WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Doctor Strange Annual #1 by Tini Howard, Pornsak Pichetshote, Andy MacDonald, Lalit Kumar Sharma, Sean Parsons, Triona Farrell, Jose Villarrubia and VC's Cory Petit, on sale now.
With his extensive knowledge of magic, possession of rare and deadly mystical artifacts, Doctor Strange has one of the most dangerous positions of power in the Marvel Universe as its Sorcerer Supreme. In addition to the constant threat of death, Stephen Strange's proximity to black magic and other insidious creatures and relics make him a prime target for corruption.
In the back-up story in Doctor Strange Annual #4, by Pornsak Pichetshote, Lalit Kumar Sharma and Sean Parsons, depicts Strange's longtime friend and associate Wong reveals his true mission to a visiting family member as monsters launch a new attempt to kill the Master of the Mystic Arts. The creatures are looking for a legendary sword that reputedly is powerful enough to kill the Sorcerer Supreme, leaving Earth vulnerable to future attacks.
Wong single-handedly destroys the monsters with powerful incantations of his own. As the last creature attempts to use the sword against Wong, the mystic easily snaps the blade and defeats his opponent. Now alone with his cousin, Wong reveals that while the sword itself is a ruse, the legend of a weapon powerful enough to destroy the Sorcerer Supreme is not only real but, in a shocking twist, is actually Wong himself.
The legendary weapon is actually a secret spell passed down for generations. Should the Sorcerer Supreme ever become corrupted into a force for evil, Wong, or his descendant, is tasked with destroying the twisted Master of the Mystic Arts to make way for a worthy successor to the title and cleanse the position of further evil. While Wong has never told Strange the true nature of his role in aiding him, Wong theorizes that Strange's extensive knowledge of magic and his own role has led him to suspect that Strange already knows that his longtime friend will step up to kill him should it ever become necessary.
This is far from the first time that Wong has kept secrets from Strange. The start of Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo's run on the title revealed that Wong secretly kept an order of monks to use as literal fuel for Strange's magic over the years, as all sorcery comes at a steep cost. The discovery deeply unnerved Strange for a time, leading him to use alternate means to defend the Earth from sinister forces before tapping into his own magical abilities once again. And with Strange finding himself unworthy of the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme before, due to his use of black magic and leading to a temporary retirement, it is a good thing Strange voluntarily abdicated the position without any repercussion from Wong.
Wong has been a regular supporting cast member of Doctor Strange since 1963, appearing along with Strange in the character's debut in 1963's Strange Tales #110, by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Fiercely loyal and appearing subservient to the character for decades, Wong has grown over the past several years of comics to be a strong magic user in his own right, with deep, dark secrets linked to the role of Sorcerer Supreme outside of Strange's knowledge. With the truth of his role now revealed, Wong is the last line of defense should the Master of Mystic Arts ever truly break bad.