Doctor Strange #10
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #10
That doesn't stop Strange from referring to his recent (illusion of) being dead as being "one with Elvis", but there's much less of that sort of thing than in the previous issues.
Dr. Strange is floating around fretting about Morgana Blessing's book when he notices a wrecking ball about to knock down a building, and he puts a stop to it only to find that the building is already mostly dismantled. It turns out that he owns this building, and realizes his assistants must have OK'd its demolition while he was away. It seems like an important point (and it is) but Strange doesn't follow up on it right away.
Instead, he goes to visit Morgana. She acts like she hasn't seen him as recently as Doctor Strange #3 and in fact faints when she first sees him, and then punches him when she wakes up.
She's also surprisingly healthy looking for someone that was walking around with a cane in that issue.
I don't know how this was possible. By the beginning of his run, Roy Thomas seemed very familiar with Peter Gillis' work up until at least Doctor Strange #1 or so (i know that sounds weird, so in case you're not aware: Gillis wrote the end of a previous Doctor Strange series and then a run on Strange Tales before the reboot of Strange's new series). Roy Thomas has been referencing the fake funeral and other events from Gillis' work. The fact that he (and his editors) missed the fact that Dr. Strange already had a post-"death" conversation with Morgana was understandable enough when Thomas' run began, considering the lead times involved and the fact that the editorial team had changed. But surely by now there was enough time to catch up on the remaining few issues.
Anyway, Morgana refuses to kill her book.
Later, Steven gets a answering machine message from someone named Vic.
Also, Morbius is on the loose, and Strange finds him chasing "Vic" (i think something is weird about these two sequential scans. Maybe the "Noooo" word balloon is coming from the wrong direction?).
It's not said in these issues how Morbius became a science-vampire again.
Dr. Strange doesn't recognize Morbius at first (they've never actually met, but we'll see later that Strange is aware of the story of Michael Morbius), and Morbius is consumed with bloodlust anyway, so they fight for a bit.
But Morbius eventually calms down and gets Strange to look at Vic.
Back at Dr. Strange's house, Jackson Guice is showing us that while he may like posing pretty ladies, he's going to balance that out with a close-up shot of Rintrah's naked ass.
Dr. Strange then shows up and tells everyone to be cool about Morbius.
And then the big reveal: Victor is his brother, who "died" ten years ago but Strange was keeping his body cryogenically frozen at the warehouse that got torn down earlier. And now he's a vampire.
Nice set up. The less goofy scripting has improved the writing, and the use of Morbius and the vampire mystery is interesting. I'd say the thing holding this book at this point is Butch Guice's art, which is descending into Mark Beachum territory in terms of posing and lack of storytelling.
Quality Rating: B-
Chronological Placement Considerations: We're going to allow a little time for Dr. Strange to put together the spell that he casts on his brother at the beginning of next issue.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (5): showBaron Blood (Victor Strange), Dr. Strange, Imei Chang, Morbius, Morgana Blessing, Rintrah, Sara Wolfe, Wong
FNORD - Regarding that first scan, I guess you haven't heard about the "Popeye" diet. But, clearly Morgana has.
Posted by: clyde | October 23, 2014 4:25 PM
This isn't the last time something like this happens with Roy Thomas- Bobbi and Clint wind up on the outs again because Roy didn't read Avengers Spotlight 25- but at least Roy comes up with an explanation for the discrepancy in issue 15.
Posted by: Michael | October 23, 2014 9:41 PM
Again unfair standards on Roy Thomas. I never read this series but based on the scans you show here it shows Roy can write anything even Vertigo type stories
Posted by: Rob G | October 24, 2014 12:31 AM
Any particular reason why Dr. Strange is going out in public half-naked to fight vampires?
Also, what is up with Rintrah's pose in that ass-shot panel? He looks like he's doing squats or something.
Posted by: dermie | October 24, 2014 3:26 PM
Dr. Strange rushed out of the house when he heard the message from Victor; that's why he's shirtless.
Posted by: fnord12 | October 24, 2014 3:39 PM
Amazing Heroes #141(mid-May 1988) announced an Eternals story by Roy & Dann Thomas for Marvel Comics Presents, but I don't know if it ever happened.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 24, 2014 11:02 AM
It became an Eternals one-shot around 1991. Around the time Nicieza's Soviet-Super Soldiers one-shot appeared: I assume it too was originally intended for MCP circa '89 or '90.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 24, 2014 6:04 PM
Those one shots show why it wouldn't be a good idea to reprint Panther's Quest in a trade- the cliffhanger-every-eight-pages is very awkward in a oneshot.
Posted by: Michael | November 24, 2014 8:12 PM
It's sorta odd that Roy Thomas gives a specific length of time, ten years, since Doctor Strange's brother died, and that this took place back when Strange was still a selfish physician. Going by that, it means that Strange had his auto accident, descended into alcoholism, found the Ancient One, trained with him, became a master of the mystic arts, and had all of his adventures all within the space of less than a decade.
I rather prefer the approach that other writers have utilized, that Strange is actually much older than he appears, and that he was already active as Earth's mystical protector before the Fantastic Four made their debut.
I personally find that it's appropriate to have as many of those Strange Tales stories actually be set in the 1960s as possible. It makes sense, since in his very first appearance in Strange Tales #110, Doc is already well-enough known for people to be seeking him out for help, and he refers to Nightmare as his "ancient foe" meaning that they've been enemies for a long time.
So the ten year timeframe Thomas establishes here really does not work.
Posted by: Ben Herman | June 12, 2016 11:35 AM
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