Doctor Strange #171-173
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #171, Doctor Strange #172, Doctor Strange #173
To protect Clea from Umar in Strange Tales #155, the Ancient One cast the Spell of Vanishment, sending her to an unknown location. Strange is now determined to locate Clea and bring her back, so the Ancient One has given him an incantation to be recited in front of the Orb of Agamotto. It summons a herald from the realm of dread Satannish.
The herald doesn't give much information, but he confirms that Clea is alive. Strange also has information from the Ancient One that he can only find Clea if he acts in consort with another female... one with whom I had mystic rapport. That would be poor Victoria Bentley, the poor lady that keeps getting mixed up in Strange's affairs. She's also in love with the guy, and here she is asked to risk her life so he can rescue another love interest.
She is pretty excited to get the initial summons, however. And i mean "overdosed on LSD" excited. Wooooooooo!
A little into their mystical journey, however, Victoria gets frightened, and Strange is forced to put her in a status bubble.
I don't blame her, though. Strange had promised to train her, and he didn't, and now when he needs her again he brings her in totally unprepared.
It turns out it's a good thing that Strange decided to go looking for Clea, though, because Dormammu wound up surviving his battle with Eternity and he got thrown into the same dimension that Clea was put in for "protection".
Tom Palmer's art has a stiffness to it...
...but i kinda like it.
With issue #172, Palmer is on inks and Gene Colan is drawing. Colan is a good fit for Doctor Strange. His work is less psychedelic than previous artists (for this title, anyway. You can't help but be psychedelic here)...
...but his style instead emphasizes the shadowy darkness of Strange's world...
...and also brings a nice touch of realism.
Dormammu is able to easily drain Strange's power and entrap him. He then summons his sister Umar, mainly to berate her for taking advantage of his absence. It's the first time we've seen the two interact.
Strange eventually breaks free using the Eye of Agamotto (after all this time, there is still an over reliance on the Eye as the way to get Strange out of jams)...
...and Strange sends Clea and Victoria back to Earth. Dormammu and Strange then battle again.
Dormammu again defeats Strange, and this time Clea and Victoria use the Orb of Agamotto to plant a suggestion with Umar that she free Strange. I thought it was cool to see the two sorceresses freeing Stephen but then Thomas throws in a line stating that it was all his idea anyway.
For the final battle, Strange lures Dormammu to Earth. Dormammu had previously vowed never to attack our dimension, so his powers fail him...
...and he is forced to flee back to the Dark Dimension.
In issue #172, a guardian that Dormammu created to watch Strange tells Strange that he's going to die "in a world you never made".
Variations of that odd phrase are used at Marvel a lot and eventually becomes the tagline for Howard the Duck. I've finally looked it up and it's from a poem, Lancer, by A.E. Housman:
I, a stranger and afraid
I still don't think it makes a lot of sense in the context it's used at Marvel.
There's a cool bit where Clea first arrives on Earth and realizes she's going to have to walk on the ground instead of the air like she's used to.
This was a fun arc that utilizes a number of threads from past issues. It's also subtly setting up Strange's upcoming conflict with the followers of Satannish. With these issues Clea also becomes a regular member of the cast, and we're going to see a more humanized tone to the book (for good or ill).
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (2): showAsmodeus (Sons of Satannish), Clea, Dormammu, Dr. Strange, Umar, Victoria Bentley, Wong
LCD? Lowest Common Denominator?
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 5, 2013 7:01 PM
Clearly she's tripping on something outrageous.
Fixed it; thanks. ;-)
Posted by: fnord12 | January 5, 2013 8:20 PM
In Yancy Street Gazette #20(7/68), Tony Isabella reports that a fan called Mike Hudak had his letter in #173 censored to remove criticism of Dan Adkins' swipery.
Posted by: mark drummond | August 8, 2014 6:36 PM
In a prior Yancy Street Gazette(#19, 6/68), Tony Isabella provided this strange bit: "...and Marvel's 'Tom Palmer' is really the artist of Aquaman, Jim Aparo."
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 18, 2018 7:58 PM
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