You might recognize Wong from the Doctor Strange movies, but would you recognize him in the comics? As you know him, Wong is a friend of Stephen Strange and a fellow member of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. He has become increasingly important across the movies, earning the title of Sorceror Supreme after Dr Strange was lost during the Blip and maintaining it even after he returned.
He does have distinct differences from his comic counterpart, too. This is on purpose; Wong was created in 1963, and his character was based on quite a few racist stereotypes. Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson did not initially plan on including the character due to the racist overtones but ended up including him after completely revamping the character. However, that he was created in 1963 also means he has a long and complicated history, as do most characters with that many years of serialization. For example, at one point Wong developed brain cancer just like Dr Strange did, with the latter saving the man from it.
Who is Wong In The Marvel Comics?
Earth-616 is the main Marvel Universe, and where most of Wong’s presence is.
In it, Wong comes from the line of Kan, a historical line of occult sorcerors in which the firstborn males are trained as servants of the Ancient One. When Wong was four years old, his father Hamir the Hermit presented him to the Ancient One, and subsequently, Wong began his training in preparation for his future role as Servant of the Ancient One. This included normal servantly duties, but also intensive training in martial arts – specifically the art of Kamar Taj, in which he shows great proficiency and physical prowess. Just before he turned ten, Hamir takes Wong to a young couple and promises him to their unborn child in a marriage pact.
Upon reaching adulthood, Wong was sent by the Ancient One to the United States to become a servant of his disciple – Dr Stephen Strange. He was the first of his family line to visit the United States. During this time, Dr Stephen Strange succeeded the Ancient One as Sorceror Supreme, and Wong continues in his service to Dr Strange.
Sara Wolfe, Strange’s secretary, developed a deep affection for Wong, who began to mirror her feelings. Despite their blossoming feelings for one another, Wong put an end to any potential romance with Wolfe when he learned that his betrothed, Imei Chang, had finally reached the age of marriage.
Wong was transformed into a vampire by Dracula at one point but was quickly returned to humanity by Doctor Strange. Wong was later kidnapped by other-dimensional sorcerers and taken to the Shadowqueen’s domain. Doctor Strange tracked Wong to the dungeon of the Shadowqueen and rescued him. Wong assisted Strange in defeating the Shadowqueen, who eventually died. The N’Garai monster then assaulted Wong.
When the alien sorcerer Urthona used his magical talents to take Doctor Strange’s mansion and the mystical talismans and volumes it held, he abducted Wong and the empath Topaz to another planet. While taking Wong captive, Urthona brutally damaged his face. Wong and Topaz were rescued when Strange fought Urthona. Topaz returned to Earth and utilised her healing abilities to restore Wong’s face to normalcy.
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Strange had considered it necessary to unleash mystical energies in order to save Wong and Topaz, believing that doing so would destroy the mystical talismans and books that Urthona had stolen, preventing Urthona from using them for evil reasons (In actuality unknown to Strange, the books and talismans were not destroyed but were instead spirited away by the mystical entity, Agamotto.). The removal of these talismans from the Earth dimension disrupted ancient spells that had been keeping various supernatural threats at bay.
Strange then cast a spell that caused the whole world, including Wong and Sara Wolfe, to believe he was dead. Wong and Wolfe viewed Strange as a man called Stephen Sanders as a result. Wong and Wolfe were named joint administrators and co-directors of the Stephen Strange Memorial Metaphysical Institute, which conducts the occult studies. Strange subsequently began on a long expedition, during which he defeated a number of the threats that the talismans’ departure had unleashed, including Shuma-Gorath.
Strange returned to New York City after defeating Shuma-Gorath and freed Wong and Sara Wolfe from his spell. Wong and Wolfe regained their recollection of Strange after realising he was not dead, and they enthusiastically welcomed him back; Doctor Strange had reclaimed his missing talismans and books and revealed his return to the general public. Wong was also reunited with Imei Chang, his betrothed.
Not long after, Wong believed Imei had been altered into a hideous monster by one of Strange’s enemies, but when he went to strange for help the latter was preoccupied by his own personal problems. This caused the first fight between the two friends. Finally, Strange was able to draw his attention to this issue; the magical probe revealed that the demon had just imitated Imei’s behaviour. He learned that it wasn’t Imei at all, but rather a construct that had been programmed to believe it was. The real Imei had been killed before the monster took her place.
Wong became mentally unstable as a result of this tragedy. For a time, he was a fervent opponent of Strange, banding together with other forces to oppose him. They finally reconciled, resuming their previous relationship. The relationship then improved as both parties attempted to regard each other as equals rather than having the relationship of a master and servant.
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Wong found he had had an incurable brain tumour sometime before the Civil War began. He tried to hide his illness from Strange, but the sorcerer discovered the medicine he was using to relieve his symptoms. Doctor Strange tracked down and defeated the demon-god Otkid in order to recover Otkid’s Elixir, a magical concoction that could ‘wipe what disturbs man’s mind’ and was, in fact, the cure for cancer. Strange takes great measures to obtain Otkid’s Elixir and, after almost losing all of it, uses the final drop to save Wong’s life.
Wong is out shopping in New York on Christmas Eve when he comes into a terrorist Hydra cell that is putting civilians in peril. The human-hating dragon, Fin Fang Foom, comes to Wong’s aid because of his bravery in battling the enemies alone. Wong wants to invite the dragon back to the Sanctum after the threat has been neutralised, but he is turned down.
Doctor Strange is hurt as a result of his own reckless use of dark magic. The New Avengers are pursued by the Hood’s super-villain army as they return home. Wong defeats the Hood when he attacks and shoots Doctor Strange. The defeat of the supervillain army causes enough damage to the Sanctum for S.H.I.E.L.D. to take control. Doctor Strange leaves, and Wong enters the running for Sorceror Supreme (though the position ultimately goes to Brother Voodoo).
Strange eventually returns to his Bleecker Street Sanctorum. Wong returns to deliver his essential services. “Chef, housekeeper, martial arts instructor, mystical guardian and insatiable adventurer,” he says to one of Strange’s patients. Wong has been concealing a secret life from Strange, it is later revealed. Wong has developed a willing cult of magical practitioners who take the magical harm upon themselves to keep unstable magics from injuring the Sorcerer Supreme. Strange believes that perplexing visits to his Sanctum Sanctorum’s basement might neutralise unstable magics.
Wong was approached by the ghost of Doctor Strange’s talking dog Bats during the “Damnation” narrative so that he might assist Doctor Strange when Mephisto created Hotel Inferno in Las Vegas. Wong recruited Blade, Doctor Voodoo, Elsa Bloodstone, Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, and Man-Thing to aid Doctor Strange. While Wong has created a force made up of people he has called, the demons wandering Las Vegas have defeated them. Wong and Bats’ ghosts were separated from the rest as a result of this attack. They came across Doctor Strange in his Ghost Rider guise. Wong stayed at Hotel Inferno after Mephisto was defeated to keep an eye on the casino.
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Wong in Other Universes
Although Wong isn’t very present in the non-616 universes, he does make a few appearances here and there.
In Earth X, Dr Strange’s astral form has been slain by Clea. Strange’s corpse is looked after by Wong. Wong, on the other hand, had been transformed by the Terrigen Mists that had been released around the world. This made him vulnerable to Mephisto’s persuasion, who promised Wong a world that worked against Strange’s interests.
In the Marvel Adventures Universe, Stephen Strange had known Jason Wong since his college days. After his vehicle accident, Strange suffered a severe mental collapse, and Wong became his carer. Wong took Strange to a man he knew known as the ‘Ancient One’ after many doctors failed to help. Strange’s mental disorders were gradually cured by using simple magic-based meditation practices. Wong and the Ancient One became great friends in the process. They eventually relocated to Strange’s Bleecker Street Sanctum Sanctorum, where they occasionally compete in video games.
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