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10 Things I learned about Doctor Strange today

Shanee is a screenwriter and educator living in Los Angeles. She created the web series She Blinded Me w Science to encourage young girls to explore science and technology. You can also read her blog where she chronicles her filmmaking ...

Joaquin Phoenix may be Doctor Strange, but who is this mystical superhero?

Joaquin Phoenix has played some pretty quirky characters, including a drugged-out version of himself in the mockumentary, I'm Still Here. Now, he's reportedly in talks to star in Marvel's Doctor Strange, but if you aren't familiar with this comic book character, keep reading to find out more.

1. Neurosurgeon with a big ego

Doctor Stephen Strange doesn't remove brain tumors because he wants to help his patients; instead, he's predominately motivated by the money he makes from the surgeries. He becomes a very wealthy guy until a tragic event changes his life forever.

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2. Hands get crushed

A car accident severely damages the bones and nerves in his hands, rendering him unable to perform surgery ever again. His fortune dwindles away as he searches for someone to restore his hands. He resorts to a back-alley medical procedure that uses up the rest of his money and, sadly, doesn't help.

3. A hermit called the Ancient One

Depressed and homeless with hands that shake uncontrollably, Doctor Strange seeks out a mystic in the Himalayas known as the Ancient One. At first, the Ancient One refuses to help Doctor Strange because he's a selfish jerk, but the egotistical doctor eventually convinces this sorcerer to teach him mystical arts and magic.

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4. Cloak of Levitation

One of the most exciting tools available to Doctor Strange is his Cloak of Levitation, which enables him to fly.

5. Eye of Agamotto

Inspired by the all-seeing eye of the Buddha, this amulet creates an ethereal light through which Doctor Strange can see the reality and truth behind any disguise or falsehood. He can also use the Eye of Agamotto to read other people's thoughts and feelings.

6. Book of the Vishanti

This magic manual of spells, sorcery and wizardry helps Doctor Strange perform "white magic" or magic that only has positive, helpful results.

7. Orb of Agamotto

This occultist orb works like a crystal ball, allowing Doctor Strange to see into the future. Sound familiar? The orb made a cameo appearance in the movie Thor in 2011.

8. Singer Amy Grant sued Doctor Strange

In March 1990, Marvel comics released Doctor Strange #15. The cover artwork by Jackson Guice featured a woman's face that looked remarkably similar to Grant's on her record, Amy Grant — The Collection. A Christian, Grant was upset because she didn't want to be associated with magic or the occult. Grant and Marvel reached an out-of-court settlement.

9. In touch with his feminine side

In the comic book Spider-Man 2099 #33, Doctor Strange is introduced as a female character with a demon living inside of her. We'd love to see Doctor Strange as a lady; maybe the filmmakers will consider that for the sequel.

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10. Tights and a puffy shirt

Doctor Strange is typically depicted in the comic books as wearing his long cloak, a blue blouse, a gold belt and black stockings. We seriously hope that Marvel will give Doctor Strange a makeover. We suggest they take a cue from the most recent Batman films.

Marvel plans to release Doctor Strange in 2016.

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