When Did Wolverine and Doctor Strange First Team-Up?

Today, we look at the first time that Wolverine and Doctor Strange had a team-up in the comic books.

In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

Reader Gordon S. wrote in to ask, “I don’t suppose you know when Doctor Strange and Wolverine first met, do you? It has to be much earlier than the New Avengers, right? Some hero team-up from the eighties? I keep thinking it was in an awful Dazzler comic where everyone and his brother show up to fight Enchantress, but I haven’t seen that comic in decades. “


I don’t know what spurred this question on, exactly, but I imagine it has something to do with the rumors that Wolverine might be making a guest appearance in the upcoming film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. So sure, let’s take a look!

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WOLVERINE AND DOCTOR STRANGE BOTH GO TO HELL

The answer, really, is X-Men Annual #4 (by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Bob McLeod). In that issue, Nightcrawler is celebrating his birthday when suddenly he is seemingly struck dead, or at least his soul is now missing. Professor Xavier reaches out to Doctor Strange, who makes a house call, as it were, to help the X-Men out and he and Wolverine meet for the first time (well, for the first time until a future writer reveals that they teamed up at some point in the past, which you know someone will EVENTUALLY do)…



When Strange investigates, he discovers that Margali Szardos has stolen Nightcrawler’s soul and now that they have messed with her, she has grabbed them, too!


So the X-Men are reunited with Nightcrawler in, well, hell. Strange is used to this sort of thing, so he tells the X-Men to prepare themselves for some crazy nonsense and Wolverine basically, like, “Dude, we’re ALWAYS prepared for some crazy nonsense.”


Wolverine actually takes charge at one point and there’s a good bit where he essentially challenges Strange and the sorcerer responds well to the challenge…


The two quickly become close, in terms of two warriors fighting side by side against some crazy odds. It’s good stuff…



In the end, Margali Szardos realizes that she messed up and punished Nightcrawler unfairly and everything returned to normal. A later Doctor Strange issue, though, “avenged” Strange getting his butt whupped by Margali Szardos by explaining that she was just a tool of a much-more powerful demon.

So that’s really their first team-up, right? But if you want more of a solo deal, then I can arrange for that, as well.

WOLVERINE AND DOCTOR STRANGE MET UP A FEW MORE TIMES OVER THE YEARS

Soon after that X-Men AnnualStrange and Wolverine were both among the heroes who took part in Marvel Superheroes: Contest of Champions (by Bill Mantlo, Steven Grant, Mark Gruenwald, John Romita Jr., Pablo Marco and Bob Layton)…



However, while Wolverine was chosen for the literal contest in the series, Strange was not…


In Uncanny X-Men #190 (by Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr. and Dan Green), Kulan Gath altered the reality of New York City, taking Docto Strange out of the equation at the same time…


Strange then later helped set things right in the following issue, but there was no interaction with Wolverine…


Finally, during the infinity gauntlet event (by Jim Starlin, George Perez and Tom Christopher), Doctor Strange helped gather a bunch of heroes to fight against Thanos…


and Wolverine was one of the heroes that he called out for help from (in an amusing twist, Starlin was only allowed to use two X-Men in the crossover, and he chose Wolverine and Cyclops)…



So no real team-ups between the two heroes. That changed soon after infinity gauntlet.

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WOLVERINE AND DOCTOR STRANGE HAVE THEIR FIRST REAL PROPER TEAM-UP

In Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #41 (by Roy Thomas, Jean-Marc Lofficier and Geof Isherwood), Wolverine suddenly tries to murder Doctor Strange and Clea in their bed…


Luckily, Strange has some quick reflexes (he is often attacked in his bed, ya know?) and he uses some of his martial arts training to fight back against the mind-controlled Wolverine. Strange, hoping Wolverine’s healing skills were as good as Wolverine is always bragging about them, stabs him to take him out of the equation…


Strange realizes Wolverine was sent by the Undying Ones and Strange has to go into their dimension to seal up the rift that allowed them to capture and brainwash Wolverine. Wolverine, now recovered from the mind control, insists on going on the mission with Strange, as he wants payback…


They head to the other dimension and lots of crazy stuff happens, especially when Wolverine is basically possessed by a demon…


Strange cures him and then Strange seals up the rift and sets up a doorway for them to exit (under Strange’s control) and they beat feet out of this evil dimension…


Wolverine is now in the mood to celebrate their victory, but he knows that Strange and Clea might want to go back to sleep. Instead, Strange surprises him by agreeing to have a celebratory drink with him…


Soon after this, Wolverine was the first hero that Doctor Strange recruited for his Secret Defenders group (where a different mixture of heroes would go on each mission, Mission: Impossible-style). So the two have remained close in the years since (and I still await a story set in the past with them teaming up. Wolverine has one of those with everybody!).

There ya go, Gordon! If anyone else wants to know about an interesting comic book first, just drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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