Characters Appearing: Apalla, Clea, Dr. Strange, Wong
Doctor Strange #22
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #22
And because that isn't awesome enough, Strange decides not to kill the dragon because he's sworn to not take lives, so he instead lets the dragon eat him and then uses the Eye of Agamotto to return home.
From there he gets back on the trail of Clea, who has turned crazy thanks to Xander. What's interesting to me is the language she uses. She doesn't want to be "subservient"...
Also, tentacled horrors.
This doesn't result in a Malice/Invisible Woman style liberation for Clea. Strange does manage to reach her eventually, but she doesn't even remember the events of the issue.
Watching all this is Apalla, the Queen of the Sun, who feels pain when Clea does.
In the end she decides not to interrupt Strange and Clea's reunion.
That scene with the space dragon really made me go "Whoah!". I don't know why, after all the crazy stuff i've seen in Doctor Strange's book, but it seemed particularly awesome.
As was so often the case around this time, issue #21 was a reprint, and people write in to complain (printed in the lettercol for next issue), and the response is "Stan and Archie, like all the editors, are trying to come up with new ways to get ahead, to make sure we don't have reprints, but frankly, we're a bit stumped." The desire to maintain continuity and not just have random fill-ins is what's blamed, but i think you'd rather have a fill-in with new content than walk home and find you've spent your money on a story you already owned (as one letter writer did), and in any event the response doesn't get to the real heart of the matter, which is why there's a need for reprints and/or fill-ins in the first place. And the answer to that is Jim (Trouble) Shooter, coming soon.
Regardless of the lateness of the stories, the covers marched on schedule, meaning that the cover of last issue's reprint featured a scene depicting the story for this issue, and the cover for this issue is actually showing a scene from next issue.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue begins with Strange returning from the dimension in Dr. Strange annual #1.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
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