Characters Appearing: Cyttorak, Dr. Strange, Galactus, Juggernaut, Nova (Frankie Raye), Silver Surfer
Doctor Strange #44
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #44
Since i'm a Juggernaut fan, i've always been interested in Cyttorak and the mystical connection to the world of Dr. Strange. In pre-Internet days, i spent a fair amount of time and money seeking out Doctor Strange #182, only to be disappointed by it. Somehow i missed that this issue existed, but i probably would have been disappointed by it, too. I know that i am now. The depiction of Cyttorak is pretty lame. I have some quibbles about the version of Cyttorak that appears much later during Marvel's Fear Itself event, too, but on a whole i like that version a lot better, even though it feels completely inconsistent with this one.
Strange himself says that he doesn't know much about Cyttorak other than the fact that he uses the crimson bands spell and he once saw the idol.
By the way, it looks like the colorist missed a note, because Nova says that the whole realm is supposed to be red, which makes sense, but clearly it's not. There are several such comments throughout this story.
Dr. Strange gets trapped inside some of the crystals in the Crimson Cosmos, and Nova is captured by an entity that we don't fully see yet. So Dr. Strange gets the idea to summon the Juggernaut to help him.
The Juggernaut isn't happy about Dr. Strange pulling him here, but he agrees to help, basically because he'll be stranded if he doesn't.
They find Nova being held by Cyttorak.
Cyttorak is entirely uninterested in the world outside his dimension, and he's completely unaware that Dr. Strange has been calling on his powers all these years.
In fact, he's able to convince Cyttorak to let him, Nova, and Juggernaut go. But, as i noted two issues ago, Roy Thomas seems very focused on the fact that Nova is naked, and so he has the Juggernaut getting "lustful", and then deciding that he wants to steal the Ruby that Cyttorak is wearing.
Juggernaut's motivations seems to be to prevent Cyttorak from ever deciding to take away his powers in the future, but Thomas again emphasizes Juggernaut's rape-y intentions towards Nova.
Nova escapes her bonds and blasts the Ruby away from Juggernaut, and Dr. Strange levitates it back to Cyttorak. It turns out that by knocking out Cyttorak, he had cut himself off from the source of his power.
But all Cyttorak is interested in his having his "fame" grow. So he sends Strange and Nova back to Galactus' ship, and Juggernaut back to Earth.
When we see Cyttorak in the Fear Itself story, in addition to having a completely different look, he's interested specifically in having an avatar that engages in destruction. I suppose that could be the "fame" that Cyttorak is seeking here, although it should be noted that the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak and similar such spells are usually used for containment and protection, pretty much the opposite of destruction. Cyttorak may have developed some more specific goals, and/or became more interested in Earth, thanks to this encounter here, or he may just be lying to everyone.
I do like the depiction of Cyttorak better than what Thomas has been doing with Agamotto. Cyttorak is still way too anthropomorphized, but i like that he's disinterested in the outside world and claims to not even be consciously aware that people are drawing on his power. It's a low bar to say that he's depicted better than Agamotto, and i'd rather both entities be treated as unknowable mysterious beings that don't interact with Dr. Strange and friends like they're just regular folks.
Still, this is the most interesting of the detours during the Eternity Quest subplot of Infinity War, and i'm admit that even though the Juggernaut seems out of character and even though Dr. Strange's reasons for summoning him don't seem to make any sense (and Juggernaut ultimately does more harm than good), i still enjoy seeing the character and the acknowledgement of the little connection between X-Men and Dr. Strange corners of the Marvel universe.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Begins after Silver Surfer #69, but before Infinity War #3.
Crossover: Infinity War
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Isherwood's art really helps these issues. Imagine these stories with Butch Guide.
Posted by: MindlessOne | July 10, 2017 8:59 PM
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