Dormammu is arguably one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe. Before we saw him on the big screen in the 2016 film Doctor Strange, Dormammu was a regular in the comics having made his first appearance in 1964’s Strange Tales #126. In his almost 60-year history, the character’s true nature has always been baffling. Given the wide range of his powers and his appearance on comic book pages and on the silver screen, is it right to say he’s a Celestial?
Dormammu isn’t a Celestial. He is a Faltine which is a race consisting of beings of extra-dimensional energy born from pure energy. He resides in the Dark Dimension from which he can draw energy to augment his powers.
This article will take a deep dive into the true nature of one of Dr. Strange’s most powerful and enduring villains. We’ll also see how strong he actually is, on his own and when compared to Celestials. So, if this sounds inviting, stay tuned for much more.
Who are Celestials?
The Celestials are widely regarded as Marvel’s original cosmic beings. They have been a staple of the Marvel Comics Universe since their debut in 1976’s The Eternals #2, Despite being major players in the sagas of Eternals, Avengers, X-Men, Thor, and so on, the Celestials still receive little to no attention from even the most avid comic book fans. But who exactly are they?
The history of the Celestials starts with a sentient universe called the First Firmament which was lonely and decided to create life. As evidenced by The Ultimates 2 #6, this life was the Celestials. Ultimately, war broke out between some Celestials who wanted to create life on their own and others who were loyal to the First Firmament. Eventually, the ones opposed to the First Firmament prevailed and the latter was shattered creating the first multiverse.
The Celestials are the oldest form of existence in the Marvel Universe. They predate the Big Bang and even the Six Singularities. They possess infinite cosmic power and, therefore, have vast matter and energy manipulation abilities. They are responsible for the creation of stars, planets, and life forms throughout the cosmos.
Does Dormammu count as a Celestial?
Now that we’ve established who Celestials are, does Dormammu count as one?
No, Dormammu isn’t a Celestial. Dormammu is a powerful inter-dimensional entity that resides in and rules over the dark dimension. Also known as the Destroyer of Worlds, this malevolent being is always plotting to trounce all of the infinite realities and dimensions within the Multiverse. He aims to absorb them into the Dark Dimension to make himself even more powerful.
Dormammu was born untold thousands or even millions of years ago and just because he has existed for so long doesn’t mean he is a Celestial. Also, the fact that Dormammu is a being of infinite power doesn’t necessarily make him a Celestial.
After being exiled from his home dimension together with his twin sister Umar, they explored other dimensions and gathered matter, assimilating it into their beings. Eventually, they traveled to the Dark Dimension where Dormammu became the ruler.
What kind of being is Dormammu?
Dormammu is a Faltine. The Faltinians are beings of extra-dimensional energy born from pure magic. They exist in a realm of their own, one that is quite old and incredibly dense. Dormammu and his twin sister Umar were created by Faltine Sinifier, what made this sibling duo special was the fact that, unlike other Faltinians, Dormammu and Umar hungered for matter instead of energy.
Both Dormammu and Umar were already special at creation due to not taking the form of their “parents” combine this with the fact that they fed on the matter, it’s safe to say they weren’t exactly the most popular amongst the other Faltinians. They regarded them with suspicion.
Sinifer wanted to stop them which led to his untimely death after he was transformed from energy to matter by his offspring. This was the last straw, an ultimate line that both Dormammu and Umar crossed. As a result, they were banished from Faltine society. The fugitive twins continued to gather matter and assimilate it into themselves. They used this accumulated matter to create permanent human forms for themselves before wading into the Dark Dimension.
They eventually ended up taking over the Dark Dimension but Umar was significantly weakened in the process. So, Dormammu became ruler of the realm. Abandoning his true form, Dormammu reverted to his flaming Faltine form and merged his essence with that of the Dark Dimension’s innate mystic energies. This increased his power incredibly.
As a Faltine, Dormammu is an incredibly powerful mystical being who is capable of manipulating massive levels of energy and capable of dissipating his physical form and adopting one of pure energy.
How strong is Dormammu?
As one of the Faltine (and actually the most powerful one) Dormammu is entirely made up of mystical energy with no material form. Therefore, there’s essentially no limit to what he can do. He possesses what can only be described as vast power and is one of the few Marvel villains capable of posing a threat to the entire multiverse and even ravaging the cosmos. His power is also increased and replenished by worship throughout various dimensions.
Dormammu is considered to be more powerful than Lucifer, Marduk, Mephisto, and Satannish. He’s powerful enough to stalemate Galactus who is one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful beings.
Dormammu can use his immense mystical energy to achieve several effects including energy projection, matter manipulation, teleportation, possession, and so on. Dormammu’s influence can extend to include cosmic levels as he was able to demonstrate manipulation of both energy and matter on a multidimensional level.
Dormammu is capable of defeating other omnipotent beings even outside the Dark Dimension. However, he usually has a much greater advantage when in the Dark Dimension because he can draw power from it to increase his power levels. Also, by consuming other dimensions, he can further augment his power. His actual power and limits are quite vague, but we do know he’s a class above Odin.
Is Dormammu stronger than Celestials?
One would also wonder whether Dormammu is stronger than the Celestials, to which the answer would be most likely. Let me explain.
The Celestials are some of the oldest and most powerful entities in the universe. They wield the Power Cosmic and their abilities are almost limitless. They’re beings capable of creating and destroying entire planets which just shows the magnitude of their power.
Dormammu is stronger than some Celestials like Ego the Living Planet. For example, in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 6 #17, Dormammu absorbed Ego completely, merging their powers. However, others like Arishem the Judge are considerably stronger than Dormammu. Therefore, it’s really impossible to definitively say if Dormammu is stronger than the Celestials. It would be more prudent to say he’s more powerful than some of them if he draws energy from the Dark Dimension and utilizes the mystical energy his Faltine parentage grants him.