Dr Strange V1 #171 Roy Thomas
Dr Strange V1 #171 Roy Thomas

The latest film production of Marvel Doctor Strange (2016), once again demonstrates its enormous power of convocation by making characters not so well known by the general public to become genuine «blockbusters» generators of great dividends, as they had already achieved with Ant-Man (2015) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). With an investment of $ 165 million USD, until the last day of December 2016 they had already generated almost $ 657 million at the box office.

But in all Marvel tapes, there are references and winks aimed exclusively at comic fans. Details that only readers of the character or the Marvel universe can recognize and here are some of them:


Stan Lee’s Cameo

The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley and Stan Lee

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Doctor Strange in 1963 (same creator of Spider-Man). As in every Marvel tape, Stan Lee appears making a cameo. On this occasion, as a user of public transport, he finds himself reading a book «The Doors of Perception» by Aldous Huxley. The book is an essay by the author about his experiences with mescaline, a substance with hallucinogenic properties found, for example, in peyote or LSD, and that Steve Ditko’s drawings in Doctor Strange were said to have originated from consumption. of this substance, as in the illustration below:

Steve Ditko’s Dark Dimension

Benedict Cumberbacth as Doctor Strange.
Benedict Cumberbacth as Doctor Strange.

Steve Ditko’s work on illustrations, full of surreal images and mysticism, made the character be followed by the students of the 60s, who felt identified with the psychedelic of the time, which was brought to the screen trying to follow those original concepts, which leads us to:


Pink Floyd, Doctor Strange fans:

Pink Floyd - A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) and Doctor Strange.
Pink Floyd – A Saucerful of Secrets (1968) and Doctor Strange.

The English group Pink Floyd were fans of the comic in the 60s when they were considered the spearhead of psychedelic music in their country. So much so that on his second LP «A Saucerful of Secrets» from 1968, Doctor Strange himself makes his appearance. On the tape, while Doctor Strange is in his car before the tragic accident, we hear the Pink Floyd song “Interstellar Overdrive”, somehow returning the wink. They also mention the Doctor in the lyrics of their song «Cymbaline» from their third album «More».

In the original image of Doctor Strange that Pink Floyd used, in the upper left corner we can find the face of another Marvel character that we will mention next:


The «Staff of the Living Tribunal»

Baron Mordo ( Chiwetel Ejiofor ) and Stephen Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch )
Baron Mordo ( Chiwetel Ejiofor ) and Stephen Strange ( Benedict Cumberbatch )


Living Tribunal

One of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe is the Living Tribunal. This being exists from the moment the universe was created and interacts with the other beings that inhabit the Marvel multiverse as judge and referee. Only below the “One-Above-All”. There are no plans for this character to make an appearance in the MCU anytime soon, but it’s nice to find a reference.


The «Staff of One»

Tina Minoru and her daughter in the comics Nico Minoru

When Wong prepares various wizards to defend the Hong Kong headquarters, we can see without a doubt the “Staff of One”, which in the comics is originally managed by Tina Minoru. But Tina is seduced to the dark side and the «Staff of One» passes into the hands of her daughter Nico, who is part of the group of teenage heroes the «Runaways», all sons of malefactors. Marvel couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a connection like this, but «Runaways» show is not considered canon for the MCU.


 «The Wand of Watomb»

Wong with Wand of Watomb
Wong with Wand of Watomb

In that same fight at the Hong Kong headquarters, Wong chooses «Watomb’s Rod.» In the comics, there are 6 different artifacts with the same name, each one of enormous power that varies according to the piece, and that has appeared several times over the years in the Marvel universe.


«Evil Eye»

Dr. Strange wearing the Evil Eye in an illustration showing Avengers and Defenders.
Dr. Strange wearing the Evil Eye in an illustration showing Avengers and Defenders.

Another object of immense power has appeared in various Marvel publications over the years. In the 70s the search for this artifact resulted in a meeting of the Avengers and the Defenders, the latter being led by Dr. Strange. In the film, it is the artifact with which Strange threatens Kaecilius in his fight in the Sanctum Sanctorum and that comically the latter, in a mocking tone, tells him «You don’t know how to use it, do you?»


Dr. Strange and the axes.

Doctor Strange #006
Doctor Strange #006

In the same fight in the Sanctum Sanctorum, there is a moment that Dr. Strange seeks to take some axes hanging on a wall, and his cape does not allow it, giving away another comic moment in the film. This wink is aimed at fans of the character, since in the comics, Dr. Strange’s preferred weapon is precisely the axes.

“Vaulting Boots of Valtorr” are used by Baron Mordo. Valtorr is a character whose powers are invoked in the Marvel comics although in reality the origin or provenance has never been explained.

«The Book of Cagliostro» is the forbidden book that Dr. Strange reads secretly. The book tells how to manipulate the energies of the Dark Dimension and how to travel through time. Cagliostro, an 18th-century Italian sorcerer, has been relational with Dracula and Doctor Doom in comics.

“Ebony Blade” Es la espada que en los comics usa Black Knight, y que a última hora se saco de la película, aunque una espada utilitaria fue hecha para aparecer en pantalla. Se dice que también aparece el casco del mismo Black Knight entre las vitrinas en el Sanctum Sanctorum pero que es difícil de localizar. Hasta ver la película de nuevo.

“Crimson Bands of Cyttorak”  Cyttorak is a mystical character of immense power in the Marvel universe. His Crimson Gem is the one that powers the Juggernaut in the X-Men comics. In the movie, Strange momentarily ties up Kaecilius in one of his fights.


Christine Palmer

Christine Palmer - Rachel McAdams
Christine Palmer – Rachel McAdams


She is one of the characters that in the comics has been «Night Nurse», who is the one who is dedicated to healing all the heroes of their wounds obtained in their fights. Rosario Dawson plays another version of «Night Nurse» in the Marvel series on Netflix.


Dr. Nicodemus West

Dr. Nicodemus West - Michael Stuhlbarg
Dr. Nicodemus West – Michael Stuhlbarg

In the comics, he is the one who operates on Dr. Strange’s hands, and being unable to save them, he also falls into a deep depression and ends up following Strange to Tibet.


Daniel Drumm

Daniel Drumm and Jericho, "Brother Voodoo"
Daniel Drumm as a ghost and his brother Jericho, «Brother Voodoo»

The teacher who defended the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York and who is killed by Kaecilius is relevant since in the comics he is Jericho Drumm’s brother, the “Brother Voodoo” who for a time takes the mantle of Supreme Sorcerer of Strange. Daniel becomes a ghost that accompanies Jericho, advising and protecting him.