Who is Clear Marvel? Now that Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness is streaming on Disney Plus, new audiences are meeting Clea, the current Sorcerer Supreme in comic books and Strange’s ex-wife, played by none other than Charlize Theron in one of the film’s two post-credits stinger scenes (the one that’s not a reference to Evil Dead II).
As we stated, Clea has taken up the mantle of Earth’s magical protector following the recent death of the former Sorcerer Supreme (and Clea’s ex-husband) Stephen Strange, putting the decades-old Marvel Comics hero in her biggest spotlight yet.
And along with that comic book profile comes another big jump in Clea’s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
If you just saw the film and you’re wondering why superstar actor Charlize Theron just appeared decked out in purple armor, don’t worry. There’s a lot more to it than Marvel Studios just having a weird thing for teasing purple characters at the end of their movies (remember The Avengers?)
Who is Clear Marvel?
In the Marvel Universe, there isn’t a single character called Clear Marvel. But there’s a sorceress named Clea Strange who becomes Doctor Strange’s apprentice, lover, and eventually wife.
Clea is a mortal with mystical abilities who is half-Faltine and half-Dark Dimension. She eventually gains control of her home dimension by using them to support Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Stephen Strange, also known as Doctor Strange.
Clea is a multifaceted and formidable figure who holds significant importance in Doctor Strange’s existence. She is a talented sorceress, a devoted friend, and a passionate spouse.
Clea’s Marvel Comics history
Created by none other than Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1964’s Strange Tales #126, Clea started out as the prerequisite comic book damsel in distress of the era. The Faltinian (Faltines are extra-dimensional energy beings born from pure magic) daughter of Prince Orini (the son of Olnar, former wizard-king of the Dark Dimension) and Umar (the sister of long-time Doctor Strange villain Dormammu from the first film), Clea was raised by her father after Dormmamu banished her mother to another dimension and grew up worshiping the ancient entity but never knew he was her uncle.
Clea would first meet Doctor Strange when he traveled to the Dark Dimension at the behest of the Ancient One as Dormammu was planning one of his many conquests of Earth. Clea tried to convince Strange not to fight Dormammu. Dormammu saw her fraternizing with Strange as a betrayal and imprisoned Clea but then needed the Strange’s help to fend off an enemy who had broken free of Dormammu’s control. To repay Doctor Strange, the ruler of the Dark Dimension freed Clea and promised not to invade Earth.
Clea would be caught in a tug of war between Dormammu and Strange more than a few times before Strange decided that the safest place for her would be Earth. Unfortunately, her arrival on Earth meant the loss of her powers and she took to studying in the Sanctum Santorum. Strange took her on as an apprentice once he became the Sorcerer Supreme and during Clea’s discipleship, their romantic feelings for one another grew.
Clea would join Stephen on adventures with the superhero ‘non-team’ the Defenders and in his own solo title. In 1974’s Doctor Strange #1, she was captured by Silver Dagger, a former Cardinal of the Catholic Church who was driven mad by the Darkhold (yes, that Darkhold). This encounter would make Stephen and Clea even closer (but in a weird way as Strange needed to cohabit her body to defeat Silver Dagger). However, over time Clea began to doubt that her love for Strange was greater than that of another of his love-interests Morgana Blessing (1974’s Doctor Strange #53). And with the seeming disappearance of Dormammu, she returned to the Dark Dimension in order to save it.
Clea’s Comic Origin & Powers
First introduced in 1964’s Strange Tales #126, Clea is a Faltine, an extra-dimensional being created from magic, who hails from the Dark Dimension. It’s where she meets Doctor Strange after he arrives there to defeat Dormmamu. Clea has immense power, including superhuman strength and the ability to create energy bolts.
She also has telekinesis and is a telepath who is capable of controlling other people’s minds. Clea, like Doctor Strange, has mastered her ability to use magic and can even create illusions to trick people into believing something isn’t there. Clea has been able to animate beings and conjure things from nothing.
What’s perhaps most interesting is that Clea is capable of copying Doctor Strange’s powers, replicating whatever spells he manages to cast. In magical abilities alone, she rivals Doctor Strange and extra-dimensional beings. After allying with Doctor Strange in the Dark Dimension, the pair eventually become romantic, with Clea moving to New York for a while to train with the sorcerer.
She ultimately marries Doctor Strange, but at one point Clea returns to the Dark Dimension to become the Sorceress Supreme of the domain after banishing her father from the dimension and taking the throne in his place. While she has typically maintained her domain in the Dark Dimension, Clea became the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-616 after the death of Doctor Strange.
Clea’s Connection To Dormammu & The Dark Dimension
Audiences will remember the Dark Dimension appearing in 2016’s Doctor Strange. It was the domain of Dormammu, a demonic creature who wanted to conquer several dimensions to rule over them all in his primary one. As it happens, Clea is Dormammu’s niece and the Dark Dimension is her birthplace.
Despite their relation, Clea didn’t have any strong feelings of loyalty for Dormammu and she helped Doctor Strange fight him, which led to her being taken hostage by her uncle. Unlike the rest of her family, including her father Orini and mother Umar, Clea was stalwart and honorable, always wanting to do what she believed was right, even if that meant helping a stranger take on her own uncle.
Following Dormammu’s downfall, Clea also went on to defeat Umar and Orini, banishing them from the Dark Dimension, taking their place to rule over those who inhabited the area. Clea spent much of her lifetime defending her home — from Umar, Baron Karl Mordo (who appears in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as an ally and a member of the Illuminati), and Dormammu.
The Dark Dimension is therefore a sacred place for her and her history. Much like Doctor Strange is constantly fighting to protect Earth from Thanos or, in Doctor Strange 2, Wanda, Clea fiercely works to ensure the Dark Dimension doesn’t fall to tyrants who are more than willing to wreak havoc to get what they want: more power and control.
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