When Did Doctor Strange Become the 'Master of the Mystic Arts'?

In "When We First Met," we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, "Avengers Assemble!" or the first appearance of Batman's giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man's face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

Today, we look at when Doctor Strange first became known as a "Master of the Mystic Arts."

Recently, I wrote about a bunch of times that Doctor Strange "cursed himself for a novice," namely when Doctor Strange screwed up so badly that he thinks that if anyone looked at him at that point in time, they would think that he was, well, you know, a novice.

However, it's amusing to note that besides "Sorcerer Supreme," a title that Stephen Strange acquired at the end of Marvel Premiere #10 (by Steve Englehart, Frank Brunner and a bunch of inkers) after the death of his master, the Ancient One, the previous Sorcerer Supreme...

there really isn't another designation for sorcerers other than "Master of the Mystic Arts"...

It really seems as though you are either a master of the mystic arts or you are, well, a novice. That makes sense, though, as what would really be the difference between various magicians out there if they are all really good at magic. They're all "masters of the mystic arts."

This is the twist, though, and why we are even bothering discussing the first time that the term was used, which is that when Doctor Strange first showed up in comics, that was NOT how he was referred to in his stories.

Nope, when we first met Doctor Strange in Strange Tales #110 (by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee), Strange is referred to as a master of BLACK MAGIC...

His second appearance in Strange Tales #111 continues with that theme....

only what's interesting is that that issue makes a specific point to note just how dangerous "black magic" is and yet Doctor Strange seems to use it just like it is no big deal, even though his arch-nemesis, Baron Mordo, also wields it...

If the bad guys are rocking black magic, maybe the good guys SHOULDN'T be, ya know?

The first Doctor Strange story was done by Steve Ditko on his own volition and then Stan Lee commissioned a second one to see how the audience reacted. Then the feature took a break while they saw whether the audience liked it. The readers DID, so they brought it back in Strange Tales #114. This is important, because this is the time for them to iron out any kinks they wanted to fix and yet, still, he remained the Master of the Black Arts!

That's pretty amazing.

Okay, so how long did it take for Stan Lee and Steve Ditko to realize that they should alter the title of the character?

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