We’ve seen some spectacular team-up between superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Spider-Man: No Way Home might just take the cake as the most exciting one yet, with two fan-favorite characters working together to deal with a multiversal threat. It got fans thinking: if Spider-Man and Doctor Strange ever fought each other, who would win, and why?
Doctor Strange is way above Spider-Man in terms of power and overall abilities. He would destroy Spider-Man one-on-one in a heartbeat. The only chance Spidey would have is to surprise Strange, catch him off-guard, and restrain him. Although it’s possible, it’s highly unlikely.
Still, there’s always a window of opportunity in comics. Weirder things have happened, so Spidey might find a way around Strange’s incredible powers – especially now when Doctor Strange lost most of his powers in the comics. Let’s compare the characters at their best to see who and why would eventually win.
Doctor Strange and His Powers
Doctor Strange is a character that first appeared in Strange Tales #110 in 1963. He was a brilliant but narcissistic surgeon called Stephen Strange. After a car crash, Strange lost touch in his hands, rendering him incapable of operating. He tried to find a way to fix it but instead ended up learning the mystic arts, letting go of his ego, and becoming the greatest sorcerer in the world.
He became Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme – the absolute master of the mystic arts, capable of incredible powers using spells and magic, allowing him to protect the Earth from intergalactic threats. Let’s dissect his powers and skills to get a better picture.
As the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange has virtually unlimited powers. His powers were granted to him by the Vishanti, a trinity of god-like beings, and he learned extensively how to use them. He knows all the spells and incantations, including even black magic.
At one point, he learned The Words from the Black Priests, a magic so strong that simply saying words in a particular order can alter reality. His powers are almost unlimited if given a second to make the arm gesture or say the words needed to make the magic happen.
Apart from his spells, Strange also has countless mystical artifacts that enhance his powers even more. For instance, he has the Cloak of Levitation, allowing him to fly, or the Eye of Agamotto that has the Time Stone embedded into it, which grants Strange time-manipulating abilities.
Overall, his powers are almost limitless, helping him effortlessly beat the Hulk on Earth and many intergalactic threats. One of them is Dormammu – a dark entity that lives in its own dimension.
Some of the powers include astral projection, energy blasts, telepathy, telekinesis, illusions, hypnotism, time/reality-warping, teleportation, creating mirror dimensions, looking into the future, and much, much more.
Genius Intellect & Combat Skills
Even before becoming the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange was a brilliant surgeon. He performed tasks and operations no other surgeon would even dare to try. His intellect is unquestionably incredible, but it only became an asset to Strange after getting rid of his egotistic tendencies.
Now he has immense knowledge not only about the scientific things he already knew, but he possesses vast knowledge about magic and the world of the mystical. He also has universal awareness he can tap into with meditation, allowing Strange to sense intergalactic or time-traveling threats, protecting the Earth using the power numerous times.
However, even though he rarely uses it due to his incredible magic skills, Doctor Strange is also an expert martial artist. While he learned the mystic arts, he also learned numerous forms of martial arts. Therefore, even in a situation where he can’t use his magic for any reason, he’s still a great threat.
Although Doctor Strange’s powers are virtually unlimited, that only matters when he can actually use them. You see, Strange has to use incantations or hand gestures to produce his spells. If he’s aware of the battle, he can create incredibly strong shields to defend himself as he continues to cast spells.
However, if you can catch him off guard and, for instance, tie his hands up and shut his mouth with a web, he virtually can’t use any of his spells. It’s almost impossible to catch Doctor Strange off-guard, though, due to his universal awareness, but it has happened at times. And at that point, you can hurt Strange because he has the frail physiology of a regular human.
Also, if we’re taking the last comic version of Doctor Strange as a reference point – he’s much, much weaker than ever. He lost at least 90% of his powers, to a point where even the simple spells were incredibly draining for him. Strange has to rely on his mystical artifacts and fighting skills.
We can’t consider that a weakness, as it’s not Strange’s normal state, but for the sake of argument to be made for Spidey, it could prove quite beneficial for him in a fight with the Sorcerer Supreme. He wouldn’t be able to tap into his universal awareness that easily, making it easier for Spidey to catch him by surprise.
Spider-Man and His Powers
Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962 and quickly became Marvel’s trademark superhero. Parker was a teenager who got bitten by a radioactive spider, mutating his body and helping him develop incredible spider-like powers.
Throughout the decades, he evolved so much as a character, and he had beat supervillains way above him power-wise using his skills, will, and heart. Let’s see what his greatest powers are.
After the spider bite, Peter Parker experienced drastic physical changes. His eyesight repaired almost instantly, but it was just the beginning. He gained superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, balance, reflexes, and even a healing factor, allowing him to recover from injuries that would kill normal human beings quickly.
Spider-Man can also cling to any surface without any problem, allowing him to climb walls, ceilings, and any other surface. It’s very hard to hurt him, as he can take a mighty punch.
The Spider-Sense might be the most useful skill that Parker has. It’s a sort of a precognitive ability that helps Spidey sense danger, moments – sometimes even minutes or hours – before it comes – the bigger the threat, the stronger his Spider-Sense works.
It allowed him to seamlessly and instinctively dodge bullets in the past, but so much more. The intuitive reaction combined with his agility and incredible quickness makes Spidey very hard to surprise or hurt. And, even if you tag him, he’s extremely durable and can take a punch as strong as the Hulk’s.
Some characters like Venom found a way around Peter’s Spider-Sense, but there’s no reason to believe that Doctor Strange would have a way of doing it.
Genius Intellect & Combat Skills
Like Doctor Strange, Peter was brilliant even before he got his superpowers. Parker is a brilliant young mind who’s very much into science, engineering, and all kinds of knowledge. He developed his web-shooters at first, but Parker’s knowledge progressed so much throughout the years, especially under the tutelage of Tony Stark.
Many consider his powers merely physical, but it’s Spider-Man’s intellect that allowed him to beat opponents who were so much more powerful than him.
Apart from that, Peter’s incredible reflexes grant him the ability almost to see a fight in slow-motion. When you combine that with his incredible creativity and combat skills, you get one of the most prolific hand-to-hand combatants in the Marvel universe.
Still, would it be enough against Doctor Strange’s strongest version? I’m not convinced.
Doctor Strange Vs. Spider-Man: Who Would Win?
Doctor Strange’s powers are way beyond Spider-Man’s. He’s the Sorcerer Supreme, and his skills are virtually unlimited. There’s nothing and no one that Strange couldn’t beat. He stated several times that he could kill a mortal with a mere move of his finger.
That’s why Doctor Strange would beat Spider-Man 9/10 times. There’s simply nothing Spidey could do against Strange’s magic. However, in the world of comics, there’s always the “what if?”
If Strange is in his weakened state, where using magic spells is incredibly draining for him, and every “higher” spell has a great cost, then Spidey might have a chance. It would be simpler for him to catch Doctor Strange off-guard this way. And, keep in mind; Spidey is the master of stealth – if anybody could do it, it’s him.
If he can prevent Strange from using any kind of magic and spells – and separate him from any mystical artifacts, then he might stand a chance at beating the Sorcerer Supreme. Even then, it wouldn’t be simple, as Strange always has something up his sleeve.
But that’s a super-stretched scenario. Strange has fought and defeated beings that Spidey never even saw, let alone fought. Peter is more focused on street-level threats, with an occasional larger threat coming up.
Therefore, in a straight fight, Doctor Strange would squash Spider-Man in a second – every time. However, if he’s weakened, separated from his magical artifacts, AND Spidey somehow catches him by surprise, then Parker could hurt him due to Doctor Strange’s frail human physiology.