The Masters of the Mystic Arts are an order of sorcerers who are committed to protecting the Earth from mystical threats.
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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 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 mystical ward that kept Dormammu from passing through to the Earth Plane.
Retrieving the Dark Scepter
One of the Masters, 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 grew 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 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. Fellow Masters of the Mystic Arts members Daniel Drumm and Tina 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 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, Drum, 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 Sanctum Sanctorum.
Retrieving the Arrow of Apollon
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Disillusion with the Ancient One
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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 Sanctum Sanctorum 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 appeared and stabbed Doctor Strange with a Space Shard, mortally wounding him.
As Lucian approached the wounded 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 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, Lucian emerged in his astral form and followed Strange to the Metro-General Hospital. Soon after, Strange and Lucian 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 Lucian. 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 Lucian, which killed his astral form and his physical body.
As Strange returned from the Metro-General Hospital back to the Sanctum Sanctorum, he found the body of Lucian 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 Sanctum Sanctorum, declaring Strange as the new Master of the New York Sanctum.
After the Ancient One died in New York, Wong, Tina 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 travelled 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, 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 his 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.
- Sorcerer Supreme
- Stephen Strange (Previously)
- In the comics, "Master of the Mystic Arts" is one of the titles held by Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme.