The Masters of the Mystic Arts are an order of sorcerers who are committed to protecting the Earth from mystical threats.
The Masters of the Mystic Arts were first founded in Earth's ancient history by Agamotto. Following his discovery of other dimensions, Agamotto found ways to draw power from these alternate universes to create magic spells. However, realizing that these new dimensions also introduced the possibility of the world being threatened by extradimensional threats, Agamotto formed the Masters of the Mystic Arts as a league of magic practitioners, dedicated to learning magic so to safeguard the Earth from dimensional evils.
The threats they train to face include dark sorcerers, ghosts, demons, and dark gods that would enter their universe with malicious intent. The greatest multidimensional force to ever threaten Earth was Dormammu, ruler of the Dark Dimension, who sought to absorb the Earth Plane into his own. To aid in their mission, the Masters created three sanctums in New York City, Hong Kong, and London which generated a ward that kept Dormammu from passing through to the Earth Plane.
At some point in time, the Masters of the Mystic Arts acquired the Time Stone and swore an oath to protect it with their lives.
Retrieving the Dark Scepter
Wong had been tasked with locating and securing the Dark Scepter by the Ancient One. An object of immense power, the Scepter had been stolen by a woman who had grown scornful against the world. Wong tracked her down to London and attempted to take the Staff from her. However, the power of the Dark Scepter proved to be strong and the woman managed to escape. Back at Kamar-Taj, Kaecilius scorned Wong for losing the woman and the scepter, but Wong insisted that with the power that the woman possessed with the Scepter, the situation should be handled more reverently.
Kaecilius claimed Wong's concentration on his own failings was the reason the mission was not a success. Daniel Drumm and Master Minoru then arrived and told Kaecilius that Wong's trepidation should be a sign to be careful and heed his instincts rather than just insult him. When Kaecilius asked why they were not doing their other duties, Drumm told him the situation proved serious enough that more than one member of the order was needed to subdue the thief. Kaecilius refused and claimed that he could handle the thief himself. Wong, Drumm, and Minoru later arrived to find an unconscious Kaecilius who had been beaten by the thief, having underestimated the power of the Staff.
Kaecilius realized the others were right and decided to team up to stop the thief. Later at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the group confronted the thief. In a grueling battle, with their combined efforts they were able to overpower her and claim the Scepter. Wong put it with all the other mystical objects at the New York Sanctum.
Retrieving the Arrow of Apollon
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This section requires expansion
Disillusion with the Ancient One
At some point, Kaecilius began to grow discontent with the truths that he was being taught by the Ancient One. Failing to find peace or acceptance in the death of his wife, he grew angry that his attempts to delve into magic that would restore what he had lost were rebuffed by the Ancient One. This disillusion reached its zenith when he discovered that the Ancient One was sustaining her life force and extending her lifespan by drawing upon the energies of the Dark Dimension, the dominion of Dormammu, a clear violation of the tenet of preserving the natural law. Reaching out to other disaffected practitioners amongst the students of the Masters, he began to indoctrinate them on the ways that the Ancient One was holding them back. They formed a group known as the Zealots, with the mission of obtaining the most guarded secrets of the Ancient One.
Attack on the Sanctums
As Wong and Karl Mordo educated Doctor Strange about the purpose of the Masters of the Mystic Arts, they discovered that Kaecilius and the Zealots had killed the protector of the London Sanctum, Sol Rama, and destroyed the London Sanctum in a massive explosion, throwing Strange into the New York Sanctum and isolating him from his allies. As Strange explored the New York Sanctum in New York City, he found Kaecilius and the Zealots killing its protector, Daniel Drumm, and began fighting Strange. He managed to fend off the attackers and attempted to escape. However, Kaecilius trapped him and manipulated the hallways to harm Strange. During the battle, Strange managed to exile two of the Zealots using the Rotunda of Gateways and combated Kaecilius. However, as he was about to kill Doctor Strange with a Space Shard, the Cloak of Levitation appeared and rescued Strange, eventually persuading him to use the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak and immobilizing Kaecilius.
As Kaecilius was immobilized, he explained his motivations to summon Dormammu and bring the Dark Dimension to Earth to free the world from the burdens of time and death. He also explained that the Ancient One maintains her immortality by drawing power from the Dark Dimension. Suddenly, Lucian Aster appeared and stabbed Doctor Strange with a Space Shard, mortally wounding him.
As Lucian Aster approached the wounded Doctor Strange to kill him, the Cloak of Levitation fought and ensnared Lucian which bought time for Strange to conjure a portal to the Metro-General Hospital to heal himself. At the Metro-General Hospital, he sought help from Christine Palmer to help him perform surgery on his wound. Strange emerged in his astral form to help Palmer in surgery, much to her surprise. Meanwhile, Aster emerged in his astral form and followed Strange to the Metro-General Hospital. Soon after, Strange and Aster fought each other in the Astral Dimension, flying wildly across the hospital but only slightly disturbing physical objects in the real world. As Strange's body started flat-lining, Palmer used a defibrillator on him, which ended up violently shocking Aster. Discovering this advantage, Strange told Palmer to increase the voltage and shock him again. As she shocked his body, Strange grabbed his body and channeled the electrical current through his astral form into Aster, which killed his astral form and his physical body.
As Doctor Strange returned from the Metro-General Hospital back to the New York Sanctum, he found the body of Lucian Aster and discovered that he had killed him. He met with the Ancient One and Karl Mordo and discovered that Kaecilius had escaped from the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. The Ancient One was impressed with his defense of the New York Sanctum, declaring Strange as the new Master of the New York Sanctum. He refused and rebuffed her for calling upon power from the Dark Dimension which Mordo denied. Kaecilius and the Zealots returned to destroy the Sanctum and Strange sent them to the Mirror Dimension to protect the people of New York. Mordo reprimands him for this saying that since their power comes from the Dark Dimension, their power is amplified in the Mirror Dimension. Just as the two Masters were going to lose, The Ancient One appears with the mark of Dormammu on her forehead, confirming that she was calling upon the power of the Dark Dimension. While the Masters of the Mystic Arts won, the Ancient One was mortally wounded.
After the Ancient One died in New York City, Wong, Master Minoru, and fellow Masters of the Mystic Arts, having learned of the destruction of the London Sanctum and the New York Sanctum, prepared to battle Kaecilius and the Zealots in order to protect the Hong Kong Sanctum. Kaecilius and the Zealots arrived via Sling Rings to Hong Kong and fought the Masters of the Mystic Arts. However, during the battle, Wong and the Masters were killed and the Sanctum was destroyed, allowing Dormammu to engulf Earth into the Dark Dimension.
Doctor Strange and Karl Mordo arrive from New York City to find Wong dead and the Hong Kong Sanctum destroyed. As Kaecilius charged Doctor Strange with a Space Shard, Strange used the Eye of Agamotto to reverse time, reviving Wong, trapping Kaecilius, and undoing the destruction to the Hong Kong Sanctum and the surrounding area. However, Kaecilius and the Zealots broke free and attacked Strange and Mordo. During their confrontation, Kaecilius managed to interrupt the Eye of Agamotto before the Sanctum could be restored, thus allowing Dormammu to engulf Earth into the Dark Dimension, regardless of their efforts.
Left with no other option, Doctor Strange traveled to the Dark Dimension and confronts Dormammu to bargain for Earth's protection. Angered by his proposition, Dormammu destroyed Strange by blasting him with energy. However, Strange reappeared and repeated his bargain. Confused by his reappearance, Dormammu killed the confident Strange over and over again to no avail. Strange explained that using the Eye of Agamotto, he created an infinite time loop which trapped Strange and Dormammu in the Dark Dimension forever, using a force that didn't exist in that dimension until now, which made the primordial being his prisoner. Dormammu then begged to release him from the time loop, where he agreed to spare Earth if he took Kaecilius and the Zealots to the Dark Dimension and never return.
As Doctor Strange returned to Earth, Kaecilius and his followers began turning into particles and gravitated into the Dark Dimension before it disappeared. Strange then used the Eye of Agamotto once again to reverse time and undo the damage done to the Hong Kong Sanctum and the city. Despite their victory, Karl Mordo becomes disillusioned with Strange and the Ancient One's blatant disregard for manipulating reality and disobeying the rules and departs from the Masters of the Mystic Arts.
Thanks to Bruce Banner who crashed into the New York Sanctum thanks to the Bifrost Bridge, the Masters of the Mystic Arts Doctor Strange and Wong were alerted of the impending arrival of Thanos' forces on Earth in order to take both the Time Stone, who was in the Masters of the Mystic Arts' possession, and the Mind Stone. Deciding to enlist some reinforcements, Doctor Strange invited Tony Stark to the New York Sanctum, where he and Wong explained the history of the Infinity Stones and detailed the threat of Thanos. Strange and Wong explained that they had sworn an oath to protect the Time Stone, meaning that they could not destroy it to prevent Thanos from acquiring it.
The debate was interrupted because of the Attack on Greenwich Village: the Black Order invaded New York City in order to take the Time Stone from Doctor Strange. The Masters of the Mystic Arts fought against Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian alongside Iron Man. However, despite Cull Obsidian being stranded in the Arctic and losing a hand thanks to Wong, and Spider-Man's interference, Doctor Strange was abducted by Ebony Maw and taken into a Q-Ship to be brought on Titan. This left the Masters of the Mystic Arts heavily weakened, prompting Wong to remain in the New York Sanctum to guard it in Strange's absence.
Doctor Strange was eventually rescued by Iron Man and Spider-Man who had stowed away on the Q-Ship. Together, they went to Titan, where they forged an alliance with the Guardians of the Galaxy, who also chased Thanos. While the others devised a plan, Strange used the powers of the Time Stone to take a look into alternative futures, seeing only one victorious outcome out of the millions of possibilities. Doctor Strange, the Master of the Mystic Arts, then fought against Thanos alongside the other heroes on Titan. However, despite Strange temporarily holding his own against Thanos, he was eventually defeated and forced to trade the Time Stone in exchange for Iron Man's life.
Strange was one of the victims of Thanos when he activated the Infinity Gauntlet and wiped out half of all life in the universe, thus depriving the Masters of the Mystic Arts of one of their most prominent and powerful members.
During the Battle of Earth, the resurrected Doctor Strange tasked Wong and the other Masters to transport newly-resurrected members of the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wakandans, Asgardians, Ravagers, and Masters of the Mystic Arts to the location of Thanos' attack. The Masters of the Mystic Arts alongside with the heroes of Earth battled against the forces of Thanos. During the battle, they created Tao Mandala shields strong enough to block the attacks raining down from the Sanctuary II.
- Sorcerer Supreme
- Disciples (Customized robes)
- Apprentices (Crimson robes)
- Novices (White robes)
- Stephen Strange (formerly)
|Appearances for Masters of the Mystic Arts|
In chronological order:
- In the comics, "Master of the Mystic Arts" is one of the titles held by Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme.