Doctor Strange #55
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #55
...so who should show up but D'Spayre.
Not a favorite character of mine because it allows writers to turn what should be an emotional struggle into a battle against a super-villain...
...but Stern does a good job with it, leading Strange through a series of illusions including a meeting with anagramed versions of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Dakimh The Enchanter appears as a spirit guide for D'Spayre's illusions, even though he's supposedly dead.
There's no reason why D'Spayre would use an illusion of Dakimh to mess with Dr. Strange since they have no prior relationship,
Nice art by guest Michael Golden this issue. This series has been without a regular artist since Marshall Rogers left in issue #53, and will be until Dan Green arrives with issue #58, but the fill in artists in the meantime are superstars, including Brent Anderson, Michael Golden, and Paul Smith.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Strange returns to brooding over his break-up with Clea in issue #53. It's more or less a continuation of his state of mind from issue #54, but due to this book's bi-monthly schedule and Strange's appearances in other books, we have to assume that time has passed where he's been occupied with other things and now is back to being upset over Clea.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
I always assumed it was an illusion- remember D'Spayre and Dakimh have fought before, so D'Spayre probably got a kick out of using his image to mess with Strange.
Posted by: Michael | July 2, 2010 1:52 AM
You're probably right, but why would D'Spayre choose to use Dakimh to taunt Strange, since Dakimh is meaningless to Strange? Why not use an illusion of the Ancient One, for example? I suppose it could just be an easter egg for readers.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 2, 2010 2:09 PM
A Dr. Strange Graphic Novel was announced at this time(maybe it later became "Shamballah"), but no details about the creative team.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 27, 2012 7:53 PM
Slightly later, A Dr. Strange Graphic Novel by Bernie Wrightson was announced(the front cover was published) and so was another one by Roger Stern; one of them probably became "Shamballah".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 20, 2013 4:46 PM
In respinse to a few questions and comments here:
- Doctor Strange would indeed know who Dakimh is/was. You don't study the mystic arts for a decade (and practice for many more) without being "up" on who the power-players are.
Sure, they have no "on-screen" meetings, but if Doc knows who Jennifer Kale is - and that she is the wielder of the mystic power of Zhered-Na (who was herself tutored by Dakimh), I'd imagine he'd know who Dakimh is as well.
- The fact that "Dakimh" fist introduces himself as "from beyond the veil" is a direct admission of being dead. But Dakimn (the REAL one) was still quite active after death, so it wouldn't be weird for him to appear to Strange. Only it isn't him, it's an illusion by D'Spayre.
- The "Bernie Wrightson 'graphic novel'" wasn't ever a graphic novel. It was merely a cover to a baxter-paper deluxe "Special Edition" reprinting of the "Silver Dagger saga" from Doctor Strange # 1-5.
- "Into Shamballa" - when it was announced was ALWAYS stated to have the creative team of J.M. DeMatteis and Dan Green. The earliest promotional teaser for it was a painted image (not used for the actual graphic novel) by Green.
Just trying to help out.
Posted by: Sanctum Sanctorum Comix | August 3, 2013 11:04 PM
gah! I hit "post" before proofreading, so there are typos. Sorry.
Also, I meant to check the exact wording of "Dakimh's" entrance.
OK. Carry on.
Posted by: Sanctum Sanctorum Comix | August 3, 2013 11:07 PM
Thanks for all the info, SSC.
Just want to clarify my (old at this point) hesitation over Dakimh being an illusion. It wasn't about Strange not knowing him (he says in one of the panels above that he's aware of him). It's just that it seemed like a weird character to taunt Strange with, since they don't have any connection. So why did D'Spayre pick that particular illusion? And since i couldn't think of a reason, i wondered if maybe D'Spayre somehow had the real Dakimh in thrall somehow.
Posted by: fnord12 | August 3, 2013 11:16 PM
The only issue of Dr Strange I ever owned because it was included in The Best of Marvel collection. But, after reading through all of this site up to this point, I have to say it might be the best Dr Strange story, both because of the story, and because of the art - the perfect art to capture Strange and his world.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 7, 2015 7:00 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with Eric on this issue, I too was familiar with it from the Greatest Marvel tpb. Unbelievable Golden's art here was a fill-in, it is spectacular.. reminds me of Neal Adams. Writing was very strong too. Maybe my favorite Dr Strange story. I always liked D'spayre.
Posted by: RikFenix | August 1, 2016 3:57 PM
This was originally announced as a double-sized issue.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2017 11:37 AM
Comments are now closed.
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