Doctor Strange #34-35
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #34, Doctor Strange #35
We start with the Scarlet Witch, who was just kind of blasted away in Infinity Gauntlet #4, with her own hex reversed on her. So, Dr. Strange, Dr. Druid, and Clea just teleport her back.
Well, not "back". Back to Earth. And Dr. Strange has moved back from Avengers Mansion to his own house.
Next up is Dr. Doom, and he's actually the focus of this issue. We last saw him getting blasted away by Thanos after trying to take the Infinity Gem. So in this story, his armor is all fused up.
To get that fixed, Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom take him back to the monks that created the armor for Doom. When they get there, Dr. Druid wonders if Dr. Doom is also related to him and Dr. Strange, given that they all have similar origins. Or maybe vice versa!
The story then gets a little silly, with Dr. Druid and Dr. Strange having to fight the spirit of Dr. Doom's repressed "good" side while Doom is being restored.
Any symbolic implications of the fight are not helped by the fact that several pages were printed out of sequence in this issue, but eventually the real Dr. Doom joins the fight and reabsorbs his "good" side, which we're told wasn't really his good side anyway.
Despite raising up his hand as if to blast Dr. Strange, Doom salutes Dr. Strange, and admits, or pretends to, that he "lost control" during the battle with Thanos.
Next, Strange and Druid grab the Hulk, but they leave him stuck floating in a random dimension.
Jerks. No wonder the Hulk doesn't get along with the other super-heroes.
Dr. Strange decides that Dr. Druid needs some rest, so he swaps him out for Clea and Scarlet Witch for the next mission, which is restoring "Thor", who was transformed into crystal and shattered during the fight with Thanos. Scarlet Witch notes that Thor didn't really sound like himself during the Infinity Gauntlet fight (which Roy Thomas takes as an opportunity to make a self-deprecating comment about how Dr. Strange doesn't sound like himself either since Thomas started writing him).
But in any event, they decide they need to take the crystals to a spot between the borders of Muspelheim and Niflheim, the fire and ice realms in Asgard. So they try to teleport there, but they are diverted by Hela.
The (uncredited) colorist keeps getting confused about Scarlet Witch's costume in this issue. Odd to see it happening all on the same page.
After a little random fighting, Hela lets Dr. Strange and company go to the desired spot, and then after some more random fighting of ice and fire trolls, Thor is restored.
Thor admits that he's not the real deal.
Meanwhile, Rintrah is feeling down because Dr. Strange has not been treating him very well (as observed by Pip and Dr. Druid, too). So he decides to go rescue the next two missing heroes without Dr. Strange. He takes Pip back in time, to the prehistoric era where Firelord and Drax the Destroyer are stuck. But Rintrah winds up getting stuck there as well.
So they have to be located by Dr. Strange and company.
And Dr. Strange pays Rintrah a compliment for being able to locate Dr. Strange and send a message to him.
Thor is left with Drax and Firelord in the past until they are called for the final battle. Couldn't he have brought the Hulk to hang out with them too? I'm sure the Hulk enjoys roasted marshmallows as much as anyone.
So there you go. It's all very mechanical and full of filler fights, but at least it has relevance to Infinity Gauntlet and does make attempts at providing character moments.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: A note in both issues tells us that this story takes place between pages 5 and 34 of Infinity Gauntlet #5 (actually the footnote in issue #34 incorrectly points to Infinity Gauntlet #4, but that is corrected in the lettercol of issue #35). On page #5 of Infinity Gauntlet, Warlock tells Dr. Strange to re-collect what heroes he can, and that's what these issues are about. Since this story takes place before or concurrently with the majority of Infinity Gauntlet #5, i've placed it prior to that entry.
Crossover: Infinity Gauntlet
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showCerberus (Greek myth), Clea, Dr. Doom, Dr. Strange, Drax the Destroyer, Firelord, Hela, Pip the Troll, Rintrah, Scarlet Witch, Thunderstrike
Isn't this story sort of pointless, since Nebula restores everything when she gets the Gauntlet?
Posted by: Bob | October 11, 2015 5:28 PM
and what's the rationale for leaving the Hulk stranded there?
Posted by: Bob | October 11, 2015 5:29 PM
I never read these issues. Whatever happened to the Scarlet Witch? She's not in the Infinity Gauntlet after she (supposedly) died in issue 4. Did she just decide to chill out and hang on Earth? At least now we know how Thor was restored after his turning to glass and being shattered deal.
Posted by: Bill | October 11, 2015 11:19 PM
She seems to remain as part of Strange's support crew along with Dr. Druid, Clea, and Rintrah. We'll see her at the afterparty in Dr. Strange #36.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 12, 2015 7:48 AM
"The story then gets a little silly, with Dr. Druid and Dr Doom having to fight the spirit of Dr. Doom's repressed "good" side while Doom is being restored."
You mean Dr. Strange instead of Dr Doom that first time, right?
And I always found it funny how THESE were relevant Infinity Gauntlet tie-ins but the latter Silver Surfers were so painstakingly useless.
Posted by: Scott | December 4, 2015 1:28 PM
Yeah, all these tie-ins were completely pointless. But the marshmallow roasting scene reminds me of Ben Grimm and Hawkeye playing pat-e-cake with the Lizard and Klaw in Secret Wars. A nice little scene.
Posted by: Erik Beck | January 10, 2016 8:32 AM
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