Doctor Strange has fought some bizarre villains – but one classic foe once gave humanity some Oprah-level gifts, and it wasn’t to be nice.
Doctor Strange villains are in a class of their own. Far from being ordinary super-powered villains or mutants with a god complex, Strange’s villains frequently are gods, or at least on the same level. Chief among these enemies is Dormammu, the ruler of the Dark Dimension, who the MCU Doctor Strange memorably thwarted by trapping him in a time loop.
Dormammu is evil, but like all devil-figures, he often disguises his bad intentions by offering his followers gifts of great power. In one Doctor Strange comic book adventure, this went a bit overboard and Dormammu began offering everyone on Earth expensive gifts, to the point where he became a demonic version of Oprah Winfrey! Unlike Oprah, however, these gifts weren’t given with humanity’s best interests in mind.
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This happened in Marvel Super-Heroes Adventures #9 when Doctor Strange discovered that his mentor the Ancient One had managed to banish Dormammu for years in the Dark Dimension by creating an insanely long contract filled with clauses and stipulations that kept Dormammu from using his powers to conquer Earth. Undaunted, the Lord of the Dark Dimension hired a lawyer to find enough loopholes to help him return to Earth with his full powers and take over humanity.
The process took years (allowing Doctor Strange to succeed the Ancient One in the interim) but eventually, Dormammu learned he could return to Earth if he came back as a demonic squirrel. Later, some careless words from Strange allowed the dark squirrel to transform back into Dormammu, who loudly announced his intentions to turn the planet into part of his vast kingdom. While Doctor Strange stood in his way, Dormammu’s powers were simply too much for the then new Sorcerer Supreme.
Fortunately, the Ancient One’s contract still puts a vast amount of limitations on Dormammu as the wily sorcerer chose to fill the contract with all sorts of inane clauses forbidding Dormammu from teleporting into a ballerina’s house, using his magic on housecats, or affecting objects near a mailbox. One particularly useful clause comes into play when Dormammu tries to summon an army of Mindless Ones, vastly powerful beings who helped him conquer many other dimensions. Although Dormammu brags that he has four billion Mindless Ones in his army, the contract stipulates that he can only summon a single Mindless One for every red convertible on Earth.
When Doctor Strange’s friend Wong points out that there aren’t four billion red convertibles on Earth, Dormammu simply… transforms every vehicle on Earth into a red convertible. Essentially, the ruler of the Dark Dimension gifted every motorist on the planet with a shiny new red car, giving him a gift-giving reach that outstrips the generosity Oprah Winfrey famously demonstrated when she gave her audience members cars, houses, vacations, and cool home appliances on her television show. Granted, this probably wouldn’t be appreciated by every car owner (Rolls Royce and Lamborghini owners would probably see this as a step down), but most people would probably love having a new red convertible… even if they’d be less thrilled about the Mindless One valet that came with it.
Doctor Strange eventually found a clause in the Ancient One’s contract that allowed him to banish Dormammu and his minions before he could do too much damage on Earth. Sadly, this also meant that all the red convertibles went back to their original forms, likely leaving more than a few car owners disappointed. Dormammu’s phenomenal cosmic powers might allow him to give humanity gifts on a scale undreamed of even by Oprah Winfrey, but his demonic nature all but guarantees nobody will get to enjoy them.
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