There has been plenty of debate about whether Doctor Strange holds the Sorcerer Supreme title in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite his incredibly impressive powers and skills. With so much going on in each film, it can be tricky to fill in the gaps.
Doctor Strange is the former Sorcerer Supreme in the main Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) timeline, gaining the role after The Ancient One’s death. Wong became Sorcerer Supreme when Doctor Strange vanished after Thanos’ snap, and he currently holds the title.
Fans have found the constant shifts to be understandably confusing, with missing timeframes and constant switches between the universe’s past and present. We’ve pieced together the most important facts as we discuss how Doctor Strange became Sorcerer Supreme, how he lost this title, and if he will ever gain it back.
Is Doctor Strange The Sorcerer Supreme In The MCU?
Marvel confirmed Doctor Stephen Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme in What If…? Episode 4. But, this episode occurred on an alternate timeline, where Strange’s transformation and magical abilities were sparked by him suffering a different tragedy.
In the alternate timeline observed in this episode, Doctor Strange lost the love of his life, as opposed to losing the use of his hands in the main timeline. These divergent timelines’ differences would have influenced Doctor Strange’s character arc. He may have gained proficiency in the mystic arts at a faster rate or for different motives entirely.
As a result, it is possible that Doctor Strange holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme in this alternative timeline. However, there have been quite a few continuity errors when crossing over from the alternate timeline seen in What If…? and MCU’s main timeline, leaving plenty of room for confusion and questions amongst fans.
Is Doctor Strange The Sorcerer Supreme In The Main Timeline?
The main timeline’s Doctor Strange was the Sorcerer Supreme for some time, revealed by the film’s director and in various interviews around the time Avengers: Infinity War was released. Doctor Strange was the Sorcerer Supreme in the installments released between 2017 and 2018, embarking on countless missions in an attempt to save the universe from an endless list of villains and threats.
But, his time in the spotlight was short-lived within the main MCU timeline, as Doctor Strange was stripped from time and space after Thanos caused the infamously lethal snap. Doctor Strange vanished from reality and was pronounced dead, along with trillions of humans and many beloved Marvel superheroes.
Doctor Strange was blipped out of existence for five years before the devious works of Thanos were mostly undone, and he lost the Sorcerer Supreme title on a technicality. With no one worthy of bearing the title of Sorcerer Supreme, Wong stepped in to take on this crucial role in Doctor Strange’s absence.
Wong’s new title as Sorcerer Supreme was revealed to Peter Parker by Doctor Strange himself in Endgame, and it was clear that Strange was bitter about the new arrangement. Spiderman: No Way Home makes it clear that Doctor Strange is still embarking on a personal journey of growth and magical development, and he is not yet ready to reclaim his former position.
When Did Doctor Strange Become Sorcerer Supreme In The MCU?
The Sorcerer Supreme title was originally held by The Ancient One, a powerful and mysterious descendent of Celtic ancestry who revealed very little about herself or her past. The main timeline’s Doctor Strange met with The Ancient One at Kamar-Taj after he lost the use of his hands in a car accident. He then discovered magic and alternate dimensions, and The Ancient One trained him.
It was assumed that Doctor Strange would follow in her path when her time as Sorcerer Supreme came to an end, despite his overall lack of experience in the mystic arts. Although Doctor Strange was The Ancient One’s runner-up, she often pointed out his obvious flaws and weaknesses in an attempt to help him develop his powers.
Still, Doctor Strange was naturally skilled and gifted, and he managed to defeat the Dread Dormammu. He took on the role of Sorcerer Supreme after The Ancient One died, and this position was assumed to be the main reason for his immense power boost in the years following her death.
Who Is The Current Sorcerer Supreme In The MCU?
Wong currently holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, confirmed in Doctor Strange 2 and Spiderman: No Way Home. Many fans expected the Sorcerer Supreme title to simply be handed back to Doctor Strange upon his return, but Wong still holds the title to this day.
Does Wong Deserve To Be Sorcerer Supreme?
While Doctor Strange’s powers and skills are undeniably unique, the iconic character proved to be less worthy than expected. Following his return, it was clear that Doctor Strange still held a wide range of flaws and weaknesses, such as arrogance, making him incapable of bearing the title and its relative responsibilities.
Wong exhibited far more magical experience and maturity compared to Doctor Strange. It was clear that while he was not chosen to be Sorcerer Supreme, Wong had prepared himself for the role in the event that he would need to fill the position.
Doctor Strange was openly referred to as a novice in the mystic arts when compared to his peers, often forgetting how much he still had to learn. Wong reminded him of this after The Ancient One’s passing, stating that numerous threats will arise now that the Earth has no one to defend it.
Doctor Strange did not try to hide his annoyance in Spiderman: No Way Home, and he even implies that Wong did not deserve the position by mocking him and his competence. But, upon closer observation, Wong may be more fitted to the position than one might anticipate.
Unlike Strange, Wong is stable, responsible, and incredibly experienced in the mystic arts. He earned the position through hard work and dedication, spending countless years as a humble librarian at Kamar-Taj. Wong even led the masters of mystic arts against Thanos in Endgame, forming a key part of the new Avengers team for phase 4 and beyond.
By contrast, Doctor Strange is more of a powerful and talented lone-wolf who plays by his own rules when he deems it necessary. He is still fairly impulsive and volatile, which can pose a range of dangers coupled with the power of Sorcerer Supreme.
Doctor Strange purposefully went against Wong’s wishes when taking on the spell for Peter. Whether this action was out of spite or to prove his supremacy is debatable. But, regardless of the motive, the decision created an opening in the multiverse and caused far more harm than good.
Will Doctor Strange Become Sorcerer Supreme In The MCU Again?
It is crucial to outline the differences between the divergent timeline and the main timeline’s Doctor Strange, as the two versions experience varying character arcs. Even if the main MCU timeline’s Doctor Strange achieved mystical experience and skills to match Wong’s, he would still require immense growth and maturity to be fully prepared for the role and duties of the Sorcerer Supreme.
The potential for Doctor Strange to take his place as the Sorcerer Supreme is always on the table, depending on his own personal growth, magical development, and actions. Doctor Strange’s attitude and choices in No Way Home proved that he still has a long way to go in terms of his morality and decision-making skills.
But, while Wong is more deserving of the position that many fans believe, he is not the ideal choice. Wong still has flaws and traits which do not quite match the demands and expectations of a Sorcerer Supreme. Regardless, the fact that Wong is still the Sorcerer Supreme after all this time says a lot, and it leaves plenty of room for action-packed, drama-filled character arcs and storylines.
Doctor Strange has the opportunity to revel in introspection and humility before taking on such responsibilities, something he was always advised of. Sadly, Wong and Doctor Strange, who were incredibly close colleagues for the majority of the story’s progression, now face unavoidable clashes and relationship issues.
It seems that Strange has still been mostly fixated on personal motives up until this point, and it may take something drastic to make him realize his true purpose. Since Wong can still die from certain causes and the Multiverse of Madness’s trailer shows him wounded, it is possible that Doctor Strange may only regain the title after Wong’s death.
Marvel’s track record has proven that they are not afraid to pull at fans’ heartstrings with tragedy and unforeseen plot twists. But, the hope is that Doctor Strange will become the Sorcerer Supreme by proving himself, without the loss of the wise and knowledgable Wong.
Wong may not be as powerful or as skilled as Doctor Strange, but he has taken this position with responsibility and honor. Doctor Strange may give fans exactly what we’ve been waiting for by rising to the occasion and taking his rightful place as the Sorcerer Supreme. We will just have to wait for Multiverse of Madness to find out!