Cloak of Levitation


Cloak of Levitation
Cloak of Levitation

Doctor Strange commanding his Cloak of Levitation
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #127 (July 1963)
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
In story information
Type Mystic item/artifact
Element of stories featuring Doctor Strange

The Cloak of Levitation is a potent mystical item worn by Doctor Strange, a character in the Marvel Comics universe. The primary purpose of the Cloak is to give its wearer the ability to levitate and fly. The first appearance of the first (minor - blue) Cloak was in "Strange Tales" #110, produced in 1963. The first appearance of the second (greater - red) Cloak was in "Strange Tales" #127, produced in 1964.

Contents

Physical appearance

There were two distinctively different Cloaks worn by Doctor Strange, as bequeathed him by his mentor; the Ancient One: a billowing, full-length blue cloak, that had minor abilities and spells woven into it, and the later red cloak that Strange is usually seen wearing.

The original design of the red Cloak of Levitation has been modified slightly by different artists since its creation; this includes the 'horns' around the collar. However, the basic shape and color scheme have remained intact, for the most part. The Cloak has the ability to change shape and shade inline with the wearer's will.

The Cloak of Levitation is a full-length cloak, with enough surface to fully cover Strange. Even though the color scheme of the Cloak has somewhat varied over the years, the basic color of the Cloak is usually a darker red, often with yellow (golden) designs around the border and collar. Most versions of the Cloak also feature an upraised collar.

History

While next to nothing is known about the Cloak of Levitation before it is given to Doctor Strange, it is suspected that the Cloak is many centuries old, since it was in the possession of the Ancient One.

The red Cloak's first appearance is in Strange Tales #127, where, after Doctor Strange prevails in a battle with Dormammu, The Ancient One presents it to Strange as a sort of "prize", having deemed him worthy to wear the Cloak.

The Cloak of Levitation is seen in a great many battles, most of which it plays a significant part. While it is extremely durable, there are a few occasions where it manages to take damage. Due to its mystical origins and properties, simply mending the Cloak with average needle and thread would not suffice. Instead, a person with great knowledge of a mystical weaving technique must mend the garment (though, as a test of worthiness for The Living Tribunal, Strange uses a great amount of mystical energy to reconstruct the Cloak[1]).

It is because of this that Strange gains a friend and valuable ally; after the Cloak is damaged in battle, it is sent to Enitharmon the Weaver to be repaired. [2] After Enitharmon finishes repairing it, he sends it back in the hands of Rintrah, his assistant. After getting his valued Cloak back, Doctor Strange offers Rintrah a position as his disciple, and Rintrah accepts. Rintrah himself later gains Strange's first, blue, levitation cloak, a separate object from the red one. [3]

Misuse of magic (which included a bond with the demonic Zom) causes Doctor Strange's fate as Sorcerer Supreme to be left up in the air. [4] After several days on the run from evil forces, Strange supervises the transfer of the title to the heroic Brother Voodoo. The new Sorcerer gains the Cloak, now slightly modified, as part of his new status. [5]

Other cloaks

While, though most of the series, Doctor Strange wears the same cloak, there are a few occasions where he stores his traditional cloak and uses a newly-created cloak.

In the first example, after going underground for a good deal of time, the Doctor resurfaces wearing a new Cloak of Levitation. This Cloak bears more resemblance to a Kimono or a robe. [6]

After being drafted into the War of the Seven Spheres, where he does battle for five thousand years, he returns to his home dimension, his Kimono-like Cloak in pieces.[volume & issue needed] He repairs what's left of this Cloak into a third Cloak of Levitation (sometimes called the "Overcoat of Levitation"), this one bearing resemblance to a trench coat.[volume & issue needed]

Sometime after this, however, he abandons his new Cloak in favor of his original, traditional Cloak of Levitation.[volume & issue needed]

Other versions

Counter-Earth

The Counter Earth, a planet that orbits opposite of the regular Earth, has a version of Doctor Strange called the Necromancer. This sorcerer also has a Cloak. [7]

Future Imperfect

The cloak is seen in the Hulk graphic novel "Future Imperfect". Taking place a hundred years from 'now', after a nuclear war, the cloak, tattered, is shown as one of many items in the memorial-room home of the Hulk associate Rick Jones.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The cloak survives to the far future, in the Earth 691 timeline. Here, Doctor Strange passes down his mantle and cloak to the alien sorcerer Krugarr. The alien wears it consistently through his multiple appearances.

Infinity Gauntlet

In an alternate reality[8] involving the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos uses the Cloak to hang Dr. Strange, causing his death. This ties into the main series, where Thanos is using the gauntlet to control all of reality. Here, Strange is not slain with his cloak.[9]

What If...

In the reality where Wolverine becomes lord of the vampires[10], a severely weakened Doctor Strange lends his Cloak and the Eye of Agamotto to the Punisher. Though the vigilante uses it an attempt to kill all vampires, Wolverine tears the cloak and eye off and kills him.

Wolverine: Old Man Logan

The cloak is seen in another trophy case, this time belonging to the Red Skull, one of the villainous rulers of a post-apocalypse America. [11]

Abilities

The Cloak of Levitation, as its name suggests, has the primary purpose of granting its wearer levitation. The greatest advantage of this is that it wearer need know little about the mystic arts in order to operate it, nor must the wearer tire any of his "mystical strength" in order to operate it. While the Cloak actually has no will of its own, it has been known to act on the will of its wearer without command, responding to mere thought. While the top speed of the Cloak is unknown, it has been shown traveling at subsonic speeds. The maximum load-bearing weight of the Cloak is also unknown, but Doctor Strange has been shown carrying passengers. In the miniseries "The Oath", it is suggested that the Cloak exhibits semi-sentient behavior (such as hiding in a favorite closet).

In addition to levitation, the Cloak possesses abilities greater than that of any normal garment. These include:

  • Resistance to damage from the elements, physical attack, and mystical attacks, (for example, the Cloak has withstood the direct blow from the enchanted Asgardian crowbar of the Wrecker)
  • The ability to change shape to mimic other garments, such a business suit,
  • Ability to act upon the will of its last wearer, even when not in physical contact (or even in the same room) as the wearer,
  • The ability to act as an extra limb, grabbing, striking, or even wrapping. It snatches a thrown knife in issue 66, for example. [12]

Other works

The Cloak's noted similarity to a cape gets Doctor Strange an entry in the non-fiction book 'Caped Crusaders 101'.[13]

References

  1. ^ Strange Tales vol. 1, #157
  2. ^ Doctor Strange vol. 2, #77 (1986)
  3. ^ Dr. Strange Annual #2 (1992)
  4. ^ "New Avengers Annual" #2 (March 2008)
  5. ^ New Avengers #53
  6. ^ Doctor Strange vol. 3, #76
  7. ^ Marvel Premiere #1 (1972)
  8. ^ Silver Surfer #55 (1991)
  9. ^ "Infinity Gauntlet" #1-6 (1991)
  10. ^ "What If..." Vol. 2 #24
  11. ^ Wolverine Giant-Size Old Man Logan (September 2009)
  12. ^ "Dr. Strange Master Of The Mystic Arts" #66 Vol. 1 (August 1984)
  13. ^ Kahan, Jeffrey (2006). Caped Crusaders 101. McFarland. p. 127. ISBN 9780786425327. 

External links


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