Doctor Strange Meets [SPOILER] and Gets Caught Up in Infinity Wars

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Doctor Strange #3 by Mark Waid, Jesus Saiz and Joe Sabino, on sale now.

In preparation for the upcoming Infinity Wars event, Marvel has released artwork of various Marvel characters in possession of the Infinity Stones that will drive the event. Doctor Strange found himself in that artwork, though at the time it made no sense since he didn't have a Stone in hand; they were possessed by the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, the Super-Skrull, and Turk Barrett.

With this month's issue of Doctor Strange, the pieces get put in place for him to be one of the core players in Infinity. Still traveling the cosmos in search of new magical sources, Stephen and his new accomplice Kanna have spent weeks traveling to planets and uncovering new artifacts and learning from alien magic users that have boosted his power significantly. During their repairs on the ship, Kanna lets it slip their next destination is the planet of Tarmax II where a magic user named Mt'Nox resides.

There's only one problem here: Nox is a Skrull.

Given the things that Skrulls have done to humanity, Stephen isn't keen to learn magic from one--up until now, he wasn't even aware Skrull Sorcerers existed--but Kanna is firm, and the prospect of a Skrull that isn't a conqueror is too good to pass up. After touching down on the planet and cloaking themselves, the two make their way to Mt'Nox, who's in the middle of using his spells on something green when it dawns on Stephen what's happening: Mt'Nox is studying the Time Stone, and Kl'rt the Super-Skrull is with him.

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Or rather, it's the recreation of the Time Stone that vanished years ago after Captain America tried using the Stones to stop two planets from colliding during that whole Incursion affair. Currently, the only thing that Mt'Nox can do is use it to shift the user forward or backwards about half a minute, but the Super Skrull clearly isn't content with literal mere time skips. Kl'rt wants to use the Stone to restore the Skrull Empire to its former glory, but he's not magically inclined in the way Mt'Nox is.

Following a heated argument and promises of turning over the Time Stone to Kanna after it's been stolen from Kl'rt, Stephen proceeds to fight the Super-Skrull for the Stone. Just like his movie counterpart, upon getting the Stone in his hands, Stephen jumps himself around in time to create multiple copies himself so they'd overlap and could all knock the Skrull out with a single hit. The Time Stone in their possession, Stephen and Kanna depart the planet, the Sorcerer Supreme locking the Stone in a box that can't be accessed by even him, at least until he can figure out how to get rid of the Stone.

Giving the Time Stone to Stephen feels like a given since the movies saddled the Stone with him before Infinity War happened, but it's also perhaps the best Stone for the Sorcerer Supreme. As a surgeon, time is the one thing that Stephen has always been in need of, and some of his recent misfortunes have been from a lack or misuse of it. Ego and self loathing have been his biggest enemies, and Stephen will always be Stephen. He may say he won't use the Time Stone, but all it'll take is a situation he can't get out of for it to come into play again as Infinity Wars stars. It's only a matter...of time.

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