You could call Doctor Strange a self-made superhero, and while that might be true, it’s not the whole truth. Look, we’ll acknowledge that Strange did travel to the ends of the Earth to seek out a cure for his damaged hands. On his own, he found and was befriended by the Ancient One who taught him the ways of the martial and mystical arts. The man did work tirelessly to master his craft and to become worthy of the title Sorcerer Supreme of Earth! Pretty impressive curriculum vitae for a mortal, damaged neurosurgeon. But we can all agree that while Strange would be formidable without them, it is his collection of peculiar magical artifacts that make him a true superhero.
Amulets, orbs, charms, bizarre weapons and dusty tomes of white and black magic fill his New York home – a home which, due to a shaman’s spell, is already a spiritual vortex and an artifact in and of itself. These objects of the occult imbue Doctor Strange with supernatural powers and allow him to cast potent spells, harness energy and travel between dimensions. These aren't parlor tricks. This is a real magical mystery tour, and he owns the bus. So, not surprisingly, in his quest to become Sorcerer Supreme, Doc has amassed a whole lotta slanted and enchanted stuff! Some of it is for everyday use, some is just downright, well, strange (remember, this is a guy who has used an apple and chewing gum as weapons… really), but it’s all cool! So many choices! BUT! By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, we’ve taken on the task of culling out the bits and bobs, and present to you: The Ten Coolest Doctor Strange Artifacts!
The Sash of Doctor Strange
OK. So, it’s a sash. But it’s a sash that floats like a menacing cobra, attacks like one, as well, and can propel Strange through rush hour by swinging him from rooftop to rooftop – all the while maintaining the graceful swirls and flutters of a perfectly orchestrated rhythmic gymnastics routine.
As one of the consistently present artifacts in Stephen Strange’s arsenal, his sash is not only cool, but it completes his always snappy ensemble! The only waist accessory that’s cooler? Michael Knight’s championship rodeo belt buckle. We can all agree on that, right?Advertisement
The Axe of Angarruumus
Who finds an axe in a witch’s crypt at the center of the Moon, loses it, finds it inside a slug that has an appetite for magic and then lays everything to waste… while in his astral form… and naked? Kanye West? Maybe, but in this case, we’re clearly discussing Doctor Stephen Strange! Bereft of his legendary mystical powers, Doc was forced to fight with a conventional (kinda) weapon to defeat an onslaught of Een’Gawori (the aforementioned slugs). Luckily, the man was more than his magic and this axe was more than just a cool-looking prop from a Ren Fair. With enchanted blades able to carve up extra-dimensional beasts, it’s gotta be the go-to weapon when magic is no longer an option.
A sword carved by a wizard from the fang of an extradimensional dragon, anyone? Anyone? The Defenders? Valkyrie? Oh… one more time… anyone for a sword carved from the fang of an extradimensional dragon? There’s only one answer to these questions and the answer is: Yaaas!
The history? Well, besides the whole carving from a dragon fang thing, we know that after obtaining this way cool chest-poker, the Ancient One chose Doc to safeguard it from the prying eyes of those who would use its power in service of darkness. We also know that this scimitar was pretty much a wall-hanger in the Sanctum Santorum until Strange gave it to Valkyrie (of Defenders fame) after she relinquished the Ebony Sword (a very complicated, stony and bloody tale of warlocks, wizardry and a Black Knight… check it out) and, after dying and being resurrected, she is still using it today. That’s called durability, baby, and, like Indiana Jones, the Sorcerer Supreme chose well.
What can it do? Well, a helluva lot more than most pointy objects. It absorbs life force when it contacts blood, it can cut through mystical barriers and put out an eye because it’s pretty stabby on the skinny end.
Written before measured time by the Elder God Chthon, the Darkhold is the repository for the complete greatest hits of malevolence in the multiverse. Want to send your boss to the fiery depths of hell? This is the book for you. Is being a vampire what you desire? The Darkhold has you covered. One catch: If you actually used it? Your soul would be lost to Chthon forever. Sure, Doctor Strange has no such issue, but you, however, might want to consider other options.
But, lost souls aside, the Darkhold is a handy item to have in your arsenal if you want to keep pure evil from running roughshod over the somewhat glowing forces of good. In fact, Doc used a spell – the Montesi Formula – from the book to destroy Dracula and all the Earth’s vampires. He did that. C'mon! Is that badass or what? So, with spells collected from every corner of evildom, Doctor Strange keeps close watch on the Darkhold, as the consequences of its black magic falling into the wrong hands could be catastrophic (See: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).
The Cloak of Levitation
Given to Stephen Strange by the Ancient One along with the Eye by Agamotto after his defeat of Dormammu, the Cloak of Levitation is a fabulous fashion accessory… with benefits. What benefits? Glad you asked. Besides the obvious levitation, the Cloak is a shield, heeds Strange’s commands, acts of its own free will to protect the Doctor, can retrieve objects, can ensnare opponents, and serves as a moist towelette in a pinch. It can be worn, flown upon or used as a wingman. It’s a multipurpose piece of outwear that is great for any occasion and has had iterations, at various times, as a scarf, kimono and an overcoat (c’mon Marvel, there’s just gotta be a J. Crew tie-in somewhere in there).
With a maximum forward levitation speed of 25 miles per hour, the cape is by no means a sports car, but how many sports cars can fly? OK. A lot of them can. At least in comics. But with hands-free driving, driver-side airbags, and no pesky fill-ups, this is an artifact that pays for itself a thousand times over.
The Book of Cagliostro
OK, let’s get this out of the way: Alessandro Cagliostro was a real dude! An Italian novice magician, mystic and big fan of the occult, he fancied himself a master of psychic healing, scrying and alchemy, but found himself on the outs with 18th Century society, earning the dubious title: “Prince of Quacks.”
Ah, but there is always a comics silver lining! He was redeemed in the Marvel Universe and his writings – compiled in the Il Libro de Cagliostro – are considered a vital resource to those seeking to engage in the dark arts. With an eclectic array of magic spells from both the Darkhold (see below) and renowned sorcerer Sise-Neg, this Cagliostro guy was clearly not just another quack in a powdered wig. Case in point: So important is the book, that Mordo (we all know him, right?) went to great lengths to obtain it – with a flourish of mendacity and seduction – and he did have it for a hot minute until the Sorcerer Supreme sent him to defeat and recovered the vital tome.
Within its pages, one can find, among other things, the key to time travel! Not bad, eh? And once he’d obtained it, Strange himself used Il Libro to witness the Big Bang. THE Big Bang, people! Talk about being at one with the universe!
The Book of Vishanti
This is kind of where it all begins and ends in the white magic department for ol’ Stephen. Created by the ultimate rock trio of powerful magical beings – Agamotto, Oshtur and Hoggoth – the Book of Vishanti is packed with all the spells and ancient wisdom needed to thwart any black magic baddies from the netherworld. Oh, and the spells keep on coming since the book mysteriously adds new pages on its own… and it’s indestructible. So, there’s that.
After passing through the hands of everyone from King Vampire Varnae to Queen Cleopatra, the book came into the possession of the Ancient One after defeating Marduk’s Griffins in a battle royal cage match. She, in turn, entrusted it to the hands of the good Doctor Strange, who has found ample use for itt ever since.
With the magic of the Vishanti at his back, Strange can not only banish the forces of evil, he can distort and travel back in time, paralyze and teleport his enemies, become invisible, or even conjure a giant head (because you never know when you’ll need a giant head)! But, most importantly, it acts as a direct countermeasure to The Darkhold – The Book of Sins.
The Wicked Wand of Watoomb
Not a death metal band (although, it should be), The Wand of Watoomb is an artifact worthy of some serious consideration as “worst idea ever.” Oh, it looks cool (who wouldn’t want to bring a golden double-headed demon stick to a Halloween party?), but given what it can do and it’s potential for misuse – even by a novice – this is an item that is best kept under lock and key by the Doc.
But… but… it also looks kinda like an evil baby rattle! Yes, it does, but how many baby rattles can give teething toddlers near-omnipotent powers? How about the ability to harness and amplify mystical energy, allowing the user to control the elements, heal their wounds, open interdimensional portals, generate energy blasts, and defend against supernatural attacks? Yeah. That’s a rattle that belongs on the end of an esoteric snake! Well, a really badass esoteric snake, anyway.
But, never worry, we can take solace in that fact that there’s only one of these death rattles and that the ever-vigilant and benevolent Sorcerer Supreme has it under his control. Wait… what do you mean there are six? And what do you mean Tony Stark put in a bid for it?
The Orb of Agamotto
Like a full-on-mystical-disco-ball version of Professor X’s Cerebro, The Orb of Agamotto allows the Sorcerer Supreme to locate and follow powerful magic or any threat to Earth across both the universe and other dimensions. If that wasn’t enough, it also facilitates teleportation, astral projection and the projection of Strange’s voice into the minds of others (Best. Ventriloquism. Act. Ever.).
Holding a place of honor in the Chamber of Shadows, the Orb, when activated, levitates like David Blaine from its base and lets the Strange One get on with the business of peeping into the windows of the universe. Though its origins aren’t exact, it’s thought that Agamotto himself constructed the Orb (hence the very original name) which explains his strong inter-dimensional connection to it... and, thus, to Strange.
The Eye of Agamotto
Was there any doubt?
If Doctor Strange walked the red carpet at the Oscars and was asked, “Who are you wearing?”, he’d reply, “Agamotto.” As fashion-forward as it is powerful, the Eye of Agamotto is most definitely the bling of the Sorcerer Supreme’s artifacts – and it ain’t just eye candy! This is truly a killer piece of jewelry worthy of a man who can pull off wearins a cape in summer.
Like an American Express card, Doctor Strange would never leave home without the Eye and, given its crazy strength, one need not ask why. With it, he can freeze and rewind time, levitate massive objects, generate epic energy blasts, open dimensional portals, hypnotize, pierce lies and illusions and communicate telepathically (to convince Ben Affleck not to do another Batman movie). About the only thing it can’t do is order a Double Ristretto Venti Half-Soy Nonfat Decaf Organic Chocolate Brownie Iced Vanilla Double-Shot Gingerbread Frappuccino at a Starbucks in the 30th Dimension (and, yes, we’re pretty sure the 30th Dimension has Starbucks).
In fact, the Eye is so indispensable to Strange that it even travels with his astral body to other dimensions without losing any of its power! Essentially, it’s like a pocket-sized version of the Orb of Agamotto. Which is a good thing, because, and take note, wearing a globe around your neck is never a good look. Ever. Even on the most powerful sorcerer on Earth.