Doctor Strange is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by artist Steve Ditko and writer Stan Lee and first appeared in Strange Tales #110 (July 1963). A former neurosurgeon, Doctor Strange serves as the Sorcerer Supreme, the primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threats. Inspired by stories of black magic and Chandu the Magician, Strange was created during the Silver Age of Comics to bring a different kind of character and themes of mysticism to Marvel Comics. Doctor Strange features in various media, including video games, an animated television show, and merchandise. Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, first appearing in the 2016 film Doctor Strange and later in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).