Strange Tales #147-156 (Dr. Strange)
Issue(s): Strange Tales #147, Strange Tales #148, Strange Tales #149, Strange Tales #150, Strange Tales #151 Strange Tales #152, Strange Tales #153, Strange Tales #154, Strange Tales #155, Strange Tales #156
...but he realized that Kaluu was evil and helped banish him. However, during Dormammu's battle with Eternity, the barriers that kept Kaluu banished were destroyed and now he's free to run amok again.
He starts by seeking vengeance on the Ancient One and steals the Book of Vishanti, which he can't use (its spells can not be used to cause harm) but not having the book makes Strange and the Ancient One particularly helpless. They defeat Kaluu by going back in time and grabbing the Book before Kaluu took it.
However, as soon as they defeat Kaluu, Umar shows up. Umar is Dormammu's sister, and while she hates her brother, she is offended that he would be defeated by a human.
To lure Strange in the Dark Dimension, she kidnaps Clea (no indication of any relationship between Umar and Clea at this point), and Clea seems sort of resigned to her fate as human plot point: "Once again I am helplessly buffeted by a power I cannot fathom...". To save Clea, the Ancient One casts the Spell of Vanishment, sending her to the "eternal unknown".
To defeat Umar, Dr. Strange releases a creature known as Zom, who will turn out to be an even greater threat.
Dr. Strange acts like a bit of a jerk to Wong in this story. Strange is running low on funds and Wong keeps asking him how to pay the bills.
Eventually Strange gets frustrated and summons a ton of money.
This is the first time we've met Wong, i think, or at least that he's referenced by name.
There is a level of sexism in a lot of early Marvel comics. While some of it is obvious (the treatment of the Invisible Girl and the Wasp, for example), there's also a really weird thing where women are always referred to as "females". I'm not sure why it rubs me the wrong way but it seems to be a way to make them seem like another species. I dunno, maybe it's nothing. And of course, since Umar is a female, "though the power of Umar is beyond all measure, still am I a female--! Thus, I shall crush the accursed human as only a woman can -- with the matchless weapons of cunning -- and overwhelming guile!"
Steve Ditko is gone at this point but there are still some really cool visuals, first by Bill Everett.
The demon who grabs Strange when he enters the Dark Dimension is really neat, for example.
And the art has some more realism to it. Nonetheless the epic doesn't really hold up when compared to the earlier Dormammu epic (#130-144).
Starting with #153 these stories are illustrated by Marie Severin - this seems to be my first issues with her art and may be her earliest work at Marvel as a penciler (she had been working with Sol Brodsky in production).
Severin is one of the few female artists that have worked for Marvel; it's interesting to see a female artist so early and also disappointing that so few followed after her.
I like her art; it is nicely detailed and has tight lines, but also has a kind of antiquated Prince Valiant feel to it.
It recalls Ditko but also looks more modern. It would be nice to see fully colored instead of on glorious black & white newsprint (luckily, my scans are colored, but the quality isn't all that great).
Chronological Placement Considerations: This story continues directly in Strange Tales #157 (the next entry on this website). It's just such a huge continuous run i've decided to break it up. Dr. Strange shows up in X-Men #33 during Strange Tales #157-158, so i've placed this huge arc according to the placement of that issue, since Strange doesn't have any other appointments in the Marvel Universe during this period.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: Essential Dr. Strange vol. 1
Inbound References (6): show
Marie Severin is the sister of John Severin, and was the colorist for EC Comics.
Bill Everett used some stat panels of Ditko art in his later Dr. Strange issues, which the higher-ups did not care for.
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