Doctor Strange #15-16
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #15, Doctor Strange #16
Strange is still trying to deal with the implications of the fact that the entire world was destroyed and replaced. He's having trouble connecting with Clea...
...and can't bring himself to tell her about it. He does confide in Lord Phyffe and Rama Kaliph. They take his word for it, and advises him to tell Clea even though she is "less advanced" (Strange's words) than they are.
Meanwhile, a disheveled looking man named James Mandarin follows Strange back to his house.
He has come to suspect that there is something special about Strange and that there is magic in the world, and he'd like Strange to become his guru. Rather than ask to become Strange's apprentice or anything like that, however, he immediately slits his own throat...
...forcing Strange to engage in some emergency first aid and bring him to an upstairs room to recover.
Mandarin later wakes up and tries to kill himself again, but he's stopped by a demonic voice.
And then while Strange is trying to tell Clea about the situation with the Earth, she suddenly becomes possessed.
Strange, Clea, and Mandarin are then all brought to Hell, and confronted with Satan (note that despite his offer to let us call him all sorts of different names, i'm sticking with "Satan" for the Characters Appearing section).
Back on Earth, Phyffe and Rama Kaliph begin performing an exorcism to help Strange in Hell.
Strange is confronted with all manner of illusions...
...but eventually realizes he can win by not fighting Satan, and so he leaves Hell with Clea (we'll learn about James Mandarin next issue).
Perhaps in response to reader complaints, a scene involving Wong has him approached by a group of Asian men, criticizing him for serving a "white doctor". Wong replies that it's his own choice to do so and is considered a privilege to do so in "the land of my birth".
Not sure if that response would actually quell any complaints about Wong (who i think is generally handled well, if, along with the other Asian characters, drawn in a somewhat ugly caricature). But it's worth noting the comments about Wong's land will have a deeper meaning.
This arc is more about Strange's struggling with his inner demons around recent events and less about a physical battle with Satan.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This arc begins with Strange and Wong walking back from their encounter with Dracula.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
This issue and the Dracula story have Strange calling on Judeo-Christian figures (albeit that Adam Kadmon is also Eternity in the MU). This seems to presage Engelhart's somewhat New Agey take on Christianity from the Firebird stories in West Coast Avengers some years later.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | December 7, 2015 6:25 AM
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