Warning: Contains spoilers for Sabertooth #4!
Marvel’s Doctor Strange uses one spell more often than any other, but this signature strategy isn’t just limited to him… because everyone in the world can accomplish this feat. The Supreme Wizard has mastered the Mystical Arts to such an extent that he can even summon dangerous demons (such as Zom during the World War, the Hulk) without fear and hesitation. But Sabretooth #4 shows that Strange’s astral projection abilities are not limited to him or even other wizards, but can be achieved by anyone.
Doctor Strange used this spell in his first appearance in Strange Tales #110 when communicating with his teacher the Ancient One (this was before the death of the Ancient One) about the Nightmare villain. Strange uses the power of astral projection to send the bodies of others to the astral plane in addition to his own. This can be easily seen in the Marvel cinematic universe’s Spider-Man: No Home, when Strange knocks Peter’s spirit out of his body. But this power is not limited to the MCU; it is Strange’s signature spell in all iterations (next to the Crimson Stripes of the Cittorak).
In Sabretooth No. 4, written by Victor Laval with art by Leonard Kirk, the character Third Eye talks about the magical properties of the astral plane. “Everyone can visit the astral plane. Most people do this at least once: when they are born. A smaller group comes again when they die.” This means that the astral plane is a dimension accessible not only to magicians such as Doctor Strange and the Scarlet Witch, but also to all living beings (both humans and non—humans). Unfortunately, it seems that moving down the aisle is an unconscious action.
This presents Dr. Strange’s abilities in a whole new light: he does not do the extraordinary, but simply focuses and perfects the ordinary. It is easy to forget that Stephen Strange, despite all his godlike abilities and mastery of magic, is only a human being; while other comrades, such as his wife Clea, are not from this world, he certainly belongs to it and can easily perish from mortal wounds without magical protection. While many other characters realize that Strange has a “gift” for the mystical arts, everyone is technically capable-it just takes a huge amount of research, practice, and mental discipline to achieve the same results.
This in no way detracts from Dr. Strange’s abilities. Rather, it makes him stand out even more. If Captain America’s power is considered the “highest human” (at least in the comics) and is the best humanity has to offer, Strange’s astral projection prowess can be considered a mental version of the “highest human” ability. Dr. Strange’s trademark ability is actually not only his, but he really excels the rest when it comes to practice.