This issue, we begin an all-new multi-issue series revealing the Secret Origins of that master of the mystic arts, DOCTOR STRANGE! The good doctor is one of a long line of superhero-magicians, and they all seem to have one thing in common -- their stories all begin in the far-off land of Tibet. Why is this? I'll TELL you why. Because nearly every superhero-magician character's origin is basically a dramatized version of highly-influential book titled Magic and Mystery in Tibet, written by Alexandra David-Neel.
The book, published in 1931, describes the female author's time as a student of mysticism in Tibet, and many of the concepts it deals with found their way into various superhero-magician character origins. This issue, we present some passages from Magic and Mystery in Tibet, along with art showing how these concepts were adopted by a small army of superhero magician characters.
"Magic and Mystery in Tibet" on LEVITATION
Below, Mandrake the Magician levitates a woman, apparently making her lighter than air.
"Magic and Mystery in Tibet" on TELEPATHY
Below, Zatara the Magician uses "one-pointedness of thought" to revive a man.
"Magic and Mystery in Tibet" on ROOMS WITHOUT WINDOWS
Pictured below is Dr. Fate exiting his Salem tower headquarters, courtesy of artist Walt Simonson. The interior of Fate's castle consists of a huge room with no windows!
"Magic and Mystery in Tibet" on THE ETHERIC SELF
Below, The Spectre and his alter ego, Jim Corrigan, discuss "etheric bodies."
"Magic and Mystery in Tibet" on THE SPIRIT SELF
Below, Steve Ditko depicts Dr. Strange and his metaphysical spirit self.