Read it before you see it: 'Doctor Strange'
The number of comic book-based movies and TV shows hitting screens in the past couple years is overwhelming. Just thinking about the dozens yet to come can make anyone's head spin. Fear not, fellow nerds, head geeks over at the Times have you covered.
More than 20 movies based on comic book characters and storylines are planned to hit theaters between 2016 and 2020. Many of these characters have hundreds of different comics that explain their origins, their enemies and sometimes their downfalls.
We created guides to essential comics and graphic novels you should read before or after seeing the movies Marvel and DC will bless us with in the next four years.
Note: These lists are by no means comprehensive nor are they set in any particular order. They are simply staff favorites and recommendations from fellow comic book lovers.
The aptly-named Stephen Strange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) is a highly-skilled, yet hopelessly arrogant neurosurgeon whose abilities lie in his capable hands. But after an accident mangles his fingers and hands, he's left with an unsure future. Looking for guidance and healing, he seeks out the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) at the recommendation of an acquaintance who also lost the use of his limbs. What follows next is a deep dive into the mystic arts and shape shifting and bending reality to one's will. Doctor Strange toes the line between being a superhero and a supreme sorcerer.
Doctor Strange: Season One: Greg Pak's Season One sets up Doctor Strange's backstory and his relationships that most likely influenced some of the elements of the new film. After the accident mangles his fingers, he seeks a cure but instead finds a new path in life thanks to a master sorcerer. The series also introduces and connects Baron Mordo, Wong, the Ancient One and Dormammu.
Doctor Strange vol. 1: The Way of the Weird: The newest series featuring Doctor Strange delves into dark magic in the many universes, the state of magic in Marvel and the its many users. Spells come at a price, and Strange has to pay up when he wakes up nearly naked with no spell books, weapons or memory of how he got there. Only he and his new axe can save the world from the deadly magic from beyond.
Doctor Strange: The Oath: While Doctor Strange is suffering from a gunshot wound and trying to track down the person who shot him, he's also looking for a cure for Wong's cancer. He finds his attacker, but must choose between curing Wong and saving the world.
Marvel Masterworks: Doctor Strange vol. 1: Collecting Strange Tales #110-11 and #114-141, Marvel Masterworks details the original story of Stephen Strange's rise to his full potential as the Sorcerer Supreme.
First appearance: Strange Tales #110: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first revealed the Sorcerer Supreme in their Strange Tales series, where the Doctor enters a man's dreams to help him with a recurring nightmare. Also the first appearance of his Sanctum Sanctorum, the supernatural headquarters of Doctor Strange.
Origins: Doctor Strange (1968) #169: In Doctor Strange's first ongoing series, writer Roy Thomas gives a definitive origin story with the Doctor's fall from neurosurgeon fame to his rise as Sorcerer Supreme.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @chelseatatham.