Not to blend the streams, but I wonder if Dr. Strange and Constantine went toe to toe how that would turn out.
Doctor Strange is Sorcerer Supreme, which is (to quote the Marvel wikia):
So he’s the top, by definition.
Mxy’s powers aren’t magic, they’re 5-dimensional science, that just happen to resemble magic to us 3D folks.
As to actual mystical beings… Spectre’s powers flow directly from the Creator, so should, theoretically, be infinite. However he’s bound by a bunch of rules, which effectively reduce his power.
The gods are in a similar position, on the whole, as well as frequently being distracted by internal conflicts (the Olympians are very bad for this - it is, in fact, the driving force behind Wonder Woman for the last couple years), ditto the Lords of Order and Chaos. (And Shazam, when he’s not one of the Lords of Order.)
Among human magic users, Constantine is versatile, but not overly powerful. He wins by knowledge and trickery far more than his actual abilities as a mage.
For an equivalent to Doctor Strange, Zatanna or Doctor Fate is probably the best equivalent.
It’s almost impossible to do more than a very gross comparison of strengths and powers. Is Superman stronger than The Hulk? They’re both of about the same general order of magnitude: more than that, we simply can’t say.
Chris Claremont, X-Men writer, was once asked (San Diego Comic Con; I was in the audience) “How powerful are Cyclops’ eye-beams?” He answered, wisely, “Exactly as powerful as I want them to be.”
I always considered Loki to be something a bit different to your average magic user. His powers are more to do with casting Illusion, and although he has extensive magical knowledge, I don’t see that as the same thing as magical power. Same sort of thing with Constantine
Dr Strange has power where as Constantine has knowledge.
Imagine the difference between a politician and a lawyer. A politician can make laws to suit themselves, but a good lawyer will find the loopholes and exploit them
Re Loki in the comics he is an Omega class magic user and can create dimensional portals and move himself and others around, astral project across dimensions, time and space, transmute people and objects, bend mortals and gods to his will, and command the fear and obedience (or at the least respectful caution) of very powerful entities. He’s a lot more than an illusion caster.
In one issue of The Books Of Magic, Zatanna says of Constantine “You have almost no power to speak of.”
In an issue of Swamp Thing, a demon refers to Constantine as “The trickster mage”.
I’d say John Constantine has a little power and the imagination to use it cleverly.
Doctor Strange is the Sorceror Supreme. He’s spent years studying, training and fighting.
IMO Strange wipes the floor with Constantine.
But what if Constantine had time to prepare…?
They take one look at each other, crack up laughing, and end up having a few beers together, telling whoppers about the demonic entities they’ve exorcised.
Besides my other objections-
After the accident that destroyed his hands, Stephen Strange went on a months long bender. I’m reasonably sure he’s a recovering alcoholic. So, he would never willingly drink a beer again.
Also, while I’ve never been that into the character, Strange has always struck me as an Omega-class tight ass. I’m pretty sure he and Constantine would detest each other on sight.
If they had to fight each other, Strange would have Constantine on his knees and begging for mercy inside of ten seconds. Of course, it would only be after Strange let him go that he’d realize John had nicked the Eye of Agamotto.
Dr. Strange vs. Dr. Fate would be an interesting battle.
I missed that story arc!
Depends on the writers; there have been times when he’s a bit more easygoing, even fun and funny. I agree, most of the time, he’s pretty tight. He’d be appalled at how cavalier Constantine is when dealing with major infestations of evil. But I think he’d get a big grin out of how Constantine tricked the devil into curing his lung cancer.
Huge happy grin! Exactly right!
Yeah, let’s be honest here: Strange can defeat Constantine even without the use of his magic on raw mystic knowledge. Heck, he could beat Constantine without the use of his magic, from another country, and without lifting more than one finger (that be to dial a friend). And if it came down to a physical confrontation, he’s still beat Constantine.
Not everyone was a fan of that retcon.
[ERROR # 2:
“STEPHEN STRANGE IS/WAS AN ALCOHOLIC.”](http://sanctumsanctorumcomix.blogspot.com/2012/05/five-fingers-of-death-for-doctor_14.html)
Thank you for that link! I agree (mostly) with what is said there.
(Man, that’s one obsessive fan! But good on him, anyway! Comics continuity isn’t for the faint of heart!)
Would it be reasonable to say that Constantine wins by fighting dirty, the arcane equivalent of kneeing some bloke in the groin?
For all this down talking of Constantine by other characters in his comic he’s shown to have pretty deep and very substantial magical chops when the need arises such as immobilizing Superman without even raising an eyebrow. He’s no lightweight magic wise.
But he is, relatively speaking.
In a duel of magics, against somebody he can’t trick, manipulate, or bargain with, and without backup of a solid mage (Zatanna, Nightmare Nurse, etc), he’s overdone toast.
Against someone like Superman - who not only doesn’t have any magical abilities himself, but is actually particularly vulnerable to magic - sure, he can do plenty with his magical skill.
But relative to other big-name magic users or magical beings, he’s a piker. But he’s quick of wit, a skilled con-artist, and, all else fails, has a lot of favours owed and items held he can use to talk his way out of trouble. John rarely accomplishes anything good by casting spells himself (he’s more likely to get himself or someone else in trouble when he tries) - his ‘magic’ is primarily in the con and the deal. When he does manage to accomplish something with spellcasting that doesn’t backfire on him, it’s something simple like a ward which will only slow down his enemy (but buy him time to arrange something more effective), or summoning somebody who owes him something, or who he can convince to help him through trickery or bargaining.
A toddler with a modicum of magical talent could have his way with Supes. One of his canonical vulnerabilities is magic.