Doctor Strange #54-56 (Kyllian)
Issue(s): Doctor Strange #54, Doctor Strange #55, Doctor Strange #56
I don't know if it's just pure spin or if there was any truth to it, but in the lettercol for issue #56 it's said that there was an "overwhelming reaction" to Kyllian's first appearance in the annual. In any event, the idea was to promote the new characters after they were introduced in the annuals. It's an odd choice to go with a solo Kyllian story since preventing him from interacting with the main cast (aside from a brief appearance by Wong) makes him seem less "important". It might have been necessitated by the Infinity Crusade crossover, though, and i'd rather have something like this where you can pretend that they're mostly happening at the same time as Infinity Crusade instead of having Dr. Strange appear here while simultaneously separately appearing in the crossover.
Despite advice from Wong to wait for Dr. Strange, Kyllian decides to go out into the world and "settle some business" around the crime organization responsible for his sister's death.
Meanwhile, the Roman Goddess of War, Bellona, decides she wants to start doing stuff instead of just meandering around Olympia since forever (this story is her first and only Marvel universe appearance as far as i know).
She goes to a seer named Sybilla who tells her about Kyllian, noting that the Romans never conquered Ireland.
I did wonder how Kyllian was going to get vengeance on the Romans for things that happened centuries ago. The answer is that the Romans are going to come to him. Bellona starts by sending a centaur named, er, Centaurion after Kyllian.
Centaurion says that it's not Kyllian that he's after so much as the gods inside him. And as they fight, Kyllian says that the gods' voices are guiding him.
I mention this since i said i wasn't going to track the Celtic gods that gave Kyllian his powers. It seems they are still active inside of him, so they technically should count as characters appearing. However, since they exclusively appear with Kyllian, it's no loss in not tracking them separately.
After Kyllian defeats Centaurion, Bellona arrives in New York. She's kind of intrigued that Kyllian is only a "lad".
And after she retreats to Olympus, we see a vision from Sybilla showing Kyllian and Bellona K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
So this establishes a villain slash love interest for Kyllian. But since Kyllian basically goes nowhere, neither will this.
These back-ups feel surprisingly primitive in both art and story. If i didn't know better i would have guessed that they were done by a Golden Age artist as a kind of charity/pension thing. The idea that this was the guy that was going to be entrusted as the writer/artist for Dr. Strange is hard to fathom.
Quality Rating: D
Chronological Placement Considerations: The Kyllian back-ups in these three issues continue directly, whereas the Infinity Crusades tie-ins in the main portion of the issues take place at separate times. I'm therefore splitting these back-ups into a separate entry. I don't think it matters if it goes before or after Infinity Crusade (or, as i mentioned above, even during, although then you have to wonder about not seeing any of Goddess' effects). Definitely takes place after Dr. Strange annual #3.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showKyllian, Wong
Eris appears in the Incredible Hercules series. Aren't Eris and Bellona the same goddess?
Posted by: Michael | November 28, 2016 11:21 PM
Well, when I read this I thought the "goddess of war" would be Athena, who the Romans called Minerva, so I figured "Bellona" was simply made up. Turns out we're both wrong: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellona_(goddess)
Posted by: Morgan Wick | November 28, 2016 11:35 PM
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