Characters Appearing: Ancient One, Dr. Strange
Doctor Strange: From the Marvel Vault #1
Issue(s): Doctor Strange: From the Marvel Vault #1
This story was originally going to be the next issue of Roger Stern's Marvel Universe series, but that series was cancelled due to low sales and this issue wasn't published even though it was nearly fully produced. In 2011, purportedly due to an office move causing materials to resurface, Marvel decided to publish a number of nearly-finished books, including this one. According to Roger Stern's introduction, all that was left to do was the script, which he completed in 2011.
I'm a big fan of Stern and i wish his Marvel Universe series hadn't been cancelled, but this issue doesn't really prove that we were missing that much. It's the story of how Dr. Strange bought his house in Greenwich Village.
It turns out the house was built on land where a Native American shaman barred a demon called Tyanon from entering our dimension. Since then the spot had a reputation for being haunted and six prior buildings built on it burned down, making Strange's house the seventh house (i mention the numbers in case there's some intended or incidental numerological significance, this being a Doctor Strange story).
Strange buys the house on the spot and soon finds Tyanon's demon minion is trying to bring her back again.
The demonic familiar absorbs the strength of Strange's spells, so Strange defeats the creature in part by using his normally underutilized martial arts abilities.
Tyanon remains banished and the little demon is sealed in a mystic box.
Don't get me wrong; it's a well told story with nice art, and in addition to the mystic battles there are some nice scenes with Stephen being tempted by the luxuries of his previous life as a wealthy doctor. It's just that as far as the "exploring the less trod upon corners of the Marvel Universe" remit, this story isn't quite in the same category as the Monster Hunters.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after Strange's origin story in Strange Tales #115 but before Strange's first published appearance in Strange Tales #110.
Continuity Insert? Y
My Reprint: N/A
These stories should have been released in a Monster version.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | December 8, 2016 12:16 PM
It's a real crime that Neil Vokes & Jay Geldhof haven't been asked by Marvel to illustrate more Doctor Strange stories. Their work on both this issue and Untold Tales of Spider-Man: Strange Encounters was amazing. Vokes has recently posted some Doctor Strange commission pieces on his Facebook page, and those also look stunning.
Posted by: Ben Herman | December 8, 2016 12:46 PM
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