Dr. Strange is different from so many of the publisher‘s other heroes because a) he isn’t a traditional hero, b) his history is laced with drugs and psychedelics, and c) his enemies include some of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. And it’s the third point that has my interest.
Although an argument could be created that anyone who is considered a Marvel Supervillain could be considered for this list, I’ve tried not to allow that. Certainly, there will be some crossover with villains who also fight other heroes, but for the most part, these are enemies that would prove to be too much for anyone not named Stephen Strange. So, shall we begin? Let’s see who are the 10 greatest Dr. Strange enemies.
Imperator, the leader of the Empirikul, grew up in a dimension that worshipped the demon, Shuma-Gorath. While most of his people spent their time learning magic, Imperator’s parents took it upon themselves to learn science. This caused friction among the people and the two tried to escape the dimension. Unfortunately, they were captured and killed. All wasn’t lost, however, as they did manage to get their son onboard a ship and launch it into space.
Angered by what happened to his parents, Imperator formed the Empirikul and began hunting down and destroying all forms of magic throughout the Universe. Naturally, this took them to the doorstep of the Sanctum Sanctorum. Once there, the group proceeded to destroy most of Strange’s mystical artifacts.
9. Dr. Doom
Although the two teamed together to free Doom’s mother from Mephisto, make no mistake, Dr. Doom is one of Dr. Strange’s greatest enemies. As the ruler of the fictional country of Latveria, Dr. Doom has both a following and an army at his disposal. This means that at any given moment, he could send an entire nation to battle. But this isn’t even close to what makes him so dangerous. What makes him dangerous is that he commands control over magic and mysticism that might very well rival that of Dr. Strange.
But even that isn’t what makes him one of Dr. Strange’s greatest enemies. What makes him one of Dr. Strange’s greatest enemies is that at the end of the day Dr. Doom will do whatever it takes to get exactly what he wants.
If Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, then there must be one on other planets, right? Right. Urthona is the Sorcerer Supreme on the planet Gevaltu. Unlike Strange who is good in its purest form, Urthona is the personification of evil. Learning that there were other Sorcerer Supremes, Urthona sought to become the Sorcerer Supreme of the entire Universe.
Of course, his first stop was Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. Luckily, as with most of Dr. Strange’s enemies, Urthona wasn’t successful, and Strange was able to fend off the attack. Even though he didn’t succeed in what he set out to do, Urthona’s attack on Strange instantly made the Doctor aware that the other Sorcerer Supremes weren’t all as good–hearted as he.
First appearing in Dr. Strange #174 back in November of 1968, Satannish is the creation of Roy Thomas and Gene Colman. Different from so many other Dr. Strange enemies, Satannish rarely battles the Sorcerer one on one. Instead, he empowers others to do his work for him. Don’t mistake this, however. As far as evil goes, very few are as evil as he.
Satannish is a being of pure energy who, when required, appears as a green, horned demon with a face in his abdomen. His power is on par with that of Mephisto and if called upon, he can inter-dimensionally teleport, manipulate matter, space, and time, alter his size, project bolts of energy, and so much more.
Quite possibly the most well-known demon in the entirety of the comic book world, Mephisto is one of the pre-eminent Dr. Strange enemies. Like Satannish, however, he and Strange haven’t battled as many times as you may think. So you may be asking, why then is he here?
Mephisto is here because, for all that Dr. Strange stands for and believes, Mephisto is his complete opposite. Strange stands for good. Mephisto stands for evil. Strange stands for what’s right. Mephisto stands for what is wrong. Strange believes in using his abilities to better the world. Mephisto uses his to bring it down.
More than most others on this list, Mephisto is as equal in ability as one could get to Dr. Strange without actually being Dr. Strange. And it’s this, in combination with everything else mentioned that makes him one of the greatest Dr. Strange enemies.
The ruler of the Chaos Dimension, Shuma-Gorath is one of the most powerful creatures in all of Marvel. Not only is it capable of energy projection, teleportation, shapeshifting, and altering the very fabric of reality, but it’s also near invincible and immortal. Shuma-Gorath is not to be taken lightly. Point in case, he is directly responsible for the death of the Ancient One.
While many fear what would happen if Shuma-Gorath escapes the Hell he’s been forced to live in, Dr. Strange is all too familiar with what would happen. Death, destruction, and chaos. Due to this, he’s always preparing for it.
Hailing from the Faltine Dimension and the sister to Dormammu, Umar is as evil as they come. In fact, her ruthlessness and abilities in magic have nearly propelled her to the top of this list. Umar, like Dormammu, was cast out of the Faltine Dimension after the two drained the energy from their father. They did this because the two desired a physical form. Once cast out, they made their way to and conquered the Dark Dimension. As opposed to Dormammu who chose to return to his energy form, Umar remained in a physical body.
This would be the beginning of her undoing as her physical body allowed her to become pregnant…which she did. Over the years, Umar has gone back and forth between being an ally and an enemy of Dr. Strange. However, through all of her switching, she has cemented herself as capable of standing toe-to-toe with just about anybody…Dr. Strange included.
Nightmare, as his name implies, is a fear demon who gets off from the fears caused by nightmares. As the ruler of the Dream Dimension (the place where troubled people are taken during their sleep), Nightmare is immensely powerful. As such, he is nigh-omniscience, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Further to that, he can also draw power from the subconscious minds of dreamers.
His power is so great that even Dr. Strange has had trouble fleeing if brought to the Dream Dimension. In fact, Strange often recites spells just before he sleeps to prevent himself from falling under Nightmare’s control.
2. Baron Mordo
Having a history that’s directly tied to Dr. Strange’s origin makes Baron Mordo an absolute lock for this list.
When Dr. Strange arrived on the scene it was Baron Mordo who was considered the Ancient One’s number one student. What nobody, including the Ancient One knew, was that Mordo had planned to kill him and become the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange caught wind of this, became a proficient user of the Mystic Arts, and successfully thwarted Mordo.
Over time, Strange became a more powerful Sorcerer than Mordo and was given the title of Sorcerer Supreme. As a consequence, Baron Mordo became less of a true adversary and more of a laughable villain.
If you’ve watched Dr. Strange in the MCU, it should come as no surprise that Dormammu is number one on this list.
Dormammu is the ruler of the Dark Dimension and also one of the most powerful beings in all of Marvel. He, like his sister Umar, is a Faltine who was banished from the Faltine Dimension after the two killed their father. Once in the Dark Dimension, Dormammu left the physical form that he desired so much and returned to his Faltine form.
Interestingly, Dormammu is the Uncle to Clea and Clea happens to be the love interest of Dr. Strange. What makes Dormammu the obvious choice as number one on this list is that, different from all the others listed, he is actually much more powerful than Dr. Strange.