"Stephen Strange is alive."
That's what it says in the just-released solicitation for December's Strange #9, which goes on to state that, at the end of 2022, current Sorcerer Supreme and star of the Strange title Clea will "be reunited" with the former holder of both titles Doctor Strange. However - and we're thinking like wizards here - what it doesn't say is that Stephen Strange is returning to the Marvel Universe.
We'll go ahead and say that's what we're expecting will happen. After all, it's been just about a year since Doctor Strange was murdered in the Death of Doctor Strange limited series, resulting in Clea, his ex-wife, becoming the new Sorcerer Supreme. And a year is a pretty good stretch for a major character like Doctor Strange to be dead in Marvel Comics these days.
But what might wind up being a perhaps more likely result of Stephen Strange's reunion with Clea is that she'll keep the title of Sorcerer Supreme even after he's back. However, it's notable that the series title, Strange, doesn't preclude either or both of them from starring in the series. And from the looks of the cover, seen here, he's undergone some changes since his apparent death.
The last time Stephen Strange lost the title of Sorcerer Supreme, he wasn't dead - it was taken from him by the Vishanti, the mystical masters who bestow the title. So there's plenty of precedent for Stephen Strange being alive while someone else is the Sorcerer Supreme - just as in the MCU, where Wong is now the Sorcerer Supreme, while Stephen Strange adventures on his own.
We'll know more when Strange #9 goes on sale on December 21.
Check out the full Marvel Comics December 2022 solicitations.