Strange Tales #157-168 (Dr. Strange)
Issue(s): Strange Tales #157, Strange Tales #158, Strange Tales #159, Strange Tales #160, Strange Tales #161, Strange Tales #162, Strange Tales #163, Strange Tales #164, Strange Tales #165, Strange Tales #166, Strange Tales #167, Strange Tales #168
Marie Severin & Herb Trimpe's run ends with #160. Dan Adkins pencils and inks the remainder of the series except the pencils on #166 (the issue he plotted, and he still inked it) which is penciled by George Tuska.
I broke up the entries due to the number of issues, but this is a direct continuation of the lengthy storyline from Strange Tales #147-156, with Dr. Strange and the Ancient One still at Stonehenge fighting Zom.
We suffer from some real threat overload as this continues. If you remember, in the first part, we met Umar, who was even more powerful than Dormammu. To defeat Umar, Strange and the Ancient One had to release Zom. Now, in defeating Zom (which resulted in the apparent death of the Ancient One) Dr. Strange has released an even greater threat. As explained by the Living Tribunal...
...defeating Zom has empowered all the dark sorcerers on Earth, and they have brought Baron Mordo out of imprisonment.
As noted in the comments, this image was used by Pink Floyd on the cover of their album Saucerful of Secrets.
The Living Tribunal says he will have to destroy the Earth in order to stop the spread. After battling with Dr. Strange, the Tribunal allows Strange an hour to stop the spread on his own. To defeat Mordo, Strange enlists the aid of a creature called Nebulos, who is so powerful even the Living Tribunal can't beat him.
But Strange finds a way, and then needs to go find Victoria Bentley (who was one of the magic users that was activated when Strange defeated Zom - she had been forced to work for Baron Mordo and then went with Strange to see Nebulos, who imprisoned her) in a place that is more ghastly than the human mind dare conceive.
One threat after another, each more powerful than the one before, and each billed as the most powerful thing ever. Read all at once, it gets to be a bit much.
But the world Victoria is imprisoned in is actually pretty interesting. It is the home of Yandroth, the Scientist Supreme. The fight between Yandroth and Strange is pretty fun. It reminds me of a conversation between Dr. Venture and Dr. Orpheus on the Venture Brothers:
Dr. Venture: Either way I'm just not impressed with your tricks.
Finally, even Yandroth is defeated and this huge storyline is finally at an end.
Marie Severin's art on the first part of this arc is really cool. I enjoy the Tribunal.
The quality of the series declines a bit as we get further into the arc, with Severin and Stan Lee both leaving the book.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Continues directly from Strange Tales #156. 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 Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Dr. Strange vol. 1
Inbound References (3): showAncient One, Baron Mordo, Dr. Strange, Living Tribunal, Nebulos, Victoria Bentley, Wong, Yandroth, Zom
One of those Severin Tribunal/Dr. Strange pages was used as an overlaid image on the cover of Pink Floyd's 2nd album, "A Sacerful Of Secrets" from 1968. Dr. Strange was also name-checked in the song "Cymbaline" on Floyd's 3rd album "More" in 1969.
Don't know anything about Raymond Marais or Jim Lawrence. "Al Kurzrok" is actually NOT a pseudonym, though.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 3, 2011 5:19 PM
Marais left Marvel after a few months and then did some work for DC. Jim Lawrence wrote the Star Wars newspaper strip in the late '70s. Al Kurzrok was an occasional letterer for Marvel in the late '60s. I'm not sure he did any inking. I guess the rotating writers and artists were a sign that the feature was not held in very high esteem, although I recall the quality dropped surprisingly little following Ditko's departure.
Posted by: haydn | December 18, 2011 11:39 PM
Haydn is right about Kurzrok; he didn't do any inking on this arc, or at all for Marvel according to the UHBMCC. I must have read the credits wrong when i first logged this.
Herb Trimpe inks all of the Marie Severin issues, and then Dan Adkins pencils and inks all the remaining issues except #166, which is drawn by George Tuska but still inked by Adkins. Oddly, Adkins gets a plotting credit for #166. I wonder if it was really a finishes/breakdowns situation
Posted by: fnord12 | December 19, 2011 7:29 AM
You might think of it as threat overload, but I myself love that; it's a great series of "just when you thought things couldn't get any worse...!"
Posted by: Thanos6 | September 2, 2014 5:44 AM
Per Dan Adkins in Amazing Heroes #167: Jim Steranko inked a few panels on p. 4 of #166.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | February 27, 2015 4:24 PM
Just wanted to say that episode if Venture Bros. Has possibly my favorite joke in the whole show:
Orpheus: There was no prize, it was a gentlemen's bet!
Venture: Well then I won the gentleman!
Posted by: T4 | June 17, 2015 11:49 AM
A commentator at http://marveluniversity.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/june-1968-by-popular-demand-death-of.html argues Nebulos was taken from a cover for Theodore Sturgeon's VENUS PLUS X.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | June 20, 2016 6:15 PM
That link doesn't have images, but you can see the cover in question at http://martinohearn.blogspot.com/2011/08/from-john-schoenherr-comesnebulos.html. It's pretty much line for line the same character as the panel where Nebulos first appears. I like Adkins' art a lot, but easily half of his work is lifted from Ditko or several of the great science fiction artists of the sixties.
Posted by: Andrew | November 6, 2016 5:28 PM
This sequence was wildly entertaining in the day and Marie's pencils seemed to get better as she went. I liked the Yandroth storyline. It sort of was the story I wanted to see where the evil scientist Dr. Strange battles the good sorcerous Dr. Strange. The Living Tribunal was another of those cosmic beings embodying concepts that Stan (and I) like so much.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | November 11, 2016 7:43 PM
The Beatles might have preferred Captain Marvel and Iron Man, but among English prog rock bands, Dr. Strange was the man who was closest to the spirit they were trying to capture. T-Rex name drops him in "Mambo Sun," and the scene where the Tribunal previews the destruction of the Earth is incorporated into the cover of Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets".
Posted by: Andrew | November 1, 2017 8:34 AM
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