When doing comparisons, the easiest thing one can do is to compare a superhero and a supervillain. They are natural enemies and if you’re within the same universe, you’ll probably have a lot of the work done for you by the writers. Still, despite being an easier task to fulfill, such comparisons are in no way less interesting than others. Today’s comparison – a new one after a while – is going to be set in the Marvel Universe, as we are going to compare Doctor Strange and Thanos. Both are exceptionally powerful characters and it is going to be fun analyzing them so keep reading!
Without any enhancements, Thanos would lose to Doctor Strange in a direct fight; the Sorcerer Supreme would just be too powerful for the Mad Titan. With the Infinity Gauntlet, though, the fight would be more interesting and we think that Thanos would be able to outmatch Strange.
Today’s article is going to be all about comparing the power levels of Doctor Strange and Thanos. You’re going to find out who Doctor Strange and Thanos are, as well as what their exact powers and abilities are. In the end, based on what we have presented earlier, we’re going to give our final verdict on who is stronger. It’s promising to be a fun story so keep reading until the end!
How did Stephen Strange become Doctor Strange?
Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange, better known as Doctor Strange, is a fictional superhero and surgeon who appears in American comics published by Marvel Comics. Created by artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee, the character first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963). In most stories, Doctor Strange serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, Earth’s primary protector against magical and mystical threats.
Inspired by stories of black magic and Chandu the Magician, Strange was created during the Silver Age of Comic Books to bring a different kind of character and subjects to Marvel Comics. The character’s origin story relates that he was once a skilled and brilliant, but selfish surgeon. After a car accident severely damages his hands and hampers his ability to perform surgery, he seeks a way to repair them by meeting the Elder.
After becoming one of the Sorcerer Supreme’s students, he becomes a practitioner of both mystical and martial arts, studying in the mountains of Asia. Aside from knowing many powerful spells, he has a magical suit that contains two mystical and magical objects: the Cloak of Levitation and the Eye of Agamotto, both of which grant him additional powers.
During his adventures, Strange can count on the assistance of his friend and servant, Wong, and a wide variety of mystical objects. He takes up residence in a mansion called the Sanctum Sanctorum, located in New York City. Later, Strange himself becomes the Sorcerer Supreme.
Doctor Strange is commonly listed as one of the best and most popular comic book characters ever and has been included on such lists on several occasions. He has also appeared in a lot of derivative media. The character was first portrayed in live-action by Peter Hooten in the 1978 television movie Dr. Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies: Doctor Strange (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019). Cumberbatch will return to portray the character from the sequel Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
Why is Thanos so dangerous?
Thanos is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Thanos was created by Jim Starlin and made his debut in The Invincible Iron Man #55 (1973) and has since become one of the best-known villains in the Marvel universe, but also comic books in general. Although Starlin himself admitted he was inspired by DC Comics’ supervillain Darkseid, Thanos has gained popularity as a stand-alone character and a cornerstone of Marvel’s Multiverse.
Thanos was inspired by the Freudian concept of “Thanatos”, just like his brother, Eros, was inspired by the Freudian concept of the same name. Thanos was born on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons as a member of the Eternals. He is the son of A’lars and Sui-San, two Eternals, but also a carrier of the Deviants gene, which explains his physical experience. Believing him to be a threat to the universe, his mother wanted him killed, but his father stopped her. As a child, he was a pacifist and would only play with his brother and their pets. Later on, he became fascinated with nihilism and the concept of death, eventually falling in love with Mistress Death, the embodiment of Death in the Marvel universe.
Not long after that, Thanos became a supervillain, initially a simple pirate, but soon had more megalomanic plans. He was not satisfied with mere piracy; he wanted more. Much more.
Thanos wanted ultimate power, to rule over the whole universe and to become the most powerful being alive. This is why he wanted to collect the Infinity Stones, so he could shape reality according to his own will. A lot of his actions are motivated by his love towards Mistress Death, in whose name he has killed on several occasions.
He is a very powerful cosmic entity and has fought practically every major superhero (group) in the Marvel universe, including the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos even fought an alternative version of himself, King Thanos, after the latter had killed everyone in the universe; King Thanos knew that it was only Thanos (i.e., a younger version of himself) that could kill him, which is why he used the Time Stone to bring him to the alternative future.
Thanos has appeared in a lot of derivative material, including TV shows, video games, and the MCU, where he was the main villain of the first large narrative. He was played by Josh Brolin.
Comparing their powers
As we move forward, per our tradition, we are going to compare the powers and abilities of our two characters before we give our final verdict. These two characters are quite interesting so comparing their powers is certainly going to be a fun thing to do.
What are Doctor Strange’s powers and abilities?
Doctor Strange is a magician who draws his powers from mystical entities such as Agamotto, Cyttorak, Ikonn, Oshtur, Raggadorr, and Watoomb, which allow him to tap into their energies to cast his spells. Moreover, like his predecessor the Elder, he can use and manipulate the mystical energies that surround him in order to obtain various effects. Finally, he has a vast knowledge of many spells and various incantations, which allows him to invoke the names and/or aspects of various mystical entities and extradimensional objects.
These abilities allow him, in particular, to resort to telepathy, astral projection, hypnosis, to project discharges of mystical energy (some of which are powerful enough to destroy a planet), to use telekinesis, even to teleport. or to erect protective mystical shields.
In addition to his powers, Stephen Strange is an outstanding doctor, graduated in medicine and surgery, although his car accident now prevents him from carrying out surgery. Thanks to his servant and friend Wong, he also trained in martial arts and knows how to defend himself without using his magic. He is also a very intelligent individual, very wise, and an excellent leader and strategist, as evidenced by his role as a leader within the Defenders team. Back in the days when he was the Sorcerer Supreme of the earthly dimension, his mastery of the mystical arts was unparalleled, making him virtually immortal.
What are Thanos’ powers and abilities?
As far as Thanos is concerned, he is extremely powerful. He is an Eternal and has proven himself more powerful than most characters in the Marvel Universe, even without external enhancements such as the Infinity Stones.
He is immortal, has superhuman strength, speed and durability, he is practically invulnerable, can teleport and regenerate, he can manipulate matter, use telepathic abilities, manipulate energy, and even fly; he also has superhuman intelligence. In that aspect, Thanos is a truly formidable foe, but he is not the strongest one around.
Finally, the thing that makes Thanos so powerful is the Deviants gene he has, but also his years of training and preparation. Thanos is a very determined and focused character. He has a goal and a mission, and his determination is such that he will not hesitate to do anything he deems necessary to fulfill his goals, no matter what the costs.
Verdict: Could Doctor Strange defeat Thanos in a fight?
Now that we’ve done our analysis, we can finally give our verdict as to which one of the two would win in a fight. Doctor Strange and Thanos never had a direct clash in the comic books, although Doctor Strange did fight against him as part of a group and he has fought characters of similar power as Thanos. Now, before we give the answer, let us just take a quick look at the official numbers, the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010), lists their powers as follows:
Based solely on the numbers, Doctor Strange seems to be the weaker but the situation is not so straightforward as we have two separate situations to consider. One is when a fully powered Doctor Strange is fighting a fully powered, but non-enhanced Thanos, while the other is when that same Doctor Strange fights Thanos with certain enhancements, such as the Infinity Gauntlet. We’ll analyze both these situations for you.
In the first case scenario, the Sorcerer Supreme’s powers would come up against Thanos’ sheer power. And although the numbers certainly prove that Thanos is more powerful than Doctor Strange, Doctor Strange would have magic on his side. Using his enormous mystic powers as well as the powers of the Eye of Agamotto, Doctor Strange would certainly be able to outwit Thanos, even if the Titan had time to prepare. Why? Well, Strange is also intelligent and what he lacks compared to Thanos, he can make up with his magical skills. There is no way that Thanos, without any enhancements, would be able to resist Strange’s magic and the Sorcerer would be able to defeat him in such a situation.
If, on the other hand, Thanos would have the power of, let’s say, the Infinity Gauntlet at his side, Doctor Strange, despite his enormous powers, would not stand a chance against the Mad Titan. The Infinity Gauntlet, as proven during Doctor Strange’s fight against another wielder of the Gauntlet, is just too powerful of an object, even for Strange’s magic. In this scenario, Thanos wins, although it would still be a very close fight.
And there you have it. The winner of this duel depends on the position the two characters are in. Without any enhancements, Thanos would lose against Strange’s magic, but with an enhancement like the Infinity Gauntlet, the Mad Titan would defeat the Sorcerer Supreme, as the latter’s magic is not strong enough to fight off the Gauntlet’s powers.
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!
If you want to see other ‘Who Would Win‘ scenarios follow our link