As Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange faces villains vastly different than what Spider-Man or Black Widow encounter. Many of his foes are mystical in origin or dabble in arcane magic that weren’t meant for the likes of mortals. He’s not just dealing with goons in spandex costumes or high-tech suits but legitimate monsters and demons.
Strange has faced off against the greatest supernatural threats in the universe but they’re not all worthy adversaries. Some of them are ridiculous, embarrassing, and better left forgotten on his list of rivals. Here are ten of Doctor Strange’s most pathetic adversaries he’s faced over the years.
Servant of Oblivion and occasionally assisting Maelstrom, Deathurge is an otherworldly being that takes the lives of anyone who opposes his master. Acting as a sort of Angel of Death, he typically faces off against Quasar but during “Cosmos in Collision,” Deathurge was sent after Doctor Strange. He was stopped by the Squadron Supreme before Strange could even speak an incantation. The reason he’s on this list is because of how he lost his position to Doorman from the Great Lakes Avengers. In GLA: Missambled, he was sent to prepare Mr. Immortal for outliving everything in the universe but failed to lead the squirrel Tippy Toes into the afterlife. As punishment, he was replaced, left in the body of a squirrel and the top of this list.
It’s only fitting that a comic universe that has Dracula would also have a Dr. Frankenstein. In this case Ludvig Van Frankenstein, and his deformed, mistreated assistant Borgo. After Borgo stopped his master from harming the local village with a fake Silver Surfer, Borgo was tended by a kindhearted family, and Ludvig’s daughter Victoria (yes her name is Victoria Frankenstein) used her father’s machine to reshape him into Frankensurfer.
He went mad and tried to kill her and Doctor Strange so neither of them could turn him back but accidentally took the life of the only woman to show him kindness. His tragic tale ended with him killing himself by crashing into a mountain until the silver peeled off his skin.
8 House of Shadows
Haunted houses seem like they’re more up Mystery Inc’s alley than Doctor Strange, but the House of Shadows is a living entity. It poses as an average haunted house and traps those that dare to enter it in alternate dimensions. At the end of the day, it’s just a house that Doctor Strange was easily able to banish to another dimension. He even managed to instruct ROM the Spaceknight on how to cast out the house and let his pupil his Rintrath banish it as part of his training. If it can be beaten by Strange’s apprentice, it can’t be too tough. Especially if the House can’t harm those outside of it.
On all accounts, Arioch shouldn’t be on this list. One of Shuma-Garoth’s minions, he is a powerful entity whose strength and powers have no limit. His abilities are limited to his imagination and should be considered one of Doctor Strange’s mightiest opponents. At least he would, if Doctor Strange didn’t absorb all of his magical power and used it to defeat Arioch and his master. Now if he was outsmarted that’s one thing but Strange just whipped out a talisman and took away his power easily. For an omnipotent being you’d think he would have a bit more foresight.
Tul’uth, Lord High Incubus of Game and Chance. Thirty years ago he made a deal with a baseball team to help reach the championship and eventually came to collect their souls. Strange was in the stadium when he arrived and even though he lost his powers, Strange still stood up to the demon.
Taking a page out of Space Jam, Strange challenged the demon to baseball and went up to bat. Barely winning, Strange managed to imprison the game-loving creature in a baseball and he remains there to this day. While there’s no shame in getting beaten by the Sorcerer Supreme, losing over a baseball game is another story.
5 Band of the Bland
A ragtag team of D-list super-villains composed of The Black Hole, Sitting Bullseye, The Spanker, and Tillie the Hun and lead by (I kid you not) Dr. Angst. Doctor Strange crossed paths with these goons when they attempted to assassinate Howard the Duck during his presidential campaign. Somehow they managed to best Doctor Strange but were beaten with the help of the Defenders. Each member deserves a spot on this list just by their names alone but since they appear as a team it would be repetitive to list each one of them separately. Villains like these are bad enough to make anyone support Thanos’s plan to wipe out half of all existence.
Colabrun is an interdimensional traveler who hoped to feed off the psychic energy of Earth’s inhabitants. Doctor Strange wasn’t going to allow this to happen but he proved to be a tough combatant. So what did he do? Strange tricked Colabrun into attacking a duplicate of himself and trapped him in a Dimension of No Return. Like all cats, Colabrun was bested by being lured by shiny lights. If it was that easy Strange should have just used catnip.
Doctor Strange isn’t the only magician that’s taken on a pupil. His arch-nemesis Baron Mordo has taken an apprentice by the name of Demonicus. The first time he fought and captured Doctor Strange, none of his spells managed to harm Strange and he lost in mystic battle against Strange and his powers.
That would be fine, but the next time Strange beat him by disguising himself as a civilian and knocked him out with a punch. His greatest failure is when Demonicus tried to probe the mind of a captured Strange and wound up becoming Strange’s puppet. Hopefully Baron Mordo’s standards will improve the next time he seeks an apprentice.
2 Cyrus Black
Cyrus Black tries his hardest to be intimidating but even when he calls himself the Devil Incarnate, this incense-smoking loser is just terrible. While he’s capable of some impressive sorcery, his plans are short-sighted and unimaginative. At one point he attacked the Sanctum Sanctorum using mystic ladders and thugs in green robes with knives. He attacked again using newly gained dream powers but was foiled when Namor gave him with a reality check. Ultimately, he met his end while serving Nightmare and was shown how pathetic he was thanks to the Eye of Agamotto and decided to commit suicide. If not for the final contender on this list, Cyrus would have been the most pathetic. But there’s one villain that steals the show, literally.
1 Tapping Tommy
One would think that a team made up of Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Namor, Valkyrie, and Nighthawk would have a more impressive rogues’ gallery. Sure they have Dormammu and the Enchantress, but they unfortunately also have Tapping Tommy. A former tap dancer that sought revenge after his theater was shut down, (somehow) acquired a legion of tap-dancing robots, captured the Defenders, and planned to defeat them by beating them with metal canes. I repeat, a powerless tap-dancer thought he could beat Doctor Strange with robots wielding metal canes. Needless to say, his plan didn’t work. I wonder why.
Dr. Strange has faced off against many supernatural threats in the Marvel universe but they're not all worthy adversaries. Here are the most pathetic.