Ancient One

Ancient One

Comic Book Character:

The Ancient One was once the master of Stephen Vincent Strange, aka Doctor Strange, and Karl Amadeus Mordo, aka Baron Mordo. Upon his mortal death, the Ancient One transcended into the spiritual plane, his soul now becoming a minor cosmic entity, occasionally coming to the aid of his former disciple, Doctor Strange.

The man who would eventually be called the Ancient One was originally born over 500 years ago in the mystic city of Kamar-Taj, a village in the area now known as Tibet, China. Originally, the youth was a peaceful farmerman like his fellow villagers, but encountered an older villager named Kaluu. Kaluu shared with the youth his knowledge of magic, and they began exploring the secrets of sorcery together, even learning the secrets of immortality.

The adult youth wanted to use his magic to help the village, but Kaluu wanted to build a vast empire, and organized the men of Kamar-Taj into an army by magically controlling their minds. The youth attempted to warn the village, but Kaluu used his magic to incapacitate him, paralyzing him and setting him on public display. Kaluu began his conquests, and the youth called upon mystical forces while in his paralytic state, ultimately banishing him to the dimension of Cyttorak. Kaluu's spell on him protected the youth from the full effect of the mystical backlash-- instead of being immortal, he would merely age at a very slow rate.

-- Jeffr_2bya

During the early '90s, Strange was stripped of his Sorcerer Supreme title by the Vishanti, the mystical entities that were behind his most powerful magic spells. Thus Strange was severely depowered during the Siege of Darkness storyline and he found himself vulnerable to Salome, a malevolent sorceress who had previously been the Sorcerer Supreme.

When he was infected by Salome's dark magic, Strange retreated into a pocket dimension and he split off two aspects of himself: the vain Vincent Stevens and Strange, a masked sorcerer who was much more violent than Doctor Strange himself.

Young Again:

Of the two Stranges, Vincent Stevens proved more dangerous as he attempted to hold on to his existence. Strange also fought to become a fully independent being and Doctor Strange ultimately realized that he had become something greater than a mere magical construct.

Doctor Strange allowed Strange to be reborn in the Dark Dimension and he tricked Salome into making herself vulnerable to him. In the aftermath, Strange's body was purged of Salome's dark magic and he was de-aged to his twenties or thirties. This was during Marvel's darkest hours when the company tried anything to spike sales. Let's just say that Doctor Strange didn't stay young for very long.

Classic Doc:

Just a few issues later, Doctor Strange was restored to his classic look... with some minor alterations to his costume. Strange was also once again the Sorcerer Supreme, after he repaid his debt to the Vishanti.