strange have also crossed paths at the various superhero crossovers where everyone shows up (“Infinity War”, “Infinity Crusade”, “Onslaught”, “Contest of Champions”, “Secret Invasion”, etc.), but besides that, their last outright team-up came in 2003 in an offbeat mini-series called “Thor: Vikings” by Garth Ennis and Glenn Fabry, where some time-traveling magic vikings came to the present day and caused quite a ruckus. Ennis’ take on Doctor Strange was as an aloof, sort of condescending mage…

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But it was a fun series, with them pulling warriors out of different times to come help them stop the vikings. Honestly, that mini-series might give us the best guide to how a Strange/Thor team-up would play out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the aloof sort of sarcastic Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) paired with the headstrong Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth).

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