Doctor Strange #38-40
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #38, Doctor Strange #39, Doctor Strange #40
The arc starts with a seemingly unrelated plot about bizarre looking Native America spirits called Eye Killers. They have the heads of owls, the bodies of snakes, and the claws of mountain lions.
And they cast a wild magic that is hard for Strange to counteract. He defeats them by banishing them to another dimension, merely delaying his battle. The Eye Killers had murdered a man named Douglas Royce, boyfriend to Dr. Strange's neighbor Sara Wolfe. This is the first appearance of Sara, who will soon become a regular supporting character (she's very poorly drawn in the first panel of her first appearance).
But Strange isn't able to investigate why the Eye Killers were after Royce, because at the end of the issue, Strange is contacted by a friend from the Vatican named Alfeo Spinosa, who informs him that Baron Mordo has been filmed stealing from the Vatican's occult library.
Mordo is supposed to be in a vegetative state in Dr. Strange's house. But it turns out that was a trick, and Mordo had escaped some time ago.
Dr. Strange heads to the house of his friend Lord Julian Phyffe, who had been asking some unusual questions about Mordo. It turns out to be a trap. Spinosa is killed, and Strange is almost duped into killing an old lover of his, Madeline.
Meanwhile, Wong has gone missing. Clea goes to Chinatown to investigate and is attacked by the wraiths of Dormammu.
She flees back to Strange's house, and convinces Sara to swap bodies with her so that Clea can leave the house and find Wong.
Sara is surprisingly calm about the whole magic thing because, you know, she's an indian.
Clea follows Wong's trail to a house in the Adirondacks, but she is taken out by a gun man before she learns anything.
It turns out Phyffe has been working for Mordo. Strange hunts him down and during the chase Phyffe is killed, but Mordo resurrects him as Azrael, a mystical life-sucking juggernaut.
Strange is caught in Azrael's grip and begins rapidly aging (to make things worse, Mordo astral-projects his face onto Azrael's so he can taunt Strange personally).
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly in Man-Thing #4.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): show
The title to #39 refers to the 1932 Universal horror film of the same name.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 4, 2011 6:31 PM
Am I the only one who thinks that in the panel grab above, Azrael bears an unfortunate resemblance to the Pillsbury Doughboy?
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | March 4, 2017 12:05 PM
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