Nothing beats a good old mage battle, right? Well, what about a battle of the two of the most powerful sorcerers on the planet? Although they belong to different universes, a battle between Doctor Fate (DC) and Doctor Strange (Marvel) would be just that. The question is, who would win?
Doctor Fate would win in a fight over Doctor Strange. Although Doctor Strange has virtually unlimited magic powers, Doctor Fate can do the same and more. Fate is virtually immortal, using humans only as vessels, and his magic powers are limitless. He also has superhuman strength.
That being said, there are many layers to both characters, and it would be far from a one-sided battle. Let’s dig deep, explore all the powers and features of both Doctor Fate and Doctor Strange to determine who is more powerful, and ultimately, who would win in a potential one-on-one fight.
Doctor Fate and His Powers
Doctor Fate is a vintage DC character that first appeared in 1940. It might be an unfamiliar character to those who only follow the cinematic superhero universes, so here’s a quick breakdown of who Doctor Fate is and what he can do.
Nabu was the Lord of Order living in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago. He was one of the mightiest sorcerers on Earth, protecting it from all kinds of threats. He then put his physical body into suspended animation and became an entity that only uses humans as vessels while he resides within his magical helmet, mystical amulet, and cloak.
He slept in a tomb for thousands of years before an explorer, Sven Nelson, opened the tomb with his son Kent. A gas killed the father and left Kent an orphan. Nabu felt guilty about killing the boy’s father, so he decided to keep him and teach him all sorts of magic. He also gave the mystical artifacts to Kent, making him the first Doctor Fate.
At his strongest self, he is virtually unbeatable. Let’s take a look at what powers make Doctor Fate so mighty.
Being thousands of years old, Nabu knows so many spells he can do virtually anything with his magic. No character comes close to using such powerful magic as Doctor Fate. Well, apart from Doctor Strange. Nabu only becomes Doctor Fate when he uses a human body as a vessel when Kent Nelson (and later other people) put on the helmet.
His magic usually manifests as ancient Egyptian symbols and artifacts, but there’s so much he can do: invisibility, teleportation, astral projection, necromancy, time travel, and much more.
Ironically, magic is also his biggest weakness – if a spell is cast upon him, he can’t counter-spell by the rules of magic. Luckily, he has other weapons in his arsenal to make him deadly nonetheless.
Superhuman Strength & Flying
When a human becomes Doctor Fate, it grants them superhuman strength matched only by the mightiest superheroes. It’s a huge benefit that makes Doctor Fate not only a master spellcaster but also a threat in hand-to-hand combat.
His cloak also allows him to fly and phase-shift, similar to what Doctor Strange or Vision can do in Marvel Comics.
I’ve put mental powers apart from his magic skills because Fate can usually use them independently. By mental powers, I’m referring to his abilities in telepathy and telekinesis. He can summon objects and get into people’s minds with ease.
As Nabu only uses human bodies as vessels, Doctor Fate is virtually immortal. Even if the human body dies, he can still use another human and grant them the powers of Doctor Fate.
Since the character’s introduction, there have been several humans wielding Doctor Fate’s incredible powers. First, it was Kent Nelson, followed by Eric and Linda Strauss, Inza Cramer Nelson, Jared Stevens, Hector Hall, and others.
Doctor Strange and His Powers
Many folks believe that Doctor Strange was Marvel’s version of Doctor Fate because they have many similarities. He first appeared in 1963, over twenty years later than Fate. They both use extremely powerful magic, wear a cloak and other mystic artifacts, and claim the title of the most powerful sorcerer in the world.
However, apart from being sorcerers and having similar powers, their stories are completely different, and their abilities differ dramatically. Let’s see what makes Doctor Strange one of the most powerful Marvel superheroes I can think of.
Magic & Mystic Arts
Stephen Strange was a brilliant surgeon, but a car crash renders his hands incapable of operating ever again. He pursued the mystic arts and learned the craft from the Ancient One, who was the Sorcerer Supreme at the time.
Doctor Strange learned all sorts of magic and over a hundred different martial arts in his training. Although his powers didn’t grant him superhuman physical strength, his martial arts knowledge paired with his remarkable intelligence makes him a great threat in a hand-to-hand battle.
As for his magical abilities, they know no boundaries, just like Doctor Fate’s. His mystical artifacts give him even more powers. For instance, his Sling Ring gives him the ability to create portals and teleport virtually anywhere in the universe.
He can also put his enemies into the Mirror dimension, conjure objects, create energy beams, protective fields, and much more. Given prep time, he is virtually unbeatable in combat since his magic is just too versatile.
One of the biggest, most crucial Doctor Strange powers is his time manipulation. In one of his artifacts, the Eye of Agamotto, lies the Time Stone, one of six Infinity Stones that created the entire universe.
It allows Strange to look into the past and the future, seeing all possible outcomes. He can also freeze and manipulate time back and forth. Pair that with his unlimited magic skills, and it’s clear why Strange is such a strong character that can take on even the most serious interdimensional threats, such as Dormammu, Galactus, etc.
As a master of the mystic arts, Strange can separate his soul and consciousness from his body and astral project anywhere he wants. It proved to be an incredibly useful power in many situations. The only problem is that his physical body is left quite vulnerable if he chooses to do so.
Although Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, he’s still just a human. So, he uses his mystical artifacts to perform superhuman tasks. For instance, his Cloak of Levitation grants him the ability to fly, just like the Sling Ring allows him to teleport and the Eye of Agamotto to manipulate time.
Doctor Fate vs. Doctor Strange: Who Is Stronger?
Both characters are among the strongest spellcasters in their respective universes. Their magic almost has no boundaries, but both have their weaknesses that you can sometimes exploit. The question is, who is stronger: Doctor Fate or Doctor Strange?
I have to give a slight edge to Doctor Fate over Strange, and I have a few reasons in mind.
Why Would Doctor Fate Win Over Doctor Strange?
First of all, Doctor Fate is virtually immortal. He only uses human bodies as vessels, meaning you can’t really kill him, as he can always find another vessel. That also allows him to avoid any weaknesses that come with being a human, such as physical vulnerability, diseases, etc.
On the other hand, Doctor Strange is super powerful but still just a human, which means he has weaknesses just like every other human being. If his enemies can catch him off guard and prevent him from casting spells, they can simply overpower him with strength.
That leads me to my second point in favor of Doctor Fate – the superhuman strength. When you compare their magical abilities, you can easily say it’s a draw – they both use mystical artifacts to harness their powers, fly, and know almost limitless spells.
But, if you compare their physical strength, Doctor Fate is so much more powerful. He would obliterate Doctor Strange in hand-to-hand combat regardless of Strange’s martial art skills. He’s just too strong for a human to deal with.
Finally, Nabu is thousands of years old, meaning he has a lot more experience than Doctor Strange, who’s been a sorcerer for a few decades.
With all that being said, Doctor Fate would probably win more often than not – but not every time. Just like Strange, he also has some glaring weaknesses.
Why Would Doctor Strange Win Over Doctor Fate?
For instance, one could easily say that Doctor Strange is the more intelligent character. Stephen Strange was brilliant as a surgeon, but losing his hands and immersing himself in the mystic arts got him rid of egotistical tendencies and furthermore enhanced his intelligence.
On the other hand, as intelligent Doctor Fate is, his problem comes from having Nabu’s mind and the mind of the human he inhabits to become Doctor Fate. The two often disagree on what to do and how to act, leaving room for mistakes, especially because Nabu tends to sulk when the human disagrees with him.
Also, Doctor Strange is quite used to battling beings way more powerful than himself. So, he uses his wits to defeat them instead of raw power. Just look at Dormammu – he is a god living in his own dimension, and Strange still found a way to defeat him.
The last point to be made in Strange’s favor is that Doctor Fate’s biggest weakness is magic being used against him. As I said earlier, if someone casts a spell against him, he can’t counter- spell by the laws of magic. It’s easier said than done, though, as he usually blocks incoming attacks, but if Strange gets through, it’s game over.
All in all, I’d say that Fate would win seven out of ten times if matched up against Doctor Strange, depending on how much prep time they have.
Is Doctor Strange Copied from Doctor Fate?
It’s hard to ignore all the similarities between the characters, making many believe that Doctor Strange is a copy of Doctor Fate. There have been several instances where Marvel and DC copied superheroes from one another, but even though they have so much in common, I wouldn’t say that Strange is a copy of Fate.
Doctor Fate is an entity that inhabits a human and is virtually immortal, unlike Strange, who is still just a human. In the beginning, Doctor Strange revolved more on eastern mysticism and became more magical over time.
Their stories and paths are completely different even though they have many similarities – unlimited magic potential, magical artifacts, cloaks, etc. They perform magic differently and have different skill sets.