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Affinity Wars: Doctor Strange vs. Doctor Fate

This is the fourth installment of our versus feature where we judge two superheroes for their strengths and weaknesses and put them against each other in a play-by-play to see who would be the one and only winner. This week we have DC’s top magic-users versus Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme. Who can win in this fight between two mystic entities?

Now, if you’re saying “Doctors who?” here’s a quick profile of the abilities of each sorcerer. 

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange is a sorcerer, adventurer, occult consultant; physician and neurosurgeon. Strange acquired vast arcane lore and has sorcery training through a mixture of self-education and through the teachings from The Ancient One and became Master of the Mystic Arts and is a former Sorcerer Supreme of Earth. And those aren’t just fancy titles.

When someone becomes Sorcerer Supreme, the person becomes immortal, immune to diseases. A Sorcerer Supreme can be killed. If they cannot protect themselves with magic they can be killed with physical trauma. However, Doctor Strange no longer has access to those powers (but still has problems with pesky physical traumas). After using dark magic, Doctor Strange gave up the Sorcerer Supreme mantle.

Doctor Strange is one of the most powerful sorcerers – the premier magic man of the Marvel Universe. He uses mystical energy from spells and incantations or by the power of divine beings to manipulate forces of the universe. This includes projecting mystic energy such as bolts, slashes, binds, shields, and energy like electricity. He can manipulate matter and physical or spiritual energies, control the elements, open or close portals, he can teleport or travel through dimensions and realities, and he can see through or cast illusions. Using astral projection, Doctor Strange can become invisible and intangible. He also has several mental abilities including telepathy and telekinesis, he can communicate with the dead and spiritual entities, he can see the future or past, manipulate dreams, remove spirits or place them back into bodies, he can summon supernatural beings. Doctor Strange can also channel mystical and non-mystical beings known as Principalities to empower his spells by way of saying complex incantations like “Seven rings hath Raggador, from indigo to deepest black, Yet Oshtur grant me something more: The Crimson Bands of Cyttorak!” Sounds like something that would be at home in Lord of the Rings.

The list of his abilities are far-reaching in the realms of the mystic and powerful in all realities. But are they powerful enough to defeat DC’s parallel main magic man Doctor Fate?

Doctor Fate

Doctor Fate
The mantle of Doctor Fate (or rather, the helm) has been worn by several people, but the Fate I’m putting against Doctor Strange is the most notable incarnation of Doctor Fate: Kent V. Nelson (for fans of Young Justice, that’s the old guy Wally palled around with before he was trapped in the Helm of Nabu).

Doctor Fate’s powers come from the Helm of Nabu, but even when the helm is removed the former wearer can fly, is resistant to harm, has better-than-average strength and telekinesis. With the helm, Doctor Fate becomes a much more formidable foe.

Originally, wearing the helm of Nabu meant the wearer would lose their identity and the helm would possess them. Now, Nabu only advises the wearer. If Nelson does not wear the helm, he loses a lot of his power and knowledge.

When the helm of Nabu is worn, the Doctor Fate costume appears on Nelson. Doctor Fate is able to fire bolts of mystical energy, teleport across the entire universe, create solid objects from energy and he can transform objects into other types of matter. The device on Doctor Fate’s collar is the Amulet of Anubis, which gives Doctor Fate magical abilities. The amulet holds the souls of the people who have taken on the identity of Doctor Fate in the past in a dimension contained inside the amulet that has also been used as a hiding place for the JLA in the past and as a prison for some of the more volatile villains of comics.

The strength of Doctor Fate has varied much like Doctor Strange to fit stories. At his best, Fate has managed to take control of Jason Blood (a.k.a. Etrigan), Highfather and Darkseid to stop the Anti0Life entity, but Fate has also faced enemies such as The Spectre and lost.

The REAL Battle of the Mind 

Doctor Strange versus Doctor Fate
With Strange’s extensive knowledge of the mystic, Doctor Strange’s first instinct when facing Nabu would be to remove his helm, which he would figure out was the source of his power. But ridding Doctor Fate of his helmet is better theorized than done. After several failed attempts trying to remove the helm with his magic and other mental abilities, Doctor Strange would attempt to better his spells by calling on the Principalities. As this mental struggle with Doctor Fate to remove his helm is going on, both sorcerers will be throwing ineffective bolts of energy at each other to little effect.

If it were any other person, Nabu’s helm would not be removed except in the event of the death of the wearer. Ironically, in an unfortunate twist, with an extra power boost from the Principalities, Doctor Strange could get the helm off and possibly almost automatically lose to Nabu as a result.

The helm would come off because of the impact of Strange’s blows, but not because the power was too much for Nabu. No, on the contrary – Nabu hungers to possess a host powerful in the arcane. With Strange using the Principalities and showing Nabu the extent of his abilities, Nabu would deem him worthier than Nelson and would remove itself from Nelson in an attempt to manipulate Strange to get him to put on the Helm of Nabu and become the new Doctor Fate.

So, Doctor Strange, in a way, has defeated Kent Nelson, Doctor Fate, but can he resist Nabu? Would he sacrifice himself to the helm?

Of course it would be a fight. Doctor Strange is not a novice – he is a powerful mystical being. But Nabu is older, beating Doctor Strange by thousands of years, and he can take more punishment. Ultimately, Doctor Strange would succumb to Nabu and the result: Doctor Strangefate!

Sorry Strange – but you’re still my favorite!

Don’t agree with the results? Speak your mind in the comics forum or the comments section below.

And for more crossover battles, witness the three previous rounds of “Affinity Wars” by clicking on the links below.

Raven vs. Emma Frost  
Aquaman vs. Namor the Sub-Mariner
Captain America vs. The Punisher

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About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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