the attack on Earth where Doctor Strange is abducted and Iron Man and Spider-man rescue him, Doctor Strange starts asking how they plan to get back to Earth.

Why couldn't he just use his sling-ring teleportation to return? There is later confirmation that he can still do it (locally, at least). I understand they later decided against returning in general, but in the moment they seemed to preclude that option.

  • 3
    Wouldn't "he's too far" be a good enough reason?
    – Adamant
    May 5, 2018 at 4:31
  • @Gnemlock I noticed that too, but he later "slings" a lot, also with no ring - so it didn't seem like that was the issue. May 9, 2018 at 13:30
  • @WannabeCoder, I have since seen another answer that shows that he did have the ring on.
    – Gnemlock
    May 9, 2018 at 14:56
  • See also scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/192672/… Aug 21, 2018 at 22:48
  • This question is nothing but speculation piled on conjecture. The sling ring portals likely follow the general principles of all teleportation gimmicks in that the speed/momentum difference between the individual's current state and the destination has to be compensated for. We see people jumping and leaping thru holes and keeping their momentum. The "donut" and its passengers moving at FTL and Earth very much is not. Sling-ringing 101 might not have covered how to work around that. And when anticipating an alien planet, Dr. Strange might have been concerned about that kind of distance.
    – Blaze
    Feb 28, 2019 at 22:40

4 Answers 4


Doctor Strange could, but he didn't want to.

During a Q&A
Audience member: Why couldn't Doctor Strange use the Sling Ring on the Donut to get them back home?
Joe: Why couldn't he use it to get back home? Because, uh, he doesn't want to get them back home.

Recall also what Mordo said:

Mastery of the sling ring is essential to the mystic arts. They allow us to travel throughout the multiverse. All you need to do is focus. Visualize. See the destination in your mind. — Imagine every detail. The clearer the picture, the quicker, and easier, the gateway will come.

So he just needed to visualize and focus on the place he wanted to travel.

  • 2
    Now that Endgame is out, it's obvious that the sling rings can be used to travel back from Titan (hence why Dr. Strange, Spiderman, and the remaining guardians can join the battle).
    – Ng Oon-Ee
    May 6, 2019 at 8:59

Maybe he has to know exactly where he's opening a portal from, as well as where he's going, not to mention it probably has to be a fixed point. He couldn't know exactly where the ship was, plus the fact that it was probably moving pretty fast.

  • 1
    Hi, welcome to the site. It sounds like you're just guessing here though. A good answer shouldn't be based primarily on guesswork, but rather, on evidence from an official source, such as the quotes included in Oni's answer. Jan 3, 2022 at 23:29

The sling rings were created for the MCU and can only open portals between 2 points on a planet. In the comics I don't think Strange had a range and could teleport anywhere, but I'm not 100% on that. For a movie universe I can see how teleporting anywhere would create so many plot holes so it had to be nerfed, MAGIC!

'Not every artifact will come straight out of the source material, though. One new addition is Sling Rings, little brass knuckles that let characters teleport. Derrickson explained: "The gateways, the forming of the gateways that are used for that, that's straight out of the comics. I just needed an object for them to carry it on."'
Doctor Strange: What artifacts are in the film?

  • 4
    Welcome to the site! Are there any sources you could add to support this answer?
    – Rand al'Thor
    May 5, 2018 at 13:39
  • Thanks. My source was years of watching movies and reading comics. I can link a wikia but I am not sure if anyone would accept here ya go marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Sling_Ring May 6, 2018 at 15:04
  • Your source implies that sufficient effort can create portals with the sling ring elsewhere, beyond a single planet. I don't recall any in MCU references to range or limits.
    – Saiboogu
    May 10, 2018 at 19:22
  • "My source was years of watching movies and reading comics." That implies you gained this knowledge from something you saw in those media, which you should include as a source. I've also seen the movies, but I don't recall a limitation of "the same planet" as ever being stated.
    – Mwr247
    Feb 28, 2019 at 21:28
  • As Oni mentions above, "They allow us to travel throughout the multiverse." Mar 2, 2019 at 13:41

I think this is a problem in the story. Someone just claimed that the ring can only be used locally on earth but that's not true. While fighting on earth, one of the children of Thanos got his hand cut when he was half in space and half on earth

  • 8
    I think the one alien lost a hand when being teleported to somewhere snowy on earth, not into space. Jul 24, 2018 at 20:11
  • Dr Strange opened a portal from Titan to Earth in the final battle in Endgame that he, the Guardians, and Spider Man then came through. It absolutely can be done from planet to planet in the MCU.
    – Russ G
    Jan 3, 2022 at 23:49

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