Writer Peter B. Gillis
Penciler Richard Case
Inker Randy Emberlin
Letterer Janice Chiang
Colorist Bob Sharen
Cover Dated November 1988
We kick off Doctor Strange Month!
I like Doctor Strange, but mostly as a concept, I haven’t read many of his adventures. I own this issue and the second issue of this series (and you can expect that review in two days) so hopefully we get some answers that this issue raises. Such as, why does he sporting a Nick Fury eye patch?
This issue opens with Doctor Strange casting what appears to be a big and ancient spell.
Meanwhile, in New York City – we get to the pages of why I own this issue.
The Avengers, Fantastic Four and the X-Men have arrived for Doctor Strange’s funeral. He’s about to get cremated. The X-Men include Shadowcat, proving that this is a big moment.
Apparently this is fallout from Secret Wars II 9, which I own and will review one of these days – but not this month.
Strange was believed to be dead, during his battle with the Beyonder.
Who is the lady standing behind Wolverine? It is like early 80s Kitty behind him and late 80s (current) Shadowcat to his right.
Wong being sad makes the funeral seem legit to me.
On the very next page, Wong’s girlfriend – she’s nameless on this page – turns off the telecast. Apparently it isn’t real, it is all part of a spell by Strange to cover his tracks. He needs the world to believe him dead. All due to events in Strange Tales V2 3.
Strange is still casting that spell, and he sinks an island. A cruise ship gets caught up in the wave of the ocean but Strange corrects it.
Strange is doing all of this due to an alien wizard, Urthona – who stoled Strange’s home – the Sanctum Sanctorum. HE took the fight to Urthona, destroyed all of his shit and after that, he had weakended the barriers that allowed older threats to start arriving. In dealing with them, he lead the world to believe he was dead. He had to team up with an old foe (and teacher, does he have other foes that don’t fall into that category?) Kaluu.
Strange thinks to his great love of his live, Clea. I didn’t know she was the daughter of Umar, who is the sister to Dormammu – Strange’s greatest villain! Clea, at this time, is the ruler of the Dark Dimension, which is typically under Dormammu’s rule.
Strange is back home, he is greeted by Wong’s lady friend – Sara. Rarely done in a comic, Sara explains to Strange that the “Stephen Strange Memorial Metaphysical Institute” is being well established. It is even being looked over by the tax-exempt authorization. I wonder if this institute is still around today? I imagine these businesses are not as hard to dissolve as they would be in our world. Murdock and Walters have probably made these memorials super easy to be created and made it even easier for heroes to get all of their stuff back, once they have returned.
At meal time, new house guest – Imei – continues to recant how complicated Strange’s life has been up to this point. When he leaves the table, the other three (Sarah and Wong are the other two) they comment on how Strange seems to be warmer these days. Imei also feels a sadness from Strange.
At night, Strange is not being able to go to sleep. He senses someone is hurting an innocent. As his body is still too tired, he’ll investigate in his astral form. So he’ll be completely useless in whatever he is about to discover. While floating to the location, he thinks to himself how nice it is to have the Eye of Agamotto again. I can’t imagine Strange not having the Eye of Agamotto, it is up there in like the five essentials of Doctor Strange.
1. He was a doctor, not he is the Sorcerer Supreme.
2. He has a buddy name Wong.
3. He often fights Dormammu and Baron Mondo.
4. He lives at the Sanctum Sortorum Sanctorum.
5. He uses the Eye of Agamotto.
Maybe I just don’t know enough about Strange, he has a sweet red cape would be a sixth item.
Strange sees it is a demon and knows he has to go back to his body. Which would have been the case anyways, so this whole thing seems silly. Strange gets home but he sees his body has been taken by another.
But who stole Strange’s body?
Strange’s greatest enemy and his girlfriend’s uncle – The Dread Dormammu!!
I imagine Strange casts protective spells to prevent this type of thing from happening but Dormammu is so powerful, that wouldn’t have stopped him. Why he hasn’t tried this before, is beyond me.
Being in Strange’s body gives Dormammu access to all of Strange’s powers.
In the classic Dr. Strange 52, Strange blew up Dormammu. In the someday-to-be classic, Strange Tales 14, Strange’s body was shattered in a fight against Shuma-Gorath. In his quest to regain his health, Dormammu sneaked behind Strange’s eye patch and has been waiting there ever since.
Dormammu sends the the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak (yep, that one) after Strange’s astral form. Strange flees but once of them catches up to him. In his desperate struggle to get free, his uses so much of his remaining power to escape that he’s the size of an ant. Another band follows up on him and he jumps into a body of a rat and goes unnoticed. Now he’s stuck in this rat body, as the issue ends.
To make this even better, all of this happens in the recently abandoned Morlock tunnels.
There are several house ads in the back, proving how great this era of Marvel truly was.
Punisher War Journal is a new series with writing & layouts by Carol Potts with finished art by Jim Lee, coming out every six weeks.
Wolverine’s original ongoing series begins by Chris Claremont and John Buscema, it is a monthly title.
Silver Surfer gets an original hardcover graphic novel by Stan Lee and John Buscema.
Bullpen Bulletins. Pro File is of Gregory Wright.
Hype Box –
Punisher War Journal 1
Sub-Mariner Limited Series 1
Avengers Annual 17
Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 8
Wolverine 1 – Yes, its the series you’ve been demanding! There’s blood searing and death in store when Wolverine leaps into savage solo action doing what he does best! Will Southeast Asia ever be the same after Wolverine comes to won? Written by Chris Claremont, penciled by John Buscema and inked by Al Williamson. 32 pages, Baxter page. $1.50.
Doctor Strange 1 – Fresih from hsi recent stint in STRANGE TALES, Doc returns to the pages of his very own series! But there’s no time for celebration when Doc faces the return of his greatest foe – the Dread Dormammu! And you won’t believe your eyes when you see how Dormammu returns! Love is the Spell and the Spell is Death is written by Peter B. Gillis, penciled by Richard Case and inked by Randy Emberin. Direct Sales only. $1.25
Inside back cover ad is for The ‘Nam 24. With the back cover ad being for Semper Fi’.