Doctor Strange #78
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #78
We start with Strange casting what he thinks will be a simple spell to repair his Cloak of Levitation, but he leaves the spell unattended when Topaz comes in, expressing inappropriate degrees of emotion due to her missing soul.
So while his spell does its work, he takes Topaz into a ne'er before seen "Chamber of Extrospection" in his house...
...and has her begin to look into a dark mirror.
However, whatever he planned there is interrupted by a series of crashing sounds, and he returns to his study to find that his cloak is causing the ruckus...
...and he's forced to dispel the repair enchantment.
Strange berates himself for not really knowing the origin of his cloak, but his investigations lead him to an "Enitharmon the Weaver", a strange little dinosaur dude living in a remote dimension.
Enitharmon tastes Dr. Strange's life-thread...
...and identifies him as being from the dimension of Eden, home of the Celestials, as well as a bastion against Dormammu that Agamotto has spoken highly of.
It turns out that Enitharmon didn't actually make the cloak, but he's willing to repair it.
It's while waiting in Enitharmon's shop that Dr. Strange finds a portal into the dimension in Cloak's cloak. Strange feels compelled to enter the dimension, even though he correctly feels like he's getting pulled into a tangent.
Meanwhile, Cloak has been in Europe, pursuing drug dealers alone since Dagger has been exploring "a need for a taste of 'normal'".
And his pursuit has led him to a Madame Deladier, aka Ecstasy, the local kingpin behind a drug so new that the authorities have yet to declare it illegal.
When Cloak first sees her, she reminds him of Dagger, and that may be due to more than her blond hair.
Cloak absorbs her into his dark dimension, but soon finds that she is able to controls its forces and claim his power for her own.
This is where Doctor Strange comes in.
Ecstasy torments Cloak with his worst fears about what he will become, to the point where Doctor Strange observes that Cloak is ready to beg Ecstasy to kill him.
Strange counterattacks with the light of the Eye of Agamotto, which strips of Cloak's powers and has Strange attacking the darkness itself (award yourself 1,000 experience points if you made a Dead Alewives joke in your head). Strange only attacks until the darkness "realizes the light of Agamotto is more than it bargained for"...
...and then jumps out of the dark dimension, landing with Cloak in Ecstasy's house. Cloak immediately tries to attack her again, but Strange stops him, telling him that it'll just start things all over again. Ecstasy meanwhile taunts Strange by telling him that she's the "easy target - and if you keep shooting at the easy target, you'll lose every time". Strange simply responds "until we meet again."
I'd love for the book to have gone another couple of panels, with Strange maybe explaining to Cloak what was going on, why Ecstasy was able to take control of his powers and more importantly what exactly is really living in the dark dimension, but if they do have any further conversation, we're not privy to it.
Definitely an issue that raises more questions than it answers, but interesting and chock full of strange and intriguing concepts.
I do like Chris Warner's art, and one thing i like about it, and 1980s art in general, is that while Warner handles the mystical and abstract very well, the storytelling is still perfectly clear. I imagine this same plot with a Gene Colan or a Frank Brunner and i think i would have come out of it a lot more dizzy. That's certainly not a criticism of either of those artists, but to my eyes a story like this works a lot better if the art is more grounded.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Cloak appears here while he's in Europe and separated from Dagger, between Cloak and Dagger #8-9.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
At this time, the Predator and Prey Graphic Novel, where Cloak learns what's in the dark dimension, was under production- that's what Delgado's preparations for the exorcism were leading up to. This issue was meant to tease the mystery revealed in that issue. Unfortunately, it means that Strange can't tell Cloak about the true nature of the darkness and Delgado's ultimate fate might have been avoided if Strange had tried to help Cloak with his problems after this issue.
Posted by: Michael | January 16, 2014 9:29 PM
Peter Gillis must be a William Blake fan as the name (if not the character) "Enitharmon" comes from Blake's mythology.
I really like the description of our universe, "dimension of Eden, home of the Celestials". I think it really puts things into context that Strange works on a whole other level than the rest of the Marvel Universe, as it should be.
Posted by: Chris | January 17, 2014 10:00 PM
So, was this crossover sort of meant to reflect the upcoming consolidation of Doctor Strange and Cloak and Dagger's books into Strange Tales? If not, then it's one weird coincidence.
Speaking of weird, it also seems a bit odd for Ecstasy, who will be a notable Cloak and Dagger villain, first appear in this issue.
Posted by: AF | January 17, 2016 12:16 PM
I would assume it was deliberate. It's only about six months away from the debut of "Strange Tales" #1. It might have been an idea to give regular "Dr. Strange" readers a clue who Cloak and Dagger were, or just an idea Gillis had when he heard the change was coming.
Never read "Cloak and Dagger," so I don't know if they were doing anything that would have presented an opportunity for Doc to make a cameo, or if the writer/editor didn't have any workable ideas, or if it was assumed that Doc is a long-running mainstay of the Marvel Universe and needs less introduction.
Posted by: ChrisW | January 17, 2016 6:38 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|