When Doctor Strange and Professor X First Met in the Comics

Today, we take a look at the first time that Doctor Strange and Professor X met in the Marvel comic book universe.

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.

Two of the most famous members of the Illuminati (okay, that’s a bit of a meaningless statement, since EVERY member of the Illuminati is famous, but whatever, just go with it) are Professor X and Doctor Strange, who represented the mutant side of things as well as the magical side of things (each member of the Illuminati, in general, represented a specific section of the Marvel superhero world). However, while we know in terms of retcons they were together as a group around the Kree-Skrull War, when did they actually first meet in the comics?

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A WEDDING FOR THE AGES INTRODUCED MANY HEROES TO EACH OTHER

In 1965, Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl got married in Fantastic Four Annual #3…

In that story (by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Vince Colletta), the Fantastic Four suddenly find the wedding venue under attack by pretty much every supervillain that they had ever faced, but luckily, their guests included both Professor X and his X-Men , who helped take down Mole Man and his Moloids…

as well as Doctor Strange, who helped rid the Fantastic Four of the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes…

However, the villains just kept coming and coming, even villains that the Fantastic Four had never faced before (it turns out that it was all a massive attack coordinated by Doctor Doom). This led to Reed Richards to go on a journey with the Watcher (who was once again not interfering by, well, you know, totally interfering) for a device that would turn back the time for all of the villains, including Doom, and force them to forget about their attempt to attack the wedding…

So the wedding was back on and the nuptials took place on the next page….

Clearly, then, Doctor Strange and Professor X MUST have met at that wedding, right? They were both guests and there didn’t seem to be THAT many other people there, so they MUST have met. However, when it comes to things like “When did they first meet in comics,” I have a pretty strict “they must at least share a panel for me to count as a meeting) and that does not occur at any point in that issue , so I am not counting it.

THE X-MEN TURN TO DOCTOR STRANGE FOR HELP… IS THIS GOING TO BE THE MOMENT?

In X Men #32 (by Roy Thomas, Werner Roth and John Tartaglione), the X-Men are out on a night in the town while Profoesser Xavier is working on a device to help with his comatose former step-brother, Cain Marko, the Juggernaut, who Xavier had basically put into a coma nearly 20 issues earlier with a mental bolt. Xavier believes that he has come up with a device that can separate Cain from his Juggernaut powers…

Well, as Doctor Doom might have told Xavier, had he been in the mood to be kind, that is, it really isn’t smart to try to build a device that mixes science with magic as the result knocked Xavier into a coma and brought Cain Marko OUT of his coma and back to cause some trouble as the Juggernaut…

After the X-Men have a brief fight with the Juggernaut, they return to the X-Mansion to discover their leader’s comatose body…

In the next issue (also by Thomas, Roth and Tartaglione), Jean Gray uses a subconscious amplifier to access Xavier’s subconscious mind to discover what happened to him and in the process, she learned what Xavier had learned, the mystery of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, which involved the Ancient One when he was, you know, less ancient…

(How Xavier’s subconscious is giving Jean all of this is beyond me)

So the X-Men try to contact the Ancient One, but instead end up with his former student, Doctor Strange!

Strange is in the middle of a problem of his own over in his own title, but he agrees to help the X-Men, sending Cyclops and Jean Gray on a mission to retrieve a mystical item that could defeat Juggernaut…

And in the end, the Crimson Gem that they bring back to Earth does the job…

Sadly, the villainous Factor Three had kidnapped Xavier while the X-Men were dealing with the Juggernaut. Whether he was kidnapped or not, though, this still wouldn’t count as a meeting between Strange and Xavier, since Xavier was comatose through it all.

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PROFESSOR X TURNS TO THE DEFENDERS FOR HELP…WAS DOCTOR STRANGE A MEMBER OF THE TEAM AT THE TIME?

Instead, we have to go all the way into the next decade for defenders #15 (by Len Wein, Sal Buscema and Klaus Janson), where Doctor Stranage and the Defenders are hanging out at Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum when Professor Xavier reaches out for some help…

Strange and the Defenders naturally agree to help out the leader of the X-Men (who is without his X-Men at the time)…

When they arrive, Doctor Strange and Professor X act like they are old friends…

My guess is that Wein just assumed that they had met before, but this issue is actually, as far as I can tell, the actual first meeting between the two famous superheroes (of course, retcons make stuff like this kind of silly, as we can learn next month that Strange and Xavier used to hang out and ride bicycles back in the day, that’s how easy it is to add to character’s backgrounds to create retroactive connections. apparently haven’t done a new one in qite a while.

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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